Video: Interview With OBA Youth Wing Chairman

October 21, 2017

Justin Mathias — the Chairperson of the OBA Youth Wing, the Future Bermuda Alliance — sat down with Bernews this week for a live interview on our Facebook page, discussing a wide range of topics with guest interviewer Jeremy Deacon.

Asked why he joined the OBA, the 25-year-old said, “That’s more of my ideology, I’m more of a right center when it comes ideology.

“Low tax, a smaller government, efficiency, more of those ideologies are where I find myself. Naturally there’s only two political parties in Bermuda, so you have to make that choice.”

Future Bermuda Alliance Chairperson Justin Mathias Bernews Podcast

On the role of FBA, Mr. Mathias said that their focus is “more of a listening and engaging”, holding fireside chats discussing the issues such as “how the election was held, who did what, the social media aspect, and misinformation.”

“Then in September we did helped a back to school initiative, hosted by the Devil’s Hole family. We helped give back to the community, got school supplies and school bags.”

When asked what feedback he gets from younger people about politics and if they are engaged, Mr. Mathias said, “I think a lot of young people say that they’re not engaged, but they are. You have these fireside discussions and you sit there for three hours, and they know all of the issues, but it’s one of those things where it’s not the hot topic.

“People would rather talk about reality shows, people would rather talk about music. People would rather talk about that salacious stuff, than actually talk about the stuff that matters in their own country, which is a great concern for me.

Asked about his recent column, Mr. Mathias said, “It was more of condemnation of what was actually happening.”

Saying “there were serious issues that were being discussed within the House,” he said it was “political point scoring, and that’s why I wrote the article because I’m like…why if you’ve won the biggest election in history, you’re still trying to score political points when there’s actually real issues.”

“That’s where it came to me that I have to write that piece, because we’re going into the old style of politics, where it’s more about scoring political points than governing.”

He added, “That’s why I think there’s disengagement from the youth, because they’re just tired of listening to the same old rhetoric, and not seeing action.”

Asked about the OBA’s future following their heavy loss in the General Election earlier this year, “For me, it’s a bit different because the OBA to me, that’s the party that I joined.

“So I’m not connected to all the stuff that happened before, how it was formed. But the actual values, the principles that are within the Constitution, all that start up work within the OBA is something that we’re still fighting for. ”

He said, “A lot of the focus and values and principles that we built on about diversity and about listening to people, some of that wasn’t taken into consideration. So I think now it’s just the community has spoken, our supporters have spoken, the Bermudian electorate has spoken, and we have to just continue the work that we started in 2011 and 2012.

“We did suffer a huge loss and to some people, they think that was our death notice. It wasn’t our death notice, we just know that the work that we did in 2011, 2012 we need to get back to doing that work.”

Saying the voters can swing, Mr. Mathias said, “We’re living in a new era. We just had the biggest election win, in 2012 you had a party that just formed win Government. So there might be history whenever we have an election the next time.

Asked about the perception some have that the OBA is the UBP, Mr. Mathias said, “You know you can’t really control what other people’s narratives are going to be.

“I think the perception of casting us as a UBP party is a perception that’s been fed to us by the PLP,” he said, adding, “They have UBP members also. They don’t like to acknowledge that…you have former UBP leaders within the PLP.”

Mr. Mathias added that if anyone is interested in learning more or attending any FBA events, they can look them up on Facebook or e-mail

If you want to listen ‘on the go’, you can also access the audio only version of this interview, and all our past interviews, in the podcast section of the Bernews app.

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Comments (32)

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  1. Bic says:

    Poor kid, he has no idea the damage inflicted by Bob Richards, nor any clue what Crockwell and Pettingil were really up to with gaming (mind you nobody else in the OBA did either)… That latter story is going to break soon enough, IMHO.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Tell us all about this damage that Bob Richards supposedly inflicted.
      I think you have both the wrong person and the wrong party.

      • Remember says:

        As a black Bermudian my whole family voted for the United Bermuda Party in John Swan days like most families. The days when they would beat the PLP by a landslide. The party needs to sit back and think about why so many people are leaving the Trump party. (hint)

        Justin Mathias don’t be another pawn in the oba start your own party. You need to know the history and not some silly name change.

        • Onion says:

          The PLP have become the party of Trump. From their recent law that will do nothing but appears anti-foreigner to their fake news operation.

          • Onion Juice says:

            “As a Black Bermudian my whole family voted for United Bermuda Party”.
            Dont think any whole white families voted P.L.P.
            Talk about social conditioning.
            Psychological Damage.

          • Can't believe it says:

            Please don’t inject Trump into Bermuda’s politics. He is a walking idiot and has no place in this country’s politics.

        • Bic says:

          Mr. or Ms. Remember:

          You bring up all valid points, especially as regards PLP election wins prior to 2012. What is very interesting about the 2017 election is that the 60% PLP popular votes suggests that for the very first time the PLP has cracked the OBA/UBP base and picked up a sizable percentage of white votes, enough for a landslide rather than a victory. Could this be the beginning of post racial politics? I hope so.

          • aceboy says:

            No, it isn’t. Clearly. Where do you live? Can’t be here.

    • bdaboy says:

      “nor any clue what Crockwell and Pettingil were really up to with gaming (mind you nobody else in the OBA did either)…”

      Funny how you left out some names…also funny that the plp sure as hell knew what was going on….

    • Vortex says:

      ‘The damage inflicted by Bob Richards’…are you serious?

      Recent history seems to be harsh on Bob, but he inherited a huge mess, and austerity measures are never popular.

      I think you need to ask yourself why he had to do that to find the real damage and those responsible.

      • LOL says:

        I think Bermuda would like to know why the ubp/oba covered up jetgate and used Craig the past leader and black man as a scapegoat. Bob spoke about this but didn’t finish it!!!!

      • Bic says:

        To put it bluntly, Bob was good at playing Messiah and frighteningly shallow when it came to knowing his brief and strategic thinking. His airport is nothing more than a make work project for electioneering purposes (which failed because of the delays and the government dissolving) whilst giving away valuable assets already capably run by Bermudians. He totally skewered local Bermudian business not only with tax increases but with some awful sign offs vis a vis 133/134 of the companies act which have put Bermudians out of work whilst letting foreigners in (the legal profession is interestingly a good example of this – amazing how many unemployed and underemployed Bermudian lawyers there are whilst the foreign firms come waltzing in…)

        My personal opinion, and I wholly accept that there are other equally good arguments, is that the way out of debt is not austerity but through stimulating growth to create a bigger tax base. Taxing the hell out the go getters who make things happen and giving the shop away a la Bob is purely the traditional UBP petty politics of begrudgery of Dunkley and company. Michael can dance with the Gombeys as much as he likes every May 24 but the People know better – might be a while before he tries that again.

        • Zevon says:

          So much nonsense here.
          For example, the money spent on external legal advice is mostly spent here in Bermuda, not on “foreign firms. In fact, it was Burt boasting two weeks ago about having lunch in DC with a foreign law firm, who wanted a slice of our business.

          And the only people who want to “tax the go-getters” are the PLP.

          You lot love rewriting history and spreading myths.

          • Roy says:

            Funny how many law firms have been laying off lawyers…

    • Zevon says:

      You mean Crockwell, Pettingill, Burt and DeSilva. We all know now what they were up to.

    • Um.... says:

      I’m not fan of the OBA and Bob had a problem when it came to delivering a message, but he was one of the best Ministers of Finance that I can recall. His methods may have not been popular but he was on the right track with much of what he was doing to secure the economy and reduce our debt.

      That being said, Mr. Mathias ought to be careful because he looks like a pawn at this moment. And the party he is aligning with are quick to toss you to the side when they are ready.

    • aceboy says:

      Damage done by Bob Richards? Like what?
      Agree re Pettingil and Crockwell.

  2. VIP says:

    The OBA party change it’s name because black voters weren’t voting for UBP. The failed experiment was a waste.

    The former BDA members need to reincarnate their party and distance themselves from Dunkely and oba/UBP fast. That’s the only party that has a chance to beat the PLP in the coming elections.

    • local says:

      As long as the PLP is leading we are all losing as a country.

  3. Onion Juice says:

    “Holding fireside chats”.
    As long as they dont start carrying Tiki torches!!!!!!!!!

    • Casey says:

      You’ve got your parties mixed up. If anyone’s likely to carry torches, it’s members of the anti-foreigner, nationalistic, jingoistic, populist party in power.

  4. Jr says:

    Lol he don’t know what he talking about

  5. poppycrock says:

    Exactly, he does not know the hidden history, the skeletons and the ostracization experiences for anyone way back when, to banks pulling loans right down to present past leaders of the UBP being disenfranchised by the UBPOBA. Families suffered and it was families that looked like this young man that was targeted. Good luck to him, if he’s not financially secure, he too may just become casualty.

    • Onion says:

      Instead of way back when, why don’t we look at right now.

  6. Joey says:

    The comments above make one realize Bermuda is full of jack azz folks ,someone said all the educated ones left the island already

  7. Pat Adderley says:

    how great to know there’s young people who will admit they are more to the middle of the road and see things taking in the whole picture not just always using the blame game. Wish more young people would become involved.

  8. Coffee says:

    “I think the perception of casting us as a UBP party is a perception that’s been fed to us by the PLP,” he said . And that about sums it up for him .., absolutely no idea … The PLP didn’t have to paint the OBA with the UBP brush , people instinctively knew who and what animal they were dealing with .

    “They have UBP members also. They don’t like to acknowledge that…you have former UBP leaders within the PLP.” Very true , enlightened people will always evolve . The best way to acknowledge talent is to nature that talent and allow people to share that talent with the country …. I think the present PLP have , and will continue to do a great job in that respect . We took the Best and left the Rest !

    • Up D hill says:

      He will also know the plp for it won’t be long before the in fighting about faces name calling and unexplained spending occurs.

  9. bee says:

    Good for you Mr Mathias. the rumours, , innuendo, hate and outright lies put out by the PLP should be illegal.