Column: Desperation, Distraction & Deflection

February 21, 2019

Nick Kempe Bermuda November 2018[Opinion column written by OBA Shadow Finance Minister Nick Kempe]

On the eve of the tabling of the Budget, I will offer my own Pre-Budget Report Card. I think the most obvious letter to grade the Government’s performance with the economy is a D. D for Desperation. D for Distraction. D for Deflection.

The Premier’s recent rant in the House of Assembly smacked of desperation. He oversold the miracles of FinTech and now that Bermuda has been underwhelmed with the results, he seeks to blame the OBA for being “negative”.

Apparently asking for an update on the number of promised jobs for Bermudians is an attempt to destabilize the Government. Apparently asking about the $1m dollars promised by Arbitrade to help build the recently cancelled incubator is not in the best interest of Bermuda.

Instead of owning the fact that the development of this new industry is not flourishing in Bermuda as promised, the Premier is lashing out and leaning back on tired old conspiracy theories to distract from failure to stimulate the economy and shift the blame.

In order to distract from the issues of a flagging economy suffering from an absence of new stimuli and a declining population, the PLP press conferences have become filled with electoral style rhetoric with very little substance. It would seem that the Minister of Propaganda is now hard a work preparing speeches, using the ones he drafted while in Opposition as his guide.

Minister Brown, for example, gave a bombastic press conference last week with a speech he was seemingly reading for the first time. In it, he claimed all sorts of wonderful news about how we are not in a recession, but failed to mention that the only thing buoying the numbers was the $60M of machinery that had been purchased for the Airport and the St Regis project in St. George’s.

When asked about the late retail sales figures, the Minister deflected and blamed his civil servants for technical delays. Lo and behold, the very next day, another month of bad results were released and the date on the report was January 2019. Yes, you always need to check the small print.

Are you willing to believe that the Minister called a propaganda filled press conference in mid-February and simply forgot to include the retail sales report that was prepared for him weeks prior?

Judging from the Pre-Budget Report we are to expect $50M more in taxes this year [but nobody in Government seems able to say from where], not one single dollar in savings from Government and yet another year of a broken promise to balance the budget. Perhaps a D is too generous.

- Nick Kempe


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Comments (19)

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  1. 2 Bermudas says:

    I hope every Pee El Pee voter feels ashamed of themselves!! Pee El Pee!! Pee El Pee!! Bermuda for ‘Bermudians’!! Hahahaha!!

  2. red rose says:

    Yes! What happened to the one million arbitrade promised for the fintech incurbator?!

    • trump supporter says:

      I think the gold was to heavy to air freight here, or the media screwed it up. Theyll blame someone else.

  3. Robert Licker says:

    Hi Nick,

    Respectfully I think you’re off base here , has a single Fintech company even opened their doors yet in Bermuda ? I’m an American so I’m not going to pretend to understand all the dynamics in play with the PLP VS. OBA discord . If Fintech fails in Bermuda who wins ? The PLP , OBA ? I’ll tell you who doesn’t win , Bermuda .

    In the interest of candor, yes I am a Dignity token holder and stand to do well if Arbitrade gets licensed and succeeds. As an outsider I’d say grant these companies license, let them open shop and see if they can deliver on their promise to your country. In a year or so , Bermuda can reevaluate and truly measure how successful Fintech has been.

    Now I know you’re gonna scream “Arbitrade’s a scam”, well I know the BMA is respected globally , has a great reputation and the Bermuda Government should let them do their job . The BMA deserves that everyone stop playing politics and let the process play out . During the dotcom boom , an overwhelming majority of the companies were scams and pump and dumps that ultimately failed . Out of that cesspool emerged F.A.A.N.G or just the most valuable companies man has ever created. Bermuda should pursue bold and innovative industries to rebuild their economy. I think Blockchain and Fintech may in time be a golden ticket for Bermuda. I hope Cooler heads prevail and the The Bermuda Government will put politics on the shelf and let Fintech see if it can deliver the results to match the hype and promise.


    Robert Licker

  4. Bermie Bud says:

    Complaining that there no jobs yet from FinTech is ridiculous. FinTech has barely even begun. The Digital Asset Business Act (DABA) was barely passed through the senate in December 2018. You think dozens or hundreds of jobs should be going 2 months after? LOL Not a chance!

    What did Amazon or Google look like during their 1st month?
    Do you look at an acorn, and complain it’s not an oak tree yet?

    The fintech process is happening, but it takes time. No one wants this rushed or done wrong.

    The BMA is ensuring that the FinTech framework is done properly, in order to avoid future problems and to create a solid base to work from. They and the PLP are trying to grow Bermuda’s economy responsibly.

    Jobs will roll in once the BMA has ensured the industry financial framework is in order. There are 40-50 or more NEW fintech companies seeking out Bermuda to locate their businesses, that says something. Jobs are coming, not ‘on-demand’. Yet you complain? That’s laughable…

    It’s asking a lot I think, to have all those fintech jobs in place a month or two after the first legislation gets voted in. Complaining that there no jobs immediately seems like desperation, and an OBA political stunt.

    Do you want what’s best for Bermuda? Or what’s best for the OBA?

    The PLP is still balancing the budget left them by the OBA, but they are planting the seeds of change.

    • question says:

      Isn’t it interesting. PLP supporters who could not wait one minute for new job creation under the OBA suddenly are prepared to wait years for the PLP to get its act together, with no problem at all.

      Two years and not a single fintech job? No problem.
      Two years and gaming in complete disarray? No problem.
      Retail spiraling downwards? No problem. Business confidence down? No problem. Taxes on food, tax on rents, higher living costs, higher healthcare costs, taxes on imports. No problem. Pathways to status? no problem, turns out we all wonted that all along. New airport building? No problem, it turns out we liked the idea all along.

      • Really says:

        95 percent of what you said was a complete lie. So much to unpack. First of all the PLP never quantified or gave an exact time when jobs will be created and how many because this is an industry that they are trying to build. But the oba promised 2000 jobs by a certain time and failed to deliver. If you have been truly paying attention about 70 ppl so far that I know of have been employed within Fintech, they had two articles on two students currently going away to school to study Fintech careers after being hired by Fintech firms. You talk about gaming as if it was going to save Bermuda and as if the majority of Bermuda wanted it when in fact the OBA lied about having a referendum and decided to take a 300,000 dollar payment that has magically disappeared and all of a sudden no talks on gaming let’s just do it!! Retail is not spiralling downward its continuing the same trend it has been in for the last 9 years. Inflation has been increasing steadily since the recession so this whole lie about all these increases is the PLP is total nonsense. Why dont you all stop acting like you care about Bermuda, with your blatant attempts at sabotaging Fintech cause that’s really for the young lot to get into and you dont want to see that at all. All of what you spewed out can be debunked and I pretty much debunked the major points or your weak comment. And all your troll friends who commented under you are just as ridiculous and foolish as you. But hey what do I expect from a bunch of ppl who continue to support the most deceptive party in Bermuda politics called the OBA. Using surrogates to get in was just the start of the lie…

      • Bermie Bud says:

        Final part of fintech DABA passed DEC 2018 = 2 months ago. Give it time.
        Gambling… sure could be better. Give it some time.

        Do you look at an acorn, and complain it’s not an oak tree yet?

        Overall debt is huge and did not just happen in the last two years!
        The budget is tough to balance with no money, it has to come from somewhere.

        Sure airport is needed, deal could have been better negotiated.
        He we are. If we could pay the debt in ‘complaints’ We’d be solvent!

    • Politricks says:

      DABA was approved in teh summer of 2018, not December as you stated.

      • Bermie Bud says:

        Incorrect. Many parts of DABA passed that spring & summer. However a final part, the fee structure did not pass until DEC 19th 2018.

    • Come Correct says:

      Your last statement shows how delusional you are.

    • sandgrownan says:

      “Jobs will roll in once the BMA has ensured the industry financial framework is in order. There are 40-50 or more NEW fintech companies seeking out Bermuda to locate their businesses, that says something”

      Show me. Show us.

      “The PLP is still balancing the budget left them by the OBA, but they are planting the seeds of change.”

      That statement IS LAUGHABLE. There is no plan to balance the budget, nor is there a plan to eradicate the PLP debt. They own this not the OBA or the UBP. The PLP own the debt. It’s their mess, their fault and to suggest otherwise is rank stupidity. 16-20 my friend. 16 years of failure, debt and incompetence. Suck it up, it’s your fault.

      • Bermie Bud says:

        How can you balance a budget completely out of whack with the economy in a shambles? You can’t… overnight.

        The plan is fintech, maybe gambling and some other economic engines to ramp up business, & the economy in order to balance the budget.

        There is plenty of debt to go around, the former OBA’s debt & budget heavily contributed to the current situation. It will not be fixed overnight, or by just complaining.

  5. red rose says:

    except in june last year, the Premier said:

    “I’m relatively certain that within the next two months you’ll begin to see more companies that will sign leases, that will begin hiring, that will begin setting up, and will begin their philanthropic efforts here in Bermuda.

    Here is the link:

    • Trump supporter says:

      This govt b st everyone to get voted in, they are clueless.
      Budget today will be interesting, since it won’t be a balanced budget like they said.

  6. Future says:

    Dear Nick,

    Continue writing. Even the most committed PLP supporters must now accept that the election campaign goodwill they have been utilizing has now fully run out of steam

    time for the PLP to lead and stop twisting and turning out of every statement and failure to deliver on its lofty mandate that we cannot spend our way out of due to $2.5 billion mortgage called debt

    • Enough says:

      Dear Nick – the title is right!

      But it’s the OBA who are desperate and offer absolutely ZERO in the way of solutions other than to bring white elitists to the Island for a boat race which are your friends and family strategy. Where are your friends now? Picked up their little boats and gone!

      So what’s next then Nick? Always talking about 2017 AC and that’s been gone! The PLP have some significant plans in the oven to get Bermuda on the repeatable event circuit but you dumb a$$e$ in the OBA can’t get behind anything that moves us forward!

  7. OMG says:

    When you have sharks in cabinet like the PLP do, companies and their families will stay well away.

  8. Karen says:

    Perhaps next year the free bus rides for students can be changed to $1.00 per ride. That way you could also do away with the TWO plastic bus passes that are distributed to EVERY student in Bermuda, both in government and private schools during the school year! Then the revenue can go towards expanding the bus fleet even more!