Column: Be Committed To Rebuilding Bermuda

April 21, 2021 | 17 Comments

Owen Darrell Bermuda April 2021[Opinion column written by Senator Owen Darrell]

“Former One Bermuda Alliance [OBA] Senator and failed candidate for Constituency #9, Smith’s West, Vic Ball, recently penned an op-ed in which he called on Bermudians to be angry.

Really….Angry?

That’s the feeling that the Opposition wishes to incite in all Bermudians.

In times like these, we should instead be resolute to see ourselves through, determined to come out of this stronger. We should remain focused and committed to the safety of ourselves, our families and our community.

Mr. Ball claimed that “none of this was necessary” and that we should have followed the Cayman Islands example.

What he does not state is that the Cayman Islands has closed their tourism sector for over one year, resulting in thousands of Caymanians without a job. Here in Bermuda, we considered it a moral obligation to those working in the hospitality industry; airport workers,taxi drivers, restaurant workers, hotel workers, vacation rental owners, etc., to get our tourism industry back on track, and we did that successfully last year.

Our government has successfully negotiated the Homeporting of two major cruise lines, Royal Caribbean and Viking Cruises, commencing in June, which will see over 40 million dollars in direct revenue, work for thousands in hospitality and 50 additional jobs for Bermudians.

We have to ask what exactly is the OBA and Mr. Ball’s solution for the thousands who work in the hospitality industry? Should they just be on permanent unemployment benefits and live on $500 per week from the Government? Should we tell St. Regis to not book visitors?

What Mr. Ball also purposely failed to mention is that since August 2020, our Retail Sector has seen sales grow month over month. Our Real Estate Sector has seen record activity over the last year as well.

This is because as a government, we took a balanced approach with people’s health, safely opening up our economy and taking stringent measures to control the pandemic as cases spiked.

However, despite the best of efforts, the world is now experiencing record spikes with numerous variants. Whether it be Toronto, New Delhi, Brazil or Bermuda the world is having to grapple with an ever evolving pandemic.

Unfortunately, there have been some of us who have not complied with well intended public health regulations. The resulting 7 day Stay At Home order was a necessary pause to ensure our health services could catch their breath.

The Government has clearly stated that there will be adjustments at our border, and those adjustments are necessary to keep out new variants, so for the OBA and Mr. Ball to be repeating what the Premier said two weeks ago under the guise of an attack is disingenuous. Bermudians in tourism should ask the OBA – what is their policy?

We fully understand that no one likes to be stuck at home all day, miss school or not be able to socialize. We miss our friends and family as well.

However, to be angry at each other does not resolve the situation or change the realities of what the entire world is faced with. We can all do a little better, there is space for improvement all around, but sowing division is not in Bermuda’s best interest.

Do not listen to someone who wants us to be divided and angry, versus being positive and working together to “beat” this pandemic.

Let’s be determined, resilient and committed to safely rebuilding our economy.

Bermuda, we will get through this rough patch and once again be a Global example on how to handle this Pandemic.“
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Comments (17)

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  1. watcher says:

    This coming from the representative of a party who weaponized anger for protest after protest, march after march leading to them putting their seniors in the firing line of confrontation with the authorities. I’ll take no lectures from the PLP on anyones language or inciting Bermudians.

  2. trufth says:

    I have no idea who you are Mr. Darrell but sometimes “no response” is better than a response. From where I sit, no one is “divided” and angry – we are all angry together, no division. And we are angry for still being in this situation when other countries are way ahead of us. Yes, Cayman for one. So stop patting yourselves on the back for “keeping tourism open” for the last year – what tourism?? The PLP plan, or lack thereof, has dragged this out longer than it needed to be and we are all tired and angry and frustrated and just plain sick of it. Stop telling us we should be thankful and stick together. Been there, done that, beyond over it!

  3. Sorry Sir says:

    lol.

    And you’re going to act like 2012-2017 didn’t happen? The the PLP propaganda network wasn’t in full swing during that time to “regain power at all costs”? That Bermudians weren’t being instigated to be angry?

    The only true way forward is accountability from the top to the bottom.
    From our senators to our MP’s.
    From our MP’s to our backbenchers.
    From our backbenchers to our civil service.
    From the civil service to the Unions.

    ACCOUNTABILITY Will Allow Bermuda To Prosper.

  4. Clear Blue says:

    Do you think your party has a monopoly on using anger to sway the electorate? This either makes you naïve or manipulative. Can’t trust you with either of those attitudes.

  5. sandgrownan says:

    What do Toronto, New Dehli, Brazil and Bermuda have in common? Conservative, head-in-sand governments.

    Taking lectures from the PLP on the economy? Are you kidding me? 20 years of failure and decline. No idea, no clue, no plan

    Taking lectures from the PLP on weaponising anger? Really? That coming from the PLP?

    No one is fooled by PLP rhetoric.

  6. wahoo says:

    I am angry at PLP for putting us into debt that is going to crush us and future generations. I am angry at PLP for creating small satellite groups to intentionally distract from initiatives that would be good. I am angry at the PLP for failing education. I am angry at them for their divisive nature that serves no good for anyone apart from the plp insiders.

  7. Memberberries says:

    Isn’t Owen Darrell also a failed election candidate? I am puzzled though why the OBA continues to trot this guy (Vic) out. Maybe people would be less angry if the government did as good a job clearly communicating sensible policy as they do with partisan hackery.

  8. Ringmaster says:

    Your main voter base has seen no financial impact of the shutdowns imposed by the PLP Government. You don’t understand $500 per week does not provide a family in the private sector with sufficient support to survive. How many Government employees have multiple family members working in Government, staying at home and receiving full benefits? Admin staff doing nothing, postal workers, court staff, others such as bus drivers stopping work. Still receive full benefits paid for by debt.
    Where is the Peoples Campaign marching to support and help Bermudians queuing at food banks?

  9. Optimism over Pessimism Anyday says:

    If only VB would use his time/resources to offer help to the many families that supported his business before COVID-19. How about making the headlines by providing grocery vouchers to families in need. Giving back would show you truly cared versus lamenting and sounding like a sore loser. And by the way, I do not vote party but vote my conscience. OBA roll up your sleeves and help out, instead of whining.

  10. kevin says:

    Mr Darrell, you are so off the mark …the reason why Cayman was able to shut their borders was because they have NO NATIONAL DEBT …they have money in reserve …the reason we opened up was because WE CANT AFFORD IT …we owe 3 Billion dollars…yes 3 Billion dollars that the plp government are responsible for ….that 52% of the voting public continue to support…
    Mr Darrell please dont think we are all ok with mis management , failed policies, squandering millions on lame brain ideas

  11. Still Waiting for Change says:

    This is what happens to an island where the focus has only been on winning elections but not actually doing anything substantive to pivot away from structural policies that still only benefit a minority of our population prior to 1998.

    The facts are with the exception of 5 or 6 of the Government’s MPs, most of the PLPs 30 MPs are woefully unqualified to deliver us progressive policies let alone implement them.

    Like 1998 we started out on a high in July 2017 with great expectations and hope that Bermuda would finally have a Government that would prioritize the much needed reforms to make Bermuda a progressive jurisdiction and capable of competing against our sister islands like Cayman.

    Fast forward to March 2021 and we are still being fed the same empty messaging that is always emotional and often racially charged but now from a leadership team that have basically handed over our futures to one man The Premier. To quote BIU leader Mr Chris Furbert where are the PLPs 18+ back benchers? Please tell us that all 18 are not patiently waiting to get to cabinet under the Premier or another board appointment for a little more pocket change? Recent Press conferences have shown that getting the cabinet paycheck is not all it seems as our ministers are publicly thrown under the bus to ensure the perception is maintained that we actually have leadership.

    Our patience is long but we won’t be taken for fools either so it’s time for the PLP back benches to get to it and lead the PLP and Bermuda to save all of us from these elementary op eds and the individuals that write them.

    The irony is that most of us know Senator Darrell well enough to know he did not write this piece so it shows how disconnected the PLP Leadership is with Bermuda’s voters, just like the OBA was in July 2017.

    We are still waiting for change.

  12. December 2016 says:

    Anger from supporters of the Union led to December 2016.

    Anger was fanned on talk radio up to December 2016

    Anger was encouraged after the Americas Cup

    Anger is routinely stoked at election rallys

    Anger against the 2 Bermuda’s and lack of opportunity for regular working class Bermudians

    Anger about the bad roads we are driving on.

    Anger many of us are now unemployed from before COVID 2019

    Anger that from July 2017 until March 2021 the PLP still refuses to focus on implementing policies to change Bermuda for Bermudians

    Anger that the recent press conferences are showing a clear lack of leadership at the top.

    Anger that December 2016 did not give us what we wanted.

    Anger can’t be used selectively.

    Anger will force the 29 PLP MPs to do what is now overdue

    Anger is what I heard in the Senate chamber when it was clear the marijuana legislation was going to be overturned

    Anger is not only for December 2016.

  13. Mark says:

    Your boy has his green tie on just in case!

  14. Vote PLP says:

    Don’t get Angry

    Vote PLP

    Vote Senator Darrell

    All will be OK

    Carry on Vote PLP

    PLP for progressive policies and progress, Vote NO to Anger, Vote PLP

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