OBA’s De Couto: ‘There Is A Lack Of Leadership’

September 23, 2021 | 29 Comments

“There is a distinct lack of leadership from top to bottom in the PLP Cabinet and Government right now,” the OBA’s Douglas De Couto said.

Mr. De Couto, who the OBA said is the C25 candidate, said, “Some people think that leadership is ‘being in charge’ — being the boss, giving orders, handing out the prizes. But thoughtful definitions of leadership focus on goals, and harnessing the efforts of others towards those goals. Or, as Harry Truman is reported to have said, ‘Leadership is getting people to do things that they don’t want to do’.

“And by that definition, there is a distinct lack of leadership from top to bottom in the PLP Cabinet and Government right now. With the Coronavirus on the march again in Bermuda, the PLP Government has nothing to offer us other than quarantines and ministerial statements implying the Government has no plan – ‘it is only a matter of time before the situation is unmanageable’.

“Here are some goals I suggest the Government gets people to work towards: get children learning again; get buses running; get the economy open. You get the drift.

“How though? To be honest, that’s the Government’s job – David Burt signed them up for that when he called an election in the middle of a Covid crisis. And since he and the PLP were happy to take credit for what positive outcomes Bermuda had then, they must also take responsibility for this current fiasco.

“But there are some ways out of this, should the Government once again choose to take inspiration from our international neighbors. For example, to our west, President Biden is requiring Covid vaccinations or regular testing for all employees of the US Government or large companies. And to our south, Antigua and Barbuda are telling all Government employees to get vaccinated, or stay home – and all defence and police staff, and teachers must be vaccinated.

“Wouldn’t this upset some people? Yes, it would be a tough decision, and you’d be forgiven to not expect much in the way of tough decision making if you’ve followed the PLP’s track record in Government for almost 20 years — unless you count the decisions about who gets which plum jobs and committee chairmanships.

“For the good of Bermuda, I hope I will be surprised. But if Government can’t make a tough call with a 30-6 parliamentary majority and four years left on the election clock, when will they?”

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Comments (29)

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  1. Rig says:

    I don’t know him, but I like what he’s saying. Its pretty hard to argue against.

    Its good to have you back OBA.

  2. For real? says:

    Oh? The pot is calling the kettle black.

    I think the OBA should get their house in order first before pointing fingers to the PLP.

    If your only trick is, “vote for us because it’s not them,” then sadly, you will never win an election again. The OBA of today is not the OBA of a few years ago.

  3. Nicole Butterworth says:

    The alternate doesn’t offer any better solutions that I’ve seen. I have read no reasons why the OBA should get my hard earned vote in the next election. I actually can’t believe I’m writing this.

    Pointing out problems, does not fix problems. Pointing out that the Government has a duty to solve the problem (while I do agree) still doesn’t solve the problems. Having a large part of the community ignoring simple to follow rules is not the Government’s fault; it’s individuals’ fault. Choosing not to get vaccinated (whether you agree or disagree) – individual decision. Deciding not to run public transport – Union Fault because they are always about the power-play not matter who is in charge. Choosing not to dine or shop during this time – individual choice. It’s cliché to say but it does stand: ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.’

    If only Bermuda could actually get along with itself, we’d do so much better, rather than places blame. The buck does stop with Government but no one seems to be offering any solutions other than what is already being tried.

    • Wow says:

      Bermuda hired the PLP to do this job. Their job is literally to come up with and impliment solutions. Are you suggesting someone else do the job they were hired to do and are getting paid to do?

      Getting paid to do a job but not being expected to actually do that job seems to be a common theme these days.

      • Nicole B says:

        No, as I clearly stated above. It is the Government’s job to come up with solutions but unlike others I’m not ready to throw them under a bus ( pun intended). We all know that taken at face value the decision to state all Government workers must be vaccinated is the cold hard solution. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s what Burt would really like to do. He’s obviously also aware of the HUGE outcry it will cause. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. I don’t think the Opposition would find the decision any easier to make if they were in power.

        • saud says:

          Basically, you give the plp a pass because you vote based on skin colour, nothing more, nothing less.

    • Kim Smith says:

      I really like the fact that Nicole Butterworth highlights that there are others responsible for the many failings in Bermuda, and not just the Government, including the Union AND perhaps most importantly individuals. Yes, members of the Government are paid to do specific things for which they are paid and so need to be held accountable, but this country belongs to all of us and we all have a civic responsibility to play a part in helping the country to progress. A good beginning could be to improve the quality of our public discourse which, in my opinion, is a major part of the problem. Speaking the truth is completely acceptable but it is the way we speak it that is so destructive.

  4. thelma foster says:

    mr decouto with a brain that you have think before you open your mouth your are not helping

  5. Guy Carri says:

    PLP is imploding.
    The misinformation, lies, hypocrisy and dictatorial position have risen to the surface. It can no longer be hidden. It has gotten to obvious.
    P. Burt will be removed by the end of 2021.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Ha! I’m not a PLP supporter but even I know that will NEVER happen. No one falls in line like a PLP MP or voter and when the time comes, they will fall in line.

  6. Joe Bloggs says:

    There is also a lack of an effective opposition or alternative to the PLP

    • Question says:

      There was a lack of effective opposition in 2017, but that didn’t seem to matter.

    • Wow says:

      I absolutely agree, OBA who? BUT, that has nothing to do with how the PLP do the job they were hired to do.

      It’s like bringing up the guy who also applied for your job but didn’t get it. He is totally irrelevant to you and your performance in that job.

      PLP, do better.
      Stop talking about the people who didn’t get hired for the job you got!
      DO. YOUR. JOB.

  7. kevin says:

    the reason we have this lack of opposition falls on the voter themselves there were 20+% of the OBA support who failed to vote for some reason, couple that with the racial tact the plp takes every election and you get what you have an opposition who cant hold this government accountable not enough votes in the house …but the voting public is getting what they voted for ….a devastated economy a racially divided country, infrastructure falling apart , emergency services with no funding .they even have gotten so arrogant they are dictating to the union ….only 8 years ago they were bed partners…like i said you get what you asked for

  8. Me says:

    What a boring lazy opinion piece

  9. .am says:

    “Leadership is getting people to do things that they don’t want to do”

    If that’s the measure of leadership, then the OBA exhibited SFA of it.

  10. Douglas De Couto says:

    Thanks for the comments all. My remarks refer to two specific ideas that will be used in other jurisdictions that I believe will help. Also my colleagues Ben Smith, Scott Pearman, Michael Dunkley, and Cole Simons have done interviews and articles that propose several specific solutions: such as, and this is very important, more situational testing, or considering vaccine mandates for key roles. I invite you to read their articles and interviews for further details. Stay safe please and follow all the guidelines.

    • Swing vote says:

      Sir you just proved to the readers how desperate the ObaUBP is. Oh and yes I used to vote for this same weak group. You’re never going to win again trust and believe the PLP voters would rather not vote at all before they vote obaUBPzzz.

      • saud says:

        The majority of Bermudas’ voters are racist, homophobic and xenophobic.
        The PLP represents this, and will be your government for decades.

        Good luck :)

  11. Mr. DeCouto would sound far more intelligent if he would not mention President Biden’s name, I live in the US and the man is a total disaster with approval numbers plummeting for good reason, and the Mid Term elections in Nov 2022 thanks to Biden will see a shellacking of both House and Senate DemocRats like this country has never seen before.

  12. watching says:

    What a load of nonsense? Where is the leadership on the OBA side? Will the real OBA Leader stand up? Cole Simons? Craig Cannonier? Michael Dunkley? On any given day who is it?

    Like him or not it is clear David Burt is the leader of the country and PLP. You have seen him at the head of this pandemic for 18 months nearly every week. He takes a step back for a few weeks and now all of a sudden folks think they have something to speak on. Rest assured the PLP leadership and the PLP government are in good stead and doing what is necessary to move forward and progress into 2022, with or without covid19 in play.

    I see Mr. Decouto has moved into c25 to become the candidate. He once ran in 29, then 27, now in 25. Maybe he will work himself into 23 and he just might win that safe seat.

    • Question says:

      Burt failed to persuade people to vaccinate, and as a result the country is in chaos and is financially ruined. PLP is failed leadership.

      • watching says:

        The government has a whole has the country at a near 70% vaccination rate. Its more the anti vaccination crew who have tried to derail the vaccination efforts. That cannot be blamed on any of the politicians except perhaps the FDM/BFA members.

  13. Average Bermudian says:

    Never heard of this guy who claims he is a politician for the opposition.

    He should have kept his mouth closed – he adds no value or solutions.

    Just noise

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