Bermuda has held a good reputation for quite some time. We are recognized as a stable island of few problems and limited risks. Crime has been quite low, people feel safe, it’s a comfortable relaxed living and there is very little political strife. At least, that’s what Bermuda used to be recognized for.
The difference today is that the world has changed. Even I, an unknown 26 year old from quiet beginnings, have a voice. Though my readership may be little more than a handful, my words have reach to all continents. If the reach of the one voice can touch the globe, what could the reach of international newspapers be? Ask yourself, has the Internet changed our world so differently that any voice can be loud enough to be heard around the world? If so, how does that impact how we’re perceived from the outside looking in?
When prospective tourists think ‘Bermuda’, they look it up on the internet. It’s not as difficult as it used to be. How about prospective business partners for our industries? Do they too? How about those we hope to attract? The internet is a powerful medium because it shares both the best and the worst of Bermudian life and culture. It shares our celebrations of life like Bermuda day, and those of death like the mourning of a hero. Just as it shares our good times, it also shares our bad. Reports of muggings. Break-ins and the robbing of tourists at gunpoint in their rooms. On top of this our Premier talks of ending negotiations with the UK in an abrupt manner and demands of control of police which result in Bermuda being described as facing revolt. What is our picture to the world at this stage? What do the people on the outside see when looking in on our tiny island paradise?
This is what concerns me. Those accused in the Bermuda Housing Corporation allegations may or may not be guilty of the accusations, however rather than taking the time to justify them, an attack is waged that ends up affecting our global reputation. One can understand and accept that the actions may have been character damaging, however to take an eye for an eye approach with the UK is one that isn’t just character damaging for the UK, it’s also damaging for Bermuda.