No comment?

A very concerning report about the strength of our primary industry is presented and our Premier takes a pass on commenting?  Does this contradict the great reputation he’s been raving about?  Should we be worried about government policies and their long term impacts?  Are we in for a rude awakening and are dire straits ahead?

Only a week ago, Premier Brown was hyping up the success of the PLP government and Bermuda’s grand reputation:

“Bermuda is earning rave reviews in Wall Street, major players are bullish. That would not happen if they did not think the Bermuda Government was a blue chip Government.

“Strong as our reputation is around the world, I will continue to build the brand.”

Yet, today’s Royal Gazette paints a very different picture where it suggests that the reinsurance community could relocate “at the drop of a hat”.   Yet, despite these frightening revelations, Premier Brown apparently does not deem them important enough to comment on.

Another article suggests further insights from the report:

The pro-independence and anti-expat rhetoric is scary, the work-permit situation chaotic and the power of instant deportation over any non-Bermudian (including troublesome journalists) is genuinely frightening.

For those in the know, the work-permit situation on island is indeed chaotic for many businesses.  Durations for a response take many months and leave many businesses having severe difficulties keeping candidates interested that long waiting for an answer.   There are rumors abound within the international business community that many companies have been planning to relocate jobs off island and the reinsurance article reaffirms those rumors.

Most concerning are the remarks made concerning independence:

“However, the recent appeal to London’s Privy council over media reporting of leaked police files in an infamous construction-related corruption case has reminded outsiders that as long as Bermuda isn’t independent, the ultimate checks and balances still reside elsewhere.”

For anyone who holds the view that independence could in no way cause a flight of international business, the above remarks should come as a serious wake-up call.  Perhaps young Johnny shouldn’t be as concerned about the Sven’s from Sweden and a little more concerned as to whether there will be any jobs left for young Johnny at all? 

Should we be concerned that our Premier can “pass” on commenting on these troubling remarks about the state of our most important industry?   Do we really have as great of a reputation as he is contending?  Could a “mass exodus” actually be a reality where one day Bermudians like you and I will wake up to find we have no jobs and no future?

Silence from our Premier is not what I expect at a time like this.

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sal
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sal

Doesn’t the Premier have a press secretary!

Politics.bm
Guest

One for the ‘Whatever’ file

Evidently there’s a shortage of real news, which resulted in today’s installment of silly headlines (and story): Wilkinson defects to PLP Lots of fun stuff in this very short ‘story’. Firstly, is it a defection if someone quit one party…

ken
Guest
ken

What would you like the Premier to say? To reasssure the community? Even if he says reassuring words they will be met with resistance. You and I both know this. What we also know is that this is pure electioneering. Prior to ’98 it was said that the companies will leave under a PLP govt. Everytime the UBP and their allies want to scare people into voting for them, they use this bogeyman. All their focus lately has been on destroying Bermuda’s reputation and taking this destruction internationally. That should speak volumes more about their motives and abilities, then it… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Ken, The UBP scaremongering defense is weak considering the article comes from a reputable international reinsurance publication. What if there really is weight to the rumors? What if jobs really are being moved off island? What if it really does take 6 months to get a work permit approved and the impacts that is having? If you were in my position, one that is not far off from “young Johnny”, would you not begin worrying that perhaps it won’t be too long before your job is moved off island? I expect our Premier to not be afraid of “resistance”. If… Read more »

Money where mouth is
Guest
Money where mouth is

I don’t know why Government reacts with shock at this article. It is common knowledge amongst the international companies and a dominant topic of conversation.

jamdown
Guest
jamdown

ken, Electioneering?? Does the UBP now control Reinsurance magazine, Global Reinsurance magazine and their content? As much damage as this does to Bermuda and its reputation, perhaps it can dispel the UBP Media Bogeyman stories that the PLP continues to cling to. Face the facts and stop blaming the messenger.

ken
Guest
ken

Yes actually they do. Yes it is probably true that most companies would prefer the UBP in power…I am sure they would prefer to deal with ‘their own’. That being said, this government hasnt done anything to disrupt international business’ flow in Bermuda. Most of these ‘feelings’ that are developing are because people dont like the fact that they arent calling the shots anymore. In addition, the UBP is feeding the media (both local and international) with incorrect and inflammatory information. What they are doing is sullying and island’s reputation for political gain. Which in my opinion is reprehensible. And… Read more »

the truth
Guest
the truth

Well Ken, you’re proof that denial is a very powerful force. Introspection is in order.

clingtotherock
Guest
clingtotherock

Let me weigh in and answer Dennis’s “what if” questions and counter Ken’s ‘scare tactics’ theory. The company I work for opened shop following 9/11. From December 2001 until Jan 2007 they had been a 100% Bermuda domiciled company ie. they held no other offices or entities outside of Bermuda. This was something they boasted about and prided themselves on. Since January of this year they have opened 2 offices in the US (Connecticut and Arizona), they’ve started a Lloyds Syndicate in London and they’ve opened a European office in Switzerland. These openings have resulted in 21 Bermuda office positions… Read more »

vanz
Guest

dennis, at the risk of sounding existential, who r u? and i don’t mean this in a rude way but as a young bermudian male in this day and age who r u. what defines you? short story, when i was 11 years old a kid from my cub scout pack was killed in a swimming accident. while riding the bus home from somerset primary shortly after it happened a very nice tourist commented on how nice my uniform looked. not being in the mood i turned away tersely. at this point an elderly bdan woman admonished me for not… Read more »

ken
Guest
ken

I agree Vanz…
are we to cater to IB’s every whim while they live the high life and average Joe Bermudians dont benefit at all. I appreciat the fact that IB has brought a lot to our country, but they get an awful lot in return.

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Vanz, I’m someone who cares about Bermuda and it is the primary reason for why I write this blog. You and Ken act as if I’m the enemy because I suggest that it’s a bad idea that we have jobs being moved off island. Bermudian jobs! I don’t care if 1 million ex-pat jobs are moved off island, but Bermudian jobs are being sacraficed. The middle class are being sacraficed and it is the middle class that holds a society together. The PLP does things that you should be against, you turn a blind eye. Tell me why? Some reason… Read more »

Wiaruz
Guest
Wiaruz

Vanz I think that you and Ken are scraping the barrel to respond to these latest concerns voiced by the re-insurance industry. I should at least commend you for trying; it’s more the Premier has done. If IB can be represented by the 10,000 ex pats in Bermuda, there are 55,000 Bermudians enjoying the trickle down, directly and indirectly, from the foreign currency it generates. If you haven’t noticed Bermuda produces diddly squat of anything the rest of the world wants to buy, ex tourism which is almost a third pillar after construction, as an employer. You might be happy… Read more »

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

Ken, Rightey-oh. I agree, it’s a global conspiracy against the PLP. Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with their track record as a government or their publicly made proposals which impact IB. Funny though, you’d think that as all powerful as the UBP surely is to pull the wool over the eyes of educated, experienced, disinterested third parties from around the globe that they might have been able to win the past two elections. Fortunately we people like you and Vanz holding the line against their ignorance. Vanz, Awesome! You’re absolutely correct as well. This is really about Dennis being… Read more »

vanz
Guest

i’m confused – i did not mention the ubp or plp – i’m talking about a bigger issue than politics – i’m talking about the humanity of bdans – i’m willing to bet that there is a correlation to the “fear of poverty” that teh average bdan lives by and the high rates of divorce and alcoholism, drug abuse etc that bda suffers from. not to mention it’s lack of cultural contribution to the world; no bdan novels, music, theatre etc. if u had a child that did not sing, write or draw u would think that something was wrong… Read more »

SmokingGun
Guest
SmokingGun

For once I have to say Vanz’s comments do hold water. Bermudians do need to be concerned with the life that they will end up with. Dennis has said so many times before as well. But the problem Vanz is it’s all about balance. And unfortunately our leaders, especially Dr. Brown are knee jerk extremists. Instead of listening to the people and being completely honest with everyone they act as if it’s only they who matter, only they who know what to do. Only they who should be allowed to make all the decisions. And much like a child who… Read more »

Wanda
Guest
Wanda

“Silence from our Premier is not what I expect at a time like this.”
I am afraid that he hasn’t been silent – he’s about to stoke the xenophobic fire a little higher. Mark my words.

vanz
Guest

have u heard (politcally incorrect’s) bill maher’s joke about how the republicans created this non existence super arab who lives in a mountain fortress from where he tries to take over the world for onneee mmmmiiillliiiooonnn dollars. that’s what the ubp and it’s numbskulls try to do with dr. brown – he has come from afar (the US) seeking revenge, trying to destroy our livelihood while instigating a race war so that he can dupe the PLP faithful in order to let him get away with stealing the sacred bda triangle postal office cedar beams so that he can live… Read more »

Sal
Guest

Breaking News: E-Wart’s new affirmative action “ethnic cleansing” law, blacks alone must be promoted.
This is the last nail in the IB coffin,they didn’t just kill the golden goose, they murdered it.

Wanda
Guest
Wanda

The affirmative action ploy is pretty cynical. They want to dodge responsibility for a failed high school system that doesn’t produce enough Bermudians to pursue secondary and post graduate qualifications. So they say, hire ’em anyway, you deal with what we could not and would not.

ken
Guest
ken

I know of many foreign workers that begin their careers here at higher levels, getting paid mega bucks but who have no more qualifications than a bermudian with a bachelor’s degree. the bermudians begin as technical assistants or underwriting assistants, the expats begin as underwriters. is this fair? goodwill plus is so that the bermudian (who if you have read the information, has to be qualified to a determined level) enables that the bermudian will understudy the expat’s position and then take over at a determined time. What is so wrong about that? I honestly think that white bermuda doesn’t… Read more »

Wanda
Guest
Wanda

“I would go further and say that i believe that a certain segment of our community actually wants IB to leave so they can blame it on the PLP.” And that is clouding your perception of this grave situation. Balancing the racial makeup of our workforce is important – and we all know it. However forcing quotas is not the way – it actually harms Bermuda’s competitiveness and creates additional ill will in our society. Government should be soliciting the aid of business in repairing our education system – and be willing to loosen its control over the system to… Read more »

the truth
Guest
the truth

“I know of many foreign workers that begin their careers here at higher levels, getting paid mega bucks but who have no more qualifications than a bermudian with a bachelor’s degree. the bermudians begin as technical assistants or underwriting assistants, the expats begin as underwriters. is this fair?”
No. But it’s a way to get a key employee exemption. Be careful what you ask for.

ken
Guest
ken

The truth,
This practice was happening before term limits.

Sal
Guest

>>”The affirmative action ploy is pretty cynical. They want to dodge responsibility for a failed high school system””
Bermuda College has better facilities than most American/Canadian colleges,yet the trades classes cannot even GIVE away training to lazy wall sitters.
Number of full time students at Bermuda College is down by 20% The number of full-time students at the Bermuda College is continuing on a downward spiral.

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

“Bermuda College has better facilities than most American/Canadian colleges…”
Are you kidding me? No, it doesn’t.

the truth
Guest
the truth

Indeed it was Ken. Because to get someone to relocate to a foreign country you have to give them a promotion, more money and some sweet perks. But don’t fool yourself about the key employee impact. It bumped it up another level.

Blankman
Guest
Blankman

“Bermuda College has better facilities than most American/Canadian colleges…”
Uh…. No.

CERP
Guest

“Bermuda College has better facilities than most American/Canadian colleges…” Does the writer truly believe this? Have they obtained a degree from either? I seriously doubt it! What is so disturbing, is that this person’s views are likely not isolated – there may well be many locals who belive such rubbish! Maybe the local papers should do a headline to this effect; heck, if I had only known this a few years ago, I would not hve spent so much on helping my three kids get foreign college educations. There is truth in: “When you lie so much, u begin to… Read more »

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

It’s sadly ironic the situation we are in with Ewart Brown. One need only take a look at the pages of our own history to understand what is going on. The following are some excerpts from Catherine Duffy’s book Held Captive: “Lynden Pindling of the Bahamas was our biggest ally…Pindling gave a speech, known as the ‘bend or break speech’, in which he threatened international companies based in the Bahamas. Pindling required that all foreign workers be replaced by Bahamians. Deeming this to be impossible, offshore business flocked to Bermuda. Indeed in two years 20,000 expats who had been working… Read more »

vanz
Guest

silence do good – r u saying that bda is better than the bahamas in some way? the bahamians i meet seem to have a stronger sense if self than the average bdan – their culture and self identity also seems more defined than bdas – so what exactly do makes bda great in your eyes – all i hear is talk about is $$$ – its boring and small minded. trinidad has nobel laureate vs naipul, st. vincent has nobel laureate derek walcot, jamaica has a UWI, bob marley etc., i could go on and on – what does… Read more »

vanz
Guest

also silence… – bda has historically had some of the highest rates per capita of alcohol and drug consumption, mental illness, divorce etc. – not exactly a picture of fulfillment – and i believe it’s a direct result of this fear of poverty nonsense that they’ve pushed on bda for so long. in the 20s when marcus garvey’s teaching started to reach the colonies in the west indies – the mid ocean’s editor and eventual UBP stalwart ss toddings said that bda had nothing to worry about because bda had the “best fed, best clothed and best housed negores” in… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Vanz, You really just don’t get it. At the state Bermuda is in, it simply could not sustain itself if the economy collapsed. You seem to advocate poverty like it’s some grand thing and I just don’t get it. You don’t even live here yet you’re ready to condemn everyone to poverty from the outside without being forced to experience it along with the rest of those who’d be caught in it’s trap. Take a trip to Africa to get a good look at real poverty. I’d bet you there are a great many people there who would kill for… Read more »

vanz
Guest

re: “why arn’t you the next Bob Marley or Nobel Laureate representing Bermuda? Why aren’t you here trying to make a difference by working with children” i am. 2ndly collie budz admittedly sings with a jamaican accent and when i herad him on the Funk master flex show in NYC he was attempting to get his US papers becaues he was born in new orleans. i just happened to be rading a 10 year old TIME magazine and i read this re; Canada’s brain drain: “High prices, lack of career oppurtunities, 3 levels of stupid govt., a seperatist movement in… Read more »

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

Dennis, Thanks for the assist. I wrote a very long response last night and my computer crashed. (sigh) In many ways you said it better than I did. Vanz, Look mate, I don’t know what to make of you. You often start out seeming like a reasonable guy, but then devolve into nonsensical generalizations which are almost always racially charged. I find your last comments about “best clothed negroes” particularly offensive. You are the one injecting race into this discussion—please note that. Secondly, I find it really sad that you can’t find anything about Bermuda to be proud. I would… Read more »

vanz
Guest

but silence what does ib get in rtn for the handful of philanthropic millions? if they 1 million/year what do they “make” in rtn for being able to set up in bermuda – 2 million? it’s probably a lot more. it’s such a subservient mentality to think that ib is doing us a favour – do tourists and ib comes to bda not because they’re doing us a favour? having met and spoken to dunkley at length and having done the same with dr. brown. knowing what i know about dr. brown’s and paula cox’s educational and professional bkgrnd compared… Read more »

vanz
Guest

pls excuse my typos

silencedogood
Guest
silencedogood

Vanz, What exactly is your point? Being appreciative is not being subservient. To think so is rather childish and shows a severe lack of understanding regarding economics and human nature. If you want total control of an economy, be prepared for it to be small and impoverished. This is not a Ewart vs. Dunkley debate and I fail to see how a fawning, one-sided comparison of their CV moves this discussion forward. Nor will I engage in an off-topic discussion of Dr. Brown’s personal characteristics despite the fact I have alot to say on the matter. This is not the… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Vanz,
while we’re on the topic of literacy, can you please try to use the shift key and some vowels? Reading your posts is giving me a headache.