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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40 thoughts on “No comment?

  1. 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…

  2. 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 does about the PLP government. Do you want a government who is willing to perpetuate, distort and fuel incorrect rumors, just for political gain?

  3. 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 these are truly rumors, he should be able to downplay them with ease. His silence is not reassuring me that they are nothing but rumors.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 if these companies are threatening to laeve becasue they can’t have everything their way, then that is sad that we have sold our country to them and have to accommodate their every want and need without their doing their parts.

  7. 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 being migrated overseas. Of the Bermudians who occupied some of those positions, some were offered the overseas position but none accepted, some were moved into other departments and 2 were made redundant. All of the ex-pats who filled the local positions moved to the overseas offices. Those of us who remain were primarily underwriting support staff and we see the writing on the wall. We were once very busy and very challenged in our jobs, we once complained amongst ourselves that there just wasn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything…we now have alot of free time and, quite frankly, the days drag by very slowly. My role was to provide analysis for 4 underwriters. 3 of them have moved and the company had attempted to bring in another to add support to the 1 that was left…the candidate they had lined up declined the position after waiting since February for a work permit – they have recently applied for another for a different candidate. The Bermudians here feel that the only reason we have our jobs is so that the company doesn’t find itself under the spotlight for multiple Bermudian redundancies. The core of the business is still here for now – the accounting department is teaming with people processing the profits through the local banks. However, if this company decided to pull stakes it could do so overnight and with very little impact to it’s business or profit. There are other jurisdictions, like Cayman for example, lining up to take our business.

  8. 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 being nicer because these people were our livelihood. i knew right then that would not live in bda when i got older. living your life out of fear is no life at all. it’s a chicken little like fear that ihe tourist will leave, fear that IB will leave. now i know that bda must rely on an industry to survive but at what cost? i don’t know the stats but for the millions that the re; companies save on taxes what does bda get in rtn? a handful of jobs that don’t even trickle down to joe public. now i don’t know what dr. brown’s aim was in this instance but as someone who has had to leave bda in order to be fulfilled it saddens me that 20 years on bdans still seem to be doing things out of their fear of being poor. i’ve always felt that bda (as stuart hayward once said) exists as a company rather than a country – this lack of identity is at the heart of bdas many problems – we see ourselves as employees first people second – our humanity is almost an afterthought. i don’t have the answers but bending over backwards so that huge corporations can make huge profits by not paying taxes in exchange for some token employment and bloated housing values is no way to exist. tell me, in ur travels when u tell people where ur from do they ever say anything other than how beautiful the island and people are? probably not we exist as backdrop for tourist dreams and IB tax shelters. my point is there has to be a middle ground so that everyone benefits. a telling remark re; my opinion is a quote from Charles Gosling, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Bermuda that i read at:
    “Bermudians are rightly proud of what they have come up with in this tiny, remote island. “Why would someone want to come to Bermuda?” asks Mr Gosling. “Infrastructure, language, location, the Privy Council – and let’s not forget the people.”
    and let’s not 4get the people??!! u notice that the people r an afterthought. existing as an afterthought is no way to live.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 other than “ooooh it’s because the evil UBP will get power”. The lesser of two evils arguement is absolutely rediculus in my opinion. I want NO EVIL!
    I want what is in the best interests of Bermudians, not politicians.
    I am the one who suggested we should be slowing down with regards to international business by closing to new businesses:
    We should work to better manage the companies we have rather than trying to find more and more and more who can come to our island.
    Don’t you see that the PLP is growth obsessed and doesn’t really care about the average Bermudian?
    If you lived here, you could walk into nearly any hotel or restaurant and see that the majority of people are not Bermudian, yet we want to build more hotels, bigger and better… more growth! More expats who will work for cheaper and more Bermudians who are left struggling to compete for dirt poor wages. It is sickening.
    I am the one who has suggested we should be taking a less is more approach to tourism.
    Cater to the higher end customers so we can charge more and give offer better salaries to Bermudians in the service industry.
    You ask who am I? I am a Bermudian who cares about Bermuda.

  11. 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 to go back to farming onions and lillys but I ain’t. The rhetoric, policies and unanswered questions on corruption are starting to bite. To actually blame the UBP for what is published in 2 interb\national sources is ridiculous. Wake up the both of you and small the coffee. Actually, as you don’t actually live here Vanz I guess you already have.

  12. 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.
    Awesome! You’re absolutely correct as well. This is really about Dennis being afraid and the Bermudian public being carved out husks of people with lint for souls.
    How silly we have all been to be concerned about maintaining our standard of living and improving the quality of life and opportunities available for our kids.
    Surely nothing bad could ever happen to us with such an honest and forthright man as Dr. Brown as our Great Leader. We just need to trust him more and forget about these distractions.
    Heck, even if our economy did take a nosedive, which is impossible–the Great Leader said so, we have lots of natural resources to rely on. Plus, it only took around 100 years or so for IB to get into the full swing of things here. It shouldn’t be too hard to reset things and rebuild a shattered reputation in only half that time. Pfsssht–No big whup.
    Meanwhile I’m sure a major colapse of the one of the island’s two, and dominant, economic pillars wouldn’t result in any kind of social upheval or unrest. I mean, everyone wants to work in tourism these days anyway and we are so very well known for our modern service culture. I know I get great service no matter if we are talking about Cablevision, taxi service, the Bank of Bermuda, or any of the fine retail establishments on island.
    In fact, what are we so worried about? Bring it on I say. I’m going to tune up the ole guitar now for a nice round of “Kumbaya” to start as soon as we get IB and those damn expats out of here.
    Thank the good lord that you come back from overseas to visit and that Al Gore invented the internet so we are not deprived of your musings while you are gone. I know I feel enlightened.
    I want to join with you guys right now in saying shame on everyone at any insurance or reinsurance publication, shame on the CEO’s, and shame on us regular ol’ ace byes and ace girls for buying into all this UBP propaganda. What fools we are. Yes indeedy.

  13. 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 with that child yes? why r we still yammering about reinsurance jobs when the soul of the people is dying.
    adn pls read my posts b4 u roll out the generic “van is just being anti ubp” response. i did not mention politics at all.

  14. 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 cannot read, write or draw much of Bermuda is being left with very little else to hold onto. Our freedoms “are” being taken away from us. Sure the big cats are making money hand over fist. There are plenty of Bermudians doing damn fine because of the way the market has been. We are in a bubble. That bubble will eventually burst. It has to. Unless of course everyone wants to live an existence much like Hong Kong. Is that what we really truly want?
    Vanz & Dennis – you are talking the same language. The problem is one of you isn’t willing to call a dog a dog. And that dog’s bark is going to get us all bitten.

  15. “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.

  16. 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 in eternity. ya’ll git it figured all out. good luck. dunkley is obviously the leader that bda needs to take us fwd. he is sharp as a tack. good luck w. all of that.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 want black bermudians to even have the opportunity.
    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 wanda, your comment makes little to no sense, because the PLP government is not responsible for the mess of the education system. Most of the workers that are in the workforce now, that companies say are incapable were as a result of the UBP’s ‘restructuring’.

  20. “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 acheive that. Get the politics out of schooling.

  21. “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.

  22. >>”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.

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

  24. 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.

  25. “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 believe your own lies!”

  26. 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 in the banking and insurance industries in the Bahamas left that country, taking most of the industries with them in their suitcases when they left. Many set up shop in Bermuda.”
    The chapter goes on to discuss how it wasn’t just the bahamianation (sic) of the IB sector that drove companies out, but also the onerous push for more intrusive regulation, including reporting requirements.
    It goes on to state “Fortunately the Government of the day, realising that it did not fully understand this new Exempted Company Business and the complexities of insurance, left it up to the private sector to be the trailblazers. It was from this moment that a partnership between the public and private sectors began. The Government of Bermuda learned to listen to the concerns and interests of the international business arena so that it could develop its expetise inr egard to this new area of commerce for the greater benefit of the island.”
    It doesn’t take a genius to recognize the parallels. Just change Bahamas to Bermuda and Bermuda to any other prospective offshore jurisdiction. Goodwill+ and the new CURE legislation recently unveiled which besides being discriminatory and poorly drafted more importantly (from a business perspective) requires extensive and burdensome regulatory reporting making it, along with the other proposals, a nearly identical replay of what took down the Bahamas and allowed Bermuda to rise.
    The very things that were at the core of why Bermuda was a great place to do business–i.e. an effective partnership between the public and private sectors–is exactly what is being eroded. Why? We have a group of meglomaniacs such as Brown and Burgess whose arrogance makes them think they know everything and should control everything. They think they don’t have to listen to anyone and ignore clear messages sent by the very business leaders they were formerly in partnership with.
    Lest we fall prey to the false arguments that IB has done nothing for the working class or the black community, I found this quote also interesting:
    “By some estimates the ruling class of Bermuda consisted of only five families, in those days of the 1960s that now seem so far away. Be that as it may, by the end of the decade the privileged few, whoever they were, had no other choice than to accept that if Bermuda was to be seen by the outside world as credible, responsible, vialbe and attractive jurisdiction, the ruling elite had to be seen to spread their wealth around the Island.”
    Now, being seen to spread wealth and actually doing it are two different things, but no one can deny that this was a push in the right direction which has ultimately led to the wealth of opportunity available today. That push was helped along by the efforts of many, including LBE, but no one can deny the rising tide which helped to lift all boats.
    The Bahamas has been able to prevent a full scale tailspin such as the post-Michael Manley Jamaica, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t suffer some hard times, the outcome was never a certainty, it doesn’t mean it is more prosperous than if it had not been so reckless with its economy, or that Bermuda would be able to pull off the same feat.
    This book should be required reading for every government official here. If I actually thought they would read it, I’d send a copy to Dr. Brown and Minister Burgess.

  27. 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 bda have – reinsurance jobs? bda may have a higher standard of living economically than the other islands but at least they know who they are – to this day i have no idea what it means 2 be bdan – if the world ended today – aside from offshore tax shelters – what have contributed to this world? u say “Lest we fall prey to the false arguments” – u’ve fallen prey to the biggest one – live in fear of being poor. how can people honestly be fulfilled like that?

  28. 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 the world” – i guess ya’ll still do.

  29. 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 the chance to exchange places with a great many Bermudians. Our problem is we take our wealth for granted.
    There are already lots of poor Bermudians. Look at housing, look at the people dying on the streets. Look at the rising crime rates. What we need to do is better allocate the money we recieve from our wealth and find means to properly distribute it, not throw it down the drain in mismanagement and poor budgeting
    “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 bda have”?
    First of all, we have Collie Buddz and you never know, he could be the next bob marley. Second, we’re an island of 60,000 people. By your arguement, every single small town of 60,000 people around the world should be pumping out nobel laureates. We’ve got sailing champions, we’ve got Olympians, we’ve got Bermudians who have risen the ranks in the UN to do positive things for the rest of the world. We’ve got people we could be proud of, we just don’t bother promoting or supporting them.
    What else do we have? By per capita we have the most expensive Football and Cricket teams. In which we hold great pride in watching them succeed at the greatest loss ever achieved in the world cup. We spend $29 million on 2 sports when we could be better funding education to churn out nobel laureates, or better funding a wider range of sports to support some of the great athletes we do have. But we arn’t.
    How can you expect us to produce Nobel Laureates like Derek Walcot when a large proportion of our children leave school barely able to read and write coherently.
    If you want to talk about island’s eminating culture, lets talk about Easter Island. The story goes that life on Easter Island was abundant. They had all the food they needed and all the resources they needed to survive. The problem is that the people there got greedy. They had everything they wanted to they started competing with each other. Tribe versus tribe to see who could build the biggest statues. They raped the entire island of all of it’s resources trying to build these statues until the point where the island was no longer sustainable, they had exhausted all of the trees and food sources available. It was then that they turned on each other, cannibals.
    Easter island has lots of culture. Great wonderful statues known around the world. Do you advocate we try to become the next Easter Island?
    Tell me something, 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 or those in rehab in hopes of changing Bermuda for the better? What are you doing to give Bermuda the culture and identity you think it’s lacking?

  30. 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 quebec all have combined to force the best and brightest out of canada. the countries going downhill because of (the liberal party) educated, intelligent Canadians fear it’s over for the country – it’s a damn shame.” sounds just like what the naysayers are saying in bda now.
    this was written in Time magazine june 8th, 1998 – a decade ago. back then the cdn dollar was barely 60 ¢ on the US dollar – now it’s on par and canadian industries from oil, gas, to culture and telecom is doing gangbusters – now obviously canada is a g8 nation etc. – but the point is naysayers are often proven wrong.

  31. 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.
    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 suggest going to some of the museums, the aquarium, and read some of the books about Bermuda.
    Maybe I come off negative at times because, frankly, I can’t stand it when people overstate their arguments or are arrogant. Sadly, this happens all too often here. For example, we have the highest per capita GDP in the world. A great accomplishment helped along by our small size and great economy. But what drives me bonkers is that some at the newspaper feel its necessary to print we have the “highest GDP” in the world—which would put us down as having a bigger economy than the US, Europe, China, et al. Sorry, that’s impossible based on size alone. Then you hear this crap repeated everywhere like it’s gospel. This type of exaggeration just makes us look ignorant. So yeah, I call people out.
    Plus, if we are going to discuss why people leave then you have to realize that people don’t leave because they love it here. That means you will be discussing subjects that lean to the negative end of the spectrum. Same thing when you are offering constructive criticism to the community, the government, etc.
    That doesn’t mean that you have no pride, no love. Trying to make this a better place to live for everyone is, in fact, a far greater expression of love than just sitting idly by as bad things happen.
    You ask what I love about Bermuda—I’ll tell you. In addition to the things Dennis referenced, I love the colours of the water, I love seeing the island from offshore, I love the fishing, the biodiversity when you scuba/snorkel, I love the diversity of people—both local and expat—and the interesting conversations it generates, I love that you can have a great job here and still get off at a reasonable hour to spend time with your family and friends, I love the old Bermuda ladies who are as sweet as can be but if you step out of line the shoe comes off and you get a good crack, I love harbour nights, the St. George Historical walk abouts, the Christmas boat parade, I love the history—we had pirates, er…privateers raiding the Spanish, we were blockade runners during the U.S. revolutionary war and civil war. We even did our part to fight the Nazis in WWII. There are plenty of things to be proud of, but you have to open your eyes to them.
    That doesn’t mean this island is perfect. We’ve got some serious problems with how we get along across races. We have some serious problems with access to opportunities because our public education system is so messed up. We have serious problems with government corruption and accountability. We are being xenophobic to our guests. We have largely lost our old Bermuda friendliness. Etc.
    That’s not money’s fault. It’s ours. Money may allow us to paper over problems and ignore them but the decision to do so still lies with the people.
    Third, this discussion isn’t about our intrinsic value as individuals, a community, or a nation. It’s not about whether we are better than anyone else. You are projecting your own way of thinking onto me.
    The discussion itself is about the risk to the great opportunities we have because the ruling elite and the segment of the population who are their die hard supporters are being arrogant, obnoxious, and completely standoffish to a sector who has been very supportive of this island. Beyond the general benefits of having the IB industry here which should not be overlooked—i.e. jobs, taxes collected, experience, financial benefits to supporting industries, etc.—IB is a huge supporter of the community. Do you know how much money they pump into scholarships, internships, etc? Did you know that they, not government, are the biggest contributors to the island’s charities, so much so that if they stopped many would have to shut down? What about cricket? What about rugby? Look at the sponsors of the jazz fest.
    My comment in this discussion deals with the consequences of our actions should we continue down this road. Dr. Brown says, and probably believes, that businesses are crying wolf but he is taking a huge risk with our future and, IMO, making a huge miscalculation. My quotes show that it has happened, can happen, and creates a risk that it will happen again.
    Maybe you take the view you do because you aren’t here to see what everyday living in the community is, but if that’s the case, is it wise to comment?

  32. 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 to dunkley and pamplin’s – any right thinking person would see that the brown and cox are miles ahead of dunkley and pamplin in leadership qualities.
    here r just some of brown’s accomplishments – or has he duped all of these peopel and organizations as well:
    Brown graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, from howard U.
    He earned an M.D. from Howard’s College of Medicine,
    a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of California.
    Brown received the Physicians Recognition Award from the American Medical Association in 1977,
    the Grassroots Health Award from the Sons of Watts California in 1979,
    the Community Leadership Award from the Dubois Academic Institute in 1982,
    the NAACP’s Pacesetter Award in 1984.
    Brown became a director for the Marcus Garvey School, a K-8 school in Los Angeles,
    was named Humanitarian of the Year in 1991.
    and was a professor in the Department of Family Practice at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
    At the urging of then-PLP leader L. F. Wade, Brown returned to Bermuda and became involved in local politics in 1993.
    who would u rather have running bda? him or some guy who inherited the countries only dairy.

  33. 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 time or place.
    Go on if it makes you feel better, but I will stay on topic, thanks.
    I will gladly discuss his actions as Premier as they relate to IB. You seem to have brought up everything else, perhaps you might want to discuss this at some point.

  34. 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.

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