To disband or not to disband, that is the question.

Wayne Furbert sure didn’t hold back much in today’s interview on how the UBP should be reforming itself.  This writer can’t say he disagree’s with Mr. Furbert, at least not entirely, as certainly one could expect much more than term limits, at least from the UBP.  Those who believe the UBP doesn’t need change should likely wake up and smell the proverbial coffee.  Indeed, despite claims that half the electorate supported them in the last election, one could wonder where all those people went in recent polls.  Could it be that only 30 percent actually supported them with the rest simply having voted against the incumbent?

In the eyes of this writer the best thing the UBP could do for the betterment of our island would be to disband completely.   That means it won’t become the party formerly known as the UBP.  Nor would it play musical constituencies.   Further it wouldn’t attempt to bring in the token black politicians.  No, disbanding isn’t a modern day remake of the Emperor’s new clothes, it would mean the end of the UBP, full stop.  No party line.  No caucus.  No hierarchy.  No UBP.  Surely you may be thinking:  he’s gone mad.  Perhaps, but first allow this lowly writer to plead his case as to why the UBP should disband, and into what form. 

If the UBP are to really change, it is the belief of this writer that it should be to disband into independent candidates.  Why not a new party?  Surely it has been said that there is strength in unity, so why independents?  Ah, for the cognizant observer would note that strength in unity in the case of the UBP really means strength of unity for the PLP.  Unity for the PLP?  How could that be?  Simply put it is the belief of more than just this writer that the only reason the left and right factions of the PLP remain united is the existence of the UBP.  Put differently, the UBP is the glue that holds the PLP together.

So why independents?  Simply put, independents offer the strongest foot forwards.

  • First off, independents relinquish the title of being puppeted by the old white guard for they shall toe no party line, vote and stand for themselves and hold allegiance only to their represented constituents.  They are freed of the chains of the party and as such, are their own voice, a voice which can gain more respect from the middle block of voters than one that stands with either side.
  • Second, independents open the door for newcomers, those individuals out in the community who are highly capable of contributing to the betterment of our island but refuse to associate themselves with either the UBP or the PLP.  Such individuals would be free to stand on their own two feet without having to worry about succumbing to arguments that supporting them would split the vote and guarantee a win for the other side.
  • Third, independents, as well as a disbanded UBP, will empower frustrated PLP politicians.  Not having a party to battle against, frustrated PLPers will be free to stand as independents knowing that they won’t be easily challenged by the UBP and made as redundant and present day independents.  Such a move would open to door to individuals or even a group stepping out of the PLP to challenge the status quo.  The glue that binds the PLP would stick no more.

So, now that this writer has pleaded his case, let us recap.   A name change will not work.  Why?  Well if you think calling broccoli a cookie will get a kid to eat it than certainly you know something the rest of us don’t.   Filling the ranks with token black politicians will also not work.  Why?  Well with the UBP’s demographical support base it would make about as much sense as the chewbacca defense.  So, unless you think a wolf in sheep’s clothing looks that much different from a wolf, that doesn’t have much hope either.

As suggested, in the eyes of this writer the best course of action the UBP could take would be to disband into independents.  It would relinquish the claims of puppetry, open the doors to newcomers and empower the disillusioned members of the PLP who only hang on in spite of the UBP.  Disbanding the UBP could quite possibly put an end to both parties and give rise to a new political structure that is far more capable of moving beyond the petty bickering, childlike tantrums and ridiculous squabbles that plague our present system.  It may well serve as a move that could build a government fitting of Bermuda that is truly dedicated to the betterment of our future.

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12 thoughts on “To disband or not to disband, that is the question.

  1. et tu Furbie?
    Another distraction from the real problems that remain unsolved and worsening.
    What does this babble have to do with Education,Tourism,Housing,Crime,drugs,hyper inflation,the homeless ,Health care and seniors?
    Why blame the party?
    Bermudians got the government they deserve, they would re elect Stalin if he was black,instead of a hard working honest Milkman.
    Why does a 19 square dot in the ocean with a population of a small town spend $250,000 on a BMW limo,and ONE $ MILLION dollars per DAY on Govt travel?

  2. Sal,
    I disagree.
    Why babble about something other than the issues? Why blame the party?
    The party is to blame because its percieved historical legacy is holding our island back. As long as it exists we shall continue to avoid the real issues and our people will continue to be duped.
    If the UBP truly wants to do the best thing for our future they should disband and put an end to this madness.

  3. “The party is to blame because its percieved historical legacy is holding our island back. As long as it exists we shall continue to avoid the real issues and our people will continue to be duped.”
    What? How can a party that has been in opposition for almost 10 years be holding the country back?
    Furthermore how can you blame the UBP for the PLP’s inability to properly govern and/or duping of the electorate?
    With all due respect, I think you’ve got things bass ackwards.

  4. …the UBP is the party that actually created most of the institutions currently being wildly mismanaged by the PLP. Far from “holding this island back” the UBP were responsible for making it what it is today. Saying otherwise is a revisionist lie.
    Also, don’t underestimate the power of parties to bring together people – either the right people, or the wrong people. Coming up with the UBP’s platform would not be possible for one person and as Wayne has said, on the issues the UBP was (and is) superior – vastly so.
    The PLP has become a political machine focused on winning elections and only winning elections – everything they do is focused on building their brand and giving themselves something to run on next election. The PLP will do a similar smear job on any other party or any individual candidates that they have done to the UBP – make no mistake.
    While the UBP may have a poor brand now, let’s not forget that it was only a generation ago (when they were supposedly white oppressors) that they won 30 of 36 seats.
    The simple fact is that parties add value, and the value they add is dependent on their ability to attract and retain the right people – so if we really want what’s best for Bermuda it’s up to us to join a party and make a difference, which since I value ethics, honesty, and competence means I have joined and will be pushing forward the United Bermuda Party. Sorry Denis.

  5. Alex,
    The UBP were also responsible for perpetuating and propogating the myths that black bermudians wouldnt be able to run the island, and were incapable of governing. Sounds like good governance to me.
    The UBP were responsible for decimating and destroying the education system and leaving it in total disarray when they were bounced out of government. Sounds like good governance to me.
    The UBP were responsible for the demise of the tourism industry by introducing international business as the predominant industry and leaving tourism behind. Why couldnt we have both? Sounds like good governance to me.
    I am not going to say that everything the PLP has done has been perfect. I will say that they have their finger on the pulse of the wider community though. The PLP to me seems to realize that the majority wants. You say that the PLP will the other parties etc, you obviously are in denial about the smear jobs done against numerous PLP politicians by the media and the UBP over the past 10 years.
    The PLP is winning elections because the majority of the electorate realize that they dont have to necessarily like a politician for that politician to be effective. We were controlled by the ideology that John Swan was the consummate politician – the smiling, waving, kissing babies gentleman. Now we realize that all of that isnt important. What is important is to get down to business. The majority of the electorate realize that the UBP is bankrupt from a moral and ethical standpoint. They believe that Jamahl Simmons and Gwyneth Rawlins and Wayne furbert and Maxwell Burgess were speaking the truth, and that the white members who disagree are only disagreeing because they dont want whatever sliver of power they think the retain to be taken from them. The majority of the electorate may not agree with every initiative put forward by the PLP, or by Dr Brown or whichever Minister, but they believe in the vision of the PLP which is to create an equal playing field.
    The UBP’s problems will continue until they acknowledge them. Kim Swan himself knows he is only the leader by default and he knows that no one else wanted the job. And believe me he is not the one calling the shots. He will find himself in a hot spot when the DOnte Hunts, and Shawn Crockwells, and Darius Tuckers bounce from the party.
    All Bermuda sees from the UBP right now is a no holds barred attack on Dr Brown. it is not policy driven, it is personality driven, and the Bermuda electorate is finally mature enough to not let that sway their support.

  6. Jamahl Simmons and Gwyneth Rawlins are opportunists,their remarks during the election had a racist aim,not only because they are racists, but because they knew that the decision to divide,to play the race card and openly engage in a verbal race war might win by a hair.
    They will say anything for power and cash payoff.
    The PLP do not have their “finger on the pulse of the wider community” ,they have it up certain a***holes.
    Follow the money: Brown’s relatives,US business associates for Pay-to-Play consultants and Stem Research investors, Dennis Coreia,Zane Desilva,John Jeffreys,and “condo-hotel” investors.
    The only” business they get down to” is lining their pockets by the same Black beret slogans they came from in 60’s “by any means necessary”.

  7. 32n64w
    “What? How can a party that has been in opposition for almost 10 years be holding the country back?
    Furthermore how can you blame the UBP for the PLP’s inability to properly govern and/or duping of the electorate?”
    I do not wholly blame the UBP, however I do feel they shoulder some of the blame. ABC’s attitude, while I don’t agree with many of the points he makes, demonstrates the attitude held by many in Bermuda. The UBP’s percieved historical legacy and avoiding it is held of higher importance than the issues.
    Yes, we can certainly dance around and sing tra-la-la while we pretend that everything should be as idealistic as we all wish it could be or we could sit down and take a hard look at the situation as is. In politics, perception is reality, and as it stands, the perception of the UBP held by many is one that will only cease with death. The UBP would be offering the greatest sacrafice for the future of our island if they were to help us move beyond such perceptions towards a structure where we could truly start focusing on the issues.
    Alex points out that the UBP once held 30 of 36 seats, which certainly may be true, however, as ABC counters, that was also in the day when the boogeyman was in full force against the PLP. These days, the tables have turned. Perhaps we’ve only to wait another 20 years before things turn around.
    Alex,
    “Also, don’t underestimate the power of parties to bring together people”
    Or divide them apart. Parties pit one group against another and it becomes less about the betterment of all than it does a team mentality.
    “on the issues the UBP was (and is) superior – vastly so. ”
    So what? The issues didn’t win and by the looks of it, the PLP is stealing all of the ideas anyways.
    “The PLP will do a similar smear job on any other party or any individual candidates that they have done to the UBP – make no mistake. ”
    Certainly, but it becomes alot easier to paint a group than it does individuals who stand on their own merit, clearly puppeted by no one.
    “The simple fact is that parties add value, and the value they add is dependent on their ability to attract and retain the right people”
    Thats exactly it. Are they attracting and retaining the right people? You show me the people who’ve got the right stuff who are turning up in droves to support and run for the UBP.
    ” – so if we really want what’s best for Bermuda it’s up to us to join a party and make a difference, which since I value ethics, honesty, and competence means I have joined and will be pushing forward the United Bermuda Party. Sorry Denis.”
    People use that same arguement about the Regiment and I don’t buy it. They tell me that if I want to change the regiment for the better that I should strive to become Lt. Colonel so that I can bring all the change I desire. I find that to be filled with about as much bull as the arguement of joining a party and working up the ranks. The reality is that when you join a group at the bottom you’re forced to conform. You don’t have a voice and even if you do, nobody wants to hear what you ahve to say. You have to abide by their rules, their practices and do things their way, even if you disagree on the inside, you toe the party line, because thats what it takes to advance. You’re groomed year after year to think the way they do, act the way they do, talk the way they do right up until when you finally reach the top. Yet by then most every ounce of idealistic and radical thought for real change that ever inspired you has been groomed out of you and you end up being no different than they.
    This is why the UBP is failing and why politics in Bermuda itself is failing. You and I both know it and we’ve chatted about it before. It’s nothing but a bunch of closeminded old people who are so used to doing things their way that they can’t recognized that the world has actually changed a great deal in a very short span of time. Today’s youth are not as ignorant as we are made out to be. The world for you and I is a much smaller, more accessible place and the amount of knowledge available at our fingertips is astounding. The old guard on both sides have little to no appreciation of this.
    Certainly don’t apologize to me that you have chosen a different path for it is your choice to make. I feel I am free to choose my own course and in choosing my own course I would rather not sacrafice my desires for change, even radical and perhaps idealistic, simply to conform to the status quo.

  8. If the UBP were to disband into independents, though, the public would still feel that they are a block of opposition to the PLP especially if their actions didn’t appear to be ‘independent’. That is, if they continually voted together in a bloc and opposed everything the PLP government said or done, then their ‘independence’ wouldn’t seem legitimate. IN the same breath, if they simply form a new party made of the same members, it would be an exercise in futility. The UBP brand is so sour at this point, that they need to totally disassociate from it, and whatever new entity or group that is formed cannot be linked to or tied to it in any way.

  9. Denis,
    I am on the road and can’t type a decent post, but basically your response is so full of misconceptions and outright errors that you would do well to do some actual fact checking. Nothing the UBP did has been on the scale of what has happened under the PLP.
    For example, there was no suggestion of a term limit, but rather an apprentice system.
    I agree that the PLP have been winning the culture wars.
    The simple fact that I think we can all agree on is that we would be better off without the PLP in power. That leaves the UBP, the strength of which is dependent on the people willing to stand up and make it better.

  10. Denis,
    I am on the road and can’t type a decent post, but basically your response is so full of misconceptions and outright errors that you would do well to do some actual fact checking. Nothing the UBP did has been on the scale of what has happened under the PLP.
    For example, there was no suggestion of a term limit, but rather an apprentice system.
    I agree that the PLP have been winning the culture wars.
    The simple fact that I think we can all agree on is that we would be better off without the PLP in power. That leaves the UBP, the strength of which is dependent on the people willing to stand up and make it better.

  11. Alex,
    That is simply not good enough.
    You cannot say that everyone agrees that the PLP shouldnt be in power, when everyone I talk to has no confidence at all in the UBP to govern. There are only 2 options currently.
    Most people that I talk to are quite fine with the PLP in government. Doesnt mean they agree with everything all the time, but things are not that bad. And many people that suffered under the UBP administration do not want to go back to those times.
    Alex, you are a clear example of why the UBP find themselves in the pickle they are in. You are in complete denial about the lack of viability of the UBP becoming the government.

  12. Alex,
    It is interesting that you suggest the solution is for me to do some “fact checking”.
    I can neither confirm nor deny how bad the UBP was in comparison to the PLP and have never attempted to do so. Indeed, I was not alive for much of the UBP’s term nor was I very politically aware during my youth at the time when they were in power. To the best of my recollection, though I admit I could always be wrong, all I have ever done is point to the perception held by a great many Bermudians and pointed to the generally held statement that in politics, perceptions become reality.
    If you would kindly note the weblink above of the “term limit” and click on it you’ll be pointed to a Royal Gazette article which suggests:
    “The report does not recommend a name change although there are indications it calls for a limit on the number of terms MPs should sit. ”
    Does that sound like a suggestion of term limits? Let’s go a step further and note that the other link above it points to another Royal Gazette article which suggests:
    “Opposition MPs have kept a close lid on the internal report commissioned to map out a way forward after three election defeats.”
    It certainly is of wonder how I, as a staunch non-UBP member, could be expected to know the “facts” beyond what has been made privy to the public. Indeed, the sheer secrecy of the document itself lends itself to my arguement that there is a perception (again: perception) of hypocracy with the UBP in terms of it’s suggestions of an interest in greater transparency vs. it’s actual actions. As has been suggested before (https://www.21square.com/2008/07/the-opaque-ubp.html), the UBP would do well to put its money where its mouth is in this regard.
    You suggest “The simple fact that I think we can all agree on is that we would be better off without the PLP in power. That leaves the UBP, the strength of which is dependent on the people willing to stand up and make it better.”
    However, this is a perfect example of where perhaps you should check your own facts as it is indeed not a ‘fact’ but rather an opinion that we would be better off without the PLP in power. An opinion to which half the electorate is in disagreement which places things far from the ‘all’ that you suggest. Statements like this shall get you into hot water should you care to remain involved in politics.
    Denis

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