It is amazing how Premier Brown fails to see the irony of using the analogy of still living at home when trying to entice youth to embrace independence. This when a large percentage of the very age group he laments over happens to be stuck living at home. It is no wonder that today's youth fail to embrace the idea of independence when it is very clear that we're not yet ready for it. If our youth are not prepared and due to restrictions of our society are thus unable to achieve their own independence, how then can they be expected to embrace independence for our island as a whole? This when it is clear that so much more should be taking priority?
This is not the first time Premier Brown has likened our island's dependence on the UK to young people still living with their parents and it likely won't be the last. Somehow he misses the notion that encouraging the concept of independence to a group of individuals who remain dependant due to the very policies and actions of our government simply isn't a winning sales pitch. A raft of issues from a high cost of living, lack of affordable housing on to poor education shackle our youth to a dependent lifestyle. For those dependent youth, issues that will bring them to personal independence should be the focus of our energies right now, not independence for our island as a whole.
Certainly there are those youth who are smart about it and are adequately preparing for future independence by taking advantage of the opportunities they have now. Living frugally, taking advantage of good opportunities and making the most of their dependence so that one day they will be able and ready to live on their own. Even those youth who have actually achieved some notion of 'independence' are often not truly so. Indeed, one could easily draw similarities between the dependent territory status the island holds and the trend for today's youth to build an apartment onto their parents home as the only means towards an affordable and reasonable means of achieving an acceptable form of self governance.
When it comes down to it right now independence does not make sense for Bermuda in its present state and the youth readily acknowledge this fact. If tomorrow US President-elect Obama were to decree into law a change to their tax systems that collapsed Bermuda's international business economy Bermudians would be left with few options should we be independent and not have other solid industries to rely on. Yet, under our present state we would be free to live, work and even apply for welfare throughout the European Union. Even further we can do so regardless to gain valueable experience and education at the same rates as UK residents. Under independence the same options do not apply. What are the clear cut benefits of independence aside from being an ego booster?
How our Premier can think we are ready to discuss independence is no doubt beyond most youth. Clearly when today many youth are stuck in their own forms of dependence, ill-planned and ill-prepared independence doesn't sound like a concept all too enticing. From the perspectives of many youth Premier Brown and his colleagues are putting the cart before the horse by focusing on independence when there are a great many issues that are far more important. Indeed, one shouldn't be talking of moving out of their parents house when they aren't sure where they'll live and how they'll eat for despite the ego boost of being able to say you're independent. For simply any smart youth knows that there is nothing more crushing than having to go back on your hands and knees begging for handouts because you didn't have a plan and weren't prepared. Is that the future we envision for our island or are we going to focus on empowering our people with their own independence first?