A fool and his money are soon parted

In a recent Bermuda Sun column Larry Burchall stirs up
great racial symbology to convince us that our leadership has sold us like our
slave ancestors once were and that foreign interests own us like slaves because of our
debt.  My friend Mr. Burchall is mistaken.  Cabinet and our leadership aren’t to blame for our predicament and neither is racism.  We aren’t slaves of foreign interests; we’re
still free, we just owe a lot of money.  We’re
to blame for letting things get to this state; we’re the ones who willingly let
ideals and values slip to the wayside while we gave out second and third
chances.  Cabinet didn’t force us to do anything and certainly didn't sell us out for we willingly
sold ourselves, though not into slavery but into mass debt.

1998 was the year we
could finally instill the ideals and values that many had been waiting
for.  It came and went.  So too did each year after.  2003 came and little had changed.  Speaking to Mr. Burchall prior
to the 2003 election and expressing concerns that promises had fallen by the
wayside would have resulted in a suggestion that they're still experiencing growing pains of a new leadership.  The champagne leadership and limited
achievements that was the first term celebration were to be ignored on the
basis that our leaders deserved a second chance, they were still new to leadership after all.  Steeped in great racial symbology, little
promised and little achieved we gave them their second chance.

They say fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on
me.  We were fooled into giving them a
second chance and again they squandered it. 
As Mr. Burchall has noted, spending went out of control as did our
debts.  As others have noted our leadership continued to live the high life and yet still 1998 promises lay to
the wayside.  We were made the fool.  Prior to the 2007 election we were less ready
to be fooled again, great racial rhetoric didn’t hold as much weight and yet we
gave in to the grand promises of “FREE”. 

So here we are, 2010, my how far we haven’t come.  We were made the fool not once but twice.  Mr. Burchall and others may be quick to cast
blame suggesting it is entirely our leadership's fault, they did this, they ran up our
debts, spent frivolously and lived the high life.  Sure they did these things but who allowed it
to happen?  Did we not tick the box?  Did we not give them second and third chances?  Did we get fooled not once, but twice?  Did we not readily and willingly accept
promises of “free” when it was our money that was being spent?  I’m sorry Mr. Burchall, but cabinet isn’t to
blame for our troubles, we are.  Despite
the great racial symbology I’m sorry but we won’t be slaves of foreign
interests and I’m sorry but we aren’t owned by others because of our debt.  Quite to the contrary we still own ourselves
and our freedom but like the vast majority of the rest of the people on this
planet, if things get much worse from here we won’t be slaves we’ll be broke.  There’s an old idiom that seems quite apt at
this time.  “A fool and his money are
soon parted” and I’m sorry Mr. Burchall but we’ve been foolish and we only have
ourselves to blame.

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11 thoughts on “A fool and his money are soon parted

  1. Great analysis, Denis.
    Personally, I think that most people, Mr Burchall included, do not want to admit their own fault in the sorry mess. It’s just a lot easier to blame the jokers that we voted for, instead of providing a reason for voting for them in the first place.
    During the Watergate scandal, there was a run on T-shirts and bumper stickers in Massachusetts, saying “Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusets”. Mass was the ONLY state that Nixon didn’t win in 1972. Perhaps those who DIDN’T vote PLP in the past two elections may want to come up with their own versions…

  2. Yeah, I can see a big “us vs them” argument a brewin. When you say “we” you must be referring to those who voted PLP, who surely do not see anything wrong(how I do not know). I am not sure there was much the rest of us could do about it. So yeah, I will pony up for a t-shirt that just says, “Don’t blame me.”
    I gather these pieces by Mr. Burchall are part of his penance for being partly responsible for unleashing Brown on us.
    I have to agree with him though, everything I look at speaks impending doom for the island.

  3. Thanks for the analysis Denis – i agree we dont need any unnecessary racial comparisons etc. that become counterproductive to one’s point. Personally one of the big problems that i have (and others) with the island’s current situation is not that we haven’t fully turned around tourism or the economy, etc. is that so many decisions made (or not made as the case may be) all lead to the premier. He has created an empire of one and no matter how capable or charismatic he may be, his judgement has not served the people well – he feels the need to be at the center of everything and displays a certain arrogance (recklessness) in his decision making that does not ultimately serve the island well.
    For example did you notice that the disposition of Ocean View will be in the main handled by the dept of tourism? (read premier) – Dont be suprised when another certain minister is the main contender to take it over (then again beneficial interests will more than likely be shielded by trusts etc.)

  4. I say and mean “we” as in Bermuda collectively. As nice as it is to skirt responsibility and fashion up “i told you so” t-shirts the truth is “we”, as in Bermuda, got ourselves in this mess and together “we” need to get ourselves out.
    Putting blame against anyone but a collective “we” is a cop out. It is our system of government that allowed this to happen, it is our system of “elect someone to blame” that has been our mechanism for this failure. We’ve readily accepted that ticking the box is “good enough”. It’s time we change that and start demanding a modernized democracy.
    We can easily sit back and blame the Premier but again, we let this happen. People weren’t jumping up to demand right of recall to be a tenant of any vote and were instead content to contest that ticking the other box was the correct choice. In actuality we have no idea how things could have gone under the UBP either and just as easily they could have gone as awry. what we most need to do is fix our broken system and a major tenant of that is demanding a right of recall.

  5. Very well said, even if we as individuals didn’t vote for the PLP and even if we as individuals actively campaigned to get them out of government then we’re still part of the population of Bermuda who chose this entirely predictable course of affairs.
    We did it. All of us. We knew what Brown and the PLP would do and we voted for them anyway and then allowed them to continue on their path.

  6. Yes, but demanding right of recall or the premier out of office would have been as effective as putting on a t-shirt. Aside from the vote, I see little else in the way of effecting change at the civilian level.
    I agree it needs to happen, and should have happened…but it did not.

  7. Do you honestly believe that Letariatpro?
    Let’s take a bit of perspective here. If enough people were convinced of the need for recall would they be willing to vote for that over and above their party?
    Take a moment to really think about it.
    Imagine next election enough people on both sides believed in the need for a right to recall that 36 candidates from all walks stood up and formed a “Recall initiative” which would run candidates in all seats with the sole purpose to be that they would put recall provisions into our constitution and subsequently resign any seats won.
    One of 3 things would happen.
    One, people fed up with our current system and desperate for recall provisions would vow to support the initiative over their typical party affiliations.
    Two, the parties, fearing lost support would vow to instill recall provisions.
    Three, the initiative doesn’t get support and nothing really changes.
    Seems to me that “i told you so” t-shirts have only one possible outcome: nothing changes and you increase societal tension. while with support for recall you have 3.
    Would it work, who knows? Though its at least worth thinking about.

  8. I agree that what you said would work. BUT, it requires the education, motivation and mobilisation of a significant number of the voting public, and THEN enough to come forth to put pressure on the sitting candidate, who THEN needs to get it in motion, and ultimately it will come to the sitting premier, and I am pretty sure he may not be too keen on something like this. How would it get anywhere without complete buy in and support of the PLP and Premier and his Cabinet?

  9. Ewart Brown was on VSB news tonight,
    typical of the great snake’s ability to deny and lie, he said :
    “they will never find corruption with me,if they do,it was put there”…..
    “I don’t sneak, we get along fine with Dennis correia,and Brian Dupperreau”

  10. Why do you and your cohorts always blame the guy that ticks the box and not the content thereof.

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