The union has backed down for the moment, but that is only because the Reverend Tweed issue did not speak to the people. The underlying issues that drove people to demonstrate are still there. Ultimately many perceive that Bermudians don’t come first. This is a perception the OBA needs to address if they want to get reelected.
Bermudians don’t come first. That’s the overarching sentiment fueling demonstrations regardless of their stated cause. Its also the reason why “The President of the BIU” Chris Furbert has backpedaled. Bermudians don’t care to get behind an issue that isn’t focused on solving Bermudian problems.
The OBA needs to focus on providing a vision and a plan of how Bermudians come first. Where the Reverend Genevieve-Tweed issue did resonate with people was the idea that immigration policy doesn’t work well enough. It may be that the OBA aims to have the same rules for everyone, but there are many cases where Bermudians are disadvantaged or discriminated against in favor of expats. The OBA needs to devise credible strategies to ensure this doesn’t happen. It isn’t good enough to say “same rules for everyone” when those rules don’t work.
The OBA needs to devise strategies to fix immigration. Just as it shouldn’t be possible for a work permit to be approved without advertising, it also shouldn’t be possible for one to be approved where qualified Bermudians applied but weren’t interviewed. It also shouldn’t be possible where qualified Bermudians are interviewed but companies find ways to move the goal posts or discredit them in favor of a preferred expat. Relying on complaints is reactive and potentially penalizing to any Bermudian who complains. We need proactive solutions because what we have doesn’t work and the process needs improvement for Bermudians to have faith in it.
The OBA need to wake up and realize Bermudians don’t have faith in an OBA government as made clear by the bye-election results. An OBA government is a lot like the airport project, it’s lipstick on a pig. The OBA needs to stop pretending the airport deal is a “good deal for Bermuda”. The airport project is frankly a bad deal for Bermuda but it’s the only realistic option we have available. That’s the way many people feel about the OBA. Their only saving grace is that they’re seemingly the best option we have available, though if they don’t improve perceptions of Bermudians coming last, that deal will be opposed too.