Vexed Bermoothes

Blustery Opinions From Bermuda

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The Gamblers

April 23rd, 2014 · Bermuda Politics

A good leader thinks like the casino, not like the gambler.

That’s the problem with the PLP:  they roll the dice on too many issues assuming that lady luck will smile our way.  They look like “the man that gets things done” – but the actual thing normally ends up being a busted flush.

UPDATE:  More on this subject from Bermuda Blue. I agree with his summation that the OBA is “too gentlemanly”.  Like managers, they assume they will be judged by the results of their work.  They ignore the cut and thrust of grassroots politics.  Contrast this to the tactical high “noise levels” generated by the PLP (although it is very clear that both on local talk radio and on websites, that array of commentary in fact emanates from just a handful of supporters and what appear to be paid political consultants).  In maintaining their “big tent” the OBA are afraid to offend anyone – and thus sometimes come across as wishywashy.  For the record, I know they are not.  The PLP left Bermuda in an abysmal state.  The OBA are doing a yeoman’s job at turning that decline around.  

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Incompetence and Greaseballs

April 16th, 2014 · Bermuda Politics

The PLP’s retort these days to just about everything is that our government is “nothing short of incompetent”.

To which I might add, in my opinion, they have deep expertise in that subject.

On the matter of the Corporation of Hamilton’s greaseballs, the PLP is happily pointing fingers.  But let’s be honest:  the sewage problem is not new.  The Corporation’s “new” sewage pumping plant came online in 2002, under you know who.  And that’s what it is:  a pumping plant.  It does not treat the sewage.

And notably, just a few months later the “greaseballs” started to hit the headlines.  Yes, in 2002.  Same problems, same excuses.  The problem has cycled through public consciousness every few years, but little has been done at the source of the problem.  Sustained SE wind is relatively rare here – but when we have it, we get brown polka dots in our blue halo.

Before people bash the current Government, we should recognise that the problem is not new and it will take a lot of money to fix.  Your money.  Fixing it will require tradeoffs, as scarce resources will need to be reallocated to fund the capital project.  Moreover, “the problem” technically is owned by the Corporation of Hamilton not Government.

The PLP’s usual screeching does little to build a solution.  As usual, it’s all about tactical daily complaining.

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Protect the Reefs

March 12th, 2014 · Development

I must admit that I am a bit confused that, on one hand the Bermuda Government is boosting marine conservation efforts such as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Blue Halo, and the Hamilton Declaration to protect the Sargasso Sea … and other the other hand are seriously considering to allow mass dredging and clearance of our small reef platform in order to accommodate even larger mega cruise ships into Dockyard.

For the record, I am against any development in the reef platform that could even remotely affect its health.  Without the reefs, Bermuda is waves.  While doing stuff for the Atlantic is nice, I really think we should be focusing on the protection of our inshore waters, including the health of our reefs and what we can do to reduce the amount of shore-borne pollution being dumped overboard:

  • Sewage outfalls including the notorious grease balls that litter South Shore … we pump up to a million gallons of, well, untreated crap, just offshore at Seabright Avenue every day!
  • The congested, flood prone, and heavily polluted Pembroke Canal.
  • The Airport Dump, including the huge quantity of fly ash from Tynes Bay being dumped there (estimated at 6,000 cubic yards a year of toxic waste per year!)

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On Political Advantage

February 28th, 2014 · Bermuda Politics

On balance, I think the OBA’s budget was a good one.  It’s not easy balancing the need to downsize the Government with the knowledge that layoffs would undermine economic recovery.

And it is not made easy by the Great Green Goofballs who are working doubletime to shuffle all blame for Bermuda’s economic woes onto the OBA.  They really have no shame (and if actually listen to their political speeches recently they still don’t have a clue how to run a country).

But here’s the crux of the problem:  When the OBA came in, the word was that they would not drag the previous administration’s dirty laundry out into public as they didn’t think it would be constructive for Bermuda, and they wanted to get down to fixing the problems.

The PLP, on the other hand, are always laser targeted on getting political advantage.  I believe that there’s no stunt too low that they won’t take it to solicit a reaction from their political base.  They don’t have to balance the budget (lol, did they ever?) and in my opinion they place party before country.

Unfortunately the PLP tactics have shown success:  each month that goes by, all those problems caused by the PLP become a little more disassociated with them.  And anything they can do to prevent resolution of the problems, makes the OBA have to own them.  They have a perverse incentive to muck things up.

In short, the OBA needs to move to take political advantage.  In politics, doing a good job doesn’t always win elections.

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2014-2015 Budget

February 21st, 2014 · Economy

Thus far, I find the OBA budget statement to be detailed, responsible, and a good path forward for Bermuda.  It is designed to spur economic growth and start reining in the debt without increasing the already difficult hardships on Bermudian taxpayers.  The budget is dense in facts and analysis rather than the Green Dreaminess of recent budgets.

The PLP are already making noises mocking the budget as continuing to operate in deficit, sidestepping the fact that the financial sinkhole was caused under their rule!

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Great Green Goofballs

February 21st, 2014 · Bermuda Politics

So, why oh why do the Great Green Goofballs get so horny over Craig Cannonier? What’s with all the “whiff of sulphur” silliness and constant barrage of manufactured outrage against the Premier?  Here’s my opinion:

  • While he is politically inexperienced, and has made some cringing mistakes, unlike most Premiers in Bermuda’s recent history Cannonier has made consistent and vocal efforts to be a unifier.  The Green Machine is fed on bile and a sense of class warfare.  A unified Bermuda – and a successful black moderate leader – are a risk to them.  Therefore, through their green tinted lenses, he’s gotta go.
  • Bermuda’s problems were largely created under the PLP Governments.  They desperately need to “transfer blame” for those huge problems to the OBA, to make someone else “own” them.
  • They dream of displacing Cannonier in the hope of elevating a Gibbons or a Dunkley to the position, returning to the good ole days of racial polarisation politics (aka bash the white boy).

I was amused to hear on a talk show one of the smirking accusers say they’d welcome Cannonier back to the PLP.  That’s pretty much an admission that their accusations are manufactured … that these are simply manouvres to neuter him politically rather than genuine acts in Bermuda’s best interests.  In short, in my opinion, they are placing party before country.

The Green Machine likes to claim that their opponents are puppets of some sinister hidden group.  It’s funny because, in my opinion, their current tactics have all the signs of being orchestrated by external political consultants.  Puppeteers, if you will.

PS:  It’s budget day.  For context, there is a wealth of Bermuda data at

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Dumb and Dumber

February 20th, 2014 · Bermuda Politics

For the past week, Bermuda’s warring political elites have done their best to prove their unsuitability to hold public office.

Like many, I am pretty disgusted with the lot of them.  I always thought Bermuda politics was a constant circus, but who knew there’d be so many clowns?

I am gobsmacked at the suggestion that the Top Clown should ask the taxpayer to fund a slander lawsuit against the Wannabe Clowns.  This just isn’t right.  It’s another failure in judgement for them to even suggest it.

Stop the sideshows:  we have one of the most important budgets in Bermuda’s history tomorrow.  It’s time to grow up.

Update:  The Premier has corrected DCI’s previous statement to say that Government and the taxpayer will not foot the bill for the threatened slander proceedings.  Good.  Sue away kids.  Bermuda’s lawyers need the economic stimulus.

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Struggling Politicians

February 17th, 2014 · Bermuda Politics

I have to laugh when I hear a politician saying “the economy is tough, and yes my family is struggling.”

Uh huh.

Our part time politicians are quite well paid for their skullduggery.  And, with only a short service requirement they get a lifetime pension up to 2/3 of their annual MP salary (or their entire salary if they held a senior office)!

Now you see why everyone wants a turn at being top dog.

As this weekend’s revelations reveal, most Bermudian politicians are just internet trolls with a bigger budget.

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Fear and Loathing in Bermuda

February 17th, 2014 · Bermuda Politics

One thing the “he said-she said” exchanges of the last few days have proven is that many of Bermuda’s leading politicians are loathesome and inadequate.

If any exercise could be designed to create an aura of distrust around the entire political class, this is it.

Bermuda deserves better.  Our country is in deep trouble, and you are fiddling away with self-absorption.

To all the politicians alleging that they have proof of past misdeeds by the other side in their pocket, here’s my advice:

  • If you have evidence of illegal behaviour by a public figure, take it to the police or the press immediately.  Don’t hide behind parliamentary privilege, or store it away hoping it can be used in future for political leverage.
  • Only speak to each other in public, on the record or taped.
  • Success is not about you ending up on top.  Success is about Bermuda getting on its feet again.

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Stirring the Pot

February 4th, 2014 · Economy, Tourism

One has to wonder if the recent BIU muscle flexing has less to do with the fate of the Fairmont bar porters and more with wanting to generally make life difficult for the OBA government.

We’ve been there before in the early 80s – and that general strike laid the seeds for the demise of Bermuda tourism.  Any labour unrest now will deeply damage the 2014 tourism season – and thereby stick another dagger in the Bermudian economy.  This is a very dangerous game to play, when we need every single external dollar we can earn.  Any loss in that revenue will have to be made up in higher taxes on you and me.

Yes, I sympathise with the workers who lost their jobs.  I think Fairmont tried to push the envelope and that the union responded with the nuclear option even though the conflict has gone into formal arbitration.  I see both sides’ rationale – and know that their fight is screwing the rest of us.

We need both parties to resolve this calmly.

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