The recent revelations by HM Loyal Opposition, the Progressive Labour Party, as to its long relationships with the dual Boogeymen of Immigration and Transparency has, in this writer’s opinion, taken on new and darker omens.
Prior to 1998 the PLP had the best of both world’s, all opinion and no accountability. It was with that track record and a great deal of help from internal battling within the incumbent UBP they were “given a chance” to be the Government.
As with all governments the succeeding 14 years of their leadership was filled with highs and lows. Highs of the three victories at the polls, to the unmentioned lows of the unceremonious dumping of their Leaders.
The fact that they were Government at a time when Bermuda was making more money than ever before could be considered a high but, sadly with having left the country with the largest debt service in its history is, without argument; a new low.
The recent revelations as to the reasons why they purposely withheld any progress on non-Bermudian residents is equally filled with highs and lows.
Oh they will want us to remember that it was they who implemented PRCs, whilst continuing to grant Bermudian status to others. They would relish to remind all that they introduced Term Limits, on paper, but waived them more than implemented them.
They would not wish to be reminded of the average of 13,900 work permits issued in the private sector alone, on an annual basis – with the highest year being 2007 when over 18,000 permits were issued, nearly 45% of the total occupied jobs!
By the way and for the record, these numbers do not include Government itself, the Public sector, who as we all know had a healthy dose of permit holders as well. With this kind of attitude toward non-Bermudian residents, why now the fear?
The recent revelation is clear. It is the clear, well thought out, and enunciated position of the PLP that such a move can only help one race sector of the Island’s population.
Not that promoting such advancements would be seen as a correct, legal, moral and mature policy, as would befit “progressive” Leaders. But rather the Boogeyman belief that all who would benefit would ‘vote for the other guy’.
Just exactly where did the then Government think all those record work permit holders were going? Home? Where did they think the PRC’s were going? Happy to stay in limbo?
No folks, the record is clear. The challenge today is not of the current Government’s doing but the accumulation of actions of successive administrations in their failure to be transparent – including the 14 years of the Progressive Labour Party.
So suppose the legislation/policy were to be implemented today with the 20-year requirement. Then every applicant can thank the former Government for 14 years of that 20. Perhaps it is that which they fear most.
By David Sullivan
David J Sullivan, JP, is a private citizen who offers his insights on the local political happenings. His background is notable in both local and international business as well as numerous civil and community activities. For comments email firstname.lastname@example.org, and-or write letters to the editor at email@example.com