Independent MP Shawn Crockwell took to the airwaves and said Bermuda’s “entire political landscape is chaotic”.
In a live radio interview the former One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) MP said: “A general election right now would not be in the best interest of the country.”
Mr Crockwell was invited in as a guest on the Sherri Simmons Show on Magic 102.7.
Asked if there were other OBA MPs like him who are unhappy with the ruling party, or it’s leadership, he said: “I know there are other individuals who are not happy…there may be a reluctance for them to do what I did because it would cause a constitutional crisis. And I don’t believe an election right now would be for the good of the country.”
The show was flooded with emails and callers with questions on his resignation from the OBA on Friday.
“When you’re part of an organisation, particularly one that you helped to create you want to make it work,” said Mr Crockwell.
Asked why he supported the OBAs ideology which stems from the now defunct United Bermuda Party when fundamentally the core base of the OBA was UBP MPs he said there were two separate things to consider.
Admittedly he said the personnel on the front line was a core group of UBP MPs. And as one of the members who founded the Bermuda Democratic Alliance who was also responsible for “bringing about this merger the ultimate goal was to grow the OBA from a grassroots perspective”.
“That didn’t happen,” said Mr Crockwell.
“The OBA was supposed to change how we do politics in Bermuda – they didn’t.”
At one point a caller said he felt that Mr Crockwell was “talking double-sided”. “You said some awful things the OBA didn’t say it you did,” the caller said.
Asked to respond Mr Crockwell replied: “I respect his opinion and I hear his anger, and he has a right to, but he has a point. The OBA has lost the trust of the community and I think that’s unfortunate. And when you’ve lost that then the government doesn’t have a foundation to stand on.”
Asked why he didn’t cross the floor and join the Progressive Labour Party (PLP), he said: “I would not be led by Marc Bean. I don’t support his leadership. He has been elected as leader of the PLP and I respect that.
He said his resignation from the OBA “wasn’t easy”. “I laboured over this for a long time. So I put the same thing to the PLP, if you’re unhappy with the leadership then what’s taking you so long to stand up on principle?”
Mr Crockwell also said in the months leading up to his resignation “there were casual conversations about working together” to form a coalition government”.
Asked why, he replied: “Because we have a political divide that’s feeding the racial divide and until we deal with the political divide we’re not going to be able to deal with all of the other issues like gun murders and road traffic fatalities.
The Independent MP said the political divide is “way too deep” and that it’s time “for us to stop this us versus them” mentality.
“As long as we stay in this system that we’re in were going to have these problems,” he added.
Asked if he met with his constituents on his resignation he said he didn’t meet with them “en masse”. But he said he met with his parents who live in his constituency to discuss it beforehand.
“At some point a man has to follow his conscience. I’ve received an abundance of calls from my constituents and a lot of them are saying congratulations.
“Michael Dunkley and I have travelled together to watch football games because we’re both Dallas Cowboys fans. So it wasn’t easy to do what I did, and it’s not fun when I still deal with them,” he added.
He also said he is “not one of those seat warmers” in the House of Assembly. And he chastised MPs who don’t speak or prepare for the proceedings. “I earn my parliamentary salary. I work, look at the Hansard.”
He also paid homage to former Premier and PLP leader Dr Ewart Brown for supporting him when he was called to the Bar.
“I have never been anti Dr Ewart Brown… he put politics aside and said I’m going to support you.
“Julian Hall is another one who has been indelible in my life. Julian Hall is one of those people who touched my life when I was having difficult times in my life, and he was having challenges as well,” said Mr Crockwell.
He also criticised “this arrogance that I know what’s right for you and that their view is superior” attitude of the OBA Government.
One listener sent an email that said: “You supported a lot of policies that was detrimental to the Black community and you see what they did to Sir John Swan and Julian Hall. What made you think it would be different for you?”
“I just simply did,” he replied. “I believed that the UBP had the potential to do the right thing. Wayne Furbert and I were fighting for nine months to get them to change before we left.
“It culminated into Wayne Furbert resigning, and then a few others in 2009 including me. At the end of the day we ended up becoming the same thing we left in 2009.
“When I had the opportunity to flog the PLP I did it. I did my job and because of that I know I don’t have a lot of fans on the PLP side. I am a passionate person and emotional and I did what I believed in.
“I did not support the referendum on Same Sex Marriage. But when you have an issue that I couldn’t resolve within myself then you have a constitutional obligation to resign and the Immigration issue did that.
Asked if he was interested in starting a third party he said: “No! And I’m not prepared to join PLP, and if I were to walk away from politics I will be okay with that as well,” he said. “I have made sacrifices and have made sacrifices with regard to the advancement of my career.
“What has happened over the past few years has not been good for the country, and we have got to move away from that.
“There are whites in this country in positions of influence who live in a bubble. They live in a different world and if you don’t understand the people you lead you don’t have the capacity to lead.
“We are at a crossroads in Bermuda now. We have to put down our swords. Sometimes we have to go through the storm to get to the other side. We have to and I will stand as an Independent to be a part of the solution to take Bermuda to a better place,” said Mr Crockwell.
He concluded: “The next three months are going to be interesting.”
By Ceola Wilson