“When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers,” ~ African Proverb…In a perfect world, Bermuda’s leaders could sit down, work together and focus on the best interests of our people. And sometimes that is what happens; we find common ground, and we can move forward together. As we are imperfect beings, this world is by its very nature imperfect. Also if we agreed on everything, we would not belong to separate political parties, possess separate values, separate ideologies and separate priorities. As we in the PLP or they in the OBA seek to make our separate and distinct visions a reality, we must never forget that it is the children who suffer, if our disagreements lead to inaction.
What is clear is that back in 2016 issues were identified at TN Tatem that were not addressed. That did not come to light until January of this year. So while we did not create the problem and while we did not ignore the problem, the problem is ours to fix and we will do so.
When we speak of differing priorities, we have found the money to address the problem, because under our values and our beliefs providing our children and teachers with a safe and healthy environment are essential. After all, it is our children that go to the public schools and our family and friends that teach there. We believe that it is essential that our children, know that they are a priority and that while we won’t always get it right and while we won’t always be perfect, our hearts and minds are with them
When we speak of differing values, we believe in telling the truth. When the OBA says that the government communications budget increased by 2.7 million dollars, that is an easily disproven distortion of the truth. The communications budget has not been increased over the 2017/2018 levels. So why does the OBA keep repeating information that has been publicly refuted and that anyone with a simple understanding of the budget book can see is untrue? We believe that leaders should tell the truth so that our children do not come to believe that lying is the way to get ahead in life.
Our ideologies and beliefs differ from the OBA. Everyone knows and can see that. Can we commit to a discussion that is solution based? Can we commit to a discussion that is honest? Can we agree not to use our children as human shields for our agendas?
Our people and our country deserve to know that we can agree on these matters if we can’t agree on anything else.