The following Op-Ed was released today (Sept 15) by Vic Ball, One Bermuda Alliance candidate for Constituency 9, Smith’s West…

“It is easier to fool people than it is to convince them that they have been fooled” – Mark Twain.

Bermuda, hindsight always affords us the opportunity to see precisely why David Burt cunningly rushed back to the polls in a snap election two years early in 2020. If he would not have taken personal and political advantage of a global pandemic and a badly unprepared opposition, this would have been the year Bermuda returned to the polls.

The end result of this self-serving political smoke and mirrors deception is plain for everyone to see. Bermuda and Bermudians are suffering terribly under Burt’s leadership. Media reports suggest that he will face strong headwinds inside his own party challenging his disastrous leadership at the October delegates conference.

The clear and obvious reason for the challenge is likely for the simple fact that other than Burt and the benefactors around him, the country is suffering under his leadership and regretfully, there is no end in sight.

The PLP, under Burt’s leadership, can not get anything right. The country is running on empty promises with skyrocketing cost of living and failed economic experiments like crypto currency and virtual banking. The public educaon of our children is lagging, healthcare cost is too high for those that need it most, electricity cost is through the roof while a blind eye is turned as they pollute the water supply of their neighbours. There is the mismanaged pandemic which has killed far too many Bermudians, excessive taxation, a decimated tourism sector which employs a significant number of the black middle class, crushing debt and on and on.

In the midst of this circus of leadership, there is talk of going independent because the UK’s treaty obligations prevented the cannabis bill from royal assent. If this wasn’t enough, the PLP are now telling us that we need over 8,000 more workers in the island over the next few years to add to our collapsed economy because of our populaon decline under, you guessed it, PLP governance.

Self-confessed “union thug” Jason Hayward, former BPSU President while serving as a PLP Senator, now turned PLP Cabinet Minister was chosen to deliver the news. What he hasn’t told us is what jobs are these 8,000 workers coming to do. The same hypocrites who shut down the government over this issue when it served them politically and then stoned-walled the issue for many more years a6er are now admitting through that announcement that the OBA was correct, again.

Mr and Ms Bermuda, the main point of this announcement is being missed again. Without a growing economy, how will these people coming here improve the quality of our lives? Please don’t let them fool you to say, ‘let people in and the economy will magically grow’. If that was the case, all we have to do is to ask America for 8,000 Mexicans pouring across its borders that it does not know what to do with. I am sure they would be more than happy to oblige us.

So, Premier Burt and Jason Hayward, please share the PLP plan to grow the economy to handle 8,000 new workers. We are all waiting to hear it.

But wait there’s more! I attended the Labour Day celebrations this year with other OBA members and MPs. The mood was anything but celebratory. It was all but conceded that under the failed leadership of David Burt, the country is in dire straits, the economy is in its worse state in recent history which is compounding the challenges and the plight of workers.

One union leader spoke of her wrongful dismissal that was recently over-tuned. Another spoke of the deplorable and disgraceful conditions of workers in the prison system and the BIU President reminded all listening that the problems facing Bermuda 50 years ago are not only still present but made worse by incompetent PLP leadership with a 30 – 6 majority in the House. This, as a reminder, is all taking place under PLP governance which supposedly supports labour.

What was not said but was echoed loudly by the mood of those in attendance is that is that the plight of labour has been derailed by the Progressive Labour Party. One brave lady held a sign up sharing the views of many in attendance and the country at large, “Get Burt Out”.

The Premier, Jason Hayward, nor any PLP MP, who were all in attendance, dared to even address the crowd this year.

The result of another crafty move by David Burt to co-op the labour movement by taking a sitting BPSU President and making him a PLP Senator and then ultimately rewarding him with a Ministerial portfolio is now plain to see. The labour movement and the workers are made to suffer while the PLP leadership benefits economically.

The lesson to be learned is that when we neglect economic growth for the benefit of all Bermudians, the Premier is allegedly resorting to the same trickery of calling a snap election in 2020 to deceptively stack the deck in his favour at the delegates conference in October.

Bermuda, just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, we have learned that the cruise industry will not send cruise ships to the island during our shoulder season because David Burt insists that we will have the Travel Authorization form in place until March 2023. Bermuda just lost out on millions in tax revenue and the deflated tourism industry has lost out on millions more.

But no one will lose their job or be held accountable and what is worse, the people who stand to miss out on the much-needed revenue for their family will continue to suffer in silence.

Hopefully, the sentiments and desire of the country will be granted to the people and new PLP leadership is provided. If not, unfortunately for the country and our future, we will be committed to “all the way PLP and PLP all the way” to economic devastation and social ruin.

The obvious answer to the question to the title of this opinion piece is that we can no longer take anymore.

The first step is to get rid of the monumental failure of Premier Burt’s leadership in October. Then we need the implementation of policies to grow the economy in a way that instills hope and benefits Bermudians. We need to end the deceptive and divisive politics and move toward a brighter future based on the merits of the nation’s achievements. We cannot take anymore of David Burt’s efforts to deceive the population. The colossal and titanic failure of David Burt’s leadership needs to end.