‘Mr Speaker, I know for a fact that the people on this side of the House are not going to stand up for this land grab and this taking back and rolling back of democracy! And we are going to fight it tooth and nail!’ – PLP MP David Burt, House of Assembly, October 2, 2013 – Official Hansard.
Nearly five years have elapsed since that declaration by our now Premier, Hon E David Burt; to date, the waterfront debacle created by the One Bermuda Alliance remains unresolved. Putting aside for a moment any allegations, preconceptions or personal feelings on the matter, you’re invited to consider whether the PLP was abundantly clear in their opposition to what was being done with the waterfront matter and then ask, what’s being done now?
‘I hope that when we get back in in the next couple of years, that we abide by what we are saying now…’ – PLP MP Wayne Furbert, House of Assembly, October 2, 2013 – Official Hansard Record.
The OBA passed legislation with the purpose and effect of retroactively voiding a lease that was lawfully granted to a local developer, Mr Michael MacLean. We, the PLP strongly opposed this action which ultimately resulted in Bermudian employees being made redundant, a businessman losing his company, his home, and everything he ever saved to defend himself and uphold his constitutionally enshrined rights.
‘Someone has the lease. It was given lawfully. If that lease is invalidated under the Constitution, that individual has a right to sue, or that company has a right to sue. How much is this Government willing to pay for its return of power for the Corporation of Hamilton to the establishment?’ – PLP MP David Burt, House of Assembly, October 2, 2013 – Official Hansard.
When considering this, please bear in mind that the individuals affected by these sorts of acts by the government are Bermudians like you and I and so if the question ‘what does this have to do with me?’ ever arises, ask yourself instead, ‘what makes you think that I won’t be a pawn in a political game that some use to advance their own, or their party’s interest?’ Ask yourself if a government’s goal of political preservation should eradicate any weight given to their previous declarations for change?
‘Political enemies of the ‘Forty Thieves’ had their mortgages pulled, called and their property rights infringed much of the same that we are seeing. They are using political power to change rules. They are using political power to put the establishment back in control. They may have votes in this House, Mr Speaker. But they do not have the moral high road. It is wrong, and we do not support it!’ – PLP MP David Burt, House of Assembly, October 2, 2013 – Official Hansard Record.
Should what our elected officials deem as the right thing be predicated upon what they deem as the convenient thing?
‘I do not permit it in the Progressive Labour Party. You think we are going to sit up and watch this skulduggery go on in 2013? And think it is just cool? While half of that backbench just sits and acquiesces and appeases their leaders? Not fulfilling their own responsibility to their voters? Getting paid for what? Who knows? But to toe the line.’ – Opposition Leader, PLP MP Marc Bean, October 2, 2013, House of Assembly, Official Hansard Record.
I invite you to look at the Hansard recordings and analyse my party’s position on this matter, prior to the election, in full. You will find that all PLP MPs present voted against all relevant legislation. So the question must be asked:
What are we, the Progressive Labour Party doing about the ‘expropriation’ now that we hold a 24-12 majority in the House of Assembly? I encourage you to reach out to your constituency MP, the Minister of Home Affairs, and our Premier to ask them.
This is about the golden thread of democracy, that a government must do what it says it’s going to do! That is the principle point being considered, above all else.
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