Most of us have had the experience of travelling aboard an airplane. You are instructed in the event that a plane loses cabin pressure while at altitude, the oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling. 

This is to provide adequate oxygen for the passengers, so that they can survive. Imagine yourself on such a plane, travelling with other individuals. The only way to ensure that you can help those around you properly and effectively is to help yourself first, thus the admonition from the flight attendant to “put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you”. Of course we are going to want to assist others, and because we choose to put on our own oxygen mask before we help others doesn’t make us selfish, and it doesn’t mean we don’t want to help or that we don’t like the others. It simply means, that there is a protocol.  

Likewise, I think it is only right that Bermudians come first in Bermuda. With the greatest degree of respect, the fact of the matter is that the born Bermudian should have the right to certain things before anyone else who resides in his or her homeland.  

If a guest came over to your house for dinner one night and your parents served him his plate of food before you then I can understand if your okay with that and didn’t say anything because I’m sure mama taught you how to treat guests. But what about when the guest stays for an extended period of time? Should he be able to take your room? Should mama do things for the guest before you, her biological child? Should you have to compete with the guest for the things that your parents should be doing for you? Is the guest now entitled to the birthright of  you, the biological child? 

No, that wouldn’t even make for good sense. Hence I will repeat, I think it is only right that Bermudians come first in Bermuda.

Notwithstanding my position, I do empathize with PRC residents. If I was a PRC resident and had been in Bermuda prior to 1989 and had been working, providing for my family and enjoying my life with my family here for almost for close to 25 years, I might feel that I should get to enjoy some of the benefits of being Bermudian such as getting to vote,  and buying land and properties, amongst other benefits.

 I cannot and will not disregard the concerns of the PRC holders; they deserve opportunities as well. However, no matter how much I empathize with them,  I must stand by my position that Bermudians come first in Bermuda. There should not come a day where born Bermudians are having to compete with anyone else for jobs, and a way of life. I believe that there is room to amend the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1957 in such a way that will assure that Bermudians remain the first priority in their homeland whilst providing a little more opportunities for PRC holders. I don’t profess to have all of the answers, but making Bermudians second to anyone is certainly not the answer.

The day that Bermudians cease to come first and remain a priority in their homeland should be something the government strongly resist; not work towards for political gain. The OBA denied they would allow PRC holders to gain status prior to the 2012 election; yet we see the Government has already allowed at least 155 applications to get processed for naturalization. 

This is the first step towards status for non-British PRC holders. Perhaps this government is seeking to increase its voter base — something it’s in desperate need of given it’s dubious track record in their short time in office. It bothers the people of this country that the Government has broken yet another promise. This time, however, the promise that was broken will directly affect the way of life for the average Bermudian.

As it stands, PRC holders, all 6,000+ of them,will have the opportunity to apply to gain status, the opportunity to vote, the opportunity to buy land, and the opportunity to rights that are reserved for Bermudians.

 The youth of Bermuda were already disadvantaged when this government slashed scholarships. Now it seems even if our youth achieve the great task of getting a university education, when they return home they will return to a Bermuda where Bermudians have to compete with others for a way of life. 

To avoid this, I believe that applications for Bermuda status by PRC holders that fall under section 20B should be suspended, whilst parliament considers the necessary reform to adequately deal with the situation. 

We know what they’ve done, now let’s see what they do; let’s see if this government will allow political motives to take  a back seat to the protection of the birthright of Bermudians.