Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Perhaps the government are getting transparent and invisible mixed up, because I don’t see the truth of JetGate being told. One month on, two resignations later and the public has yet to be enlightened on the findings of an internal probe into the missing money. The question remains: “Where is the 300k”?

May 14, 2014: OBA Chairman Thad Hollis said his party never received any funds from Nathan Landow and his associates, adding that the OBA plans to conduct an investigation.

May 15: Then-Premier Craig Cannonier followed with a statement: “I welcome and support any effort to ensure full transparency and accountability. The inquiry was approved with a view to clearing away doubts and questions that are distracting attention from the Government’s hard work to rebuild Bermuda’s economy and the much-needed jobs that come with it.”

May 19: Then-Deputy Premier, now Premier  Michael Dunkley, said Mr Hollis could issue his findings “perhaps within a week”.

Later that evening, Mr. Cannonier resigned as Premier, despite previously stating he had done no wrong. He released an exit tape in which he admits he was not fully transparent with the people of Bermuda.

May 21: Premier Dunkley is sworn in and pledges to be open and transparent with Bermuda

May 23: New Premier Dunkley, after the day before pledging to be open and transparent with Bermuda, says that JetGate is now DeadGate as he no longer wishes to talk about that.

June 20: A whole month later, and the public is still being kept in the dark. No public disclosure whatsoever on the probe into the missing money. It gets worse, in my humble opinion, because since the probe into the missing money was announced, Bermuda has seen a Premier and an Attorney General resign. What are the people of this country to think?

Use of a term like term ‘JetGate’ harks back to the Watergate political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s as a result of the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office Complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration’s attempted cover-up of its involvement.

The worst part about Watergate wasn’t the break in — the worst part was the cover-up! It’s not the act, but the deceit that vexes people.

The cash involved in JetGate was said to have gone to the OBA-linked Bermuda Political Action Club. What is the Bermuda Political Action Club? How long have they been around? Who is involved? These are questions that have to be answered.

Recently, all of the OBA MPs passed a bill they deemed to be about morals. What about the morals, honesty and transparency when it comes to matters like this? These are not issues that you simply brush under the rug and pretend they never happened.

I’m not suggesting that malicious wrongdoing occurred with regards to the missing 300k. However, it begs the question, if there was no wrongdoing and if there is nothing to hide, then show the people of Bermuda where this money is, tell us what happened and let us determine that. The absence of doing so gives the citizens the right to the conclusions that they may reach and one of those conclusions may or may not be that wrongdoing occurred.

The persistent unethical and ignorant emphasis on secrecy and on making decisions for partisan advantage or to making deals with campaign contributors and select insiders has no place in a Bermuda where my peers and I demand transparency and honesty not later, but now; not sometimes but all the time; not just with some things but in all things. 

We, the people  of this country, have the opportunity to embrace this manifesto of transparency and do away with the ‘rule of secrecy’. 

Eron Hill, an 18-year-old former member of Bermuda’s Youth Parliament and the Bermuda National Debate Team, is now an aspiring lawyer and legal understudy working at Compass Law Chambers under the tutelage of local barrister and attorney, Charles Richardson. 

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