MP Sylvan Richards had an opinion piece in both The Bermuda Sun and Bernews last Friday, accusing the PLP of being “reckless and unpatriotic” for submitting columns to Caribbeannewsnow.com.

We live in an age where all Bermuda media are accessible to the entire world. Unless the OBA plans to institute censorship, and an island-wide media blackout, Bermuda news is the world’s news and vice versa.  

Caribbean News Now reports on over 40 Caribbean countries including Bermuda. This news agency has been posting articles about Bermuda since 2004. They have covered a wide-range of Bermuda stories including: 

Our recent tax blacklisting by France

• Our downgrading by rating agencies

• Elections 

• OECD 

• Multilateral convention

Global connections

Bermuda is a part of a larger world and as such, we have a responsibility to foster connections and relationships with other countries. It is vital to strengthening our links with other members of the Caribbean. 

In fact, this is a concept that forms an integral part of the PLP constitution: ‘To cooperate with organizations within the British Commonwealth with a view to promoting the purposes of the Party, and more particularly to take common action with such organizations in the Caribbean region for the promotion of a higher standard of social and economic life for the population of the respective countries of the region as a whole.”

Frequent flyers

Since being in office, the OBA themselves have spent your taxpayers dollars travelling to the Caribbean:

• Premier Craig Cannonier has been to Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands

• MP Shawn Crockwell has been to Bahamas

• Senator Michael Fahy has been to Trinidad*

• MP Jefferson Sousa has been to Trinidad 

• OBA Chairman Thad Hollis has spoken at political conventions in St Kitts

Did anyone label that as unpatriotic?

PLP issues in the Caribbean media

Senator Diallo Rabain spoke on some of the issues that the OBA created over their first year in office:

• Abolishing term limits

• Raising taxes on seniors

• Broken promises regarding Civil Servants Job Security, and the Referendum

Senator Marc Daniels spoke on the issues pertaining to: 

The theft of democracy via the cancelled referendum

• The need for social fairness in how we address cannabis issues

 MP Walter Roban spoke on the lack of trust of the OBA government, in regards to their attempts to force Commercial Immigration upon Bermudians. Resulting in the sale of our democratic rights to 

• Land

• Jobs

• Voting equality

All of these are issues which we have posted in all local media. Can the OBA say any of these issues are untrue?

Internationally exposed

The OBA’s real concern is that their attempts to force legislation, counterproductive to the development of Bermudians, have been exposed on a regional level. 

The recent revelation that the OBA had hired a consultant to explore ways to avoid having a gaming referendum, proves that the “OBA Government of Bermuda, is untruthful and anti-democratic. Willing to sidestep democratic rules, to get its way electorally”.

Freedom of Speech

The OBA attempts to censor and silence the PLP, by intimidating the Caribbean media not to publish opinion pieces by elected officials of another party. 

This should be concerning to the Bermudian people, as it is not only an attempt to silence the PLP, but it also distracts from the bigger issue of holding the OBA accountable for their “unpatriotic and undemocratic actions.”  

In an upcoming series we will continue to lay out to the people of Bermuda about our plans regarding:

• Protecting the Civil Service

• Lowering our Debt

• Diversifying the economy

We will continue to act locally, and speak globally on behalf of you, the people of Bermuda.

Marc A.R. Bean is the Leader of the Opposition Progressive Labour Party

* Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy has asked us to point out that his visit to Trinidad & Tobago in July of last year was not paid for by taxpayers.

He was there for the Eight ILO Meeting of Caribbean Labour Ministers and in a July 17 Ministerial Statement, wrote: “The all inclusive cost of the trip for both Bermuda representatives was underwritten by the ILO — airfare, hotel and per diem.”

Download the full ILO Meeting Report.