Last month, I drew attention to the appearance in a Caribbean news outlet of several columns hostile to the One Bermuda Alliance Government, written by Progressive Labour Party personalities like Mark Daniels and Walter Roban.

It was quite apparent that a majority of the public who read that article were indignant at this tale-telling in the Caribbean.  It is, after all, something that is universally accepted as something one simply doesn’t do.  

Despite that, the articles continue. At the end of February, our southern neighbours were able to read a reprint of an article written by Christopher Famous for the Bermuda Sun, entitled ‘Did we witness the OBA’s St Valentine’s Day suicide?’  It accused One Bermuda Alliance politicians of, among other things, using profanity to disrespect the Speaker of the House and Bermudian citizens, of making gang-like threats and of having no knowledge of how government works.  

So my article and the public’s response to it have plainly had no effect on the PLP — they are going to do what they want to do, regardless.  That puzzles me, I must admit.

I went back and read again the Shadow Finance Minister’s reply to the Budget Speech a year ago, in 2013, given in the House of Assembly on March 1. Mr Burt was speaking at that time under the heading “Our approach in Opposition”.

He said: “We are of the belief that naked partisan posturing on the issue of finances destroys a country’s credibility.  We believe that for the last three years, the relentless attacks of the then opposition OBA have made our country weaker, not stronger.

“Though the One Bermuda Alliance has won a political victory, it is our view that the lack of confidence in our institutions due to repeated and unfounded allegations of corruption and malfeasance have done more harm to this country over the last three years than any single act a Minister of Finance could have done. 

“Mr. Speaker, we can disagree without being disagreeable. We can argue the merits of our actions without accusing others of having improper motives.  We can make our point locally, but when we speak externally we must speak with one voice and of one accord. 

“While the PLP was busy marketing Bermuda across the globe, you would think that some were rooting for our failure, to the detriment of this country and its future. 

“Mr Speaker, that will not be the approach of this Progressive Labour Party government-in-waiting.  We will not engage in those destructive actions, because the people of this country need their leaders to work together and spend time solving their problems.

“We will not throw our country under the bus because we disagree with the OBA. We will stand strong for Bermudians and for Bermuda’s businesses because in this Honourable House the welfare of the island must come above political grandstanding. 

“We will applaud the OBA on successes that lead to a better life for our people, and we will give them constructive criticism when we see them off track.  That is the leadership that we will provide in this chamber as the Opposition when it comes to matters of finance and the economy.

“For when Bermuda succeeds, Mr Speaker, it is not a victory for the PLP or the OBA, it is a victory for our people.”

All I can say is, what a difference a year in Opposition makes! 

Sylvan Richards is the OBA’s Junior Minister of Finance