The PLP leaders are evidently highly troubled by the public reaction and response to their leader's reckless smuggling of four Uighurs into the island.

Chief among things troubling them is the mobilisation of a couple of thousand citizens in less than two weeks of protests, a level of orderly public display not seen on this rock during my lifetime. And while Premier Brown may boast of having seen larger and louder demonstrations, never in memory has Bermuda seen a larger, more vocal and more orderly gathering than showed up to protest recently.

To have hundreds of citizens shouting slogans calling for the ouster of a sitting Premier is unprecedented. And for them to be doing this despite the implied threats from the Premier's chief propagandists - who proclaimed a counter-demonstration in tones that suggested "outnumbering" and "overpowering" any protesters - demonstrates levels of solidarity and commitment not seen here for perhaps half a century or more.

One concern plaguing PLP stalwarts, of course, is the frequent and unnecessary mess their leader's utterances and actions have spilled to stain their party's "copy book". While Dr. Brown has many qualities they have missed in other leaders, his unerring ability to sully the party's image and reputation has raised doubts about whether his leadership is worth the price.

Consequently, those blindly loyal to him are working at a furious pace in attempts to re-write history to disfigure his detractors. And among that posse is the phalanx of ministers, Senators, contractors, consultants and advisors who fear losing their well-paid positions if the Premier falls. They have even gone a step beyond race-baiting to race-hounding, picking on and villifying any individual who just might be white.

That is the prime reason the inner circle has launched such a raucus and slanderous campaign against the protesters: they are fearful of the ill it augurs for the party's reputation and future credibility, and their jobs, if the protesters carry forward their success at mobilising public discontent.

This is Premier Brown's style, and is the reason he has surrounded himself with political scoundrels who use false language to on one hand glorify the smuggling as "humanitarian" and on the other hand castigate the protesters as "disrespectful", "whites only", "rabid dogs", a "lynch mob". This is a desperate attempt from desperate people to stifle dissent.

The fundamental reason for this line of attack is the

frantic realisation among Dr. Brown's inner circle that the PLP cannot muster public support for Dr. Brown to match the numbers who are fed up with his leadership. They did try. But the couple of dozen public supporters who showed up (as different from those who in one way or another are on the payroll) was a pitifully poor showing.

Rather than have to accept and explain why they can't round up even one hundred people willing to stand up for Dr. Brown (despite all the resources they have to hand), they resort to demonising the protesters and offer bogus reasons for telling their own supporters to stay home.

Leaders of the protests should take heart. Do not let yourselves be bullied by cowardly defamation into belittling yourselves, your cause or your potential. We are fed up with watching our country being ripped off by the very people whose duty it is to protect us from rip off artists. You are the first wave of our intent to recover the integrity our island once had.

Other waves are poised to follow. Regroup and re-engage. Remember that protests are not tea parties. You don't have to mimic the hoodlum behaviour of some of those supporting

the Premier, but constructive confrontation can take many forms.