Bermudians have been under stay-at-home regulations to stop this current outbreak and reduce the spread of Covid-19. When these regulations were announced, many were skeptical about whether they would be extended to the Sail GP event and spectators of the event. The Premier assured the people of Bermuda that the regulations indeed extended to Sail GP and spectators, and that we should be prepared to watch it from home. Yet over the past few weeks, Bermudians have witnessed the Premier cozying up to Sail GP. What a difference a PLP election victory makes. Wasn’t it the same David Burt who repeatedly attacked the OBA when Bermuda hosted the America’s Cup in 2017?
Let me be clear, I support Sail GP and I am happy that the PLP have finally seen the importance of international sporting events and the benefit they bring to our island. Events such as this promote Bermuda around the globe. They inject lots of money into our local economy. It has been said Bermuda may receive some $10 million from the 2021 Sail GP event.
However, the PLP’s hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed. The PLP have now revealed their only issue in 2017 with hosting a world-class sailing event was that it was not their idea. Make no mistake, when in the Opposition, the PLP chose to put politics over the advancement of Bermuda.
The PLP’s main argument in 2017 regarding the America’s cup was that it catered to only a segment of the population and that the average Bermudian was excluded from the event. This was untrue then. However, this current event was held during a stay-at-home order. We are happy to see the event go forward successfully, but unfortunately Bermudians were largely excluded under Covid safety regulations.
The Opposition Leader, Cole Simons, has already pointed out the inconsistency of the PLP’s Covid regulations. The Opposition Leader also pointed out the lack of enforcement of the regulations. This trend of inconsistency and, in some cases, blatant PLP hypocrisy has become detrimental to the efforts to contain the virus. The Opposition remains concerned.
Bermudians are becoming extremely frustrated with the perception of double standards regarding Covid regulations by our current PLP leadership. We need to ensure that Bermudians continue to adhere to the Covid safety regulations so we can continue to slow this current outbreak. Respecting and trusting the current Government is crucial to keeping the level of compliance for the regulations high.
In response to my colleague Vic Ball’s article last week, a Government Senator told Bermudians the Opposition wants to incite anger in Bermudians and asked the OBA what is our policy? The PLP’s “blame the messenger” reaction shows they have no intention of taking accountability for their mistakes. The PLP expect that Bermudians will not speak out, but simply take what is given to them.
Regarding OBA policy, the PLP know it quite well. Even with an overwhelming majority all the PLP have done is embrace OBA ideas, namely St. Regis, Sail GP, super yacht legislation, immigration reform, the airport, and the BTA to name a few. Proving that even with an overwhelming 30 seat majority the PLP can only put their heads together to rehash OBA policies. They are unable to make any particularly bold decisions of their own.
In fulfilling its role, the Opposition does not seek to incite anger, but bring awareness. The thing that most incites anger in Bermudians, is when a Government does not fulfill its mandate. I very much hope Sail GP benefits Bermuda and Bermudians. Yet Bermudians should not be comfortable with the Premier’s hypocrisy.