Last week the people of Bermuda were treated to what was termed an apology by David Burt over a loan of $800,0000 made to Savvy Entertainment. This was quite possibly the worst apology that we have ever heard.
What we got was a sleight of hand, a blame game if you will. The fact is that Mr Burt gave away $800,000 of the people’s money and he has blamed civil servants, his Ministers and media for the debacle.
In his usual fashion, Mr Burt has again tried to distract the people of Bermuda from his poor judgment by beating the dead horse of jetgate.
With a few days to go until a general election, it is important that all Bermudians are reminded of Mr Burt’s record of deceit and poor judgment.
Mr Burt has made this election all about him, so Bermudians must have the truth.
Let’s remember in 2011 when, as Chief of Staff to then Premier Paula Cox, he misled the people of Bermuda about a speech given by the then Premier. You may recall an allegation was made that the then Premier plagiarized a section of her speech from a youth group. When questioned, Mr Burt provided doctored tapes to support his denial.
Later in 2011, Mr Burt took out Neletha Butterfield in a PLP primary, a process that was openly questioned by Ms Butterfield who essentially alleged underhanded tactics were employed.
You might recall that as Shadow Minister of Finance Mr Burt engaged in the selling of bootleg swizzle. To this day he makes jokes about this poor lack of judgment, acting as if what he was doing was perfectly acceptable.
In 2016 whilst the former PLP leader, now Leader of the FDM, was recovering from a stroke, Mr Burt conducted a barely hidden campaign to remove Mr Bean from his post.
In 2017 Mr Burt was due to fly to New York with a number of other individuals related to gaming. Despite repeated questions about this trip they have never been adequately answered. In that same year, Mr Burt shared a stage with cashless gaming promoters. Suddenly we are now hearing that cashless gaming will be introduced to Bermuda and the gaming portfolio has been transferred to Mr Burt. All of this leaves many unanswered questions.
This year Mr Burt had former MP Commissiong pushed from his seat in a move related to allegations from two years ago. It was a move clearly designed to give the seat to the Minister of Finance. Amazingly Mr Burt told the people of Bermuda he had only just learned of the allegations against MP Commissiong. Really?
Then we learn that through COVID-19 Mr Burt approached the Leader of the Opposition about Independence. Yet Mr Burt has repeatedly said it is not on his agenda. If it is was not, why would you speak to the Leader of the Opposition about it?
And finally, we come to Savvy Entertainment.
This disastrous episode comes down to one of two things. Mr Burt is either a naive Leader who lacks judgment or even worse, he is a Leader that is prepared to play roulette with the taxpayers’ money.
There are now also rumours circulating that a loan was made to the same group through the Bermuda Credit Union. In our view, Mr Burt can’t be trusted. His behaviour and underhanded gamesmanship have been well demonstrated.
Mr Burt allowed $800,000 to go missing. The police were not called until the media raised the story again.
Why would Mr Burt agree to give a loan to an exempted company? What was the actual security? Why were there no drawdown provisions? What were the benchmarks used? Do you believe the self-styled Brilliant Mr Burt would actually allow such basic mistakes?
We hope this whole affair is not more sinister. The Leader of the FDM, who has known Mr Burt for many years certainly seems to think so.
The fact is Mr Burt is playing fast and loose with the people’s money – remember he authorized a payment of $1.2million to Dr Brown just a short time ago.
Remember Mr Burt wants to take Bermuda to independence. He will do anything to remain in power, including calling an election during this COVID-19 crisis.
We ask the people of this country – is this what good leadership looks like?
By Jarion Richardson, OBA Candidate for Paget West, Constituency 23.