The recent resignation of the Finance Minister is extremely concerning as he brought confidence and credibility to his ministry and the Cabinet. As much of a blow this resignation is, it has only continued a worrying trend from Premier Burt’s Cabinet.
The Ministry of Health rejected the advice of another recently resigned professional Dr. Weldon regarding the appropriate re-opening of schools. The Ministry of Education is being accused of bullying tactics and refusing to listen to the teachers by the Bermuda Union of Teachers (BUT).
The Ministry of Labour has been accused of failing to protect workers by the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU). These incidents preceding this sudden resignation of MP Curtis Dickinson on the eve of the budget being read suggests he was suffering the same issue: having his professional advice dismissed.
It seems our Premier is leading our government in a civil war of political expediency versus professional expertise, with political expediency winning every time.
While these fires are cropping up across various ministries, our Premier insists on telling Bermudians everything is fine, and reassuring the public he has the situation under control. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I will tell you Bermuda, everything is not fine. The facts are laid bare that we are being governed by a Premier who has fostered a reputation for “my way or the highway” which flows from him straight to the Ministers who serve at his pleasure.
That has all but silenced any contrary opinion or professional advice that might impede his political goals. This sort of leadership style produces a brain drain for any organisation suffering under it, as the leader barricades themselves in a room surrounded by yes people.
The Premier taking on the finance portfolio immediately after the sudden resignation suggests three possible scenarios.
1. The Premier has run out of MPs willing to say yes to this upcoming budget and has been left out on a limb, forced to try, and sell his failed economic policy to Bermudians himself.
2. That out of his 30 MPs he does not believe any of them have the required credentials or ability to handle the finance portfolio.
3. He doesn’t want another member of his team to get a closer look at this ministry in its current state.
Any and all of the above should be extremely troubling for Bermudians.
If the former Finance Minister’s resignation was so sudden that the Premier had to take on the ministry along with the tourism portfolio, that indicates an issue. The Government’s willful neglect to provide any insight into the professional reasons for resignation and displayed lack of a contingency plan is extremely worrisome.
Once again, the Bermudian public can not count on the 30 PLP MPs they elected to represent them and form a government to hold, their selected Premier accountable as he leads his Cabinet from controversy to controversy.
Longstanding allies Rev. Tweed and BIU President Furbert have publicly said they are now disillusioned, there have been back-to-back high-profile resignations, and public confidence at an all time low. It might be time for the PLP to consider one more resignation. For the good of the island we all serve.