2015 should be a better year for Bermuda

There’s a definite mood of optimism in Bermuda as 2015 opens. Jonathan Kent of The Royal Gazette gives five reasons why in this lookahead.

Posted in Economics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Question of Leadership

An interesting take on the leadership of the PLP

"catch a fire"

OBA & PLP Incompetence

By all accounts, the OBA should not be the Government of Bermuda today.

That it remains the Government, that it has survived the crises it has, is not a testament to the resilience of the OBA but rather the incompetence of the Opposition PLP.

And this must invariably lead to a question of leadership.

A failure of leadership, both OBA and PLP. A failure of leadership, both OBA and PLP.

Why do I say the OBA shouldn’t be the Government today?

First off, at least two of the OBA MPs should have been disqualified as election candidates for failing to disclose their contracts with Government, as per parliamentary election rules.  The PLP new about this, however rather than take the action required to ensure the integrity of our democratic system, they missed out on the window of opportunity to do so, both prior to the election and immediately after.  Blame for this lies…

View original post 1,911 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Smart politics or a blink?

The Bermuda Government is putting its privatization bill on hold after getting an agreement with the union to find 5% of cuts in next year’s budget. Based on this year’s budget projections, that would amount of $60m in cuts and would leave Government about $60m in deficit unless revenues rose from the projected $900 million.

Maybe Government would not have gotten that concession without the bill, in which case this might be smart negotiating. But there are Government departments which could and should be privatized or outsourced and this means they now won’t be. That seems to be an opportunity lost and it is not clear when it will come around again.

For the unions, this looks like a win, depending on the nature of the cuts. If jobs go in order to find 5% in cuts, have they won the battle but lost the war?

It is difficult to see how you can cut 5% without a loss of some jobs given that more than half of Government spending goes on personnel. We will see.

Posted in Economics, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

RIP Ben Bradlee


Ben Bradlee and Bob Woodward

Very sad to hear that Ben Bradlee has died. He was an icon of journalism and one of the gutsiest editors to ever have lived.

Over  the next few days, expect much to be said about how journalism and newspapers are no longer what they were in the 1970s and 1980s, much of it true, unfortunately.

The Washington Post obit is here and it’s fantastic.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pink and Blue means bus

There’s a lovely Gonzalo post here from BeachLime.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week’s hurricane

Random thoughts on Hurricane #Gonzalo:

As has been stated everywhere, Tropical Storm Fay was a blessing in disguise because it cleared so much heavy vegetation out before onslaught of Gonzalo, and made people more nervous about Gonzalo than they might have been otherwise. But there’s no need to send another hurricane this coming weekend, OK weather Gods?

Great to see the traditional Bermuda spirit come out before and after – neighbour helping neighbour etc. It almost certainly won’t last, but it’s great while it is here.

It hasn’t been talked about much, but the storm has and will give the economy a bit of a kickstart. Hardware stores and grocery stored enjoyed bumper sales before the storm, landscapers and contractors are having a literal windfall of work and the money released by the insurance companies will wash nicely through the economy.

Against that, our tourism customers on the East Coast have to be reassured that this only happens about once every ten years and is a demonstration of how safe Bermuda is. You have to hope this won’t send any international business executives back home. The positive news is that Bermuda was very much back in business today, just two days after the storm. Compare that to the aftermath of “Superstorm” Sandy, New Yorkers. Some smart and quick marketing is needed now.

Michael Dunkley and his Government have come out of the hurricane pretty well. This is something of a no-win situation for governing politicians. Mess it up and you’re George W Bush after Katrina. Get it right, as Dunkley and his team have, and you’ve done what you are supposed to do. But Dunkley’s presence and tone have been good. Very calm and measured, he hasn’t gloated and he has been our and about a lot, which is important psychologically.

Alex Scott also did well as Premier during and after Fabian and then tried to harness the “spirit of Fabian” afterwards, which was less effective. Indeed, Scott’s later struggles show how short the coattails of a hurricane are. What it has done is erase memories of Fay, which most people will agree was a bit of a forecasting mess. But the other lesson is that Walter Roban’s attempt to make political capital out of Fay got pretty slated. It’s hard to come down on the Government if you didn’t even take in a lawn chair before Fay, as this writer can attest.

We were all pretty stupid last week, but not as stupid as the guy who lit his charcoal barbecue inside his house during Gonzalo and set his kitchen on fire. He needs to be nominated for a Darwin Award.

Posted in Economics, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Comeau explains why PRCs are entitled to status and why attempts to block it are doomed to fail

Kevin Comeau has produced an exceptionally clear explanation of the PRC-Status issue here.

Basically, it upends the Progressive Labour Party’s position that grants of status can be 1) frozen and 2) rejected by amending the law retroactively.

It’s a shame that the One Bermuda Alliance Government failed to explain this issue as clearly at the outset. If they had, a lot of pain could have been avoided. Still, it’s not too late – this should be required reading for anyone concerned about the issue.

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment