Rather than a focused, long blog entry I'm going to give my version of a daily news roundup for all the stories that interested me. Figure it'll be nice to have a variety of posting styles so I guess I'm just experimenting with a few now. So bear with me until I find my niche.
Breaking News: Jailed for empty magazine clip
An American woman was this morning jailed for ten days after bringing an empty magazine clip into Bermuda.
Lori Du-Bell, 61, of Naples, Florida, appeared in Magistrates’ Court earlier this week when she pleaded guilty to bringing in the clip. At the hearing she told the court she had forgotton it was in her bag.
She was arrested last Thursday after one Customs officer found the empty magazine in her carry-on bag at L.F. Wade International Airport and a second officer discovered nine 9 mm rounds in the bathroom trash of the plane she had had arrived on.
This morning she appeared in court for sentencing when she was jailed for ten days.
Now is it just me or does this appear to be nothing more than an honest mistake? I mean come on.. She's a 61 year old who panicked and actually threw the ammunition away before landing in Bermuda. She is guilty of nothing more than a stupid mistake, at most she should have had the magazine confiscated and perhaps a small fine if they really really wanted to make a point out of it. But, prison for 10 days.. a bit much for a tourist. A bit of understanding and compassion could go a long way. No it wouldn't save Bermuda's tourism industry but, word gets around and little things matter. They often become more than the sum of their parts. But.. What with the the recent gun crime and the clamour for harsher penalties it would leave the courts open to critisism if they didn't punish her. Much the same as the Ministry of Immigration came under fire for approving a work-permit for an American convicted of importing drugs.
Barritt ponders political future
"Yesterday, the veteran MP told The Royal Gazette he would "stay to the last drink" as his soul-searching colleagues continue to explore the need to change following high-profile walkouts from reformers.
However, he said he has grown tired of Bermuda's stagnated party politics and wants to see members on all sides of the House of Assembly working together for the better of the Island — something he may not be able to do from inside the UBP in its current form."
I admire both the loyalty and the acceptance that loyalty can only go so far shown by Mr. Barritt in his statement to the Royal Gazette.
Barritt is someone who I see much as I see Michael Dunkley, articulate, intelligent and well meaning but, someone who will no longer have much of a place in the grand scheme of things due simply to his race and status as old guard UBP (I hope I'm wrong). Recently he has spoken out for the need to open up the PAC meetings to the public, a topic I'm fully in agreement on and I think it would be a huge loss to the UBP to lose him.
I am of course taking his statements at face value, I haven't been led to believe he's untrustworthy but, in the end I will accept that it could be argued he doesn't actually have Bermuda at heart but, his own agenda. While I'm sure there must be some element of "I need to set myself up so I can stay in politics if the UBP goes down", I personally believe that that is the farthest his agenda goes, I do believe that other than that he has his constituents at heart.
"I don't think it's just about the UBP. We have to discuss how this Country is better served. We need more coalition and alliance with different groups; not just on the UBP team — it may require being on the teams of other people and other groups.
"If that becomes your focus, a lot of this other stuff may change — branding, that follows like night follows day.
"I personally think it's a good thing that people are looking for other things. They don't want the rigidity of party systems any more. In Bermuda, with limited resources and with the number of people prepared to get involved, we have to look how to make the most of what we've got.
"I hope people continue to move the process along."
Agreed. Once again I can't be 100% sure he's not just saying what people want to hear but, if he is really behind it then I am in full agreement. Partisan politics need to end for Bermuda to move forward.
"Mr. Crockwell, Mr. Hunt and Mr. Pettingill — like fellow UBP defectors Wayne Furbert and Darius Tucker — will not be resigning their seats and risking by-elections. But Mr. Barritt said: "When you have been around as long as I have, and you go back to people to get their support, if I feel that the Country needs to go in a different direction — and it's a better direction — and I'm unable to take my party with me, I have to go back to the people who voted for me and explain my position to them.
"That might mean resigning my seat and saying to people: do you agree? Telling people I feel very strongly about this, I want you to have an opportunity to say what you want. As Independent or whatever. As I understand the law, there's no requirement to do that, but if I get to that point, where I'm at variance with my party, I would be looking to go back to the people who supported me." "
Once again I am in Agreement. I have always supported going back to a by-election if you are to break from your party. Grants the new independant candidate some legitimacy as well as ensuring the wishes of the constituents are adheared to.
Breaking News: Thieves target nursery for second time
A children’s nursery was targeted by thieves this morning — the second time it has been broken into within a week.
Police said that at 7.35 a.m. today they received a report of a burglary at Kiddie Academy on Laffan Street, in Pembroke.
A spokesman said: “Details are unclear at this time, however initial information suggests that a computer and other items were stolen from the premises.”
Last week thieves broke into Kiddie Academy, stealing a laptop, $100 cash, chocolate milk belonging to the children and a bottle of wine from an office party, before starting a fire in the building.
Disgusting. Cane them.
Crockwell: Constituents 'relieved' and pledging support
I am glad to hear that Crockwell has the support of his constituents. Of course the best way is to face a by-election but, I am a trusting guy and am willing to take him as innocent of lying unless I am presented with evidence to make be believe the contrary. As good as it is to see a new party, it will be useless if it is founded on a cracked foundation, that is why it is so important to ensure the support of constituents before making such a move.
Big task for new party amid UBP turmoilIt will be tough for the defectors to shake off their UBP baggage and not further divide the country
"While efforts to bridge the polarization gap are to be encouraged, the party in power has found it can benefit fromdivisiveness. Nothing the UBP or the new-BP can do will dissuade the PLP leadership from pursuing this deviant and divisive path."
I think this extract best sums up the opinion piece by Stuart Hayword. As I pointed out in my last blog post we can see the beginnings to the mudslinging already on the PLP blog. I have little doubt that the PLP will try as hard as they can to ensure the new party (I refuse to call it the NewBP because I feel that is another element of the labeling that is to come) is seen by their loyal voters as just another big bad UBP. Something to be defeated at all costs, solidarity, racial unity etc. blah blah. The usuall bull.
At first I had hopes this party could break through that but, I realise how naive I was being now. It is going to have to fight through it. They have a better position, they have the benifit of not needing to deal with the stigma the UBP had. However on the other hand all of these candidates were members of the UBP and this is only going to hinder them further. It's another sad reality in Bermuda politics that the government will do anything to ensure they can divide the population along racial lines. I had hoped that the new party could over come that..
I guess in the end that was only..