The Last Post
When I restarted this blog in November, I said that I didn't know how long I'd be back for. After giving it some thought over Christmas and New Year, I've decided that I'm done.
I expected the electorate to send the PLP a message by, at a minimum, returning them to office with fewer seats and a lower percentage of the vote. Their failure to do so was a clear signal that there is no room for well-meaning criticism or thoughtful debate in Bermudian politics today. As such, I see little point continuing to blog.
Tom Vesey is right: the only people who can criticise today's PLP government are other members of the PLP. Anyone else should expect to have their criticisms met with an ad hominem attack, not with a reasoned rebuttal.
If you're white, you will be accused of being a racist. If you're black, you will be accused of being a race traitor. If you're a non-Bermudian, you will be told to keep your mouth shut and go back to the country you came from. If you're a journalist, you'll be accused of being in league with the UBP. If you're in the UBP, you'll be accused of wanting to take the country back to the days of segregation, or even slavery.
I have no desire to participate in such a dysfunctional system any longer. Indeed, I've come to believe that by continuing to criticise the government, I will only make things worse.
The election demonstrated that criticism does not hurt the PLP. On the contrary, it makes it stronger. Any external criticism validates widespread feelings of victimhood within the party and helps unite its various factions.
Painful though it may be in the short-term, I think the best way forward for Bermuda is to give the PLP what it wants. The media needs to muffle its criticism. Unaffiliated and pro-UBP blogs need to fall silent. And, notwithstanding my earlier comments, the Opposition needs to disband and become a group of independents.
It's a radical prescription, and not without its risks. But taking away most of the opposition to the PLP is, I believe, the best way to encourage those within the party to hold it to account. Moreover, in the absence of an external foe, it is not unrealistic to hope that the party's internal disagreements may eventually lead to a split. It would certainly be ironic if those who have called for the end of the UBP were to get their wish only to find that it led to the end of the PLP too.
I can't rule out restarting A Limey In Bermuda one day. But I doubt it will happen until there is a significant improvement in Bermuda's political climate.
So it just remains to thank everyone for reading over the last four years, and for all your comments and emails in that time. Through this blog I have learned a great deal about Bermuda and come into contact with many interesting people who I would never otherwise have met. Running this site was also instrumental in making me take an interest in my adopted home, prompting me to attend many public meetings and forums that I would otherwise have ignored. Something that those who believe that non-Bermudians should stay out of local politics should reflect upon, perhaps.