Letters to the Editor

My enthusiasm for PLP is waning

  • Dropping the ball: Paula Cox the weakest of the four PLP premiers, writes E. McNeil Stovell

Dear Sir,

I have been a Progressive Labour Party supporter most of my life and I have deep and broad reasons why I had decided all those many years ago why I thought that the PLP was the party that represented me.

It wasnít just because I was a blue-collar worker from around back of town who lived up in Marsh Folly with a gorgeous view of the Pembroke Dump that I found myself in the grip of the PLP.

Itís just that it was clear to me that the party of the old oligarchs, the United Bermuda Party that is, did not appear to represent me in any way.

Even though I became very friendly with Gloria McPhee many years after she had left the UBP, the black members of the UBP never impressed me as being genuine or for real.

Of course, we had a nickname for them and I think you know just what that was.

Yes, I did become emotionally attached to the PLP just like those who claimed membership to the UBP.

When I decided to join the PLP back in 1974-75, I did not join looking to take over any position in the party other than to help them fight for the cause of the advancement of the working people.

In my 40-plus years as a member of the PLP, I have learnt a lot about the twists and bends of politics that, in some cases, take you nowhere.

In some cases, itís like playing in a band with a group of people who you thought were playing from the same music sheet, but because they all play a different instrument, you find that instead of paying attention to the conductor and the music on the sheet, everybody is playing a different tune and dancing to their own beat.

The PLP did not just lose the 2012 election because they were out of touch with the people alone; they were also out of touch with themselves and were drifting all over the place, out of control.

In my view, Paula Cox was the weakest of the four premiers of the PLP and did not have the full support of her Cabinet colleagues. She dropped the ball and made a technical error when calling the 2012 election. In turn she lost the Government for the PLP and lost her seat in Parliament as well.

That was a very low point. I thought everybody on the bus was heading in the same direction as I was, but that was not to be.

Although I still support the PLP in any way that I can, my enthusiasm isnít as strong as it used to be and I see political parties in a different light than I did before.

Today I am more about fighting for the peopleís rights at the national level than just relying on the party machine to do it and I donít allow myself to get emotionally bent out of shape over party politics any more. The One Bermuda Alliance proved to be a political disaster to the people and the country. Itís not that they lost touch with the people; they were never in touch with the people the whole time that they were the Government.

With that in mind, what other choice do I have as a blue-collar worker but to go back to the polls with my vote to support the PLP?

But not to worry: because of my involvement in politics over the years, I have learnt that it is most important to know the facts before you find yourself jumping into boiling hot water.

I have also learnt to hold my posture in the face of defeat and to respect the will of the people once they have spoken, whether I like the results or not and not allow my emotions to take control and cause me to go off on an emotional tirade, blaming others for my partyís shortcomings.

Believe me, itís just as simple as that.

E. McNEIL STOVELL