A Throne Speech is a throne speech is a throne speech, so they say. I try to be critical and look for what is being said and, equally, what hasn’t been said also. The style of this year’s speech was clear: there was a noticeable pitch to almost every sector.
The absolute cynics will say it was full of undeliverable promises without demonstrable ways of achieving them. No doubt there are some areas such as an attempt to introduce living-wage standards, which will have its challenges in the marketplace. Yet optimism is always better, which just simply indicates the means thought to be absent will have to be found creatively to fulfil the promise.
What is the world without an aim? Everything of the success that we enjoy today came at the expense of countless failures, at times from the brink of utter disaster. One should never forgo trying for fear of failure. In 2011, I argued that we the public, rather than complain about what the Government has not done, should get into the problem-solving mode and start providing some answers and solutions as opposed to questions and empty criticisms.
The old JFK motto: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”
So the Government has raised the bar and my response is: “Let’s jump over it.” Let’s get the old choo-choo train saying “I know I can” — not because we choose to live in a state of denial or fantasy, but because with ingenuity we really can. For example, there is the proposal of developing a tech village, which would be a new industry. All we need is to provide some wisdom that complements and perhaps even guides that type of thought to its most rational implementation. There is the proposed panel to vet new enterprises; it is to be hoped this type of committee will help to remove the old hindrance of favouritism by placing a prudent body that can examine the feasibility of projects based on merit.
We have to keep in mind we have the youngest premier on record and he is surrounded by a young team — neither are spoilt or tempered by limited thoughts — so their idealism taken properly can be refreshing to the extent they are not at all daunted by the mountainous problems the country has. Providence always has ornaments that bring an abundance of good fortune and opportunity; the key is to have the proper attitude.
The principle in life is that it is only through optimism that we see opportunities as they emerge, and it’s through humility we attract it — blessed are the meek. Now is not the time to close the shutters and retreat into an austerity or an ultraconservative mode. In cricket terminology, we need to dig in but go for the runs because a draw is a loss.
I would only imagine that with a mere month and a half at the helm, there could be items under the hood that need due diligence before the Government puts its stamp on them. The real question for Bermuda Inc is whether we are willing to apply ourselves or withdraw.
The future is ours to make and as country, in spite of our short falls, we have developed so much goodwill to carry us forward, it makes sense that we retain our value and not throw it away for petty politics.