Opinion

Dickinson is more than just a number for PLP

  • The way forward: Curtis Dickinson represents an element that the PLP lost many years ago Photograph by Akil Simmons)

At first, I thought of the by-elections, particularly in Warwick, as ho-hum and that perhaps the statistical aspect as a parliamentary 25-11 is ho-hum.

However, the real achievement in this election was bringing a strong candidate with real experience and credentials into Parliament and even more significantly into the Progressive Labour Party.

So I have to say it’s a ho-ha.

Without having to dwell into the background of Curtis Dickinson, from a professional angle he represents an element that the party lost many years ago. It is to be hoped he now represents the change in tide that the party and country need to heal the ideological gap, which has narrowed the prospects of the PLP for too many years.

In a country as small as Bermuda, there is no room for so-called labour and conservatives. We have a country where we need all hands on deck. If there is a political organisation, it needs to be diverse and be able to dance with the issues of labour and business.

It should not be a choice of one or the other because our economy is too complex to entertain a division such as that without serious consequences.

Power is blinding and the consequences that have hurt us all have gone unchecked at the altar of power.

It is possible that Dickinson being adopted may provide the shift and embellish the PLP with an image that is friendlier to those with entrepreneurial instincts and who wish for a more hospitable political environment to which they lend not just their vote but also participation, which is even more essential.

Certainly, all the burden of this type of change cannot rest on the shoulders of one man. The journey towards China begins with one step, and this is definitely one such step in the right direction. While I am perhaps impatient, I fully realise change takes place one step at a time.

This could be a game changer in a number of ways because hitherto the Opposition, or One Bermuda Alliance, would argue its claim to the throne is that they alone know how to run businesses and “those bies” don’t.

So what happens if the PLP then earns the reputation also as economic managers?

What could a would-be alternative government say in an electioneering campaign? Could they argue “we can manage, too”?

This single movement, if it progresses within the PLP, has enormous potential to shift the game farther, driving the present Opposition into oblivion — not only in numbers but in relevance.

The Opposition would need to reconsider its purpose and, if it ever had any hopes of putting its hands on the stirring wheel again, would need to reinvent a need within the country that could provide a mandate. Unless, of course, occupying a seat as the loyal opposition while it waits for the PLP to fail through natural attrition is good enough.

I would think political reform would be such an agenda, but none among its ranks seem to have an inkling of interest or have expressed any ideas of reform.