HAMILTON, Bermuda, Wednesday September 6, 2017 – A Bermuda government legislator has put the idea of the independence for the British Overseas territory back on the front burner.
Government Senator Jason Hayward, who heads the Bermuda Public Services Union, says the current system is holding back the country’s progress and it’s time for the country to revisit the matter.
Speaking at the Labour Day celebrations, Hayward lamented that too many Bermudians were not enjoying a high standard of living or benefiting from the country’s wealth.
“I think we have to come to the conclusion that we live in a system that is not designed for a segment of the population to get ahead.
“We have seen the middle class deteriorate, we have seen our communities deteriorate, we have seen our family structures deteriorate. Some will say all by design. So, if I want to stand here on this Labour Day as a free worker, we must really be free. We have to shift the conversation, and remove ourselves from this colonial rule,” he said.
Hayward stressed that the ruling Progressive Labour Party (PLP) which secured an overwhelming mandate at the polls in the July 18 general election was in a good position to take the matter to the electorate.
He also rubbished the idea that the new Government would operate on its own agenda given its strong mandate.
“Some are scared because the OBA [the opposition One Bermuda Alliance] is now feeble and anaemic, that the PLP will run forth with its agenda with no real accountability. There is nothing further from the truth. The labour unions in this country have always held governments accountable, friend or foe,” Haywood said.
He added, though, that the PLP’s landslide victory in the July polls – in which it won 24 of the 36 seats in the House of Assembly – presents an opportunity for the PLP to move forward unapologetically with a labour agenda.
“An agenda that reduces the system that breeds income inequality, the lack of opportunity in this country for many,” he said.