This was sent to me by Guilden Gilbert. I am simply reproducing a statement he issued. I have no sides in this, but believe that the more that is released into the public domain on this issue, the better. There is a clear public interest case to be made.
And of course, the plot continues to thicken amid allegations that the Premier secretly recorded a conversation over gaming with the Opposition Leader. When will the panto politricks end?
From: Guilden M. Gilbert, Jr.
Date: December 16, 2013
Last week Wednesday, December 11, 2013, while in Bermuda on a family matter, I was invited to be a guest on the popular Sherri Simmons show on Magic 102.9FM. On Friday past, December 13, 2013, my appearance on the show was raised by Hon. Shawn Crockwell, Minister of Tourism, his entire statement can be heard here –
http://streaming.parliament.bm/Guide.aspx?viewmode=5&eventid=392&src=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.parliament.bm%2FHouseAudio%2F20131213135500_392_36.WMV at approximately 1:58:30. He states, “On Wednesday, I was listening to the Sherri J show and I couldn’t believe it when I heard, I’m not going to call his name, she had a guest, he is a well-known PLP supporter and he said, “I am not happy with the Referendum question…….and all of my PLP friends are not happy, you know what, many of them support gaming but they are going to send the Government a message and vote NO”
He then goes on about how he ran to the Premier to report a campaign to cause the Referendum to fail.
All of this was his excuse as to why the Referendum will not be conducted and the decision on Gaming will be made on the floor of the House of Assembly.
There is no doubt he was referring to me as there were two guests on the show that day, Hon. Terry Lister, who was on before me speaking on the topic of Price Controls and me. I came on after Mr. Lister left.
Clear Minister Crockwell and the OBA Government are paranoid since they seem to think there is/was some conspiracy between the PLP and me over the question posed for the Gaming Referendum.
The fact is, contrary to Minister Crockwell’s comments, while I was a guest on the show I never mentioned “my PLP friends”, in fact, I don’t think I ever mentioned the PLP. Minister Crockwell has attempted to sully my integrity over his paranoid rant in the House of Assembly.
What I actually said was more like, “I do not agree at all with the question posed as it is a leading question and I would suggest the electorate vote No to send a clear message to the OBA that we will not be guided in how we vote”. This exactly what the wording of the question did and it was unfair and undemocratic, in my view. Instead of running to the Premier like a school boy running to the teacher to tell on some who did something, he should have digested what I said and the meaning behind it.
I find it rather odd that I have so much political clout that my comment can cause a shift in Government policy. Maybe I should speak more often.
The OBA, during the election campaign, promised the electorate enhanced democracy, yet when they are challenged the first thing they do is remove and suppress democracy.
My view on this, another debacle, by the OBA Government is that (1) They never intended to hold a Referendum to begin with, there was intent behind the wording of the question to prompt a negative response so they could use that to advance their original intent, which was to always have the matter decided in Parliament. I don’t know why they feel the need for such deception, and (2) they have no plans and no ideas for economic recovery and job growth so they have now pinned all of their hopes on the implementation of Gaming.
I have never been one to back down or be afraid to speak my mind and I wish to make it abundantly clear that I have not and do not offer consultation to the PLP and the only direct interaction I have with the Leader of the Opposition is on the basis of friendship. Additionally, when I offer my views and opinions I speak only my personal views and I speak only for me, I have no political affiliation and I have friends on both sides of the political divide, well, all three sides if you count Independents. If Minister Crockwell had done his research he would have seen my comments on Facebook the day the Referendum question was released, those comments were no different than what I spoke on the Sherri Simmons show.
What I have a difficult time comprehending is if I am alleged to be in collusion with others in trying to scuttle the Referendum why I am I accuse of being in collusion with the PLP and not Hon. John Barritt or BEST who had the same complaints about the question that I did? Maybe because in aligning me with them, Minister Crockwell attempting to use me as a scapegoat in his grandstanding to get out of a Referendum was not seen as being tied in with a possible successful maligning the PLP.
What Minister Crockwell may not know is that I have had numerous occasions to interact, through private conversation, with a number of his fellow Ministers of Government and have offered advice to them on issues where I have direct knowledge and experience and as far as I am aware my advice has been taken. Additionally, within their election platform, the OBA promised the implementation of Co- Generation for the reduction of the cost of electricity, Minister Crockwell needs to ask an immediate former Minister of my involvement in that field and that particular advice. He can also ask another immediate former Minister about a submission made, which is an overview of a Fully Certified PV Installer Course that a company I have ownership in is proposing to introduce to Bermuda for the education and certification of persons interested in entering the field, along with the potential for apprenticeships within our company. SO rather than attempt to label me as a “known PLP supporter” Minister Crockwell should take note that I have actually given his party move assistance than I have given the PLP.
In my view, the OBA, as part of its promise to do politics differently, (How many remember that promise?) and to listen to the people should implement that promise and come clean with the people and admit that it never intended to put the Gaming matter to the people by way of a Referendum. It is either that or we should expect that anytime the OBA is challenged it will take its ball and run home.
In closing, I have decided to take this route as I have and always will protect my integrity with vigour and I will not allow anyone to sully it.
Minister Crockwell has two options (1) retract his comments or (2) prove that I said, “my PLP friends”. The choice is his, so let us see how honourable the Honourable Minister is.
Guilden M. Gilbert, Jr.