I feel for Marc Bean. Not only do I sympathise, I can truly say I empathise. It’s not easy to sit in those not so cushy red chairs and support a government who in your eyes is not doing enough, to say nothing when they do something completely wrong or hold your tongue when they have dropped the ball. Been there, done that. Not fun. At the end of the day a senate position is chosen at the whim of the Premier, he can put you in and take you out whenever he feels like it. It’s hard to be in a position of supposed power and not be able to truly do anything about things that you see are completely wrong. The problem is that once you taste power for real it becomes an intoxicating elixir that many feel they cannot let go of. Politicians become more interested in maintaining power than the needs of the people who elected them. It happens all over the world. Bermuda is no different, Bermuda is not another world.
It is a shame that Senator Bean would have to consider losing his position for saying what he truly believed, for speaking the truth. What is a greater shame is that it’s a real possibility. People need politicians who care more about the people than their position. We need more Marc Beans’ and Dale Butlers’. I’m not saying that everyone who is in a position of power presently cares only about power, but I certainly would not exonerate them all.
I look at the PLP and to this day I still believe that of the three existing parties they are still the better option with some of the best minds in the country among its ranks. However, the best minds are not in the driving seat. The best minds are not in power. And so, unsurprisingly education remains a problem. Yes, there are promises of good things to come but we’ve also lost a generation in that time and stand the possibility to lose more.
Education is a big thing for me, anyone who knows me, knows I take my own education quite seriously (the reason for my long hiatus) and my love of country and its future course means that I am keenly aware of what a poor education system means for the future of the island. So can I blame Senator Bean for his frustrations? Hardly. We as Bermudians are not blind, we are not stupid. We know what havoc has been wreaked by this faulty education system. We see the repercussions with every story on gun violence. What I do not understand however, is that for a government that invokes the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement and the principles that they fought for and others died for how can they do this to us? How can you not improve the education system when you know it has the potential to free us all? Yes, our bodies are out of bondage but a shoddy education means that our minds will not be free. Does the present configuration of the PLP government lack the political will to make substantive changes in the public education system?
The truly sad thing about this situation is that at the end of the day Marc is right. The PLP government has dropped the ball on education. Twelve years and nothing substantial to show for it. This isn’t to say that government has done nothing at all. I for one am happy about the Cambridge system being implemented however I can’t help but wonder how much better our educational and social situation would be if this system had been implemented ten years ago. All key stakeholders need to do more, do better as expeditiously as possible, end of story. It is not that I don’t acknowledge or appreciate the work that has been done before, I do. However, the students are depending on everyone, from the Ministry and Civil Service to the teachers and principals unions, to give them a solid foundation in life and thus far that has not happened. The PLP government needs to accept its fault in this situation and do better. Don’t kill the messenger.