Bermudians may have noticed an article last week by PLP MP Michael Weeks accusing the OBA Government of misleading the public again…this time over the South Shore Grand Atlantic housing project.

 Mr Weeks said the OBA, “misled, and possibly deceived Bermudians” into not purchasing units at Grand Atlantic by saying it was a white elephant.  

We did say it was a white elephant…because it is a white elephant — a monument to the PLP’s fatally flawed housing policy, which saw them throwing half a ton of money at the problem, long after it ceased to be a problem.  

There was no need for this housing development. The number of non-Bermudians leaving the island as a consequence of the PLP’s hostility to international business had already, before Grand Atlantic was begun, taken the pressure off the housing market.  

Rents were coming down and landlords had begun to have difficulty finding tenants.

They took a piece of prime, gorgeous Bermuda real estate and spoiled it with a clunky, crammed-together series of buildings, each a carbon copy of the other. This was supposed to be land set aside for a hotel development which, had it been built, might well now be contributing to the restoration of our embattled economy.  

Instead, it was a $45-million drain on the public purse. After the giant sucking noise that that created, we are left with a piece of property worth nowhere near that.

Anyone who has seen the property knows it is a misfit — too dense, too large for the site, too everything not right. Everybody heard the warnings about cliff erosion from the environmental group BEST and environmentalist David Wingate. Everybody knows only one unit was ever sold, and everybody knows perfectly well why that was. It is clearly a white elephant, as we said it was.

You would think Michael Weeks would be embarrassed to try to turn such a mess into a rod to beat the Government with. But no, not one bit.  

Scandal

It is the PLP’s media strategy to turn everything the OBA does to correct the PLP Government’s misdeeds into a scandal, presumably on the grounds that if you throw enough mud, some of it is bound to stick.

They did it with commercial immigration, they did it with gaming, they did it with the Tourism Authority, they did it with marijuana reform, they did it with delay in putting up CCTV cameras… you name it, the list goes on and on.  

In many cases, the PLP would save themselves the trouble of writing these articles by simply phoning the Minister and asking him to explain what it is they don’t understand. But that would considerably blunt their strategy of papering the media with mud slinging… playing the politics of putting smoke screens between Bermudians and the truth.

The glue that holds all of their complaints together is the line that we aren’t doing enough for Bermudians. It is a ludicrous charge in the light of the time and effort we put into trying to get Bermuda back on track… into trying to find creative ways to increase economic activity to get Bermudians back to work.

It’s doubly ridiculous in the light of the fact that it was the PLP and their shop-‘til-you-drop policies that got us into this awful mess in the first place.  

Did they think about Bermudians and the damage they were doing to them?  

Not once, as far as we can determine.