Watergate, JetGate. Did the Premier go on a private jet? Yes. That’s admitted.

Was it a wise or sensible thing to get on that jet with the mini-gang that went with him? No. As Elder Statesman “Q E” says, it was: “…stupid…”.

Who did the Premier meet after he and the mini-gang landed somewhere in the US? We don’t have hard evidence, so we don’t know.

Have the Premier and the members of his mini-gang been straightforward with the Bermuda public whom they were elected to lead and represent? No.

Instead there has been obfuscation and a non-delivery, to the people of Bermuda, of the truth and the whole truth about that trip to somewhere in the USA to meet somebody to discuss something that involved the people of Bermuda.

September 30th, 1938, the morning a suited Neville Chamberlain, then Prime Minister of the UK, stepped off a British Airways special flight just in from Munich, Germany. Chamberlain walked to a bank of microphones and told the British people that he had an agreement that ensured: “Peace in our time”.

Chamberlain was wrong. Less than twelve months later, the Second World War began. History and historians have not been kind to the memory of Neville Chamberlain.

Bermuda’s Premier and the mini-gang that went with him boarded a private jet that left Bermuda. The jet landed somewhere in the USA. The Premier and mini-gang met with somebody in the USA and discussed something affecting Bermuda. The Premier and mini-gang then boarded a private jet — was it the same jet that they flew up on? — flew back to Bermuda, stepped off the plane in Bermuda, and, for a long time, told no one of that trip.

Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 action is regarded as the action of a weak man. President Richard Nixon’s long period of obfuscation about Watergate has been cemented into history as the stupid actions of a United States President who had high potential.

The Premier’s lack of openness and the obscuring of what happened somewhere, sometime, with somebody, about something is a pointless exercise in nothingness.

If the trip happened, and if it was in the best public interest of all Bermuda and all Bermudians, then, like Chamberlain, wave the ‘piece of paper’ and tell Bermuda and Bermudians what happened. Even if it was a pointless and unsuccessful venture — as, ultimately, Chamberlain’s proved to be.

This ‘Jetgate’ affair involving the Premier and the mini-gang has slowly subsided into a cheap, sordid, sleazy, murky affair that is far more reminiscent of underworld crime bosses meeting to trade in white slaves and drugs. The further descent into lawsuits and the idiotic Parliamentary ballet dancing around picky Parliamentary procedure confirms the tawdriness of it all.

In this Bermuda affair, the simple candour of Chamberlain has been replaced by Nixonian obfuscation. Bermuda gets the sly and tacky Nixonian “yes, there was a meeting with somebody, somewhere, someplace, sometime, about something.”


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Kudos to journalist Ayo Johnson