Sylvia Hayward-Harris *File photo
Sylvia Hayward-Harris *File photo

FRIDAY, DEC. 14: Long-time PLP supporter Sylvia Hayward-Harris has written to constituents in Pembroke West Central explaining why she has switched allegiance to the OBA.

Ms Hayward-Harris — whose parents were among the first to join the PLP and whose mother stood several times as a party candidate — said she was canvassing for constituency OBA candidate Nick Kempe.

She added: “I have voted PLP in every election for which I have been on the island, ever since I was old enough to vote. I will not be voting PLP this year.”

Ms Hayward-Harris, whose brother is Stuart Hayward, head of environmental group BEST, said her mother had been “a champion for the under-served” and believed in “justice, equality, fairness, honesty and personal responsibility”.

She added: “She’d have been appalled at the extravagance, improvidence and seeming loss of values displayed by her beloved party since the last election.”

Ms Hayward-Harris said: “Over the last few years, Bermuda’s debt has reached astronomical proportions.

“Violent crime, gangs, unequal justice, unemployment, under-employment, health-related concerns, abysmal public education test scores and tumbling tourist numbers constitute our daily media diet.

“Mortgage foreclosures, restaurant and business closures have been occurring at an alarming rate. Homelessness and tent cities are mushrooming.

“Meanwhile, the Government refuses to answer legitimate questions, refuses to open the accounts to public scrutiny, spends borrowed money on non-essentials, makes promises and breaks them, labels prudent advice as scaremongering and spends its time trying to demonize the OBA instead of presenting us, the voting public, with a realistic plan to address these serious concerns.”

Ms Hayward-Harris said she was an early supporter of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance and admitted she had “some grave misgivings” when the
UBP splinter group agreed to merge with the bulk of UBP MPs to form the OBA.

She said: “I admit to some deep prejudices that were gradually transformed as I watched people I had once considered high and mighty become who they really were, just ordinary human beings working very hard, together with a truly broad cross-section of Bermuda for the love and benefit of our beloved island.”

She added: “I’ll tell you this, if they are following some master plan — which I don’t believe and don’t really care — they aren’t sitting back waiting for the Government to be handed to them on a platter.”