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UK’s interference has ‘undercut stability of democracy’ in Bermuda- Hon Kathy L. Simmons

- says Bermuda embraces without reservation the ‘inalienable right of its people to self-determination’
Bermuda’s Attorney-General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Reform, Hon Kathy L. Simmons has told the United Nations General Assembly that when the United Kingdom has and does involve itself in Bermuda’s domestic affairs, it undercuts the stability of its democracy and undermines and demoralises the collective desire for Bermuda to handle its own affairs. Photo: gov.bm
The Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Reform Hon Kathy L. Simmons has said Bermuda embraces without reservation the inalienable right of its people to self-determination which underpins the mandate of the UN’s Special Committee. Photo: shropshirestar.com
The Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Reform Hon Kathy L. Simmons has said Bermuda embraces without reservation the inalienable right of its people to self-determination which underpins the mandate of the UN’s Special Committee. Photo: shropshirestar.com
HAMILTON, Bermuda- “When the United Kingdom has and does involve itself in Bermuda’s domestic affairs, it undercuts the stability of our democracy and undermines and demoralises the collective desire for Bermuda to handle our own affairs.”

Those were some of the sentiments expressed by Bermuda’s Attorney-General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Reform, Hon Kathy L. Simmons.

The Bermuda AG was at the time addressing the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples held June 13 – June 14, 2022.

Uk’s interference never good for democracy- Simmons

According to Hon Simmons, by all objective measures Bermuda remains an advanced society characterised by economic, social and political stability and for over 350 years the people have governed themselves with minimal interference by the United Kingdom (UK) in its domestic affairs.

“However, when the United Kingdom has and does involve itself in Bermuda’s domestic affairs, it undercuts the stability of our democracy and undermines and demoralises the collective desire for Bermuda to handle our own affairs.”

Hon Simmons further stated that the powers in the Bermuda Constitution Order 1968 reserved to the Governor, when exercised in the United Kingdom’s interests, effectively “stifle Bermuda’s growth” and dampen the legitimate aspirations and the manifest will of the people.

‘Fault lines’

“Moreover, fault-lines emerge routinely where the domestic interests of Bermuda and the express democratic will of the people are at odds with the interests of the United Kingdom’s own domestic political positions. Yet, Bermudian citizens have no vote, nor any direct representation in the United Kingdom Parliament or the United Kingdom executive government,” Hon Simmons argued.

The Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Reform said Bermuda embraces without reservation the inalienable right of its people to self-determination which underpins the mandate of the UN’s Special Committee.

“However, notwithstanding this indisputable inalienable right and the declarations in support of its practical implementation, the Government of Bermuda shares the concern of the General Assembly that, more than 60 years after the adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, there still remain 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories, including Bermuda.

Renewed commitment to decolonisation

“I respectfully submit today that while progress has been made in Bermuda, decolonisation remains an elusive ideal which stands little chance of being realised unless the historical political polarisation surrounding the subject is displaced by the will of a populace emboldened with knowledge and appreciation of Bermuda’s present and future constitutional arrangements as they pertain to decolonisation.

Hon Simmons shared that the Government of Bermuda has expressed a renewed commitment to the development and execution of legal and diplomatic strategies aimed at achieving “long overdue constitutional reform” as a precursor to decolonisation.

Coincidentally, the sentiment in the Virgin Islands has always been that the UK has not been fulfilling its obligation to help the territory achieve independence but has recently been more willing to suspend its constitution and frustrate its efforts towards self-determination.

34 Responses to “UK’s interference has ‘undercut stability of democracy’ in Bermuda- Hon Kathy L. Simmons”

  • mulato (23/06/2022, 17:36) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    We called them, they didnt come.
  • craig (23/06/2022, 18:14) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Bye, Felicia
  • head coach (23/06/2022, 18:19) Like (30) Dislike (4) Reply
    Yeah but our premier was trying to traffic tonnes of cocaine so…
    • Rubber Duck (24/06/2022, 05:05) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Their former premier is on trial for accepting bribes. This is one of his hangers on.
  • Windy (23/06/2022, 18:45) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    What's new here?
  • ... (23/06/2022, 19:22) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yea yea how about an article about these unsolved murders
  • HOW ABOUT (23/06/2022, 19:44) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    BORIS , EH ? BERMUDA HAS THE SAME KIND OF PEOPLE LIKE THOSE WHO SAT IN THE ROAD ( BROKEN DOWN NEWS AGAIN ????
  • Mother land (23/06/2022, 19:49) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Problem solved. Ask for a one way ticket back to the mother land.
  • simple solution (23/06/2022, 20:19) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Go Independent.
    • @simple solution (24/06/2022, 10:08) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Here is something some kids would say "I Did not know how good things were with me until I left my mother's house. I had to pay rent, water, internent, electricity and still buy food. I was not put out. I know at some point I would have leave anyway but I wish I never did" Hoinh independent is not as easy as people think.
  • UK (23/06/2022, 21:49) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    Its a UK territory, how the heck its going to be interference?????
    • GOD HELP YOU (24/06/2022, 03:56) Like (2) Dislike (7) Reply
      Uk claim anything as their territory boo... The people should have their way/rights!
  • Funny (23/06/2022, 22:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    did our Governor not jail their Premier?
  • fromafar (23/06/2022, 22:25) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply
    well said AG put away your selfish desires we need to run our own country . You who are so happy with the UK go there and live .
  • E. Leonard (23/06/2022, 23:34) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    The UK’s unilateral power and control of the last few small remaining colonies, overseas territories, is by designed by European powers, though now an inconvenience and a nuisance that it (they) hope would vanish. The following is a summary of how the European powers divided Africa and the Americas among themselves. Between 15 November 1884- 26 February 1885, the Berlin West Africa Conference comprising some 13 European countries and others partitioned Africa among themselves. African leaders were not invited to the conference to have any say if they wanted to be colonized and ruled by other countries.

    With the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, Portugal and Spain agreed to divide the globe with Portugal controlling the non-Christian lands in the eastern half, including Brazil; Spain, the western half, including the Americas. Soon after other European countries, ie, England, France, Holland, etc, battled Portugal and Spain for control and ownership of colonies. The control and ownership of colonies with African slave labour made European countries wealthy and powerful. However, this wealth and power through confiscating land, natural resources, and enslaving labour resulted in displacement, disestablishment, enslavement, and genocide of indigenous people. The omnipotent European powers action changed communities, cultures, history, heritage, and lives of local people.

    Moreover, as noted earlier, the land grab generated power and wealth for European powers. For example, the Sugar Islands in the West Indies with slave labour produced dizzying profits for the sugar barons in England. Sugar was a vital commodity and a labour intensive industry, resulting in slaves way exceeding whites on the sugar plantations creating much fear for whites. In response to the fear, the powerful plantation owners/operators imposed strict control of slaves, ie, Barbados 1661 Slave Code which was adopted throughout the rest of West Indian islands and on plantations of the Southern US. After WWII and under UN decolonization effort, many former West Indian colonies attained independence; a few smaller locales still remain, ie, Anguilla, Montserrat, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands, Bermuda, etc. The UK as the Administering Power is tasked with preparing and guiding these territories towards a full measure of self-governing. The territories have constitutions that afford minimal measure of self-governing. However, the constitutions are replete many democratic deficits,ie, special responsibilities, retained powers, reserved powers, and the power of assent to bills passed by the HOA. Further, devolved powers can be reserved, eg, the current threat of suspending the VI constitution, hanging over its head like the Sword of Damocles. The UK has unilateral power over the VI and other OTs. They have no means in which to redress grievances. It is the UK’s way or the highway or by-way. It is a take it situation. It is a Hobson’s choice situation.
    • RealPol (24/06/2022, 09:49) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Real talk. As noted, the UK is omnipotent wielding unilateral power and unaccountable only onto itself. Slaves masters brutalized, exploited and oppressive slaves and were highly conscious that the treatment would enrage slaves. The draconian and animalistic treatment, coupled with the disproportionate ratio of slaves to white plantation owners and administrators, drove putting strict control laws and measures in place. The strict behavioral and attitudinal control survived, extended and is employed in the OTs. The slaves and their descendants were viewed as beasts and treated as animals.
  • Set of failures.. (24/06/2022, 03:44) Like (18) Dislike (11) Reply
    Easy and convenient to Blame Britain or anyone else for you all lack of vision, corruption and failures .
  • Research (24/06/2022, 06:38) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bermuda is at least 3 billion dollars in debt 5 billion if you include future civil service pension and health liability short falls , the government is still spending like a drunk sailor, don’t look to Bermuda to lead the way.
    • E. Leonard (24/06/2022, 10:17) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Research, $3-5B may sound like a huge number for a small locale, but all debt are not bad. Drilling down on the numbers may be needed. If a government, company, etc, does not have the assets to invest in needed projects, it generally borrows prudently to fund them. What is Bermuda’s debt to GDP ratio? Can Bermuda afford its $3-5B potential debt? What is the VI debt to GDP ratio? What is the estimated cost of the VI’s backlog of critical projects? Can the VI afford to prudently borrow to fund them? Will the UK provide grants to assist in funding the projects?
  • Debt per capita (24/06/2022, 06:47) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bermuda approx $120000
    BVI approx $6000
  • Reply (24/06/2022, 06:51) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
    Look how well the independent countries are doing much better than the bvi in many ways

    Free the people you white master why do we have a white governor in 2022?
  • @E. Leonard (24/06/2022, 10:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Drilling down in the hope of hitting oil is about their only option $500,000 per day in interest payments a shrinking work population to tax and shrinking economy, a head in the clouds political mentality still reigns. I understand Inflation reduces the real value of debt but only as long as you can stay solvent while keeping up the payments , Bermuda’s downfall will be the voting publics demands for cake everyday and it’s sitting government’s appeasement of that mentality simply to stay in power .
    • E. Leonard (24/06/2022, 13:30) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      @E. Leonard, I have not visited Bermuda but I will take a guess that it borrowed to invest on infrastructure and other critical projects with a high return on investment. From on line sources, experts suggest a prudent debt to GDP ratio of 40% for developing countries; developed countries, 60%. These suggested numbers can be temporarily exceeded. Again, from on line sources, Bermuda’s 2019 GDP was approx $7.48B. Based on this data, I calculate its debt to GDP ratio at approx 45%. Its estimated 2022 budget is $1.08B.

      By contrast, the VI had a $1.027B GDP (2017, Wikipedia) and $173M debt(2017, Wikipedia). Based on this data, I calculate its debt to GDP as approx 17%. Can the VI afford to borrow to invest on education, health, public safety, infrastructure, economic diversification, social safety nets, etc? The VI 2022 O&M and Capital budget is approx $400M.
      • @E. Leonard (24/06/2022, 14:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        @E. Leonard, “Can the VI afford to borrow to invest on education, health, public safety, infrastructure, economic diversification, social safety nets, etc?” I read you saying that the BVI has to borrow to invest in all these projects? But the BVI is struggling financially so where will it find the money? On the other hand, it needs to invest on these projects. Do you have any suggestions?
        • E. Leonard (24/06/2022, 20:19) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          Disclaimer: I have no expertise in either finance or accounting. My comments are from a layperson perspective.

          In the public sector, a no nonsense, by the book, and strict management and control of finance is a must. No doubt, the VI as a small, resource-poor locale that depends heavily on a fragile service economy ( tourism and financial services) faces financial challenges. In addition to strict management and controls, here are a few suggestions:
          a)identify revenue streams;
          b) set overall tax rates to either maximizes revenue or economic growth;
          c) understand that all budget have game characteristics and are political documents. Learn the rules of the game, ie, how much money government spends, how it spends it, and why it spends the way it does;
          d) recognize that budgets are two crucial resources to get positive outcomes; personnel, other;
          e)budget efficiency is critical to delivering the best services to the most people;
          f) place high priority on budget management, for it is guarantee that government will never have adequate dollars to do all the things that are needed;
          g)make effective project planning and execution a top priority;
          i) master cutting and investing, ie, moving funding from a lower priority to a higher priority;
          j) exercise prudent borrowing to fund critical projects;
          k) establish discrete Operations and Management, and Capital budgets;
          l) establish strict controls for procurement of goods and services;
          m) conduct end of fiscal year budget execution review report;

          n) audit, audit, audit…..



          • @E.Leonard (25/06/2022, 16:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
            @@E. Leonard, are you sure you are a novice in regards to finance and accounting. Seems as if you have some knowledge.
  • @E.Leonard (24/06/2022, 14:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I only wish the money spent was an investment but sadly no. GDP as a figure to assess borrowing limits works for countries with standard tax regimes , but as you are aware like the BVI Bermuda is in a different and slightly unusual position both countries have a sizable GDP but very low corporate taxation . The Tax havens GDP in no way reflects governments ability to borrow funds because they offer ultra low corporate taxation , I suppose it’s like making the mistake of only looking at company’s turn over and offering a loan on that basis without understanding its current and future profits that need to be assessed. If you do some further research you will become aware of the dire financial situation Bermuda is in , in your second comment you used the word prudent I think this is the crux of the issue. I think Bermudas government income debt to lending ratio is a more sound figure to use. An annual budget of around a billion , usually in recent years over budget in double figures still borrowing 120 million last year to cover deficit. Budget one billion running a constant deficit shrinking aging work force shrinking economy debt 3-5 billion is a massive problem.
    • E. Leonard (25/06/2022, 08:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It seems Bermuda and VI share some commonalities, ie, a) small (21 sq mile, 59 sq mike), b) resource-poor, c)service /fragile economy (financial services, tourism), d)financial services major revenue generator, e)tourism greater employer, f)an OT under UK umbrella, g)financial challenges, etc. Both have thousands of registered/incorporated companies companies but seemed to realize only limited financial benefits, ie, registration fee. Maintaining concern for competitiveness, they may need to look at other corporate tax opportunities, ie, capital gains/dividends, income, profits, assets, etc. For example, Bloomberg in 2019, reported the VI having over 400,000 registered companies with a combined asset value of approx $1.5T. It also noted that one could not tell by strolling thru the Road Town, the capital. It should be a win-win for both companies and territories. Moreover, Singapore another small island nation (approx 270 sq mile) is a thriving, economic powerhouse that is also into financial services management. Perhaps, both Bermuda and VI can benchmark Singapore. They both need a sustainable and resilient financial/budget plan.
  • FYI (24/06/2022, 15:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bermuda governments income to debt ratio is 340% a fiscal cliff. Source Wikipedia
  • Common Sense (25/06/2022, 05:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some very good points have been made in this discussion, but, we have to keep in mind the BVI and Bermuda are not economies that GDP type economics work, as pointed out by Mr Leonard. In this capitalist world, a corporations share price is decided largely upon it’s anticipated future earnings, and, this is the problem the two territories in question face, our future anticipated earnings are extremely difficult to “anticipate”.
  • @common sense (25/06/2022, 11:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Every offshore company registered in the BVI could loose money or indeed make massive profits for the next 100 years the BVI government still just taxes the registered entity that is their only income boom or bust. E.Leonard suggested changing this regime, suicidal unless all our competitors do the same. IB incorporations is a easy figure to assess we know what we charge therefore we at least know what are likely government budget is regarding IB’s input , with this scenario we are well insulated from the ups and downs of the markets , we’re not fighting over the ownership of the cow we’re milking it . Now the only problem is to find a government who can set a prudent budget with realistic and honest aims. Enjoyed the debate thanks.
    • Keeping it real (25/06/2022, 13:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @@Common Sense, E. Leonard clearly can speak for himself but feel Keeping It Real. It does seemed that he says change the regime. Here is an excerpt of what was said, “ Maintaining concern for competitiveness, they may need to look at other corporate tax opportunities, ie, capital gains/dividends, income, profits, assets, etc.” This discussion on economy, debt, deficit, debt to GDP, etc is different, enjoyable and enlightening. These type of debates should continue. But let’s keep it real.
    • Ne Timeas (25/06/2022, 16:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      The BVI should differentiate itself and leverage its position to get more revenue intake from the industry while staying competitive. The BVI must leverage its position as the leader or one of the leaders in the offshore financial management business.


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