New leader’s challenge to nurture prosperity

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  • Young Premier: David Burt and wife Kristin, and their children Ed and Nia (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Young Premier: David Burt and wife Kristin, and their children Ed and Nia (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“The youth of a nation are the trustees of posterity” — Benjamin Disraeli

Bermuda has a new leader. Not yet 40 years old, David Burt swept to a decisive victory last week. In a masterful display of politics, collaboration, shrewdness, organisation, and media encapsulation, our new Premier demonstrated skill, sagacity, and tenacity to reach this pinnacle of achievement.

In my retrospective observation, the Progressive Labour Party’s campaign cannily employed tactics to truly understand their constituents by experiencing grassroot politics first-hand as well as utilising strategies of our successful political neighbours across the pond to convey their message. The strategies, which it seems were carefully implemented long before the election was called, included:

• significant new voter registration drives;

• neighbourhood get to know meetings;

• consistent, persistent social media messages;

• a focus on empowering hope to the disenfranchised, unemployed, seniors coping with affordable healthcare on limited budgets, and other concerns;

• emphasising their platform, “Time for a Change: Time to Put Bermudians First,” and

• The First 100 Days Mandate, particularly reminiscent of the US political scene.

We are just beginning to know our new, young Premier.

According to LinkedIn, Mr Burt attended Saltus Academy, graduated from Florida Air Academy, earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Finance, Information Systems, cum laude, then a Master of Science in Information Systems Development from George Washington University.

A private research university with 14 undergraduate, graduate schools, among them Media and Public Affairs, International Affairs, Law School, and Public Health, GWU is most well known for preparing leaders for careers in government, international affairs and journalism, enrolling an average of 25,000 students per year from more than 130 countries.

More than 1,100 alumni work in the US Foreign Services while notable alumni include former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former US Senate majority leader Harry Reid, and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Our new Premier has impeccable educational credentials, is economically confident and according to his proud, supportive family, self-deprecating, practical and has a real sense of humour.

That humour showing forth in his first picture posting as Premier, changing his son’s diaper — hope it wasn’t a messy one!

His first social media posting prior to taking the oath of office is a great subliminal message that, no matter the position, life’s realities so often revolve around the basics: childcare, education, equality for all, paying the bills, taking care of our elders, having something left to set aside for the rainy day with enough financial planning success to accomplish one’s dreams. Isn’t that what we all want and hope to achieve?

We will also know more as our new Premier moves forward to the most important journey of his career, delivering on his party’s platform promises and visions of progress and peace:

• putting our children and their future first;

• providing tools and opportunities for Bermuda’s unemployed and underemployed workforce;

• promoting an economy that works for all Bermudians;

• reducing the racial tension that has permeated our country;

• assuring quality and affordable healthcare; and

• giving seniors the quality of life that their sacrifice deserves.

These are tall orders and serious challenges, and there are more:

• meeting and exceeding the expectations of the platform vision for economic stability, collaboration, co-operation, and inclusion;

• continuing to bring Bermuda’s Government back to fiscally sound budgets and financial surpluses, while reducing our massive foreign debt;

• protecting and funding our working population’s pension contributions;

• fiercely protecting our international finance centre’s reputation as Bermuda continues to face (and I think will always face) financially serious onslaughts from global policy organisations and large country governments;

• continuing focus on receptive commercial environment for increased foreign direct investment. We need foreign currency for global trade;

• providing initiatives and incentives to attract our young educated Bermuda careerists to return home to contribute to Bermuda’s economic growth;

• bringing hope for unity and continued financial success into the future.

Our country has returned to the economic positivity after a long, draining recession — the depressing reality of which had never been experienced by all generations alive in Bermuda today. We need to remember as unpleasant as it was — that at the recession’s depth, there were empty storefronts, few shoppers on the streets, thousands of people made redundant and leaving the island, and precious little hope for progress in financial recovery.

During that time, in attendance at an economic discussion, a panellist was asked what he thought would happen to Bermuda. His thoughtful response was: “Bermuda will eventually recover, but it won’t be the same. Bermudians will have jobs, but their jobs won’t be what they were, and their lifestyles will have to reflect that simple fact.”

Bermuda cannot go back to that time again, nor do any of us, personally, want to experience such a time again ever, and it is worth emphasising, too, that some families have to yet to fully recover.

So as we see that a new beginning is here, we look to our new Premier to continue to lead our country to increasing prosperity and a secure financial future for everyone.

Mr Burt has delivered a message of reconciliation and inclusion to all Bermudian residents.

Time for us to step up, work together to support him and his vision for the future of our beloved island.

We wish our new Premier the very best. Congratulations!

Martha Harris Myron CPA CFP JSM: Masters of Law — international tax and financial services. Pondstraddler Life, financial perspectives for Bermuda islanders with multinational families and international connections on the Great Atlantic Pond. Contact:

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Published Jul 22, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 21, 2017 at 7:42 pm)

New leader’s challenge to nurture prosperity

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