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What really is the meaning of 'politician'?

What really is the meaning of ‘politician’?

August 9, 2019

It has been and it continues to be such a sobering experience to listen to most of the politicians who believe that they hold the answers to Montserrat’s misfortunes and wilfull mistakes, in the past 30 years.

And those thirty years can easily stretch back to nearly years when a serious and knowledgeable account is taken of the folly and the poisonous curse that has saturated itself in much of what Montserrat could expect to be the progress it deserves.

Over the last few years at least when there is any mention of Montserrat’s economic status and it reflects that, no sooner than there is mention of a decline in the growth rate, or improvement for that matter, anyone listening might hear the rumblings and mutterings, it is not correct, what is wrong and how bad the economy is.

It is not difficult to put blame as to why those statements go unchallenged and denounced as mere politics which in our estimation is more of the dunceness and the mediocrity that continue to prevail.

Recently and times over we might hear sounds similar to that which the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published recently when it said, that Montserrat was amongst the fastest growing economies (Monserrat (5.2 per cent)).

We find the sincerity for selfishness and lacking of a desire for truth which stifle any opportunity for the upliftment that stimulate their minds. Instead of attempting to properly analyse the state of matters and circumstances what you hear leaves us with the thought we have not seen the last state.

That report from the Auditor General, may have been well done in accordance to what ‘international’ standards it maintained could have been quite damning. AS it is we would like the audit in light of its published findings and recommendation, it would be useful to quantify the losses and the damage that single act cost Montserrat.

Since the PDM government came into power there has never been or we have not seen anywhere an analysis of how they came into power and what should have been expected. We had cautioned that if they did not take certain actions they may be considered accomplices.

Most disturbing among some of our so called politicians and those who have been pontificating as politicians, is that far too many of them believe they are fit and ready to be leaders of Montserrat. And in case anyone believes there is any talk here about requirements as to education, we get to the point and draw attention to one word, apprenticeship.

That is a big word. What credentials do they really bring? Ah! that again seems to be a ‘bad word’, but then the question is now said there is no such thing as ‘bad wud’ any more. Qualification seems to have no meaning anymore. Not required and its meaning so badly misinterpreted, all round.

How many of them look around and see or hear how many years the majority if not all of the leaders around have behind them. Of course, has anyone noted that word experience in job offers? In 2014 there was one new candidate who actually showed that he was studying politics. That you realise we would say is commendable.

Looking at one dictionary meaning of politician it says in just a few words. “One who deceives or outmaneuvers others for personal gain.” Any wonder that many people are saying they are not voting this next election! But then could it be that is what we have been saying for some time. Add dunce to that, what do we/I’get? Is that the reason a religious leader is not allowed to contest elections in some places?

Maybe you heard this before, about the lack of meaningful political alliances, political parties or political continuity to plan the ‘now and when’ for Montserrat.

That is such a big problem. Shoot down, offer no solution. “When I get there, we will put the right things in place.” Ask them for who, what, when? where?

Please stand by as we break down what seems to be a bit confusing, may be too much right now.

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Let the 25th anniversary of the volcanic crisis be a wonder

Let the 25th anniversary of the volcanic crisis be a wonder

July 19, 2019

We continue to remember that it has been 24 years since the beginning of the volcanic devastation in Montserrat, which to some extent has not ceased.

While there were a range of strategic documents emanating from the Strategic Growth Plan, there is still to come a coherent, meaningful strategic view of the self-sufficiency, we continuously hear of. That however leaves a bad sound and taste as there is so much to be done before such a ‘meaningful strategic view’ gets anywhere in the mind, much more on the tongue.

24 years on, the MVO still reminds residents (it is their job, we repeat) and visitors alike that even though the volcano has been quiet for more than nine years now major activity can still occur at any time without warning. (See todays volcanic report)

The records show that the last activity of any significance according to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) occurred in February 2010, when there was a dome collapse to the North East of the volcano.

Some time ago, Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo said that in spite of the present challenges the people of Montserrat are blessed. Premier Romeo says while residents reflect on the past losses the time should be used to look ahead on the many positives that have emerged as a result of volcanic activities.

This was in 2016. “Look at what is happening around us we are having a new power plant built, we also have geothermal wells being dug with a hope of being 100% green by 2020 or there about,” he said  “That’s a major thing ahead of most of the region with enough power to supply all we need and more, should those wells be developed as we planned and even with the solar power project that we’re planning to have.”

When the MDC (Montserrat Development Corporation) began functioning 2007-08 a new Sustainable Development Plan was created and that was to run for 12 years to 2020. Later the plans that led to the Sustainable Growth Plan (SGP) that got its blessing and support was to begin bearing fruits (some at least) in 2018.

BUT, there came a stall, unfortunately perhaps in an election year, 2014, the ‘unnecessary’ death of MDC further stagnation and today in another election year, 2019 the population decreasing by 8% by 2018, the Premier says it is not about campaign promises, with £30 million pounds already approved, “but rather what has been done what the government is doing – the government is busy tying down, managed in the end to agree to a capital program (a suggested figure to grow to £60-70 million) a hospital project, fiberoptic project, port project, housing projects, the airport runway and tower, tourism projects to improve the trails and beaches, and the Volcano interpretive station center, other maintenance projects – trying to make sure we get the project small and large to the stage we’re there ready for it to be implemented…”

High on the program is a fit for purpose Secondary School, while making the existing school improved as it can be, while getting second opinions over that which may be corruptive similar to that which involved ‘asbestos’ in roofs etc.

While not final, the Premier must tell the people how important it has been and is, to position Montserrat to “spend the money” and “finish the projects” as he said in that ZJB report.

That way, those ways, getting the long-overdue conversations to take place, doubtless when 25 years of volcanic crisis rolls around, the wonder will be what would look like when eyes open after successful cataract surgery. And it could even be sooner!

See related: Flashback July 18, 1995

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Culture plays important role in Region’s sustainable growth, development...

Culture plays important role in Region’s sustainable growth, development…

June 7, 2019

We have had on several previous occasions commented on the fact that culture is important and should be seriously considered when the occasion is warranted. That is expressly so in so many areas of our onward thrust for change and progress.

Consequently, we have always reminded, there is bad and good culture,

we always say. That alone is cause for common sense and seriousness when the topic is raised.

Here are a few excerpts taken from the Thirty-Sixth Meeting of the Council on Human and Social Development (COHSOD) on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at the CARICOM Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana.

The two-day meeting was being held under the theme ‘Leveraging CARICOM’s Cultural Assets for the Sustainable Development of the Community’. The Secretary-General said that the theme further emphasised the commitment of the Region to develop its rich and diverse cultural assets.

“It has been asserted that Culture should be seen as the fourth pillar of sustainable development, as both an enabler and driver of economic and social development and environmental sustainability, which constitute the three dimensions of sustainable development,”  said Ambassador LaRocque.

In supporting his point, he said further that cultural industries in the Region had out-performed sectors such as agriculture, finance, insurance and construction in some Member States. He, however, said that there needed to be the necessary enabling environment for the creative industries to be more competitive, and to increase their contribution to employment and growth.

Speaking about the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA),

He noted that since CARIFESTA XI in Suriname, a business component – the cultural marketplace – was introduced where managers of venues, international festivals and performing arts, buyers and booking agents were invited to see and network with Caribbean artists.  According to him, that initiative was intended to create more opportunities for the professional development of artists and for the export of their products and services.

Dr. the Hon. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Trinidad and Tobago, who gave the feature address at the opening, was also of the view that the theme chosen for the hosting of the Meeting was very relevant, remarking that a paradigm shift was needed to create a more self-sustaining cultural economic cycle.

“We must place ourselves in the driver’s seat – charting together the course for cultural development based on already identified cultural assets – driving the way forward, instead of accepting windfall successes.”

She expressed the view that in addition to developing the creative sector, the Community’s icons and citizens who had made outstanding contributions should be honoured so as to “incentivise” excellence in the cultural sphere.

Hon. Dr. George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion, Guyana, also posited the value of culture, saying it was time for it to be mainstreamed in the Regional agenda.

He noted that the Community’s culture was dynamic and that the cultural and creative industries would continue to evolve, even while being the key vehicles driving the development of the Region. He encouraged those present to continue to work together to achieve tangible outcomes.

See: Full CARICOM Release: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/caricom-culture-plays-important-role-in-regions-sustainable-growth-development/


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Change the idle discourse, there is only one choice going forward

Change the idle discourse, there is only one choice going forward

May 24, 2019

We never understood why a single presentation about the already accepted benefits of ‘medical marijuana’ having been abruptly pulled off the radio station, was not seen by the courts as an infringement on the person’s freedom of expression, but rather as some right to protect from ‘criminal’ activity. The matter is still to be resolved at the Appeal Courts – Privy Council level.

Within months after that not only that the said discussion was hyped up to another level with phrases such as legalising or decriminalising marijuana, indeed some measure of that has been done all around the world, US, UK, the Caribbean, etc.

Jumping forward we hear all kinds of ‘chatter’ about the subject, with the only attempt being done at any discussion on what IS or at least somewhat a fairly complex matter, a mission from CARICOM, or was it OECS that held a one-night forum here.

What is done anywhere else in the world, be it next door or at the farthest end of the world, when it is good, no one shouts or even smell adaptation, yet we seem so ready to accept and jump in the tub with suspect activities without any real discussion, education where necessary and understanding so we can benefit from the good if any in what is taking place.

The ‘idle and deep down baseless, goalless’ chatter surrounding ‘marijuana’ which is is nothing more than political gimmicks, is not worthy of discussion in the Legislative Assembly. All that does is a lack understanding and appreciation for what that the Speaker tried to explain it ought to be a few weeks ago. There was a time when regional discussions looked to Montserrat representation for the guide when all or most of the issues were scattered.

This is an issue that deserves far more than what has been reaching our airwaves. Already every week, nearly every day there is news of the fall-out from what is being perceived as the legalising or decriminalising of the ‘drug’. There is work to be done especially when one discovers that there are pushbacks already on some supposedly carefully thought-out all related matters.

It is not at all funny for that matter we mentioned languishing somehow up to the Privy Council, when all the presenter Claude Gerald wanted to do was to draw attention to what had been already well accepted that there was medicinal benefit to marijuana, not the  mere ‘use of it’, because well-known too, there is danger depending on how used, pretty much like many other ‘legal’ drugs. He was never allowed to get beyond saying or even describing what he was about to say.

This is hardly unlike so many other real, important and serious matters relevant to the well-being, progress and prosperity to this island. Listen to or note the absence of the sensibility of just about anything coming from most, nearly all of our politicians about matters relating to the relevant issues mentioned. And this is of course not just limited to the politicians, but the leadership and management generally. It is now very widespread. And contrary to what some may want to believe there appears on the surface enough to mislead. 

Unfortunately, selfishness and refusal to understand the newness and usefulness of the hyped ‘IT technology’; surface hypocrisies, will continue to be to the detriment to anything worthwhile and good for this country. Secrecy and corruption; blatant bad, made to look good, catching up and being selfishly ‘politically correct’, add the hypocrisy that comes along will all create problems for even or especially ‘spend the monies’. Let’s have some constructive dialogue, the time now is right.

‘Jus wonderin who we can get to moderate that.’

Getting to critical thoughts. When DFID mentioned on two occasions, in 2008 and 2012 about being ready to be serious about the then 13-year volcanic devastation, their interest in growth, supporting the ports ‘sea and air’, both Premiers since 2008 have removed the airport off the table of discussion. Neither of them, one more so than the other, had ever said that DFID had shown no interest in the one equally critical to the other.

It is the ‘chief minister’ in 2008 who we call on – we believe is capable, respected, honest and sincere enough to take Montserrat from here. But listen carefully and know what you hear – or don’t hear. But alas, the future is so uncertain. It is unimaginable, they who say, as their own belief is questionable, they have the know-how. Here is a warning for them. They should be ready to answer the question, “what do you believe you require to be a legislator and potentially, the leader of the country?” Then there is another, but that is for when the time comes.

(See marijuana stories in this issue)

END

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Who of those serve in the LegAss understand being 'honourable'

Who of those serve in the LegAss understand being ‘honourable’

May 3, 2019

It was obvious that those of us listening to the events as they unfolded in the Legislative Assembly (LegAss), on that somewhat tumultuous March 29, 2019, that the story was not near what was coming over the airwaves. It was such that even those who might have been present in the gallery were unaware of what was taking place.

It turns out and there are those of us who would easily understand from being present in the gallery at times and those who would say what and this and that which they wouldn’t do, if they were the Speaker or a legislator, depending on the circumstances.

Over the last several years for over a decade, it wasn’t difficult to tell if a Speaker was being more than bias towards a government or opposition or different members as the case may be. Whichever way that was, except the members were prepared to take some action as may be or could be necessary, in an environment where people talk out mostly in gossip, it meant the situation would only get worse.

It was an unpleasant experience, though not surprising because somehow the lack of integrity and just ordinary common sense that is prevailing among many, leaves no doubt that being forthright for honesty and decency is somehow at an all time low to the point where good is unnoticed, wrong acceptable, and bad is seen as the norm, and good.

With regards to the behaviour of our legislators, or some of them, it was surprising taking into consideration the little rattle preceding here that the Speaker would hold this opinion when she said this. “I find it very troubling that there could be Members of this House, leaders in our community, setters of standards for the others of us who could declare that they find the occurrences of March 29t altogether out of order, regrettable, unacceptable and never to be condoned, and in the same breath also declare that the primary consideration is not the violation, but the votes that they might not get in the upcoming elections, from voters who might disagree with the penalties meted out to those members who violated the rules of the house.”

That is indeed really quite sad to hear, listening to the six charges she read out, and all she had said before. Of course, that may be because she had just said this prior to that statement. “Members are required to take a stand when problems arise and indeed where members are unwilling to take a stand it becomes a problem. To the extent that the members refuse to hold their members to the highest standards they also prevent the Speaker from properly defending the dignity and reputation of the House and, in this case, from addressing the indignity that was heaped upon the House.”

Let’s list them here, the infractions of the offending members. Disruption of house proceedings. Violation of the dignity and honour of the House. Disregard for the authority of the Chair. Unparliamentary language. Leaving the House without the permission of the Speaker. Grave misconduct in the House, including abuse of the use of parliamentary speech.

The Speaker says she doesn’t see these or much else as an attack on her or even disrespect to her. If a singe of those charges in any mix can be made against any other member of the house that does tell of the dire situation this territory faces as it is already looking out to hear or see those who from among them and others who will present themselves to the electorate in less than a year’s time.

There are those who were unhappy that she spoke so long on the matter, but from what she said it appears that it was necessary. It is difficult to believe that anything she said was new to any member and for those of them who were bored and falling asleep, we hope that they will seek to hold each other to the fire as is necessary. And what if she did not speak as fast as she did!

More than half of the members are new, four having served at least one term before with one having a third consecutive term. But they are in the fifth year. All have had training parliamentary training since elected, but could it be they misunderstand the title honourable?

And thinking that even after nearly an hour that there are still those who felt nothing wrong took place. And could it be that the Speaker was accused of lying when they thought they were not guilty as charged? After all, those who voted against or abstained from voting should be called upon to explain their position, if they still consider it honourable.

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World Press Freedom Day: “Media for Democracy”

Today’s celebration of World Press Freedom Day centers on the theme of “Media for Democracy: journalism and elections in times of disinformation”.

By Vatican News

The numbers speak louder than words: 95 journalists killed in the line of duty last year alone. 700 over the past ten years. 348 imprisoned.

The figures come from the International Federation of Journalists. In its own report, issued in April this year, Reporters Without Borders denounces “unprecedented violence” against journalists, claiming most victims were “deliberately targeted” precisely because they were doing their job. Still, journalists and reporters continue to risk their lives in conflict zones, providing truthful and reliable coverage of world events, and investigating stories of crime and corruption

World Press Freedom Index

One of the aims of World Press Freedom Day is to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the field. Another is to assess the state of press freedom throughout the world. The World Press Freedom Index, compiled every year by Reporters Without Borders, does exactly that by evaluating the state of journalism in 180 countries. Only 24 percent of those countries are classified as “good”. Norway ranks top of the list in terms of press freedom, with Turkmenistan at the bottom.   

According to the 2019 Index, “The hostility towards journalists expressed by political leaders in many countries has incited increasingly serious and frequent acts of violence that have fueled an unprecedented level of fear and danger for journalists”.  

World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and has been celebrated every year since then. This year’s theme of “Media for Democracy: journalism and elections in times of disinformation”, discusses the challenges faced by media during elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.

In announcing the theme, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said: “No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power”.

Truthful reporting and peace journalism were highlighted by Pope Francis in his Message for World Communications Day last year. In the message, he calls journalists “protectors of news” and describes what they do as “not just a job”, but a “mission”.   03 May 2019, 13:32

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The Brexit and Legislative Assembly mess cumulating same day


Editorial – March 29, 2019

Today was supposed to be Brexit Day which eventually was postponed, for reasons we tried to inform as per our front page story as ‘Brexit mess: How did we get here. But we also expose what was or is, also a mess with our Parliament (Legislative Assembly – LegAss).

It was surprising that after the big mouthed or rather loud mouthed questions regarding Brexit and Montserrat (OTs), there was none regarding Brexit on the very day the whole of Britain was marching and arguing pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit; to include those calling for 2nd Referendum.

The Premier, Donaldson Romeo did give a Statement where he dealt with the serious matters contained in the Imposition laws affecting the Overseas Territories Constitutions. The issues arose out of the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) report following their six-months plus old Inquiry.

The matter being looked at specifically, and which affects all or most of the OTs, is concerned with ‘beneficial ownership’ of companies.

However what we would highlight coming out of all the Brexit mess is the one fact that finally we note is getting some attention is that ‘people’ are highlighting people held a counter-demo coming together both leavers & remainers against far-right attempts to use the #BrexitDay crisis to whip up racism. Stand Up To Racism‏ @AntiRacismDay.

Then there was also highlighted the fact, not spoken much of before, that the Brexit campaign was dishonestly conducted and at no time did the Brexit proponents, knowingly or otherwise, tell of the disasters that might lie ahead.

One general position held, “amazement at how many Brits don’t know about the astounding database of EU myths collected over 25 years: the myths that badly educated half of ‘the people’ of Britain about the EU (link: https://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/euromyths-a-z-index/) blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/euro… #Brexit #BrexitDay

@CommonsEUexit

@Telegraph

 The general idea of now the facts and lies and false and misleading arguments have been expose: “Parliament votes 286-344, rejecting Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a *3rd time* Now that May has had 3 attempts at getting her deal through…we, the electorate, should be granted a #PeoplesVote now that the facts around Brexit have changed.

Popular Sadiq Khan @SadiqKhan had this to say, “Theresa May’s #Brexit deal was a bad deal for jobs, our economy and for communities in London. Her deal is now dead. The PM must now do the right thing – immediately revoke Article 50 and give the British public the final say on Brexit.” #BrexitDay – the general thought.

What of Montserrat’s Legislative Assembly mess? The business of the house for some time has been carried live, that aspect as is allowed for public consumption. But, today there are people whose interest has waned because of the ‘poor’ behaviour and discourses that occur at almost every sitting. There seems never to be one that the people can take away anything, that is of such that warrants any further debate or follow up, other than wait for the next opportunity to see if anything would be different, only because there are those of us who should have an interest one way or the another.

This time, legislators became so emotional because they differed with the Speaker’s rulings and/or admonitions, to the point of reportedly using bad or foul language, and walking out of the Assembly. The kind of behaviour which as far as we understand can have serious outcomes for the members involved and their dishonourable behaviour.

Has it ever been like this, or are we either expecting too much or just plain making something out of nothing? At the risk of being wrong, we do believe that the answer to the question is that something has gone very wrong, and we expect to hear that corrective and most likely some punitive action should take place.

It is now inconsequential that we think this mess has been brewing, nor who has been responsible. That has gone on for too long. It is not even too distant to believe that the former left (one of his reasons) because he saw this coming.

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It will be some time before it reaches the stage to seek 'political' independence, but...

It will be some time before it reaches the stage to seek ‘political’ independence, but…

March 8, 2019

We should make it clear, we are not calling for independence of Britain, and all that goes with that, on the issues and controversies emanating from the seemingly asseverate position the UK wants to hold over the OTs, in particular those who do not wish to adhere to such especially positions concerning ‘same sex marriage’, and beneficial ownerships of companies, beneficial ownership of companies register, the right to vote for UK citizens resident in Bermuda, and legalisation of same-sex marriage.

We are suggesting that while it will be a decade perhaps or more before Montserrat can claim to just balance its own recurrent budget, much more claim economic independence, or being in a 1995 pre-volcanic crisis, we must be prepared for the hardship that comes with being free of enslavement to having to accept that which the people believe goes against their being.

We noted the other day about what seemed a new phrase, in the sense we had not heard it used often before, that of political independence as against ‘independence’, creating the reality that indeed very few nations in the world if any can claim economic independence. And we can keep this well within the region and narrow it down further to CARICOM and OECS nations. Then consider Montserrat’s place with its unique position and standing having since 1995 having to face a ‘virgin’ situation of building a new country.

We will never forget Minister of State “I mean, where else in the world would some face a disaster like that and still come out smiling and determined to get things going again. The admiration we have for that gives us that extra bit of drive.”

Promote the vision of the OTs as part of the British family, flourishing and vibrant, and less financially dependent.

Does the vision to do this require the soul of the people of Montserrat, and in extension that of all Overseas Territories?

Note Bermuda’s position on issues also coming out of that FAC Report, while the Premier asked London to dismiss a report that recommends British expatriates living in this British Overseas Territory get to vote.

He rejected calls for independence — a longstanding aim of the ruling Progressive Labour Party — but said the stance on cutting ties with Britain could change.

So we must join the thoughts and desires of the other OTs who deplore those ideas which go against the mandate that says: “…to protect our way of life. For democracy to work anywhere – the people’s voice must be heard – and must be respected!”

Specifically, we share the BVI’s new Premier who says: “We value our relations with the UK, and we do hope that Westminster, values and understand the special circumstances of small island territories as ours; that they are sensitive to our culture, customs and values which have been fashioned by history and geography, and our faith in God,”

And do you know our Constitution begins with that? See the Preamble:

“Acknowledging that their society is founded on… the rule of law and the supremacy of God;…”

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It is not just money, power and sex

FAC raises controversial Constitutional Isssues

It is not just money, power and sex
March 1, 2019

In their February 21, 2019 report, the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) has called for legalising same-sex marriage in Montserrat and four other Caribbean Overseas Territories. It has also called for changing restrictions on voting and eligibility to run for a seat in our legislative assembly, creating “a pathway for all resident UK and British Overseas Territory citizens to be able to vote and hold elected office in territory.” Such changes would require amending the Montserrat 2010 Constitution Order, and would be controversial.
On the recent trend to put into law that men can marry other men and women other women, the FAC pointed to “a notable point of divergence and friction is same-sex marriage, which has been legalised in all but the five OTs in the Caribbean (Anguilla, BVI, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos), though this bar is currently being challenged in the courts in the Cayman Islands.”
It also noted that Premier Romeo’s reply to this question was “it was important for the UK to recognise that “as separate territories, with ethnic diversity from your territory and cultural differences, we ought to be allowed to make decisions on matters such as same-sex marriages.”
In the conclusion, the FAC states: “The Government should set a date by which it expects all OTs to have legalised same-sex marriage. If that deadline is not met, the Government should intervene through legislation or an Order in Council.”
For Montserrat, this would lead to a Constitutional issue. Our 2010 Constitution Order was negotiated with the FCO over an eight-year period, then was passed as a resolution by the Reuben T. Meade Administration.
It was then tabled in the UK Parliament and was finally issued as an Order in Council. In Section 2 it protects the basic rights “without distinction of any kind, such as sex, sexual orientation, race, colour” etc. In Section 10 it then states “Notwithstanding anything in section 16 [on discrimination], every man and woman of marriageable age (as determined by or under any law) has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex and to found a family.”
This provision reflects the immemorial, community consensus of Montserratians and many others across the Caribbean and beyond that while all people are to be respected and protected under law, the natural marital relationship between husband (male) and wife (female) is foundational to the sustainability of family and society and so must also be respected and protected under law.
At that time, such provisions were clearly acceptable to the UK Parliament and to the Privy Council. (NB: Premier Romeo’s reference to “ethnic diversity . . . and cultural differences” comes from Principles IV and V of the UN General Assembly Resolution 1541 of 1960, See: (UN: https://undocs.org/en/A/RES/1541(XV) which sets out specific frameworks for implementing the legally binding force of UN Charter, Article 73.)
The FAC report also states that:
“Belongership and its equivalents are wrong. While we recognise that the OTs are small communities with unique cultural identities, we do not accept that there is any justification to deny legally-resident British Overseas Territory and UK citizens the right to vote and to hold elected office. This elevates one group of British people over another and risks undermining the ties that bind the UK and the OTs together in one global British family. The UK Government should initiate a consultation with the elected governments of the OTs and work with them to agree a plan to ensure that there is a pathway for all resident UK and British Overseas Territory citizens to be able to vote and hold elected office in territory. In its response to this report the FCO should lay out a timetable for this consultation process and set a deadline for phasing out discriminatory elements of belongership, or its territory-specific equivalents.”
This too, is a Constitutional issue for Montserrat. For, Section 51 restricts those qualified to be legislators, to persons “born of a father or mother who at the time of the birth was a Montserratian.”
Such Constitutional issues may well be particularly controversial in an election year, such as this.
There are those already concerned persons who are also calling on all to be prepared for the fight, inviting Monterratians to take note. The following comes from an annonymous writer as we have been unable to ascertain its origin.
“Montserratians the world over, take stock of the British Parliamentarians attitude to you as a people, strong representation is the key, I urge you to support those who are prepared to represent your interest and rebuke those who are prepared to spread propaganda in an attempt to hoodwink the electorate for power and personal gain.”

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It is not just money, power and sex

It is not just money, power and sex

February 22, 2019

When in our Editorials we continually noted that we needed to be careful to understand the notes regarding the FAC Inquiry, we saw that there would be for serious times ahead, other concerns notwithstanding.

There has always been talking about independence (for Montserrat), and it has always been the belief of this Editor that the reasons given, some we have mentioned before, were not credible enough, or not hitting the mark, missing out on the real matters that ought to be of concern to us as a people. Even if not back then, within the last 20 years at least the talk of ‘economic independence, should never be the concern.

The problem it was always about money – So to stretch it or go into depth now, “Power, Sex and Money”. These are the ailments of the world, whether you do, or especially if you believe in a creator.

Today St. Lucia celebrates, ‘Political’ Independence! So, go ask and try figure, why ‘political…’?

As we followed the Inquiry hearings, it turned out that the submissions, even that from Montserrat’s Premier did address some of the issues mostly being mentioned for, ”Resetting the relationship”, or brought up for review. But as we suspected, high on the UK agenda along with that which caused consternation for some OTs and got much attention from members of our own Legislative Assembly, the matter of ‘beneficial ownership’. But notice what has become prominent was this matter of ‘Same Sex Marriage’, with at least five of the OTs have a problem acceding to.

Listening to and watching, the likes of FAC Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat and member Chris Bryant, lead the questions and the discussions, speaking with a certain amount disdain to the desires and aspirations of those dissenting OTs with Andrew Rosindell batting for the OTs, talking mostly to fairness and level playing field, it is difficult to believe that these OTs should not immediately in considering the outcome of this recent Inquiry and the resulting report. It was not easy going either for Lord Ahmad who have been closer to the OTs position on some of the issues.

It is our view that same sex unions and marriages matters matter for a people of any country to decide whether they will accept, condone, practice, whether governed by another or protected by another, looked after by another. As put by some commenting on the report out of the BVI.
Simple arguments for Independence!

Relationship over completely! No more UK nations in the Caribbean. They feel we are too colored to have such beautiful wealthy nations… but I see a future that they will not believe. We are a God fearing nation. One nation under God! God’s got this one people! The devil will fall, and fall he must!!!
Gay rights, immigration laws changes, no prayer in schools, changing land ownership laws, land tax increases, land sold and overpriced, employment laws changes, crime rate increases, tourism industry falls and offshore banking relocate, massive UK population increase, systematic enslavery begins.

It is with considerable attention we notice the admission at the beginning of the report. “Relations between the UK and the OTs have been under strain in recent years and steps should be taken to strengthen the bonds between them, say the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The OTs are accused of divergence and friction.

But then there is something we should seek clarity on from the chairman. “The UK and the OTs are family, but that relationship must be underpinned by shared duties to each other and values. Then immediately –That is why we call for the UK government to reconsider the relationship and are critical of Belongership and its equivalents. We also call on the OTs which have not yet done so to legalise same sex marriage.”

They found it difficult to understand why Bermuda would go to the lengths they have. What we find difficult is how they can have difficulty with anyone going to limits to stand for what they believe in the sight of their God.

It seems it is time they begin to think seriously of the overall future of life for the people in their respective territories and what the word ‘independence’ really means.

These OTs must be strong, but the arguments must be carefully presented with the backing it will have. The governments and certainly ours must put a committee together that understand what its people believe in, prepared for the tough times as they are not easy now anyway, to immediately get something that is worth the life that is fulfilling. It is not just money, power and sex.

“There is one, wise and truly awe-inspiring seated upon his throne.” But, “Be sincere of heart and steadfast, incline your ear and receive the word of understanding, undisturbed in time of adversity.”

It seems it is time the territories begin to think seriously of the overall future of life for the people in their respective territories and what the word ‘independence’ really means.

(See: http:// http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/foreign-affairs-committee/the-future-of-the-uk-overseas-territories/oral/94446.html


Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Editorial, International, Local, News, Opinions, Politics, Regional2 Comments

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