Categorized | Editorial

Any challenge to the freedom of expression must not be taken lightly

There are those who have never been deputy of anything. Then one might also wonder if that title ‘deputy’ carries as responsibilities if any ‘Vice’ as in vice captain, vice admiral etc. In Montserrat, we have the deputy Chief Minister and we have the deputy Governor and in deputies in several other public service establishments. So it seems that there are deputies in mostly public service institutions.

It may well be that the deputy never really acts independently on all issues, that is, carries out the responsibilities of his superior, makes decisions independently of his  or her superior, or just does as he or she is told, no matter the circumstances. This will mean that there will be times when the superior will leave instructions for actions to be taken by their deputy or vice which he does not wish to be held directly accountable for. If that were to be case, isn’t that cowardice?

It is still not known if the threat that David Brandt, attorney-at-law and long time legislator second in length of service as such to John Osborne, has made regarding the safe guarding of freedom of expression in Montserrat, is as a result of instructions from the Governor himself or his deputy.

Whichever or whatever the reasons for the Attorney General to issue such advice as seen in the lead story, (that is all he is expected to do), which could cause the cessation of public statements being aired on the people of Montserrat’s radio station managed by the Chief Minister, one would hope that the advice is well reasoned. One that if it had to do with private media an injunction would immediately be sought. But the actions seem so drastic that private media better stand and be counted.

It is amazing, but It is not the first time suggestions and accusations of racism have come out of Government House quarters. It is our hope that in this case this Chief Minister will seek an apology for the accusation, especially where it can result in embarrassment for his government. It gets to be wrong and unfair for the messenger, and it is possible that one cannot use this scenario but rather service provider in the case where the station publishes on paid request, that which was cleared. The Chief Minister must ask why the request for an apology by his manager is being insisted upon? Oh really! The Governor is the boss of the public service. The boss is falling down badly, he is not getting too few plus marks if any.

When the CM carries out his own investigation, he may find that he has encouraged this Constitutional and administrative situation. He may wish to take appropriate steps to correct it. That we have no doubt he is quite able to do since other than the one who is probably the ‘sought after’ in this whole affair, he is in our opinion most capable of beneficially dealing with the matter for the people of Montserrat.

This is a non-issue which now deserves full attention and should die immediately. A non issue  especially so if one were to consider the circumstances out of which they have developed and the people involved. There are many other instances maybe not similar in nature, but similar in the way some businesses are conducted in the administration of the public service, and the administration of Montserrat as a whole in that sector.

All is not well. At a time when HMG is trying to preach modernisation in relationships, notwithstanding the new British minister’s kudos, the behaviour is no different than it has always been. The Chief Minister may find that the faulty Constitution that he has rushed for whatever reasons may haunt him before he exits office.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

There are those who have never been deputy of anything. Then one might also wonder if that title ‘deputy’ carries as responsibilities if any ‘Vice’ as in vice captain, vice admiral etc. In Montserrat, we have the deputy Chief Minister and we have the deputy Governor and in deputies in several other public service establishments. So it seems that there are deputies in mostly public service institutions.

It may well be that the deputy never really acts independently on all issues, that is, carries out the responsibilities of his superior, makes decisions independently of his  or her superior, or just does as he or she is told, no matter the circumstances. This will mean that there will be times when the superior will leave instructions for actions to be taken by their deputy or vice which he does not wish to be held directly accountable for. If that were to be case, isn’t that cowardice?

It is still not known if the threat that David Brandt, attorney-at-law and long time legislator second in length of service as such to John Osborne, has made regarding the safe guarding of freedom of expression in Montserrat, is as a result of instructions from the Governor himself or his deputy.

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Whichever or whatever the reasons for the Attorney General to issue such advice as seen in the lead story, (that is all he is expected to do), which could cause the cessation of public statements being aired on the people of Montserrat’s radio station managed by the Chief Minister, one would hope that the advice is well reasoned. One that if it had to do with private media an injunction would immediately be sought. But the actions seem so drastic that private media better stand and be counted.

It is amazing, but It is not the first time suggestions and accusations of racism have come out of Government House quarters. It is our hope that in this case this Chief Minister will seek an apology for the accusation, especially where it can result in embarrassment for his government. It gets to be wrong and unfair for the messenger, and it is possible that one cannot use this scenario but rather service provider in the case where the station publishes on paid request, that which was cleared. The Chief Minister must ask why the request for an apology by his manager is being insisted upon? Oh really! The Governor is the boss of the public service. The boss is falling down badly, he is not getting too few plus marks if any.

When the CM carries out his own investigation, he may find that he has encouraged this Constitutional and administrative situation. He may wish to take appropriate steps to correct it. That we have no doubt he is quite able to do since other than the one who is probably the ‘sought after’ in this whole affair, he is in our opinion most capable of beneficially dealing with the matter for the people of Montserrat.

This is a non-issue which now deserves full attention and should die immediately. A non issue  especially so if one were to consider the circumstances out of which they have developed and the people involved. There are many other instances maybe not similar in nature, but similar in the way some businesses are conducted in the administration of the public service, and the administration of Montserrat as a whole in that sector.

All is not well. At a time when HMG is trying to preach modernisation in relationships, notwithstanding the new British minister’s kudos, the behaviour is no different than it has always been. The Chief Minister may find that the faulty Constitution that he has rushed for whatever reasons may haunt him before he exits office.