Categorized | Editorial, Local, News

Approach 20 years with knowledge, execution now, plans for a progressive future

Editorial – October 25, 2013 :

The March 29, 2013 Editorial, was captioned, “Know the past, find the correct path to progress for the future”. We reminded that since 1996, HMG (Her Majesty’s Government), promised that they would provide the necessary funding to develop the safe-north “after seeing Montserratians’ determination to remain in Montserrat, in spite of the volcano, which was increasing in its ferocity, he (HMG) concluded that the north of the island was safe…”

Much has happened between that time and now. The entire southern half of the island including the capital where the majority of the population habituated, lived, along with the majority of the rest of the island worked, was completely destroyed.

Including times of indifference the promise has been repeated in many various ways. Finally, in December 2011, Minister of State Alan Duncan admitted previous governments’ neglect and went further to promise that his 18-month-old government, “will reverse what we feel is the neglect of the Overseas Territories (OTs) over the last decade…” confirming earlier statements of Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell.

He was speaking with special reference to Montserrat when he made statements twice within 24 hours (at Government House and later in a press interview at the Governor’s office). He recalled the “double whammy” of the hurricane and the volcano, announcing, “We have a duty to you which we appreciate and want to turn it into practical effect.”

Later he said “…Montserrat has had unique difficulties; there is nowhere else in our responsibility which has had its main capital town swamped in by a volcano…so there are special challenges… We have this duty care and we are going to exercise it properly and responsibly,” adding a ‘but’, “but also raise an eye on value for money and results we are going to get from spending tax payer’s money at a very difficult economic time.”

There are no excuses, the message was clear, accompanied already by evidence. It was time to take stock. However, so far the fear to do so has lead only to another kind of corruption, killing any integrity, while the resilience turned to jelly, wobbly and without substance. So, we rushed without deliberate and informed discussion into acceptance of dream plans with no solid consequence. HMG has made promises, which they will keep, but not commit to for unsure outcomes. They have so warned.

Having come through this entire period living and observing the mistakes, the difficulties, the hardships, corruption, inept politics, overshadowing the good, we have called on governments to spend time and reflect. To look at the mistakes, good and the bad, for an accounting, with a view to bring everyone still living and those who have joined to a state where minds can be healed, refreshed and eyes opened to the future that the crisis afforded the island.

Our Economic director of over 20 years, along with DFID private sector development expert, dug up the 1997 plans for a port at Carr’s Bay and are putting it into use. The same can be true with all the rest that went along with the tragedies of the crisis, physically, socially, and spiritually (life).

If the right people were present and participating at the recent financial, economic (whichever) modeling workshop recently held with the Public Service and the MDC (Montserrat Development Corporation), it would have been difficult for the conclusion to be other than what we told the Governor after he gave a brief report. Take a re-look to the Strategic Growth Plan (SGP) as it relates to Little Bay and Carr’s Bay. He begged to reject the suggestion saying we have been looking at the Strategy since 1997 (he probably meant since 1998, when the first Sustainable Development Plan was crafted and signed).

We say again, reopen the breadbasket of the economy, feel its freshness again,  enjoy the benefits. Do not jump into unnecessary competition with our neighbours. Build on our unique exclusivity. Let all ideas contend, especially now, before the stench chokes the possibilities. Tell us why not!

What must be very clear to those responsible, there has to be a conversation about the stress volcano people suffers. How can a people, stressed, as they must be, address the success for the future without understanding or knowing where they are and what they have experienced? Where is the collateral they need to face the loans counter whether it is for personal, health or business reasons? How can they know how to build or benefit from an economy they cannot actively participate in?

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – October 25, 2013 :

The March 29, 2013 Editorial, was captioned, “Know the past, find the correct path to progress for the future”. We reminded that since 1996, HMG (Her Majesty’s Government), promised that they would provide the necessary funding to develop the safe-north “after seeing Montserratians’ determination to remain in Montserrat, in spite of the volcano, which was increasing in its ferocity, he (HMG) concluded that the north of the island was safe…”

Much has happened between that time and now. The entire southern half of the island including the capital where the majority of the population habituated, lived, along with the majority of the rest of the island worked, was completely destroyed.

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Including times of indifference the promise has been repeated in many various ways. Finally, in December 2011, Minister of State Alan Duncan admitted previous governments’ neglect and went further to promise that his 18-month-old government, “will reverse what we feel is the neglect of the Overseas Territories (OTs) over the last decade…” confirming earlier statements of Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell.

He was speaking with special reference to Montserrat when he made statements twice within 24 hours (at Government House and later in a press interview at the Governor’s office). He recalled the “double whammy” of the hurricane and the volcano, announcing, “We have a duty to you which we appreciate and want to turn it into practical effect.”

Later he said “…Montserrat has had unique difficulties; there is nowhere else in our responsibility which has had its main capital town swamped in by a volcano…so there are special challenges… We have this duty care and we are going to exercise it properly and responsibly,” adding a ‘but’, “but also raise an eye on value for money and results we are going to get from spending tax payer’s money at a very difficult economic time.”

There are no excuses, the message was clear, accompanied already by evidence. It was time to take stock. However, so far the fear to do so has lead only to another kind of corruption, killing any integrity, while the resilience turned to jelly, wobbly and without substance. So, we rushed without deliberate and informed discussion into acceptance of dream plans with no solid consequence. HMG has made promises, which they will keep, but not commit to for unsure outcomes. They have so warned.

Having come through this entire period living and observing the mistakes, the difficulties, the hardships, corruption, inept politics, overshadowing the good, we have called on governments to spend time and reflect. To look at the mistakes, good and the bad, for an accounting, with a view to bring everyone still living and those who have joined to a state where minds can be healed, refreshed and eyes opened to the future that the crisis afforded the island.

Our Economic director of over 20 years, along with DFID private sector development expert, dug up the 1997 plans for a port at Carr’s Bay and are putting it into use. The same can be true with all the rest that went along with the tragedies of the crisis, physically, socially, and spiritually (life).

If the right people were present and participating at the recent financial, economic (whichever) modeling workshop recently held with the Public Service and the MDC (Montserrat Development Corporation), it would have been difficult for the conclusion to be other than what we told the Governor after he gave a brief report. Take a re-look to the Strategic Growth Plan (SGP) as it relates to Little Bay and Carr’s Bay. He begged to reject the suggestion saying we have been looking at the Strategy since 1997 (he probably meant since 1998, when the first Sustainable Development Plan was crafted and signed).

We say again, reopen the breadbasket of the economy, feel its freshness again,  enjoy the benefits. Do not jump into unnecessary competition with our neighbours. Build on our unique exclusivity. Let all ideas contend, especially now, before the stench chokes the possibilities. Tell us why not!

What must be very clear to those responsible, there has to be a conversation about the stress volcano people suffers. How can a people, stressed, as they must be, address the success for the future without understanding or knowing where they are and what they have experienced? Where is the collateral they need to face the loans counter whether it is for personal, health or business reasons? How can they know how to build or benefit from an economy they cannot actively participate in?