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Montserrat hosts Leewads Mens’ 50-Over championship

The Leeward Islands Senior Cricket Team Men’s 50-Over Cricket Championship, announced by L Is Drector, Cricket Operations in July is set to start on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 in Montserrat.

Captain Burns receives his team jersey

On Wednesday evening, September 12, 2018 the Montserrat Senior Cricket Team unveiled it’s Uniform Launch for the Cricket Championship at Summer Breeze at 8.00 p.m.

This function was hailed as a very welcome and special one, with Premier Romeo, Minister of Sports Delmaude Ryan along with Communications and Works Minister Paul Lewis each giving brief remarks on the occasion.

The tournament was due to begin on Friday 14th, but due to the passage of hurricane Isaac and the the burial services of a former Montserrat opening batsman, and former Chief Minister Bertrand B. Osborne and other related circumstances, such as transportation into Montserrat of the other five competing teams, the beginning of the tournament was set to a Tuesday start.

Already the championship organisers are thanking Digicel for Partnering with the Leeward Islands Cricket Board to help execute this major project and to sell to the world that Montserrat is open for Business. At the uniform unveiling, some other support sponsors were acknowledged.

These supporting sponsors are: Digicel, Rovika, Victor’s, Montserrat Bottling Company, Amsa Sports and Summer Breeze.

Following are the names of the Montserrat 16-man squad.

Shernyl Burns (Captain)
Damion Williams (Vice Captain)
McPherson Meade (Player Coach)
Quinton Boastwain
Dalston Tuitt
Jaison Peters (Leeward Island Hurricane Franchise Player)
Kriston Murrain
Theodore Frye
Shawn Tuitt
Zawandi White
Aidan Livan
Joshua Grant
Jemuel Cabey
Damion Jacobs (Leeward Island Hurricane Franchise Player)
Tavis Harrison
Deno Baker

Kenton Weekes (Sports Therapist)

Vernon Springer, L Is Drector, Cricket Operations

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It is time to move beyond the politics of division and destruction

It is time to move beyond the politics of division and destruction

 

 

 

Contribution – Part 12/2018

 It is time to move beyond the politics of division and destruction

 How can we best build a consensus to rebuild and renew our economy and community?  

BRADES, Montserrat, July 25, 2018 – A basic principle of sound, sustainable democratic self-government is that we must learn to strike policy deals we can all live with, today and tomorrow.  In short, “mis-government by ‘divide and dominate’ gossip, slander, ‘advantage’ and melee tactics will not work.

Yes, we must first remember that Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is a part of the Government. Repeat: The Parliamentary Opposition is a part of the Government.

(And yes, class is again in session here at TMR, The People’s College®.[1])

For example we have an Opposition Office that is funded through the annual budget, with a “ring-fenced” sum to support its policy analysis, representation of the people and parliamentary roles.

(But, that Office must not be abused through “partisan politicking.” That was a key part of the bargain struck with DfID when the office was created by the initiative of then Opposition Leader, Hon. Mr Donaldson Romeo. And yes, that Office is actually funded based on the “first call on the UK aid budget” principle. That principle, in turn, is built on the even more mocked and dismissed UN Charter Article 73. That’s also where 60% of the recurrent budget and maybe 80 – 90% of the capital budget comes from. Where, the St Helena “yardstick” example,[2] the 2012 MDC “last chance” business case[3] and the ECCB Governor on his recent visit alike point to key UK infrastructure investments working to catalyse local and foreign private sector investment; leading to self-sustaining growth. Indeed, that is the foundation of the recently developed, widely discussed Economic Growth Strategy.[4] Reality trumps rhetoric.)

Similarly, being a part of our government is why there is provision for regular Opposition access to the Government Radio station, ZJB. Where, in a “truly democratic” community, there is room for debate, critique and putting forward a serious, truth-based alternative. For,   a mature Opposition will conduct itself as potentially, the next Governing Majority.

That leads to “the permanent arm of government.” Our Civil Service’s officers – especially the senior ones – must always serve the nation by so serving the present government that they can readily serve the next one . . . and the one after that.[5] In short, red tape driven delay or obstructionism, too close a connection to political figures or parties, or repeated failure to render prompt, true, sound, responsible and prudent evidence-based, objective counsel are unacceptable. Poor service to Jane or John Public when she or he walks in the door is also unacceptable.

Likewise unacceptable is the attitude that where you were born and who your parents are trumps competence, diligence, capability and soundness.

(A quiet word of advice: if being ancestrally Montserratian is constantly used in an unfair,  polarising way, it will create dangerous pent-up, silent rage on both sides.[6] While we are at it, sound “advice” can always be refused, but not without damaging consequences. If you doubt this, ponder the case of the McGregor 1938 Royal Society Report, the 1986-88 Wadge-Isaacs Report and the 1995 VDAP Bulletin 16 warnings about how we were handling the eruption. Yes, eighty years of telling but largely forgotten history.)

Going on to Cabinet [the working Committee of parliament’s governing majority], ever since Plato wrote his telling parable of the Ship of State in his The Republic Bk VI,[7] we have known that a “bridge fight” on the ship of state is suicidal. Or, maybe the Apostle James will be more familiar:

James 3:13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere . . . . 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder [and this can be by the power of the accusing tongue]. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel . . .”  [ESV. Also see a literal case study in Acts 27.[8]]

No wonder, then, that “mis-government by “divide and dominate” gossip, slander, “advantage” and melee tactics will not work.

How can we do better?

First, by heeding good old Miss Sophia [= Wisdom] as she stands by in the gates and at the street corners, calling out[9]:

Prov 1: 32 For the simple are killed by their turning away [from wisdom],
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
    and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” [ESV]

Where, parsons and lay preachers of Montserrat, with all due respect, the Bible plainly implies that our pulpits and street corners should also be places of education in true, God-fearing citizenship. Such is undeniably a part of Christian discipleship.[10]

Let us prize truth, responsibility, neighbourliness, prudence and soundness. Next, we have to learn to build reasonable policy cases and build a healthy broad-based consensus on where our nation needs to go. (Why, then is it that ever so many voices avoid or dismiss key steps forward such as the recently developed Economic Growth Strategy[11]? This key strategic document is based on not only analysis of our economic challenges and opportunities but also on a process of broad-based consultation, laying out a ten year path to growth based on a SWOT analysis.)

Next, Economist Kenya Lee’s remarks that were played on ZJB News recently are right: moving to self-sustainability is a generational challenge, it will not happen overnight. Here at TMR, the suggestion: twenty years to get there has repeatedly been put on the table.

Indeed, that is what it took last time, from the mid-’60’s to the mid-’80’s. END

[1]           SHAMELESS PLUG: Check us out just about every week at leading shops here in Montserrat (and at the Library for those who cannot afford $3.00  – the cost of one grease bread). Not to mention, here: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/

[2]           See, TMR: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/de-ole-dawg-part-19-2016-can-montserrat-make-a-good-case-for-catalytic-investments-in-development/ also, DfID remarks, INTRODUCTION (p. 1): https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/67426/DFID-work-overseas-territories.pdf 

[3]           See the DfID 2012 MDC Business Case, esp. p. 4:  http://iati.dfid.gov.uk/iati_documents/4158833.odt also note: http://www.businessenvironmentreform.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/BERF-Montserrat-BE-Capacity-Building_FINAL_31Jan2017.pdf

[4]           See, TMR: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/de-ole-dawg-part-1-2018-what-are-montserrats-economic-realities-challenges-and-opportunities/  and also Caribbean News Now: https://wp.caribbeannewsnow.com/2018/01/09/montserrat-moves-forward-economic-growth-strategy/

[5]           See TMR: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/the-needed-radical-reform-of-our-civil-service/

[6]           We would do well to remember that when our population was dwindling away and the UK was suggesting total evacuation, people from sister Caricom states were invited to come here and help keep Montserrat going.

[7]           Based on the history of the collapse of Athenian Democracy. See: http://www.john-uebersax.com/plato/myths/ship.htm

[8]           See: http://kairosfocus.blogspot.com/2013/01/acts-27-test-1-on-celebrating-new-year.html

[9]           Compare, the classic Consolation of Philosophy, written by Boethius, a high officer of state in Italy just after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West. It was written while he was awaiting unjust execution on trumped-up charges: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/14328/14328-h/14328-h.htm

[10]            See Rom 13:1 – 13, esp. vv. 8 – 13. Cf. Matt 28:18 – 20 and Titus 2:11 – 14 etc.

[11]          See: http://www.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Economic-Growth-Strategy-Delivery-Plan-Final.pdf

 

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