Categorized | Editorial

Constitution is little without some self-determination plan

There are so many things deceptive, dishonest and corrupt about some if not most of our politicians, older folks would say, ‘no wonder’ tings de way dem be ya; “things the way they are here.” It is as though there is something specially different for them, when it comes to truth, honesty and just being decent.

We won’t labour on the point, but it is possible to excuse the Ministers and some other legislators who believe that once they are elected, they then have the right to complete autonomy in decision making on behalf of those who elected them. Perhaps sometimes they should remember that less than half of the voters voted for them, so there are others who do not think they are fit enough to vote for.

Some concerned members of the public followed Don Romeo’s lead to say that it is wrong to, after so many, especially recent years of silence in not informing, discussing or consulting on clauses in a new Constitution Order, for Government to take the matter to the Legislative Council, where there are six members forming Government against three opposition members, one of whom might as well have crossed the floor when he joined in the deception. The deception and the lie is, not that discussions did not take place, but not with the community, the people.

John Wilson, former legislator in a call to ZJB, put it so right as he admitted that eight years is a long time to be discussing anything. But, the truth is as he puts it, kindly, “to say to say that this matter has been in front of the public‘s attention continuously for any sustained period of time would be false.”

Every person who argued to the contrary, knew they were wrong, but tried to cover up their intention to satisfy the British and their own personal benefits from having the Resolution go forward that would tell the British that Montserrat has opted to remain as a colony with the nice name of Premier, instead of Chief Minister; and some glossy changes to the “Governor’s powers’.
Education on the matter would have told everyone that as long as Britain remained the colonial master, it goes with the status to maintain absolute control in respect of anything, especially with matters for which Britain has responsibility.

At best, our so called government negotiators were being conned, once the argument that former Chief Minister David Brandt and former MP Chedmond Browne had put forward, that any ‘update’ to the 1989 Constitution Order that did not address the minimum of, such as Free Association that gives Montserrat some measure of control of their future destiny, was not advancing the Constitutional Status. Neither would it meet the deconolisation mandate of the United Nations.

That means that anything that this government were able to get that lessens the Governor’s powers which means the FCO’s stranglehold would be negligible;  Meaningless, as far as the Colonial master is concerned, since there are ‘more ways than one to skin a cat’, especially if it was already skinned, as in Montserrat’s and some other OTs case.

One past retired Civil Servant feels that little is achieved if at least some issues are not addressed. The suggest that it should be, “incorporated in the Constitution a measure similar to Switzerland’s constitutional practice whereby on presentation a petition signed by an agreed percentage of citizens, issues of national importance must be decided by referendum; giving every person a vote on the matter. Situations of perceive use of arbitrary power by any government also, the Constitution may even provide mechanisms for the government recall by the people via referendum and subsequent elections.”

We said before, “The Constitution is a document for the people as opposed to an individual. Therefore, can it be right for any politician to argue for a particular aspect of a Constitution that benefits him or others like him.”

So too, the Integrity Bill is a matter which seeks to ensure good governance.  That matter has been tampered with in the draft Constitution and while the outcome we are looking for from the Resolution delay is this: let Britain give us the new Constitution. If our legislators after being conned ‘must’ approve it, an objection that this does not meet our true desire, that is, to have some Constitutional advancement that allows ‘some form of self-determination.’

———
We need not labour the point but it is almost a downright lie.

Chief Minister thought when he discussed in Committee they spoke for the entire people.
Governor… with Montserrat that their will then be a process of discussion , a process of continued public consultation here on island eventually agreement on some sensible changes to the constitution.

It doesn’t take too much to be corrupt. Just be selfish and the product is corruption. When the integrity bill was debated, parliamentarians stressed on how easy it was to be corrupt and they pointed out that while it was so easy to make it appear that only politicians are thought to be corrupt. It was very easy for many others within the public service to be corrupt or lack integrity all the way to the top.

Corruption is not just about the perpetration of wrong doing – it’s also about all the people who know about it and do nothing to change-  but wait for their turn to share the benefits of ill gains – if at all it can indeed be seen as beneficial.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

There are so many things deceptive, dishonest and corrupt about some if not most of our politicians, older folks would say, ‘no wonder’ tings de way dem be ya; “things the way they are here.” It is as though there is something specially different for them, when it comes to truth, honesty and just being decent.

We won’t labour on the point, but it is possible to excuse the Ministers and some other legislators who believe that once they are elected, they then have the right to complete autonomy in decision making on behalf of those who elected them. Perhaps sometimes they should remember that less than half of the voters voted for them, so there are others who do not think they are fit enough to vote for.

Some concerned members of the public followed Don Romeo’s lead to say that it is wrong to, after so many, especially recent years of silence in not informing, discussing or consulting on clauses in a new Constitution Order, for Government to take the matter to the Legislative Council, where there are six members forming Government against three opposition members, one of whom might as well have crossed the floor when he joined in the deception. The deception and the lie is, not that discussions did not take place, but not with the community, the people.

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John Wilson, former legislator in a call to ZJB, put it so right as he admitted that eight years is a long time to be discussing anything. But, the truth is as he puts it, kindly, “to say to say that this matter has been in front of the public‘s attention continuously for any sustained period of time would be false.”

Every person who argued to the contrary, knew they were wrong, but tried to cover up their intention to satisfy the British and their own personal benefits from having the Resolution go forward that would tell the British that Montserrat has opted to remain as a colony with the nice name of Premier, instead of Chief Minister; and some glossy changes to the “Governor’s powers’.
Education on the matter would have told everyone that as long as Britain remained the colonial master, it goes with the status to maintain absolute control in respect of anything, especially with matters for which Britain has responsibility.

At best, our so called government negotiators were being conned, once the argument that former Chief Minister David Brandt and former MP Chedmond Browne had put forward, that any ‘update’ to the 1989 Constitution Order that did not address the minimum of, such as Free Association that gives Montserrat some measure of control of their future destiny, was not advancing the Constitutional Status. Neither would it meet the deconolisation mandate of the United Nations.

That means that anything that this government were able to get that lessens the Governor’s powers which means the FCO’s stranglehold would be negligible;  Meaningless, as far as the Colonial master is concerned, since there are ‘more ways than one to skin a cat’, especially if it was already skinned, as in Montserrat’s and some other OTs case.

One past retired Civil Servant feels that little is achieved if at least some issues are not addressed. The suggest that it should be, “incorporated in the Constitution a measure similar to Switzerland’s constitutional practice whereby on presentation a petition signed by an agreed percentage of citizens, issues of national importance must be decided by referendum; giving every person a vote on the matter. Situations of perceive use of arbitrary power by any government also, the Constitution may even provide mechanisms for the government recall by the people via referendum and subsequent elections.”

We said before, “The Constitution is a document for the people as opposed to an individual. Therefore, can it be right for any politician to argue for a particular aspect of a Constitution that benefits him or others like him.”

So too, the Integrity Bill is a matter which seeks to ensure good governance.  That matter has been tampered with in the draft Constitution and while the outcome we are looking for from the Resolution delay is this: let Britain give us the new Constitution. If our legislators after being conned ‘must’ approve it, an objection that this does not meet our true desire, that is, to have some Constitutional advancement that allows ‘some form of self-determination.’

———
We need not labour the point but it is almost a downright lie.

Chief Minister thought when he discussed in Committee they spoke for the entire people.
Governor… with Montserrat that their will then be a process of discussion , a process of continued public consultation here on island eventually agreement on some sensible changes to the constitution.

It doesn’t take too much to be corrupt. Just be selfish and the product is corruption. When the integrity bill was debated, parliamentarians stressed on how easy it was to be corrupt and they pointed out that while it was so easy to make it appear that only politicians are thought to be corrupt. It was very easy for many others within the public service to be corrupt or lack integrity all the way to the top.

Corruption is not just about the perpetration of wrong doing – it’s also about all the people who know about it and do nothing to change-  but wait for their turn to share the benefits of ill gains – if at all it can indeed be seen as beneficial.