Categorized | Editorial

Deception, dishonesty, hypocrisy, corruption are what will master the new Constitution

This past week has been one that many people may well regret they did not pay attention to what has been going on around them as the Government they elected get locked in a lop-sided argument over the draft Constitution to be tabled for passage on Tuesday next week at the Legislative Council meeting.

The major opposition to the Constitution Bill being presented at all, is that since the ‘final’ talks with the British ‘negotiation’ team when CM Meade announced that the draft was taken to Britain and when it returned it would be made available for publicity and information ONLY.

The argument that what was needed is consultation or discussion of new issues which for years have not been discussed with the people is the crucial point that has been missed and over which many dishonest and ignorant points of discussion of facts have occurred.

It is ridiculous and misleading for anyone to say when discussion on a matter like a Constitution takes place to say, “if after giving your suggestions to your legislator and he votes without taking heed,” especially if a majority of people have expressed their feelings on the matter, that you can then vote them out of office, when the time comes round five years later. A Constitution, that is a lifetime matter? Compared with a matter that can be reversed in one sitting of Legislative Council. If that is how the Government feels about the matter then it demonstrates that they do not deserve the honour bestowed upon them at the election.

The Attorney General by saying that all of his staff are ‘trained’ in Constitutional matters insults the profession and worse yet the people to whom he tells this. Just about every lawyer does a course in Constitution. Also to suggest that the change of name from Chief Minister to Premier is anything more than exactly that in terms of power or status is to mislead people with mere words, when the more important issue of being able to govern oneself is left wanting.

The argument that the people have even been over-consulted because at the beginning it was taken to all over for Montserratians to discuss, is leaving out the real truth of the matter. Since the 2001/2002 Fergus Commission submitted its report on the Constitutional consultations and the John Osborne government decided (at the lead of the present CM) to deal with matters such as an acceptable description of “Montserratian” as well as some issues personal to some legislators, there has been VERY LITTLE discussion and consultation done. It has been left to a committee that ran out of steam very quickly. For the last two years until now there has not been a word about discussing the Constitution except that a Committee of the Legislature has at almost every Council meeting talked to some sticking matter, secret to the people. We remind of our own calls on the government to discuss with the people those issues that had been holding up the Constitution draft progress.

There is a petition being signed on-line at www.mnialive.com, to force a delay on the passage of this most significant Bill, which can take a lifetime to amend once past. A last ditch appeal is being made to FCO by MP Romeo seeking “a more deliberative and transparent, people-empowering  process for finalisation of our draft Constitution over the next several months.”

CM Meade is comfortable with the Constitution which it is believed is what he traded to get the entrustments to sign on to the OECS and CARICOM treaties. It pleases the British to have Montserrat okay the draft Constitution now, is to dishonestly satisfy the United Nations. (See our previous Editorial.)

Coming up is a statement that, “tries to make people care by showing them how the Constitution links to the economy and their survival”; and there are accusations directed at CM Meade, “he is hijacking the constitutional process for his own personal political gain, thinking that when OECS Economic Union is signed he will be able to sell enough advantages to appear a hero and great negotiator…”

See front page story for more on the Constitutional issue, and other areas in this week’s issue as much as we are constrained by print space.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

This past week has been one that many people may well regret they did not pay attention to what has been going on around them as the Government they elected get locked in a lop-sided argument over the draft Constitution to be tabled for passage on Tuesday next week at the Legislative Council meeting.

The major opposition to the Constitution Bill being presented at all, is that since the ‘final’ talks with the British ‘negotiation’ team when CM Meade announced that the draft was taken to Britain and when it returned it would be made available for publicity and information ONLY.

The argument that what was needed is consultation or discussion of new issues which for years have not been discussed with the people is the crucial point that has been missed and over which many dishonest and ignorant points of discussion of facts have occurred.

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It is ridiculous and misleading for anyone to say when discussion on a matter like a Constitution takes place to say, “if after giving your suggestions to your legislator and he votes without taking heed,” especially if a majority of people have expressed their feelings on the matter, that you can then vote them out of office, when the time comes round five years later. A Constitution, that is a lifetime matter? Compared with a matter that can be reversed in one sitting of Legislative Council. If that is how the Government feels about the matter then it demonstrates that they do not deserve the honour bestowed upon them at the election.

The Attorney General by saying that all of his staff are ‘trained’ in Constitutional matters insults the profession and worse yet the people to whom he tells this. Just about every lawyer does a course in Constitution. Also to suggest that the change of name from Chief Minister to Premier is anything more than exactly that in terms of power or status is to mislead people with mere words, when the more important issue of being able to govern oneself is left wanting.

The argument that the people have even been over-consulted because at the beginning it was taken to all over for Montserratians to discuss, is leaving out the real truth of the matter. Since the 2001/2002 Fergus Commission submitted its report on the Constitutional consultations and the John Osborne government decided (at the lead of the present CM) to deal with matters such as an acceptable description of “Montserratian” as well as some issues personal to some legislators, there has been VERY LITTLE discussion and consultation done. It has been left to a committee that ran out of steam very quickly. For the last two years until now there has not been a word about discussing the Constitution except that a Committee of the Legislature has at almost every Council meeting talked to some sticking matter, secret to the people. We remind of our own calls on the government to discuss with the people those issues that had been holding up the Constitution draft progress.

There is a petition being signed on-line at www.mnialive.com, to force a delay on the passage of this most significant Bill, which can take a lifetime to amend once past. A last ditch appeal is being made to FCO by MP Romeo seeking “a more deliberative and transparent, people-empowering  process for finalisation of our draft Constitution over the next several months.”

CM Meade is comfortable with the Constitution which it is believed is what he traded to get the entrustments to sign on to the OECS and CARICOM treaties. It pleases the British to have Montserrat okay the draft Constitution now, is to dishonestly satisfy the United Nations. (See our previous Editorial.)

Coming up is a statement that, “tries to make people care by showing them how the Constitution links to the economy and their survival”; and there are accusations directed at CM Meade, “he is hijacking the constitutional process for his own personal political gain, thinking that when OECS Economic Union is signed he will be able to sell enough advantages to appear a hero and great negotiator…”

See front page story for more on the Constitutional issue, and other areas in this week’s issue as much as we are constrained by print space.