“DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT”

by Joseph Kirnon

For some time, a discussion has been ongoing on the island concerning its past, its present level of development and its future. I have been fortunate to be on island to hear some of these discussions. Yet I am sure that I have also missed a lot. Given this understanding, I am going to comment only on the basis on my limited knowledge of all the relevant issues.

I will phrase my comments from a four-point perspective of life on the island:

a) The Social life

b) The Political Life

c) The Economic Life

d) The Religious Life

The social life of a society has its roots embedded in the structure of its familial relationships. That is, the importance that it gives to strong family ties, and the relationship between the leader(s) and the led.

As a society, that is, a community of people with a common understanding of who they are, where they are, where they are going and how to get there, Montserratians seem to fall short. We seem to be in a quandary. We seem to want to be some of everything. We want to be British and Irish and Africans, when we are truly none of these things. There seems to be a lot of ideas, with little planning for implementation. Crosscutting of each other. Wanting everything now. Wanting to be the (BM) big man. As intelligent as we are, and I will be the first to state that Montserratians are some of the smartest people walking this earth. So let us stop and appraise our situation from an intelligent approach and make good decisions as we move forward to a turning point on our journey as a people: The coming election.

We are a population of approximately 5000 people. We know it could be a little less or a little more, but for argument’s sake let us use that number. Of that number the colonial power, Great Britain, has responsibility for maybe 3000, as the rest are nationals of other nations (Guyana, Trinidad, Haiti, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Antigua, Canada, etc). Technically Great Britain, is not really responsible for those individuals, even though they may have been on island for decades (take note of the deportation of Haitians in the Bahamas during this moment of crisis). No matter the terminology used, at the end of the day – MONTSERRAT IS A COLONY OF GREAT BRITAIN. Its responsibility is both internal and external. Its responsibility is social, political and economical and their interconnected linkages. We will come back to this shortly.

Before the volcano we can approximate the population to have been about 12,000 people, give or take a 1000 on each end. The number of immigrants in that number being relatively small. So numerically Great Britain had a greater responsibility before the volcano. That the population is outside of the island is not new information. The focus is on knowing and then developing mechanisms to re-incorporate then back into the life of the society even if they are far away through novel ideas. More to say on this as we go on. So, what do we do. BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

An average common man of the land said to me some years ago about being in Montserrat, that one has to “set yourself up for the future”. From a son of the soil who does not hold a BA, MA or PHD, this is a wise understanding of life to move forward with. Especially since those with BAs, MAs, PhDs and those of legal and other academic knowledge seems incapable of addressing the real issues facing Montserrat.  I took it to mean that one should plant the seeds and watch them grow. To do this requires patience and constancy. BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

Within the last year, I asked another Montserratian about what he thinks is going on in the country. His response to me was in this order:

1. Construction
2. Rum
3. Religion
4. Prostitution

I thought about their impact on the island in this manner:

Construction- A positive force for the development of society
Rum- A wreck on the human and productive resources in the society
Religion- Blinded by the Light. Oh ye of little faith
Prostitution- Moral degradation. Social and family breakdown.  Negative investment.

Granted that this individual might be of low on the socio-economic scale, I voucher to say that many would agree with his assessment.  Often the less fortunate of society are more closely attuned to what is really going on, and if we look closely with open eyes and listen intently with our ears, we may admit that this fellow is close to the target. How do we proceed? BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

Do not change the government in the coming election.  Here I am speaking to the voting public, not to or for and political party or person. I am not in favor or against any of them. I am for the process that leads to intelligent development and progress of the island. I am advising the voting public not to be “party-minded” but to be “process specific”. The persistent change in government is disruptive to the social, political and economic development and progress, which should be like a stream flowing smoothly to its destination with the expectation of a few rough currents when the winds (circumstances) change in the environment of operation. Remember set yourself up for the future-Anticipate difficulties and try to prepare for them as you continue to push forward.

UNDERSTANDING GOVERNMENT- WHAT IS THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT?

The immediate role of any government regardless of its form or philosophy is to:

1. To maintain order and domestic tranquility
2. To provide for the general welfare of the people

If the above two conditions are not adequately addressed, then the citizens may contemplate a change.

Internally, in Montserrat, the government is an elected body. It means that they are members of the society elected (voted in) and charged to carry out a program approved by the members of that society

(the electorate) for the social, political and economical improvement and development of the society.

Keep in mind that at its present stage of political development, the island is tied to and can be constrained by its colonial relationship – MONTSERRAT IS A COLONY.

Getting back to this elected body. They can bring suggestions and plans to the people on how to develop the society socially, politically and economically, BUT the society itself must have a plan or platform on which anybody or party it elects must continue to work on. It is the responsibility of the society to hold that elected body responsible for the continuing of the national plan or program. Persistent change is not the way to achieve this. DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT. HOLD IT TO RESPONSIBILITY.

In the government’s first role – order and domestic tranquility, this is a shared role between the elected body from the people and the colonial power. It is both internal and external. Externally the island is not facing or embroiled in any dispute or conflict for which the colonial power would take prime responsibility. Internally this is a cooperative responsibility that involves immigration, customs, coast guard and the local police forces against acts of criminality. Internally through its power, the elected the ability to arrest, charge, convict, imprison and deport violators of public order and domestic tranquility.

Growth and development cannot take place in an environment or atmosphere of disorder. As an example of a small city-state with minimal natural resources that developed into a world financial and shipping center, we can look at Singapore, once an insignificant backwater part of the British Empire. Its rise came about as a result of a strong, firm, disciplined leadership, following a planned economic program, and social order of compliance by members of the society.  Growth and development can take place in an environment of the disorder. It is important to also understand that control of the forces that are charged to maintain disorder and tranquility internally and externally are subject to the direct authority of the colonial power, as civil servants, through its governorship. MONTSERRAT IS A COLONY.

Before moving to a discussion of governments second role, let me clarify and explain why I say: DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT. HOLD IT TO RESPONSIBILITY.

MONTSERRAT IS A COLONY, governed by a colonial power, that has mandated responsibility for its development towards self-development and sustainability. These responsibilities are enshrined in the articles of the charter of the United Nations. The concerns of the island are exactly where they should be.  Montserrat is exactly where it should be- under the light and support it should receive from the United Nations. This is a TREMENDOUS ACHIEVEMENT of the present elected body. This is a MONUMENTAL STEP towards self-development. A power, and influence outside of the colonial power will be monitoring the colonial power’s intent and efforts towards the island’s preparation for self-government, self-efficiency, and sustainability. The interests of the island are on the world stage as it has never been. It is not a time to be changing internal government it is a time to close the ranks and come together as a unified body, exhibiting strength and determination. It is important for us to keep in mind that Great Britain, is one of the members of the UN Security Council and has a strong presence and vote in what the UN approves or disapprove. Nonetheless, it has mandated responsibilities as a colonial power that it is obligated to adhere to. It is a place to which our concerns and disagreements with the colonial power can be taken for redress. The present elected officials under the leadership of Premier Donaldson Romeo, have taken the concerns of a small island to a large body of nations. As intelligent thinking people, we cannot allow this connection, this link to be broken. It is something that as a nation Montserrat must strive to expand. This will take unity(oneness), not diverging or competing influences. This step requires a common unity (Community) of all the parties seeking to represent the people of Montserrat. This must be the platform that the society must have as the working tool for self-development and sustainability. This must be the NATIONAL platform from which we work.

 ALL PROJECTS AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENTS (ports, hospital, airports, schools) can be and should be reasoned through this avenue.

This is not to be a bullwhip on or over the colonial power. Rather it is a light to see what they should have done, should be doing and must do. WE ARE NOT ALONE. THIS IS A SLOW DELIBERATIVE PROCESS, BUT WITH PATIENCE, CONSTANCY, AND UNITY IT HAS WORK, DOES WORK AND WILL CONTINUE TO WORK, in the places where men of principle and fairness value human dignity and freedom.

DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT. FORCE ALL OF THE PARTIES TO WORK TOGETHER. THIS IS THE BEST WAY FOR US AT THIS JUNCTURE.

Premier Donaldson Romeo, has called for unity after the election, hold him and all other contenders to this need. As a small non-independent colonial possession, Montserrat is set to take on a giant power

on the world stage. Premier Romeo is right it is a time for unity. We need a common front.

It is important for me to state at this time that nothing mentioned above is against Great Britain or inferring that Great Britain has been neglectful in its responsibility to Montserrat. Everything is to be taken as an indication in the interest of the future of Montserrat. DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT, HOLD IT TO RESPONSIBILITY AND BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

Let us now look at the second role of government- to provide for the general welfare of the people. What does this mean? It is in our understanding of the term “general welfare”. We can postulate that this can be understood as the basic human needs:

1. Food
2. Clothing
3. Shelter

We could have identified a fourth- Security- but that should have been provided through the first role of government. I am going to sidestep a discussion on clothing and shelter, as these needs are influenced by other economic and development factors and will be touched upon later.

Let us recap two(2) important understandings – 1- the elected governments are members of the society and 2- the elected government should be following a  plan or program of development, that is designed to move the society forward no matter what party or person is at its helm. This means that the society must have something on the table that the elected government is adhering to. The society itself must be an agent of responsibility for its development. BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

This idea of “general welfare” has to be the consideration and formulation of providing for FOOD SECURITY. This should be an internal priority for the society NOW and for its future. We can have better hospitals, ports, airports, tourism and digital connection to the outside world, but if we are without food, none of them means anything. We must be thinking people. The society must formulate a developmental plan on how it will feed itself during normal times and during periods of crisis such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and droughts. Governments’ role will be to marshal the resources need to implement such a plan, but it is the society that must be committed to the plan. Anyone looking a “food security” on the island must see a major problem (this does not include the amount of unlabeled or time dated food in the supermarkets). This is internal food production itself. It is a harbinger of future problems, public disorder and the upsetting of domestic tranquility that the society itself has changed the elected body to maintain.

The island has an import-based economy.

The student of economics should be familiar with the term “Comparative advantage”.  For the layman, it simply means that a nation should produce for itself those goods and services that it can produce cheaper or more cost effective than somewhere else. And it should import those products and commodities in which it has the least comparative advantage.  The position of placing food security as a priority national effort should direct our attention to the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

When on island I often take the time to listen to HARD TALK, on Tuesday nights, chaired by Messrs. Wade, Queeley(?), etc.  In one episode they indicated that the last three Ministers of that Ministry has done nothing to push forward agriculture. Not having complete information on that assumption, on this, I cannot agree or disagree.  Most elected aspirants want to be over Finance or Public Works, but in the National Plan, the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, and Environment is the most critical to our future development and success.

Most of the food consumed on the island is imported. This is a monumental problem. Exacerbating this problem further is that the sources of this imported food are in the hands of non-nationals. We are a very, very careless group of people.

Let me state emphatically that we should not be against people from Mars opening businesses and making money. What the society must wrestle with and come to grips with, is that if it is to progress, and is serious about its future and the future of its children, it cannot have its food supply in the hands of non-nationals. Only and insane or mentally enslaved group of people would do that. Just think about it (to the men). You, your wife and children, your friends and extended family cannot eat if someone else doesn’t provide the food???? We tread on very sensitive matters here, but it is the truth.

Scientists and other researchers have already predicted that future conflicts and wars will be over food and water. The recent devastation in the Bahamas, highlighted the problem of adequate food in a time of crisis. China recently halted exportation of pork and has stored reserves, and India recently banned exports and the hoarding of Onions. 

DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT. BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

Because we are somewhere!

I recently had an engaging discussion with a former government worker from the Agriculture Department, who pointed out some of the efforts the current government is making in this endeavor. Such as crop rotation, irrigation, plowing at minimal or no expense to the farming community, whose enthusiasm in some areas was not positive.  It must be a long-term educating process from the government to the people on this issue, but it is the people to bring it to fruition. There is also visible evidence of more people growing food around their homes.

NATIONAL PRIORITIES

1.  External:  Continued presentation of our needs, rights, and entitlements under the UN Charter and working with Great Britain on Infrastructural Developments (ports, airports, etc). This is to be government-directed and people supported.

2.   Internal:  Development of National Plan to increase Food production and Security.

                       Expansion of the role of the Agriculture Department in the Economy and national development

                       People directed; government-supported.

It is my belief that if we promote our development along these lines, it will make Montserrat

more attractive to investors, tourists and our own overseas nationals. This will not be an overnight

accomplishment, but it can be done. What it needs is a stable environment, dedicated, selfless leadership and committed men and women with the fire of liberation.

CHURCH AND STATE

Montserratians, as a society espouses deep religiosity. As mentioned before close examination of reality may lead us to a different conclusion. In this light let us remember the biblical story of Joseph. Joseph’s story has many stories inside of it. One of those stories is Food Security.  Notwithstanding the circumstances, Joseph was placed in Egypt for a time that was to come. A time of famine. As a people, we should take measure of this and set ourselves up for the future.

The message of Food Security should be trumpeted by the religious establishment on each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is true revealed knowledge whose application is for all times.

DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT – HOLD THEM TO RESPONSIBILITY

This does not mean that there are not qualified individuals in other parties, but given the circumstances, the Queens Loyal Opposition must become Montserrat’s Loyal Cooperators.

DEMAND UNITY AND COOPERATION

To be continued……..

Leave a Reply

Please Support The Montserrat Reporter

This is bottom line for us! Unless we receive your support, our effort will not be able to continue. Whatever and however you can, please support The Montserrat Reporter in whatever amount you can (and whatever frequency) – and it only takes a minute.
Thank you

TMR print pages

Flow Internet Open Gifts

Notice – British American Insurace Company Ltd.

Newsletter

Archives

Bank of Montserrat – Scholarship Offer

FLOW - Back to School

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

by Joseph Kirnon

For some time, a discussion has been ongoing on the island concerning its past, its present level of development and its future. I have been fortunate to be on island to hear some of these discussions. Yet I am sure that I have also missed a lot. Given this understanding, I am going to comment only on the basis on my limited knowledge of all the relevant issues.

I will phrase my comments from a four-point perspective of life on the island:

Insert Ads Here

a) The Social life

b) The Political Life

c) The Economic Life

d) The Religious Life

The social life of a society has its roots embedded in the structure of its familial relationships. That is, the importance that it gives to strong family ties, and the relationship between the leader(s) and the led.

As a society, that is, a community of people with a common understanding of who they are, where they are, where they are going and how to get there, Montserratians seem to fall short. We seem to be in a quandary. We seem to want to be some of everything. We want to be British and Irish and Africans, when we are truly none of these things. There seems to be a lot of ideas, with little planning for implementation. Crosscutting of each other. Wanting everything now. Wanting to be the (BM) big man. As intelligent as we are, and I will be the first to state that Montserratians are some of the smartest people walking this earth. So let us stop and appraise our situation from an intelligent approach and make good decisions as we move forward to a turning point on our journey as a people: The coming election.

We are a population of approximately 5000 people. We know it could be a little less or a little more, but for argument’s sake let us use that number. Of that number the colonial power, Great Britain, has responsibility for maybe 3000, as the rest are nationals of other nations (Guyana, Trinidad, Haiti, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Antigua, Canada, etc). Technically Great Britain, is not really responsible for those individuals, even though they may have been on island for decades (take note of the deportation of Haitians in the Bahamas during this moment of crisis). No matter the terminology used, at the end of the day – MONTSERRAT IS A COLONY OF GREAT BRITAIN. Its responsibility is both internal and external. Its responsibility is social, political and economical and their interconnected linkages. We will come back to this shortly.

Before the volcano we can approximate the population to have been about 12,000 people, give or take a 1000 on each end. The number of immigrants in that number being relatively small. So numerically Great Britain had a greater responsibility before the volcano. That the population is outside of the island is not new information. The focus is on knowing and then developing mechanisms to re-incorporate then back into the life of the society even if they are far away through novel ideas. More to say on this as we go on. So, what do we do. BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

An average common man of the land said to me some years ago about being in Montserrat, that one has to “set yourself up for the future”. From a son of the soil who does not hold a BA, MA or PHD, this is a wise understanding of life to move forward with. Especially since those with BAs, MAs, PhDs and those of legal and other academic knowledge seems incapable of addressing the real issues facing Montserrat.  I took it to mean that one should plant the seeds and watch them grow. To do this requires patience and constancy. BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

Within the last year, I asked another Montserratian about what he thinks is going on in the country. His response to me was in this order:

1. Construction
2. Rum
3. Religion
4. Prostitution

I thought about their impact on the island in this manner:

Construction- A positive force for the development of society
Rum- A wreck on the human and productive resources in the society
Religion- Blinded by the Light. Oh ye of little faith
Prostitution- Moral degradation. Social and family breakdown.  Negative investment.

Granted that this individual might be of low on the socio-economic scale, I voucher to say that many would agree with his assessment.  Often the less fortunate of society are more closely attuned to what is really going on, and if we look closely with open eyes and listen intently with our ears, we may admit that this fellow is close to the target. How do we proceed? BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

Do not change the government in the coming election.  Here I am speaking to the voting public, not to or for and political party or person. I am not in favor or against any of them. I am for the process that leads to intelligent development and progress of the island. I am advising the voting public not to be “party-minded” but to be “process specific”. The persistent change in government is disruptive to the social, political and economic development and progress, which should be like a stream flowing smoothly to its destination with the expectation of a few rough currents when the winds (circumstances) change in the environment of operation. Remember set yourself up for the future-Anticipate difficulties and try to prepare for them as you continue to push forward.

UNDERSTANDING GOVERNMENT- WHAT IS THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT?

The immediate role of any government regardless of its form or philosophy is to:

1. To maintain order and domestic tranquility
2. To provide for the general welfare of the people

If the above two conditions are not adequately addressed, then the citizens may contemplate a change.

Internally, in Montserrat, the government is an elected body. It means that they are members of the society elected (voted in) and charged to carry out a program approved by the members of that society

(the electorate) for the social, political and economical improvement and development of the society.

Keep in mind that at its present stage of political development, the island is tied to and can be constrained by its colonial relationship – MONTSERRAT IS A COLONY.

Getting back to this elected body. They can bring suggestions and plans to the people on how to develop the society socially, politically and economically, BUT the society itself must have a plan or platform on which anybody or party it elects must continue to work on. It is the responsibility of the society to hold that elected body responsible for the continuing of the national plan or program. Persistent change is not the way to achieve this. DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT. HOLD IT TO RESPONSIBILITY.

In the government’s first role – order and domestic tranquility, this is a shared role between the elected body from the people and the colonial power. It is both internal and external. Externally the island is not facing or embroiled in any dispute or conflict for which the colonial power would take prime responsibility. Internally this is a cooperative responsibility that involves immigration, customs, coast guard and the local police forces against acts of criminality. Internally through its power, the elected the ability to arrest, charge, convict, imprison and deport violators of public order and domestic tranquility.

Growth and development cannot take place in an environment or atmosphere of disorder. As an example of a small city-state with minimal natural resources that developed into a world financial and shipping center, we can look at Singapore, once an insignificant backwater part of the British Empire. Its rise came about as a result of a strong, firm, disciplined leadership, following a planned economic program, and social order of compliance by members of the society.  Growth and development can take place in an environment of the disorder. It is important to also understand that control of the forces that are charged to maintain disorder and tranquility internally and externally are subject to the direct authority of the colonial power, as civil servants, through its governorship. MONTSERRAT IS A COLONY.

Before moving to a discussion of governments second role, let me clarify and explain why I say: DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT. HOLD IT TO RESPONSIBILITY.

MONTSERRAT IS A COLONY, governed by a colonial power, that has mandated responsibility for its development towards self-development and sustainability. These responsibilities are enshrined in the articles of the charter of the United Nations. The concerns of the island are exactly where they should be.  Montserrat is exactly where it should be- under the light and support it should receive from the United Nations. This is a TREMENDOUS ACHIEVEMENT of the present elected body. This is a MONUMENTAL STEP towards self-development. A power, and influence outside of the colonial power will be monitoring the colonial power’s intent and efforts towards the island’s preparation for self-government, self-efficiency, and sustainability. The interests of the island are on the world stage as it has never been. It is not a time to be changing internal government it is a time to close the ranks and come together as a unified body, exhibiting strength and determination. It is important for us to keep in mind that Great Britain, is one of the members of the UN Security Council and has a strong presence and vote in what the UN approves or disapprove. Nonetheless, it has mandated responsibilities as a colonial power that it is obligated to adhere to. It is a place to which our concerns and disagreements with the colonial power can be taken for redress. The present elected officials under the leadership of Premier Donaldson Romeo, have taken the concerns of a small island to a large body of nations. As intelligent thinking people, we cannot allow this connection, this link to be broken. It is something that as a nation Montserrat must strive to expand. This will take unity(oneness), not diverging or competing influences. This step requires a common unity (Community) of all the parties seeking to represent the people of Montserrat. This must be the platform that the society must have as the working tool for self-development and sustainability. This must be the NATIONAL platform from which we work.

 ALL PROJECTS AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENTS (ports, hospital, airports, schools) can be and should be reasoned through this avenue.

This is not to be a bullwhip on or over the colonial power. Rather it is a light to see what they should have done, should be doing and must do. WE ARE NOT ALONE. THIS IS A SLOW DELIBERATIVE PROCESS, BUT WITH PATIENCE, CONSTANCY, AND UNITY IT HAS WORK, DOES WORK AND WILL CONTINUE TO WORK, in the places where men of principle and fairness value human dignity and freedom.

DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT. FORCE ALL OF THE PARTIES TO WORK TOGETHER. THIS IS THE BEST WAY FOR US AT THIS JUNCTURE.

Premier Donaldson Romeo, has called for unity after the election, hold him and all other contenders to this need. As a small non-independent colonial possession, Montserrat is set to take on a giant power

on the world stage. Premier Romeo is right it is a time for unity. We need a common front.

It is important for me to state at this time that nothing mentioned above is against Great Britain or inferring that Great Britain has been neglectful in its responsibility to Montserrat. Everything is to be taken as an indication in the interest of the future of Montserrat. DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT, HOLD IT TO RESPONSIBILITY AND BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

Let us now look at the second role of government- to provide for the general welfare of the people. What does this mean? It is in our understanding of the term “general welfare”. We can postulate that this can be understood as the basic human needs:

1. Food
2. Clothing
3. Shelter

We could have identified a fourth- Security- but that should have been provided through the first role of government. I am going to sidestep a discussion on clothing and shelter, as these needs are influenced by other economic and development factors and will be touched upon later.

Let us recap two(2) important understandings – 1- the elected governments are members of the society and 2- the elected government should be following a  plan or program of development, that is designed to move the society forward no matter what party or person is at its helm. This means that the society must have something on the table that the elected government is adhering to. The society itself must be an agent of responsibility for its development. BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

This idea of “general welfare” has to be the consideration and formulation of providing for FOOD SECURITY. This should be an internal priority for the society NOW and for its future. We can have better hospitals, ports, airports, tourism and digital connection to the outside world, but if we are without food, none of them means anything. We must be thinking people. The society must formulate a developmental plan on how it will feed itself during normal times and during periods of crisis such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and droughts. Governments’ role will be to marshal the resources need to implement such a plan, but it is the society that must be committed to the plan. Anyone looking a “food security” on the island must see a major problem (this does not include the amount of unlabeled or time dated food in the supermarkets). This is internal food production itself. It is a harbinger of future problems, public disorder and the upsetting of domestic tranquility that the society itself has changed the elected body to maintain.

The island has an import-based economy.

The student of economics should be familiar with the term “Comparative advantage”.  For the layman, it simply means that a nation should produce for itself those goods and services that it can produce cheaper or more cost effective than somewhere else. And it should import those products and commodities in which it has the least comparative advantage.  The position of placing food security as a priority national effort should direct our attention to the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

When on island I often take the time to listen to HARD TALK, on Tuesday nights, chaired by Messrs. Wade, Queeley(?), etc.  In one episode they indicated that the last three Ministers of that Ministry has done nothing to push forward agriculture. Not having complete information on that assumption, on this, I cannot agree or disagree.  Most elected aspirants want to be over Finance or Public Works, but in the National Plan, the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, and Environment is the most critical to our future development and success.

Most of the food consumed on the island is imported. This is a monumental problem. Exacerbating this problem further is that the sources of this imported food are in the hands of non-nationals. We are a very, very careless group of people.

Let me state emphatically that we should not be against people from Mars opening businesses and making money. What the society must wrestle with and come to grips with, is that if it is to progress, and is serious about its future and the future of its children, it cannot have its food supply in the hands of non-nationals. Only and insane or mentally enslaved group of people would do that. Just think about it (to the men). You, your wife and children, your friends and extended family cannot eat if someone else doesn’t provide the food???? We tread on very sensitive matters here, but it is the truth.

Scientists and other researchers have already predicted that future conflicts and wars will be over food and water. The recent devastation in the Bahamas, highlighted the problem of adequate food in a time of crisis. China recently halted exportation of pork and has stored reserves, and India recently banned exports and the hoarding of Onions. 

DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT. BEGIN WHERE WE ARE.

Because we are somewhere!

I recently had an engaging discussion with a former government worker from the Agriculture Department, who pointed out some of the efforts the current government is making in this endeavor. Such as crop rotation, irrigation, plowing at minimal or no expense to the farming community, whose enthusiasm in some areas was not positive.  It must be a long-term educating process from the government to the people on this issue, but it is the people to bring it to fruition. There is also visible evidence of more people growing food around their homes.

NATIONAL PRIORITIES

1.  External:  Continued presentation of our needs, rights, and entitlements under the UN Charter and working with Great Britain on Infrastructural Developments (ports, airports, etc). This is to be government-directed and people supported.

2.   Internal:  Development of National Plan to increase Food production and Security.

                       Expansion of the role of the Agriculture Department in the Economy and national development

                       People directed; government-supported.

It is my belief that if we promote our development along these lines, it will make Montserrat

more attractive to investors, tourists and our own overseas nationals. This will not be an overnight

accomplishment, but it can be done. What it needs is a stable environment, dedicated, selfless leadership and committed men and women with the fire of liberation.

CHURCH AND STATE

Montserratians, as a society espouses deep religiosity. As mentioned before close examination of reality may lead us to a different conclusion. In this light let us remember the biblical story of Joseph. Joseph’s story has many stories inside of it. One of those stories is Food Security.  Notwithstanding the circumstances, Joseph was placed in Egypt for a time that was to come. A time of famine. As a people, we should take measure of this and set ourselves up for the future.

The message of Food Security should be trumpeted by the religious establishment on each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is true revealed knowledge whose application is for all times.

DO NOT CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT – HOLD THEM TO RESPONSIBILITY

This does not mean that there are not qualified individuals in other parties, but given the circumstances, the Queens Loyal Opposition must become Montserrat’s Loyal Cooperators.

DEMAND UNITY AND COOPERATION

To be continued……..