Governor Carriere claims harassment – ends press conference

We had already expressed our displeasure that the Governor’s press conference where her guest was the Deputy Head of DFID department scheduled for Friday, October 6, 2017, would be reduced to 45 minutes. We noted that it highlighted the disinterest or as we have said before the ignorance in keeping especially the public of Montserrat, appropriately informed.

Here then was Governor Carriere expressing her frustration and asking Bennette Roach if he was harassing her while he tried to get from her the specifics regarding the State of Emergency she said she had signed but was eventually not published.

A knowledgeable source of government matters shared the recording which can be heard here: (https://montserratradioecho.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/saturday-october-7-2017-this-weeks-press-conference-by-her-excellency-elizabeth-carriere-governor-of-montserrat/ and shared with the following: “Listen to the end. DFID official totally inept and disingenuous. Then listen as Bennette Roach is calling out the Governor for lying about her attempt to unilaterally declare a State of Emergency. She gets flustered and claims harassment and abruptly ends the Press Conference.”

Another source said: “She is totally lying… ask a few other people what she said in the meeting. One of the biggest things for me was when she went out of her way to state that, ‘it is Your Constitution’ that you voted for.’”

That source opined on an issue that has been reported in government circles: “…that statement was made because she knew she was upstaging the Premier…but she was saying neither he nor anybody could stop it because, ‘it is our Constitution.’” This information went on to say she said: “I have just signed the papers and I am declaring a state of Public Emergency.”

The question to the Governor came from Radio Montserrat’s James White: “…it’s been rumoured. that there was a plan to invoke a state of emergency at some point in time, what even triggered this thought? James asked.

The Governor no doubt expected the question, as the matter raised many questions and some reactions, being more than a rumour to some of the media.

“OK,” she began, “I think that’s useful to clarify that because a lot of people don’t understand that every time we have a disaster approaching the documents for declaring a state of emergency or proclaiming a state of emergency are prepared and those documents are for the governor to sign – And we did that as we always do we did… so that was just before we sort of knew the full situation and what kind of response we were we could expect from the U.K… So, I can say I signed the document. But that does not mean that there was a declaration because it has to be decided…” continuing to speak in confused terms even though it was declared understood.

She eventually continued, “And it became obvious that it wasn’t needed… So it was never proclaimed so there was no state of emergency that was just a preparation for a state of emergency and I really want to clarify that so however it is very important that we understand the whole process and I think what this instance brought to light was that we I don’t think we were as prepared as we should have been.”

Her response really said little as why she signed the ‘frustrated” declaration, but continuing to circumvent the real problem that developed after she had boasted about having signed the declaration of a State of public emergency.

Listen here:

She moved to clarify further, and without saying why her declaration became stuck. “Because you know we need to have more consultation – but we need to have consultation outside of the NDPRAC (National Disaster Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee) because although we talked about that quite a bit in the NDPRAC it needs to be outside and the there is this body the National Advisory Committee, (here she must have erred slightly as it must be she was referring to the National Advisory Council) that is mandated in the Constitution.

Section 18 of the Constitution deals with: Provisions for periods of public emergency

“Section 18.—(1) The Governor may, by proclamation published in the Gazette, declare that a period of public emergency exists.

(2) Without prejudice to the power of the Legislature to make laws under this Constitution, during a period of public emergency the Governor may make such regulations for Montserrat as appear to him or her to be necessary or expedient for securing the public safety, the defence of Montserrat or the maintenance of public order, or for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community.”

(4) Before exercising any function under subsection (1) or (2) or under any emergency law enacted by the Legislature, the Governor shall consult the National Advisory Council or, if that is not practicable in the circumstances, the Premier;”

After pointing out that the NAC (which of course is also the synonym for National Advisory Committee under the NDPRAC) “it hasn’t met for five years,” adding, “when I looked into it and I looked into what the Constitution said about what their responsibilities with regard to security in general but also with regard to emergencies, I thought it would be important to convene that group very quickly which I have done…” much of which was quite irrelevant but served only to divert thought on the matter and the real issue of what invoked her misfire…

She moved further to point out that the NAC (Constitution’s National Advisory Council) had one additional member in the leader of the Opposition, to the NAC – NDPRAC.

Governor Carriere’s claim of being harrassed

Following the convoluted attempt at clarity to the question on the thought behind the signed proclamation of public emergency and questions directed at her guest the Deputy Head of DFID Mr. Indranil Chakrabarti, aware that the Governor had not been quite forthcoming with her response on the Emergency issue, I sought of her to be more forthright on the matter of her signed but (stalled) unpublished declaration and the necessity for it.

Following is what ensued, following which Governor Carriere exited the room leaving her guest behind. “…and actually if you look at the Constitution you will see that part of that consultation should be with the N A C. Now that that motion or that document was not enacted – so there was no state of emergency. OK. So so I want to be clear on that there was no emergency proclamation that was legally enacte,” “Your excellency…,” I interrupted, “Are you harassing me Mr Roach?” You can call that whatever you wish…” I said…whereupon she continued, “Well I think I’m going to bring this line of questioning to a close because we have reached the end of our time…” She proceeded to end the press conference, with five minutes still to go of the 45 minutes she had allowed, storming out, leaving her guest behind.

Listen here:

Here is the press conference:

 

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We had already expressed our displeasure that the Governor’s press conference where her guest was the Deputy Head of DFID department scheduled for Friday, October 6, 2017, would be reduced to 45 minutes. We noted that it highlighted the disinterest or as we have said before the ignorance in keeping especially the public of Montserrat, appropriately informed.

Here then was Governor Carriere expressing her frustration and asking Bennette Roach if he was harassing her while he tried to get from her the specifics regarding the State of Emergency she said she had signed but was eventually not published.

A knowledgeable source of government matters shared the recording which can be heard here: (https://montserratradioecho.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/saturday-october-7-2017-this-weeks-press-conference-by-her-excellency-elizabeth-carriere-governor-of-montserrat/ and shared with the following: “Listen to the end. DFID official totally inept and disingenuous. Then listen as Bennette Roach is calling out the Governor for lying about her attempt to unilaterally declare a State of Emergency. She gets flustered and claims harassment and abruptly ends the Press Conference.”

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Another source said: “She is totally lying… ask a few other people what she said in the meeting. One of the biggest things for me was when she went out of her way to state that, ‘it is Your Constitution’ that you voted for.’”

That source opined on an issue that has been reported in government circles: “…that statement was made because she knew she was upstaging the Premier…but she was saying neither he nor anybody could stop it because, ‘it is our Constitution.’” This information went on to say she said: “I have just signed the papers and I am declaring a state of Public Emergency.”

The question to the Governor came from Radio Montserrat’s James White: “…it’s been rumoured. that there was a plan to invoke a state of emergency at some point in time, what even triggered this thought? James asked.

The Governor no doubt expected the question, as the matter raised many questions and some reactions, being more than a rumour to some of the media.

“OK,” she began, “I think that’s useful to clarify that because a lot of people don’t understand that every time we have a disaster approaching the documents for declaring a state of emergency or proclaiming a state of emergency are prepared and those documents are for the governor to sign – And we did that as we always do we did… so that was just before we sort of knew the full situation and what kind of response we were we could expect from the U.K… So, I can say I signed the document. But that does not mean that there was a declaration because it has to be decided…” continuing to speak in confused terms even though it was declared understood.

She eventually continued, “And it became obvious that it wasn’t needed… So it was never proclaimed so there was no state of emergency that was just a preparation for a state of emergency and I really want to clarify that so however it is very important that we understand the whole process and I think what this instance brought to light was that we I don’t think we were as prepared as we should have been.”

Her response really said little as why she signed the ‘frustrated” declaration, but continuing to circumvent the real problem that developed after she had boasted about having signed the declaration of a State of public emergency.

Listen here:

She moved to clarify further, and without saying why her declaration became stuck. “Because you know we need to have more consultation – but we need to have consultation outside of the NDPRAC (National Disaster Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee) because although we talked about that quite a bit in the NDPRAC it needs to be outside and the there is this body the National Advisory Committee, (here she must have erred slightly as it must be she was referring to the National Advisory Council) that is mandated in the Constitution.

Section 18 of the Constitution deals with: Provisions for periods of public emergency

“Section 18.—(1) The Governor may, by proclamation published in the Gazette, declare that a period of public emergency exists.

(2) Without prejudice to the power of the Legislature to make laws under this Constitution, during a period of public emergency the Governor may make such regulations for Montserrat as appear to him or her to be necessary or expedient for securing the public safety, the defence of Montserrat or the maintenance of public order, or for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community.”

(4) Before exercising any function under subsection (1) or (2) or under any emergency law enacted by the Legislature, the Governor shall consult the National Advisory Council or, if that is not practicable in the circumstances, the Premier;”

After pointing out that the NAC (which of course is also the synonym for National Advisory Committee under the NDPRAC) “it hasn’t met for five years,” adding, “when I looked into it and I looked into what the Constitution said about what their responsibilities with regard to security in general but also with regard to emergencies, I thought it would be important to convene that group very quickly which I have done…” much of which was quite irrelevant but served only to divert thought on the matter and the real issue of what invoked her misfire…

She moved further to point out that the NAC (Constitution’s National Advisory Council) had one additional member in the leader of the Opposition, to the NAC – NDPRAC.

Governor Carriere’s claim of being harrassed

Following the convoluted attempt at clarity to the question on the thought behind the signed proclamation of public emergency and questions directed at her guest the Deputy Head of DFID Mr. Indranil Chakrabarti, aware that the Governor had not been quite forthcoming with her response on the Emergency issue, I sought of her to be more forthright on the matter of her signed but (stalled) unpublished declaration and the necessity for it.

Following is what ensued, following which Governor Carriere exited the room leaving her guest behind. “…and actually if you look at the Constitution you will see that part of that consultation should be with the N A C. Now that that motion or that document was not enacted – so there was no state of emergency. OK. So so I want to be clear on that there was no emergency proclamation that was legally enacte,” “Your excellency…,” I interrupted, “Are you harassing me Mr Roach?” You can call that whatever you wish…” I said…whereupon she continued, “Well I think I’m going to bring this line of questioning to a close because we have reached the end of our time…” She proceeded to end the press conference, with five minutes still to go of the 45 minutes she had allowed, storming out, leaving her guest behind.

Listen here:

Here is the press conference: