Jus Wonderin – October 6, 2017

October 6, 2017

Jus wonderin if Montserrat’s state of affairs epitomizes Christian doctrine gone bad, sheer madness or both where good meets punishment and evil meets rewards.

Jus wonderin what “data and other confidential information” a transparency – honest – and integrity-centered government have to hide from their partners (like DfID), colleagues and the stakeholders people they supposedly represent.

Jus wonderin if dem person(s) responsible for the termination of the Head of GoM’s Programme Management Office (PMO) considered the ramifications of having no one to manage the delivery of the transformational capital programme.

Jus wonderin if the intent was to further retard the island’s development or just mere corruption intent.

Jus wonderin if we will ever learn the truth about Gomersall’s dismissal–without cause; if the actual reason was made public, would it trigger a huge scandal; and if any of the transformational projects the PMO Head was responsible for delivering will materialize during our lifetime.

Jus wonderin what it means that Montserratians are British citizens other than we have the right of abode in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Jus wonderin if persons lose their human rights once they immigrate to Montserrat as some Montserratians seem to think they ought to and should this extend to the thousands of Montserratians, families and friends who have immigrated to other countries.

Jus wonderin if the UK’s definition of meeting Montserratians’ reasonable needs is limited to the five basic human survival needs:  oxygen, water, food, shelter and sleep.  Well, maybe not shelter.

Jus wonderin if Glendon Hospital—described in the business case presented to DfID for funding as being unfit for purpose—meets our reasonable needs, as defined by the UK.

Jus wonderin when all parties concerned, DfID, aid donors, GoM and the people of Montserrat, will ever agree a definition of “reasonable needs” or when, at least, we can have a common understanding of what the UK means by the phrase.

Jus wonderin if we can trust the UK government not to renege on any commitment it makes.

Jus wonderin what happened to the DfID-funded £4.94 million fiber optic broadband grant for Montserrat that was reported via various media in early January 2017 when a DfID spokesperson said:  Following the devastating eruption in the UK overseas territory, we’ve met our legal obligations to Montserrat by investing in the vital infrastructure needed for the island to stand on its own two feet again.”

Jus wonderin if the UK now believes Montserrat can stand on its own two feet, no longer considers the fiber optic project to be vital infrastructure, or they have fully met their legal obligations to Montserrat.

Jus wonderin if conditions at DfID are so chaotic, the new Deputy Director failed to do his homework, or he was improperly briefed before arriving in Montserrat that when asked about funding for vital infrastructure projects, (including some already approved by his government) Mr Chakrabarti stated that DfID would take the approach they have always taken:  taking everything on a case-by-case basis, looking at value for money, impact, purpose, etc. and would be keen on leveraging joint public-private-IFI (International Financial Institutions) ventures.

Jus wonderin if outgoing British officials don’t prepare handover notes for their replacements and that’s why a new business case has to be prepared for projects that have been in the pipeline for years, in some cases, decades every time a new DfID official comes on the scene.  Or like many politicians and officials, they believe there is nothing worth learning from their predecessors or history and must restart everything from scratch.

Jus wonderin if the new Deputy DFID Director is really unaware that as a UK Overseas Territory (colony), Montserrat cannot borrow money from international financial institutions (per UK restrictions) and that the already approved £4.94 million fiber optic project involved investments from local internet service providers of around £51,000 plus £150,000 from the European Union.

Jus wonderin if the sole purpose of the Governor’s October 2017 press conference was to make us understand once and for all that she is in charge because as she has said, the majority of our enlightened elected leaders approved a constitution that made it so.

Jus wonderin if it is now crystal clear that Montserrat is still a colony and we are responsible for our predicament.

Jus wonderin when Montserrat was last represented at the annual UN Decolonization Committee Seminars and if it is because the Governor didn’t pass on the invitation to the Premier or the invitation got lost in the mail.

Jus wonderin why the Premier met with the Deputy DFID Head immediately after the Governor’s October 2017 press conference.

Jus wonderin why the Premier was not invited to the today October 2017 press conference since neither the Governor nor the Deputy DfID head could tell us anything about what was agreed between Montserrat and the UK because according to the Deputy DfID Head, only GoM could do that.

Jus wonderin if the Governor doesn’t realize that she forms part of Montserrat’s government, de jure. And DfID too for that matter, de facto.

Jus wonderin if the Governor understands the difference between ‘de jure’ and ‘de facto’ (convention) and why the latter may be important in maintaining good intergovernmental relations, especially in 21st century colonial environments.

Jus wonderin if the Governor should seriously consider hiring our esteemed resident constitutional expert, Dr Fergus, to explain the Montserrat Constitution Order 2010 to her, the legislature and all other government officials.

Jus wonderin if de Guvna really tink a-we believe she when she deny dat she tell a room full u people who are not deaf or dumb: “I am declaring a state of emergency,” dat she already sign.

Jus wonderin if a true wa people a say bout de two national pappy shows.

Jus wonderin all who a conspire against who fu dem job in an out u govment and if any u dem a go succeed.

Jus wonderin if a true de Govna and she Deputy a join de udder conspirators a mek trouble fu de Premier.

Jus wonderin who me fu tell when me witness wrongdoing.

Jus wonderin if me expose misconduct wa a go happen to me, protection or retribution and wa de law say bout um.

Jus wonderin if the Governor thinks that I’m harassing her just like she accused the editor of TMR of doing at her recent press conference or if she recognizes that I’m expressing my constitutional right to free expression, without malice.

Jus wonderin what our leaders’ spiritual and technical advisers are telling them and if dat mek dem no tek or ever follow advice proffered.

Jus wonderin if a guilt a talk when we hear on Radio ZJB that we ha fu integrate the elderly into society or me jus misunderstand.

Jus wonderin what percentage of Montserrat’s population is over the age of 55.

Jus wonderin if Minister Lady Macbeth only has confidence in herself and where her ambition will lead her ultimately.

Jus wonderin why some Ministers don’t replace their technical advisers since they clearly have no confidence in them and why some of these advisers remain in such a hostile environment when they would be welcomed with open arms, respect and suitable compensation by many other countries and international organizations that recognize the value of their expertise.

Jus wonderin if I’ll die before Premier finally reveals (as he continually promises) the whole story about everything ‘gone bad’ such as corruption, treachery, why approved projects are delayed, what really happened at MDC, PIU, PMO, Procurement Unit, etc.

Jus wonderin how many of us can admit when we don’t know, know when we don’t know or just pretend we don’t know.

Jus wonderin why anyone would advocate hiring an unqualified Montserratian over a qualified non-Montserratian just so that a few more Montserratians would have money in their pockets, and how Montserrat would benefit, in the short or long term.

Jus wonderin if some government officials, including the governor and most new DfID personnel ever bother to read relevant documents or have basic common sense judging from some of recent comments uttered publicly about documenting lessons learned from the recent hurricane strikes such as the need for backup generators, maintaining equipment, building resilient structures, putting utility cables underground, proper shelters, a radio station that doesn’t go off air at the beginning of every disaster, etc., etc.

Jus wonderin what productive work some of our elected and non-elected officials do with their time during working hours. 

Jus wonderin why some people work so much harder at not doing their job rather than actually performing the functions for which they were hired get paid and yet expect to get performance increments.

Jus wonderin if Montserrat doesn’t have a suitable building code designed for our region’s geography; business cases for a proper hospital that doesn’t require relocation before an imminent natural disaster and a road refurbishment project that includes ducting work includes underground ducts for electricity, water, telephone (fiber optic) and cable TV; inadequate budgets for proper maintenance and replacement of critical equipment and infrastructure like Radio Montserrat.

Jus wonderin if ignorance in hurricane prone Montserrat is an acceptable excuse when it comes to dealing with the preparation for and after-effects of a severe hurricane rather than accepting accountability for things that could reasonably have been prevented via “robust infrastructure.”

Jus wonderin if we are going to wait for mass casualties before appropriate corrective action is taken for things we know gone bad.

Jus wonderin wa we a go do when the Carrs Bay culvert collapses or the one at Soldier Ghaut, pretend we didn’t know about the structural problems for at least six years?

Jus wonderin since people won’t read documents that ought to be readily available, if it wouldn’t be prudent to rehire or at least consult those with institutional memory before it is too late to clue in the clueless and prevent calamity or are we just too paranoid to trust anyone or just plain wicked.

Jus wonderin if anyone is maintaining the library at the Development Unit or if government departments still send copies of important studies, reports and papers to the public library.

Jus wonderin if all of our elected and non-elected governments have acknowledged that Montserrat is in crisis and will do what reasonable people do in such situations:  work together to save ourselves and our island for future generations plus preserve their pay checks for at least two more years and gain a pension if the new ones can last six full years.

Just wonderin if the maxim that we learn from our mistakes is true.

Jus wonderin if we’d be bored without the wickedness, desperation, ignorance and stupidity.

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October 6, 2017

Jus wonderin if Montserrat’s state of affairs epitomizes Christian doctrine gone bad, sheer madness or both where good meets punishment and evil meets rewards.

Jus wonderin what “data and other confidential information” a transparency – honest – and integrity-centered government have to hide from their partners (like DfID), colleagues and the stakeholders people they supposedly represent.

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Jus wonderin if dem person(s) responsible for the termination of the Head of GoM’s Programme Management Office (PMO) considered the ramifications of having no one to manage the delivery of the transformational capital programme.

Jus wonderin if the intent was to further retard the island’s development or just mere corruption intent.

Jus wonderin if we will ever learn the truth about Gomersall’s dismissal–without cause; if the actual reason was made public, would it trigger a huge scandal; and if any of the transformational projects the PMO Head was responsible for delivering will materialize during our lifetime.

Jus wonderin what it means that Montserratians are British citizens other than we have the right of abode in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Jus wonderin if persons lose their human rights once they immigrate to Montserrat as some Montserratians seem to think they ought to and should this extend to the thousands of Montserratians, families and friends who have immigrated to other countries.

Jus wonderin if the UK’s definition of meeting Montserratians’ reasonable needs is limited to the five basic human survival needs:  oxygen, water, food, shelter and sleep.  Well, maybe not shelter.

Jus wonderin if Glendon Hospital—described in the business case presented to DfID for funding as being unfit for purpose—meets our reasonable needs, as defined by the UK.

Jus wonderin when all parties concerned, DfID, aid donors, GoM and the people of Montserrat, will ever agree a definition of “reasonable needs” or when, at least, we can have a common understanding of what the UK means by the phrase.

Jus wonderin if we can trust the UK government not to renege on any commitment it makes.

Jus wonderin what happened to the DfID-funded £4.94 million fiber optic broadband grant for Montserrat that was reported via various media in early January 2017 when a DfID spokesperson said:  Following the devastating eruption in the UK overseas territory, we’ve met our legal obligations to Montserrat by investing in the vital infrastructure needed for the island to stand on its own two feet again.”

Jus wonderin if the UK now believes Montserrat can stand on its own two feet, no longer considers the fiber optic project to be vital infrastructure, or they have fully met their legal obligations to Montserrat.

Jus wonderin if conditions at DfID are so chaotic, the new Deputy Director failed to do his homework, or he was improperly briefed before arriving in Montserrat that when asked about funding for vital infrastructure projects, (including some already approved by his government) Mr Chakrabarti stated that DfID would take the approach they have always taken:  taking everything on a case-by-case basis, looking at value for money, impact, purpose, etc. and would be keen on leveraging joint public-private-IFI (International Financial Institutions) ventures.

Jus wonderin if outgoing British officials don’t prepare handover notes for their replacements and that’s why a new business case has to be prepared for projects that have been in the pipeline for years, in some cases, decades every time a new DfID official comes on the scene.  Or like many politicians and officials, they believe there is nothing worth learning from their predecessors or history and must restart everything from scratch.

Jus wonderin if the new Deputy DFID Director is really unaware that as a UK Overseas Territory (colony), Montserrat cannot borrow money from international financial institutions (per UK restrictions) and that the already approved £4.94 million fiber optic project involved investments from local internet service providers of around £51,000 plus £150,000 from the European Union.

Jus wonderin if the sole purpose of the Governor’s October 2017 press conference was to make us understand once and for all that she is in charge because as she has said, the majority of our enlightened elected leaders approved a constitution that made it so.

Jus wonderin if it is now crystal clear that Montserrat is still a colony and we are responsible for our predicament.

Jus wonderin when Montserrat was last represented at the annual UN Decolonization Committee Seminars and if it is because the Governor didn’t pass on the invitation to the Premier or the invitation got lost in the mail.

Jus wonderin why the Premier met with the Deputy DFID Head immediately after the Governor’s October 2017 press conference.

Jus wonderin why the Premier was not invited to the today October 2017 press conference since neither the Governor nor the Deputy DfID head could tell us anything about what was agreed between Montserrat and the UK because according to the Deputy DfID Head, only GoM could do that.

Jus wonderin if the Governor doesn’t realize that she forms part of Montserrat’s government, de jure. And DfID too for that matter, de facto.

Jus wonderin if the Governor understands the difference between ‘de jure’ and ‘de facto’ (convention) and why the latter may be important in maintaining good intergovernmental relations, especially in 21st century colonial environments.

Jus wonderin if the Governor should seriously consider hiring our esteemed resident constitutional expert, Dr Fergus, to explain the Montserrat Constitution Order 2010 to her, the legislature and all other government officials.

Jus wonderin if de Guvna really tink a-we believe she when she deny dat she tell a room full u people who are not deaf or dumb: “I am declaring a state of emergency,” dat she already sign.

Jus wonderin if a true wa people a say bout de two national pappy shows.

Jus wonderin all who a conspire against who fu dem job in an out u govment and if any u dem a go succeed.

Jus wonderin if a true de Govna and she Deputy a join de udder conspirators a mek trouble fu de Premier.

Jus wonderin who me fu tell when me witness wrongdoing.

Jus wonderin if me expose misconduct wa a go happen to me, protection or retribution and wa de law say bout um.

Jus wonderin if the Governor thinks that I’m harassing her just like she accused the editor of TMR of doing at her recent press conference or if she recognizes that I’m expressing my constitutional right to free expression, without malice.

Jus wonderin what our leaders’ spiritual and technical advisers are telling them and if dat mek dem no tek or ever follow advice proffered.

Jus wonderin if a guilt a talk when we hear on Radio ZJB that we ha fu integrate the elderly into society or me jus misunderstand.

Jus wonderin what percentage of Montserrat’s population is over the age of 55.

Jus wonderin if Minister Lady Macbeth only has confidence in herself and where her ambition will lead her ultimately.

Jus wonderin why some Ministers don’t replace their technical advisers since they clearly have no confidence in them and why some of these advisers remain in such a hostile environment when they would be welcomed with open arms, respect and suitable compensation by many other countries and international organizations that recognize the value of their expertise.

Jus wonderin if I’ll die before Premier finally reveals (as he continually promises) the whole story about everything ‘gone bad’ such as corruption, treachery, why approved projects are delayed, what really happened at MDC, PIU, PMO, Procurement Unit, etc.

Jus wonderin how many of us can admit when we don’t know, know when we don’t know or just pretend we don’t know.

Jus wonderin why anyone would advocate hiring an unqualified Montserratian over a qualified non-Montserratian just so that a few more Montserratians would have money in their pockets, and how Montserrat would benefit, in the short or long term.

Jus wonderin if some government officials, including the governor and most new DfID personnel ever bother to read relevant documents or have basic common sense judging from some of recent comments uttered publicly about documenting lessons learned from the recent hurricane strikes such as the need for backup generators, maintaining equipment, building resilient structures, putting utility cables underground, proper shelters, a radio station that doesn’t go off air at the beginning of every disaster, etc., etc.

Jus wonderin what productive work some of our elected and non-elected officials do with their time during working hours. 

Jus wonderin why some people work so much harder at not doing their job rather than actually performing the functions for which they were hired get paid and yet expect to get performance increments.

Jus wonderin if Montserrat doesn’t have a suitable building code designed for our region’s geography; business cases for a proper hospital that doesn’t require relocation before an imminent natural disaster and a road refurbishment project that includes ducting work includes underground ducts for electricity, water, telephone (fiber optic) and cable TV; inadequate budgets for proper maintenance and replacement of critical equipment and infrastructure like Radio Montserrat.

Jus wonderin if ignorance in hurricane prone Montserrat is an acceptable excuse when it comes to dealing with the preparation for and after-effects of a severe hurricane rather than accepting accountability for things that could reasonably have been prevented via “robust infrastructure.”

Jus wonderin if we are going to wait for mass casualties before appropriate corrective action is taken for things we know gone bad.

Jus wonderin wa we a go do when the Carrs Bay culvert collapses or the one at Soldier Ghaut, pretend we didn’t know about the structural problems for at least six years?

Jus wonderin since people won’t read documents that ought to be readily available, if it wouldn’t be prudent to rehire or at least consult those with institutional memory before it is too late to clue in the clueless and prevent calamity or are we just too paranoid to trust anyone or just plain wicked.

Jus wonderin if anyone is maintaining the library at the Development Unit or if government departments still send copies of important studies, reports and papers to the public library.

Jus wonderin if all of our elected and non-elected governments have acknowledged that Montserrat is in crisis and will do what reasonable people do in such situations:  work together to save ourselves and our island for future generations plus preserve their pay checks for at least two more years and gain a pension if the new ones can last six full years.

Just wonderin if the maxim that we learn from our mistakes is true.

Jus wonderin if we’d be bored without the wickedness, desperation, ignorance and stupidity.