MONTSERRAT plus DFID Aid: Equals Noght

by Man from Baker Hill

If you were to apply simple arithmetic to arrive at the progress that Montserrat should have derived from the economic aid through DFID, economically Montserrat seems to have retrogressed to Zero.

There is an old Montserrat proverb that says, ‘always add to legacy received, do not waste it’.

But it is as if we take from ourselves or abuse what is given to us for our own good.

Montserrat has spent money. But the population has not grown. There is never a sustained vibrancy in the economy.  There is no sense of excitement o r expectation that things will be different in the future.

That bothers me; and it should. After all, even the best intentioned benefactor will get tired of helping. So where do we go from zero? Changes of course! Change the way we do some things.

There must be other tried and tested methods to stimulate a small island economy than the methods we are using.  Is it reality that Montserrat’s population has not grown by 100 persons since the year 2000? Not even by one Mulato despite 25 years of DFID’s presence? No aggression!  My God! This is failure on all fronts.  With such a cold blooded population, how can the economy become vibrant?

But there is one change that is very easy to make; it is only a mindset change, the change in the methods of population growth. But it will add up; because in this scenario Montserrat plus DFIDians will equal to more than one… certainly not zero. There you have it. Demographically, Montserrat has fared worse despite hundreds DFIDians socialising among us. AUC students did better; they left a little Ching with us! That is social change!

The changes need not be about money except who spend the money or how the money is spent.

Money has been showered into Montserrat since 1995.  The truth is, the British Government has showered over $1 billion into Montserrat since the volcano.  The British cash is second only to volcanic ash in the showering business.  The ash is still with us but with respect to the cash… the only thing I want to shout about is the Look Out Development.

Let us get serious now. The real change will be about ideas.  Ideas are the forerunner to all success.

Ideas! I wish somebody had better ideas than to give the A1 Road to Public works. I just wonder- just wondering, really.

Ideas! I wish somebody have real good ideas about the hospital construction project and which construction engineering firm will be awarded the contract.

Ideas!  I wish the British would split Montserrat into two parts, take some and leave the balance with Montserratians.   Let Marse Sir have the cliffs and the mountains; and I am sure that there will be changes in the economic vibrancy of Montserrat. I am sure that Marse Sir will create an economic paradise with our ocean facing cliff side lands surpassing any thing that St. Martin contains.  I am sure Marse Sir will recreate our mountains into a food basket.

Last week end my friend Docs… ‘Yow, Fool’ returned from St. Martin via Antigua.  He brought me a gift of three ordinary tomatoes which he purchased from a vendor in Antigua at $2 a pound.  Docs returned with ideas.  One of his ideas was that we must bring people into Montserrat who will farm our hills and mountains. He is confident that the population will grow and the price of food will become cheaper.

Docs had ideas, another of which was: DFID should finance a project to bring 50 Haitians to Montserrat to farm our mountains.  Ideas! Imagine DFID’s presence has been on Montserrat for more that 15 years and not even one dozen Mulatoes. Ideas plus Montserrat plus DFID adds up economically, socially and demographically. Then Montserrat plus DFID will equal 500 and growing!

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Man from Baker Hill

If you were to apply simple arithmetic to arrive at the progress that Montserrat should have derived from the economic aid through DFID, economically Montserrat seems to have retrogressed to Zero.

There is an old Montserrat proverb that says, ‘always add to legacy received, do not waste it’.

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But it is as if we take from ourselves or abuse what is given to us for our own good.

Montserrat has spent money. But the population has not grown. There is never a sustained vibrancy in the economy.  There is no sense of excitement o r expectation that things will be different in the future.

That bothers me; and it should. After all, even the best intentioned benefactor will get tired of helping. So where do we go from zero? Changes of course! Change the way we do some things.

There must be other tried and tested methods to stimulate a small island economy than the methods we are using.  Is it reality that Montserrat’s population has not grown by 100 persons since the year 2000? Not even by one Mulato despite 25 years of DFID’s presence? No aggression!  My God! This is failure on all fronts.  With such a cold blooded population, how can the economy become vibrant?

But there is one change that is very easy to make; it is only a mindset change, the change in the methods of population growth. But it will add up; because in this scenario Montserrat plus DFIDians will equal to more than one… certainly not zero. There you have it. Demographically, Montserrat has fared worse despite hundreds DFIDians socialising among us. AUC students did better; they left a little Ching with us! That is social change!

The changes need not be about money except who spend the money or how the money is spent.

Money has been showered into Montserrat since 1995.  The truth is, the British Government has showered over $1 billion into Montserrat since the volcano.  The British cash is second only to volcanic ash in the showering business.  The ash is still with us but with respect to the cash… the only thing I want to shout about is the Look Out Development.

Let us get serious now. The real change will be about ideas.  Ideas are the forerunner to all success.

Ideas! I wish somebody had better ideas than to give the A1 Road to Public works. I just wonder- just wondering, really.

Ideas! I wish somebody have real good ideas about the hospital construction project and which construction engineering firm will be awarded the contract.

Ideas!  I wish the British would split Montserrat into two parts, take some and leave the balance with Montserratians.   Let Marse Sir have the cliffs and the mountains; and I am sure that there will be changes in the economic vibrancy of Montserrat. I am sure that Marse Sir will create an economic paradise with our ocean facing cliff side lands surpassing any thing that St. Martin contains.  I am sure Marse Sir will recreate our mountains into a food basket.

Last week end my friend Docs… ‘Yow, Fool’ returned from St. Martin via Antigua.  He brought me a gift of three ordinary tomatoes which he purchased from a vendor in Antigua at $2 a pound.  Docs returned with ideas.  One of his ideas was that we must bring people into Montserrat who will farm our hills and mountains. He is confident that the population will grow and the price of food will become cheaper.

Docs had ideas, another of which was: DFID should finance a project to bring 50 Haitians to Montserrat to farm our mountains.  Ideas! Imagine DFID’s presence has been on Montserrat for more that 15 years and not even one dozen Mulatoes. Ideas plus Montserrat plus DFID adds up economically, socially and demographically. Then Montserrat plus DFID will equal 500 and growing!