Categorized | Features, General, Opinions

Murphy-ism humbles State Officials

By Claude Gerald

For Alfred Murphy at Murphy’s Corner to continue his unceasing and relentless squatting at Caars Bay, speaks poorly of the executive management of this protracted matter.

The long and short summary is that Murphy’s presence remains a block to the development goals set by the Government of Montserrat because he is allowed to do so.

And this waiting game virtually makes a determined Murphy even stronger and more brazen as he plays hard ball for the rights to the gates of the new town, in defiance of reason, common sense and the laws of the land.

Murphy masters the art of making himself a victim and selling sad stories about injustice to his and family’s welfare. To hear them once is acceptable to the ignorant. Repetition becomes repulsive to the ear drums of the experienced. And only executive action, backed by a humane application of the law can quell the incessancy of tendencies characterized by Murphy-ism in top flight.

As reprehensible as this is, the apparent lull and impotence in efficiently dealing with the stubborn occupation of a prime piece of government owned real estate, signals confusion and divided loyalties amongst a watching public.

Precedence is permanent and difficult to dislodge as a guiding example of decision making.

It is certain that the uncertainty that prevails in this instant will make a mockery of administrative functions on this island in general terms. It is crystal that the culture of failing to do what must be done by key functionaries of relevant governing bodies will implode distastefully and continuously in the course of time.

Inefficiency is costly is every sphere of development.

Inaction may potentially impinge on law and order as institutions fail to function because management fails to manage. The tail begins to wag the dog and virtual hell can break loose uncontained, when we accept manifestations of lawlessness, exampled in squatting and its toll on the State’s resources in settlement claims.

Those who support Murphy are not helping Murphy. Propagating the idea that Murphy is a social icon who deserves his status as a squatter, implying that he must be allowed to occupy his spot after nearly forty years is truly a brain dead position that must be treated accordingly.

Nobody can absolutely dictate to government its development agenda. And it seemingly desired to send a message with the appointment of John E Ryan as executive Chairman of Montserrat Development Cooperation that supervises the Caars/Little Bay development initiative. Mr. Ryan is deemed to have the personality to mobilize and energize this developmental project and his sponsors chose him above others to seamlessly remove obstacles in achieving the overall goal.

Confident and with a distinct presence suggestive of active leadership, Mr. Ryan opined that in exchange for Murphy’s squatting rights, Murphy was offered a take or leave it deal amounting to some EC$300000 which the perennial squatter would not budge on. Effusing a calm power and authority he explained that Murphy faces an unwinnable position since he has no viable options but to succumb to the powers of the State and depart his beloved enclave. His removal from the contested spot, he predicted in October, would be complete by December, 2012.

Mr. Ryan is still solidly placed in his job, directing operations right under Murphy’s nose. Murphy too is embedded, doing business, undisturbed with no sense of emergency or urgency. He knows he is winning both the battle and the war as he laughs at the powerfully powerless tigers that encircle him but dare not come near to dislodge his resolve at occupation.

Simeon Fenton owned the land that Government Headquarters rests. The Lees family owned Look-Out Estate. Both landmark properties are now part of the State’s assets contributing to societal real needs.

They were converted with little dialogue, though some litigation applied in the case of Roy Lee representing his family’s interests.

Government acquired by law, placed the money appropriately and the deal was done in a jiffy.

Contrasts with Murphy’s Corner where the management of that ghetto-like facility with its attraction for a variety of informal trading, as needed as that is, continues to defy and deny the State of its own land, relegating it to a shameful experience those who long for decisive leadership in public affairs.

This lack of will by the State reminds of the woeful USA, with all its firepower, enough to create mega destruction but yet unable to prevail in its pestering battles with its determined but tiny adversaries.

A giant is humbled by annoying little ants with weird agendas. The will does not do it. The will is broken. The will needs a will.

If the State does not understand the nature of this nuisance factor to progress it will continue to blunder. Murphy is not interested in the money primarily and in itself. For him his location is priceless. He renders it as invaluable to his existence as those who remained for a long time in the unsafe zone after volcanic eruption. Murphy prefers to collect the money and bank it. Give him also a house elsewhere superior to his current shack. His children could inherit and he revels when he chooses. Fix up his tenement too on his terms and release it to him to continue to his chosen lifestyle. The State must pander to Murphy’s strangling wishes and to hell with all else.

In the end it is all about Murphy-ism: A grand fascination with his worth and rights. A brand of thinking that says that all must devolve to him by virtue of his imagined rights, in the first place. Give him all but still more in an unending pursuit of compensation. And dare not stop that party otherwise he will grumble in your ears to the death.

When there is fragmentation of governmental responsibilities we create the Murphy’s of this world. This is not the first major encounter with Murphy on State land. He has benefited financially with each occupation by way of significant compensation and allowances. In 1979 the High Court ordered his removal from a previous occupation. The State failed to implement the judgment and it cost the State eventually in the aftermath of volcanic eruption and the increased pressure for land use.

The State has created its own monster and a gradual, subtle and harmful one at that.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator living on Montserrat. Email at ceegee15@hotmail.com

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Claude Gerald

For Alfred Murphy at Murphy’s Corner to continue his unceasing and relentless squatting at Caars Bay, speaks poorly of the executive management of this protracted matter.

The long and short summary is that Murphy’s presence remains a block to the development goals set by the Government of Montserrat because he is allowed to do so.

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And this waiting game virtually makes a determined Murphy even stronger and more brazen as he plays hard ball for the rights to the gates of the new town, in defiance of reason, common sense and the laws of the land.

Murphy masters the art of making himself a victim and selling sad stories about injustice to his and family’s welfare. To hear them once is acceptable to the ignorant. Repetition becomes repulsive to the ear drums of the experienced. And only executive action, backed by a humane application of the law can quell the incessancy of tendencies characterized by Murphy-ism in top flight.

As reprehensible as this is, the apparent lull and impotence in efficiently dealing with the stubborn occupation of a prime piece of government owned real estate, signals confusion and divided loyalties amongst a watching public.

Precedence is permanent and difficult to dislodge as a guiding example of decision making.

It is certain that the uncertainty that prevails in this instant will make a mockery of administrative functions on this island in general terms. It is crystal that the culture of failing to do what must be done by key functionaries of relevant governing bodies will implode distastefully and continuously in the course of time.

Inefficiency is costly is every sphere of development.

Inaction may potentially impinge on law and order as institutions fail to function because management fails to manage. The tail begins to wag the dog and virtual hell can break loose uncontained, when we accept manifestations of lawlessness, exampled in squatting and its toll on the State’s resources in settlement claims.

Those who support Murphy are not helping Murphy. Propagating the idea that Murphy is a social icon who deserves his status as a squatter, implying that he must be allowed to occupy his spot after nearly forty years is truly a brain dead position that must be treated accordingly.

Nobody can absolutely dictate to government its development agenda. And it seemingly desired to send a message with the appointment of John E Ryan as executive Chairman of Montserrat Development Cooperation that supervises the Caars/Little Bay development initiative. Mr. Ryan is deemed to have the personality to mobilize and energize this developmental project and his sponsors chose him above others to seamlessly remove obstacles in achieving the overall goal.

Confident and with a distinct presence suggestive of active leadership, Mr. Ryan opined that in exchange for Murphy’s squatting rights, Murphy was offered a take or leave it deal amounting to some EC$300000 which the perennial squatter would not budge on. Effusing a calm power and authority he explained that Murphy faces an unwinnable position since he has no viable options but to succumb to the powers of the State and depart his beloved enclave. His removal from the contested spot, he predicted in October, would be complete by December, 2012.

Mr. Ryan is still solidly placed in his job, directing operations right under Murphy’s nose. Murphy too is embedded, doing business, undisturbed with no sense of emergency or urgency. He knows he is winning both the battle and the war as he laughs at the powerfully powerless tigers that encircle him but dare not come near to dislodge his resolve at occupation.

Simeon Fenton owned the land that Government Headquarters rests. The Lees family owned Look-Out Estate. Both landmark properties are now part of the State’s assets contributing to societal real needs.

They were converted with little dialogue, though some litigation applied in the case of Roy Lee representing his family’s interests.

Government acquired by law, placed the money appropriately and the deal was done in a jiffy.

Contrasts with Murphy’s Corner where the management of that ghetto-like facility with its attraction for a variety of informal trading, as needed as that is, continues to defy and deny the State of its own land, relegating it to a shameful experience those who long for decisive leadership in public affairs.

This lack of will by the State reminds of the woeful USA, with all its firepower, enough to create mega destruction but yet unable to prevail in its pestering battles with its determined but tiny adversaries.

A giant is humbled by annoying little ants with weird agendas. The will does not do it. The will is broken. The will needs a will.

If the State does not understand the nature of this nuisance factor to progress it will continue to blunder. Murphy is not interested in the money primarily and in itself. For him his location is priceless. He renders it as invaluable to his existence as those who remained for a long time in the unsafe zone after volcanic eruption. Murphy prefers to collect the money and bank it. Give him also a house elsewhere superior to his current shack. His children could inherit and he revels when he chooses. Fix up his tenement too on his terms and release it to him to continue to his chosen lifestyle. The State must pander to Murphy’s strangling wishes and to hell with all else.

In the end it is all about Murphy-ism: A grand fascination with his worth and rights. A brand of thinking that says that all must devolve to him by virtue of his imagined rights, in the first place. Give him all but still more in an unending pursuit of compensation. And dare not stop that party otherwise he will grumble in your ears to the death.

When there is fragmentation of governmental responsibilities we create the Murphy’s of this world. This is not the first major encounter with Murphy on State land. He has benefited financially with each occupation by way of significant compensation and allowances. In 1979 the High Court ordered his removal from a previous occupation. The State failed to implement the judgment and it cost the State eventually in the aftermath of volcanic eruption and the increased pressure for land use.

The State has created its own monster and a gradual, subtle and harmful one at that.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator living on Montserrat. Email at ceegee15@hotmail.com