Categorized | Editorial

No change is evident, but there might be a ‘lock-in’

Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell, UK DFID Secretary of State

It became apparent although it may not have been obvious with no one pointing in that direction before, that Secretary of State Mitchell during his visit, even after having read The Montserrat Reporter’s most recent editorial, conducted himself in a manner true to form as usual.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) following their recent budget discussions here with the Government of Montserrat (GoM) may have confirmed his reason for saying that there exists a good relationship between GoM and DFID. The budget team – the Montserrat program Manager and country representative both said that there were some good discussions with Montserrat on a positive way forward as they cite the ‘Road Map’ and the current Sustainable Development Plan. That is refreshing even in words.

Secretary of State would have been privy to these documents and may well had the sense that there were things they could agree to, but his department could obviously not have been happy when in his opening statement he challenged Montserrat to stand on its own two feet and likened Montserrat to little birds waiting on their mother bird to feed them.

It is either that Mr. Mitchell was misled that Montserrat was well positioned and should not be expecting any budgetary assistance or that he believed their assistance has been misused. He must have believed the latter, since he was making this statement if the face of all the meetings and discussions he had with government and having seen the ongoing disaster that Montserrat continues to experience.

No one will believe that the UK government did not turn its back on Montserrat, but a good investigation will question their very motive and agenda for Montserrat despite all they will claim. For that alone, we would deem the Secretary of State representing HMG to be well out of order with his comment. We deem that he was continuing the usual treatment of pretense and cover-up of the truth and deception of their relationship with Montserrat.

DFID Budget Team

The discussion and the talk of partnership has been bandied about long enough should be spoken of only in reminding terms. Fix it, what has gone wrong? Your past poor relationship with FCO should leave you embarrassed. There was a talking-down while at the same time calling for partnership, and a denial of increased assistance. It is exactly that which we spoke of when we called for honesty and commitment. TMR was not asking for more. We asked for fairness and decency.

Hooray, it seems to be forthcoming, if it is not just more talk, on both sides with the responsibility to see and nurture that we indeed aspire to standing on our own two feet. This editor has witnessed many bird nests on his verandah. He has seen the diligence with which the mother birds feed their young. If the mother bird was to feed its young with their beaks wide open and allow some of the food to fall out on the side or take some back, it will be a long time before those little birds can even try to fly, eventually fly away to feed themselves.

Whatever harsh, hard or kind words that passed between our government officials and the Secretary of State must not have been well prepared, because while our government considered it a favour for his short visit and sought to ignore his words, he must have eventually said something worthwhile. What we do know is that what he eventually said, is what he wanted to say, even though we find them quite untimely.

For the first time we hear of specificity about something seemingly positive. Mr. Mitchell needs an honest, blunt and harsh briefing. Difficult this may be since we are dealing with much the same people in his department on the ground there and here top to bottom. It is not like we do not know what has gone on both here and there in the dealings with Montserrat. He needs to know that all the niceties that he exchanged of and with Governor and the hypocrisy that were thrown around, we are not fooled around here.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell, UK DFID Secretary of State

It became apparent although it may not have been obvious with no one pointing in that direction before, that Secretary of State Mitchell during his visit, even after having read The Montserrat Reporter’s most recent editorial, conducted himself in a manner true to form as usual.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) following their recent budget discussions here with the Government of Montserrat (GoM) may have confirmed his reason for saying that there exists a good relationship between GoM and DFID. The budget team – the Montserrat program Manager and country representative both said that there were some good discussions with Montserrat on a positive way forward as they cite the ‘Road Map’ and the current Sustainable Development Plan. That is refreshing even in words.

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Secretary of State would have been privy to these documents and may well had the sense that there were things they could agree to, but his department could obviously not have been happy when in his opening statement he challenged Montserrat to stand on its own two feet and likened Montserrat to little birds waiting on their mother bird to feed them.

It is either that Mr. Mitchell was misled that Montserrat was well positioned and should not be expecting any budgetary assistance or that he believed their assistance has been misused. He must have believed the latter, since he was making this statement if the face of all the meetings and discussions he had with government and having seen the ongoing disaster that Montserrat continues to experience.

No one will believe that the UK government did not turn its back on Montserrat, but a good investigation will question their very motive and agenda for Montserrat despite all they will claim. For that alone, we would deem the Secretary of State representing HMG to be well out of order with his comment. We deem that he was continuing the usual treatment of pretense and cover-up of the truth and deception of their relationship with Montserrat.

DFID Budget Team

The discussion and the talk of partnership has been bandied about long enough should be spoken of only in reminding terms. Fix it, what has gone wrong? Your past poor relationship with FCO should leave you embarrassed. There was a talking-down while at the same time calling for partnership, and a denial of increased assistance. It is exactly that which we spoke of when we called for honesty and commitment. TMR was not asking for more. We asked for fairness and decency.

Hooray, it seems to be forthcoming, if it is not just more talk, on both sides with the responsibility to see and nurture that we indeed aspire to standing on our own two feet. This editor has witnessed many bird nests on his verandah. He has seen the diligence with which the mother birds feed their young. If the mother bird was to feed its young with their beaks wide open and allow some of the food to fall out on the side or take some back, it will be a long time before those little birds can even try to fly, eventually fly away to feed themselves.

Whatever harsh, hard or kind words that passed between our government officials and the Secretary of State must not have been well prepared, because while our government considered it a favour for his short visit and sought to ignore his words, he must have eventually said something worthwhile. What we do know is that what he eventually said, is what he wanted to say, even though we find them quite untimely.

For the first time we hear of specificity about something seemingly positive. Mr. Mitchell needs an honest, blunt and harsh briefing. Difficult this may be since we are dealing with much the same people in his department on the ground there and here top to bottom. It is not like we do not know what has gone on both here and there in the dealings with Montserrat. He needs to know that all the niceties that he exchanged of and with Governor and the hypocrisy that were thrown around, we are not fooled around here.