Categorized | Editorial, Local, News, Regional

Please get the capacity gap right

Editorial – November 30, 2015

There are those who can lament and feel sadly that Montserrat in the eyes of many has reached an all-time low, having come through from the 60’s where after four decades it appeared that things were about to change. Now it seems from the sounds in the air, that there is a new beginning.

That is all well and good as the phrase goes, but for the past six years there has been a serious gap which it appears there is someone who recognises. The Public service reform that we have heard of for the last 20 years, has so little to show for all the money, energy and attention that have been expended. What do our 20 – 25 years old, 20 years ago have learnt? What do you have to give? What did you see and wanted to see 10 – 15 years ago?

Of course no one has to agree with this but we crave a response whether anonymously, publicly or privately. The purpose is to see how and where this conclusion could have been otherwise. What did we miss?

The gap, we would like to contend is that of the lack of capacity which has been plaguing Montserrat. Not only in the public service, be mindful, but all round. Right where this editor sits, there are many problems. What or who should receive credit for this decrepit situation that we face, for that’s what it is.

Of course it is lack of capacity when public service top servants do not recognize these shortages and tell an equally weak boss that they do not see why they should do anything to facilitate the private sector. Who among them gave it a second thought when EU funds made available to Montserrat to build capacity and related developments, then were diverted to develop the uncertain and ambitious port development, with the removal of Gunhill? And who of those public servants knew of the misappropriations that were taking place in the hub of the developments control?

Who understood when education suffered a cut a couple or more years ago, that this was criminal and was cutting back on the very ambitious development program? The last 20 years have not seen any real worry about succession planning, because maybe there was nothing to succeed. The one Chief Minister had said, that our education curriculum should focus around those things required to take Montserrat forward into the future.

It is time to learn that selfishness is the birth of corruption. It breeds greed, but the truth is that no one gets corrupted, they come corruptible. Yes, it is so bad, please church, preach about corruption! But could it be we are wrong?

The latest thoughts as we listen to the discussion surrounding the Banking Act and Bank of Montserrat, along with finding a site for the new hospital construct – who are the people on this Government Committee with the expertise as to what a real hospital, a modern hospital should be like, and where is the best location for it? Who really has the capacity to deliver on that? And seriously, is it clear as to why and how we are where we are? Actually, that is one of the big problems. Who can speak to that? Who understands that sustainable anything is and has always been a backward word in the scheme of things for Montserrat? Who understands a new hospital cannot be one brilliant enough for 2013 but something for 2018, which means that we have to be able to dream like we are in 2018 and looking well into the future?

It was once noted to one of our leaders that Montserrat is viewed with fun. Remembering one of Man from Baker Hill’s articles about how Montserrat is laughed at, and experiencing that reality, it was sure difficult to acknowledge that, as that leader said, “that is not my experience.” Give it to him that was a nice response, covering up the truth, something as we noted, we have come to master.

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Editorial – November 30, 2015

There are those who can lament and feel sadly that Montserrat in the eyes of many has reached an all-time low, having come through from the 60’s where after four decades it appeared that things were about to change. Now it seems from the sounds in the air, that there is a new beginning.

That is all well and good as the phrase goes, but for the past six years there has been a serious gap which it appears there is someone who recognises. The Public service reform that we have heard of for the last 20 years, has so little to show for all the money, energy and attention that have been expended. What do our 20 – 25 years old, 20 years ago have learnt? What do you have to give? What did you see and wanted to see 10 – 15 years ago?

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Of course no one has to agree with this but we crave a response whether anonymously, publicly or privately. The purpose is to see how and where this conclusion could have been otherwise. What did we miss?

The gap, we would like to contend is that of the lack of capacity which has been plaguing Montserrat. Not only in the public service, be mindful, but all round. Right where this editor sits, there are many problems. What or who should receive credit for this decrepit situation that we face, for that’s what it is.

Of course it is lack of capacity when public service top servants do not recognize these shortages and tell an equally weak boss that they do not see why they should do anything to facilitate the private sector. Who among them gave it a second thought when EU funds made available to Montserrat to build capacity and related developments, then were diverted to develop the uncertain and ambitious port development, with the removal of Gunhill? And who of those public servants knew of the misappropriations that were taking place in the hub of the developments control?

Who understood when education suffered a cut a couple or more years ago, that this was criminal and was cutting back on the very ambitious development program? The last 20 years have not seen any real worry about succession planning, because maybe there was nothing to succeed. The one Chief Minister had said, that our education curriculum should focus around those things required to take Montserrat forward into the future.

It is time to learn that selfishness is the birth of corruption. It breeds greed, but the truth is that no one gets corrupted, they come corruptible. Yes, it is so bad, please church, preach about corruption! But could it be we are wrong?

The latest thoughts as we listen to the discussion surrounding the Banking Act and Bank of Montserrat, along with finding a site for the new hospital construct – who are the people on this Government Committee with the expertise as to what a real hospital, a modern hospital should be like, and where is the best location for it? Who really has the capacity to deliver on that? And seriously, is it clear as to why and how we are where we are? Actually, that is one of the big problems. Who can speak to that? Who understands that sustainable anything is and has always been a backward word in the scheme of things for Montserrat? Who understands a new hospital cannot be one brilliant enough for 2013 but something for 2018, which means that we have to be able to dream like we are in 2018 and looking well into the future?

It was once noted to one of our leaders that Montserrat is viewed with fun. Remembering one of Man from Baker Hill’s articles about how Montserrat is laughed at, and experiencing that reality, it was sure difficult to acknowledge that, as that leader said, “that is not my experience.” Give it to him that was a nice response, covering up the truth, something as we noted, we have come to master.