SPECIAL: Thoughts for MNI Election Nov 18, 2019

Is Ship of State MNI taking sound counsel or looking for “a sweet south wind” [Ac 27:13] – with a dangerous storm lurking?

BRADES, Montserrat, October 8, 2019 –  On Monday, October 7, .2019, Montserrat’s Premier Donaldson Romeo announced that we are to go to the polls on November 18th next.  By Wednesday morning, he was back on the air, announcing how by a “democratic” process, he had been deposed the previous evening through a vote of candidates as Party Leader of his People’s Democratic Movement (PDM). He is to continue as in effect caretaker Premier until the election. Then, over the next few days, he headed off to New York to make a presentation to the UN General Assembly’s key 4th Committee; on an upcoming UN field visit to Montserrat under Article 73 of the UN Charter (on decolonisation).

In his presentation, he announced how:

“[A]fter ten years of effort, through the recent help of the UK, the project to install a replacement subsea fiber optic cable to Montserrat is going through.  As I speak, my technicians are finalizing the contractual agreements for the UK funded 4.9 Million sterling undersea fiber optic cable . . . ”

This £4.9 million subsea fibre optic cable is a key component of the post-volcano crisis rebuilding and redevelopment of Montserrat’s economy and society. That is why (in its successful-at-long-last form) it is one of the projects under the UK-funded £30 million CIPREG programme he has discussed in recent months. Indeed, it is fully 1/6 of it. So, on the one hand, we see triumph at last and recognition by the wider world but on the other, repudiation by his own Party six weeks before a General Election. The ways of politics are strange indeed.

Ironically, street buzz strongly indicates that there is a surge of rage over the repudiation of Mr. Romeo by his Party; likely reflecting his strength of personal support and respect among ordinary people.

Talk of splits and dismissive commentary over his alleged failures as a leader abounds.

Oddly, we did not hear much of such talk when the now main opposition party, the Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) split, leading to the formation of a splinter party led by a former chairman and also by a former MCAP legislator. Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander in politics, MNI style.  (Or should we be asking whether crabs busily pulling one another back down in a barrel realise why a large pot is being heated and spiced right next to them?)

There seem to be one or two further parties waiting in the wings plus several independents.

Have those who deposed Mr. Romeo on the eve of an election shot themselves in the foot? Are we headed for a landslide victory for MCAP? Will we see some other parties win a majority? Or, will we have a hung parliament followed by horse-trading and a patched-together coalition? Time will tell, and the decision is ours to make.

Meanwhile, the scripture writer Luke has a sobering word for us:

“Acts 27:9 Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast [Day of Atonement] was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship but also of our lives.”

11 But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.

13 Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. 14 But soon a tempestuous wind called the northeaster, struck down from the land. 15 And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along.” [ESV]

Mr Moneybags and his bought and paid for technical man won the vote but lost the boat.

That happened because they manipulated the senior person and the majority to act imprudently. Likely, they derided the apostle and his words of sober caution. Later, the same apostle showed prophetic leadership in the storm and saved the 276 souls aboard when shipwreck happened. To do so, he had to expose a ruse by which the same crew tried to abandon the passengers to shipwreck.

Just so, merely voting is not enough to safeguard our hopes, we must seek out godly wisdom, prudence, and the right – not the easy – way.  That holds for elections and it holds for life too.

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Is Ship of State MNI taking sound counsel or looking for “a sweet south wind” [Ac 27:13] – with a dangerous storm lurking?

BRADES, Montserrat, October 8, 2019 –  On Monday, October 7, .2019, Montserrat’s Premier Donaldson Romeo announced that we are to go to the polls on November 18th next.  By Wednesday morning, he was back on the air, announcing how by a “democratic” process, he had been deposed the previous evening through a vote of candidates as Party Leader of his People’s Democratic Movement (PDM). He is to continue as in effect caretaker Premier until the election. Then, over the next few days, he headed off to New York to make a presentation to the UN General Assembly’s key 4th Committee; on an upcoming UN field visit to Montserrat under Article 73 of the UN Charter (on decolonisation).

In his presentation, he announced how:

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“[A]fter ten years of effort, through the recent help of the UK, the project to install a replacement subsea fiber optic cable to Montserrat is going through.  As I speak, my technicians are finalizing the contractual agreements for the UK funded 4.9 Million sterling undersea fiber optic cable . . . ”

This £4.9 million subsea fibre optic cable is a key component of the post-volcano crisis rebuilding and redevelopment of Montserrat’s economy and society. That is why (in its successful-at-long-last form) it is one of the projects under the UK-funded £30 million CIPREG programme he has discussed in recent months. Indeed, it is fully 1/6 of it. So, on the one hand, we see triumph at last and recognition by the wider world but on the other, repudiation by his own Party six weeks before a General Election. The ways of politics are strange indeed.

Ironically, street buzz strongly indicates that there is a surge of rage over the repudiation of Mr. Romeo by his Party; likely reflecting his strength of personal support and respect among ordinary people.

Talk of splits and dismissive commentary over his alleged failures as a leader abounds.

Oddly, we did not hear much of such talk when the now main opposition party, the Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) split, leading to the formation of a splinter party led by a former chairman and also by a former MCAP legislator. Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander in politics, MNI style.  (Or should we be asking whether crabs busily pulling one another back down in a barrel realise why a large pot is being heated and spiced right next to them?)

There seem to be one or two further parties waiting in the wings plus several independents.

Have those who deposed Mr. Romeo on the eve of an election shot themselves in the foot? Are we headed for a landslide victory for MCAP? Will we see some other parties win a majority? Or, will we have a hung parliament followed by horse-trading and a patched-together coalition? Time will tell, and the decision is ours to make.

Meanwhile, the scripture writer Luke has a sobering word for us:

“Acts 27:9 Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast [Day of Atonement] was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship but also of our lives.”

11 But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.

13 Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. 14 But soon a tempestuous wind called the northeaster, struck down from the land. 15 And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along.” [ESV]

Mr Moneybags and his bought and paid for technical man won the vote but lost the boat.

That happened because they manipulated the senior person and the majority to act imprudently. Likely, they derided the apostle and his words of sober caution. Later, the same apostle showed prophetic leadership in the storm and saved the 276 souls aboard when shipwreck happened. To do so, he had to expose a ruse by which the same crew tried to abandon the passengers to shipwreck.

Just so, merely voting is not enough to safeguard our hopes, we must seek out godly wisdom, prudence, and the right – not the easy – way.  That holds for elections and it holds for life too.