Categorized | Editorial

The ‘blind eye’ needs to open for Montserrat to get strong legs

Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) that is now in power seems to be concerned and will no doubt want to cement the plan to bring the Department for International Development (DFID) closer to the Foreign Commonwealth Office, in any case as far as Montserrat is concerned.

While the previous government was in power there were parliamentarians who took the lead in  the argument that DFID is not the fitting ministry or department to be concerned about Montserrat’s economy and its development. The idea being, alleviating poverty which is DFID’s mandate as an aid donor, and economical development do not necessarily work well together.
It might well be the reason that for all these years during the crisis it appeared that HMG was not seriously interested in whether Montserrat became economically viable or not, the rhetoric not withstanding.

A new Government, a coalition one at that, and there is new thinking. Thinking that caused Minister Mitchell to misspeak and forcing our failed outgoing governor to misspeak further in trying control damage. But it might be that he merely took an opportunity to show his trivial or perhaps worse, prejudicial behaviour and obsession to finish what he started in the late 80s. That was so unfortunate because we thought he sounded right.

What we observe and welcome from Minister Mitchell is the interest that they seem to be showing in making tax payers money count for something. They must never be allowed to think that we have not been concerned at their willingness to continue to pour money onto the public service without seeking accountability or benefits from it.

They must not believe that we do not observe that neither government has been able to get the support for the private sector to recover and move forward as they have been spouting since 1998. Of course it is time to make the support count and when that is done, the feet become strong legs. They must not be allowed to believe that Montserratians would not like anything more than do just that.

We believe that the Foreign Commonwealth Office should play a more serious role in ensuring that the moneys and aid given to Montserrat when it needs it most suits its needs, and are put to good use. We do not expect to see DFID change its mandate, but we should expect a better working relationship and indeed a shift in interest and responsibility.

But for that to work Montserrat must play its part; separate itself from what Oliver Mills, a former lecturer in education at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus calls ‘The Pharaoh factor in Caribbean politics’. Mills says, “the politics of Pharaoh shows itself in awarding contracts to the chosen, without even any bidding process being put in place. It is further seen in using the institutions and resources of the state for self enrichment, and the enrichment of Pharaoh’s colleagues at the expense of the people and the sustainability of the state.”

Mills further states: “Pharaoh politics therefore, results in the accumulation of resources through rather innovative means, seeing the populace as us and them, the idea that if you are not with me, you are against me, granting extraordinary favours without using the correct channels, or influencing these channels to do so, and creating psychological fear in others, and the use of reprisals on those who are of a different persuasion.”

Have we been practising pharaoh politics? It is time to speak out about it and it is time HMG pay attention, because it happens all around them too.

Governor Waterworth certainly knew what Minister Mitchell was telling the media. He knew all the discussions that took place in their privacy. We most likely will never know about them publicly. He should have told us what it was, he and the Chief Minister knew that we did not.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) that is now in power seems to be concerned and will no doubt want to cement the plan to bring the Department for International Development (DFID) closer to the Foreign Commonwealth Office, in any case as far as Montserrat is concerned.

While the previous government was in power there were parliamentarians who took the lead in  the argument that DFID is not the fitting ministry or department to be concerned about Montserrat’s economy and its development. The idea being, alleviating poverty which is DFID’s mandate as an aid donor, and economical development do not necessarily work well together.
It might well be the reason that for all these years during the crisis it appeared that HMG was not seriously interested in whether Montserrat became economically viable or not, the rhetoric not withstanding.

A new Government, a coalition one at that, and there is new thinking. Thinking that caused Minister Mitchell to misspeak and forcing our failed outgoing governor to misspeak further in trying control damage. But it might be that he merely took an opportunity to show his trivial or perhaps worse, prejudicial behaviour and obsession to finish what he started in the late 80s. That was so unfortunate because we thought he sounded right.

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What we observe and welcome from Minister Mitchell is the interest that they seem to be showing in making tax payers money count for something. They must never be allowed to think that we have not been concerned at their willingness to continue to pour money onto the public service without seeking accountability or benefits from it.

They must not believe that we do not observe that neither government has been able to get the support for the private sector to recover and move forward as they have been spouting since 1998. Of course it is time to make the support count and when that is done, the feet become strong legs. They must not be allowed to believe that Montserratians would not like anything more than do just that.

We believe that the Foreign Commonwealth Office should play a more serious role in ensuring that the moneys and aid given to Montserrat when it needs it most suits its needs, and are put to good use. We do not expect to see DFID change its mandate, but we should expect a better working relationship and indeed a shift in interest and responsibility.

But for that to work Montserrat must play its part; separate itself from what Oliver Mills, a former lecturer in education at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus calls ‘The Pharaoh factor in Caribbean politics’. Mills says, “the politics of Pharaoh shows itself in awarding contracts to the chosen, without even any bidding process being put in place. It is further seen in using the institutions and resources of the state for self enrichment, and the enrichment of Pharaoh’s colleagues at the expense of the people and the sustainability of the state.”

Mills further states: “Pharaoh politics therefore, results in the accumulation of resources through rather innovative means, seeing the populace as us and them, the idea that if you are not with me, you are against me, granting extraordinary favours without using the correct channels, or influencing these channels to do so, and creating psychological fear in others, and the use of reprisals on those who are of a different persuasion.”

Have we been practising pharaoh politics? It is time to speak out about it and it is time HMG pay attention, because it happens all around them too.

Governor Waterworth certainly knew what Minister Mitchell was telling the media. He knew all the discussions that took place in their privacy. We most likely will never know about them publicly. He should have told us what it was, he and the Chief Minister knew that we did not.