Categorized | Editorial

The case for progress and development need honesty and commitment

Editorial – February 4, 2011

One of the issues that have never been addressed or understood by many Montserratians, especially those few living in Montserrat is the uncertainty of the rhetoric of the UK Government officials with regards to their interest in the British Overseas Territories.

After the volcanic crisis began, to be exact, since April, May and August of 1996, it was acknowledged that Montserrat would always be treated as a special case. The thought soon crept up and is still believed that the UK officials would prefer if all Montserratians perhaps with the exception of a few domestic workers and labourers, were to leave the island and preferably move across to the U.K.

Some agreements were made in ’96, ’98 all the way through. In 2001, the slogan was planted ‘stand on your/our own two feet’, but that quickly dissipated. Perhaps and more surely, the accusations would be thrown back at Montserrat.

The White Paper came in 1999 with modern partnership and the talk of autonomy and responsibility. But, has that ever really materialized? If not, whose fault is it really? However, let us not be negative, get positive and forget finger pointing. The point is that at all times, forgetting the period 2001 when the mistake was made about ‘standing on your own two feet’, what’s the reason for the lack of confidence?

If it is really felt that there is lack of ability and capacity, why not cut the hypocrisy and all that go with that and seriously get on with the talk of treating Montserrat with its special circumstances like there is real desire to see the island regain its self-respect? Rather than waiting for the people to get out of the lethargy, and self destruction, get serious, show the commitment and forget the trickery.

Fifteen years for a super power is like minutes in time; for Montserrat in the doldrums, it is a long time. Of course some changes will be necessary and, it will demand some commitment from this end. Indeed partnership with consultation will end it, but that consultation on the ground and over the waters must have no waves. It must be straight across the board. Montserrat people must stop seeing themselves as neither children nor beggars and the UK government must see them the same as nationals of Britain until such time they grant independence, or a less independent status.

So-called, because listening to some arguments no more islands or dependencies, will ever attain or be granted independence. Indeed a look around the world will find that even some of the great nations with their political independence could not claim economic independence. How the world got that way may create quite a debating topic!

The problem we note is that neither the British ‘masters’ nor our leaders seem to take the dire situation of Montserrat seriously. There seems that in the face of all the declared plans and policies and agreements, nothing changes, or better said, no progress is obvious. That means that we go backwards and indeed we have.

Simply this. Take away the paying jobs of ten people and the island easily loses 15-30 people from its shores. That means less money in circulation, less business, less revenue for the island. Do we talk about increasing population? There are so many examples, but the situation could not be more urgent that it is for something to be done to change the direction of our stagnated progress and development. Montserrat cannot yet be placed on the same size plate.

The hypocrisy and dishonesty need to be checked now.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – February 4, 2011

One of the issues that have never been addressed or understood by many Montserratians, especially those few living in Montserrat is the uncertainty of the rhetoric of the UK Government officials with regards to their interest in the British Overseas Territories.

After the volcanic crisis began, to be exact, since April, May and August of 1996, it was acknowledged that Montserrat would always be treated as a special case. The thought soon crept up and is still believed that the UK officials would prefer if all Montserratians perhaps with the exception of a few domestic workers and labourers, were to leave the island and preferably move across to the U.K.

Some agreements were made in ’96, ’98 all the way through. In 2001, the slogan was planted ‘stand on your/our own two feet’, but that quickly dissipated. Perhaps and more surely, the accusations would be thrown back at Montserrat.

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The White Paper came in 1999 with modern partnership and the talk of autonomy and responsibility. But, has that ever really materialized? If not, whose fault is it really? However, let us not be negative, get positive and forget finger pointing. The point is that at all times, forgetting the period 2001 when the mistake was made about ‘standing on your own two feet’, what’s the reason for the lack of confidence?

If it is really felt that there is lack of ability and capacity, why not cut the hypocrisy and all that go with that and seriously get on with the talk of treating Montserrat with its special circumstances like there is real desire to see the island regain its self-respect? Rather than waiting for the people to get out of the lethargy, and self destruction, get serious, show the commitment and forget the trickery.

Fifteen years for a super power is like minutes in time; for Montserrat in the doldrums, it is a long time. Of course some changes will be necessary and, it will demand some commitment from this end. Indeed partnership with consultation will end it, but that consultation on the ground and over the waters must have no waves. It must be straight across the board. Montserrat people must stop seeing themselves as neither children nor beggars and the UK government must see them the same as nationals of Britain until such time they grant independence, or a less independent status.

So-called, because listening to some arguments no more islands or dependencies, will ever attain or be granted independence. Indeed a look around the world will find that even some of the great nations with their political independence could not claim economic independence. How the world got that way may create quite a debating topic!

The problem we note is that neither the British ‘masters’ nor our leaders seem to take the dire situation of Montserrat seriously. There seems that in the face of all the declared plans and policies and agreements, nothing changes, or better said, no progress is obvious. That means that we go backwards and indeed we have.

Simply this. Take away the paying jobs of ten people and the island easily loses 15-30 people from its shores. That means less money in circulation, less business, less revenue for the island. Do we talk about increasing population? There are so many examples, but the situation could not be more urgent that it is for something to be done to change the direction of our stagnated progress and development. Montserrat cannot yet be placed on the same size plate.

The hypocrisy and dishonesty need to be checked now.