Categorized | Editorial

The case for progress and development need honesty and commitment, not insults

Editorial – February 11, 2011

The Secretary of State Rt. Hon. Andrew Michelle must have missed the point of the Editorial published here, even though he acknowledged having read it and perceived the Editor’s questioning at his press conference on Thursday, February 10 followed the theme of the Editorial.

The Editorial is being reprinted (serves for reference) as it appeared online since the print version was extremely rushed and poorly presented.
 
His statements however, eventually accusing Montserrat to be “to be like a new born bird waiting in the nest for the mother bird to bring nourishment,”  are no different to one of his predecessors, Clare Short who declared in 1997, “They will be wanting golden elephants next.”

This statement accurately describes Hon. Michell: “I feel we are being insulted by the mother country although we are not without fault.” This is in reaction to his continued reference during his press conference where he mentioned the “British taxpayer” ten times and likening requests for positive aid.

Here is last week’s Editorial (Feb 4, 2011) sections removed for space constraints. (print version)
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, 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 were to leave the island and preferably move across to the U.K.

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, the talk of autonomy and responsibility. But, has that ever really materialised? 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 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.

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.

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.

Editorial dated last week may be read here in this section

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Editorial – February 11, 2011

The Secretary of State Rt. Hon. Andrew Michelle must have missed the point of the Editorial published here, even though he acknowledged having read it and perceived the Editor’s questioning at his press conference on Thursday, February 10 followed the theme of the Editorial.

The Editorial is being reprinted (serves for reference) as it appeared online since the print version was extremely rushed and poorly presented.
 
His statements however, eventually accusing Montserrat to be “to be like a new born bird waiting in the nest for the mother bird to bring nourishment,”  are no different to one of his predecessors, Clare Short who declared in 1997, “They will be wanting golden elephants next.”

This statement accurately describes Hon. Michell: “I feel we are being insulted by the mother country although we are not without fault.” This is in reaction to his continued reference during his press conference where he mentioned the “British taxpayer” ten times and likening requests for positive aid.

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Here is last week’s Editorial (Feb 4, 2011) sections removed for space constraints. (print version)
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, 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 were to leave the island and preferably move across to the U.K.

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, the talk of autonomy and responsibility. But, has that ever really materialised? 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 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.

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.

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.

Editorial dated last week may be read here in this section