Categorized | Editorial

Its more than time Montserrat and its leaders take action about the future

Editorial – April 27, 2012

Montserrat is in a crucial position step out, and it must be mentioned, forward to building a future both immediate and onwards, 16 years of volcanic activity now, notwithstanding. Step-out forward, since in the past, over twelve (11) years ago our politicians had agreed with Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) that the time was right to “stand on their own two feet”. But for many years prior to that Montserrat has known only to take one half-step forward and a full one backward.

We thought that when this was noted and confirmed as far back as June 1997, those lessons would have been learnt and the courage to do differently would have been garnered. David Brandt as Chief Minister tried a strong new approach but it angered the British government who was ably supported by our own government ministers and officials, and that way forward steps were not quite realised. In spite of that, it was not surprising therefore that immediately after the John Osborne regime took over he was coerced to say Montserrat was ready “to stand on its own two feet.” Oddly enough at the exact same time, they installed a reducing scale of budgetary support. It might be noteworthy that it was this Editor who asked John Osborne, on what will Montserrat be able to stand on its own two feet.

That question had caused the CM to back up on the statement and conjectured that only if HMG improved on its level of support financially, that can happen. Practically, nothing happened but in 2008, HMG acknowledged quietly their mistake in two critical areas which all had to do with access. But, again Montserrat somehow failed to make its move.

Then 10 years later HMG under new leadership repeated the, ‘stand on your own two feet‘ phrase. Only this time, although it came with insulting undertones, highlighting that, brought about a completely new approach from DFID who wrongly or rightly is in charge of Montserrat finances. Much later in 2011 they announced a commitment to forge Montserrat ahead along with the other Overseas territories. However, they said Montserrat only has to do “the right thing.” Maybe it needs to be well established and understood what the right thing entails.

Much has been built around the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC), which so far has failed and is in the throes of being reorganised while plans for the new town being discussed almost in haste. There seems to be more mistakes on the way if that is all Montserrat’s future is going to be built on, since in the meantime there are things needed to be done already to begin to improve the welfare of the island.

We note the difficulty in establishing the budgetary support and the delays being experienced as enunciated by DFIDS Kato Kimbugwe recently. (Gov press conf Apr 18_Kimbugwe on budget delay). The Premier and Minister of Finance seemed to have for the first time delivered a several years budget, which must be all part of the new thrust to improve things and move well into the future.

Is that another mistake going forward? It is certainly causing delays when it was hinted seven months ago that the ‘road map’ had to be revised. Why was that not completed before the budget presentation? Questions our Premier will have to answer, taking DFID’s stance on the issue, much of which surrounds, ‘business cases’.

Going forward there is a Memorandum of Association (MOU) that is on the way. It will seek agreement and speak to such issues as: a Reform Programme, Investments for Growth, Dissemination strategy, Coordination, Monitoring and Reporting.

It will have GoM Reform Matrix consisting of Reform Aarea, Policy area, Goals, Milestones by 09/12 and 02/13, the resources required and the Implementing Agencies.

Will GoM discuss with, advise the public on these matters before hand or even report on their plans? There is a big problem, however. The local private sector has shown very little inclination to understand or take initiative to see to this. The Premier sees this, as well as the bad attitudes among the public servants. The pressure we believe must fall into his lap to bring about the success he claims he believes in along with the vision that he is agreeing on with HMG.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – April 27, 2012

Montserrat is in a crucial position step out, and it must be mentioned, forward to building a future both immediate and onwards, 16 years of volcanic activity now, notwithstanding. Step-out forward, since in the past, over twelve (11) years ago our politicians had agreed with Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) that the time was right to “stand on their own two feet”. But for many years prior to that Montserrat has known only to take one half-step forward and a full one backward.

We thought that when this was noted and confirmed as far back as June 1997, those lessons would have been learnt and the courage to do differently would have been garnered. David Brandt as Chief Minister tried a strong new approach but it angered the British government who was ably supported by our own government ministers and officials, and that way forward steps were not quite realised. In spite of that, it was not surprising therefore that immediately after the John Osborne regime took over he was coerced to say Montserrat was ready “to stand on its own two feet.” Oddly enough at the exact same time, they installed a reducing scale of budgetary support. It might be noteworthy that it was this Editor who asked John Osborne, on what will Montserrat be able to stand on its own two feet.

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That question had caused the CM to back up on the statement and conjectured that only if HMG improved on its level of support financially, that can happen. Practically, nothing happened but in 2008, HMG acknowledged quietly their mistake in two critical areas which all had to do with access. But, again Montserrat somehow failed to make its move.

Then 10 years later HMG under new leadership repeated the, ‘stand on your own two feet‘ phrase. Only this time, although it came with insulting undertones, highlighting that, brought about a completely new approach from DFID who wrongly or rightly is in charge of Montserrat finances. Much later in 2011 they announced a commitment to forge Montserrat ahead along with the other Overseas territories. However, they said Montserrat only has to do “the right thing.” Maybe it needs to be well established and understood what the right thing entails.

Much has been built around the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC), which so far has failed and is in the throes of being reorganised while plans for the new town being discussed almost in haste. There seems to be more mistakes on the way if that is all Montserrat’s future is going to be built on, since in the meantime there are things needed to be done already to begin to improve the welfare of the island.

We note the difficulty in establishing the budgetary support and the delays being experienced as enunciated by DFIDS Kato Kimbugwe recently. (Gov press conf Apr 18_Kimbugwe on budget delay). The Premier and Minister of Finance seemed to have for the first time delivered a several years budget, which must be all part of the new thrust to improve things and move well into the future.

Is that another mistake going forward? It is certainly causing delays when it was hinted seven months ago that the ‘road map’ had to be revised. Why was that not completed before the budget presentation? Questions our Premier will have to answer, taking DFID’s stance on the issue, much of which surrounds, ‘business cases’.

Going forward there is a Memorandum of Association (MOU) that is on the way. It will seek agreement and speak to such issues as: a Reform Programme, Investments for Growth, Dissemination strategy, Coordination, Monitoring and Reporting.

It will have GoM Reform Matrix consisting of Reform Aarea, Policy area, Goals, Milestones by 09/12 and 02/13, the resources required and the Implementing Agencies.

Will GoM discuss with, advise the public on these matters before hand or even report on their plans? There is a big problem, however. The local private sector has shown very little inclination to understand or take initiative to see to this. The Premier sees this, as well as the bad attitudes among the public servants. The pressure we believe must fall into his lap to bring about the success he claims he believes in along with the vision that he is agreeing on with HMG.