Categorized | Editorial

There is detriment to misunderstanding the need for and use of information

There is detriment to misunderstanding the need for and use of information

June 15, 2018

Last week we highlighted that aspect of the destructive delay regarding a Cabinet decision dated January 30, 2017 which aimed at endorsing the development of Montserrat Transformation Programme (MTP); that the Office of the Deputy Governor should be responsible for the structural changes of the transformation.

The Deputy Governor (Ag) at the time, and Financial Secretary would consult with the Attorney General (Ag) to produce Implementation and Change Management Plans, by the end of February 2017. If staff support was required to carry out this ‘assignment’ the go ahead had already been approved.

We now have a Deputy Governor, but ‘jus wonderin’ if the Attorney General agreed on several months ago is already in place replacing the young woman who had been acting for 2-3 years. That ‘wonderin brings to mind a problem whereby in this island in recent times there has been rarely an announcement of new, or changes in appointments regarding heads of departments or top civil service positions. Only today we discovered we have a new, already six months, environmental director.

That goes well with the starvation of information, and the dire lack of understanding of the public, not just the selects but every last one, big, small or indifferent, all of their right and desire to know what is happening in Government and with Government, from DFID, FCO, Governor, Premier, Ministers, down through the public service to the least adult or child; and surprise! Even the animals who serve us in whatever form. And along with that the need to ensure that not just the information that they want to put out but ensuring that that resources to do so exist for the rightful watchdogs.

Since Lord Ahmad left Montserrat we were chided even ridiculed, that the media in Montserrat was not as forceful as our Montserratian counterpart Keith (stone) Greaves in Anguilla, who had interviewed the Minister. Without having heard the interview we immediately advised that Montserrat’s concerns would not be the same as Anguilla, so an interview might be quite different.

That being the case we (TMR) anyway were quite put out that even after complaining that half an hour as set for the Minister to speak with the press, that was eventually reduced to 15 minutes. If ever there was an unconcerned, misinformed lack of understanding of the importance of the Montserrat press to be able to speak to a UK Minister, that was a stark example.

Clearly, the politicians do not understand how important the issue of communication is for them, not to mention the need for the public to have the information necessary to understand the part they all  need to play in the growth of the country that they try to tout. There is a desire among some ministers, but they run into that lack of purpose from the people who serve them and us.

That problem, mind you, is not exclusive to the Government, it is the culture, but we do not believe that this is due to the smallness of the population and the island’s habitable space, and should not really have come out of the ‘small mindedness’ that is so prevalent among us.

Maybe therein lies the problem, that we need to acknowledge this, because it brings with it selfishness, which we have noted before is one of the attributes of corruption.

We heard last year, surprisingly to us, how unprepared and how poor our resiliency is to hurricanes, perhaps to the new levels of hurricanes which surpassed that of Hugo. But TMR is not aware of what the needs or what has been put forward to those responsible, aware that Montserrat has in some way taken the lead among the OTs in taking their case to the UKG. That may be so because of our experience 29 years ago and then 23 years later from the onset of ongoing volcanic activity. We will find that we may not fare to well in the blame game on that score, and that may be so because we have not learnt how to deal with such issues and the UKG. It is our opinion that we contribute significantly by not understand our own powers in looking after our destiny and how we have allowed, small mindedness and vindictiveness to take charge in so many spheres of being on Montserrat.

It doesn’t matter how broad one’s back is in dealing with his/her personal business, its another when you are dealing with you and yours for each individual, for a leader in any business or oganisation, not to mention adding that of the people you serve.

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June 15, 2018

Last week we highlighted that aspect of the destructive delay regarding a Cabinet decision dated January 30, 2017 which aimed at endorsing the development of Montserrat Transformation Programme (MTP); that the Office of the Deputy Governor should be responsible for the structural changes of the transformation.

The Deputy Governor (Ag) at the time, and Financial Secretary would consult with the Attorney General (Ag) to produce Implementation and Change Management Plans, by the end of February 2017. If staff support was required to carry out this ‘assignment’ the go ahead had already been approved.

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We now have a Deputy Governor, but ‘jus wonderin’ if the Attorney General agreed on several months ago is already in place replacing the young woman who had been acting for 2-3 years. That ‘wonderin brings to mind a problem whereby in this island in recent times there has been rarely an announcement of new, or changes in appointments regarding heads of departments or top civil service positions. Only today we discovered we have a new, already six months, environmental director.

That goes well with the starvation of information, and the dire lack of understanding of the public, not just the selects but every last one, big, small or indifferent, all of their right and desire to know what is happening in Government and with Government, from DFID, FCO, Governor, Premier, Ministers, down through the public service to the least adult or child; and surprise! Even the animals who serve us in whatever form. And along with that the need to ensure that not just the information that they want to put out but ensuring that that resources to do so exist for the rightful watchdogs.

Since Lord Ahmad left Montserrat we were chided even ridiculed, that the media in Montserrat was not as forceful as our Montserratian counterpart Keith (stone) Greaves in Anguilla, who had interviewed the Minister. Without having heard the interview we immediately advised that Montserrat’s concerns would not be the same as Anguilla, so an interview might be quite different.

That being the case we (TMR) anyway were quite put out that even after complaining that half an hour as set for the Minister to speak with the press, that was eventually reduced to 15 minutes. If ever there was an unconcerned, misinformed lack of understanding of the importance of the Montserrat press to be able to speak to a UK Minister, that was a stark example.

Clearly, the politicians do not understand how important the issue of communication is for them, not to mention the need for the public to have the information necessary to understand the part they all  need to play in the growth of the country that they try to tout. There is a desire among some ministers, but they run into that lack of purpose from the people who serve them and us.

That problem, mind you, is not exclusive to the Government, it is the culture, but we do not believe that this is due to the smallness of the population and the island’s habitable space, and should not really have come out of the ‘small mindedness’ that is so prevalent among us.

Maybe therein lies the problem, that we need to acknowledge this, because it brings with it selfishness, which we have noted before is one of the attributes of corruption.

We heard last year, surprisingly to us, how unprepared and how poor our resiliency is to hurricanes, perhaps to the new levels of hurricanes which surpassed that of Hugo. But TMR is not aware of what the needs or what has been put forward to those responsible, aware that Montserrat has in some way taken the lead among the OTs in taking their case to the UKG. That may be so because of our experience 29 years ago and then 23 years later from the onset of ongoing volcanic activity. We will find that we may not fare to well in the blame game on that score, and that may be so because we have not learnt how to deal with such issues and the UKG. It is our opinion that we contribute significantly by not understand our own powers in looking after our destiny and how we have allowed, small mindedness and vindictiveness to take charge in so many spheres of being on Montserrat.

It doesn’t matter how broad one’s back is in dealing with his/her personal business, its another when you are dealing with you and yours for each individual, for a leader in any business or oganisation, not to mention adding that of the people you serve.