Categorized | Editorial

Whatever HMG is up to, it is not the same – all agree it has not been good

Suddenly The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) that never enjoyed ‘friend status’ with anyone government, party or individual; and even when it has repeatedly published time and again that it upholds only truth, integrity, fairness, justice and the progress for Montserrat, is being accused of being in the Governor’s corner.

That is surprising because it should not ever have been difficult to see what corner rather than whose corner TMR has been in. Always the corner of anything that looked like even smells like it would lead to the economic development and progress for the welfare of our people.

We understand very well that there are strange consequences, sometimes quite unpleasant, when the side of truth, justice and fairness is sought. Then there are the circumstances like some of what pertains to Montserrat that exacerbate the problems, but all we encourage is goodness. We are only too aware of the world we live in and the people who usually get control. Good notice should be taken of how those who have suffered long are saying, no more. Note well that this is not going unnoticed by some of the powerful. Note well, they are understanding that their success and longevity must take definite and clear lines of action.

That is where we are in Montserrat with HMG’s  Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DFID), where the two have come together, finally, after longer than our crisis has existed.

In as simple terms as we can get it.  It is not entirely because DFID had not been concerned about our welfare; it didn’t quite fit in their poverty reduction mandate. Our circumstances, placed them in unfamiliar waters just as they had told us in 1996-98. To be fair, so were we. Nevertheless, with DFID and FCO not cooperating with each other, it gave us a certain strength that we never recognised, even when it stared us in our face.

Today, the questions and the suspicions are running high – “what is HMG’s agenda, what are they up to?” they ask. Is it that we did not recognise that for all these years DFID was guilty of not taking responsibility or seeking accountability and fairness for the support they were giving to Montserrat? All that time the Governors (FCO) were saying they did not know how the finances of Montserrat were being handled.  Was it that bad, that we cannot recognise good? On the other hand, is that there are those who are now afraid of the change it might require them to make?

New government, new approach and good relationships, now things change for Montserrat. Suddenly HMG has on the ground a person who is experienced in DFID’s business and who after working all those years in China, must have the savvy of the FCO side of things, which all lead to working with government and people of Montserrat and those he reports to. Shame on those who call him the ‘new chief minister’! Let’s hope some of the scales fall off.

In this wee corner, we hope that DFID and/or HMG do have an agenda. It is for us to find out. In fact the Governor continually refers to a letter from Secretary of State Bellingham, which we understand seeks our opinion on ‘the agenda’. We are hoping the Chief Minister will tell us about it on Tuesday when he plays catch-up on his relationship with the people of Montserrat. We hope that the Governor would have had enough time to share with him the many questions he has had to defer from the people who are either overwhelmed or suspicious that he sought to find out what their concerns were, having been here just about two months now.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Suddenly The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) that never enjoyed ‘friend status’ with anyone government, party or individual; and even when it has repeatedly published time and again that it upholds only truth, integrity, fairness, justice and the progress for Montserrat, is being accused of being in the Governor’s corner.

That is surprising because it should not ever have been difficult to see what corner rather than whose corner TMR has been in. Always the corner of anything that looked like even smells like it would lead to the economic development and progress for the welfare of our people.

We understand very well that there are strange consequences, sometimes quite unpleasant, when the side of truth, justice and fairness is sought. Then there are the circumstances like some of what pertains to Montserrat that exacerbate the problems, but all we encourage is goodness. We are only too aware of the world we live in and the people who usually get control. Good notice should be taken of how those who have suffered long are saying, no more. Note well that this is not going unnoticed by some of the powerful. Note well, they are understanding that their success and longevity must take definite and clear lines of action.

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That is where we are in Montserrat with HMG’s  Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DFID), where the two have come together, finally, after longer than our crisis has existed.

In as simple terms as we can get it.  It is not entirely because DFID had not been concerned about our welfare; it didn’t quite fit in their poverty reduction mandate. Our circumstances, placed them in unfamiliar waters just as they had told us in 1996-98. To be fair, so were we. Nevertheless, with DFID and FCO not cooperating with each other, it gave us a certain strength that we never recognised, even when it stared us in our face.

Today, the questions and the suspicions are running high – “what is HMG’s agenda, what are they up to?” they ask. Is it that we did not recognise that for all these years DFID was guilty of not taking responsibility or seeking accountability and fairness for the support they were giving to Montserrat? All that time the Governors (FCO) were saying they did not know how the finances of Montserrat were being handled.  Was it that bad, that we cannot recognise good? On the other hand, is that there are those who are now afraid of the change it might require them to make?

New government, new approach and good relationships, now things change for Montserrat. Suddenly HMG has on the ground a person who is experienced in DFID’s business and who after working all those years in China, must have the savvy of the FCO side of things, which all lead to working with government and people of Montserrat and those he reports to. Shame on those who call him the ‘new chief minister’! Let’s hope some of the scales fall off.

In this wee corner, we hope that DFID and/or HMG do have an agenda. It is for us to find out. In fact the Governor continually refers to a letter from Secretary of State Bellingham, which we understand seeks our opinion on ‘the agenda’. We are hoping the Chief Minister will tell us about it on Tuesday when he plays catch-up on his relationship with the people of Montserrat. We hope that the Governor would have had enough time to share with him the many questions he has had to defer from the people who are either overwhelmed or suspicious that he sought to find out what their concerns were, having been here just about two months now.