Categorized | Editorial, Local

Will it start getting right this election year of 2014

In July last year, we wrote an Editorial captioned, “Clean hands and a pure heart”. It began:  “If you get it wrong at the beginning, there will hardly be a right conclusion. There is an old saying heard in Montserrat often. We heard it used at a recent high court case hearing by the defense who said who referred to the old saying, “Wha gan bad a-marnin, can’t come good a-evenin.” What gone bad in the morning, cannot come good in the evening.”

This was in reference to the HMG (UK Government) ICAI investigation that we reported, “was announced with ‘confused’ invitations and messages that were responded to by the somewhat ‘dis-functioning’ Montserrat Chamber of Commerce (MCCI) to meet with the investigating team members.

The KPMG members did not meet with the media, the independent media for sure, even though TMR went to great lengths to seek an audience with them. We stress one of the matters they reported on: “One of their recommendations is that DFID and GoM need to be much more engaging with the people of Montserrat, Civil Society. Democracy in action! So our leaders look about the viability of festival promoters and others, but do not care about the provision of engaging and guaranteeing that all are informed.

We noted as follows:  How accurate and complete can this report be, speaking only to public servants, GoM officials, FCO and DFID officials and small business owners and their staff? We were told  that their visit was for some reason curtailed, and there was even a promise that someone would return. We eventually questioned as to the accuracy to some of the information they reported, as well as the credibility of the report.

DFID did for the better part rejected the report, but we note now that we have not heard of any reaction from the Government of Montserrat.

One conscientious senior public official said that one thing that jumps out at them is the “seemingly obvious disconnect public servants and ministers, particularly in the UK, where the ministers say one thing, but the civil servants try hard to do something else.”

We do not know for the UK but in Montserrat, the ministers have a different story as they claim public servants do not act on directives or even policy but on their own perception. Sorry ministers, they told the Governor they did not care or understand why they should do anything to facilitate progress in the private sector.

What did we hear about? More training, and efforts to prevent the civil society and businesses seeking redress, or benefiting by taking Government and their officers to court for not doing it right at the beginning, wrong doings.

Therefore, at the end of 2013, we find that it is even worse than can be imagined, the overarching ignorance as to the meaning of democracy and its practices. MDC’s lack of interest in talking with and to the Montserrat public, all efforts from Governor down, not recognising the importance of getting the ‘message’ to everyone; making all kinds of decisions without truly or holistically  involving the stakeholders, the beneficiaries, all hands on deck, meanwhile promoting in select places, the ‘future is ripe’.

Sometime this year Montserratians and residents will be required to participate in General Elections. The new calypsonian king Baptiste Wallace’s song, ‘Dracula system’ should serve as a message. The other calypsonians at a time when everyone was complaining that they are still searching for Christmas this year, avoided any in-depth thoughts on the state of things. Why? Fear! of what of or whom? The elections would have been completed when they get another chance.

The Montserrat Chamber of Industry and Commerce (MCCI) needs to get some act together. They and the Government do need to  understand that their non-existence is at the heart of much of the unfairness, injustices, to those who suffer on this island. Waiting one’s turn to ‘catch the soup’. To have our government tell 16-19-year-olds to go and be entrepreneurs as they leave school, when these young people probably never even know how to open a bank account, must be insincere and misleading. To be lending $40,000 to businesses to improve their business, or start a new business, sounds good, but they must start paying it back right away; the question, what new business and who will they serve? What is the platform, where is the frameork within which to operate?

There are so many other thoughts and questions to stifle the air while we trudge to the future 2016 and 2020 on little less than hope, ignoring what is possible now. If these plans are so promising, even while now is so important, how sincere are we in spreading the word. Whose responsibility is it, to do it right.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

In July last year, we wrote an Editorial captioned, “Clean hands and a pure heart”. It began:  “If you get it wrong at the beginning, there will hardly be a right conclusion. There is an old saying heard in Montserrat often. We heard it used at a recent high court case hearing by the defense who said who referred to the old saying, “Wha gan bad a-marnin, can’t come good a-evenin.” What gone bad in the morning, cannot come good in the evening.”

This was in reference to the HMG (UK Government) ICAI investigation that we reported, “was announced with ‘confused’ invitations and messages that were responded to by the somewhat ‘dis-functioning’ Montserrat Chamber of Commerce (MCCI) to meet with the investigating team members.

The KPMG members did not meet with the media, the independent media for sure, even though TMR went to great lengths to seek an audience with them. We stress one of the matters they reported on: “One of their recommendations is that DFID and GoM need to be much more engaging with the people of Montserrat, Civil Society. Democracy in action! So our leaders look about the viability of festival promoters and others, but do not care about the provision of engaging and guaranteeing that all are informed.

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We noted as follows:  How accurate and complete can this report be, speaking only to public servants, GoM officials, FCO and DFID officials and small business owners and their staff? We were told  that their visit was for some reason curtailed, and there was even a promise that someone would return. We eventually questioned as to the accuracy to some of the information they reported, as well as the credibility of the report.

DFID did for the better part rejected the report, but we note now that we have not heard of any reaction from the Government of Montserrat.

One conscientious senior public official said that one thing that jumps out at them is the “seemingly obvious disconnect public servants and ministers, particularly in the UK, where the ministers say one thing, but the civil servants try hard to do something else.”

We do not know for the UK but in Montserrat, the ministers have a different story as they claim public servants do not act on directives or even policy but on their own perception. Sorry ministers, they told the Governor they did not care or understand why they should do anything to facilitate progress in the private sector.

What did we hear about? More training, and efforts to prevent the civil society and businesses seeking redress, or benefiting by taking Government and their officers to court for not doing it right at the beginning, wrong doings.

Therefore, at the end of 2013, we find that it is even worse than can be imagined, the overarching ignorance as to the meaning of democracy and its practices. MDC’s lack of interest in talking with and to the Montserrat public, all efforts from Governor down, not recognising the importance of getting the ‘message’ to everyone; making all kinds of decisions without truly or holistically  involving the stakeholders, the beneficiaries, all hands on deck, meanwhile promoting in select places, the ‘future is ripe’.

Sometime this year Montserratians and residents will be required to participate in General Elections. The new calypsonian king Baptiste Wallace’s song, ‘Dracula system’ should serve as a message. The other calypsonians at a time when everyone was complaining that they are still searching for Christmas this year, avoided any in-depth thoughts on the state of things. Why? Fear! of what of or whom? The elections would have been completed when they get another chance.

The Montserrat Chamber of Industry and Commerce (MCCI) needs to get some act together. They and the Government do need to  understand that their non-existence is at the heart of much of the unfairness, injustices, to those who suffer on this island. Waiting one’s turn to ‘catch the soup’. To have our government tell 16-19-year-olds to go and be entrepreneurs as they leave school, when these young people probably never even know how to open a bank account, must be insincere and misleading. To be lending $40,000 to businesses to improve their business, or start a new business, sounds good, but they must start paying it back right away; the question, what new business and who will they serve? What is the platform, where is the frameork within which to operate?

There are so many other thoughts and questions to stifle the air while we trudge to the future 2016 and 2020 on little less than hope, ignoring what is possible now. If these plans are so promising, even while now is so important, how sincere are we in spreading the word. Whose responsibility is it, to do it right.