Books about Anguilla


Monday, 31 January 2011


Fellow Anguillians, over the past two weeks I have addressed you on the present state of affairs in Anguilla. I stressed that for us here in Anguilla with leadership responsibilities we will no doubt continue to have another very difficult and challenging year ahead under the existing financial and economic circumstances being experienced globally. I reminded you that during these difficult times what is a fundamental necessity, is sound, steadfast, visionary, selfless, humble, realistic and pragmatic guidance through conscious and stable leadership in every segment of our society and especially in the leadership of government business – which I am afraid is absent in Anguilla at this time. Further in my addresses I highlighted among many other things the following: 

1.The style, approach and attitude of our Chief Minister Hubert Hughes has created an atmosphere of political instability, and that creating conflict with investors when there is no justification for such conflict is not in best interest of AXA. And that the unnecessary, disrespectful war of words from the CM with respect to the British Governor, the minister responsibility for Overseas Territories Minister, the Secretary of State and the British Government as a whole serves not meaningful purpose at this time.

2. The situation in Anguilla calls for an atmosphere of patience, understanding, peace, partnership and mutual respect between Britain and ourselves…. Not threats of another revolution, no threats of violence and bloodshed.

3. We need to look beyond the charges and denials of the past year. In particular, we need to look to better days of collaborative partnership and the forward movement of Anguilla from its current state of affairs. We need to engage the British Government in a civil, intellectual, respectful and mutual dialogue as it pertains to all aspects of the Anguillian situation. This I am afraid, will not be accomplished with the style, attitude and approach of our present Chief Minister.

4. We should all hold our Chief Minister, his advisors, henchmen and his colleagues accountable to the people of Anguilla for the truth. No more tall tales, no more imaginary wars in order to obtain independence, no more political destabilization of our Anguillian society to hide the inadequacies of his government and blaming his weaknesses and failings on everyone else.

Fellow Anguillians, I said all of that with the hope that the Chief Minister, his advisors, henchmen and his colleagues will pause for a while and think of the impact that their approach and attitude to the overall development of AXA have negative consequences. I had hoped that the CM would realize:-

1. That his abusive, disrespectful, combative and confrontational style, attitude and approach toward the British are impediments to serious dialogue in dealing with the budget situation;

2. That his call and that of his cohorts for a fight-- and his utterances of violence are negatively affecting our tourism industry and scaring developers and financiers away. We have already heard of vacation cancellations by some tourists. Certainly that banner at the roundabout only adds to the apprehension that our visitors now have to visiting Anguilla;

3. That the fear he and his colleagues have planted in the minds of the civil service and many Anguillians, has now created an atmosphere of uncertainty and confusion about the future of Anguilla;

4. That the call for independence by him, his advisors, colleagues and henchmen without an outline plan or clear path, has further frightened most Anguillians into a state of hopelessness and despair of the future. This has been compounded by the racist and disrespectful comments from his platforms by persons who should know better;

5. That the present series of independent rallies further serves to polarize the people of Anguilla and at a time, as he puts it, that we need to come together in the best interest of Anguilla and its inhabitants.

6. that the division in his government, which he has confirmed, needs to be addressed if investors are to have confidence in the political stability of Anguilla.

7. Fellow Anguillians I could go on and on about how the style, attitude and approach of the CM, his advisors and colleagues are affecting Anguilla today and causing serious obstructions for us getting through these difficult financial and economic circumstances being experienced globally. The CM and team have failed to realize the harm that they are causing to our blessed island Anguilla. I am, however, confident that you the people of Anguilla have all recognized this and you are now quietly sending a clear message to the CM that you are disgusted with his attitude, style and approach to the issues confronting AXA.

While the CM continues on his present path of attack, disrespect and confrontation, we have heard of a letter written to him by the Governor regarding allegations of wrong doings by the Hon Walcott Richardson. This is another issue that the CM needs to deal with urgently, so that the people of AXA can be informed with the factual information., and in keeping with his promise for transparency, I call on him to publish the contents of that letter so that we all would be aware of its contents and would be able make up our own minds about the allegations.

Fellow Anguillians, Anguilla is at the crossroads, how we operate going forward will determine where we end up. I again wish to make it abundantly clear that the AUF is not prepared to agree to any budget that includes further cuts in the Civil Service, further reduction in the salaries of civil servants or further increase in taxes on the people of Anguilla. Therefore I urge the Chief Minister and his government to get to the negotiating table with the British Government and in a civil and non-combative manner, agree to a budget that is in the best interest of all Anguillians. The Chief Minister should also note that his call for Independence is not the answer to the budget impasse he has with the British government. He must also be reminded that he has until April 30th 2011 to get the budget approved. Under no circumstances can Independence be achieved by then. So his focus must now be on negotiating a budget for 2011.

Fellow Anguillians, All of us want ANGUILLA to be in a position where we would be able to maximize the opportunities that will be available to us as a result of the global economic recovery that is forecasted------So I urge Chief Minister to:

1.Tone down his rhetoric and call on his team to do the same;

2.Focus on governing Anguilla and not on a self-serving war with the British;

3. As frustrating as it may be for our capable team in the MOF, Accept Minister Bellingham offer of consultants to assist with the preparation of a budget that could be assented to;

4. Establish a broad base private sector team of professionals to assist the local technocrats in preparing a budget/additional recommendations prior to the arrival of the consultants from the UK.

5. Carefully study the Watson Expenditure report on “potential savings in Government expenditure” with the view of adopting any recommendations that are seen as useful for the budget process and which would not plunge Anguilla into an irreparable financial and social position.

6. Focus on resolving the divide within his cabinet so as to restore political stability to Anguilla, and;

7. Quickly move to bring closure to the allegations made against Mr Walcott Richardson.

Fellow Anguillians the aim of the Chief Minister should be to restore civility to Anguilla, where Anguillians, residents and visitors to our shores can live in peace and without fear of violence and victimization. The AUF certainly recognizes the need for us not to contribute or to be involved in or fueling of the present disrespectful, abusive and combative attitude of the CM and his team. We recognize that the bigger picture is Anguilla and all Anguillians, and we must play our part to ensure that we do not contribute to anything that would jeopardize the future that we all so desire and deserve. The AUF is therefore suspending our planned public meetings for Jan 22 and 29th and is appealing to the CM and team to pause, think about AXA and commence work on the real issues which now confront us as a nation.

In Closing, I call on all the supporters and well wishers of the AUF to understand this difficult, but necessary position of the Party and to remain calm and patient. FOR AFTER ALL---WE LOVE HER ,HOLD HER DEAR TO OUR HEARTS……ANGUILLA IS BIGGER THAN ALL OF US.


By: Hon. Mcniel Rogers, Leader of the Opposition.

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