Saturday, 26 February 2011
If one followed the process and formulation of the budget for 2011, the exercise seemed quite normal, the government made a good attempt to conform to FCO’S requirements in reducing expenditure and raising revenue to bring the budget in balance as demanded. The budget was successfully debated in the House and passed unanimously. But that appeared to have been process part one pending approval, which I guess no one in the administration thought that the Governor would just sign the budget. It would seem that with the Minister ordering the government to take hands off and allow two highly professional experts to come in and do the work, was a very humbling experience for any government.
Much of the difficulty the island has experienced in one year only appears to have come from the absence of due process. It is clear though, that this government does not enjoy the confidence of the Governor or that of FCO much to their very own making. One could determine that from the outset very little regard was given to the authority held by the Governor. Indications suggested that upon entering office the Hughes Government clearly meant to minimize that authority and endeavored to show up the elected responsibility of the Ministers, it appeared that this team set out to govern on its own. The Governor in his capacity appears to be very meticulous in the execution of his responsibility and expected the elected government to perform likewise but instead, there were serious problems with the rules of order and apparent disregard for due process and procedure. The Governor wanted to bring this Government to order. The question right now is did the Government get the message? Due process was given without interference in the budget regard and it passed unimpeded which I believe brought goose bumps to the honorable Chief Minister, that we have completed our work, thanks to our honorable professional staff and the House of Assembly, therefore now we are off to a retreat and “have a wonderful Christmas.” Not so fast, it appeared that FCO had already decided that no signature would be attached to that budget. This appeared to have been known very early on.
I call it “Budgetary Nonsense” because there are no real indications that this budget as composed on December with very little error should not have been approved, as claimed by said very highly powered independent financial experts. “This Budget Stands” reaffirming the confidence expressed in our very own experts therefore, there are clear indications that this exercise was a strategic and a deliberate attempt by the British to make the badly needed attitude adjustment to this government. To impose such a juvenile behavioral punishment would indicate that the Governor felt restless and unable to carry on Her Majesty’s duties in the environment created on the island just under twelve months and had to bring back the lawful practiced of government. Our system of government provides for one central rule and governing order. “There shall be a Governor of Anguilla who shall be appointed by Her Majesty and hold office during Her Majesty’s pleasure for the purpose of administering the Government of Anguilla. The Executive authority of Anguilla shall be vested in Her Majesty. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive authority of Anguilla may be exercised on behalf of Her Majesty by the Governor.
When this government took office it appears that no one took time to look up procedure, whether the Chief Minister knew what the process was, he certainly did not take time to instruct his Ministers what it meant to be off the streets of Anguilla and to function in Government. Everyone seemed to have thought that each Minister was an island unto him-self and the Chief Minister was the Head of State. The Minister of Communication ordering Anglec Directors fired, the Minister of Labor issuing his own permits by his own orders, the Chief Minister, by his signature only, approved a two hundred million dollar loan against the assets of SSB. They in fact totally overlooked Old Tar or deliberately ignored its existence. The Governor was insulted, ignored and abused, but on that mystified day when he (the Governor) tried to fire the Chief Minister, it caused shock waves on the interior, and the message got through. The move he made cause serious alarm but brought common sense to bear. Judging from the Governors current statement on the budget he feels that he has accomplished his objective and is looking ahead. Quote; “Now that the experts have completed their work in assisting with Anguilla’s Budget, the next step is to have a good discussion in the Executive Council. Clearly the Governor’s concern is the way forward with anticipation that this government will behave differently.
Posted by Realist Spikenice at 19:52