Books about Anguilla


Friday, 29 April 2011


It is not unusual for a newly elected government to experience setbacks, or to be facing difficulties upon entering office! What is unusual is, for a new government entering office with what was an excessive energy level to become so distracted in such a very short period. Every government tends to show its strength and demonstrate a governing strategy early on in its tenure. However, this government is showing serious distraction, which is a troubling sign when the country is without doubt still in decline and everyone is hurting. Indeed there is ongoing tension between the Governor and the Honorable Chief Minister which seems to be having a compelling negative drawback on its function. The continuing squabbles between the two most important elements of power in the country, is actually threatening to derail AUM’s stated goal of returning the island to prosperity. In fact, fulfilling this basic premise and campaign promise is proving to be a much greater task than anticipated. This predicament is strangling any achievement in economic mobility in the short term and is threatening to derail AUF’s success.

Drawing this conclusion is not based on political expediency. A clear critical review or analysis would show that the ongoing circumstance the island faces, and the practical progression of a disorganized and dysfunctional political inner circle in AUM is having a very serious negative impact on the mechanism of government and the administrative process, which appears somewhat dysfunctional it’s self. Consequently, this predicament might be impeding the function of the various organs that make the system work effectively. Hearing recently from a long time Finance expert from the Ministry of Finance, he indicated serious deficiency in the drafting of the critical Interim Stabilization Bill which should have been a mechanism imposed to improve the country’s revenue intake and contribute to a balanced budget, but instead was drafted to become a nuisance to the general welfare and now an impediment to the recovery of the island’s economic situation, whereby penalizing the working class and rewarding those highly paid civil servants and politicians and the private sector as well, earning above the minimum threshold set by government for contribution. Such a bill shows immense insensitivity. This Government should be reminded that they rode into office on the single most unpopular issue in the political campaign, the extraordinary high salaries paid to AUF Ministers and upper level civil servants. This issue was deliberated, and methodically exposed by Sir Joe Hodge, impacting the campaign with intensity which eminently brought down AUF. The AUM campaign did not promise to roll back the salaries but did strongly criticize AUF for not showing sensitivity enough to what they called “the poor people.” This Government has now exhibited an even more gross atrocity, given this very gentleman reason to criticize then on said issue.

The wave of controversy Government finds itself in is perhaps an impediment to its optimal performance and is causing some frustration in how the island is administered as an Overseas Territory of the British Government. The Director of the Overseas Territories Mr. Colin Roberts on a recent visit to the island continues to make positive remarks of the relationship between Anguilla and Britain, indicating that the new coalition Government has a new attitude and approach with a positive commitment to the Territories. He also revealed that they are closely monitoring everything on the island including the various remarks on the blogs. The Director expressed confidence in the function of the Governor and made it clear that whatever we hear from the Governor is approved by his office and the British Government; he made remarks of the talent in our government administration, most likely referencing the work done on the 2011 Budget. The Director, on behalf of the British Government continues to make positive gestures to Mr. Hughes and his government, offering a hand of friendship in the interest of Anguilla while our Government continues to ignore that goodwill.

It is not clear what has restrained The Honorable Chief Minister from being party to the royal wedding on behalf of our country as one of Britain’s regional affiliated states. Even the half State of Montserrat was honored to be present, while Anguilla appears to have once again become a victim of the Chief Minister’s attitude and behavior. Certainly if our Chief Minister has been deprived of the honor to the wedding of the freshly crown Royals, it would be because of the totally unnecessary and abusive attitude to the British Government, who in turn refused to honor his distinguished presence before the Queen. It goes to show how the effect, or none effect of a government dragging along an entire nation, consequently under circumstances undesired. It must be understood that when one is elected to Office in our country, that responsibility transcends politics. Functioning in this High Office is by protocol and not one’s personal desire or likeness. As such all elected persons functioning in a ministerial capacity must understand that they represent the country as a whole and not their party, in fact, the entire political chaos of the country is a developing phenomenon, a mischaracterization of duty to the country after being elected under the banner of a political group. It behooves our government to be at its best at all times in the interest of the Anguilla people.

Lose language, unnecessary rhetoric, none cooperation with the British Government a retaliatory vague Independence call and various insults in high places and a consistent rejection of direction is becoming a serious case of misdirection for the country. Consequently, such conduct has brought on a significant degree of higher supervision not seen under the AUF government of the past. The strategic body of advisers, consisting of several high powered lawyers, some of which are directly linked to the function of the Chief Minister and advises him directly, must be questioned to the effective use of their brilliant minds, taking into account the steady drift the country is on. All of these incidences deserve nothing less than Critical Review.

By Elliot J. Harrigan

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“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” – MLK.