Government is doing its utmost to make a good first impression, now some months well into the elected term. I’m sure it brings some excitement to the Ministerial body to break ground; and we all hope that this leads to something positive for the island. Often the attempt to impress brings out default and helps to unveil the truth. Obviously, with the breaking of ground there must be a few speeches to allow well wishers and supporter some insight into the objective. If one follows the speeches well enough, in particular the developer Mr. Tom McInerney’s it would be clear that not even the plans for the Solaire project at Lockum are ready as yet, which is often the most primary work. This may mean most likely, that we are still a very long way from any productive work being done on this site. But the Government must be praised however for pushing the effort along, since the project was in motion and approved since 2005.
But it was with interest to see that Back to back, the Leader of the Opposition in the “House” and key figures of opposition AUF at a recent press conference lamenting the present chaos on the island over the introduction and implementation of the Interim Stabilization Levy Law and willingly offering Government their unsolicited assistance to find alternatives that would be less burdensome on the people of Anguilla. Obviously, the Government appears to be ignoring this most noble offer and is sharing some excitement, as the honorable Chief Minister digs his shovel in the ground in a ceremonial moment while key elements in government look on with great smiles. Winning an election is a major achievement for any group setting out to govern. When the votes are counted the burden of achievement is always a pivotal experience going forward and weighs heavily on the people that sit in office. This Government finds itself in parallel conditions where the absolute burden to achieve some degree of marginal success is a daily consideration, because people are looking forward to this and government must be deliberate and conclusive to accomplish anything meaningful. Unlike our past, where we had the wheels grinding forward, it was easy to simply grease those wheel so that the grind advances with ease; our present situation requires careful and deliberate action to put this great wheel of possibilities in grinding motion again.
People are skeptical, but Government has time on its hand and even if this project means a very slow turn, we are very appreciative. There are questions, that must be asked:
Have we entered a period of complicity? What about Baird and Haydn, are they in? Have this government laid down their arms against the Governor and FCO? Is the balance of power now in good proportion, is everyone now getting along?
A major step ahead for this government is to concede that its initial approach did not contribute to an atmosphere of responsible collusion and therefore provoked irritation between the Governor and the Government. It was a gradual built up to a breaking point when The Minister for The Overseas Territories demanded that the Chief Minister accept two professionals to oversee the Budget process. Anyone observing the madness which pursued would agree that this was an exercise of power and an attempt to bring this government under subjection, which effort accomplished its goal.
Now it is time to utilize the great advantage still with government; that is “time.” New elections are not anything that should be considered soon, unless through gross malfunction of mental capacity. Therefore time is a major asset and Government must begin to put in place principle decisions to stimulate the economy, Minimize the continued bank intrusion and acquiring of personal properties because every house that is lost in this economy represents several families and their various extensions, which undoubtedly would be a serious back lash on Government. Enforce at least one of the famous MOU’s of the many that has been signed since taking office. Make the document a viable and principle asset to the way forward, and make it a more doable tool than the MOA which appeared to have worked extremely well for the former government. There is still good will among the people for this government, indicated by the disciplined uneasiness and exercise of tolerance; but this time is coming if government doesn’t act and put that plan as promised on the table.
By: Elliot J. Harrigan