Books about Anguilla


Friday, 8 July 2011

SOCIAL DISORDER? Or consequence of a Failed State!!!

It is an uncharacteristic ill, for us to have to deal with the recent spate of attempted suicide and suicide by hanging in our small community. Is this social disorder or the collapse of our moral footing? In a conversation with a prominent figure, who finds it appalling that there have been three suicides by hanging in recent months on the island and government has not as much as addressed the matter in any form. The elected responsibility of every government is basically socio-political and such issues mandate government to at least comment on what appears to be a new phenomenon of distress on the island. The conversation went on to assume that under normal circumstance, three murders, or even attempted murders of any kind would draw quite some attraction from the community, but these unnecessary taking of individual lives seem to trend towards an acceptable peril.

Society is actually a major dependency on the social systems that characterizes the nature of the country, and this is proven true according to the kind of society one may chose to live. There is major discontent right now in The United States of America because, some characterize the social system as burdensome on the country and others believe that the distribution of wealth as pertinent achievement, is being unfairly and disproportionally dispersed, whereby the underprivileged and unfortunate has not been sufficiently guaranteed their rights of social security through the safety net system. In Europe we see the most dependent on the social structure of some of these countries turned to street warfare against their government that is no longer able to protect and provide such benefits which they have come to accept as normal. In Anguilla we are not a privileged society to enjoy such benefits and therefore we live and we die without the guarantee of a social safety net. But we have always been a people conscious of our neighbor’s welfare and for our island to simply accept three suicides by hanging in less than six months without being adequately addressed represents a major shift in our moral equity.

The question that comes to mind is what is the distraction? Why haven’t we recognized the disorder? Everyone is perhaps just too busy with their very own circumstance. Anguilla is hurting terribly in more ways than one. It is said that single mothers are in terribly despair, at risk of losing their homes, ignoring their parental responsibility and trying to over dose themselves to avoid the shame and disgrace. Several hundred disconnections of electricity on a monthly basis leaving the young and old in darkness, without the luxuries they have come to know and enjoy. These incidences of economic consequence on the island indicate that the country is in serious decline and perhaps seriously drifting into crisis. A very serious question that should be tabled right here is, is our government in denial? Indications are, this is a developing crisis, and we hear nothing from government. Where is the Minister of Social affairs who are well paid on a monthly basis, and the rest of the Ministerial body who often are photographed once per week attending a single meeting, and are safely registered on the payroll of Government, doesn’t the Minister have a word of comfort and or assurance for the people? Aren’t there social professionals within the ministry that can address such matters? The island needs comfort and to hear from their elected people to assure them that this crisis will not encompass the population in any mass form.

There is a crisis looming and government should not pretend that they don’t understand. The former, Honorable Chief Minister Osborne Fleming out of concern, hinted, that government needs to seek adequate assistance from the British Government under present circumstances. This was also echoed by the former Finance Minister Hon. Victor Banks on live radio, stating, there is a case to be made to the British government on behalf of the country. Our pride, or our ignorance must not lead to the seduction of evil creeping into our society under these serious economic conditions as a permanent solution to crisis in our lives. The passion for suicide as a quick and permanent solution to personal problems must be reversed; persons with such intent must be sort out, and counseled.

As a people, we have entered a period where we have accepted and deliberately embraced our politics, as a weapon of division that has isolated neighbors, friends and families; I dear say that today’s politics on Anguilla has become a divisive tool. What happened this week in the “House of Representatives” is self explanatory and indicative. If our elected Representatives, all being elected on equal platforms by the people, and do not have the will to respect each other and demonstrate kindness in the honorable “House” but at all time must show their endeavor to subdue by all means necessary, then indeed our moral footing is in question. From all indications the opposition raised a point that made the actions of the House superfluous, The “act” is already agreed on and signed by both parties, which made it enforceable, which in my mind, made the session redundant and gave it the appearance that the government was about to do nothing but again repeat its action on the issue to raise the consciousness of the people that, “we have signed another MOU”. Since February 2010 a number of these have been signed without any substantive work on the island. If the Speaker must control the House with a heavy hand to demonstrate command, then the objective of the function is lacking, and such actions could very well exemplify the state of the country.

By Elliot J. Harrigan 

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