Books about Anguilla


Tuesday, 4 October 2011


At some point it becomes a matter for the people! The battle of words and insults throughout this term of governing between the Governor and the Chief Minister has inhibited the full capacity of governance and brought neutrality and civility in this high office to a grinding halt. There is no good will between these two men, and caught between is a country exposed to risk. The battle lines were drawn quite early, resulted from much of the loose rhetoric bubbled up in the last election. It is perhaps true that this government is a target of the British; this, effectively being executed by the Governor, Mr. Harrison. The Chief Minister, who is quite naturally willing to climax his political career in a blaze of glory, wants to be adorned with the reputation for “standing up to the British.” Frankly speaking, this is a moment in our history not to be admired, and most hideously, both of these men are poised, Governor Harrison is here on assignment; he will serve his term, then leave, we might never hear from him again, and Hughes, winding down his illustrious political career, emphatically declaring he will not seek reelection. "The Governor, the Chief Minister, they have nothing to lose!!!!"

In an exclusive and extensive conversation with the honorable Chief Minister, he has conceded that he has just about exhausted his good will and reasoning in the function of executing his responsibility, having Governor Harrison as a partner. He feels that his governing capacity is severely restricted and perhaps has been actually hijacked. In an effort to offer advice where a reasonable compromise may be sort in the interest of the country, I found a defiant and determined Chief Minister, not willing to give an inch and feels that the Governor must either allow the normal process of an elected government to function in the interest of the majority of the population who elected them or be welcome to take the process by force, meaning that the battle lines are drawn. What emerged from our conversation is that much of the conflict is personally targeted and they both seem to be willing to infliction blistering insults out of diplomatic circle.

It is very clear to me that the public is actually at arm’s length, and not aware of the depth of discontent, disagreement and dysfunction between these two most powerful men, which unfolds an ugly picture for the Hughes Government. Having nothing to lose in the process is not a good enough reason to impede the process of governing in the interest of the country, this means that only the people lose in this tense and reckless standoff. It is presumed that the people of Anguilla must be allowed to criticize their government if deemed necessary; and government must respond to the will of the people. As we know it, the governing process is within the rights and reach of the elected government and the Queen’s representative is empowered, and should execute within the constitutional framework, but not usurp the power and authority of the elected. From the observation of public scrutiny, we know the behavior of Mr. Hughes, and are well aware of his persona relative to the British; this should not enable the absolute disregard for the elected government, who should be allowed to perform and be ridiculed by said electorate if necessary. The Governor has no direct responsibility to the Anguilla people and should not infringe on the electorate by absorbing all the rights to rule.

On the other hand our government must conduct its self in a coherent way that induces respect and not react undiplomatic in the process of governing. There is no room for personal misconduct; this has no place in the high office representing the people. We cannot be driven by a militant few, pundits or radio personalities who unrealistically want to diminish the role of the British and the Governor, by this, causing the unnecessary use and exercise of extra ordinary powers and micro, management the country. These powers should be reserved to rescue the country in case of gross negligence or disorder, we have not yet entered that zone. Hughes expressed his disgust, indicating that the Governor is the monster in the room absorbing all the influence and power of the elected and not demonstrates a fair and balance approach, which is not serving the country well. The people of Anguilla must be allowed the right to representation by a government they choose, and the people in due time will decide whether this government deserves a vote of confidence or not, we don’t ask for this degree of protection from our selves.

Clearly some of Hughes’s remarks were unwarranted and not deserving of coverage, but we know Hughes, and his intentions are good towards the country, while he may inhibit his very own progress by his style of governing, he must be allowed to fall on his own sword, or we will witness a classic re institution of massive British rule and control over our lives once again. It must be said, that for a major power who offers the people of Anguilla nothing, in the worst of economic conditions, and exhibit no remorse over the number of homes on the auction block and misfortune suffered in this recession by the Anguillian people, but continues to anticipate more taxation; at some point must be called out to consider the people and their immediate conditions, to ensure that we enjoy a stable and continued well being. We are well aware that the Governor must executes his responsibility according to protocol, and we know that our Chief Minister is not quite a submissive man, these two men, while having great ambition seems to demonstrate to the people of Anguilla that they’ll fight on, “they have nothing to lose.”

By Elliot J. Harrigan

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