Books about Anguilla


Friday, 29 March 2013


His Excellency Governor Harrison summery: 
"... moral responsibilities are linked to fiscal responsibility"
The underline principle behind the British’s insistence that the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility be applied as a mechanism within government is a good thing for the people of Anguilla. It demands the transparency that is so much talked about, and insists on proper application of discretion in the execution of business in the interest of the people. It gives the people the right to know! Reasons given for the standoff by Mr. Hughes are not coherent with the implied theory of good governance, which should be a justifiable motivation for the Chief Minister to willingly comply and sign the document. There is much talk of the intricacies and complexity of coming to “a decision” to sign or not to! What is very telling is that a document very similar in nature has been signed by the other remaining Territories of Great Britain in the region. Why Anguilla finds this document so offensive and detrimental to the future of the Island is not a convincing argument the Chief Minister is bringing to the people and therefore fails to generate enough enthusiasm to respond to the British with a resounding “NO!” Time is now running out! And Mr. Hughes is locked into a decision of principle which is to compromise on his adamant position of not signing!

The Chief Minister is an experienced politician and knows the British cynicism of his brand of government, so the question must be asked why Mr. Hughes confined himself to an option-less position? This document upholds the credibility, and guarantees continuity of responsibility in government. In a case such as the airport project the framework ensures that unforeseeable circumstances are substantially mitigated, and accountability is assured. It becomes the responsibility of any incoming government, not to wash their hands, but provide a documented account of the project even though not executed under their watch, but as government they become responsible to the people to provide the information as to what actually transpired, whether through inquiries or a documented account of the financial responsibility. Mr. Hughes apparently feels that the framework leaves him in less control, but in the mind of the British the onus is put directly on government to execute in good order, and be good stewards of the people’s business. Bear in mind that the official term of a government in Anguilla is five years, and not a life time! So what this Government finds offensive might not be a factor in two years. There is really nothing acute about the document more than what it says. It literally locks the government in a business attitude for the responsibility of the country, and anyone seeking office should pay attention, there is no more free ride in the government of Anguilla. Government must act, and execute responsibly, and answer to the people, with the British watching every move. 

The Hon. Edison Baird: "I am standing alone...this time"
Finally some level of oversight will bring our government into real subjection in how they handle the business of the people. Under the FFR, government must give a clear outline how they intend to spend the people’s money, why the project is necessary, and prove that the company doing the project is capable in that field; and then, report clearly with absolute accounting of how the money was spent! And if the guidelines are followed, there would be no need for lengthy and cumbersome investigations into matters of government, it must be brought out in a report that is required as part of the framework, which the British would have oversight. The British remains adamant, and apparently will not concede to any of the logic of the Chief Minister. Whether or not there had been an agreement in principle since 2011 is indicative to the content of the letter to Mr. Hughes of March 6th 2013 when it was expected that by June 2012 the framework would have been implemented. It appears that the British Minister thought that in principle he had a common agreement with Mr. Hughes which he wanted to take to the final stage; it now appears that Mr. Hughes has back peddled on finalizing the agreement.

Chief Minister's "Influential Peddlers" discuss options 
Clearly, Mr. Hughes’s decision not to sign is political and come to bear with pressure from within his political
circles, some who believe that signing this document diminishes our independence, which they believe we already have. The recent consultative session has not brought out any distinct course, what it revealed was that the people are expecting their government to embrace the full responsibility of governing the country, and decisions such as these are precisely why capable people must be elected. Such responsibility should be thrashed out in the executive corridors of government with the appropriate constitutional legal advice and that of the technocrats of government, but hiding under the shadow of technicality appears to be default position by the elected government. The so called technocrats should not carry the political responsibility of this decision; it must be left to the discretion and executive responsibility of those elected by the people. Our government should not be throwing around careless remarks and insinuations of defeat because on the responsibility it should embrace. The onus of effective governance lies fully with the elected government of the people, as such the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility guarantees the people of Anguilla better government.

1 comment:

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