By Tyrone Hodge
Are we truly better off now than at any time in the past? God gave us a brain to think. Look around you and decide for yourself. Does our government care?
Does governor Tim Foy care? What has he done to indicate that he cares about Anguillians? He gets on the radio and tells the Anguillians that he’s pleased with the way things are.
Two years after hurricanes Irma and Maria, two vicious category five storms from which Anguilla is yet to fully discover, governor Foy is pleased with the way things are. Seriously governor? You are pleased that the East-End School children housed in someone’s rented condos? You are pleased that our infrastructure is still in shambles? You are pleased that the wall around Webster’s Park is still lying on the ground. You are pleased that Anguillians are being dispossessed of their homeland? You are pleased that our premier has acquiesced to The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Lord Ahmad and others?
You are pleased, that, it’s been two years since those hurricanes struck and we are yet to get off the ground? Tell me governor Foy, what pleases you about our situation? We’d want to know.
Governor Foy is pleased with the way things are sums it up in a nutshell. It tells us all we need to know. Seemingly, the governor and Victor Banks are as thick as thieves, and that should be the red flag that things are not well with us. The Brits have never really cared one iota about us. They’ve tolerated us.
If they gave a damn, they wouldn’t allow Banks and Lord Ahmad to violate our constitution in the most brazen way that they are.
Who is Lord Ahmad and what does he know about Anguilla and our way of life?
The die is cast, and should we decide to sit this one out and do nothing, it’s inevitable what will happen next. Don’t misunderstand now; there is nothing wrong with talking to the governor. Collegiality is just fine, but when it gets to be too friendly, then we’ve got a problem, and we never know what we’re in for, given our premier’s penchant for secrecy.
There is much work to be done. Anguilla is crying out for new leadership that will not sell us out because they are compromised. The law of equity states “He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. A person who expects a remedy in equity against a wrongdoer must not himself have done a wrong thing with respect to the matter before the court.” (Hubbard v Vosper 1972).
Who among our current leaders, can with clean hands, seek equity for the homeland?
We want leaders who are willing to fight for the people. Leaders who will speak truth to power, leadership that will not strike secret deals behind our backs, leaders who will not sit on £65 million earmarked for Anguilla’s damaged infrastructure for almost three years and wait till the last six months before an election to get a flurry of activity going so that they may take credit for getting things done. We want leaders who are trustworthy, who will give credit where credit is due and not take it for themselves.
Who among our current leaders can fit that bill?
As we prepare for the upcoming election, we find ourselves playing on an uneven playing field courtesy of the British and our current government. True, we have many problems and if the current government will not address them, then it’s up to – We the People – to get those contesting the upcoming election on the record to tell us their qualifications and their plans to fix Anguilla’s problems.
Since the government has cherry picked the one item that benefits their chances of retaining power in 2020, then it’s incumbent upon us, every concerned Anguillian to become more involved in the process. Therefore, we demand answers from our politicians. We will need to know to whom they are indebted and what is the plan for moving Anguilla forward.
Anguilla’s 2020 election maybe the very last chance we get to vote for the government of our choice. And not the one bought and paid for by those with special interests. The system as it currently stands is corrupt, rotten to the core. If they are going to bribe us for our vote, then a turnabout is fair play. Take the bribe and vote for someone else.
We know what Anguilla’s problems are. The question that we need to ask ourselves is how to solve them. We know the problems can’t be solved all at once; but we must start somewhere. Our problems didn’t just crop up, they’ve been happening over an extended period, and therefore it will take some-time to fix them.
We can all agree that Anguilla needs a good house cleaning. For starters, let us clean up all the garbage that’s lying around; the abandoned vehicles by the side of the road and those that lie rusting on everyone’s property. Let us rid ourselves of the weapons and stop the carnage that they inflict on the populous. Let us stop the violence that takes some of our best and brightest.
There is nothing that a robust economy can’t cure and do that let us get our economy going again. The tourist bureau would be an excellent place to start.
Let us involve all the stakeholders, from the smallest B&B to our five-star hotels, our restaurateurs our rentals, our gift shops and our fishermen. Let’s subsidize their fuel purchases if we have to. If we can spend $700,000 on vehicle rentals for a do-nothing government, we damn sure can help the fishermen who provide fresh fish for us.
Everyone needs to be on board because, simply stated, it benefits us all. And who better to run the department of tourism than one of our stakeholders, who is eminently qualified, who understands what it takes, and who also understands the tourist industry.
Let us rid ourselves of the inherent nepotism in the tourist office and give the job to someone who knows what to do, and someone who will get us the biggest bang for our buck. Let us do away with the incompetent boards and the incompetent people who staff them. We are a people with the Sword of Damocles perched precariously over our heads.
It is high time that we get serious about Anguilla. The 2020 election is more than a bellwether year. It’s the year in which we take back Anguilla from the special interests and those who would sell us out. It’s the year that we stand up to corruption and all the isms that we’re afflicted with.
The Anguilla fire sale has just put up the closed – gone fishin’ sign. At this time, we cannot be selfish. The time has come to roll up one’s sleeves; change course, to trim Anguilla’s mainsail, tighten the jib, put her in the wind and head for safe harbor. Anything short of this is totally unacceptable.
The 2020 election will be the year when Anguilla will have come of age. We have the opportunity to finally live up to our God given potential.
With the right people in government, the opportunities are endless. If we want to change it has to come in the form of a united Anguilla.
No Anguilla United Movement (AUM) and certainly no Anguilla United Front (AUF). Anything short of total unity will guarantee another five years of Victor Banks and his “all about me gang,”
This time around let us make it “all about us.” We the People. So, until next time, let us use the talents that God gave us to look out for our fellow man, not to provide him with a handout, but a hand up.
Until next time, may God continue to bless us all.