Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie has called for leaders of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to get their proverbial house in order, and to stop trying to brainwash the masses into thinking that an external force is responsible for most of the territory’s current challenges.
He added that the territory should do what is required to ensure good governance, and it will not have to fight unnecessary battles to secure victory.
“Most of our challenges and current situations that our territory finds itself in were not actions placed on us, but rather reactions to our actions or lack thereof. Trying to brainwash or manipulate people to think otherwise will ensure that our victory is delayed, which will result in much misery for all of us,” Fahie said during Territory Day celebrations yesterday (June 30) at the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall, Tortola.
He further told the audience, which included Premier Dr D Orlando Smith and other Government ministers, that the BVI must prove it is capable of handling the victory that is being sought. “As Virgin Islanders, especially us as leaders, we must put on the clothes of being our brother’s keeper, the clothes of transparency, accountability, [as well as] integrity through our actions and not only through our words.”
Fahie reiterated the need for certain key pieces of legislation aimed at improving transparency and accountability in governance. He specified the Freedom of Information Act, conflict of interest legislation, campaign finance legislation, and whistle blowing legislation to protect public servants who wish to speak out against wrongdoing in government.
“These actions will allow us to be properly attired to open the door and allow victory to feel welcomed, so that it will come right in without a fight, without trying to manipulate the people, without trying to tear each other down, [and] without fighting unnecessary battles.”
“Our forefathers taught us that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Let us get our house in order and stop using vinegar, so that we can change the results and get to our desired destination during this generation. Remember, for every positive action, results in a positive reaction. Likewise, for every negative action, results in a negative reaction…”
“The yesterdays are gone, but the now determines the tomorrows. Therefore, let us do the right things so that the next level that we seek for these beautiful Virgin Islands will come with a high approval rating and confidence level. It is time for victory,” Fahie said.
He did not clearly state what he meant by ‘victory’. However, the Opposition leader’s views were expressed at a time when discussions remain rife about whether the United Kingdom should allow the territory greater self-determination or independence.
Premier Smith recently made it clear that his administration will soon approach the United Kingdom to seek constitutional review, through which the governor would surrender more of his powers to local politicians. That announcement has attracted mixed reactions.
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