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COMMENTARY: Snap election will make things worse for BVI

Alred Frett

By Alred Frett, Contributor

There is a strange feeling in the air as persons ask if we are ready to vote or ready to run and when asked whether we have already entered 2019 their response is that we should be getting ready for another snap election.

That makes me wonder if we have learnt nothing from the last snap election or if we have gone mad and see this behaviour as being the new normal.

There is no doubt that BVIslanders have been suffering as a result of the last snap election and reports project us as being broke throughout the next five years with no prospect as to where monies will come from to pay government \workers and carry out capital projects.

Another snap election will only ensure that what we now see as being bad will get much, much worse.

Just a year ago the God of nature and laws of balance sent floods to cancel our emancipation celebrations and when we seemed unimpressed by the cry for change, hurricanes Irma and Maria were delivered to push us back 30-40 years.

Mercifully, the same God of nature and laws of balance saw it fit to give us the ways and means to bounce back in less than a year.

Some may claim this as being a blessing but we should beware lest it proves to be a curse that would have us believe we are so invincible that our memories are shortened and we fail to respect the basic values of mankind.
Already our wickedness has doubled and our selfishness tripled to a point where we consider the loss of a dime as a perfect excuse to demand a dollar.

We cannot afford to also lose our memory

We have forgotten that feeling of desperation; that period without food, shelter or employment.

Perhaps this is what it felt like for emancipated slaves who had built everything and were suddenly left with nothing; having lost that which they had grown to perceive as security.

Maybe we survived because they survived and passed on their gene for the ability to survive.

Unfortunately, this inherent strength does not stop us from being socially positioned at the bottom of the ladder as we join in fighting amongst ourselves for crumbs from the master’s table.

We refuse to trust each other or believe our own eyes so we become professors of denial and robotically celebrate an emancipation that appears to long for the pageantry of slavery.

Racism is not new. Our parents lived it, we lived it and our children are living it but we are not supposed to say it so generation after generation we tell ourselves that if we stay quiet and not complain about it, then the injustice of racism will cease to exist.

That never happened – our parents tried and failed and we tried and failed as the effects of racism increase around the world.

As the wicked grow stronger, they grow angrier, regard emancipation as mere talk and see no reason to do better. So, while we live in denial, the rest of the world no longer pretend to care.

They created Trump and accept that a major reason why I and others are victimized is because we speak out against racism and wrongs done to our fellow man by those in positions of power.

Trump as President in the highest position of power has set about erasing all the social progress and human rights that had been achieved over the past decades.

Then, even as we dance and prance in nudity to the game of emancipation, the laws of the rich and powerful, quietly keep us in bondage as prisons and graveyards become over-populated with our young sons and daughters.

Is this how we treat our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters?

Instead of providing schools and hospitals, many leaders take greater pride in the police force and prisons.

As they empty schools and fill jails so no one seems to care that prisons act as revolving doors and universities of crime for the young and innocent who may have been put there through government-sponsored racism or the lack of fair and adequate legal representation.

It no longer matters if victimizer and victim share the same slave ancestry because we are well conditioned to debase, demoralize and degrade our own brothers and sisters.

Furthermore, knowingly or unknowingly we still use Slavery’s two most effective weapons of control, devised and developed for usage by original slave masters. These are ignorance and free labour.

Bearing in mind that our ancestors could only will to us that which they possess so, if all they possessed were the lack of knowledge and a legal obligation to work without compensation then that is all they could hand down to us.

Somehow a little more trickled through the cracks and we who benefited should make every effort to lift up rather than pushing down the less fortunate.

We could have been in there and none of us will ever gain self-respect or respect from others by demeaning one another, denying our inherent values and going along with what we know to be wrong.

In fact, no matter how meek and mild we pretend to be, no one will care for us unless we care about ourselves and this starts by refusing to be willing participants in our own destruction.

No emancipation without participation and no liberation without education

Those of us in authority must realize that any policy or action that deprives slave descendants of knowledge is an agenda of oppression set against emancipation and, any policy or action that hinders slave descendants from opportunities and processes to support themselves and family through lawful labour and investment, support an agenda of oppression set against emancipation.

Unfortunately, these conditions are not only foreign but exist here at home and my message has always been focused on uplifting our brothers and sisters to the realization that they deserve the same opportunities, fairness and justice as all human being.

As individuals, we have the right to our own opinions and may not agree or disagree on everything but emancipation is important.

True emancipation has several meaning including a mental and physical liberation but we should also understand that simple freedom is not emancipation.

We may set a person free in the heart of a desert or middle of an ocean but if they are not allowed the tools, conditions and opportunities that would ensure their survival they will just as easily perish; here or there.

True emancipation must reflect the freedom for full participation in all aspects of society, under the umbrellas of equality, fairness and justice which make it impossible to exist shackled to the policies and principles of colonialism.

Emancipation is not a right but a moral responsibility to carry on the struggle of those before us in order to safeguard the wellbeing of those behind us.

Most importantly, emancipation is not a free ride but a sacred trust and those dragging us back to slavery cannot also lead us forward to freedom.

Unfortunately, deceptive leaders often cling to colonial discrimination as their claim for national security when this is no more than legalize racism and even when it is proven wrong they persist with excuses to justify their actions.

Rejecting the same old folly that Might makes right

Some regard correcting wrongs is a sign of weakness and we have seen this demonstrated by Mr Trump who is credited with a record-breaking number of such wrongs to the point where he is regarded by human rights organisations as a pathological liar with criminal behaviour.

This worsens when Congress fails to condemn his behaviour thereby making themselves complicit.  Sadly, our own leaders appear to have their own persistent wrongs and their own determination not to correct these even if it means destroying our country.

High among these are continuous unfair and unjust practices by Labour and Immigration in dealing with work permits and a ministerial habit of enforcing foreign regulations that bring more harm than help to our people.

Again, they know these things are wrong because I have spoken and written of them constantly and they are already seeing the warned of effects coming pass.

As record numbers of local businesses fail, tax revenue diminishes in the public purse and we find NHI is now reissuing patient cards in order to remove a major blunder that could and should have been avoided.

All these things place a strain on the budget and as the territory becomes broker our leaders’ addiction to money will not generate realistic solutions but create more confusion as they seek to extract blood from stone through taxes, fines and fees.
Meanwhile, our country grows deeper in debt simply because we refuse to stop digging when we are already deep in the hole.

Yes, we have come farther than we expected but too many are still suffering and trying to recover from the flood, hurricanes Irma, Maria, and landlords.

We are still in dire need of more social healing and less political misleading and it would be another disaster if we allow their hate and ambition to hijack our own needs and vision.

Now is the time for work; not for political gambles.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

7 Comments

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  1. Jefferson says:

    Time to rethink our constitution. The current group of leaders have demonstrated how the system works for them but not for us. First of all we need full disclosure and transparency in spending our money. It’s our money not theirs. Right? Second, we need to have more of a say in how our money is spent. Our current leaders didn’t believe in due diligence or timely disclosure of massive cost overruns in public projects.

    We should have the right to approve expenditures of more than a certain amount though voting to approve them. Imagine if Orlando had asked us if we would approve lending BVI Airlines $7,000,000. We might have done a simple google search and discovered the fraud that the airline owner had been involved with in the past. Imagine if Orlando had told us the pier would cost us $80,000,000 when it was suggested? Imagine if we could publically discuss and vote on the $300,000,000 airport runway extension? Imagine if we could set the priorities?

    I imagine we would put faster internet ahead of a longer runway that my jet needs to land here. (I don’t have a jet)
    I imagine we would put better schools ahead of a longer runway that my jet needs to land here. (I don’t have a jet)
    I imagine we would rebuild our roads ahead of a longer runway that my jet needs to land here. (I don’t have a jet)
    I imagine we would create reliable power ahead of a longer runway that my jet needs to land here. (I don’t have a jet)
    I imagine we would create reliable fresh water ahead of a longer runway that my jet needs to land here. (I don’t have a jet)
    I imagine we would put out the fire at our dump ahead of a longer runway that my jet needs to land here. (I don’t have a jet)

    I imagine that we the people should be able to decide these matters. Our leaders let us down following the storms. It’s now up to us to solve these problems. How can we restructure our system to better serve us?

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  2. bvi says:

    WE NEED A SET DATE FOR ELECTION {every 4 years} SO THAT WE WILL BE ALWAYS READY WHEN IT COMES

  3. Sam the man says:

    Jefferson- I do not disagree with anything you have taken the trouble to share – the issue is every member of the NDP are just in it for themselves so why change!? Even younger new blood has not positively affected the “no direction party” so there needs to be a massive shift – a party that will represent the people, that will embrace transparency and accountability – if such a party could be formed they should be elected tomorrow – we are all tired of the lame,weak, morally bankrupt NDPand there does need to be a total change…. But who is there that will rise to the occassion? We certainly don’t want anyone from the NDP…not one, even new members that have been all talk and no action…

    • Jefferson says:

      Sam, I agree. We need to consider transitioning to a new system of governance. We are a small nation but one capable of great things. Our fellow citizens need to acknowledge that the greatest investment we as a nation can make is an investment in education. For if the people are well educated we won’t be fooled as easily as we once were.
      Next, the people need a voice and the opportunity to vote on important matters like large capital expenditures. Imagine if we could vote on projects that involve expenditures of more than $1million. Our elected officials would then have to propose and explain their projects to us and we could approve them.
      I suggest we transition towards a Participatory Democracy where there is total transparency and the highest level of ethical standards exhibited by all people especially our elected officials.
      I suggest that we start with a long term plan that outlines our goals and how we can achieve them. These goals and this plan needs to be understood by everyone. It can help us avoid making further large scale mistakes. For example, imagine if Orlando had taken the time to develop a simple regional transportation plan before wasting $7 million on the airline or insisting that we spend $300 million to extend the runway. The $7million airline that could land on the existing runway canceled out the need for a $300 milllion runway extension.
      It all starts with education. Imagine if we had invested the $7million in a plan to improve our education standards. Our children would be less likely to find themselves in the sorry position that we are in with our broken schools, broken roads, broken power supply, broken water supply, broken internet service.
      Let’s move forward through constitutional reform. Maybe someone has the wisdom and courage to make this happen. We the people should demand change.

  4. Mixed-Up says:

    Truth in your Commentary, Mr Frett.

    The middle- and lower-income people are being taxed too heavily and is one of the reasons for the increase in small businesses failing and for the decrease in tax collection. After one pays tax, SS and NHI, rent/mortgage, buy food and other bare necessities including utilities, what is left for one to have in one’s wallet?

    Think, people, before voting in the next Elections.

  5. Interested says:

    There will be no snap elections.The Government knows they will lose hands down if they do.

  6. Be honest says:

    Come on, be honest. The US, as you say has a big problem with justice and race relations.

    However that has nothing to do with our challenges here. We have had billions on revenue for a tiny country with a population that would only fill a third of a single sports venue. It should be easy. We should have first class education and infrastructure. We should be producing regional and international leaders in all sorts of fields. But those who took charge have denied this for power and self-enrichment and for a few bribes, the people have gone along with it.

    We are now heavily dependent on imported labour (which every successful country needs some of, sorry Donald) and we still need to build this infrastructure and the education system up with meagre funds and from way behind the curve.

    We need to pull together with everyone who lives here and push for what we know is right. The RDA and its improved governance of allocating funds should give us another chance but it always comes down to whether people can get trade licences and permits for the volumes of required manpower or whether government departments continue to strangle our economy.

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