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COMMENTARY: Thanks to ‘Trumpism’ people may see the light

Commentary by Alred Frett

The rapid Transition from Bad to Worse

As we leave one month and enter the next, there is so much happening that it’s difficult to keep up. Nonetheless, we must choose whether to reside under the bubble of ignorance or real life which shows all happenings are interconnected. Subsequently, we passed the 100-day mark since Obama relinquished the presidency to Trump and I will later explain why I thank the Donald.

Meanwhile, you may recall some weeks ago I explained to you on radio that my reason for delaying addressing problems caused by Immigration and Labour was due to suggestion that there were movements underway that supported my beliefs and opinions regarding these subjects. Some of these decisions have finally arrived and while they appear cosmetic they fall below expectation.

In one instance a ‘head fee’ is being added by Immigration to those already applied to persons coming to the Territory by sea or air. Leaders regard this increase as so inconsequential that some feel it should include locals on one-day trips to the USVI or Puerto Rico. They seem not to care that they have already killed the pillar of agriculture and this may kill the pillar of tourism.

No one should hold our People hostage

They seem so focused on instantaneous revenues at any cost that Labour joins in holding us hostage with a ransom demand that increases work permit fees close to 10-times the present amount in some instances. They justify this to you by insinuating that these draconian charges resulted from the ideas and input of stakeholders with whom they held discussions. Not quite true.

It is possible that some stakeholders are so relieved we were able to move Government from an  intent to impose worse conditions via their ‘professional fees’ approach that they are willing to accept a slightly less worse condition. However, that is not the consensus and records will show my firm position on what I regarded as being in the people’s greater interest.

Firstly, all BVI stakeholders should realize that, directly or indirectly, it is local businesses that will be called on to pay these work permit fees. Furthermore, these conditions do not apply to government recruits – they require no work permits – as they continue the unscrupulous practice of taking away or transferring recruits from and within private businesses whenever they choose.

In addition, Government and its agencies are already using these same recruits/employees as pawns to drain companies and employers under the schemes of payroll tax, Social Security, and National Health Insurance. With such ongoing practices and inefficiencies, the first step should be for Immigration and Labour departments to enact internal corrections before seeking to destroy us.

I will never agree to hurt our People

Clearly the sole objective of this exercise was the extraction of more money from the people and while I accept Government’s need for revenues to conduct the people’s work, this must be fair and justified. As a participant in those discussions, my objective was for evenly-distributed rates that would bring ease to lower and mid-levels while still providing a source of revenue for Government.

They made a baby step but corrupted the process by unreasonable rates and the addition of open-ended application fees where Government benefits more by rejections than approvals. This may sound simplistic but actions bring reactions and every unjustified penny pinched from pockets of the poor is a hit on the food, clothes, health, and education of today’s children and next generation.

Such proposed hits on a struggling community can contribute to the unraveling of society and the making of criminals. None of us want that but we must choose whether to just suffer, pray and wait on miracles as programmed by our masters, or to learn from the Trump experience where the victims finally appreciated their own strength and value and demonstrated this in people power.

Learning how to use People Power to extract Good from Bad

This may be challenging since you have always subscribed to their propaganda that you need to be in office to make things happen although you have seen how much we have accomplished from the outside. You are so steeped in self-doubt that I keep having to remind you about the new hospital, beef island bridge, UK passports, improvements to NHI, and many other areas.

However, thanks to Mr Trump you now see a real-time case where he is wrong and strong with his Republican party controlling every branch of government while the Democrats have nothing. Such a situation would allow his dictatorship where the people are abused at will. However, you have seen the power of the people stop him from doing all the madness and badness he intended.

You have seen ordinary men and women impede, alter, or stop his legislative agenda and rampage against health services for the poor and racist immigration practices. People power has made a good difference and his only so-called accomplishments result from breaking long-established rules and signing questionable executive orders. So far, he has failed in his first 100 days.

Thanks to those opposing Trumpism, it should be clear that you do not have to wait on self-interest parties to save you from wrongs and injustice. You have always had right and might to be a part of your own political movement. “For the people and by the people”. Victims of political homicide are in no one’s best interest but political self-defense is our responsibility for those still to come.

You are more than just a vote at election time. Fact is they work for you. You are the people with the power. You have the right to call your political leaders and department heads and let them know that you are able to recognize wrong from right and do not support these or any other measures that will destroy our people and country. Failure to do so will be an acceptance of political suicide.

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