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Governor wants territory to remain ‘British’

Governor Duncan

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Staff

Though noting that the decision will ultimately be left up to the territory’s lawmakers, Governor John Duncan used his last time hosting the annual Queen’s Birthday Reception to promote continued ties between the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the United Kingdom.

His comment comes as some leading members of the BVI community continue to push for independence or greater self-determination through an amendment to the Virgin Islands Constitution.

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith already declared his government’s intention to formally ask the United Kingdom to give local politicians more power, thereby reducing the power now enjoyed by the Governor.

Governor Duncan, during the reception Saturday evening, also spoke highly of Queen Elizabeth II.

“She is the most extraordinary person of our lifetime as our queen [and] as our monarch, and I hope that the BVI will continue to be guiding that link with Her Majesty and remain the British Virgin Islands,” he said. “That’s my personal view.”

Governor Duncan further said: “It (the decision) will be in the hands of our elected representatives, who, some of them here [at the reception], have views on that. But this is a special day for Her [Majesty].”

Territory-wide farewell

Governor Duncan, in the meantime, described the territory as one that is rich in talent.

“I think it’s a very special place. It’s been a great privilege to have been the Governor for three years. I am very confident that this territory will move forward and will meet the challenges that we all have to face.”

The governor, who is approaching his final weeks in office, promised to make a final trip around the territory this week.

“I shall be travelling to all our sister islands and offer farewell calls, and I very much look forward to that. Every island is distinct, every community is distinct,” added Governor Duncan, whose attire made him one of the standouts at the reception.

He was dressed in a kilt – a male garment in Scottish fashion that resembles a knee-length skirt.

Other officials who attended the reception include Premier Smith and his wife Lorna, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie, Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews, and Director of Public Prosecutions Kim Hollis.

Copyright 2017 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

15 Comments

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  1. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

    “Governor wants territory to remain ‘British’.” Is this a genuine desire or just political correctness? British colonies were a prime source of raw material and products to fuel the British economy. All raw material and products had to go to England where they were turned into manufactured goods for export to the colonies. No factories were set up in the colonies to provide employment for its people; export from the colonies provided employment for UK people. Colonialiism in full glory.

    Limited resources depleted, coupled with UN charter for self determination, the British beat feet from the colonies, offloading them with haste. However, though they left, they are not too far away. Neocolonialism replace colonialism.

    Morover, should the VI remain British? This is up to the people, not politicians. A referendum should be held requiring a majority of people voting on whether to 1)stay or 2) go. In the interim, government on behalf of and in the best interest of the people should seek greater internal control of affairs.

  2. Eminent signs of destruction of a culture says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • Albion says:

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      I don’t think that is what the Governor is saying at all.

      To me he is saying he values the link between the UK and the BVI is the Queen, and that he hopes that continues to remain the case.

  3. Scary Mary says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 7

    LORD I am tired of these “colonialism” claims! Were it not for the British, we STILL wouldn’t have our audited statements and we would likely not have a clue what our Government is up to.

    Ask yourselves what the British Government has gained from the British Virgin Islands in the last 100 years? That’s right … virtually NOTHING! Yet they have hung in there with us haven’t they.

    What has Governor Duncan been asking for of late? That’s right – he wants our Government to show the voters some RESPECT and finally provide us with a Freedom of Information Act, a whistle blower act, and a Human Rights Council.

    HOW DARE HE attempt to inflict such Colonial rights and freedoms upon us. He’s a bad, bad man that one!

    Our own Government has been dodging and willfully denying us these rights for many years. Ask yourselves why?

    While you’re at it, ask yourselves why it is suddenly so terribly important that our children learn Mandarin?

    Do you really want to trade British Colonialism (as you see it) for Chinese style communism? Because that is exactly where the current Government is heading. The MINUTE this country severs ties with the U.K., you can bet your last (and I do mean your LAST) U.S. dollar that we will soon be rubbing elbows with thousands of Chinese “comrades” and buying nothing but Chinese products.

    Those of us who do not speak Mandarin will very quickly find ourselves to be strangers in our own land.

    Open your eyes and ears for heaven’s sake!

  4. Progress is earned, not given says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    +ScaryMary:

    Often times your intellectual input is sanctioned and respected. The current effort, partly so.

    However, not being advocated is the exclusion, expulsion and or adaptation of one exploitative devil for another.

    So, many are keenly aware of the political and economic exploitation that is occurring, to the moment, in the Motherland by the Asian country mentioned.

    The philosophy of self help, self developer, self advancer, self creator are the bases of the espoused philosophy.

    Not one are many who lives in or wish to remain in an subservient dependency state of mind, body politic and spirit.

    One expouses the notion, philosophy and notion that states:

    Not where can one eat, sleep or dress better, have better political and or socio economic advantages, but how can one (we) produce better food, produce better beds and better clothes and better political systems by us for us.

    That is a philosophy, when practiced, will produce worldwide respect for a race and nation. Anything less will not.

    It is postulated that given the economic domination of China into the future, and present leaders being cognizant of that pending reality, perhaps have foresighted, made that Mandarin decision to prepare our future business and political leaders to prepare for that possibility.

    From a complete analysis of present economic trends, and historical analysis, it should not be surprising that a foresighted leader would have made such a decision.

    However, there must now be a concerted effort by said leaders to begin to educate all of us about our great languages, past and present and about our great, great past history as well.

    As he who is an empty vessel of him/her history will always fill that void with that of another: will always appreciate all others other than his/her own.

    So, to begin the human education that really needed, let’s advocate for the teaching of a language from the motherland also.

    The politics and intellectual, political ramifications of self governance are complex; the decisions to be made will be easy, and there are m,any giant steps to made in all those decisionary ares before the referendum phase even is thought of.
    Indeed, that phase of of the last in the process.Meanwhile, the greatest challenge is not what the political, economic, social or even psychological landscape will look like when that time arrives, but how will the emotionally, psychologically, philosophically and historically inept be educated and changed. That is the greatest challenge ahead.

  5. E. Leonard says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

    Pursuing political independence is a VI right; the VI people are entitled to political independence/self determination. But is the VI ready for independence? Political independence and economic independence go hand in glove.

    Many of our sister regional countries have political independence but economic independence is still a challenge. External entities still control their economies.

    Without secure and full political independence, genuine economic independence is impossible; without genuine economic independence, secure and full political independence cannot last(Hsu Nai-Chung, Interrelation of Political and Economic Independence).

    Political independence comes before economic independence and economic independence is the core for political independence.

    No doubt, the VI can demand its political independence from the UK. But economic independence is another story. The pursuit of independence must be on a dual track: political and economic.

    The VI is a small, resource-poor dot in the Caribbean Sea that depends heavily on foreign direct investment so economic independence will be a steep mountain to climb.

    The lack of economic independence may pose a challenge to the sustainability of political independence. Is the VI ready for full independence? Virgin Islanders must get engaged in determining its future.

    • Quiet Storm says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

      Politician to the bone. Adroitly stayed away from the Governor wants the territory to remain ‘British’ shifting the focus on the inseparability of political and economical independence. Nice!

      If what you are preaching is true, when will the VI ever attain full independence? Look like the imperialists, colonialists and neocolonialists will always have a strong hand and foot in VI business. In that case, any agreement must be win-win, not win-lose as is currently the case.

      • Cut the cr4p says:

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

        Precisely what is it you think British people want or take from BVI? You make no sense

    • RealPol says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Real talk. A great talking points for the independence discussion. Hmmm….m could the lack of economic independence be the cause of the less that stellar progress by our sister regional countries? Food for thought, no doubt.

  6. Well says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    The link with the UK benefits the BVI.

    BVI citizens are able to hold British Citizenship which gives visa free access to the US, Europe and many other countries.

    In the event of a natural disaster, BVI is able to rely on protection from the UK’s army, navy and air force.

    BVI also benefits economically. Trust is key in investment, and investors know the financial system and law and order situation are supported by Britain.

    Truly, BVI needs to be closer to Britain, not more distant. Does BVI really prefer to be a Chinese vassal state like some close neighbouring states?

  7. Inquiring minds says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    I wonder whats beneath that kilt/skirt the Gov is wearing. Couldn’t someone have worked some magic? LOL LOL.

    • It's Official says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Work that magic … was it an apparition or an illusion…or sleight of hand…”try again”.

      Just incredible…thrown out of ‘kilter’ with JD again. . That lock he is sporting is redolent of the Victorian chastity era though.

  8. Angel says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Its all about d crown on d cake

  9. Trust Company says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    One thing about the reception. The entertainment was top class. The steel band from Tortola and the band out of Virgin Gorda were really very, very good!!!

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