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Premier playing politics; BVI not back on feet

Julian Willock

Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Julian Willock, has suggested that Premier Dr D Orlando Smith’s claim that the territory is back on its feet was a mere ploy to score political points.

The businessman said residents in the British Virgin Islands continue to struggle following the hurricanes.

“This hurricane is not about politics,” Willock said.

“This is not any manmade thing and you have to level with the people… But for anyone to suggest that we are back on our feet I think is a little beyond the pain and the suffering that continues on the ground.”

He listed a myriad of social and infrastructural issues that still need to be addressed.

“A friend of mine tells me a month and days after the hurricane he is sleeping in his car. There are people still sleeping on boats and yachts, there is the issue of loss of jobs, the issue of a cash economy, there are still people who are homeless, there are still people who are living in homes that leak that they still have to mop up every day, there are people driving cars around with either the windshield gone or front mirror gone… this is the reality.”

Willock, who was speaking on radio yesterday said: “The finisher folk will tell me for the most part that their boat sunk… Many of our businesses still cannot catch themselves as a result of the looting and it has resulted in the loss of goods, loss of services and loss of employment.

He continued: “The definition of being back on your feet is the challenges of issues that you suffered before are now corrected and that is not the case.”

Premier Smith announced that the territory was ‘back on its feet and open for business’ during a press conference last week.

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