BVI News

Lack of trust in local leaders hindering quest for independence

Public commentator Elroy Turnbull has expressed that a lack of confidence in locally-elected officials is the reason many BVIslanders shun the idea of becoming an independent nation.

On the September 17 airing of the Honestly Speaking radio programme, Turnbull said he believed there is a general feeling among the populace that local leaders are corrupt.

“In my opinion, what we need is a new sense of consciousness. You must remember our history is such that we came out of slavery then we got a little bit of our freedom. You have to get people to feel confident in where they are going. Sooner or later we have to go for the whole marble (independence),” Turnbull explained.

He added that many people prefer to remain a territory of Britain because local leaders don’t present a better alternative.

“You don’t want people to start saying ‘look, I prefer to stay where we are than be under John Jones because he is a crook’. That is the feeling that is out there prevailing. We have to be able to feel as though our leaders aren’t going to take us for a ride,” Turnbull stated.

It gets worse every election

He said the lack of trust is worsened whenever the BVI goes to the polls and allegations of corrupt leadership dominate the election process.

“It’s like an infection, it spreads. People lose confidence, people lose hope. Why do you think the NDP lost? Because people didn’t trust them, people felt they were corrupt. That kind of doubt and feelings spreads and diffuses all over,” Turnbull asserted.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) served two terms in office before being defeated at the 2019 polls by the Virgin Islands Party (VIP).

Throughout its time in office, the NDP administration was dogged by many political scandals in which people accused them of gross misuse of public funds.

Similar allegations have been levied against previous VIP administrations.

A report from the Mediterranean Region Election Observation Mission that observed the 2019 elections hinted that there is a lack of trust in the electoral system.

The report said the regulatory framework, particularly about campaign financing and lack of transparency undermines the equality and openness of the election process.

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  1. wait says:

    Is this not the i***t who thinks MI6 is here spying on everything that can be read online? Its because of i***ts like you that the country cannot become independent and if the country ever does it will become China’s b***h within a decade.

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  2. Weed says:

    Yes ndp was ******* the wall, the ports, the plane

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    • @weed says:

      NDP didn’t lose because any of those things boss. NDP Liat bevause their party split in two. NDP and PVIM combined votes was much more than the VIP votes. Some of the people stayed with Myron and the NDP and some went with Ronnie and the PVIM. That’s statistical facts.

  3. Public commentator? says:

    i.e. self appointed l*** mouth who says something s****d in order to grab headlines. There are lots in the BVI!

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  4. Citizen says:

    We can opt for independence but issue would be the u$ gone and Ec$ comes , and imagine what happens next!

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    • Political Observer (PO) says:

      If the VI were to attain independence, it does not mean that it has to give up the US $ as the legal tender currency. Countries other than the US used the US $ as their legal tender currency, including Panama, Ecuador, El Salvador, East Timor, Turks and Caicos, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Palau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia……etc. It is done through a process called dollarization.

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    • Right is Right. says:

      Mr. Turnbull is absolutely correct. He spoke not only for himself but for many of us as well. Incompetence and ability to run and manage our affairs is not among any of our big problems; tour major challenges are in the areas of Transparency, Accountability, Good Governance and Stewardship. The formation of the RDA is exactly as a result of being lacking in the afore mentioned areas. Within those challenging areas are also Favoritism, Cronyism and Nepotism. The present premier, during his term in the opposition repeatedly talked about “Belting a Cat”, and complained about lack of Transparency and Accountability; even warned that “we would be treated in ways we wouldn’t like”, if we did not commit to improvement in those said areas.
      Not withstanding the many shortcomings and abuses of taxpayers trust and confidence politicians the world over, in the aftermath of Covid19 would do well to pause and reflect, introspect and Commit themselves to being better stewards of the people’s trust and resources. Covid19 can prove to be a Blessing in disguise.

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      • The Problem says:

        The problem with independence is the lack of ability of the Black to operate a government without extreme corruption within. This holds true around the world. This is not to say the predominantly white governments are not as well but Black ones are exponentially worse. Black governments have no checks and balances nor a method to make the leader transparent in what he does. He essentially acts as a dictator. Look at the BVI. Further, white governments have black politicians. Black governments are so racist that whites are not allowed to participate. This is the whole problem in a nutshell whether you like hearing it or not.

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        • E. Leonard says:

          @The Problem, “The problem with independence is the lack of ability of the Black to operate a government without extreme corruption within.” What a racist statement, ambushing the whole Black (Negroid) race in anonymity. This is a cowardly and shameful act. Commentators who lop grenades hiding in the dark should not merit a response. Nonetheless, this is such specious and insulting statement that it warrants responses. Debaters adage: A statement without support merits a denial without reason.

          Moreover, are there Black corrupt politicians and government officials? Yes. Are there White corrupt politicians and government officials? Yes. Are there Hispanic corrupt politicians and government officials? Yes. Are there corrupt Asians politicians and government officials? Yes. Corruption in public office is not the province of Blacks. An honest and color blind look at the data will show that Whites are at least as equally corrupt as Blacks if not more so. For centuries Blacks were not even considered human and was not even permitted to learn how to read write, vote and much less hold public office. Who did they learn the art of public corruption from?

          Assuming that Blacks and Whites commits acts of public correction at same level, Blacks are more likely probe for corruption and are disproportionately prosecuted. The spotlight is shi

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          • E. Leonard says:

            Continuing…….The media spot light often shines more brightly and intensely Black persons charged with alleged public corruption. As noted above public corruption is not the province of Blacks and Blacks don’t have a monopoly on public corruption. As an example, in the US state of Illinois, several governors ( it may be 4 of the last 7) have been jailed for corruption. Illinois is yet to elect a governor of African decent. Blacks are persecuted more frequently and sentence harsher than Whites for similar crimes.

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      • Alias Smith and Jones says:

        And they have issues with incorruptible government employees.

      • Lodger says:

        I think you mean BELLING A CAT. It means putting a collar with a bell on it so you can hear it coming, and is applied to situations you describe.

    • ReX FeRaL says:

      @Citizen et al….Not a darn thing will happen to the currency.

  5. Strupes says:

    We don’t need to be independent! Period.. next

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  6. Mr Manaring says:

    Don’t tell him pike

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  7. @Citizen says:

    Threading from the USA. If you guys go for Independence, the US Dollar would be automatically discontinued. Looking in from the outside, it appears that the people has lost their trust in their Local Government.

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  8. E. Leonard says:

    My friend and schoolmate Elroy Turnbull posits that lack of confidence in elected leaders may be dampening the populace push for/interest in independence. I’m not averse to that position. Though the populace may be yearning for the sovereignty to cut the colonialism ties, there are other factors that may be dampening the independence trust.

    Under Chapter XI of UN charter, non-self-governing territories(17 current) have the right to pursue self-determination, including independence; self-determination entails more than independence—-mergers, free association…..etc. The VI is 1 of the current 17 non-self-governing territories and is also 1 of 52 Small Island Developing States (SIDS). SIDS share some disadvantages and challenges.

    Moreover, they are small with small domestic markets, climate change impact, growing population, disaster-prone, trade and tourism dependent, trade volatility, fragile economies, vulnerable to external shocks, environmental challenges, high transportation/energy/ telecommunications cost, remote from major markets, high public sector operating cost, government major employer, higher infrastructure cost, import dependent……etc.

    Further, though the VI has the right to pursue political independence under UN charter and the VI people should be free, in my humble opinion, it (VI)should pursue economic independence before political independence. Currently, the VI, like the rest of the region, depends heavily on trade and tourism. It lacks the natural resources to develop either a primary economy(forestry, agriculture, fishing, mining, energy) or a secondary economy (manufacturing). It has a service-based economy. Tourism and financial services form the twin-pillars of the economy. Both are highly fragile and vulnerable to external shocks as demonstrated by Covid-19. Additionally, the economic twin pillars is supported by government services.

    Moreover, government needs to deepen, strengthen and diversified the economy. How? It should invest in health, education and infrastructure among other things to build against the impact of ever present natural disasters. It needs to explore, exploit and leverage the opportunities of the Blue Economy——fishing, aquatics, biotechnology, energy…….etc. It has 12 miles of territorial sea and up to 200 miles of exclusive economic zone.

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    • Referendum says:

      Put the independence question to a referendum and let a majority of people decide for or against and give the independence talk a rest for now.

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    • Class Mate says:

      Classmate, you put down a strong debate marker for or against independence. On the surface, it appears as if the For side of the equation is not as compelling as the Against. Nonetheless, can the VI with its small size and lack of resources ever become economically independent? Is sand, sea and sun and human capital enough to overcome this huge hurdle. Taking a peek at the VI sister regional countries that attained independence, it does not appear as if most of them are faring so well. The VI needs to take a close look at these countries to avoid their mistakes. With all the independence talk, let’s put it to a referendum. Then we either show up or shut up. Undoubtedly, the UK having rape, pillage and exploit the island resources will leap to grant independence.

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  9. Not So says:

    You do not have to stop using the $US if you go independence. There are many countries around the world that are using the $US as the national currency. In fact the $US is commonly termed the universal currency and many, many countries around the world base the strength of their economy on the amount of their $US reserves.

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  10. Rubber Duck says:

    If a majority voted for it the UK would be delighted. That isn’t going to happen. Ask Bahamians, Jamaicans St Vinciens etc if they regret independence

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    • &Rubber Duck says:

      @Rubber Duck, of course, the UK, having raped and exploit the island resources and abused, terrorized and brutalized for the good of the UK and its people, will gladly gleefully grant the BVI independence as it did for other regional countries after their resources were depleted. The growth and development of Jamaica, Bahamas and St. Vincent is a work in progress. Who can argue that the region would be better off with unity.

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      • Rubber Duck says:

        Raped, exploited , abused, you say, and yet the OTs are the richest islands in the region. How’s that?

        The BVI is the size of a small market town in the UK. Insignificant in economic terms. But causes more trouble.

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        • @ Rubber Duck says:

          “Raped, exploited , abused, you say, and yet the OTs are the richest islands in the region. How’s that?” Stop playing games, for you know that there is a big difference between riches/wealth and income. You also know that GDP per capita is a useful but misleading number. It simply divides GDP by the population. Dividing a small number into a relatively large number makes the outcome look impressive. Pray tell how is the VI causing trouble? Is it because they have the audacity to raise its hand and ask question?

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          • Rubber Duck says:

            GDP per head is the best measure of relative wealth. The OTs led by Bermuda have the highest GDPs per head in the greater Caribbean region. We could be independent like Haiti is but people would have to kiss goodbye to their SUVs , boats and backhoes. And their passports.

            BVI is trouble because of offshore finance and what BVI companies are often used for.

    • To Rubber Duck says:

      Get it right. VINCENTIANS. And no, we don’t.

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  11. Tricks says:

    Why every government always with this independence talk? There is no benefit to being independent , these officials just don’t want to answer to nobody when they are in power

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    • Disinterested says:

      The VI is a parliamentary democracy and the government is answerable to the people. It is not ruled by an autocrat, despot, dictator, monarch (well, a monarch is head of state)……etc. Despite the popular belief, the people have the power, not government. The people deserve the government they sit back and let abuse its power. Let the people decide on independence or not——referendum.

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  12. Yawn says:

    There are no laws that forbids any country to adopt the US$ as their currency. We cannot print the money but it can be used. I’m not sure if this applies to countries that the USA has sanctioned but this does not apply to the BVI. The acceptance of any currency is strictly up to local business owners on what they choose to accept as payment.
    Some people seem to think that we asked the US and they gave us permission to use their currency, our us being British allowed us to use the US$ which makes no sense.Us using the US$ strengthens their currency and is a benefit to their citizens especially when traveling to the islands. Our leaders were smart enough to adopt the US$ which was already well established instead of adopting the struggling EC dollar which is why people leave their islands to come to the BVI to work. Independence or not we can continue to use the US$ until the USA finds it a detriment and makes it illegal.

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  13. VIP Disappointing... says:

    Sorry to say,. I have to agree with Mr. Turnbull.. This kind of bullyish ignoring the people feelings.. Isn’t the right direction for independence… A small Island can’t control Covid 19. Lock down is their only solution… The Truth using the Borders were open on August 1st When we had the virus under control, with a entry, re entry plan, that required testing before and testing upon arrival, we wouldn’t be in this position,.Those people who crossed illegally would have try to coming legally then they would have known they had the virus and be isolated.. those people didn’t know they had the virus.. Common sense if we use it will tell us that’s the best way to control the Virus is to open the borders with a good plan, and enforced the country safety laws

  14. Yup says:

    Corrupt and incompetent!

  15. Reasons says:

    The NDP lost the election because their party break up. That’s the reason. Anyhow the party didn’t break in two the VIP could not win that election. Look at the election results and it will tell you. Why do you think VIP rush to approve 1,500 new Berlinger’s? They need to increase their base in case the NDP forces join back. Plain and simple.

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