BVI News

Unelected officials can’t make decisions for the people — Premier

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has opposed the prospect of unelected officials being handed the reins of the territory, suggesting that it is tantamount to a form of dictatorship.

“To suspend a constitution, fundamentally goes against the principles that I believe in and that even the United Kingdom espouses throughout the world,” Dr Wheatley stated on the Honestly Speaking radio show earlier this week.

Dr Wheatley was at the time discussing his position in relation to the Commission of Inquiry’s (COI) recommendation for United Kingdom-appointed Governor John Rankin to take over governance in the BVI for at least two years and for the partial suspension of the territory’s constitution.

Different doesn’t mean wrong

The Premier argued that there will always be issues regarding the way in which a democracy looks. He said some of these issues has to do with the culture of a group of people.

“Your democracy might look a little different from somebody else’s democracy,” the Premier offered. “Not because it’s different means it’s wrong.”

According to Dr Wheatley, there are specific areas that can be debated about how the BVI‘s democracy looks, but this has to do primarily with the will of the people.

“This is why we are asserting very strongly – and I’m hopeful that everyone in the Virgin Islands reinforces this message – that we cannot do anything outside of a democratic framework,” Dr Wheatley added.

He continued: “We can’t have any persons who are appointed not through the will of the people making decisions on behalf of people.”

I’m against dictatorship

Meanwhile, the Premier noted that although an ideal democracy can ensure that the will and the voices of the people are heard, this did not mean that democracy always functions well.

“Democracy is one of the things I truly believe in in this world, I do not believe in any form of dictatorship,” he stated.

But Dr Wheatley argued that the territory has to develop the necessary systems that would help democracy to function well and suggested one of those tenets was free expression, particularly within the media.

The territory’s leader argued that this was yet another important tenet of a democratic society and said the media essentially allows for the exchange of ideas and the dissemination of information for debate to take place.

“We have so many challenges in democracy as it pertains to misinformation and those are things we have to tackle as a community. We have to have a love of the truth in our community, we have to love the truth,” the Premier said.

He further noted that there is also a need for a level of maturity in the society that allows for this type of debate and also for a diversion of opinions, views and perspectives.

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59 Comments

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  1. This got to be a bad dream!!! says:

    These types of comments are the reason why the majority of us thinks the Unity government lacks the skills, competence and credibility to bring about the necessary change and to move the BVI forward.

    Just in case your are not aware, there is something called best practice. The government practices certainly does not align with best practices. It has nothing to do with culture.

    I remembered during the COI sessions part of the government’s defence was that the UK provided little to no assistance to the BVI hence the reason for the mess. Now that the COI has recommended assistance via direct ruling, they are labelled as dictators.

    Keep up the foolishness as your legacy is likely to be Premier for two weeks.

    Like 64
    Dislike 1
    • Popeye says:

      The COI report highlights that there are other elected officials that need to be investigated. We can’t trust the suspected bad apples to investigate themselves.

      We need to accept our fate and acknowledge the mistakes that were made. Those that perpetrated high crimes or misdemeanors should be held accountable and removed from public office.

      We need a new generation of leaders that we can trust and a framework to prevent this shame from every happening again.

      Like 44
      • Roger Burnett says:

        I totally agree, the BVI desperately needs a new generation of leaders. The writing has been on the wall for over 30 years.

        The words of the poet Thomas Hardy are relevant:

        We would establish those of kindlier build,
        In fair compassions skilled,
        Men of deep art in life development,
        Watchers and warders of thy varied lands…

        And nearer to home, the prophetic words of Virgin Island poet Sheila Hyndman (1958-1991)

        They will come with tools and machines.
        They will bring to light your secret places,
        They will demand your mysteries.
        They will destroy, build up.
        They will dilute your treasures,
        And rob you of your chastity.
        They will adorn you like ancient Jezebel…

        Like 11
        Dislike 3
      • Olive oil says:

        He himself need to be investigated for dilapidated state of schools as minister of education then, questionable stimulus programme as minister for agriculture, the acts of the former premier which he admitted to condoning as deputy premier (also criminal offences under every money laundering act in the land to fail to report). Every single position he held is plagued with suspicious acts. Neither fit nor worthy to be called Premier of a country. Not even fit as a district representative of a small town. I trust no successor of the former premier. He start same way, making a show in the church.

    • The Dirty Dozen says:

      There we go again…some things and people will NEVER change.

      Like 14
    • The Dirty Dozen says:

      @This got to be a bad dream!!! No, it is not! Simply put, the ROOSTER is coming HOME to roost.

    • sage point says:

      UK is d*mned if it does (it becomes the “dictator”); d*maned if it doesn’t (“you abandoned us again”)

      Like 11
    • Crook says:

      S everywhere. Fahie led one of the most crooked and evil regimes the world. Many of us said so and were shouted down.

      His corruption spread to politicians, civil servants, lawyers ( including prominent white lawyers ) , business people and the press.

      We need a huge clean out.

      Like 12
  2. Gimme a break says:

    This is the same person who sat down and cheered on Andrew and the VIP’s poor management of the country. Now all of a sudden he is against this and against that but did not have the courage or understanding to stand up to Andrew. Now he acting as if he is born again and has no responsibility for where we are. Undisputedly, it is the three years of the VIP management of this country that has us in the mess we are in. Yes, we have had management challenges for decades but nothing as horrific and reckless as the VIP and Sowande was an active participant and defender of all of it. Plus he was a very non productive minister of education. Do we expect him to do any better?

    Like 58
    Dislike 1
    • :) says:

      you lie do , it is not just the VIP that have this country in a mess, just look at the reports of the COI and you will SEE!

      Like 4
      Dislike 11
      • @:) says:

        Boss you blind? How is it no COI was ever called until the VIP got in office. We had management issues before but we never had this level of recklessness like we saw in the last three years. All these bad decisions that would leave people to believe it’s corruption. How could you justify paying 17k per day for three badges that can’t move to watch the borders when the UK offered to do it for free and you turned them down? How you justify hijacking 40M from Social Security and can’t give account for it? How you justify 6M in grants to cronies under the guise that they are fishermen and farmers? How you justify the greedy bill? How you justify the rude and disrespectful behaviour that existed between Fahie and Governor Jaspert? No government ever in our history ever conducted their affairs this way. How you justify Willock dipping his mouth in everything that didn’t concern him with it came to the UK? How do you justify Claude’s contracts with no work done?

        Like 36
    • Stupes says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. The mere fact that they changed the ministries is testament that they disagreed with the changes made after elections, but they sat there and accepted whatever the premier did. They are no different to him. He just had guts to do what he felt and they had none. Now Wheatley is calling “Dictatorship” while he was one of the puppets. He need to hush.

      Like 12
  3. Yes, but says:

    While the Hon Premier is right about democracies needing to fit the culture in which they operate, there is one common thread that must be present. A small country democracy like ours will need to be different from a large country democracy like the UK’s but it must have safeguards built into the system to prevent those at the wheel from driving the the country into chaos and disarray by doing what they want with impunity such as stuffing statutory boards with persons willing to do their bidding (including the raiding of the social security fund by way of grant as opposed to loan, that is to take care of us should we be blessed enough to get there and creating an atmosphere of fear so people are silenced), using the government coffers and resources to support and facilitate criminal activity, using government resources to buy votes through strategic distribution of a district allocation, firing and displacing competent public officers of integrity so they can have their way without resistance, issuing contracts to friends and cronies without an appropriate tender process and many many many more of which you Hon Premier had a front seat view. I am not saying you are complicit. You may have been on your phone not watching the show but you should have been watching and looking after the interests of the people who you serve. Y’all have been so relaxed and oblivious of the gravity of your responsibilities that now when the chickens have come home to roost, the UK says jump and you have no credibility to suggest no, not yet, we need to figure out the direction of the jump that is right for these Virgin Islands.. But God.

    Like 27
    • @ Statutory Boards says:

      I truly believe all statutory boards should be investigated FULLY. Hope no surprises there.

      • Yep says:

        I agree, begin with BVIAA, BVIPA, BVI Tourist Board and BVIEC.

        A bunch of family and friends who do NOT have a clue as to what is best for the country. Busy filling their own pockets and suppressing the less fortunate and those who they simply do not like. They ran this country like tyrants. Then in the final year they want to rush and build school, dock, this, that and the other. The poor school children suffered in that building. Walls thin like paper, and some classroom hot like hell, with children still going to half session school. What an injustice to the youths and now look who in charge…the same one who did not give a fart about the youths for 3 full years. The one who supported marijuana, drag racing and a bunch of foolishness. It just does not get any worse. SMDH

        Head Coach did not know people when the dollars started to roll. Even those that genuinely meant well for him, he was dissing. Like the prophet warned, he surrounded himself with the wrong crowd, including his running mates. All they did was ensure that they could secure as much mula as possible to build their OWN structures. Watch everyone of them. They did not care about building up this country, just robbing us blind and if we live to get old, nothing for us at SSB, while they set up their pension for life for the short time they were in there.

        If this is not injustice, please tell me what is. I was so disgusted, I vowed NEVER to go back to the polls EVER!!!!!!!!!!! NONE OF THESE PARTIES ARE MAKING THE CUT.

  4. Rubber Duck says:

    Who elected you Premier Wheatley? You seized power and then created a one party state. Just like every tin pot dictator has. And for the past three years to have been complicit in every illegal act of the Fahie government.

    Sit down.

    Like 61
    Dislike 1
  5. Laura says:

    OH Natalio, Natalio, don’t come in pretending like you’re new to this mind game. Every government in power has always been a dictatorship, and it is more so now than ever. Aren’t we better off having non-elected people who WILL do whatever it takes to move the country ahead if the people we elect don’t follow through on their promises?

    You politicians think you’re too smart and, in the end, you come across as fools. Whether it’s now or in the next two years, we need a comprehensive government upheaval. It is known as MADNESS when you keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Please, Lord, return OUR nation to us with sensible leaders!!

    Like 41
  6. lol says:

    Does this include your brother??????

    Like 15
  7. Bystander says:

    Good summary of what went wrong. Thank you.

    Apart from those things, and Fahie being arrested, things went OK!!!

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  8. Little more says:

    Rope and he’ll hang himself by mid June.

    Like 10
  9. Jokers says:

    This man was horrible at his job at the college. We still waiting on our grades from him up to now. And he is the Premier? What message you older heads sending to us. Then you don’t have to work hard to achieve nothing because Natalio cannot be rewarded with Premiership for his hard work. He has no idea what hard work is.

    Like 22
    • Correction says:

      This had nothing to do with age. All ages voted for him. Stop this she mess. Strong Persons with deep Integrity is what matters here.

  10. Dwayne says:

    The elected one were given the chance to make good decision for the people BUT What did they do? They abuse the people. You are talking nonsense Me Wheatly

    Like 12
  11. Hard working citizen says:

    That’s what we have been saying!!
    You all just putting on a show now!
    Is anyone keeping an eye on Willock?

    Like 11
  12. talk that! says:

    Is he taking advice from his unelected brother and not from OJ who is a paid consultant to the premier?

  13. :) says:

    you lie do , it is not just the VIP that have this country in a mess, just look at the reports of the COI and you will SEE!

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  14. Sambo says:

    Former dethroned Premier Andrew Fahie disgusting, shameful and embarrassing saga aside, the BVI people performance has been disappointing and head hanging shameful. For example, play the tape of pastors meeting with Minister for OTs Amanda Milling, Governor John Ranking, etc. The report is that most pastors behavior was performative. They showed out. It was a step and fetch minstrel show performance. They threw the BVI and its people under the train over and over, creating laughter for the minister and the guv. I dare the UK to release the tape, the information of the meeting. It won’t. It was a master-slave performance, telling the people what they wanted to hear, reinforcing their stereotype of Black people as inferior, etc. Some saw the UK as the parent and the BVI as chiren that needs a licking to them. Play the tape. The pastors as the tory goes were step and fetch minstrel characters not BVI patriots. Their supposed performance was a clear example of self hatred and Sambo behaviour. Shame, Shame, Shame.

    Like 5
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    • @Sambo says:

      @Sambo, who Nellie, easy nah mon. This guava crop the majority of the multinational BVI population are indeed behaving like sambos, being step fetch minstrels, grining ear to ear, behaving like simpletons and ignoramuses, and too damn dumb to realize that they are being laughed at and not with. Bunch of coons helping their democracy and associated rights, freedoms, privileges being taken away, too ignorant, too blind see what is happening to them. Other people around the globe are fighting to keep and add to their democratic rights and freedoms but the mumus in the BVI are letting the little they fought so hard to get be taken away by a handpicked, single commissioner. The Uncle Toms are giddy about the UK taking over like in the slavery and colonial days. Where is the BVI racial and national pride, their aspirations for self-determination? Instead, they are behaving like Benedict Arnolds, Arthur Neville Chamberlain former UK prime minister appeasing Hitler.

      Like 4
      Dislike 9
      • Disinterested says:

        @Sambo, name names. I heard RCF was immature, shallow, bending the knee and kissing the ring, unpatriotic and nauseating. Other attendees were the Charles man, the mills man, Brookes lady, etc. What was the pastors role? Was their take supposed to reflect the pulse of the territory? No. They need to be banished to Round Rock. They were prostituting their own shallow interest, not the interest of the people. They were house negroes, not field negroes. Did they report out after the meeting?

        Like 4
        Dislike 1
        • Quiet Rebel says:

          @Disinterested, you went hard at RCF. But it sounded like it is well-deserved . They like to be in ting, skinning and grinning fetch and step like as Sambo suggested before the colonialists. An olde BVI folks tale says that when wind blows you does see fowl bottom. Well, the wind blew and some bottoms were exposed. Bunch of Uncle Toms but the true term is Sambos. RCF’s behaviour (allegedly) seems traitorous and unpatriotic and needs to be banished outside the village.

  15. Shine light says:

    But Natalio, you were elected by less than 400 people. Less than 400 people in your district put an “x” to your name. You have no mandate to speak for the territory. None.

    And I know you don’t expect us to believe that all of you who sat and did nothing in the name of good governance all these years, just signing off on contract after contract for your cronies, really have any interest in fixing all the issues in the COI. Who knows what more shenanigans further investigations will reveal? Who knows how many more elected officials will be outed?

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
    • Shameful says:

      Still blaming set up theory
      Take over
      Invasion
      March

      This is evil
      Shameful
      Corruption
      Shame on a population who defend such politicians

  16. Voters says:

    This government is not legitimate we need to go to the polls for a general election

    Like 15
    Dislike 3
    • @ voters says:

      HA! you think we people, who kept them officials going for so many years can untangle this shell game they got going on? Foolishness! We CANT do this weself!

  17. lol says:

    You & half the current government weren’t appointed to their positions by the “will of the people”…

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  18. @Sambo says:

    Could the behaviour of the pastors be because they have been transplanted and roots are barely grabbing the soil?

    I suspect so! Take the dare governor, play the tape!!!

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  19. Down2earth says:

    “Your democracy might look a little different from somebody else’s democracy,” the Premier offered. “Not because it’s different means it’s wrong.”

    Yep, it was definitely different – UNCONVENTIONAL

    And we now know how wrong that was!!!!

    The tenets of democracy remain the same no matter what country, no matter the ruler.

  20. TurtleDove says:

    Dr Natalio Wheatley

    Talking less is in your best interest. Jump on the things that need correcting and stop talking. People are watching and listening. You should already have an outline of how you are going to attract the COI finding.

    Developed countries have many of these things in place already…you done have to reinvent the wheel.

    Nepotism, and clear public processes for contracts comes to name a few.

  21. WEW says:

    Only elected dishonest politicians are allowed to make decisions on when and where to pilfer the people’s money

  22. History Lesson says:

    The term Dictator is a Roman invention. It was a special position granted to an individual for a period of 6 months when the country found itself in crisis, allowing for much needed urgent decisions to made and implemented without recourse to the Senate or People’s Assembly. Once the crisis was over, the Dictator resigned and handed back the power to the Senate and People of Rome. It seems a Dictator is exactly what is needed here, with an extended period of up to 2 years, as is the recommendation. Let it be known that the UK does not want to bend the rules of the Dictatorship as per Julius Caesar and become Dictator for life. Not a chance.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  23. Licker and Sticker says:

    This statement, about only unelected officials can’t making decisions for the ppl, eliminates this Unity Government. I don’t remember electing Natalio as my leader. He need to take a step back from that ledge

  24. Get gone says:

    Who elected the governor

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  25. Unknown says:

    When are y’all going to call elections, let the people select

  26. he is complicit says:

    Wheatley and the VIP incubated, promoted, elevated and defended their delinquent Premier. None of them have a mandate to govern after this colossal betrayal.
    We need UK to supervise the BVI while we hold new elections. End of.

    • @he is complicit says:

      Yes, elections in a few years time when things get straightened out a bit, and new people get organised to run for Office. We don’t need elections right now.

  27. Conrad says:

    I certainly wish Wheatley will think before he speaks. The people did not elect those boards and they made a lot of decisions that affected the lives of lots of good people for no just reason.

  28. Road Town Rebel says:

    @Get one… you took the words out of my thoughts. These undemocratically selected Governor’s weild a lot of power here that is guaranteed by our “The” Constitution.

  29. Roger TRabbiy says:

    In all honesty … saying sorry publicity because your leader was caught is not going to change things
    CULTURAL has nothing to do with standing by and watch evil meted out to your people
    You do not have the balls to stand up
    Like Pilate in the Bible you stood by and wash your hands when the Jews says crucify him

    Your leader was leading the BVI in a path of destruction

    Don’t use your power now to regain points for next election
    Marlon sacrifice and step back for the good of the country so did Mitch
    People losing sight of this because they are so hell bent on blaming the UK

  30. Sad says:

    You may have book sense but no common sense..it s not wise to take everyone suggestion..what’s wise is listening to suggestions and applying them as needed..your little group do not have all the answers..a child can give you the answer..Good leadership is needed soo desperately in the BVI

  31. Prefrence says:

    I would rather an unelected official than a corrupt or stupid one

  32. Guy Hill says:

    The TRUTH will always have a difficult time in our cultural ways.

  33. Christian council says:

    Screw those pastors why do they get a platform. What they needed was to meet with some of the young people on the blocks.

    No excuses for government officials but you can not be weak when it comes to talking with the UK. We deserve better than self depreciating “community leaders”.

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