BVI News

Vanterpool: Show some respect, UK was hostile to Premier

“We got the leader of this country like a toy. … This man is trying to help this country genuinely” — Vanterpool

Communications and Works Minister Mark Vanterpool has impliedly demanded respect for Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, who he said endured ‘hostility’ from UK parliamentarians to get assistance for the BVI.

Vanterpool said parliamentarians in the UK were hostile towards Premier Smith when he went begging for assistance weeks after Hurricane Irma ravaged the British Virgin Islands.

According to Vanterpool, one UK Opposition member appeared to be harbouring ill-feelings because the BVI did not agree to implement a public register that would effectively reveal the names offshore company owners registered in the territory.

“One member got up and asked him … ‘Why should we give you help and you don’t want to allow the registry?’ Imagine, in the middle of all our knocked-down state, the gentleman going to ask the Premier that in a public committee,” Vanterpool lamented.

Vanterpool said other UK legislators wanted to know why the BVI deserves help when it has a ‘per capita income that is probably higher than the UK’s’.

However, Vanterpool said Dr Smith handled the hostility and questions remarkably well.

“You know what the Premier said: Sir, that was then. That was pre-Irma. I am here to talk to you today about looking help for what is now,” Vanterpool recalled.

We have Premier like a toy

He said Dr Smith, therefore, deserves respect; at least from members of his own administration who are refusing to support his £300 million loan guarantee agreement with the UK.

Under the agreement, the BVI must implement a Recovery and Development Agency to receive the aforementioned loan guarantee from the UK. The Agency will have full control over recovery funds.

“I see the Premier went before them (UK ministers in London). He come back here and we got him like a little toy up and down the place … We got the leader of this country like a toy. He ain’t the type of person who will make noise like me and fuss and tell you a thing or two … This man is trying to help this country genuinely,” Vanterpool said.

The minister was speaking in the House of Assembly on Friday to debate the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Act, 2018.

The debate continues.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Tax dodging says:

    Unfortunately, the average UK earner is taxed to high heaven and they despise tax dodgers. Especially as the majority of tax dodgers tend to be wealthy and they want to know who they are. The UK parliament asks questions on behalf of the people so he was speaking on behalf of those that voted for him. It’s an honest question that the UK voters are asking. The BVI is viewed as a millionaires playground and it’s difficult for people to understand why there is no money in the pot to rebuild.

    • Online Now says:

      Absolutely! The MP was representing his people and asking why their hard earned tax money should go to an island which most of them would never have heard of which boasts a superior average income yet does not charge it’s residents tax at the same rate as the UK.

  2. Albion says:

    That’s odd.

    We did *exactly* what the UK asked on registers of beneficial ownership. It sounds like the UK parliamentarian was misinformed. Too bad there was no one on hand to correct him.

    • Nope says:

      No, not exactly! What we did was introduced a registration system where they can access this information ONLY if the have a valid reason. What the UK wants is a PUBLIC register where anyone can have access to the information and we are not doing it! Get the banks to put everyone’s account information online in a public register and see what happens. What’s the difference between a private bank account and a private company? Privacy is not illegal and misinformation is what is killing the UK populace who are pushing their reps to force the BVI into foolishness.

  3. M n M says:

    …should not even be in our house

  4. Hmm says:

    I am getting a feeling that if the BVI does not accept this money the Government will be forced to make some serious changes including reducing the civil service the hand writing is on the wall.

  5. Sam the man says:

    Mr Vanterpool your comments are of interest and clearly you appear to have matured since your days of leaviing the Parties you were part of in order to further —- —– —– politically….I think you are correct to back the recovery plan however yourself and the Premier should not be so easily offended – the UK doesn’t have to assist in the lending security of such a massive amount of money and for quite some time now they have been v concerned about the governments corruption, lack of transparency and reluctance to ever issue proper audited ann al financial reports….The criticism was deserved and to be honest I agree with their stance – unless the Government changes its approach and record of every major scheme going over budget and significantly late they risk no t getting a dime…As for the other min stars opposing this recovery plan they only care about themselves and their “Me Only Party”

  6. Lulubelle says:

    I wish the Premier would take leave of this place. He does not deserve the disrespect and neither foes the BVI. Since day one a lesser personality on the opposing side has been a threat to the good gevernance of this country. Inuendos and misinformation and accusations with no substance. I sm conceredabout the life of DrSmith because of the runaway power struggle from the shady and unscrupolous indviduals that are desperate for power. Please Doc go and live the life of comfort which you deserve. You are out of place in this muck.

    • @Lulubelle says:

      When some of them same folks were with Orlando reportedly ‘disrespecting’ our former Pemier, calling people names, he allowed it. Well them same word are upon him now.

    • To Lulubelle says:

      People like you disgust me. Who are you to determine who is good from bad? The most shady characters in the history of the BVI is the current government especially the M & M gang.

  7. Maggie says:

    Concerns over transparency and corruption go way back to other party pre Dr. Smith.

    Be very careful who you vote for next!

  8. TurtleDove says:

    Maybe they are not mad at him but all this the colonial BS being thrown around.

  9. Diplomat says:

    Pray tell, tell us how was the Premier dissed. If the Premier cannot field and answer questions from some MP who are looking out for their political interest, then perhaps the territory needs to find a new leader to lead it out of this crisis. Similarly, if the Premier feels offended by other members of HOA, even some members of his administration, debating a piece of legislation being brought to the floor, then perhaps the territory needs a new leader to lead it out of crisis.

    Further, the MCW is advocating for the Premier to be respected. Well, respect is earned, not demanded. The Premier is a BIG, not a likle, boy and should appreciate democracy at work. Furthermore, some of the perceived dissing that the Premier is supposedly getting he brought on himself by reportedly not being transparent and open about some routine, not national security information. For example, the Premier errored by not fully discussing the Recovery Plan with local officials and getting buy in before going to the UK.

  10. VILander says:

    I rather they respect me than like me

  11. voiceofthevoiceless says:

    They were just asking tough questions as they should ask of and Administration that has squandered millions and are now trying get a guarantee from the UK to borrow more millions.

    I see no disrespect there. We put ourselves in this position with our gross overspending and lack of accountability and transparency.

  12. 007 says:

    Country Above Self!!! 6 Months After Irma……

  13. VILander says:

    The british empire was hostile towards the premier of a little black territory…that’s not surprising at all. Know how they see you and your position in the world & know yourself. Then we can be better prepared. You guys were talking reckless about independence and thing. They aren’t and have never been our friends they were our colonizers & masters. Now here we are trying to politic with them yet unprepared. Let’s consciously do better now.

Leave a Comment