BVI News

VOX POP: Mixed feelings, residents rate Premier’s performance so far

Premier Andrew Fahie

Residents have expressed mixed feelings about the Premier’s first 100 days as leader of government business since winning the general elections in February.

When BVI News roved a cross-section of Tortola and sought the opinions of residents on Premier Andrew Fahie’s performance so far, residents had varying views about initiatives, such as the expat regularisation programme, Fahie’s decision to rotate deputy premiers, the move to spend thousands on a new vehicle for the Premier, among other things.

Notwithstanding the aforementioned initiatives, one local artist from Road Town said he is yet to see any major signs of progressive action from Fahie.  

“Out of everything in his manifesto, what has he done so far? That is the real question because to me I have not seen anything done so far … He (the Premier) is making good decisions in certain aspects but in other aspects he is not and I don’t know if it is because he feels obligated to people in his circle that he must do, but he has to think of this as not being his circle anymore because he is now representing the entire territory,” said the artist who spoke to our news centre on the condition of anonymity.

And while commenting on the ongoing legal battle between Speaker of the House Julian Willock and member-elect of the Fourth District Mark Vanterpool, the artist described the situation as ‘a waste of time and taxpayers’ money’.

“They can be putting the focus to doing other things for the islands that they have promised,” he added while also accusing the Premier of causing segregation between expats and BVIslanders.

Don’t judge the Premier on Speaker/Vanterpool case

Meanwhile, another resident Marlon Thomas had different views on the ‘Willock versus Vanterpool’ case. He said while the matter is serious, it ought not to be used to assess how the Premier has performed so far.

“From what I understand, the Speaker is who controls the House and what is happening with the Fourth District Representative has nothing to do with the Premier. Sometimes the decision really is not his but it is a decision for the Speaker,” said Thomas who is a vector control worker.

“To me, he has done a good job so far in the last 100 days … From my standpoint, he seems to be a very genuine person and as a result of that, once you’re genuine, you would demonstrate good governance.”

Premier right to implement regularisation programme?

A retired police officer who opted not to disclose his name, had similar sentiments to that of Thomas.

“So far, I believe he has been doing very well, especially on the vexing situation of Immigration and looking at regularising persons who have been here for 30 years and still under work permit — which is horrible,” the retired law enforcer said.

He added: “People criticise the ‘Fast Track’ initiative [but] it happens all over the world — Britain, the United States, and some of the independent countries in North Africa have gone that way. If people have money and they can bring in employment, it means a lot, taxes will be collected and people will be productive.”

Too early to cast judgement

Meanwhile, another resident who only described himself as a local consultant was among a number of others who believed the Premier should not be judged so quickly since he is still ‘fresh in office’.

“To be honest, most persons are up in arms about certain things. I’ve said give it two years and then you can really make an informed opinion. The Premier is still getting his feet wet, members of the Cabinet are still getting their feet wet, and most of them are newcomers so they will really have to get themselves familiarised with various ministries and departments before I can cast judgement on how they are performing,” the consultant said.

Rotating Deputy Premier post bad for int’l negotiations

He, however, said he had concerns about Fahie’s decision to appoint a new Deputy Premier every three months.

“Nationally, it’s all well and fine. But, internationally, if you are doing negotiations, people want to see a familiar face. You’re rotating Deputy Premier for the first year, something that is being negotiated and then you have to go back to the table. There’s no continuity,” the consultant argued.

He continued:  “It almost seems that they are still in campaign mode although it is months after elections, so they kind of have to switch out of this mode and get into work mode.”

Following in the footsteps of former gov’t?

A female Belonger and business-owner said she believes the Premier is following in the footsteps of the former NDP administration.

“In the manifesto, the NDP said about this, the NDP said about that. He (Fahie) has gone and done exactly the same thing as the NDP did,” the businesswoman said.

“They (the VIP) chastised the NDP about the vehicle and first thing he (Premier Fahie) did was to spend $115,000 to bring this new vehicle. Did he really need a new car? Couldn’t the old one be fixed?”

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  1. Wiseman says:

    He fool a lot people to get where he is today. Life in the fast lane ma boy. Keep on keeping brother.

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  2. local says:

    strupes..yeah yeah..former police officer will chat good bc what..they get all the land up spooners till they even have apartments on them. when me a local was given a land which i purchased same way they said no apartments can build now apartments can since almost up they take over with expats police officers…

    Like 18
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    • Money talks too says:

      You just jealous of them expat police officers who used their common sense and build up this country’. You waiting as a local on government to do everything for you. But the expat police officers smart. Apartments like crazy. You ah police could have followed in the expat police foot steps you didn’t and choose to spend all you work for now talking fart about expats police and their apartments. Jealous

      Like 15
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      • expat police says:

        The expat police officers did well in this country most of them invested in this country. They own houses with apartments and I applaud them. They get a pay check just like anybody from here and they could have sent the money out of this country but instead built their big houses and apartments here now you are jealous of them..That’s the problems with the LOCALS jealosuy.…..

        Like 23
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  3. vip heckler says:

    I will give him a 4 out of 10 because he hasn’t brought a thing to the table that will generate revenue. In fact he has been spending more than the country is making so far

    Like 22
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    • :) says:

      Barely over 100 days, a little over 3 months in office it is obviously too early to make a proper assessment even if he was turning water into wine. Complaining about the rotation of deputy premier is stupid as it doesn’t negatively affect anything or anything.

      Like 17
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    • OMG says:

      So you prefer the last premier. All they did was give the money away. He was a joke nice man lousy premier. Oh and he had a wife…

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    • Meh son says:

      Is how long NDP in there doing stupidness; wasting money.. money disappearing in plane.. in the pier park… How much you rate NDP for that?
      But just 3 months and you want to crucify Fahie!
      Go siddong!

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  4. Quiet Warrior says:

    It was a rocky start for the VIP government led by Premier Andrew Fahie. The VIP spent 8 years in the political wilderness. NDP crushed it at polls in 2011 and 2015. The beat downs resulted in VIP remaking itself for the 25 Feb 19 general election that it won going away, taking 8 of the 13 seats. Given the lengthy stay in the wildness, it should have been better prepared to govern. It came to power demonstrating a scatter shot approach instead of a strategic comprehensive, holistic plan of action.

    Each ministry’s plan of action(s) seemed disconnected from a master plan. The administration was a prisoner of the 100-day milestone. It pushed some buttons and launched some trial balloons that appear to be for temporary political gain but without consulting with the people or accounting for the unintended consequences or studying the long-term impact. The Premier errored in assessing who has the true power; true power lies with the people. It is too early to assign a grade; there a too few data points.

    Moreover, looking ahead, the Premier needs to call a standdown. During the stand down, the government should focus on delivering basic services while developing a strategic national development plan. It should have already had a national development plan.

    Like 25
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    • @Quiet Warrior says:

      @Quiet Warrior, “Moreover, looking ahead, the Premier needs to call a standdown. During the stand down, the government should focus on delivering basic services while developing a strategic national development plan. It should have already had a national development plan.” Stop the standdown nonsense.

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  5. Observer says:

    I notice that he is putting some people on statutory boards who cannot construct a proper sentence. I guess he has to make sure they are comfortable after all they are family friends.

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    • @Observer says:

      He has literally weakened the governance structure of these statutory bodies. One would think that he would have recognized that he is the only individual in his administration with experience and would formulate boards that have the skill and ability to carry out the government’s mandate.

      I really feel for my Country.

      Like 30
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  6. My two cents. says:

    Although I have never been a VIP supporter I always rooted for Hon. Fahie. I loved how he held his distruct together over the years and how he supported his district after Irma. I was really expecting him to pull the territory together after the elections. That did not happen. The divide to me has grown. He could have involved the Opposition more. He could have put a stop on tgat 4th district saga. He could have bought a cheaper vehicle. He dud not need security. That immigration fiasco was not well thought out. The deputy premier should have been done differently. Where is the increments as promised? I really was hoping for a difference but that is politics! Six of one snd half dozen of the other. Its early yet! Praying he gets better advice than he has been getting!

    Like 24
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  7. Meh son says:

    Y’all seriously want to judge a man 3 months in office? February was elections. There was no budget in place. House of Assembly convened on March 12 and then Budget was passed only on April 27. April 27 to now is only 6 weeks!!!!!
    You feel Fahie have a magic wand to wave and you just blink your eye and things get done?
    Yo just can’t please people and haters gonna hate.
    Premier, you just keep working. I hear you when you say is a master plan and all the spokes connect in the center of the wheel. Don’t study the haters. Just keep working.
    Those ungrateful ingrates will never see that the high school contract got signed so our children will have a proper school to learn in. They will never see the road works that Kye started. Or all the work Vincent Wheatley doing on in VG and Anegada.
    Don’t study the haters. They only know how to hate!

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  8. Andrew says:

    Andrew is a quiet sly dictator

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  9. Tola says:

    You can’t trust none these politician. They fool you before they get in. As they win them forget you or ignore you.

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  10. Diaspora says:

    Leadership is partly science and partly art; it is a learned skill based on experience, training, knowledge, talent……etc. It cannot be acquired through osmosis or be inherited. The most effective leaders are often quiet warriors, not carnival barkers. Lots of action/busy as a bee does not necessarily transform into work. In physics, Work=Force X Distance. We must ignore the noise and focus on outcomes. Outcomes come from effective planning.

    At the run to the election, there was high hope that Premier Fahie would be a transformative leader. Since taking office, there is lots of action and work? Nevertheless, it is slightly north of a 100 days since taking office so it is still early and the Premier still has time to become that legendary transformative leader. The first 100 days was unsteady (100 day period is over rate but politicians become prisoner to it).

    Moreover, governing like an aircraft carrier cannot be turned on a dime; it takes time. Politicians often set high expectations, overpromise and have to live with the hype. The reality is it is way too early to assign a grade whether letter or numerical. If I had to assign a letter grade, it would be between B or C. The Premier needs to reboot his start. First things first. Develop a strategic plan.

    Like 7
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  11. hmmmm says:

    NDP cronies out in full force,

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