I happened to see a copy of a document outlining the Unity Government’s response to date to the COI’s recommendations.
If that is authentic, it mirrors in some ways the situation of the Territory in the 1930’s and the 1940’s. Between 1934 and 1943 the B. V. I. was governed by the most dictatorial Commissioner in its history-His Honour Dr. D. P. Wailling. His term of office was followed by another dictator, His Honour J. A. Cruikshank who objected to the establishment of a secondary school and the reinstatement of the Legislative Council. B. V. Islanders stood up to him causing the Governor of the Leeward Islands to travel from Antigua to settle the dispute between the citizens and the Commissioner. B. V. Islanders voiced their opposition to the draconian rule by organizing the 1949 March to “olympus” the local name for the Commissioner’s residence. The poet E. L. Bacon referred to the power and authority of the Commissioner in one of his poems. The following verse speaks to that:
“Should Gabriel’ great trumpet sound over these isles, it’s notes of dread as told in ancient prophecy Calling the living and the dead, the dead may rise, but first they’d say, “only with your permission Sir, Awaiting final word from him, His Honour the Commissioner.”
I believe that the Unity Government’s position endorses a re-enactment of the 1949 situation. Do you think it is morally sound for the non-elected Governor to be endowed with those controlling powers?
All the achievements of the B. V. Islanders who have fought so hard to win the freedom which we now enjoy are thrown out because of a few individuals.
It is true that the individuals have taken the wrong road but it seems to me that both the head of government and the head of state have to bear responsibility. A coin has two sides to its identity. From my observations of the trends there is a bigger issue at stake. “Rule Brittannia” is on the rise both locally and globally. Study the actions and the trends. In this case we are not only losing administrative power, we are losing our corporate ability to grow and develop. We are returning to the state of “massa’s property” “plantation administration”. Imagine this happening in the twenty-first century. It is the most humiliating experience in the history of the British Virgin Islands. It is tantamount go falling from grace. All of us should realize that sin is a universal failure of humankind but when the kettle is calling the pot bottom black that is another issue.
All have sinned and come short of what the Lord has created us to be. Surely each should account for his/her failures but that is an individual affair and those responsible for effecting that should do so. To judge the state by one man’s views is not justice. “There is more in the mortar besides the pestle.”