|Published on July 30, 201 in TCI WEEKLY NEWS|
Progressive National Party (PNP) leader Dr Rufus Ewing (L) and Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) leader Oswald Skippings
This past Sunday, which was Fathers’ Day, I attended an appreciation service for “Pops”, “Art” or “Butterfield” as he is called and Momma, Aunt Cita as she is called.
It was truly a service where the roses were given while the persons are alive and kicking and could appreciate it, rather than when the cold icy hands of death have touched them and they cannot hear the accolades! But in all of that, what was really touching for me was the Sermon preached by Rev. Derek Hamilton. Of particular importance to me were the works captioned above! In our present context, the Reverend coined it correctly.
We must in the end remember that Governor Todd is only a messenger and that the real decision makers are in London. He acts as the conduit for transmitting information between us, the governed and the masters in White Hall! We must be cognizant of the fact that sometimes the message gets twisted in the translation and transmission. So in some instances we cannot always take the “shoot the messenger approach”. I know that at times I have been guilty of that especially at times when the messenger seems to be speaking with forked tongue.
The Progressive National Party, having solved its leadership battle, will soon be announcing its slate of candidates, first for the “At Large” seat, and subsequently for the other 10 single member constituencies. With the People’s Democratic Movement going through a similar exercise by the end of the month, the people will begin to see how both sides are shaping up.
Following on from that, must come a position paper that both parties can agree on, and that must be given a public hearing here in the Turks and Caicos Islands so the “buy in” and ownership at home are assured. Once that is done, it must be proclaimed far and wide as the united position of the people of this country. I know that it is not going to be easy as both sides in the past looked at each other with suspicion for whatever reason. But having come through the bruising crucible meted to us by this imposing Interim Administration, clearly, there are a number of issues on which the parties can and must agree on in the interest of the people of this country.
I think that for too long we have, by our own pettiness allowed the Interim Administration to hold sway in our country to the equal detriment to both parties and the people. We have to remember that these people are masters of “divide and rule” as they invented and subsequently perfected that process which allowed them to have had one of the greatest empires of any of the colonizing powers. Do you remember the saying that “the sun never sets on the British Empire”? That was by design and not an accident. So it is incumbent on all of us to come together for the common good of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. It certainly cannot in anyone’s wildest dream be “business as usual”.
We have to fully understand who we are dealing with and make our plans accordingly. Now in London, even though Minister Bellingham is the point man for the Overseas Territories, it is, in our case right now, that the DFID Minister, Alan Duncan who wields the real power. He is the one responsible for getting the loan guarantee in place and for driving the process to ensuring that there is no contingent liability that the British have to deal with, with respect to us.
Every piece of legislation, particularly the CFO bill is geared to ensure that outcome. So do not let us be blindsided by any of the platitudes that might be emanating from these people. They are the masters of disguise! In our present circumstances, do you see who they have sent to be the top man here? The man, as part of his career profile was and in all probability is a spy. That is not any news out of school!
They have been sowing the seeds of distrust among our people towards one another. We have to beat back that nonsense and see it for what it is. It is nothing more than a ploy to continually justify their existence here. Nothing more, nothing less!
All of these platitudes are nothing more than that. All they have been trying to do and succeeding to a great extent is “thiefing our sense”. At this juncture in our political and educational life, we cannot allow that stupidity to be perpetrated on us and we are lapping it up like it is some manner falling from Heaven.
It is time that we away those nonsense theories and get down to real basics. We have a county to build. It has been clearly demonstrated to us that the British are not really interested in helping us to build this country. All of their previous actions and those of today speak clearly to that fact. Flawed in some ways as the scholarship programme might have been, it least we can say that a large number of students availed themselves of the opportunity and made good on being granted the privilege.
A case in point is Dr. Harvey, who has returned as a dentist. Had the British been in place during those days, he would not have been able to avail himself of such a scholarship as that profession was like many others not appropriate to the needs of Turks and Caicos Islands.
All of the major advances that this country has made were done so when we had a duly elected government, by the people and for the people. Do not for one brief moment lose sight of that fact. In the recent “surplus budget” that was just unveiled in the Consultative Forum, Stevie Wonder and members of the Forum saw that the priority areas were not in sync with what the general public wanted, even though it was said that that was in our best interest. Old John C. said “far be the thought”!
These people have been winning the public relations battle in the world’s court of public opinion. The first real shot across their bow came from the Anglican Bishop Boyd who is responsible the flock of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands. Make no mistake about it, that was a shot that rang true and home. No matter what they have tried to say to the contrary, and no matter how much spin they have tried to put on it, the dagger stuck home. While it is still in place, we have to turn the handle for every ounce of what it is worth!
Our campaign for fairness and equality can start at our shores, but must equally be waged in the Caribbean, but more importantly in London. So I end at the point on which I began, forget Todd, we have to carry the fight to Bellingham, Duncan and the steps of Number 10 Downing Street. Nothing an Englishman hates more than being embarrassed, particularly on his door steps!