THE TANGLED WEB OF BRITISH DECEPTION IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
By Hayden Boyce – Publisher & Editor-in-Chief,in SUN TCI,on 25th of March 2013.
One cannot help but be amused and bemused by how these British operatives, the latest of them being Dr. Philip Rushbrook, the director of strategy in the office of Governor Ric Todd, are trying to continue spinning and their way out of the unholy mess which they have created in the Turks and Caicos Islands and about which they continue to be in absolute denial.
It is rather disingenuous to say the least, that persons of the caliber of Hon. William Hague and now Hon. Mark Simmonds would allow themselves to first, be misled, and secondly to be blindly drawn into this silly debate about what the Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing said to the recent CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Haiti.
After reading and parsing the Premier’s speech, there can be no question whatsoever that what he reported to CARICOM was an accurate representation of what happened, and indeed what continues to occur, in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
What is perhaps most unfortunate in the circumstances, is that none of Hon. Hague, Hon. Simmonds or Mr. Rushbrook can point to any specific part or parts of the Premier’s speech in which he “substantially misrepresented” the past and present situation in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Instead, and true to form, they have made a broad and general characterisation to CARICOM and the rest of the world, which in and of itself, is a gross misrepresentation of what the Premier stated.
For any correspondence coming from officials in such high office to at least be taken seriously by CARICOM or anyone with common sense, it should be stacked with undisputable facts and the itemization of those particular “misrepresentations” which the Premier is alleged to have made.
In the absence of any such specifics of rebuttal, these honorable men are inviting reasonable and sensible persons to arrive at the conclusion that the Premier lied to CARICOM and, as they were at pains to add, to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Nothing, on critical examination of the facts Dr. Ewing pronounced, could be further from the truth.
The letter from William Hague, who is an honorable man, is uncharacteristically and disappointingly weak and skimpy for someone of his stature.
For example, Mr. Hague talks about the British Government providing initial funding for the Providenciales International Airport many years ago, but makes no mention of the fact that the new $10million expansions are being funded by the operations of the airport and with no help from the Brits.
He also mentions the appointment of a Chief Financial Officer to assist with the finances of the TCI, but fails to tell CARICOM that they had to recall the said CFO Hugh McGarel-Groves because he was an under-performer and a spectacular failure.
His explanation about VAT and the reasons why it will not be introduced, was patently pathetic and failed to mention that nearly 100 percent of the business community in TCI were opposed to it, along with the two political parties.
Mr. Hague also stated that former Premier Michael Misick is “resisting return” to TCI, but he did not tell CARICOM that Misick has repeatedly said he wants to return home voluntarily and that he has written that he wants to waive extradition.
These are but some of the fundamental weaknesses and flaws that are contained in Mr. Hague’s letter to CARICOM; but Mr. Hague is an honorable man.
It therefore is quite sad, to say the least, that Mr. Hague, Mr. Simmonds and these other honorable men are seeking to assassinate the Premier’s character and inflict a vicious assault on his credibility, and that they are seeking to do so in the Caribbean political arena.
It is equally disturbing that by virtue of their written words, they are behaving as though the average resident of the Turks and Caicos Islands cannot read and understand, and that they cannot relate to the accuracy of the Premier’s statement which was pregnant with facts. Indeed, if the Premier can be faulted for anything, it should be that he did not give CARICOM leaders more details.
Analysts and observers may very well and rightly come to the conclusion that the only reason this approach is being taken by these honorable British operatives is because the Premier struck a positive chord among his CARICOM colleagues who perhaps finally would have gotten a true sense and clear picture of what is really going on in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
It can be argued that Premier Ewing may have embarrassed the Brits in the presence of Caribbean leaders by exposing their shenanigans. It can be also posited that as far as the real issues in the Turks and Caicos Islands are concerned, the Brits, who have been controlling the narrative regionally and internationally for far too long, may now feel that they are losing the public relations battle.
What, therefore, we are seeing being played out here with this CARICOM issue is a typical and classic example of how certain Brits are known to operate. They are past masters of spin. They have a tendency to paint all with the same brush and their approach to problem-solving is that one size fits all. They don’t like to be challenge. You must either put up or shut up. Moreover, in Caribbean parlance, when they are “out to get you” they seem to be guided by the following famous passage in Alice In Wonderland:
“`Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
`No, no!’ said the Queen. `Sentence first–verdict afterwards.’
`Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!’
`Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
`I won’t!’ said Alice.
`Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
`Who cares for you?’ said Alice, `You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’
While it may not be polite to call these British operatives a “pack of cards”, there is indeed much certainty in saying that they have employed the above tactic before on others here and in other British Overseas Territories and they are now seeking to repeat it with Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands Dr. Rufus Ewing. They are obviously on a mission to sentence him as a liar among his CARICOM colleagues, although there is no evidence to substantiate this.
There is, however, some consolation in the fact that the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the leaders of CARICOM know better than to believe everything, in anything, that certain British officials here and elsewhere have to say.
In the words of Sir Walter Scott: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!”