The most important factor in Virgin Islands prosperity is public, business and investor confidence in the society and economy.

Public confidence drives the value of everything in the economy. Confidence is an invisible element — a glue that holds the economy and society together. Confidence allows for economic growth and social sustainability.

Okay. The United States dollar is the world’s reserve currency. The strength of the dollar reflects investor confidence in the US as a safe haven for business and investment. That confidence is primarily a belief in the military power of the US to maintain order in its own region at first instance, and the wider world at large.

The stability of the west — its free societies, its democratic values, its economic and social prosperity — sits on the platform of US security pledges through the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Europe and Asia especially, that it will police the seas and skies to maintain peace and security against any adversary.


Getting re-elected

The preceding is a world perspective on how confidence drives the international community.

At local level, the population of a country or territory looks to government to provide peace, safety and prosperity. A government that has a history of good social, fiscal and economic governance is the beneficiary of the faith of the people. It is re-elected, and repeatedly. The political and social system that the government represents enjoys longevity.

Good political leadership is not hubris and noise. Governance must be mission- and vision-oriented. Governance must be experienced, knowledgeable and well informed.

An effective government enjoys the scope to achieve the national vision, with its mandate awarded by the people who entrust that vision with their leaders.


VI election season

As the VI approaches another election season after a tumultuous 19 months with a Commission of Inquiry at the centre of political activity, the core task of the territory’s leadership is to gain the confidence of residents that there is a national vision pursued diligently and honestly.

The confidence of the VI public both at home and abroad will depend upon the ability of the leaders to ignore all the noise and focus on driving a message that contains a sustainable vision. A land without a vision is a sailboat without a destination.


COI recommendations

The implementation of the COI recommendations must be at the forefront of governance. The focus should be the establishment of a brand-new culture of honesty and integrity that will drive governance now and in the future.

There is zero benefit in residents not recognising the reality of the threat of United Kingdom direct rule if politicians fail to do what they must. This is not the time for talk but for solid action. The time for talk is over.

This territory has been a paradise for commentators. As important as comment and opinion are, the next few years will be about building solid governance reforms around an economic vision that will pass a better territory on to the next generation.