I couldn’t believe it when I turned on the radio to listen to the BBC News last week and heard that there was to be a commission of inquiry in the Virgin Islands. Of all the likely times that there could have been a commission of inquiry here, why now?
Two years ago, the people of the VI rose up and sanctioned their government in true democratic fashion. A new government swept in on a wave of expectancy and unbelievable energy. One direction! Forward! A Joshua generation of leaders hit the ground running, and not a moment too soon.
Which other kind of government could have picked up the broken pieces left over from the August Monday floods, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria while tackling the unfinished legislative business left over from the former government? On top of all that, here comes Covid-19, and that’s where the new government undoubtedly earned its stripes and the hearts of the people!
Say whatever else you want to say about Premier Andrew Fahie, it cannot be denied that he leads a tireless squad of repairers, innovators, builders and energisers. There are some among us who believe that divine intervention brought them to power for a time such as this. And the people, for the most part, are grateful.
However, there is the inevitable squeaky wheel with faulty cogs. Mostly it is made up of self-serving individuals. Some have personal grievances, and the big picture is not important to them.
There are others who aspire to political leadership but have found that they are not electable. Yet others want to have a bigger say and feel that their advice is not given the importance it deserves. What else is new?
Then there is talk in the international media about corruption related to drug smuggling. The biggest drug bust in the world, happening in the VI!
Let’s pick sense out of nonsense. Who would be so foolish as to bring a set of drugs and put it down right where the police could find it, unless there was an intention for the police to find it? Please! Give me a break!
The police don’t even succeed in controlling the traffic. The poor old people are tired of complaining that they can’t sleep when night comes. The young boys are up and down all night on their motorcycles. Zoom! Zoom! And the police can’t control that.
So I am supposed to believe that out of the blue they made this big bust worthy of international acclaim? Give me a break!
That said, it has to be recognised that no government and no leader is perfect. In VI, it so happens that our political arrangement gives us two principal leaders: the governor, who is the representative of the Queen; and the premier, who is the elected representative of the people. I blame the British government for failing to articulate the arrangement in a way that makes it possible for the people to understand how the practical application fulfils (or doesn’t fulfil) the demands of the Constitution as it is written. Too much is left to interpretation.
And as conscientious and driven as both leaders were, a clash was inevitable.