We waited a week for that Sunday speech from the premier, and we are underwhelmed!

Do we, or government, know how many work-permit holders are stuck outside? Is it five, 10, 50, or 500? Is it all a storm in a teacup?

Meanwhile, some 300 new graduates are to get priority to take up jobs which were being done by work-permit holders. Really? Doctors, dentists, carpenters, financial experts, and so on? If work-permit holders are never to be allowed back, what about their families, cars, house rentals, social security, payroll tax, and National Health Insurance payments?

I guess the government’s “1,000 jobs in 1,000 days” plan is old news now?

Last year, we granted citizenship to about 1,500 long-term members of the community. Covid-19 comes along, wrecks the economy, and we tell many of them and others to leave.

The premier said he will get back in weeks about reopening borders (why can’t bloggers spell “borders” correctly?)

 

US list

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given a list of countries in the Americas that Americans should not visit because of coronavirus, and we cheer because it does not include the Virgin Islands! Most probably that is because the CDC thinks that we are part of the USVI, which is included as a place not to visit.

Our visitors normally would not be able to get here without transiting some of those countries, so our chances of a tourist revival are regrettably slim at the moment. The CDC ignores, or is responding to, the fact that most countries have now banned Americans from visiting.

 

Word use

Call me pernickety (or, apparently, persnickety, as they say in the United States) but the junior minister for tourism, speaking at the announcement of the solar electric project for Anegada, stated that the project would “spurn” job and career opportunities for our people. At least, that’s what was written in the printed statement issued by the government.

I am sure she did not mean that! “To spurn” means to reject with disdain or contempt. Perhaps she meant to say “spur on” which means, besides being a reference to a small spiked wheel on the heel of a rider’s boots, to prompt or encourage someone. Of course, a spur is also a branch from the main line of an electrical circuit or railway.

Meanwhile some “jack come lately” solar power company has announced on social media that it will be coming to the VI in January 2021. Has someone invited them? Will they get it?

 

‘Pooh-Bah’

The minister for education, culture, youth affairs, fisheries and agriculture needs a shorter

portfolio, especially as he has now been made permanent deputy premier. It takes nearly a press paragraph just to write his title.

Perhaps it should be shortened to “Pooh-Bah, The Lord High Everything Else,” a title from Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado. One week he is on about marijuana, the next about being self-sufficient in agriculture. He says he has a contract with somebody who will shortly grow enough food at Paraquita Bay to feed us all using greenhouses. Is that the greenhouses, or some new ones? I fear some of his suggestions for businesses in the Seventh District are a bit pie in the sky. Retail booths on Brandywine Bay are likely to go the way of all the other initiatives for that area, and where is the space for similar outlets at The Stickett? I thought we already had chicken and pork businesses?

 

Stocking up?

Meanwhile, the Man of the Cloth urges us all to stock up groceries for six months as, according to him, our US sources will soon dry up.

I noticed more people than usual in the supermarket on Saturday.

 

Gorda Peak closure

The sudden closure of Gorda Peak National Park due to “clearcutting” seems a bit like closing the door after the horse has gone. Having announced it, the likelihood of catching those responsible for some works on the site is not good. Aerial photos show that the area has been cleared since at least 2016, which means that National Parks Trust is not exactly keeping a close eye on their properties. Better late than never, I suppose.

 

EE sewerage

So, the East End sewer project is to be done by petty contracts! God help us. Think dual carriageway, the Sea Cows Bay wall, and the Elmore Stoutt High School wall.

My definition of a petty contractor: two people, two spades, a wheelbarrow and a bag of cement.

Napoleon once said that England was a nation of shopkeepers. Our premier seems to think that we are a nation of contractors.

 

Festival

I hope everyone had a happy and safe August Emancipation Festival season.

I close by saying that I do not envy government’s decisions in dealing with this crisis, but I urge them not to knee-jerk reactively, and to take all sound advice before acting.


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