The longer I live here, the more I feel we have been governed by immature politicians who were elected by immature voters. So much talk, so little action. They make laws which they don’t follow, don’t comply with, and don’t enforce.

Now, the constitutional review seems to want to take us back to the Middle Ages. The commission, for instance, wants to ban same-sex marriage. Don’t they realise such marriage would not be compulsory? People would be free to choose, and religious bodies would be free not to marry same-sex couples, though I suspect a registrar might have to if asked.

Using the religious argument is ridiculous when you consider the underage sex, out-of-wedlock babies, and domestic abuse that are rife in the territory.

The premier says a referendum on the matter would cost $250,000 to $300,000. But he spent that on a useless non-stop concert already.

Remember the “Rasta Law”? It was brought in by then-Chief Minister Ralph O’Neal to ban people wearing dreadlocks from entering the territory. This was after a couple of crimes committed by visitors with dreadlocks from United States Virgin Islands.

Remember the “Maya Cove” bill? It was also initially brought in by Mr. O’Neal, to ban the renaming of traditional place names. What’s that area called now? Maya Cove, by many people!



How about the Traffic Regulations? Everyone driving must have a valid Virgin Islands licence. There is no provision for temporary or foreign licences.

Remember when the car hire companies issued a pink paper licence, valid for three months, for a fee? I think it was about $12. Nowadays, you just have to show your foreign licence. But if you are living here, it is advisable to get a VI licence.

When you apply, you have the choice of a one-year or three-year validity (it’s in the regs), but there is no mention of age.

So who introduced the mandatory one-year validity, with a required medical check-up, for residents over 70 years of age? This is an example of the law of unintended consequences.

Before National Health Insurance, the cost for an over-70 licence was $60 for a medical and $15 for a licence. The cost to the driver was $75. The cost to the government was nil.

After NHI was introduced, government allowed medical practitioners to increase their fees by about 300 percent. Accordingly, the cost now is much higher: The medical is $160 (of which the applicant pays 10 percent, or $16 — I don’t need a calculator for that!) and $15 for a licence. The cost to the driver is $31. The cost to the government is $144 (which doctors pocket).

So, since NHI, government is paying the medical profession $144 for every driving licence issued to someone over 70. Is this sensible?


25 ‘metres per hour’

You can drive a bus, pun intended, through the regulations, but I gave up after reading how many passengers are allowed to sit to the left of the driver (look it up).

Many regulations apply to vehicles “capable of traveling at more than 25 metres per hour (mph).” And that’s not a typo: It actually says “metres.”

But at least the regulations do say that headlights should be dimmed for oncoming vehicles. Who does that, besides me? I wonder if driving instructors teach that? Try not dimming in United Kingdom and you are likely to experience severe road rage.

Do we enforce requirements for motorcycle helmets and for front and back plates?


Taxes, census

To my knowledge, nobody enforces the annual payment of land and property tax either. Ours went unpaid for ten years without a peep.

The census, meanwhile, is supposed to be a snapshot of one night. The previous exercise was a disaster, and the present one has been ongoing since last year and looks to be heading for the same fate.

We still don’t know the size of our population, though more people registered for NHI than we thought we had in the territory.

We should stop allowing USVI residents to vote in our elections and to get cheap health care here.