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Letter: Hon Mark Simmonds should tell two sides of the story when writing to CARICOM
Published on March 25, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

I am no supporter of the PNP and I could never be but this one is embarrassing in the least and I must say in the strongest terms possible that what Minister Simmonds, of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), did by writing to the CARICOM Community is downright backward and sick of him. It seems that the British intend to maintain a grip on these islands at all costs.

The FCO’s press release states that Marks Simmonds is also the United Kingdom’s minister responsible for relations with the Caribbean. This is troubling for a number of reasons. First of all we need to know the context in which Mark Simmonds writes the region to correct the TCI premier for these “misrepresentations”. Is he functioning as TCI’s minister of foreign affairs? Isn’t this a role properly allocated to the governor under the TCI constitution and as such not for Mark Simmons to be going over the head of the elected premier of the TCI?

To maintain balance here I say congratulations to the Premier Rufus Ewing, the Hon Amanda Missick, the leader of the opposition the Hon Sharlene Cartwright, the Hon Oral Selver. This letter is not about parties or political bias, even though mentioning the PNP, it is about the wider issue but some bias, owing to the context, is inevitable here.

These examples of colonial violation, imperial dogma should be exposed, time and time again. This adds to the violent insult of the TCI constitution providing that a chief financial officer, a non-elected official, gets to tell the elected minister of finance what to do. Let us be under no delusion here, it is all about money, the collection of our money and the flow of funds from our pay checks to London fat cats, in the billions, for the next 25 years or more.

Owing to that sad tragic future legacy, there is nothing to celebrate about here. We are being raped and ripped-off here in the TCI and the FCO's job to facilitate it with policy responses. One can only compare this to the plight of the Haitian people where they were forced by France after the Haitian Revolution to supply France with payments of gold in the amount of $100 annually, for over 200 years. It like they realise how valuable these islands are, its potential and future wealth which led the former FCO minister to declare to the United Nations that the TCI is a critical and important part of Britain's biodiversity. Contradictory, because they are permitting the destruction of Leeward Marina and the national park there as we speak.

Whilst saying this, we have to thank ourselves, as a TCI voting group, for the condition, politically and constitutionally, we find ourselves in. It seems that in the TCI when governments commit unimaginable wrongs such as working with developers to bankrupt our country, rape our lands, confiscate our natural resources that we reward and re-elect those governments. We have not sent the message yet to TCI politicians that you cannot do this to us. That you, the irresponsible politician, cannot aid the sale of Crown lands at cents on the dollar, commit all manner of corruption, you take the fall and your developer friends walk scot free. The scenario is that the constitution becomes stillborn, we lose 37 years of progress, “they" assume powers and they hold you in this position because our electorate refuses to hold leaders and politicians accountable. The "they" in this case is the FCO, their developer cronies, the banks, the loans, etc.

May I say again here that the PNP and the Amanda Misick by-election are not at issue here but symptomatic of the wider problem: that voters seem oblivious to what is really happening to their country. We still have a situation where our hospitals are financed at 20 times the value and in the billions, the paper trail leads to London but we here in the TCI are paying the bill. In essence what Mark Simmonds writes to CARICOM, he should also be writing to the international community and expose the FCO’s cover-up of what happened in the TCI. How the British government is facilitating the corporate, national and fiscal rape of our people with this hospital deal and many other deals. With value added tax (VAT) we are paying the price and when implemented we will pay a much higher price. At the end of the day we are paying billions.

When Mark Simmonds writes to correct and embarrass the premier, he should tell two sides of the story and not just “their” side of the story. What happened in the TCI from 2003 and 2009 was not possible without the aid and assistance of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They are on record as blessing the corruption of the PNP but now they only want to say what the TCIslanders did and do what they can to cover-up. This is treachery and TCI, whilst holding their leaders accountable, should not stand for this. Mark Simmonds is being highly hypocritical here and gets away with it because we in the TCI will not demand accountability.

Patti Forbes
Reads: 5963

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