By Ben Roberts
In reflecting on this Christmas holiday season and the year that has just passed by, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II delivered a Christmas message to her British subjects and the Commonwealth peoples. This speech by Her Majesty is worth noting because it is described in the December 26, 2011, Caribbean News Now article Queen speaks of unity, hope and family in Christmas message
as “written by the Queen herself - one of the few occasions where she does not seek advice from the government.”
In her speech, the Queen highlights the strength of family and community, and the ability to overcome hardship and tragedy. Notably she refers to the natural disasters of the Australian deadly floods and New Zealand destructive earthquake. Both nations were peopled by British citizens and have long been independent of that country. Yet because they are cousins and long lost brothers of British stock they seem to weigh strongly on the heart of Her Highness. This is admirable as it shows the disposition of her heart. However, Overseas Territories such as Turks and Caicos, and others, that are going through unprecedented social and financial hardship do not seem to register with Her Highness. Moreover, in 2009 Turks and Caicos was shattered by a violent hurricane Ike that saw untold destruction not seen in more than half a century. Yet in her Christmas speech of that year this Territory went unmentioned. And it is a place not unfamiliar to Her Royal Highness. She paid the only royal visit ever to Turks and Caicos in 1966.
The question then is this: Are current British colonial Territories, made up of indigenous peoples, of less import to Britain and her Queen than long independent countries peopled with citizens of British heritage? One would hate to think so, and rather believe in the goodness and goodwill of the heart of the Queen, especially on this occasion celebrating the birth of Christ. However, seeing this differentiation makes one seriously question the genuineness of senior British civil servants visiting Turks and Caicos to promote ‘God knows what,’ and declaring in press conferences that ‘We are all British.‘ Apparently we are not.
Her Highness closed out her speech with these words: “It is through the lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today, and so give us hope for tomorrow. Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves -- from our recklessness and greed.” These are sobering words to end out this year and they ring especially true in Turks and Caicos right now.
The people of Turks and Caicos needed saving. Saving from themselves. That is from the reckless and greedy elected officials and their ‘enablers,’ who were having a ‘good ole’ time,’ at the expense of their fellow-citizens. This was the express purpose of the re-intervention of the British in Turks and Caicos.
But, ‘lo and behold,’ now those same citizens need saving, it seems, from the reckless, deceptive, non-transparent, and heavy-handed British saviours. It is hoped that top decision makers in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and their charges in Turks and Caicos, pay close attention to what their Queen has to say so that we can wash our hands of this distasteful George Orwellian ‘Animal Farm’ British-installed Turks and Caicos Interim government, replacing recklessness, authoritarianism, and non-transparency with goodwill, good relations, and ‘hope for tomorrow’ for both the Queen and her people, and the people of Turks and Caicos.
Ben Roberts is a Turks and Caicos Islander. He is a newsletter editor, freelance writer, published author, and member of TC FORUM. He is the author of numerous articles that have been carried by a variety of Internet websites and read worldwide. He is often published in Turks and Caicos news media and in the local newspapers where he resides. His action adventure novel, Jackals of Samarra, is available at Amazon.com, and at major Internet book outlet sites.