By anguillian December 21, 2015 09:53 Updated




Richard Condon’s political thriller, The Manchurian Candidate is a book about the son of a prominent U.S political family who is brainwashed, during the Korean war, into being an agent for a foreign government. The book which was later made into a movie, starring Frank Sinatra, reveals that the communists, with the help of his KGB mother, quietly planned a coup de teat of the U.S. Government. In true Hollywood fashion, the coup is foiled and the would be assassin, instead, assassinates his mother and her husband.
After what we’ve witnessed in the House of Assembly, on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, one is forced to ask the question: Is our Chief Minister an Anguillian, or is in fact a Manchurian Candidate, planted in our government, to do the bidding of the other independent states that we find ourselves unwittingly aligned with? In both the movie and the book, the device that triggers the assassin to action is the Queen of Diamonds. What is it that sets our candidate off? Is it just power, or pure unadulterated pride?

Let’s examine the facts. Some of this might sound a bit redundant, but so what? Our lives and our country are up for grabs, and I think redundancy is the last thing we’d care about. So let us take a long hard look at where we stand. It all goes back to 2009 when the then Minister of Finance, and the then Chief Minister, signed an agreement with the ECCB to amalgamate the two indigenous banks into one mega-bank. The plan is put on hold, because the AUF is booted from power by the AUM who promises to make things better. We later find out that things aren’t going well and that the banks are in trouble and we know what happened next.

We then fast forward to April 2015 when the AUF is returned to power winning six of the seven seats up for grabs, which they then claim was a mandate to do whatever the devil they want. I don’t have to reiterate what they’ve done because it’s still fresh in our memories, but just in case some of us have been out of touch, I’m referring to the Banking Act, the Resolution Trust Act and the piece de resistance, the 2015 budget, all of which passed in less than a month. Not a bad clip if you were keeping score. In plain everyday talk one could say that the AUF got 100% of what they wanted, no compromise whatsoever.

What has happened that would cause our CM to behave in a manner that’s not conducive to our wellbeing? Mounds of theories abound. They range from classicism all the way to dynasty building. The question that pops up is, whose class and a dynasty for whom? We had two banks, founded by our own, with our own hard cash, which allowed Anguillans to prosper and do the things they wanted. We allowed NBA to be run into the ground through inept management, or whatever, and we took a perfectly healthy CCB and wrecked it too.
We were told at the outset, that the ECCB came in to rescue the banks because they were concerned about members’ deposits because, as Dr. Douglas, the then Chairman of the Monetary Council, claimed, Anguilla’s economy had contracted from 15% to 5%. Well, so did everyone else’s. This was a global phenomena. Everyone was suffering. St. Lucia was in worse trouble than Anguilla, but yet nothing was done there. We were told that the banks were in trouble but, as yet, have not received the proof of the said trouble. We have not seen any financial reports from the said banks for almost three years. How then do we know what the true conditions of the banks are?

The region is in trouble. A perusal of the Caribbean News Now chronicles the alleged voter fraud that recently took place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines during the December 9th election in which Dr. Ralph Gonsalves won by one seat. The people in Grenada, some sources claim, are fearful for their lives if they speak out against Mitchell and company. I bring up these two situations because these are the same fellows that will advise our CM when the time comes for him to make a decision with regard to our indigenous banks. Right now, it’s every man for himself and it would be foolhardy for us to align ourselves with these other countries. We have done just fine without being aligned with the OAS and CARICOM for that matter.
Again, I say we fought a battle to be on our own to determine our own destiny. We want no association with the ECCB, though it seems that that is what our Manchurian Candidate has already decided. Anguilla is not by any stretch of the imagination to be used in the same breath with St. Kitts and Nevis. We want no part of any such arrangement. What short memories we have. That our CM allegedly is doing the bidding for Gonsalves and Mitchell, and the others, is a direct slap in our faces. That he wants to create a dynasty by selling off the assets of our indigenous banks, and creating a mega-bank, is a non-starter. The esteemed retired Appeals Court Justice Don Mitchell said it best when he said: “Combining the two indigenous banks into one mega-bank would be like when one sprat swallows another sprat you don’t get a whale, you simply get a sprat with indigestion.”
It will be a cold day in hell before we relinquish our birthrights. We braved famine, pestilence, four wars, the threat of relocation to Demerara to stay on this rock, only to have some carpetbagger talking about he has a mandate? Where the hell was he when the rest of us were fighting to get away from the claws of Robert Bradshaw?

My fellow Anguillians, if you care about this God forsaken rock, we will not let it be taken away from us for, as the late Atlin Harrigan said back in the dog days of 1967, “we’d rather die than live under the Bradshaw regime.” The way things are going right now, it looks like exactly that. They just want to turn over our properties to some foreign entity who doesn’t know anything about us, and whose only care will be how large a commission they will get when they sell our land. They are messing with our sovereignty. Are we truly going to let the Government charter a bank? Whom do you think is waiting in the wings to run this bank? Well, you know what, let them wait. I bet the number of lawsuits that will come online will make Victor and the boys change their minds. Is anyone home?

That you, Mr. Chief Minister, could jump on your high horse and regurgitate the drivel in the House of Assembly, on Thursday, was unbelievable. You still don’t get it, do you? You said: “We will not let the times define us, we will define the times” Sir, what the hell are you talking about? Your country is broke, your infrastructure is falling apart, your economy is non-existent, you’ve passed a budget based on wishes, you’ve crammed three pieces of draconian legislation, without debate, I might add, down the people’s throats, your Speaker allegedly does your bidding and, to top it off, your government will never be able to crawl out from the legal burden that the lawsuits from the shareholders of the two indigenous banks will bring – and you have the balls to talk about defining the times? You have completely lost it. You are being delusional and arrogant.

A little over forty six years ago, my uncle Peter Adams wrote a letter to Robert Bradshaw which said: “Sir: It is with regret that I have to bring to you a matter which is of prime importance and not without some justification: (1) People of Anguilla have no confidence in the Government of St. Kitts. (2) Anguilla is treated like a very distant poor relation and is in fact a neglected colony of St. Kitts. (3) Anguilla has not been given proper Local Government to suit her geographical position seventy miles away from St. Kitts with sever French and Dutch territories in between them; (4) The constitution is not being followed in the letter nor the spirit; (5) Complaints to the Government of St. Kitts and to the Government of Britain have not improved conditions and divorce seems imminent. The majority of Anguillans think that the only course open now is to work towards secession from St. Kitts for it appears that Nature itself did not design them to be together; they want to be able to decide their own future. Will you please take some action to rectify these matters?” As far as I’m concerned that is still the general feeling. By the way, Bradshaw failed to respond to the letter.

We are not facing a defining moment, and we certainly are not defining the times. What we are doing is fighting for our dear lives, against a government gone rogue. Where is mother England? Why is it that we’re so loyal to her and yet she continues to let us be bullied by just about everyone? How can she possibly stand by and let what has been happening, happen? Is it that because we are 13,000 black skinned people that this is happening? Would such things happen in the Falklands or Gibraltar or Bermuda? Just thinking out loud. Just remember that forty-seven years ago we petitioned St. Kitts to let us go, and before that we petitioned the Governor of the Leeward Islands that: “A people cannot live without hope for long without erupting socially.”
It appears that our government is unaware of our history and should heed Winston Churchill’s admonition that: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This government seems to think it has a Mandate From Heaven. Mr. Banks has done what he set out to do, no matter what. If our past history is any indicator of things to come, he might do well to bone up on said history.

It is no secret that the British has little regard for us and this can be borne out by their actions. Mr. Cameron has been playing Santa in the Caribbean by doling out 544 million U.S. Dollars to former colonies, of which Anguilla was not one. Our GDP is too high, our standard of living is too high. We have villas, and cars and boats and so on. We are well off. It will be interesting to see if Victor’s budget is assented to, then we will know how they really feel about us.

We are a proud but divided black people and the British know this. Anguilla is no longer seen as a liability. She is now a definite asset and as such becomes very valuable. They will stand by and let us fight each other then come in to mop the remnants. Only we can’t see that. They will give us guidelines of what they want done, but they won’t teach. That says they are setting us up to fail. We are our own worst enemy and as long as we continue in this manner, we are doing ourselves in. Too many of us have put our lives on the line to let a few carpetbaggers come in and takeover. We need to come together and fight for what is ours.
Till next time, may God bless us and may God continue to bless Anguilla.

By anguillian December 21, 2015 09:53 Updated


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