“STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS” by Tyrone Hodge

anguillian
By anguillian August 22, 2016 09:54

 

 

 

“It is often said that Anguillians don’t know what they want till they get what they don’t want.”

That being said, we once again wind up getting the things that we don’t want simply because we don’t know what we want. I say that as a prelude to what is currently happening to our lovely island. The present situation for all intents and purposes is hopeless. We have once again rolled the dice and once more have come out on the losing end.

Robert L. Bradshaw, a man whose name will be inextricably joined to Anguillians, threatened to put pepper in our soup and bones in our rice. And while those were only threats, it now appears that his disciples, like Judas, are making good the threats that he made so many years ago.

Given the actions of the Victor F. Banks’ regime, over the last year and a half, those early days have once more resurrected themselves. The passage of new taxes, which is nothing more than extortion of the Anguillian people, is the cause of this. With each passing day our situation grows more tenuous.

Since 2008, when the world economy crashed, we in Anguilla have seen little or no gains in our economy. We are now on our second government in an attempt to turn the ship around and without much success. Ironically, the government that’s now in power was the very same one calling the shots in 2008 and, for whatever reason, we chose to put them back in power.
At present, Anguilla is mired in a funk that will require divine intervention to get us out of it. We have stood idly by and allowed Victor and his cronies to pass a tax bill that increases taxes in some cases by 150%. A person whose tax bill was $4000 per year now has to pay up to $11,000 a year. Does that sound reasonable? With an economy that’s non-existent, how are we supposed to pay those bills?

We just celebrated Emancipation Day, and those familiar with our history should be asking themselves, are we truly emancipated? We will have to resort to what we, out of necessity, had to do in the early days. We will have to abandon our families once more to go where the jobs are in order to pay the taxes that are being extorted from us by Victor’s Regime. We are now a third world country which is more concerned with the well being of the state than that of the people. How, for the life of me, can this government levy a tax of 150% on a people who really haven’t had a job since 2008? This action is unconscionable and ought not to be tolerated. We can recall the phrase “no taxation without representation” and all its implications.

Mr. Hughes, before he left office, said on the House of Assembly’s floor that Anguilla was heading for failed state status. At the time of his comment it seemed ludicrous, but now it seems that the government in power might actually be the one to lose Anguilla. Social media is abuzz with a report of the Airport being mismanaged and, as a consequence, has either lost its certification or has been downgraded as not being safe. Can someone tell me how this all happened? Where the hell is our government?

It is said that a people without the knowledge of their history is like a tree without roots. If we truly knew the hard times that we had to endure to get to this point, our behavior would take a 180 degree turn. Where do we start? It begins with education. Instead of our government ministers traipsing all over the place, under the guise of government business, they should instead spend that money on upgrading our schools. Instead of going to this convention and that convention, that money could be spent to upgrade the archaic equipment at the Hospital.

I am sorry, but we do need checks and balances so that when you political dunces can’t do the job, we simply fire your behind. So what is the remedy you ask? We have to start with addressing the root causes of our problems. We need to identify and define what is wrong. We seem to not have any adults in the room. We have lost our way. We have gone away from that which made us the envy of the Caribbean.

We have to acknowledge that our system is corrupt. We have people in positions of power who belong in government like man belongs on the moon. How great is it to have siblings running your government, eh?

We are tired of politicians who are more concerned with their own well being than they are with their country’s. We have politicians who lack the political acumen, the where withall and an overall comprehensive knowledge of we as a people and of our history. We are also tired of politicians who would rather disparage than engage us.

Emancipation has come and gone. The boats have raced, the calypsonians have sung, the revellers have revelled, the floats have been oohed and aaahed over, the crowds have left, and all that is left is the task of cleaning up the mess left behind by the partygoers. And as we sit and ponder the true meaning of Emancipation, can we truly say that we understand the true meaning of the word and its ramifications?

We are at a time and place when we are simply overwhelmed. I can talk till I’m blue in the face, but until those whom we elected stop being yes men, for whomever, we’ll never get anywhere. To the rest of this government, until you grow some balls and start standing up to those unelected people who are pulling the strings, nothing is going to change. This government is no different from the last one. Only the names have been changed. Until we rid ourselves of the cancer – that is the oligarchs who call the shots – we’re mining fools gold.

We consistently tell our kids to do the right thing. We tell them about honesty and respect and helping their fellowman and all the other things that we were taught as children – and when we see the way they are behaving, why are we shocked? When we make promises on a national stage, and then turn around and renege on them, what type of message are we telegraphing to our kids. If we don’t live up to our words, how then can we expect them to?

It’s ironic that the government in power is led by the AUF party. The Anguilla United Front, a name that is quite appropriate – the question that we should be asking them is, for whom are you fronting? It’s surely not us.
What is it that we have to look forward to after once more celebrating our freedom? We now find ourselves the unwitting victims of extortion by this government. We are once more slaves to a system of our own making. There are no jobs to be had. Our infrastructure is crumbling and no one does anything, but yet this government continues to extort money from us. Our banks were wrecked and no one is being held accountable. Does a government of the people, by the people for the people actually do this sort of thing?

My fellow Anguillians, ask yourselves the question: am I better off now than I was five, six and any number of years ago, than I am now? This regime is no better than the last one and that should make our blood boil. How much more of this are we going to take? Who will take responsibility for what has happened? This regime is a joke with a bunch of puppets that play a very good game of follow the leader.

Until we reform our government – until we put in place those things that are sorely needed, until we get rid of the puppet masters, until we rid ourselves of this lot of politicians, until we start thinking about those things that we need , things such as tough immigration laws, education reform, jobs for our young people, opportunities for our young people, less adversarial behavior towards our guest workers, more concessions to our native entrepreneurs rather than trying to destroy them – then and only then will we make a turn for the better.

Our government has failed us and in the process has failed in general. Our young people are leaving in droves simply because there is no reason for them to stay in Anguilla. That is sad. To our government, I say shame on you. I am not an advocate of British intervention, but if it will help to codify the fact that we didn’t know what we were doing, and they had to come in and save us from ourselves, then so be it. That would be a devastating blow to Victor and his cohorts given that, on paper, this should have been a government that should have been the gold standard but, sadly, that hasn’t been the case.

If British intervention is eminent, then so be it. Someone has to be the grownup in the house. They have opted for an exit from the EU, but they will stand by and allow us to be humiliated by the Central Bank, the OECS and our own government. That’s hypocrisy to the nth degree. We need answers and we need them now. Who will stand up for us? Until such time, may God help us and may He continue to help Anguilla.

anguillian
By anguillian August 22, 2016 09:54
  • peter

    Anguilla stink and is ugly, full of blacks with bad attitude and laziness

    • Merc

      Ooh, you should be brave enough to identify yourself!

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