By anguillian April 24, 2017 12:02



Despite being a small island with a small population, many persons would agree that Anguilla is quite an interesting place to live in. Persons are sometimes surprised by how interesting a place Anguilla is. The credit for this is usually accorded to the people, not least because in many instances Anguillians are a study in contradictions.

A primary contradiction is our ability to alternate so easily between a friendly disposition, which is so appreciated by our many tourists, and a hostile disposition towards those we have known for all of our lives and call family or friend. The vitriol that pervades our various media sometimes causes us to wonder where our love for one another has gone – that love and regard for each other that caused us to stand together, 50 years ago, against what we determined to be our common enemy. Today, we often appear so intent on destroying each other that there is no need for a common enemy to form a plan of action against us. Hopefully the 50th Anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution will bring with it the realisation that we are stronger as a unit than as separate strands, trying to diminish each other and our achievements.

Our apparent unwillingness to actively listen to each other leads to another contradiction. Very often, persons engaged in an argument actually desire, and are proposing, the same end result while arguing vigorously with each other. If time was taken to listen and discern, at the earliest opportunity, that the same end result is desired, more time can be spent determining the most effective and efficient path to achieving the shared goal. While we lose time bickering, Anguilla’s problems are increasing and the costs associated with addressing them are growing. In this the 50th year of the Anguilla Revolution a new awakening which brings with it the realisation that we have shared goals, which can be more readily achieved if we collectively sought solutions, would be very welcome.
The mixed feelings we generally convey in relation to the value of formal education might have something to do with our desire to engage in endless debates, rather than to collaborate to find solutions. Some persons convey the impression that Anguillians who desire or acquire a formal education consider themselves better than others and, therefore, should be despised. In the same breath these persons contend that Anguillians must be first in Anguilla without accepting that to be first, Anguillians must be able to successfully compete with global competitors vying for a spot in Anguilla. Rather than vilifying education we should quickly come to respect and promote education as one of the tools which will allow Anguillians to justifiably be first in Anguilla.

One of our greatest contradictions, however, is the fact that we have failed to actively pursue our often-expressed desire to seek independence or at least greater autonomy from the United Kingdom. For at least fifteen years we have engaged in constitutional and electoral exercises, intended to achieve constitutional and electoral advancement, but yet we have failed to satisfactorily conclude any of these exercises. Will the current exercise, which is ongoing in this the 50th Anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution, be the charm? The manifestation of real steps towards the achievement of constitutional and electoral advancement, during this Anniversary Year, would forever memorialise the 50th Anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution. This is one aspiration, I believe, we should be able to collectively agree to diligently pursue.

Where we want to go and how we want to get there are matters we need to address collectively and objectively. The Anguilla Country Conference, under the theme “Anguilla: The Unfinished Revolution? Considering Nation Building and Self Determination”, is a prime opportunity for Anguillians to consider many of the issues which are integral to Anguilla’s development. Some self-reflection on the part of Anguillians, as we contemplate Conference topics, will hopefully promote a change in attitude resulting in the earlier realisation of our shared desires and goals for Anguilla. It’s time to make the world sit up and take notice of Anguilla again as we continue the Revolution, by deliberately considering national issues, formulating reasoned decisions and executing well designed action plans.

By anguillian April 24, 2017 12:02
  • JLIT99

    For an island with close ties to Saint Martin, BVI and USVI, what benefits would independence bring?

    It would only bring about the potential requirement of visas for travel, as well as financial uncertainty.

    Saint Martin’s two sides have achieved full representation in their mother country’s parliaments. That sounds like a better idea.


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