EDITORIAL: THE NEXT 50 YEARS IN ANGUILLA

anguillian
By anguillian June 12, 2017 13:53

 

 

 

It can be assumed that hardly had the sun set on May 30, 2017, the 50th Anniversary date of the Anguilla Revolution, than there were already thoughts about the next fifty years and what we should expect. It is like counting all over again from one year up through the corridors of time examining what some of our critical short-term and long-term goals should be. To begin with, although many of our achievements have been both noteworthy and commendable, we still have what may be called an unfinished Revolution to contend with in terms of our constitutional, electoral, economic and social development.

Today, we stand almost on the threshold of having devised a new Constitution together with new electoral procedures and proposed boundaries arrangements. It might not be long before the next step is taken to begin discussions with the UK Government on all of the proposals and the way forward towards achieving a more advanced system of governance – and in that regard perhaps a greater devolution of autonomy to our elected representatives. The late James Ronald Webster, who had been advocating independence up to his last days, departed without seeing that reality; but a burning question among the populace has always been whether or not Anguilla is ready for that status. Today, even in the face of the need for Anguillians to have greater control of their affairs, the subject of independence is still a prime matter of much debate.

What is being discussed, to a great degree, is the need to refuel the economy by attracting more inward investment in a broad spectrum of ways thereby creating further gainful employment for our people. Every summer, in particular, there is much disappointment among the citizenry as hordes of school leavers find themselves knocking in vain on what should be doors of employment opportunities. It is disheartening for them to be turned away and left to swell the number of the jobless despite their hard-earned academic or technical qualifications. In addition, there are many other citizens, among the fit and productive population, who are unemployed and are desperately searching for jobs and money to sustain themselves and their families.

It is believed that our Government is working very hard to bring about economic change but, regrettably, through no apparent fault of the island’s administration, it is taking much too long. It is encouraging that the Cap Juluca situation has now been fully rectified with its purchase by a reputable hotel chain with a promise to further develop and enhance the property. It is hoped that other projects in the pipeline will quickly materialise as well – to restore a welcome measure of fiscal wellbeing to Anguilla. While tourism has proven to be a dependable source of foreign exchange and development for Anguilla, one hopes that there will be much growth in other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing and offshore finance, thus ascribing to the proverbial phrase that it is unwise to have “all your eggs in one basket”.
The problems facing Anguilla are multiple and challenging. Serious attention needs to be paid to rising crime and changing social attitudes. This is not only the responsibility of our law enforcement agency, the Government and the Church, but all other civic organisations and persons in the community. We cannot sit idly by and allow the progress and reputation we have built up over the past fifty years, and our hopes for the future, to be shattered by acts of shameful crime and violence. There is too much of this wanton lawlessness aided by a culture of silence among those withholding information, from the police, which would probably lead to the proper administration of justice and the punishment of criminals. This is a disservice to the name and future of Anguilla.

The next fifty years in Anguilla must be a period of peaceful coexistence, among our people; greater growth and achievement for all the citizens of our island; a time for closer cooperation and unity; and a time by which Anguilla should have achieved a satisfactory constitutional status, and a system of governance which all of us could be justly proud about and take our place among other developing nations in the world society.

anguillian
By anguillian June 12, 2017 13:53

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