17 December, 2006

Recent Interesting Issues

Previous Issues on Which Correspondence Has Been Received:

The following issues have arisen in earlier posts. Material is being collected on each of them. We want to hear from you on each issue.

(a) Airport Project” – See post No 3, published on 11 December 2006.

(b) Altamar” – See post No 3.

(c) Callaloo Resort” – See post No 3.

(d) Cocaine Imports” – See post No 4 , published on 12 December 2006; and post No 5, published on 13 December 2006.

(e) Cocaine Distribution” – See post No 4.

(f) Corruption” – See post No 5.

(g) Dog-fighting” – See post No 4.

(h) Human Trafficking” – See post No 4.

(i) International Anti-corruption Day 2006” – See post No 1 , published on 10 December 2006.

(j) Ministerial Conflicts of Interest” – See post No 5.

(k) Postage Paid stamps” – See post No 3.

(l) Prostitution” – See post No 4.

(m) Public Involvement” – See post No 5.

(n) Road-paving Contracts” – See post No 3.

(o) Security Issues” – See post No 5.

(p) Trans-shipment Project” – See post No 3.

(q) Whistle-blowing” – See post No 2, published on 10 December 2006.

Each discussion issue is in alphabetical order. The purpose of this is threefold:

First, to remind you of them.

Second, to invite you to access them and add your anonymous comment.

Third, to encourage you to email me with comments or material on other “good governance” issues in Anguilla that we have not yet mentioned.

Recent Interesting Issues on Which Correspondence Has Been Received:

1. Drag Car Racing”. Racing cars on the public roads of Anguilla is of course illegal. The activity is apparently carried out late at night on the George Hill and Jeremiah Gumbs roads. Young men block off the side roads with their vehicles. Trucks stand by to sweep up any wreckage before the tardy police can arrive. Large sums pass hands. We are not interested in the young men. Young men’s hormones drive them to do crazy things. We know. We were there. The real interest is in the answer to the question, how have they been able to carry on this activity uninterrupted for so long? My correspondent tells me that the only official reaction to date has been a promise by the Chief Minister during the last general election campaign to build them a racetrack. Do we have to wait until someone dies? Our special interest is who gets paid off to allow this illegal activity to continue? How much money passes hands?

2. Abuse of Immigrants”. We often hear of the fear that increased numbers of immigrants will damage our society. They will be a burden on our education and health system. Less openly discussed is the extensive network of mechanisms being put in place by Anguillians to exploit the immigrants among us. This includes giving work for sexual favours, renting out unhygienic accommodation to desparate people, and paying slave wages. Feel free to send me your horror stories, either for publication or not, as you choose. You may name names without any fear that I will publish your identity unless you authorize it.

3. Smugglers’ Cove”. Like most other Anguillians, I had believed the wharf at the Cove was for use by fishermen. I was interested to hear Alan Gumbs’ description of its principal use on a recent edition of “To the Point”. For the benefit of those who do not listen to Anguilla radio, this is a call-in programme. It is conducted by Elkin Richardson, who is to be commended for his energy and vision. He interviews persons on topical issues and encourages members of the public to call in with hard-hitting comments and questions. It is what my old friend John Benjamin used to do with his radio call-in programme “Talk your Mind” before he became one of the establishment. I am reminded of the old Anguillian explanation why the island is shaped like a slice of cake lying on its side. To the north there are cliffs, to the south the island sinks below the surface of the sea that stretches to St Martin just 10 miles away. It is said that the south coast has been pounded below the sea by the weight of the cargo landing on its beaches late at night. I have seen a truck being landed by boat in this manner. Heaven knows what else is landed.

4. Sandy Hill Bay”. One correspondent has reminded me about this Bay, also on our south coast. It is an enclosed harbour, with no wharf or jetty of any kind. Every month, for the past many years, on a moonless night, a fast speedboat approaches two or three cars, parked on the beach and on the road leading down to it, and with their headlights flashing on and off. After a swift exchange of packages, off goes the boat back to St Martin or wherever. I am assured that on no occasion has any police officer responded to a telephone call alerting them of this activity.

5. Solicitation of Minors in School”. Another correspondent reminds me that problems of corruption in Anguilla are not limited to those on high. It is not just those in public office that fail us. Pockets of corruption fester in our society. He urges that we air the ills of corruption as it affects society as a whole, and our social and economic development in particular. It is axiomatic that corruption robs us all, and more and more over time. One area that I had not considered, until it was brought to my attention, is the failure of the authorities to confront sexual solicitation of minors in school, particularly by teachers. Does this really go on uncorrected in such a public forum as a school filled with alert students and experienced staff as I am being told? Please let me have your thoughts and suggestions.

6. Corruption”. For a change of pace, you might like to read this comment from the Guardian Newspaper about the state of corruption in Britain.


  1. Some of your potential informants may well be located overseas, but might still have interesting information pertinent to Anguilla.

    1) Which email address do you use to receive information from whistleblowers ? It is not obvious on the front page of this blog.

    It may be wiser not to mix up such whistleblowing Communications Traffic Data with your own personal or other professional email addresses.

    2) How about publishing a public PGP encryption key ?

    See www.pgpi.org

  2. I have always wanted to know more about pgp. One of the acknowledged experts, Vince Cate, lives right here in Anguilla. I have no excuse for knowing nothing about the technology.

    Don Mitchell CBE QC

  3. Regarding the Altamer (not Altamar but almost everyone misspells it) moratorium, the moratorium applies to projects that were "new" at the time it was announced. Altamer had already applied and doesn't fall under the moratorium. Junks Hole was also not "new." That project encountered several problems, but the moratorium wasn't one of them. Many people are misinformed on this point. CuisinArt is talking about a major expansion starting soon. I assume it is simply phase two of the CuisinArt project that Hubert approved years ago and was delayed while Leandro Rizzuto was a guest of the US Government. During his imprisonment he was the richest man in Montana. You heard it here first. :) Of course not being under the moratorium doens't mean these developers can do whatever they want, unless they do it all with Anguillian workers. The work permit process still gives government a great deal of control over any major construction.

  4. There is a 2005 story in the Anguillian Newspaper on drag car racing that you can read here: http://www.mycaribbean.com/article/articleview/2262/1/135/


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