I was trolling through Hansard this morning and came across a question in Parliament asked of the Secretary of State. The question was what Orders in Council he planned to bring forward during 2007, and if he would specify the purpose and the overseas territory concerned in each case.
To my astonishment, Geoff Hoon, the Minister of State Europe, Foreign & Commonwealth Office replied in writing yesterday as follows. “There is no annual calendar of planned Orders in Council for the
I had no idea we had asked for any constitutional amendments to deal with the police. No constitutional amendments have been publicly discussed. None of our Ministers has mentioned the word “police” in public for years. The Governor is the minister for the police. He has not mentioned once in public in recent years any need to amend the Constitution to deal with the police. It would be fair to say that the Anguillian public has no knowledge of any proposal to amend the Constitution to deal with the police or any other matter. There was a mention in the Gazette recently of a proposal to create a Police Service Commission. But, we have no idea what amendments are now being proposed for our Constitution.
The Constitutional and Electoral Reform Commission has made several recommendations for constitutional amendments concerning the police. See in particular, paragraphs 60-63 of the Report presented to government on 25 August 2006. One of these recommendations is for a Police Service Commission. The Constitutional Commissioners were quite specific about the type of Police Service Commission that was desirable for
Are the proposed amendments consistent with the proposals made by the Anguillian public through the recommendations of the Commission? Are they in conflict with the recommendations? What is the exact wording of the proposed amendments? Does anyone know what the proposed amendments are? Am I the only one being kept in the dark, and this is something everyone else knows about?
If I am wrong, will someone please let me know.
And, I give notice that if the proposed amendment is not consistent with the wishes of the Anguillian public, as expressed in the Report of the Commissioners, I shall campaign relentlessly against it. When it is passed as an Order in Council, I shall argue that it is unconstitutional and illegal, and unenforceable. I shall urge that no Anguillian should be so traitorous as to agree to serve on it. I will change my mind only if I can be persuaded that the amendment has in fact been subject to thorough public scrutiny and discussion prior to its being brought into effect. That is the only way that our Constitution can be validly amended.