06 September, 2007


Get a Life! Does posting this Blog have to be the center piece of my life? A cousin recently asked me the question, “Don, isn’t it time for you to get back a life”? That was a criticism of this Blog, I guess. Is the Blog my main interest in life? No, it is not! I have other obligations and interests. Could it be that some of these have suffered due to my concentrating on the Blog? Should I be getting back to some of my other activities? Probably.

The Blog was started on a compulsion. It was a knee-jerk reaction to what I saw as our media’s complete ignoring of critical social issues. There are lots of them. Back in December, when I started to post, they were apparent to all. Yet, no one seemed to be concerned.

When you have a compulsive personality, as I do, things get started instantly. Things get stopped just as abruptly as they got started. I recognise the symptoms. That is how we compulsives live our lives. We develop overwhelming passions overnight. But, they fade away just as spontaneously and unexpectedly. There is a risk of this happening to the Blog. I feel it in my bones.

Being threatened with a law suite by the government ministers I voted for has not helped! It tends to have a depressing effect! On being a major contribution at this time to my enjoyment of life, I give the Blog a score of 2 out of 10.

Let me thank all those who sent in encouraging comments, to the last two posts especially. The one on the history of the average Blog was enlightening. The suggestion that I do not try to keep up the frenetic pace of the past was well taken. If you read the comments, I hope you will understand why postings are going to slow down and become more sporadic now.


  1. Response to I.D. Mitchell’s Comments on the lawyers appointed to the Negotiating Team dated 1st September

    By Dame Bernice V. Lake, Q.C, B.A.Hons; LLB.Lond.

    I regard the search for a constitutional instrument reflective of the aspirations of the people of Anguilla as a very critical exercise which demands the honest, unbiased and non-partisan contributions of all Anguillians. It is a matter of coming to the table to make common cause without tangential agendas.

    I believe that it is expected that the imperative of a non-partisan approach and the melding of all views is what should drive this group of persons to do what is best for Anguilla and no other.

    Because I take the view that, in the process of advising a client or any institution of government, it is a dishonest and unprofessional course of conduct to fashion and design that professional advice in a manner which serves the personal agenda and causes of the advisor, I think that the postings by Mr. Mitchell on the world-wide web have made it necessary for me to clear the air with respect to my role and commitment to Anguilla in this exercise.

    The stamp of professional integrity does not come over-night. It is one which emerges and is solidified with the passage of time. And my professional career is indeed long enough, and has been engaged in an international arena wide enough, for my integrity to withstand critical scrutiny and with affirmation.

    In the narrower circumstance of Anguilla I have always kept a watchful eye on Anguilla’s social evolution and have never compromised on what is best for Anguilla; I have never made Anguilla’s interests subservient to the advancement of my own ambitions, materially, intellectually or otherwise.
    I avoided the money laundering game because I thought that it was injurious to Anguilla.I declined to enrich myself at the price of introducing a corrupt social and financial climate in Anguilla in which money was made out of the proceeds of the drugs trade. Bank of America was acquired as an agent of cohesion in Anguilla and a pivotal point of economic unification and advancement of all Anguiilians at home and abroad. To that end the prescribed policy was that the allotment of the shares in NBA was to be capped at $5,000.00 per person to allow all Anguillians the opportunity to take part in the investment; when it became clear that those charged by the government to handle the promotion of the bank were acting against in breach of the policy for their own gain and against the interest of all Anguillians I expressed my disapproval of this deviant behaviour of breaching public trust by declining to take up any shares in the bank I preferred to stand outside the gates with the throng of Anguillians who were left excluded.
    So no one can doubt my commitment to the evolution of Anguilla as a just and wholesome society.

    Independence of Thought and Ulterior Motive
    I was bred in an ethos which has equipped me to keep my personal political views separate and distinct from advice given to public persons who sought out that advice. It was the hall mark of my father that he could oppose the political platforms of candidates, vote against them in the electoral process and sit down with them under his nut –tree the next day and give that same candidate once duly elected the benefit of his advice on maters pertaining to Anguilla’s affairs.
    In keeping with that tradition, whenever politicians or persons in the community have sought my advice I have done so candidly, honestly and without subjective colouration of that advice or without reference as to how my own objectives could be best advanced

    My Refusal to Get Involved in the Work of the Commission.
    My position has always been as follows:

    “The aspirations of the people must first be identified before you can fashion or shape a structure within which their values are to be housed.
    It follows that identification of the kind of government to which a people will willingly submit is the essential first step in constitution making. Thus the first
    rule of law is that a people must, with knowledge of their rights and obligations, freely and willingly consent to the form of government which is structured by the constitution.

    It is the people’s awareness of their values and their identification of how they wish to live and be governed which must inform the structure of the

    Failure to observe that essential exercise of identification and consensus
    of what the people really want will result in framing a constitution which has little or nor relevance to the people for whom it is framed.

    Without that necessary foundation you run the risk of framing a constitution
    of independence for a people who do not want independence, or of framing a constitution which perpetuates colonialism when a people wish to run their own internal affairs without let or hindrance from an administering power leaving only foreign affairs and defence to the stronger power.

    Boycott of the Constitutional Reform Commission
    Anguillians ought to avoid any engagement whatsoever with the Constitutional Reform Commission recently constituted by the Governor upon the advice of the government of Anguilla because the process of reform does not honour that fundamental requirement of identifying the status of government to which the people aspire nor of securing the people’s expression of agreement by way of a referendum taken after educated and informed consideration.

    Anguillia is a non-self-governing territory administered by the United
    Kingdom as a colonial power. As such, Anguilla’s continued colonial status falls for consideration under Resolution 1541 (xv) of the United Nations which has resolved that colonialism should be brought to an end by 2010, and to that end three (3) options should be left with the people to decide:
    a) Independence;
    b) Free Association with an independent state; or
    c) Integration with an independent State.”

    Far from being a delaying tactic, that position honours and asserts Anguilla’s right to self-determination. It is a call for the validation by the people of the constitutional reform process and not a foisting on them of a process which merely engages tinkering with the constitution.
    It was a call which abhorred the framing of a constitution without reference to Anguilla’s history of the past forty years and its quest for control over its internal affairs.

    The Negotiating Team ‘s Failure to Add Substance.

    It is true that the lawyers on the Negotiating Team did not add one idea of substance to the Commission’s Report. They focused upon the complete marginalisation by the Commission of Anguilla’s repeated and historical quest for ‘an Autonomous State”

    To the extent that that historical quest was so fundamental to the values which should inform the constitution the idea of “full internal self-government’ could not be added to the Commission’s Report. Its work was not predicated upon the exercise of the right to self-determination in choosing the form of government and therefore the choice of ‘full internal self-government’ could not be added to the Report.

    The Commission and “Full Internal Self-Government”

    It is regrettable that Mr. Mithcell sees “full internal self-government” as a mere “cliché”
    It is indeed a matter of regret that given his standing in the profession he does not see the fundamental difference between the authority constitutional vested as of right in the hands of the people to govern the affairs of the country and the authority constitutionally delegated by the administering power to the executive council. Vested authority is a far cry from delegated power. What is given can be re-taken, especially so in the climate of government by Order in Council.
    The elevation of the status of delegated power to that of vested authority in the form of “full internal self-government” is belied by the tone and text of Britain’s international responses and those in the House of Lords as well as the recent reply by the Governor to the Concerned Citizens of Anguilla.
    Vested authority and delegated power cannot be elevated to the same platform.

    Mr. Mitchell does not explain what was his ‘obvious strategic reason’ for not using the term ”full internal self-government” in his Report. His omission suggests that he was trying to fool somebody. He could not have intended to fool the British because he would have believed them to be too perspicacious to be fooled by the Commission.

    Mr. Mitchell’s Lack of Trust in the Three Lawyers on the Team

    In his commentary of the 1sth September, 2007 I.D. Mitchell suggests that the Chief Minister fell into error of judgment in appointing the three lawyers to the Negotiating Team; that the Chief Minister should have known instinctively that those lawyers would be prepared to employ delaying tactics to the process and would engaged in giving duplicitous advice to the team.
    On this issue Mr. Mitchell himself is dishonest to his public in that he lead the Chief Minister along the paths of those appointments.

    In his commentary of the 9th July, 2007, Mr. Mitchell on, on his suggested choice of lawyers for the Negotiating Team, wrote;

    . I would want Dame Dr Bernice Lake to be a member. I would really like her to be the lead member of the team, but I would settle for her being just a member. I am not happy being a member is she is not a member. I would want Lolita Richardson to be a member. She is very annoying to some persons, but she has the right ideas when it comes to the Constitution of Anguilla. I would want Joyce Kentish, the president of the Bar, to be a member. She will bring the perspective of a senior, active legal practitioner to the discussions. “

    If the Chief Minister’s judgment can be so called into question then the public needs to ask, “Why did Mr. Mitchell heap such confidence on the three lawyers in his blog of the 9th July,2007 ?
    Why does he now heap such odium upon them on 1st September, 2007 and seek to strip them of professional rectitude?

    If the Chief Minister fell into error by appointing those three lawyers to the Negotiating Team the Chief Minister was lead there by the wilful design of Mr. Mitchell who no doubt hoped that those lawyers would have given him credibility in the eyes of the opposing British team. That was a lack of judgment which Anguilla could not afford because there was no basis upon which Mr. Mitchell could have hoped that we could have accepted his marginalisation of Anguilla’s historical quest for a form of government which would put Anguillians in charge of running their own affairs.

    The Hijacking of the Reform Process

    Mrs. Lolita Richardson has been a standard bearer for the call to implement a process of public education in the various options of forms of government available to Anguilla as an Overseas Territory, the arrival at a consensus by the people on a particular option , that consensus being by means of a referendum. She eschewed the Commission’s process as an initiative which put the “cart before the horse”. I have joined forces with her on that issue.

    Mr. Mitchell has been adamant in his stand against a programme of constitutional education for the people of Anguilla and publicly turned his back upon the educational process..

    What is Needed

    Perhaps now Anguillians will be able to put the horse before the cart and really address the much needed educational programme on constitutional governance., There should be an all out campaign necessary to motivate intensive public participation from the informative as well as the consultative spectrums of the process
    Participatory democracy demands that there must be consensus by the people on a matter so critical to their future

  2. It appears to many of us that while Dame Bernice is not attempting to personally profit, financially or politically, by her conduct, she is attempting to advance the political aspirations of members of her family by trashing the present government at every opportunity.

    This seemed to me clearly indicated in the manner in which she opposed the Planning Bill. While I certainly agree it contained some stupitness, I do not agree that it evidenced a British conspiracy to take over the land and rights of every Anguillian and drive us into the sea.

    The faulty sections of the Bill could have been fixed. Dame Bernice led such a uprising over the matter that our cowardly elected members ran for cover and did nothing. This has not advanced our national cause or that of those who come after us, but it got Joyce and Mitch a lot of attention.

    I consider that to have been a shameful performance that dishonoured not only her father but all that he tried to teach her under his nut-tree.

  3. This is a reply to Dame Bernice. I will deal with her issues in order of importance, as I see them.

    1. Constitutional Education. We are all agreed in the importance of constitutional education. Any attempt to reform a constitution today without involving the people in the issues and ensuring their informed consent is undemocratic. Constitutional education of the people is essential. No one can gainsay that.

    2. The position taken by the Concerned Citizens Group in opposing the work of the Commission was that it was the duty of the British government to educate our people. Supposedly, it was a UN obligation binding on the British that they educate us. They had the obligation to educate us in all the options available to us. Further, the CCG urged that until this education process had been completed, any discussion on constitutional reform was premature. It was putting the cart before the horse. They urged the Anguillian public not to engage in the reform process until the British had discharged their obligation to educate us. Such a position makes no sense. The British have no educational Institute that I am aware of that is dedicated or available to educate us in constitutional reform. If I was a British administrator, I would be outraged at such a demand. Who else is more qualified than us in Anguilla to debate and discuss our options? To call upon the British to do something that is so outrageous can have no outcome that I can see other than to delay the reform process. So it seems to me. The duty to educate Anguillians in the options available to us rests on us. The British have an obligation not to obstruct us, and to give us such assistance as we reasonably call for, no more. The Constitutional Reform Commission proceeded to engage Anguillians in an educational process. Discussion papers were written, published, and widely circulated. Members of the Commission met with individuals, committees, and groups of persons throughout the land. We did this repeatedly. We discussed the issues on radio programmes. We were given our own radio programme for the purpose. We accepted every invitation to join in other radio programmes to discuss the issues. As comments and suggestions developed, these were used to inform the redrafting of the discussion papers that were mass-produced and circulated. Some of these discussion papers went into several evolving drafts. We were satisfied at the end of the process that all Anguillians who wished to be involved had been given the opportunity to be involved, and were as informed and educated as they wished to be, and had expressed their views to the Commission.

    3. The Cliché. The Constitutional Reform Commission was aware of the British aversion to the UN Committee of 24 and its resolutions. They have repeatedly said that they do not consider themselves bound by the resolutions of that Committee. As the work of the Commission progressed, it became obvious that what Anguillians want is to have the fullest control over our own destiny. Far-away British administrators should no longer continue to have any power to decide our own internal affairs for us. It was a matter of strategy how we should proceed to make recommendations that would give effect to the aspirations of the people.

    4. The Commission chose to push for reforms that would result in the people enjoying full internal self-government, as they aspired to. We knew that success in achieving this objective would require that our leaders push strongly for it. We knew the British could be relied on to raise objections particularly if they smelled the Committee of 24 at work. That is why we chose not to label the thrust and design of the reforms proposed in the Report in any manner that would excite unnecessary opposition from the British. It would have been obvious to them what the effect of the proposals would be. It was our hope that, because we framed them in language that was unobjectionable, our leaders would have more success. To do otherwise, was to risk delaying the whole process. It would be more abrasive than necessary. One could call it obstructionist to start waving clichés and flags in the faces of the British in these circumstances.

    5. The Lawyers. My comment that is being criticised was, of course, a response to an earlier comment. It was not written on its own. Someone had posted a comment on my 1 September Blog. I was replying to that comment. To be specific, I had been complaining that Members of the House of Assembly had not gone along with the wish of the majority of Anguillians making representations to the Commission on the entitlement of descendents of Anguillians to Anguillian rights. The person commenting had written as follows, “According to newspaper reports, there are now three other very knowledgeable and experienced lawyers among the constitutional delegates. What are their views on an issue such as this? Have you discussed it with them? Perhaps, the Chairman of the Commission does not agree with the saying that two heads are better than one. As the saying goes – in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. I would like to hear a debate for and against the proposal and many other proposed changes to the Constitution. As usual, someone is trying to lead us blindly into Constitutional changes, the consequences of which can only be guessed at.”

    6. This poster was making a number of assumptions. I was responding to those assumptions. The assumptions I was dealing with were: (1) That the Commission had not sought the views of the lawyers and constitutional experts in arriving at its final report, and that this was an oversight or other fault of the Commission; (2) The Commission had failed to discuss this issue with the lawyers, and the Chairman in particular was the one eyed man in the land of the blind, suggesting that the Report was the work of one person, and not the work of a distinguished group that included lawyers, accountants, business people, and members of the church not to mention the input of the general community; it assumed that Anguillians had not been consulted and had not already made views known; (3) the writer called for a debate for and against the proposal, suggesting that there had not already been extensive debate; that there was not still opportunity for more debate as the reform process is not completed; that it was for someone else to institute the debate for us; (4) and, finally, echoing the sentiments of the Concerned Citizens Group, that someone is trying to lead us blindly into Constitutional change; ignoring the complete transparency with which the Commission did its work. It was to these mistaken assertions that my comment was directed. My comments are only to be understood in this light.


  4. Dame Bernice states that "the United Nations which has resolved that...three (3) options should be left with the people to decide:

    a) Independence;
    b) Free Association with an independent state; or
    c) Integration with an independent State.”

    This statement is central to her entire argument. The three options are "legitimate options of full self-government", meaning they are acceptable to the UN. This is not a mandate requiring that they be offered to us, and I beieve it is false and misleading for Dame Bernice to imply otherwise. Others have made this same claim out of ignorance. No one can suggest that Dame Bernice is ignorant, so I can only assume that her attempt to mislead is intentional.

  5. Justice Mitchell, thank you for your comments. I continue to stand in awe at your clarity of thought and ability to put it into words.


    Although the Committee of 24 has always included integration and free association in the list of acceptable relationships between the mother countries and their occupied territories, the response of HMG until now has always been essentially "colony or independence, take it or leave it."

    On 20 July the Concerned Citizens, in an effort to save EC$.30 and attract attention, hand delivered a letter to Governor Andrew George in which they effectively demanded a referendum on free association, among other things.

    On 8 August His Excellency responded with a letter signed by him but written no doubt in London. It is not online, "The Anguillian" having required the space to publish frivolous stupidness. In his first useful public service since 1993, Teacher George has published it in "The Light."

    According to the Governor, the UN Declaration on the Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the UN 1970, which elaborates the principle of self-determination, makes clear that there is an option in addition to the three mentioned in Resolution 1541. In addition to independence, free association and integration, it allows for "the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people", which constitutes a mode of implementing the right to self-determination." This allows for retention of the status quo or more advanced status acquired through negotiating a new, modernised, Constitution with the UK. I have not researched or verified His Excellency's information.

    My understanding until now has been that the UN Committee required "the end of colonialism." This seemed to me to require Anguillian independence, a concept that has not captured the imagination of the vast majority of the people. How this would have been implemented in places such as Pitcairn, with a population of less than 50 and many of the leaders in prison, was unclear. But it seems we now have an additional option.

  7. This is an exciting topic, I know. Comments are coming fast and furious. But, I cannot sit in front of the computer waiting for them so I can publish them right away. I have work to do in the yard. My peacocks are crying out for food. Yesterday's food scraps have to be fed to the tortoises. There is a pile of earth waiting to be pick-axed and to be sieved of rocks and spread over a bed that needs it.

    Further comments will be posted after I have come back in and had a shower!


  8. I have read all the above comments and without at this time getting into the merits and demerits of any of them, I would ask those two writers who clicked the Anonymous button to have the guts to state their names if they are to have any credibility given to their vituperations against Dame Bernice Lake.

    Of what use and value is an anonymous comment in the scheme of constructive criticism, particularly in the context of challenging the integrity, committment, professional accomplishments, and unselfish Anguillian Nationalism of a person of the character and decency of Dame Bernice Lake??

    Please therefore, if you want to challenge Dame Lake, or, if you seek to disparage Dame Bernice Lake, be man and/ or woman enough to put your name to your comments.

    Tommy Astaphan

  9. Don,

    I am a visitor to the Island and have been coming since the 90's. Your blog is on of the most interesting, informative reads I have every day! I read you before I look at my NY Times! Your spotlighting of issues that are critical to the island and it's wonderful people sould be commended. It seems that when life was slower it was ok to just push issues under the rug and move on- it wasn't that big a deal! Now, with the big development money and other degenerative influences that have become a part of life in Anguilla, you are a wonderful thorn in the side of those who chose to ignore real serious problems for whatever reasons they may have....wink, wink!!!

    Keep it up! Don't stop! I hope you never stop blogging, even if you decide to slow down a bit!

  10. Anonymous blogging is great. In time many of the annoymous users will reveal their identity. It was an anonymous blogger who revealed much about a famous politician in the USA. Two years later, we all knew his name.

    Tommy, good to see you surfacing on this blog. What's improtant is that we are talking about critical issues. I did not get the impression Dame Lake character was being disparage. I only hope we can have some public debates soon.

  11. This discussion reminds me, for all the world, of three things:

    1. The discussions leading up to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. "The Federalist Papers", remember, were authored anonymously, okay, pseudonymously, which is the same thing as far as biometric identity is concerned. It wasn't until years after the fact that the authors were revealed as Alexander Hamilton (the primary author of the Federalist Papers, one of the the primary authors of the Constitution, the first Treasurer of the United States, founder of the Bank of New York, etc., and the architect of the american financial system ), James Madison (the other primary author of the constitution and eventual President), and John Jay (the first Supreme Court Chief Justice). Anonymous authorship has a long tradition in Western democracy. One could call it as fundamental a human right as the rights of free speech and self defense.

    2. The fine tradition of no-holds-barred debate in the Western intellectual tradition. The Oxford Union debates, question time at Parliament, and every American campaign since Washington, like Cincinnatus, stepped down (again, the first time being the end of the revolution) to go farming again. The transcripts of the, say, New York state debate to ratify the U.S. constitution, are acrimonious to say the least. It seems to me that the Anguillians, like the Greeks in the agora before them, are no exception. When people need to figure things out they argue in the public square, or the football pitch, or on the radio talk-shows, (or on a blog, it now seems), until something is decided.

    3. One of the things I like most about Anguilla -- and the thing I find ocasionally most frustrating at the same time -- is the whole, heh, "birthiness" :-) of the place. When I was a regular visitor in the late 1990's, I made it a point, on separate occasions :-), to meet both Ronald Webster and Jeremiah Gumbs. It made me feel like I was shaking hands with somebody like Washington in the former case, or Franklin in the latter. Both times, I was a grinnin' fool. They looked at me like I was from Mars, I'm sure, because *all* I did was shake their hands and move on, but it was certainly the only time *I'll* ever get to meet actual Founding Fathers and shake their hands.

    Now it seems like Anguilla's in the "consolidation" phase, like the US was after the original Articles of Confederation turned out to be inadequate to the tasks like interstate commerce and national defense. Whatever comes out of this process in Anguilla, it will certainly be more business-like, more organized, and more well-thought-out --and as we see here, more transparent -- than what was done the first time, in a hurry, in the afterglow of a revolution. And, just like the emergence of stable, long-term organizations everywhere, the process of its formulation will be just as chaotic, and vituperous, in it's inception as everyone else's was.

  12. I take great offense in any one making any negative comments about My Dame Bernice Lake. What a woman, a woman among women, a stalwart,decent, full of integrity, a pillar, strong and forthcoming. I just marvel everytime I hear that Lady speak, she is so articulate, and well informed, fearless, a woman to envy for her attributes not in any bad way but she is so special. Please My dame does not have to pull down anyone for political mileage she is a woman full of good characteristics. What a woman, a good woman among women. I love you Dame. I am not related to her I believe she does not even know me but she get my full attention everytime I see or hear her. She is like a mentor to me. she only wants the best for Anguilla bvecause she loves Anguilla. She can live without politics I am sure and she would prefer to live without doing anything that would jeopardise Anguilla.

  13. Ok then, this is less personal. The coffin has been nailed! The Lady QC has further “innuendidly” disrespected the integrity of the legal fraternity. As a legal student I am bewildered, just holding my head in shame and disbelief.

  14. ... sad but solidified, Dame Bernice V. Lake, Q.C, B.A.Hons, LLB.Lond, has just nailed her coffin and further disrespect the integrity of the legal fraternity, especially as a QC. As a legal student I am bewildered, just holding my head in shame and disbelief. Realist

  15. Dear Realist:
    Would you be so kind as to !. identify yoursel and 2. tell us how Dame Lake has " disrespected the integrity of the legal profession..." . You claim to be a ".. legal student..." whatever that is, ( I suppose it means the opposite of " illegal student.."), and as such you ought to be able to articulate unambiguously the reason or reasons for making that assertion. However, bear in mind that anything you say will be only as valid as your readiness to put your name tou you assertion.

    " Anonymous" above, has stated " the three options are legitimate options of full internal self government..." It is clear that the debate really needs to begin as Anonymous does not seem to understand the difference between " self- determination" and "self-government". The right of self-determination is the right to choose an option. Full self-government is but one of the options available for choice.
    So the statement by "Anonymous" that the three options are legitimate options og full self government does not make sense. It is clear that "Anonymous" could benefit from the education which public debate would provide.

    Tommy Astaphan

  16. Mr. Astaphan, I will not navigate identification to provide you with opportune amour for personal battle. However, incidentally, though not centre to your inquest, but as much as this forum and you deserve, I am Anguillian by Birth and a proud “British Citizen”.

    This honoured privilege guarantees certain “Constitutional and Human Rights” equally to all its citizens whether on Anguilla, any BOT or the UK. Therefore, if you have identical documentation as I do, we are equal.

    Perhaps a question on the “illegal legal fraternity” operating on Anguilla is a more intelligent question emanating from a character of your wisdom. The past wrongs retrospectively which need to be corrected, even dictatorially. Then I may be able to qualify an appropriate response. But then again this may not be an area you may surface.

    The whole system is wrong Astaphan, and need correcting now. And this is a good time that all of us come together for a common caused, not only trying to protect a divided legacy. Change has come, so role over.

    Ms. Lake tone is highly pregnated with a biased and partisan tenor echoing deft self-praise attention. Reminding me of a spoiled child resorting to crying disturbance attention, later the fist, then the gun. These are the said people who have contributed to all of Anguilla’s failures since 1967, whether through conduct or by omission.

    The fact remained that Don Mitchell’s past, whether as a partner in a chamber that conducted business for money laundering, which every Caribbean nation benefited at the time and maybe still, or a chartered legal advisor to the NBA, is irrelevant. Incidentally, some of the most successful Caribbean economies are fashioned out of a corrupt social and financial climate. The question is how does the then corrupt social and financial climate compares with the today’s presumingly squeaky-clean economies. Better of worse?

    The future of Anguilla is at priority right now, and the Mitchell Commission has done an exceptional job that warrantee excellent commendation, which is an affirmative by the most of the populace. This attempt of character assassination is so frivolous, perfectly exemplifying the crab mentality embedded. Ms. Lake’s frivolous innuendoes are clearly an attempt to derail the process future. This is surely a contradiction to the hallmark of her father’s policy, who must be now turning in his grave.

    The final analysis is that a legitimate Commission was given a task; the task was executed; the people decided; change is on its way. Again Bernice; change has come – role over! Take the advice of your father and join the process for the future successful development of Anguilla.

    By Realist.


    I have been reading Mr.Mitchell's blog ever since it started.

    I find the blog very interesting and any novice can read it and receive a first class education in not telling the truth but not exactly telling a lie either.

    Our administering authority, the
    British, are masters of this art, they call it diplomacy, the majority of Anguillians call it lying.

    Many of the recommendations of the Mitchell Constitutional Commission are not well thought out, as a matter of fact in my opinion many of them are hair-brained, ethnocidal, genocidal and undemocratic.

    It is interesting, that Mr. mitchell has sought to distance himself from the recommendations of his commission by claiming in his posting of 1st september that they are not his views, and that he did not personally agree with them initially, but that he went along with them out of solidarity and that he is satisfied that the report represent the majority view of those Anguillians resident in the island and off the island who contributed to the exercise.

    What is left unsaid is that this so called "majority of Anguillians" could means as small a number as 7 out of 12 people who attended a meeting out of a population of more than 14,000. The use of the term "Anguillian" is a deception all by itself!


    Discussion is to education, as talking is to giving pertinent information, you can do one without doing the other and that is precisely what was done to us.

    Mr.mitchell cannot hide behind his assertion that Anguillians wanted the British to educate them, that statement is a silly as the recommendation that a majority of Anguillans want to be forced to carry identification cards and that they want that to be put into the consitution.

    Mr. Mitchell can now stop being a one-eye giant in the land of the blind and the eyes of all of us -Anguillians, belongers, residents and friends of Anguilla can be open to the truth, a truth which can only be revealed in open and transparent process of political education.


  18. We're out there -- your supporters -- don't give up the ship.
    You are the only one who tells it like it is and you are doing an incredible service to the locals who have no other place to turn for the truth.
    Sometimes you may think it is a thankless job, but hang in there.
    You are valued.

  19. Perhaps if the last committee lead by Dame Lake had set an agenda a report would have been completed. The government gave them enough time to do a thoruogh job. But the lack in leadership, direction and goals are what caused the dismantling. Cosntituion discussions have been going on for years. This whole argument about the people need to be educated is just a delaying tactic. Sometimes, I wonder if only the lawyers are to speak about onstitution matters. As an Anguillian, I know what I want in my COnstitution and I made every effort to bring my concerns whener there were discussions going on.

    We have internal self government. It is our Leaders who allow the British to use unwanted Laws in Parliament to be forced on us. If we had strong and cehesive leadership, many of the crap going on in Anguiolla (that is being blame on the British would go on).

    Simply, whenever the British pass an unwanted law, have a referendum and let the people decide.

  20. To Opinionater.

    You have made too basic mistakes;
    1. Dame Bernice V. Lake did not lead the Constitutional and Reform Committe. It was lead by the now Speaker of the House of Assemble, the Hon. Mr. David Carty. Dame Bernice was not responsible for its leadersip.

    The agenda was set by Mr. Carty.
    2. We do not have internal self-government as yet. Even the Mitchell Commission recognises that fact.

    So the answer seems to be that we should all work together to get that which you believe we but which in fact we do not have.
    Onward Constitutional Soldiers.

  21. Internal government as in, we pass our own laws and elect our leaders. I bet if Hubert Hughes was leading the government, many of the forced laws British handed down to us would not have been easily accepted. (By the way, I'm not a fan of Hubert)

    Britian cannot choose our leaders for us. Neither are they elected in England and sit in the House of Assembly.

    We have INTERNAL SELF GOVERNMENT. What we do not have is self governing status.

  22. Perhaps you can let us know what days you hope to have the updated postings. For example, Tuesdays and Fridays Or if you go with once a week. Maybe every Monday? What ever, you decide, it would be great if you have an idea when you hope to update.

    But I guess compulsives may not like to be so detailed or meticulous with exactitites.

    Blogging is just another means for us Anguillians to have a point of view without the loud mouths and the experts hogging the media waves for themselves and throwing out personal attacks on those who have a differing perspective.

    At least here we are forced to try and stay on issue. In time hopefully, many of us will come out in the light and express our view.

  23. I'm impressed that the correspondents can find the time to get through all that Dame Bernice mentions, not just in this blog but in her recent address at Landsome Bowl, printed in full, over 3 pages, in The Anguillian. That she is intelligent and knowledgeable is not doubted. That the subjects tend to be complex is not doubted either. Nor is the expectation that many readers might manage to read a quarter of what she says and then skip to something else. I hope that her practice does well because it must take quite some (otherwise billable) time to prepare these addresses.

    We applaud her right not to get involved in money laundering and the drug trades. Most 'offshore' transactions are entirely safe and legitimate. Indeed, few of us in Anguilla who have any knowledge of 'offshore' know anybody in those trades (yes, standards were different many years ago), notwithstanding certain reports which have made news world-wide.

  24. Dame Lake was the brians behind one of the most advanced Anguilla Constitutions - 1976. She was also the brians behind one of the most colonial Constitutions - 1982.

    There are very few lawyers in Anguilla who can demonstrate by their record that they have never represented some of the most shady,vile and corrupt persons. In fact, even murderers are on the list. The question is, How many lawyers can honestly say they would deny someone legal representation if they feel they are guilty?

    Perhaps, those who are quick to cast the first stones of inumendo should examined their career and the clients, companies they represented on and off Anguilla.

  25. Why iseveryone so focused on Ms Lake or Mr Mitchell for that matter?This is not about them or what they have accomplished.They respectable people and I am proud they are in the position of helping to restructure the constitution.What they have done in the past is really irrelavant to the present issues.We all have skeletons in our closets in some form or the other.Our Chief minister appears to be relucant to act or intimidated by people of intelect who try desperately to make the changes needed.Mr Hughes on the other hand ,even though a loud mouth has far more insight into the craftyness of those British who want to tell us what they want for us but not what we want.Are we still in the stone age?We dont have to sit by and let them dictate anything to us.If we are Proud Anguillians then we need to stand up and show that pride,hell America did.Those colonial bigots are stll trying to inpose their ideals on other poeple in thses mordern times.Mr Hughes shuold be in every phase of this reform because he has a nose to sniff out the retched rodents.We want an Anguilla for Anguillians not a puppet state of the Uk for Anguillians.
    Who is this Realist who sit in judgement of us and Ms Lake .Who touts his Anguillian heritage but is so Proud to be a Uk citizen?Who speaks so eloquently but is nothing but a joker in Uk clothing.What is is/her contributions to Anguilla,when last were they HOME?Dont go spouting crap that the Bitish want you to speak man.It will only creat the type of confusing that they would enjoy.Yes, Im Anguillian and damn proud of Ms Lake ,Mitchell,the Kentishes ,Mr Hughes and all honerable Anguillians who live and work here and who are trying to better our position and standing in this day and age.
    Unlike you,I dont have to have to resort to legal mombo jumbo and big words to get my point across.Only person who are unsure of themselves use such tactics to make their comments ambiguous to everyone else.Not everyone who read these blog are educates in the legel feild and grasp legal jargon.Perhaps that is why most people are skeptcal of these changes.Making veilled comments or ambiguous statements.Keep it simple so all can be sure and clear of what you mean or just stay out of Anguillian politics you so called 'british'Anguillian.

  26. We know waht Anguillians want or we think we do.Anguillians are a people whose views change constantly so we need to have everybody understand what it is the constitutional reform is all about.When this is accomplished we need them to vote on the changes or issues,like the Hon.Mr Baird recommends.This is the democratic process.Six years is too long to not to reach any fruitful agreement on the issues.We change and we need it now ,ofcourse ,after all the debates have been concluded.
    Anguilla should have more control of its own affairs,like abitlity to make its own laws,reject 'bad'laws that passed in Uk,restructure or amend their constitution without British approval,
    Why cant this be accomplished without the British resisting it?I might be a foolish patriot but we need to be able eto even appoint our own Attorney General from our local/capable legal attorneys,creat a defensive force, to protect our shores with British assistance.God forbid if we were to have an uprising.Can we rely on the Police or do we wait until the British see fit to send in troops? (weeks later)
    Have the Governor relagated to the same position the the Queen enjoys in in England-symbolic.Yea ,im for internal government without the umbilical cord attachments.if they cant do right by us Like the USA does by their teritories then we need to act and make them aware of our concerns.We need more Huberts Hughes with enough guts to stand up to these bigots not crafty lawyers who are good on rehtotic and leagal issues but short on vision.Dont get me wrong we need their brilliant legal minds but we also need leaders who are willing to stand up and say what is right and best for our beautiful country.

  27. yea that sound good why can we have a system where Deputy Gov's is voted into office with the same termof office as other elected officials,Attorney General(local attorneys) are appointed by the ruling Gov't and approved by the
    house vote.Creation of a defensive force to assist the Police in times of crisis ,who would be armed and prepared.Hell, why cant the law be ammended to allow the Police ,customs and immigration officers the right to carry firearms.What if we have a critcal situation at the ports or anywhere that requires the use of deadly force ?What are our alternatives?Wait until someone drive to the Valley station to get a firearm?
    Times have changed and the cave man mentality, of the whistle and baton, dont work in today's violent society.The signs are everywhere and we need to act now before we get caught unawares.Our economy is rapidly exploding and we a vulnerable to such attacks.Immigrants and visitors alike are have seen these vulnerabilties and its quite alarming and troubling.How are we prepared to respond to them.If a Armed group desires to hold us hostage what is our SOP's(standard operatig procedures) What can we do wit a pair of hand cuffs and a baton?Do we wait for the British to sail in or fly in if they be so inclined?Its laughable but really a serious problem from a security stand point.Why hasn't the Government or the Governor concerned about this?Security is the number one priority of any country but we seems to not care or even think about it.We are not Britian we dont have a militia,secret sevices or 007 crap.We are just sitting ducks and they still complain about us wanting to run and govern our selves?

  28. Opinionator must get the facts straight. It is wrong to spread false statements.
    The only constitution for Anguilla with which Dame Lake was associated is the 1976 Constitution.

    Miss Lake had nothing to do with the Constitution of 1982 or the amended one of 1990.

  29. Thanks for the correction about Dame Lake. It's amazing how leaving out one word can change the meaning of a statement


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