07 November, 2007

House of Commons

Guest Editorial.

House of Commons Debate Tuesday, 6 November 2007 Andrew MacKinlay (Thurrock, Labour):

"The Select Committee on Foreign Affairs has embarked, to some extent at my prompting, on a review of our overseas territories. I think that the House has abdicated its responsibilities to the few thousand people peppered around the globe in the very small, residual, United Kingdom territories. People say, "Well, they have their own legislative councils." Indeed they do, but their Parliament is this Parliament. If our country goes to war, the people of Bermuda, Gibraltar, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Falkland Islands do not sit it out; they are committed by the actions taken by our Government and Parliament.

There is great disparity in the wealth of our overseas territories. Some are demonstrably wealthy and self-sufficient, although the distribution of that wealth leaves an awful lot to be desired in some places; there are great disparities within those territories. Other territories are dependent on funding from London, and their people are in what you and I would consider to be poverty, Madam Deputy Speaker. They are out of sight and out of mind. The House should put aside some time for the subject, and there should probably be an institutional committee with ongoing oversight of the conduct, stewardship and governance of our overseas territories. At present we are singularly failing. That is in contrast to other countries: the United States, France, Spain and the Netherlands have the equivalent of overseas territories, but they give them some limited representation in their national legislatures. We are not fulfilling our moral obligations to people in our overseas territories, and it is time that the House did so


Mr. MacKinlay is a member of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee and is the former Chairperson All-Party Gibraltar Group, 1999-2000. He is one of the few truly independent members of New Labour.

It is not clear whether he is advocating an elected OT representative in Parliament. Do Bermudians, Anguillians and Tristanians have a common policy on Afghanistan? How would we determine one if we needed to? Who would such a representative take instructions from? What influence could he or she have? Or would he or she be more of a lobbyist?

Some of the OTs have London representatives, while some are unrepresented. Of those that are, some are representatives are effective, some act like minor clerks and, in the case of Anguilla, what our representative does and how he came to his position is a State Secret. I know more about the mysterious Masonic Order than I do our UK representative.

Mr. MacKinlay seems to be suggesting that an All-Party Select Committee be formed to have oversight of the residue of Empire, having "ongoing oversight of the conduct, stewardship and governance" of the OTs. There are presently such All-Party Committees for some of the OTs, but not for others. Some are quite active while others seem to be an excuse to visit a tropical island during the cold and grey English winter. There seems to be no coordination between these Committees.

I don't know if it would further the views of the Pitcairners or Saints with regard to foreign policy on Afghanistan, but an OT Select Committee has enormous potential to correct the present serious neglect of the important environmental and cultural treasures of the OTs. I hope Mr. MacKinley's suggestion will be encouraged by those who will soon be presenting oral testimony to the Foreign Affairs Committee.


  1. Representative democracy is not a perfect instrument --- either. For example, I frequently disagree with the positions of Dr. Donna Christiansen, the ELECTED delegate to the US Congress from the US Virgin Islands.
    But I never doubt that it is better to HAVE a representative, than not.

  2. Those who think it's better to have a representative may not have been living here when Hubert was both CM and Minister of Finance.

  3. "This Parliament is their Parliament...If this country goes to war...."

    That is precisely the problem; Aguilla being subsumed into the mammoth U.K..

    Already U.K. is at War in Afghanistan and Iraq, and , on the statement of the Englishman M.P. so is Anguilla at War with Afghanistan and Iraq. It is not a question of Anguilla having a "policy" on Afghanistan; the Cancer is that ANGUILLA IS AT WAR WITH AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ BECAUSE THE U.K CHOSE TO BE AT WAR WITH THEM.

    No, Anguilla does not want a Member in the U.K. Parliament; Anguilla does not want integration into the U.K; the "O.T's"; the European Union.

    Anguilla wants FREEDOM. Let Anguillians and their elected Representatives decide who to be at War with. Not the British; not the Turks & Caicos; not the B.V.T; not Gibralta, Bermuda, Montserrat, St.Helens, Pitcain, not any Faux English men living in Anguilla.

    "...when Hubert was both C.M and Minister of Finance.." To what ills do you refer inferentially when Hubert was such? Was he as corrupt as the Blair labour Party and cabinet?? Pray tell!

  4. Anguillians do not want "freedom," we want to be a colony of the UK until we have leaders who the people can trust. The self-serving writer above does not speak for the vast majority of the people, and paid no attention to the failure of Haydn's AIM, the Anguilla Independence Movement.

    His phony "announcements" are tiresome.

  5. HUbert almost turn us into Zimbawe with his racist rants.

    Zimbawe went from a country that could feed its people to the poorest country in Africa importing food. Anguilla under Hubert saw many Anguillians who lost homes because the economy was in the dumps under Hubert.

    Anyway, as far as I'm concern with the exception of Eddison Baird and Neil Rogers who I am willing to give another term in office, all the other old farts need to resign and let ethical people rebuild the people trust.

    This time I hope ANguillians will chose leaders by the way they run their private and professional lives.

  6. Under Hubert Government we had to tolerate weeks and months of him complaining about everything was becauue of the hurricae and the evil British. He even boast On Public Radio about how he went to ENgland for Aid and call Baroness Scotland ugly. Now tell me, Is he really the best we have for an alternative in ANguilla?

  7. "Anybody who doesn't appreciate what I did, God will rain a curse upon them."
    --Hubert Hughes, 21 September 2002, on KOOL-FM

  8. Public opinion and the civil service were at its lowest under the Hubert Administration. He use to called the teachers ignorant and those concern about the enviroment, 'wannabe enviromentalist." Hubert told ANguillians they must get the jobs in the hotel. He nerve told them to get a college education and reap the rewards. SO those who went in the hotel just because they were ANguillian did indeed get the jobs. Today those same people have to give up their Jobs to Anguillians and others who dedicate their time to higher education. And Hubert would have us believe that it is foreigners taking the jobs. I don't how good a chef or supervisor you are, if you can't write your own reports, you should not expect big salary.

    Under Hubert he waste the taxpayers money sending a free speech case all the way to the Privy Council.

    COme on ANguilla, we can do better. If Hubert is really serious about the future of ANguilla , he would rally behind a deserving candidate even if it is his son to take the lead in politics.

    The last thing we need is more senile politicians and technophobes in government. Get those dinosaurs out of the House of Assembly.

  9. Hubert and Boy George seem to be followers of Nazi Reichmarshall Hermann Goering, who left these instructions for his followers of today:

    "...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

  10. Enough already about Hubert.He is a true obstacle to progress and should be expelled from politics altogether.i have listened to him rant and rave in the last house of assembly about the changing of the vehicle plates.I truly beleive that he thinks that being the opposition means to oppose everything that is proposed.He is laughable.
    We need strong principled leaders who are willing to make the choices necessary ,and who have vision to carry usforward.We have the people who are capable if only we can get them to stop fighting amongst themselves and concentrate on real issues facing us all.

  11. There is a small group in Anguilla determined to have Anguilla absorbed into the United Kingdom so that they can fulfill their "dream" to be "English". They tolerate Anguillians because they live here. Left to them Anguillians would be replaced by Europeans and North Americans;by their "kinfolk". To that small group is added the Community of foreigners from england and North America who live or work here or who were able somehow to get "Belonger Status" thru the device of obtaining British Overseas Territories Citizenship, and then Belonger Status thru a Loophohe in the constitution.

    The aim and wish of all those People is to transform Anguilla into another cayman Island society where Natives are forced into the minority in their own country, and have to LEAVE the country to obtain employment.

    They tolerated the United Front Members as a tool to oust Hubert Hughes, whom they rightly recognised as an obstacle to their objective.

    They are now breaking from the "old farts" (see above), politicians whom they cannot trust, ( see above), want to remain a british Colony, ( see above), calling them "people without ethics" ( see above), because they now recognise thet The Honourable Osbourne Fleming and the honourable Victor Banks WILL NOT allow them to achieve their objective either! ( One wonders exactly whom they have in mind as " ethical" (see above) politicians??).

    The FACT is that Mr. Fleming and Mr.Banks, and to no lesser extent their predecessor Mr. Hughes, are Anguillians first and foremost and will never allow Anguilla to be to be taken away from Anguillians. The fact is that these Honourable Gentlemen have , in the balance, done a wonderful job as Administrators of Government for their country.

    The fact is that they have more experience in Government and governance than EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THE U.K GOVERNMENT .

    Instead of suggesting that they are without ethics, take what evidence you have of their wrongdoings to the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police and lay a Complaint. Otherwise, shut up with your griping and let the ANGUILLIAN Government Govern free from slurs.

    If you do not like being subject to a Government comprised of Anguillian natives, I suggest you migrate.

    Yes, Anguilla will be Free of the shackles of Whitehall; of the impediments of Colonialism; of the disdain of their minority guests.

    We have in our Assembly, in the main, a group of elected representatives who are doing an excellent job. rather than try to destroy them, ought we not to lend them our critical support ?

    Let us save Anguilla; Keep the predators at the gate!!

    All the writers above have taken Hubert Hughes to task; this blog is not about Hubert Hughes; but it is interesting to note the vigour with which the wtiter (s??)took the opportunity to attack Mr. Hughes.

    The issue is Anguilla and Anguillians Right to determine their own affairs, including the Right to determine when, if, and against whom they choose to go to war and expose their sons and daughters to death.

    Gordon Brown and his collegues are no better placed than Osbourne Fleming, Victor Banks, Hubert Hugjhes, Eddy baird, Neil Rogers, Kenneth Harrigan, or Albert Hughes to make this, or ANY OTHER determination on behalf of the People of Anguilla!!
    Better get accustomed to it because that is the reality you have chosen to live with. ( fortunately for you American eagle, Liat and the ferries still operate out of Anguilla, and the departure taxes remain affordable.

    Love it or leave it.
    Power to ANGUILLIANS!!!

    One Love

  12. Anonymous said... "There is a small group in Anguilla determined to have Anguilla absorbed into the United Kingdom..."

    Another student of Reichmarshall Goering steps forward.

  13. LOl I bet those old farts are very worried. ANguillians are wise to the fact that there are capable Anguillians who can take over and get this island back on track. Send them all home. We need fresh ideas.

    Our elders have sold ANguilla to the highest bidder and now our children have to be tax non stop to pay for them to live on a fat pension.

    WHen anyone criticise them they say we are Uncle Toms. There knew strategy is form alliances. HUbert talks about a nationalistic governement so he can stay in power. I wonder if Hubert understands what he is really saying when he talk about Nationalism.

  14. Wee are all Anguillians in this struggle together and unless we become united and act in one accord we will not be able to achieve anything wortthwhile.It istrue that some of our leaders have damaged our reputation,image,and status but they are only human.We all have our faults and weaknesses and its in our interest to assist our fellowman when ever he slips or fall.We need the constructive critizism of all our people to facilitate the continued progress of our country.Ofcourse there will be name calling and blame laying that is the democratic way.We should be utilizing these blogs and forums to enable progress but instead we use them to bash and put down each other.
    I am very interested to see us adopt a new approach ,one that would spark new visions and ideas that our socalled defective government can view and perhaps stimulate their intelect.What is the benifit of having a country of interlectuals who are incapable of channeling their wisdom for the benifit of all Anguillians?If it only produces chaos and discord what is the good.Are we just becoming an educated society wiht no common sense?It is time we awake from this slumber and realize thattimes have changed and our policies,laws and constitutions have to be amended to reflect our adaptability.I recall the 60's,70's and 80's with fondess memories but we can't continue to govern from that perspective.What was aceptable back then may have to be updated today.We have a beautiful country, a great heritage and exceptional people who need proper guidance and leadership.Only Anguillians understand our struggles,and as such can only identify with our plight.Hubert,Banks,Fleming and other are sons of the soil who are tackling ahuge undertaking and should be commended even though mistakes may have been made.Aftrall they are only human.I am not trying to rationalize anything they have done but instead indicating that if you are so concerned then please dont just sit back and whimper like a coward stand up and be heard-counted.Being a politician is no easy task and these good Anguillians have stepped up to the plate for over 20 something year.hmmm,I wonder why they are still running the country?
    Our childish actions are destroying our way of life and undermining our political system.If we ever lose our independence to act as we see fit then what do we have left?
    Anguilla will always belong to us unless we fall victim to unscrupulous schemers intent on depriving us of our birth right on the pretext of,or with cunning laws containing well placed loopholes,a trojan horse.Just like that story ,once they infiltrate of defenses we will be powerless to stop them.
    No I'm not a against brits or Americans but self preservation is always foremost.We should not be too trusting that we allow ourselvces to be caught unawares and to our detriment.
    Anguilla forever.


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