23 May, 2007

Colonialism 3

Strict Dictates. The argument usually raised by those commentators in demonstrating how out of touch the British are with our West Indian societies is their recent imposition on Anguilla of the legalization of homosexuality. So, what is homosexuality? Homosexuality is the natural inclination to be sexually aroused by a member of the same sex. It is a sexual preference. It is not an act as such. Nor is it a state of morality. It is a state of being, a state of nature. It is a minority state for sure. A significant proportion of all Anguillian men are homosexual, as is a significant proportion of Anguillian women. It is a state that is so natural that similar numbers of butterflies, dogs and cows share it. If you don’t believe me, research it for yourself.
Those who framed the topic of the British imposition of homosexuality on us in Anguilla were caught in an illogical trap of their own making. First, unlike in Britain, homosexuality has never been illegal in Anguilla. The UK created a specific crime of indecent acts between consenting adults of the same gender in private. That was the outlawing of homosexual acts. Anguilla never had this law. What we did have was the mid-nineteenth century offence of buggery. Buggery is not a specifically homosexual act. Nor is it necessarily the preferred act of affection between homosexuals. But, the British were determined to remove the offence of buggery from our statute books. The result was that some of us accused them of trying to force homosexuality on us. Nothing of the sort was happening.
The British government saw themselves at risk from Anguilla maintaining the offence of buggery. They were worried about their “contingent liability”. What does that mean? They were concerned that one day our police would pick up a rich male tourist and his boyfriend, and prosecute them. The possibility was that the rich homosexual would sue the local government for breach of his human right to be treated equally in his sexual orientation. Yes, whether or not we like it, that is a basic human right internationally recognised. The Anguilla high court would throw the human rights case out, as buggery was a valid offence on our books. The homosexual would bring his case to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that Britain had an international obligation to force its overseas territories to modernize their laws to bring them into line with worldwide modern attitudes of fairness and unprejudiced behaviour. Britain would lose that case. It would have to pay out millions, all because Anguilla maintained an offence on the books that had been created in the time of Queen Victoria. The FCO boys asked our Chief Minister to bring up in our Houses of Assembly the issue of the need to modernize our laws on buggery. Our Chief Minister was horrified. He was too embarrassed to discuss the topic in his own homophobic society. It was our Chief Minister who begged the FCO to change the law by an Order in Council. He was not alone. All the other Chief Ministers made the same request. The British have repeatedly said that their preference is to have fundamental change in the law effected by a local Act. They are very reluctant to use an Order in Council, as it smacks of old-time colonialism. However, as we begged for it . . .
We cannot allow ourselves to get side tracked when it comes to our Constitution. We have to be ready with our arguments when the British team arrives in Anguilla in July. The 2006 Report of the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Commission sets out the views and wishes of the majority of Anguillians who have expressed a view on the constitutional issues raised. Do we understand the issues? Are we ready to put forward our best team of negotiators to get the maximum improvement in our democratic institutions? Are we arming ourselves with the necessary arguments to convince them that we are ready for constitutional advance? Or, will we just tell them to go ahead and do what they want, as we have done before?


  1. The Royal Gazette
    27 November 2004

    Dear Sir,

    According to Bishop Goodwin Smith, Homosexual = Paedophile.

    By that logic, Man = Rapist (white ones = gun-toting Klan members, black ones = drug-peddling gangstas). Muslim = Terrorist.

    Italian = Mafia. Chinese = Dry Cleaner. Portuguese = Landscaper.

    All of the above = Ignorance. Which is far easier to teach than wisdom. Here endeth the lesson.

    Smith’s Parish

  2. Please note, the gay flamingos live in Britain. Could it be something in the air? Typical of a foreign culture.

    West Indian flamingos would never behave like that!

  3. Our flamingos are Christians, and morally superior to others. English flamingos don't understand our culture and should not be allowed to impose their corrupt and degrading practices on our flamingos and their innocent children.

    Save our children. Death to degrading English flamingos!

  4. I don’t know how many of you heard the debate on Tuesday afternoon on Eddie’s motion to have a public holiday for Ronald Webster. Hubert did fairly well until it was revealed that when the vote was taken early in the Revolution and there were five "no" votes, Hubert was one of those five. This was more interesting than Vernal Bryan's leap of logic wherein those who failed to actively support the Revolution thus "opposed" it.

    Kenneth recounted his personal experiences during the Revolution. He commented that neither Yanchie or Eddie "don't know nothing about the Revolution," Yanchie talks foolishness on the radio and someone (he didn't call his name) has a dirty, nasty place where he pretends to tourists that he's "some kind of historian." Having seen the inside of -------'s [name provided] kitchen I could only smile.

    Eddie claimed to have participated in the Revolution by standing at the window of the library in Basseterre and watching the accused Anguillians being brought to criminal court. He went on and one forever about the miracles that Ronald has brought us, making the claim that if Ronald had not led the Revolution no one else would have and we would still be living in the dirt with no electricity. He was exceedingly boring, droning on and on. He talked about Columbus. For a long time.

    According to Bunton, a list of 10 or 12 persons who have had a major impact on Anguilla's tourism development will be mentioned during his speech at the Webster Park on Anguilla Day. He accused Hubert of taking this information and announcing on the radio that government was giving Robert Sillerman an award at the Anguilla Day celebration. I was reminded that Hubert's mind and --------'s kitchen contain the same kind of nastiness.

    Neil's name never came up a-tall. Has his son's graduation lasted for eight days? Does he still work here? I realize he's a busy and important person and I have no right to complain.

    I had wondered how government would deal with Yanchie's petition to honour one man who is neither dead nor their political ally. I thought their response was statesmanlike - turning it around and saying Ronald would not want to be honoured in the absence of all the others who made the Revolution a success.

    In comparison, Hubert came across as a dishonest political hack who would do or say whatever would make himself look good. Eddie came across as having matured from being a running dog for Hubert to now being one for Yanchie. He was pathetic and embarrassing.

    With these two as the political alternative, leading a motley collection of mudslingers and Godshouters at election time, it is no wonder that the people prefer the relatively moderate corruption and arrogant secrecy of the United Front.


    Today, for the third time, a British court has defended what the Chagos islanders always knew was theirs – the right to live on their homeland.

    The UK Chagos Support Association welcomes today’s Appeal Court decision to uphold last year’s verdict quashing the Government’s secret and illegal attempt to banish the Chagossians from their islands forever. The Association urges the Government not to appeal again. Forty years after the islanders were evicted to make way for an American military base, it’s time to stop wasting taxpayers’ money denying them their rights. Instead the Government should return what was stolen from them, by offering resettlement and compensation.

  6. Brief encounters

    By Joshua Rozenberg
    Last Updated: 2:19am BST 24/05/2007

    There were some splendidly robust comments yesterday from the three appeal judges who ruled that the Chagos Islanders had been wrongly expelled by the Foreign Secretary from their homes in the Indian Ocean.

    Dismissing the Government's claim that it could exercise "sovereign" powers when legislating for a British colony, Lord Justice Sedley said the Foreign Secretary's argument might, to borrow Lord Atkin's words, "have been addressed acceptably to the Court of King's Bench in the time of Charles I". If the Court of Appeal had ruled that Orders in Council exiling the Chagossians were not liable to judicial review, it would have been "creating an area of ministerial action free both of Parliamentary control and of judicial oversight".

  7. You are the only Anguillian public figure who has spoken out against the hate groups coordinated by the Anguilla Christian Council. Your argument that a natural inclination cannot be immoral is opposed by almost everyone, who believe that homosexuality is a matter of choice, as if it were some fraternity of devil worshippers who oppose the word of God.

  8. Homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle just like adultery or fornication is. Of all the physiological needs of man, sex is the only one you can live without and not die.

    Only you make the decision to sleep with man or woman. I am sure there are those who also think they have a natural inclination to murder in the heat of passion or a fitful rage.

  9. Why would anyone make a conscious choice of something that is so widely hated?


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