25 September, 2007

Chief Minister

To the Point. On Monday 24 September 2007 Chief Minister Osborne Fleming was the guest on the radio talk show, “To the Point”. Host Elkin Richardson has scored a major coup. What a relief it was for most of us to hear the Chief Minister shine a torch in some of the darkest corners of the labour and environmental issues that concern us! If only he could have been doing this regularly! One of my correspondents described the programme in words that I cannot better. I copy him verbatim as follows:

The Chief Minister was on "To the Point" last night. He went through the history of the dolphins in Anguilla. Most of the story we already know well.

He stated that when Dolphin Fantaseas first applied there was quite a bit of opposition from the community. He was in the opposition at the time and had nothing to do with the original approval, which was Hubert's.

He said that at the time, unlike now, the economic and employment situation in Anguilla was not that good, so the application was favourably received. What I hope I heard him saying between the lines is that things have changed and we don't need low class circus sideshows any longer.

He confirmed that Viceroy and DF were in court last week and DF was ordered to cease doing business at their present location. He didn't say if or when they were ordered to vacate. Most or all employees were laid off. They came to see him. He told them this was a matter for the court, and he thus could not interfere.

This is true as regards to the dispute over possession, but probably does not apply to the application to move to Blowing Point. Strangely, he never mentioned this issue and was never asked about it.

Elkin asked him if there was nothing he could do for the employees. He said all he could do is try to use "moral suasion" to get Viceroy to change their position. I don't think Viceroy wants a low class circus sideshow in the middle of their five-star resort.

It seems to me that if it seemed likely or even possible that the move to Blowing Point would be approved, he would have made some reference to this, or at least to some vague "other arrangements." He did not.

Of greatest interest, he stated that the Mexicans he found building the pen at Mariners did not have work permits and were on the island illegally. So why did they continue to work there, and why were they used to removing the pilings? And they are still there? Why are they still there? Why haven't they been deported?

Elkin asked if DF hadn't misinterpreted Planning approval for final approval to move to Sandy Ground. The CM said no, the document from Planning said right on it that they still had to apply for a permit to use the foreshore.

It appears to me that DF may have screwed themselves by bringing in illegal workers and ignoring conditions of Planning. This is not a good way to get the CM's help.

More on the interview in my next post.


  1. For hundreds of year Anguilla has been short of both employment and development. Many of us have become so used to thinking this way that we continue to think in the same way even though too much development and too many jobs are causing grave problems in our community.

    But for every job that is lost, that is one less foreign worker in Anguilla. Those who are honest will admit that. Those who seek every opportunity to attack government will attack them about the closing of the dolphin prison.

    I would like to acknowledge Catherine Orchard, Sir Emile's daughter, for speaking out for the dolphins, and against the privatisation of our beaches for profit.

  2. When speaking last of the speed of development, I heard something I don't ever remember hearing from an Anguillian leader. He said, "We made a mistake." In commenting on occasional disagreements between the Ministers, he admitted, "We are human. We don't always agree on everything."

    This kind of honesty could go a long way in eliminating the constant criticism we hear about our leaders. We don't expect them to be perfect. We'd just like to know how they're thinking, how they see things, what causes them to make decisions.

    Why don't they see how they cause us to distrust them when they are silent, or when they simply announce their decisions? Do they treat their wives that way? No discussion, no reasoning, just announcements and giving orders, as if their women were slaves on their plantation? Wouldn't their wives resent that? Don't they understand that WE resent it? Don't they see how easy it is to change all that?

    In the old days we called this common courtesy. We saw some of that last night and I want to thank Mr. Fleming for it. If he did that once a week we'd have a whole new Anguilla. What's he doing that's so important that he can't talk to us for an hour or so every week, to help us build a whole new Anguilla?

  3. I am happy Catherine Orchard found her voice for the dolphins. I hope she find her voice for the many youths who are dying from gun shots too. Anyway, I was never for the DOlphin project coming and I hope they leave our shores soon.

    As much as I hate the Viceroy Development, I am happy they finally shut down the DF. We in AXA must not accept every investor dollars waving infront our eyes. We can survive without pent up dolphins for fun craved people to terrify.

  4. The trouble with CM Fleming appearing so transparent on Elkin's show is that this is not the first time he has made promises. Time and time again, especially when there is a crisis, he has spoken sense to the public. He has promised over and over again to talk to the public. Each time we have waited for an encore. Each time it has proved to be a one shot. He makes an appearance, and then goes back into the shadows to deal with his little followers and people who are trying to get something out of him. He never learns.

  5. The development of Df even though many have negative opinions of it is not so bad in that it give visitoers and tourists alike an amusement spot to visit while on the island.Many of our taxi operators benifit from this bisiness.Are we to deprive them of thier income because Viceroy say so?There are water parks all over the USA where dolphins are exhibited for the enjoyment of everybody.How many of us wehen we visit the USA make it apint to visit such attractions?A prison?I think not because the USA is well know for its record of animal rights protection.Dont you think there would be protests going on all the time about this issue?The dolphins are well cared for and in return we get a hellof a show from them.To belittle the interprise as low class because High class Viceroy says so is really wrong.What we should be doing is researching ways to furhter develop this into a premier tourist attraction .One that all caribbean people would rather come to instead of going to the USA.We have visitors from neighbouring islands who while not able to visit the USA can and do make the trip here.Its not all about the financial aspect but of job security for those who work at this facility.Why cant we have an attraction that creates job for our people and at the same time support our economy finacially?Where will high rollers like Viceroy stop at calling the shots?This is just a wake up call and I am sure they have others in their cross sight.What if they were to object to Chadie's studio being so close or some other local business?WHat then?Anguillians we have to be aware of these high rollers who employ highly intelligent schemers to set into motion event that on the face may seem minor but in the long run might have far reaching negative impact.

  6. Man the PM just want to look good to the public right now but we will all see his true colours that he is just dancing to Viceroy's tune.How can closing DF calling them low class ,depriving our peple of needed jobs and income be better for our country?Sounds like a press release from Viceroy to me.
    Having high class resorts is good but dont you think that these people need somewhere to go and unwhine other than at Johno's,or Pumphouse etc?Labelling DF as low class is undiplomatic coming from the PM.It wuld have thought that he had more class that that and to tell his people that he would 'appeal to their moral persausion'doesn't he understand the business side of this that morality has nothing to do with anything.Businesses function in a cut throat frenzy and seldom regard or respect moral issues unless complled to by legal action.I hope he is not that naive or ignorant to fall for that.

  7. We all lament and criticize our ministers of Gov't and the PM of being corrupt but are we forgetting one imp[ortant thing?c
    Corruption is everywhere in every walk of life so he that is with out sin cast the first stone.We need to stop all this blame throwing and work at correcting this problem ourselves by removing them from office.Why say they are corrupt and yet still relelect them to new terms of office?Tell me I pray are they corrupt or you all just plain stupid for going through the same cycles every election year?
    The blame should be palced where is is duly deserved that is squarely on our shoulders.We are the one who relelect these sso called corrupt politicians and when they do as we expect we cry they are corrupt and dont tell us what is going on.
    If nothing else take a stand for something and remove them once and for all.Are we so afraid to make a change?Our revolutionaries were not and we are from the same blood line so we should be able to do it.

  8. The PM and his lackeys are just pawns in the white mans game.They jump,sit or speak when they are told to.No business or owner of any establishment should have that much influence or clout with any Gov't or Gov't official as to ditateto them what they want done in any situation.Are our Gov't officials puppets bieng palyed by big name corporations?I surely hope not.Anguilla is our forever any nobody have theright to come in and dictate to us what other businesses should set up shop in our country.Our leaders should be ashamed when they follow big business by calling other businesses low class.We are a proud but humble people who respect others and that is not behaviour we should condone.True DF does not have the flair or flash of 5 star establishments but it fulfills a niche that supports even the socall 5 star community.Visitors welcome this socalled "low class circus" as a avenue of entertainment.It should also be viewed as a potential source where our future marine biologist can do some work/or study of the dolphins up close.We need to think big and independently and grasp the big picture.With the help of DF were could even incorperate a underwater attraction much like that on St Thomas.The possibilties are endless if we think big.Please dont let others blind our view or block our ability to think outside the box.We are fishermen and craftsmen by nature and we all know how our artists ,like Chadie,are quite skilled at making exquisite carving of just about anything.This is an avenue of potential financial gain for all without adversely changing our way of life.
    Dont sit by idlely and allow Gov't to make unilateral decisions that will affect all Anguillians.One Anguillian without a job is one Anguillian too many.We can never let others dictate such outrageous conditions to the deprevation of Anguillian jobs.NEVER.
    Our leaders need to have the ability and will to stand up and let it be known, that even though we allow big business into our country ,we will not be bullied or coerced into making any arbitary decision that will adversely affect Anguilla and its people, that is our revolutionaries' vision.It must be preserved and protected at all costs.If not they would have fought in vain.Surely that is not their legacy or their wish.

  9. Hey remember when we were regarded as a low class side show by both Britian and St.kitts.We were not worthy of even their time or support that we had to fight for our voice and freedom?Are we so arrogant now that we can sit in the high seat and put down others labelling them low class.How so have we forgotten our plight.Has finanacial and economic growth erased our strugglesand pain?Are we so comfortable that we blindly give our trust and alegences to the same class of persons who thought we were of lesser status or importance?Be aware of the bridges you burn because you might need them on your way back down the valley.

  10. Let me see if I've got this straight. DF owned the property, surrounded by Viceroy on three sides. Viceroy made DF an offer to buy the property. DF accepted, took their money and agreed to move by a certain date. The date came and went and they didn't move. Viceroy has construction to do and wants them out so they can start building. DF is unlawfully occupying Viceroy's property. The court confirmed this.

    So now everyone's saying Viceroy is dictating to the government what businesses can be on the island, and is forcing poor DF out. Do I have this right?

  11. Viceroy could have let DF use one of the 12 other properties in Anguilla that the CM let they buy. Remember when the Government policy was that a foreign investor could not own more than one property in Anguilla for fear of having a stranglehold on the country? Remember when Mr. Roydon, many years ago wanted to develop a golf course at Merrywing and the Government of the day, which included the present CM, refused saying that that would give Roydon too much power? Of course giving Viceroy the go ahead to own all that property, including Savannah Bay's many acres, will not give them " too much power". Let the investigations begin into why it was necessary to change Policy so dramatically! for Viceroy!!.

  12. Please list the 12 properties you say Viceroy has purchased.


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