08 September, 2007


Thievery and Constitutions. I had wanted to talk to you today about how important it is for the police to lead by good example. When a police officer arranges with a friendly cashier to let him pass without paying for supermarket goods, that is theft. The police officer thieves. The cashier aids and abets. It is the officer who is the main culprit. It is not right that it is the cashier who gets fired, but we do not hear of anything happening to the officer. It is said to have happened since last Saturday. It is now Saturday, a week later. What a thing! What sort of an example is this? What will the officer’s colleagues do about it? Why have we not heard anything official?

Instead, I want to tell you that I went to the Chief Minister’s Constitutional Reform Team’s meeting at Paradise Cove yesterday, Friday. It was a good meeting, I thought. Nothing of substance was discussed or decided. It was more of a strategy meeting. We discussed, for example, whether it was better to go for individual amendments to the Constitution that would have the cumulative effect of Anguillians claiming the right to full internal self-government. That was the way the Commission thought Anguillians want it done. Or, would it be better to come out and demand the right. Some thought one way and others thought another. In the end, it was the consensus that it would be better to establish the principle and let the individual amendments hang from the central column. The Commission was concerned that that would be mere flag-waving, and decided against it. We will see!

What the Chief and Hubert want us to do now is to look at a number of self-governing Constitutions and pick and choose what we think is best. Eddie is strong that regardless of what we think is best, it must be for the people to decide whether they want self-government or colonialism or independence. He wants a referendum on the choice first, and then the picking and choosing can come later.

We are to meet again in two weeks time to continue the discussion.


  1. I'm bogged down in the cliches and jargon. Justice Mitchell, I don't know of any difference between full internal self-government and free association of the type found in the Crown Dependencies such as Guernsey and Jersey. Have we just put a new name on something that has been thoroughly discussed in the past, so that we can start those same fruitless discussions all over again? Am I mistaken about this?

  2. You are most correct. There is no difference between full Internal Self Government and Free Association as indicated by another blog author. THose who are for Independence are being taken over by the Free Asssociationist though very deceptively.

    And Hubert Hughes is too old to see the manuerverings. I am all for Anguillians choosign what they want.

  3. Free association is responsibility for Anguilla without any authority over us. What sensible country would want that? What could they possibly gain from such an arrangement?

    In his 8 August 2007 letter to the Concerned Citizens, Governor George explained: "The UK would retain all the responsibility for the territory, but would not be able to ensure that it had the powers to secure its key objectives. This is not a position the UK is willing to put itself in."

    We have been all though the free association argument. It is not an option for the UK and there is no way we can force it on them. Even hardheaed Teacher George, after arguing for free association for more years than I can remember, has finally admitted it's not possible. What is Dame Bernice's purpose in changing the name of free association to full internal self-government and starting this whole boring argument all over again?

  4. The last writer does not take into account:
    1. Anguilla's history is different from all the other OTs.
    2. Provision was specially made in the Anguilla Act 1980 for the grant of full responsible government to Anguilla.

    3. Britain made a promise to the people of Anguilla from which she must not be allowed to resile.

    4.Is anyone listening to this week's BBC's presentation on 'Politic is the UK"?
    If you are you would understand that the whole debate on a Referendum on the monetary issue with the European Union and the constituion of the EU is raging in the UK again.

    It is said 'The British people were promised a vote on the issue by Blair and that promise must be kept.'

    100 Labour M.Ps are threatening to vote against Gordon Brown on the issue of a referendum for the British people.

    5. Are we any less human beings than the British?


  5. Crying soul- you seem willing to give up your freedom for a sense of false security. I will not give up my freedom to my oppressors for a non-existant security.

  6. Why is all this negativity generated towards the Police,every time i view your blogs its in there somewhere.
    We have a decent Police force with a capable leaderChief Benjamin.What we need is to stop blaming the Police every time something serious happens in the Island and look towards ourselves and ask what or how have we contributed to the problem.I'll say this we cry wolf all the time now the wolf is here and nobody coming to our aid.Anguillians please stop bashing your Police because if you as citizens dont respect them how do you expect the criminals to?You said you are proud to be 'Anguillian'but your young men and women wont even consider joining the Police force.Where is your so call pride and nationallism.Why do you recruit outsiders to protect and enforce your laws?Yet you rant and rave about foreigners inflitrating and disrupting your way of life.I'll tell you why its because you Anguillians have rejected the idea of anyone telling you what to do ever since the Bradshaw days your foolish pride has stop you from working with any body that represent authority.We constantly whine and fuss all the time and try to rebel against any body, entity ,or institution that stands for law and order.The view is that 'we are Anguillians and nobody should tell us what to do'.The ddays of the Bradshaw regime are long gone and we need to entomb our rebellious spirit until there is a real need for it.Working together ,backing the Police and supporting our elected when they are doing whatb is right is all that is needed.
    Please dont continue to spread discontent and hate because it only worsensthe problems facing this beautiful country.
    I am proud to be Anguillian but I dont want my country to be over run by gangster and holligans because the people want to adhere to old customs and habits.As I have said earlier,this is not the Bradshaw regime or his law enforcement croonies,support our local boys and encourage them to join up .If you do this instead of bashing them, perhaps, we will be able to turn our country around before it is too late.Remember all great empires were built with the hard work and patriotism of its people,Rome,Germany the USA etc.Learn from them ,look at their history you will discover that it is thier citizens who stand up and make the difference.
    My appeal to all Anguillians is to support your institutions and leaders ,make them accountable,make the jobs worthy and respectable,make sacrifices for the future,make the young and able desirous and proud to defend our laws and institutions.If you are a Proud Anguillian stand up and act.Donot be content to sit back and do lips serviceand hope that change will come be that instrument of change.

  7. To Human rights ,I will nefer give up my freedom as a substitues for anything.It is and was not my intention to suggest such a thing.I am for freedom but how can you have and maitain freedom if you dont have security?Who will insure that you are free or who will protect those freedoms you allude to?If one is to be free then there must be an instrument to protect those freedoms.But are we really ever free?Is the fish in the aquarium free?All freedom come at a price or cost.We have to give up something in return.Don't understand my statements because I'm for human right and freedom but are willing to pay the price or make the sacrifices necessary for that?Freedom?if yuou really understand the concept you would know that its protects everyone even the criminals and scumbags of society.Let it not be said that will sacrifice my freedom or that of any other individual for a non exsistant sense of security ,I wont let that happen ,I wont stand for that.I am a advocate for human rights because I beleive that we are entitled to be free and not live life oprressed or under an oppressive regime with its inhumane restrictions.Give me freedom or give me death .

  8. Oh by the way who in God name are your oppressors?Where do you live man,what planet are you on?Anguillians are not and will never be oppressed.Be real

  9. Crying soul, accountability is precisely what people are asking from the police, and instead we get lectures from you and others about how asking questions is "disloyal" and we are "bashing the police."

    Was an officer accused of wrongdoing last week at Best Buy or not? Don't give me no lectures about foreigners and loyalty and how I should behave.

  10. I dont hold a position as pro police if they are the actual perpetrators of wrong doing,however, my comments are based on the lack of support given to the Police in general.
    The officer in question should be disciplined by the Police.I believe that an investigation should be conducted and if the allegation are sustained that officer should be terminated.It is the Police's responsibilty to conduct an internal investigation of the matter,however we are running off at the horn even before any investigations are initiated.We can rely on the rumour mill to cast judgements and sentences on other people.
    freedoms allow us due process not arbitary judgement bypersons not privy to all the facts and circumstances of the case.One has to know if the Store owner filed a complaintwith the police,and what is the nature of that complaint,what was the role of the officer in the whole scheme of things.Would you appreciate it if you were accused and convicted, in the eyes of the public ,based on the circulation of rumour alone,without any substantiation of actual facts?
    Accountability we will have but dont let your opinions be clouded by rumour.The matter has to be handled through the proper channels and I'm confident that Chief Benjamin will thoroughly investigate the matter if there is such a complaint before him.One cannot go around investigating others on rumour and speculation.If the allegations are sustained and no act tion if taken then we have a serious situation on our hands.I ,for one, will support any motion for the removal from office of the Chief and any other Officers involved in the matter.
    Honesty,integrity and accountability are imperitive to the proper functioning of the Police Force and any other
    agency.They must be maintained at all costs.
    Dont sit and judge me as if I condone or support of any wrong doing ,secrecy by the Police.On the contrary,I'm infavour of most of the concerns voiced by youo and others but am tired of all the blame being directed at the Police.
    My reasoning is this if you put them down so often how do you expect them to be effective.There is a psycological aspect to it all.If you constantly deflate and belittle someone they eventually act like you predict.In this respect we are responsible for the behaviour exhibited by the Police.We need to recognise what they are doing and stop being suspicious of their motives and assist them in the goals to preserve and enforce the laws of the land.We might not always understand their procedures and methods or the reason the process takes so long.Criminal investagations are laborous and time consuming and should be detialed because you only get one chance to do it right.Falaure to dot the I's or cross the T's have devastating conquences.

  11. Crying soul, perhaps you didn't understand my question. I sorry for my bad English. What part of this is unclear:

    Was an officer accused of wrongdoing last week at Best Buy or not?

  12. To anonymous,your question was quite clear and your english perfect.I dont intend to use this forum to make a response,however ,I will venture to say this.If that officer is accused and the facts substantiate the accusations then he should be charged and sent to prison.On the other hand ,a complaint have to be file against him before any action can be taken.'Crying soul' seems to be a person who beleives in due process and appears to be willing to stand by honest and decent morals not mere actionable rumour.The Police is the body who should investigate this officer's conduct and administer the appropriate discipline or punishment according to their policies.Let not be quick to jump to conclusions or antagonize each other over this situation until the conclusion of any and all investigations are completed.We are all striving to create and maintain a better,safer ANGUILLIA.

  13. So if the Best Buy management chooses not to embarrass the RAPF by not filing a complaint, the whole matter will be dropped and we can all just turn the other cheek, is that what you're saying? And RAPF won't act unless forced to by procedures?

    And, as is traditional here is secretive Anguilla, you won't even tell us whether a complaint has been filed. The entire matter seems to hang on this paper technicality. So it appears that the RAPF seems to have no interest in even interviewing those involved if they can avoid it.

    I'm sorry, but I'm less interested in technicalities than justice. This is not play skool. This is not NICA. This is Anguilla and the people are crying out for fairness and justice.

  14. To Anonymous...
    If Best Buy chooses not to file a complaint(thats their perogative),no criminal action can be taken against this officer.That is the law,however, the Police can and should be willing to thoroughly investigate the matter internally and dispense some form of discipline against this officer.If they are reluctant to do so ,we as Anguillians should call for the resignation of the Chief of Police.
    Remeber the Bible story where Jesus said to the crowd-,he that is with out sin cast the first stone?
    How many of us can say we have not received any thing free from a business?When the bartender gives you a free drink but has no authority to that is also stealing,when we get an extra candy,or any other product from a vender who is merely working for someone else it is also stealing.
    My point is that we think this behaviour is quite harmless.On the contrary,we are all guilty of stealing but their is no complaint filed by the owners of the respective businesses so no crime commmitted right?Wrong.
    In contrast,we have an officer who was doing the same thing many of us have done in the past or is still doing and we cry foul because the cashier ,who probably have done this deed many times before,gets fired?Aren't we being a little hypocritical?
    Please dont misunderstand me ,I'm not defending the actions of the Officer but I am furious at people who want to crucify him for the very same transgressions they themselves have committed.
    Policers take a sworn oath to up hold the law and maitiain honesty interity,loyalty,respectibilty and this officer's dishonesty has broughty such public negativity on the Ploice ,in my humble opinion,he should be terminated(afterinvestigatoin) whether or not the busines files a complaint.
    To anonymous,I hope this clarifies my position on the matter and in some way answers your question.
    Now I have a question for you.
    Where is the voice of the press in all this?The media has a responsibilty too, to expose this and any other wrong doings but people in the community.Do we still rely on the rumour mill to get our information or the news media is busy too do an investigation of such topics of interest that will force the corrupted into the spotlight and thus compel the very same actions we all desire to have in Anguilla.
    Honesty,transparencyand accountabilty.

  15. Thank you, we now agree completely.

    I have stated before that Nat Hodge, who is an intelligent and experienced journalist who knows better, is the problem, not the solution. John Adams, one of the founding fathers of America, said this about editors like our Nat:

    "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people... Be not intimidated, therefore, by any terrors, from publishing with the utmost freedom...nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretenses of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice."


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