30 December, 2007


Likeability Is not a Necessary Qualification for Leadership. A New Year is about to begin. Anguilla looks forward to progress on constitutional reform. The British Government demands we consider the issues and tell them what we want. Anguillians demand constitutional advance. Government cannot keep putting off taking a decision. Anguilla is already one of the laggards in this Overseas Territory’s endeavour. General elections in Anguilla are only a couple of years away at most. We must have our new Constitution by then. It would be a disaster to put it off until after the elections. The Chief Minister has promised that once the New Year begins we will go back to considering constitutional reform. We have dithered away all of last year. We cannot sensibly continue in this way.

The Chief Minister is in a quandary. He established a committee to advise him and to assist government in negotiating constitutional advance with the British. The committee has presented him with a problem. He cannot get all the members to agree with each other on the way forward. He has two different streams of advice coming out of the committee. They are irreconcilable.

There has been public discussion on the various constitutional issues for the past several years. Some members of the committee contend that a consensus has emerged. They say that that consensus is embodied in the Report of the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Commission delivered to government in August 2006. They believe that this Report contains the true voice of the Anguillians. However, not every Anguillian contributed to the discussions and to the eventual Report. There were some who “boycotted” the process. They form the second group in the Chief Minister’s committee. They argued at the time the Commission did its work to the effect that it was the responsibility of the British under various United Nations resolutions to educate the people of the Overseas Territory on the options open to them for Constitutional advance. This group argued that until the British had discharged this “duty”, Anguillians would be incapable of knowing what they really wanted in terms of Constitutional advance. They insisted that we must first go through a process of being educated by the British before we could sensibly make up our minds. No one would have a problem with the proposition that we should educate ourselves. The problem most of us had was that it was said that it was the responsibility of someone else, the British government, to do the educating for us! This group claims that the Report does not represent the true vision of the Anguillians for Constitutional reform. They insist that any reform process based on the Report is flawed. They demand that the reform process begin all over again. They waited until the process of consultation and drafting of the Report was completed. Then, they put the spanner in the works. They refused to accept the Report as the basis for going forward with reform. They have gone further. They insist that the only way that we will know if Anguillians are in favour of any proposed constitutional advance is if there is a referendum.

The two groups will never agree. They are not capable of coming to a consensus. Someone has to cut the proverbial knot. It will be a demonstration of leadership when those who must lead finish listening to the two contending streams of advice, and then come to a decision on how best to proceed. The decision when taken will not please everyone. Some will be happy with it. There will be others who will be upset. That is one of the responsibilities of leadership!

Should a leader want to be liked? Yes, of course. We all want to be liked. None of us wants to be disliked. But, should a leader abdicate leadership because he is not sure whether what he decides on will be appreciated? Does one show leadership when one puts off taking a decision because one does not have consensus? Does a real leader duck the responsibility of leading the way until he has everyone agreeing on the same direction? Does the helmsman seek consensus and approval from the rowers?

To ask the question is to provide the answer. A good leader will study the issue carefully. The leader will take advice from persons who are pro and from those who are con. A good leader will not demand consensus among his advisers. The real leader asks for a variety of opinions. The real leader does not fail to take a decision because the decision will not be approved by some. That is to abdicate leadership. We know real leadership when we see it. It is shown by the person who goes out in front and says, “Follow me”. It is shown by the person who takes a stand, based on principle, and summonses the followers to the cause.

Who likes it is a question asked by the politician. The statesman does not even consider asking the question.

Or, as my late Dad used to say, “Who vexed, lose!”


  1. The central issue, as I understand it, is full internal self government. No one can oppose it without appearing to be unpatriotic. The British have clearly stated that free association is not on offer. The difference between free association and full internal self government escapes me. To a lot of us uneducated bobo johnnies, they are the same thing.

    So Dame Bernice is waving the flag and no one is willing to tell her no, that ain't never gonna happen, let's just get on with it. Whoever did that would be attacked by the allegedly-Concerned Citizens as a traitor.

    With no real leadership of the kind you describe, it falls to the Governor to stop smiling at everybody all the time and do some real work. I challenge him to bring this stupidness to an end.

  2. I respectfully beg to disagree. The Governor, ie, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has no role to play in initiating any amendment to the Constitution of Anguilla. That is a matter purely for Anguillians. Any Governor who took the initiative in promoting constitutional change in Anguilla would risk a serious backlash. The repercussions would reverberate for years to come. If Anguillians are not interested in making constitutional progress, then the Governor and the FCO should accept that.


  3. I was not suggesting that the Governor promote either constitutional change or status quo. I was suggesting he encourage our leaders to exhibit some leadership and make some decisions.

    I agree that the FCO has no business putting their nose into the contents of constitution. But Meg Munn, the FCO Minister, made it clear to the Anguilla delegation to London that they should go home and get to work on deciding what to do about the constitution.

    Ministers are handling this matter like they handled the Planning Bill. They run for cover and do nothing.

    Speaking of telling Ministers what to do, Speaker David Carty is to be thanked for telling elected members this week that the House needs to meet monthly and attend to the people's business. Good wuk!

  4. A week or ten days ago someone posted a question on anguillatalk about a stabbing at Frangipani. The thread was removed by Bryan and noting more was said, but the incident really happened.

    Yesterday the guy who was alleged to have done the stabbing was shot in the leg at Blun Point, according to Word On The Street.

    Happy New Year, stay out of range.

  5. A blessed New year and a God filled life.

    When I calmly state to you, my disaproval, of the manner the issues at hand are being adressed, and I am ignored,even pooh-poohed away, rather than a compromise being sought after, new scenarios appear.
    Gradually escalating acts of Civil Disobedience may be employed, the execising of my right not to vote, the refusal to participate in discussions , the refusal to honour agreements.
    In our "democratic society" the Constitution purports to set down the parameters by which we may interact with each other,yet very few of the populace are aware of the general gist of the parameters. Far less are aware they are expected to influence the extent of these parameters. They are unaware their voices are valid. Their voices are valid for change or conservation,today and every one of their tomorrows.

    In our island of 35 sq mi, we had better get this right for the space is tight. Our leaders, no matter how they may try, can't not be seen on a day to day basis. We play dominoes with them frequently, we rub shoulders at boat races. They are accessible,and we are accessible. There is no need for the populace, not to have been made aware of the constitutional ramifications of not exercising their voices at the correct fora. Of not been involved in heated debates over constitutional matters. Of not been involved in heated debates over what ought to be included in the constitution.
    This is the problem in a nutshell.

    There can be no valid democratic Constitution until the People voices are validated, and we are ruled BY THE PEOPLE also.

    Caribbean Man

  6. Caribbean Man,

    I am just throwing a question out there. What is democracy?

    I stand to be corrected by the many educated persons whom I know read this blog, but my basic understanding of democracy is that you have more rights and freedoms - property rights, rights to choose a leader of your choice etc. However, do you believe that the majority of people part take in the democratic process and do you think leaders are elected by the people? People voices will never be validated because the view of a great majority of persons worldwide is that, most of the time it will be the same no matter who you put in power and so they don't really bother with turning up at the polling stations. Furthermore, politicians never tell the truth and so there are many persons who are not really educated about what is going on and so are ignorant to what is really happening in ones country. A great deal of a populace views are shaped by the media and so depending on what type of media you have, you are basically in 'deep trouble' (holding back on the profanity here). Therefore, with the media we have here in Anguilla, it is sad to say that our population remains ignorant because of the sad state of the media. It is time that we move away from the reporting of social happenings and start putting some critical (positive) opinions out there.

    When it comes to leadership lets face it we in Anguilla are again in deep trouble. Regardless to what people may think of President Bush (I included and alot of it isn't nice) what I admire about him is his courage to make a decision and to stick by it most of time regardless of public opinion. Furthermore, if a mistake was made, most of the time he admits it and move on. We are crying out for that aspect of leadership in Anguilla, along with educated (not meaning university degrees necessarily) informed and visionary.

    The electorate in Anguilla is uneducated and immature and our politicians apart from a couple are the same (stand to be corrected here too). We need leaders who are honest, educated, informed, and visionary. The current set of leaders have taken us thus far (lets be honest, we could have been a lot worse off) but sadly the people who can take us beyond this hurdle before us are not electable because of the sad state of our electorate and politics in Anguilla.

    Going back to the issue of constitution reform - Mr Mitchell I think that you and your team did a great job, and going back to the issue of democracy, regardless to whether or not 5, 10 or 15 persons took park in the reform process, that is the view of Anguillians because in the democratic process we all had an opportunity to contribute. You can only question the process if you feel that the views of the few people were not accurately represented.

    Going back to the few meetings that our politicians had regarding the constitution again I am deeply sadden by the positions of our elected representatives. Yes they are citizens of Anguilla and so they have a say, but the few differences they have regarding their views and that of the report, if view of the people were to be ignored then that would be highly unconstitutional.

    Our Chief Minister should listen to both sides and come to a decision but we all know that this current administration does not want constitutional and electoral reform until they are ready to go home.

    My view is that we should take the Mitchell and Co. report as the first step to negotiation. However, I do believe that on the issue of full internal self government we should have a representative of the British Government come here and once and for all tell the people of Anguilla what are our choices (no letters, just radio address and newspapers). This should be followed by an educational process (to be lead by our leaders or a committee selected by them) on the pros and cons of the Government type, be it Independence, full internal self-government (whatever that is), integration into the European Union, the status quo (Albeit with more control by the UK), or some other arrangement. This should then be followed by a referendum only on this aspect, not the Mitchell report.

    It is time we seriously start thinking about independence, but before we can do that, we first have to but the necessary checks and balances in place, and ensure that there is an educated and informed electorate. However, to be honest the way things are now, greater control of our own affairs is the best that we can hope for now.

    Disregard, what you hear and see in the local media, or what you may hear coming from the United Front. Anguilla is like a grave or a rotten apple, and when all is said and done and this economic boom is over, we will see the sad state of affairs that we are currently in. Let's hope it is not too late, politically, socio-economically, or environmentally.

    Happy New Year all!

  7. We can have a democratic society or we can have great concentrated wealth in the hands of a few. We cannot have both.
    -Louis Brandeis

  8. I am a little confuse because even in a democratic society great wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few.

  9. quid pro quo

    kindly name one,two or three practicing democratic states.

    Caribbean Man(ia)

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. If I might add my two cents, Iwill venture to say that we do have a democratic state. However, as with any democracy, people have the right to vote or not to vote, attend or not attend meetings on any issue. This is the fundamental right of a free society. In Anguilla it is not the democratic system that is at risk but the will of the people. We tend to sit back and kind of expect someone else to make the decisions for us and when things are not going well we then point fingers and lay blame on the Gov't, politicians or the UK. Even our revolution was initiated and executed by a free brave men but is claimed by all Anguillians. This stand offish attitude is responsible for most if not all of our present problems. We are not willing to get involved in the critical issues facing our country. As a result, our very existence is at stake. If our affairs are our own then it stands to reason that we should be willing participants in any and all processes that directly affect us.

    It is not the UK responsibility to educate us on what we want or need in our constitution or how we have to conduct the running of our Gov't. Any responsible citizen should gladly and proudly stand up to let their voice be heard as a representative for their country. Our seemingly immature attitudes are causing great hardship for our country in terms of advancement of our constitutional reform. Mr Mitchell and Co effort was commendable, but few were appreciative. Most treated it as if it was some thing alien and not part of the general view of Anguillians. Let’s stop for a moment to reflect and try to figure out who were the most vocal in rejecting the report. I would refrain from pointing fingers at anyone but the underlying issue is that the report was sandbagged and we need to find out why, and who would benefit most from it not being adopted.

    Leadership in Anguilla appears to be based on likeablity and political clout. If you are not with the in crowd then your opinion or voice is of no importance. You will most likely be pressured, held back or persecuted for stating your objections publicly. This is not democracy but an oppressive tyrannical form of governance and it is raising its ugly head in our midst. We constantly fight amongst ourselves but never reach an agreement or compromise on any critical or important issue. It is really not that we are unaware or unconcerned but that we fall victim to procrastination and playing the waiting game. We cannot afford to wait anymore until someone attempts to lead us. Ronald Webster et al have done their part, now we need to take the reigns and march onward with a new vision. Are there not any more dynamic, brave leaders willing to carry on their vision, leaders who are not overwhelmed or arrogant in their thinking of immortality?

    Leaders come on and lead but be cognizant of the pulse of your people and not alienate yourself from them. Remember you are a servant of the people not the persons who dictate way. Humility is a crucial necessity and so is honesty.

  12. I listened to the CM in the house of assembly and I agree with most of the things he said, but in relation to training for civil servants I think that the immigration department needs help from top down. It was sad to see the confusion at the main office over a few days ago. People waited over three hours for passports that needed a work permit stamp which is not done by the office but at labor. When you come in at the ports officers everywhere else except at the desk loitering. At the airport a young short lady is there for some years, a junior officer by her stripes, but she is so rude and austere with people. If situations arise should not the supervisors deal with that matter? Those types of officers just rude and do not even respect the people they are working with who are in charge of them at the airport. I marvel at the last time I got in at the airport from puerto rico and she was handling a passenger and would not go to anyone else and I know that more senior people or people who worked in that department many years were there. The CM needs to look at that type of officer because even in the line people were talking about her behavior for a long time now.

  13. if we're going to get into Immigration, the whole "new" office is a disaster and needs to be revamped all together. There should be someone that meets everyone at the door to find out why people are there and then dorect them to the correct "window" or desk or should provide each visitor with the appropriate forms to speed things up. It is crazy to wait in line for two or three hours only to be told to fill out a form and come back or to be told you are in the wrong place and you need to get something you don't have.

    I understand the need for Immigration and I think they perform a good function, I just think the office is not well thought out and could use a major overhaul to make it more efficient and more effective.

  14. The Fundamental Premise of the statement that the Mitchell Report ( here read: "Colbert Report") is based on the democratic exercise of consultation with the People is flawed.

    In the first place, and perhaps, sadly, the vast Majority of the People of Anguilla did not accept that Mr. Mitchell was the best person to be given the exercise given his lack of experience in Constitutional Law, and his devout "Englishness".

    Having therefore not accepted Mr.Mitchell as a serious appointee for the task at hand, the People rejected his "Commission", and did not participate in what they considered to be a farcical exercise.

    That a few persons did attend some of the meetings arranged by Mr.Mitchell does not transform that process into a "Democratic" one.

    In Constitutional matters, particularly where Constitutional changes are contemplated, the process is not considered "Democratic" unless there has in fact been continuous participation of the vast majority of persons of the age of Majority.

    That this is so is evedenced by the fact that changes to existing Constitutions require Majorities in excess of a Simple Majority, and in many cases, after a Referendum has been held.
    It follows that, where there is contemplated a change, not only of a Constitutional provision, but of an entire Constitution involving the confirmation of, or change in Status, there must be active,constructive and egalitarian participation of the vast majority of the People of Anguilla, and not some farcical attempt at " wide spread discussion".

    The "education" referred to as being the resposibility of the UK, is not "education" in the commonly used sense of the word; What is meant is that it is the responsibility of the British to provide the fincial ability to the People of Anguilla to enable them to have the necessary discussions amongst themselves, during and after lectures given to the Public by noted Caribbean Constitutional Lawyers and other experienced and qualified persons.

    The obligations of the UK in the Educational process is restricted to facilitation and involves nothing else.

    The UK cannot "Educate" any People on Constitutional matters, they themselves having absolutely no experience with the operation of written Constitutions; they being a Country in which Parliament, and not the Constitution, is supreme.

    As a matter of interest,in the Commonwealth the Caribbean is second only to India in its depth and riches of the evolution of written Constitutions and the development of Constitutional Law, and it is arguable that the Caribbean has indeed surpassed India in this regard.

    Canada, Australia and New Zealand, all relative newcomers to Independant Constitutions, have themselves rapidly developed a sound body of Constitutional Law.

    Therefore, if there is need for "Educational Assistance" from outside the Caribbean, it is to those countries we would necessarilly turn, and not to the UK which is still not a true Constitutional Democracy.

    In the final analysis, given the postulate of Mr. Mitchell that there are "two camps"; one being the " Mitchell Camp" and the other being the "Dame Bernice V.Lake Q.C Camp", the People of Anguilla would be eternally better served by adopting the Dame Lake Camp as their own.

    After all, Dame Lake was the author of, and Chief Negotiator for Anguilla's two Full Internal Self Government Constitutions, which were in force immeadiately before one of Mr.Mitchell's cousins surrendered Anguilla's internal governmental soverignty to get a Nominated seat in the House of Assembly for another of Mr. Mitchell's cousins.

    That is the very same soverignty which the British are now telling the Anguillan Government point blank that they will never give back to Anguilla short of Independance. All for a seat in the house for an unelectable cousin.

    Finally, to the commentator who accuses Dame Lake of "..waving the Flag...", you would prefer, no doubt, a country in which Anguillians are without economic and political power, in which, much like the Cayman Islands, they sre strangers in their own land and a country in which the non Caribbean people dominate and dictate to the " locals'.
    Sadly, the People of Anguilla are to sophisticated to permit that to befall them. A People accustomed to Freedom will not surrender it for 30 pieces of silver.

  15. Open hostility is not meaningful conversation.

  16. He who vex, loses.

  17. Post your acrimonious rant here! No waiting!

  18. Let us get back some sanity please. Stop a bit. What is happening to Anguilla? People seem ready to fall off. Everywhere seem to be madness. I can not get over what happened to me at the Immigration Department to a point of utter sadness. I have my self to blame a bit, because I am laid back. I went to get a travel document after running to the Ags office with my naturalization paper in my hand, my hair not in order, and they advise me what can be done. Gone to the Immigration Office, the front desk clerk took my document, the one in charge at that desk with the curls. I told her what I wanted. She asked me to bring other documents in a manner just as how her face was showing. I was told something different by the Ag office. Then i got mad. She took my document and went to the second in command, at least that is what she said and I was told that I need to bring other documents as well. I did not had to bring nothing else. It was sufficient because I am a Belonger. Those are the things that you have to go through. But what was also interesting to see the Police been called in to immigration to keep tranquility. I had my experiences with immigration for the last month enough to last for a while but it is sad to see how that department is managed, total outrageous. It is either the wrong people in the wrong place or something. Not only that. Look around Anguilla and tell me if it look like they have a plan. Your guess is as good as mine.

  19. I fully appreciate the potentially humourous and yet serious aspects of your question. Permit me to develop a plan in OUR argument being presented here.

    Rule by People
    This statement implies a collective body gathering to discuss and hear of matters concerning them and VOICING their input. How do we do this, with scores, hundreds, thousands, millions of interested parties? We break them doing into manageable numbers. In AXA we are by our reality blessed with manageable numbers already. We can still recognise readily the great majority of Anguillian extract, i.e., potential voters, and the permanent residents amongst us.

    Informing the People of the matters concerning them. Far too often we look outwards and elsewhere. I propose a gathering of elders (not aged ones) by the village, being informed of these matters, (removing the idea of lofty decision making) and then holding 'public' discussions, prior to reporting and casting 'A' vote reflecting their village's position. NB. A village need not be defined by an area or district solely, but also by a number of individuals in that area or district, e.g, 150- 200 persons.

    Now here is a bouncer of vintage West Indian character for you. Would you agree, in a general population there are approximately 2% geniuses of Einstein pedigree. Also would you agree there are approximately 5% lunatics. Would you also agree the general populace would tend to 'flock' together.

    In a leap from this, who do we generally elect democratically?

    Leaning to Einsteins or leaning to lunatics.

    Caribbean Man

  20. Yes, they have a plan. But...

    "It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary."
    -- Winston Churchill


  22. To my learned friend, comrade whatever, your eloquence and delivery far exceeds your use of commonsense, however I will not fault you for that. In Anguilla we have no desire to dwell on past transgressions for they only create division amongst us as a people. What we need is forgiveness, healing and unity. The task at hand is a tremendous one and feuding between the Mitchell camp and the Lake’s camp will get us nowhere in terms of creating a workable constitution. We all have differing view points and each should be respected for that. To boycott the reconstruction of the constitution merely because of who is appointed is total stupidity. Active participation is crucial in developing a constitution that we as Anguillians can function and exist under. All sides have a duty to participate for it is for the benefit of all Anguillians. We all have our differences but it is imperative that we bury the hatchet for the time being and work together on this. Dame Lake is an exceptional constitutional lawyer and has worked diligently over the years to assist Anguilla in creating its constitutions, but why stop there because of a prejudice against another person? This is unprofessional in my humble opinion and detracts greatly from all her valuable contributions. By working together with the opposition her value and abilities would be put to use to help create a document worthy of her impeccable character and integrity. Her talents would be best served if she was an instrumental and integral part of the development of our constitution. By allowing ourselves to be lead by our emotions we effectively voluntarily exclude ourselves out of the equation and thus render our right to make a difference in shaping our constitution. There are times when duty will dictate that we work with other persons we'd rather not work with. In that case what are we to do, just pack up and walk away? There will always be differences and disagreements in committees and Gov't but we are not expected to close up shop and walk away. A solution can only be found by standing your ground and hashing out the pros and cons in a civilized and orderly debate or discussion. This is what we desperately need for our Anguilla. This is what our people need most.

    It's my plea to all Anguillians is to work together to find a solution, a compromise, and stop all this venomous banter and antagonism that is stifling our continued advancement.
    My intentions are not to evoke a bitter rivalry but to invoke in us a sense of duty to our Anguilla and ourselves to act responsibly.

  23. In reference to the poster who was put off by being told that they needed other documents by immigration, I must first ask the question, Why did they first go to the AG's office? Is it not the immigration office which handles those matters? Perhaps, if they had first visited the office they would have been informed of the necessary documents needed. No wonder you were upset. You kinda jumped the gun, my good man, and then you had the audacity to tell those folks who were trying to help you how to conduct their jobs. I too would have called the police on you for being so ignorant yet still trying to complain when in fact you were the one at fault. I know that things are not perfect at home and that some of our service personnel are in need of additional training. However, we should not be so quick to point fingers at them and not reflect on our own behaviour. How many times you went to St. Thomas and were treated impolitely? Did you complain then or just stood and took it? Was it because you needed so badly to enter into the US? We as Anguillians believe that because we were born here we can act anyway we choose and when our arrogance and pushy behaviour is not rewarded we run and complain. I too have been through the airports and the sea ports and was patient enough to wait my turn in line. When we go through immigration, we feel that we have the right to be rapidly ushered through because we are Anguillians, but times have changed. The rules have changed and we must learn to accept and to follow the rules. Immigration is our first line of defense and our people are doing a wonderful job as they adapt to the ever changing nature of the business. Next time, go to immigration first with immigration questions. Don’t go to the AG's office unless you trying to get special help with your papers.

  24. The AG's chambers also handles naturalizations. Therefore if she was trying to obtain citizenship she would have to go there. She may have been referred to the immigration department if she has not yet obtained belonger status( gotten a stamp in her passport or the certificate) which is one of the avenues you can be naturalized through.

  25. To the poster before referencing whether I should go to the Ag's office or immigration, that is why we have problems. Firstly, I am not pushy, I am not a born Anguillian, and I respect Anguilla and its rules. If I said I had my naturalization card should that not tell you my status? People like you cause problems because you do not understand a situation. I needed am emergency document or travel permit. What did I said wrong or did wrong I went to the Ag's office, they advised me correctly because it is that office I was dealing with just for advice. I went to the immigration to collect the document and the front officer behaved rudely or in an inappropriate manner. She told me what she had to tell me and she told me she was going to refer me to the second in command and she came back and told me that I needed additional papers, which I did not need. It is frustrating when you have to be turned and twisted and that is the problem. I have nothing against no department of government, but I have been there on more than one occasion, and it is obvious that they need help whether you want to admit it or not. Look at the immigration situation closely and then tell me if they do not need help. Every single soul that goes to that office when ever I go there behaves in a proper manner. They wait and wait for hours for their own document, even when the office says come back at a special time. That is your problem because we want to cast blame and do not understand. Wait and you would see what would be happening to Anguilla once immigration does not get that professional help. They lack that. Look around Anguilla and you would agree that we are in trouble. I love Anguilla. I have lived in Anguilla for a long time but I can also see what is happening as well. Like the other person mention it is an important department and it is crucial. That is why they should get additional specialised assistance because that is lacking at least by the personnel that I know works there. They are just not able to do it alone. Do not let it go any further because it is getting worst and worst. Anguilla is changing and I do not think the department should fall to pieces then everyone clear their hands because if they were smart they would ask for the help now.

  26. I travel extensively too, but to be honest I sometimes wonder if some of the immigration officers here in Anguilla enjoy doing what they want to the people at the airport. Don’t matter how many times I travel it is the same. I remember when I came to Anguilla from St Thomas about two or three years ago, I was actually shocked when I saw that immigration had gotten computerized. I felt that was a plus, that transition was so smooth, the female officer actually took out time to educate the passengers on that Liat flight. I think she came through the line and she told each passenger of the operations. And she also asked them to understand while her officers go through their documents and it would be a little longer for the first timers because they wanted to put everyone in the system accurately. I marvel how that female officer conducted those passengers. Everyone was pleased and the process actually went quickly. I commended her highly. I do not see that young lady anymore at the airport at least when I come in. But that was commendable. She had three bars on her shoulders. I even talked about it when I went back to St. Thomas. I was so proud. I know that my name is in the system but it takes so long now that you wonder what is the problem. I travel also to Puerto Rico often as well. My name is in the system and I am sure that they check you out too but I am through in a jiffy. They still do not behave like some of these officers. No one should ever misuse their positions.

  27. While it is true that the AG's office also handles naturalizations it might have serve that person better had they paid a visit to the immigration office to get an understanding of the requirements. We get too comfortable with knowing certain officials that we run to them with all our problems. Each office has a specific role to play and when we try to get ahead we sometime run the risk of “putting the carriage before the horse” so to speak. Instead of finding fault in the abilities of the immigration dep't we have to make sure that we are also following the right protocol. Too many cooks spoil the pot as will too many critics ruin a good cause. Anguillians are a pushy bunch and when we don’t get our way we find fault in everyone but ourselves. WE have to start re-examining ourselves and correcting our boisterous attitudes and things will work out just fine. We always seem to run to those with power in an effort to have them fix whatever ails us instead of following and observing the right procedures. I, too am guilty of such past transgressions but have matured enough to realize that I was wrong and that there is a protocol to be followed which should be adhered to. Stop all this complaining and be patient and wait your turn even if it seems like a long wait. The bottom line is that when we get upset and show our little a-- it really defeats the purpose of our visit because that office will have the right to summon the law and have you escorted from the premises and you still will not have accomplished your objective. Duh! We don’t see you trying to do their jobs now, do we? Lighten up and give them a break for you were not always so polite yourself now, were you? He that is without sin cast the first stone.

  28. Man, I have gone to the immigration office to sort out my status because I had to keep filling out immigration forms and I decided the time is right and many more persons than me and I was asked to submit documents for belongership. I met with the person who deals with belongership in that department. I told her whar my greatest concern was and actually was advised by that person to go through belongership process. I did not have to go through that process. All I needed was a passport so that I can travel on that. My brother in law was advised to apply for residence stamp who is married to my sister and I was advised to do the same when I am a belonger. Then at the dinner table talking and joking we realised that something is wrong. How can he who is not an Anguillian and me who is a belonger have the same status? Somebody don/t know what they are doing, the next day I went to the Ag’s office just to ask a question regarding the same thing and was told differently. So sometimes you better ask questions else you would be led astray. I wanted to be able to travel to Anguilla as an Anguillian that is all.

  29. Thanks for the advice given by that poster. However, the advice was useless because I went to the right department, the immigration department, but was wrongly advised, that’s all. Please do not comment for commenting sake

  30. Why some people comment because they like to comment? I was dealing with the Ags office, I was not dealing at all at that time with the Immigration department when I had my naturalization but had an emergency , I actually would have to get the same documents from the Ags office before I could have proceeded with any document. What is wrong with going to the Ags office to ask a question. I did not meet with the Ag, but I met with the clerks there whom I was dealing with and who ably assisted me, what is the problem with some people maybe that commentor has a family member who works within the Immigration department, criticism should be for us us to be made better. You should recognize as well that they need help and try to get Anguilla on the right track. Or what do you suggest that they do not get help and when everything falls flat to the ground then all bail out. Be proactive and not reactive. I would not be detoured, I maintain that they need help. Did you listen to the CM in the house of Assembly, even he realize that they need help they can not manage it on their own. Anguilla has changed and Immigration issues are widespread and everyone is talking about the way they handle things.Who is a specilaist in that department, tell me maybe I do not know and they don't have to run off to England to get help, there are Caribbean people who can be advisors,even for one year or two. If things don't change you would see how Anguilla would end up. Invest in professional and specialised people because that is also lacking within that department. My words would come back to haunt WAIT.


  32. No one is disputing that there are things in need of correction in Anguilla, however we still have to be polite to these officials and await our turn.

    The poster alluded to the need for help but isn’t that the Gov't responsibilty? They are the ones to assess the need and act accordingly not just point fingers and lay blame.
    We are a growing country and are in a transition period where policies and procedures are being changed as our borders are at last being open to everyone. There are changes in immigration policies and procedures that are still being worked out and we have to learn to understand this and stop acting so crazy.

    What we need is more education and training in these areas. Why should we import outside labour to instruct us on our own immigration policies? Just like there is a need for constitutional reform there is a need for immigration reform. It is all this adherence to the UK form of immigration and the ambiguous wording that is causing all the confusion. Perhaps someone from the AG's office should take it upon themselves to instruct or paraphrase the legal jargon so the civil servant who work in these dep'ts can have a better understanding of the procedures. It really serves no useful purpose if they are the only ones with a thorough understanding of the matter and allow confusion to exist in these dep'ts. We should not be too quick to run to the outside for help when we have capable people here on the island who can assist us in this respect. What kind of a country are we when we can not even handle our own affairs? What kind of people are we if we have to run to outsiders or the UK for help in understanding our own policies and procedures?
    Think about that for a minute and please respond with a sensible comment and not one trying to degrade me for calling a spade a spade.

    I am Anguillian and am quite proud of that fact however, I am not that naïve to believe we are an island unto ourselves. While it is true we need assistance in certain areas, we have to work at being self reliant and not depend too much on others to iron out our deficiencies or short comings.

    If one is assigned to a dept it is their obligation to be informed of that depts policies and procedures and the Gov't and dept's heads should be held accountable. We can do better but taking our frustration out on lowly clerks is not the way to go.

    By the way I do not have anyone working in these dep'ts so don’t go head hunting

  33. It is amazing how people enter this blog and air their grievances but still whine when others begin to comment about issues they present. It is quite alarming that we are chastised for giving our input or opinions. Do we not have freedom of expression in Anguilla?

    Many solutions are reached by sensible and reasonable dialogue or discussions. When one becomes so upset that they resort to verbal and personal attacks it indicated their level of maturity. Open discussion is encouraged here and we must respectfully regard the opinions of others. That is not to say that we must agree with the point of view expressed, however to disagree does not imply or gives anyone the right to personalize those objections.

    If our island is to advance and compete with the rest of the world we have to be able to be civil towards one another and respect the views of each individual. The ability to have substantial and worthwhile dialogue creates an atmosphere conducive to the formulation of sound concepts. We have to continually strive for that and reject or exclude those among us who propagate discord within the ranks for their own selfish means. We aspire to have an Anguilla that will be a beacon for the region and there are others who are bent on suppressing those ideals. The continued trash talking certainly will not facilitate us in any way towards achieving our goals.

    A unified Anguilla, a unified people with one purpose is the only way we can realize our true potential. Most great empires only attained that status only when all the people became united in one accord, eg, Rome, USA, Germany, USSR just to name a few. However, most of them have failed due to division and individuality from within. So my comrades, my brethren, be forewarned because this in-house fighting will surely bring us down.

  34. Empty, boring, useless, tiresome platitudes about our becoming unified. Save the preaching for the out of touch churches and the out of touch "Anguillian."


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