15 July, 2008


Has Don Mitchell Accused Ministers of Bribery to the FAC? Well, the Chief Minister was on a roll in the House of Assembly this morning! He stated, with all the passion in his voice that he could muster, that Don Mitchell has accused him and his ministers of bribery before the Foreign Affairs Committee. The reason, he suggests, is because Don Mitchell hates Anguilla and Anguillians. His explanation for this alleged hatred was two-fold.

One, was because Don Mitchell wants to stop Anguillians achieving full internal self government. He wants to continue the present colonial regime, because of his colour. He is wrong in that. Don Mitchell’s paternal grandfather was the same colour as the Chief Minister. Don Mitchell, like his father before him, has always considered himself a man of colour.

Besides, Don Mitchell believes that Anguillians are fully capable of handling full internal self government. We Anguillians just don’t trust the politicians of the future, any politicians, to be able to handle all that power. There are various reasons. One is that we have no tradition of good governance. All government in Anguilla, since self-government started in 1967, has been based on doing favours for friends and blocking those who are not subservient to you. That worries all sensible, thinking Anguillians. Another is that there are no checks and balances in the law or in the Constitution. We think full internal self-government would work fine with plenty of checks and balances.

The second reason, he suggested, is that Don Mitchell has no children of his own. Anyone, he said, who chose not to have children is incapable of love. Well, he is wrong there. The consequence of not having children of his own is that all Anguillian children belong to Don Mitchell. He does not need to get greedy to pass on wealth and possessions to biological children. He is happy with the little he has. The friends he has need nothing from him. They greet him in the street with no hidden agenda, no favours to seek.

The Chief Minister knows the coming recession is going to hit the development projects in Anguilla hard. People are going to be laid off. Mortgages will not be paid. Properties are going to be sold. This unfavourable situation is going to last until well after the appointment of the new President of the USA in 2009. It is only then we can expect the economy to revive. The politicians will have to shoulder a lot of the blame. There must be someone or something, other than government’s short-sightedness, to deflect the coming accusations. Don Mitchell is conveniently located nearby for that purpose.

Never mind, Don Mitchell intends to keep on doing what he has been doing up to this point. That is to demand that the highest standards of government must always be striven for.

And, the extraordinary thing is that, other than the post on 4 July 2007 [that the Ministers have Don Mitchell in court for], when he was commenting on what people were saying about the Indian workers’ march, it is only the Chief Minister who keeps repeating over and over again that Don Mitchell is wrongfully accusing government to the FAC for bribery!

Don Mitchell has done no such thing.

His letter to the FAC, as anybody who can read can easily find out by clicking here, was to send them a copy of the 2006 Constitutional and Electoral Reform Report. He has had no other contact with the FAC.

Politicians need to have a convenient whipping post nearby. It helps to put spin on the situation.

I am continuously amazed at the Speaker’s relaxed attitude to the Chief Minister’s abuse of the privilege enjoyed by members of the House to slander and defame persons who cannot defend themselves. In parliamentary procedure this is not normal.


  1. Having led the country into a heap of trouble by his shortsighted development policies, the Chief Minister has established a legislative committee to deal with the resulting problems. This afternoon he had the nerve to tell the members of the House of Assembly that they must take a long term view of these issues instead of the customary view of looking only at the current effects.

    So he has managed to establish a new entity on which to deflect those problems he can't blame on the evil Don Mitchell and Harry Wiggins.

    After apparently investigating and analysing the motivating factors behind Harry and Pam's marriage, our leader announced that Harry married an Anguillian only so that he could live and work in Anguilla. The Speaker gave no indication that spreading such wisdom was not a proper use of parliamentary privilege or public facilities.

    No one who knows the Speaker could blame this on ignorance of the House rules or on general stupidity, so we are left with the strange conclusion that it was intentional.

    I knew the Speaker's late father. He would not have been amused at his conduct today.

  2. "...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."

    --Reichmarshall Hermann Goering

  3. Where or when does this useless Harry Wiggin gets into the affairs of Anguilla. These wanna b's need to find their place. And to you Mitch... this only makes you look simply foolish. Sorry!

  4. The Chief Minister abused the privilege of the House to personally attack and abuse Don and his wife, and Wiggin and his wife, for over an hour. None of the Honourable Members had the courage or decency to rise and object. The Honourable Speaker did not have the guts or the principle to enforce his own rules of procedure.

    It was a gross spectacle. It reminded me of something out of Nazi Germany or Zimbabwe.

  5. The Chief was in his rights constitutionally.

  6. The reality is that though we may fight and kill each other; outsiders are not welcome to intervene… your crush will be inevitable. You and Wiggin are warned. It has always been that way and will always be Anguilla. Especially where you are not a born Anguillian… and white.

  7. Our constitution does not give members the right to impute improper motives to the people of this island. In fact, House rules prohibit it.

    The constitution makes no exceptions for those who have only been here some 30-odd years, or for those who are only Anguillians by marriage or because their mother was born here, or even for those who have the misfortune to be of "the white persuation," as Haydn put it.

    The Chief Minister's conduct yesterday was what they call in Guyana an "eyepass" -- gross disrespect. As was that of the Speaker.

    We have become the island they warned us about.

  8. I do not expect better from David.

    At a family party a couple of years ago, he warned me that if I did not stop calling for improved transparency and accountability on the part of his government, he would not be able to protect me.

    I told him that I am retired now, and there is little they can do to harm me.

    He said I had been warned. He has not spoken to me since.

    I am sure he believes that when he permits the Chief Minister to abuse me and my wife in the House of Assembly I am only getting my just deserts.


  9. To the commenter speaking of killing and what input white people have in Anguilla....
    Are you saying that you are happy with your current government and that you agree with them and believe NO CHANGE is needed?

    Do you sincerely wish for your children to continue to kill each other with the thought of "it was always this way and will always be this way?"

    Have you considered how much your rent has increased over the past few years, or even worse, do you have members of your family that cannot afford housing?

    Why do you think that is happening?
    Who do you think is allowing that to happen?

    I am extremely dissapointed that it took "non-native's" to be brave enough to point out these glaringly obviousl issues, because what SHOULD be happening is Anguillians rising together and marching to THEIR government to make them listen and represent the people's opinion.

  10. The CM has a knack for underscoring the point he is trying to refute: that Anguilla needs legal checks and balances before politicians can be trusted with more power.

    Anguilla has always been a harmonious place in terms of race relations. It is a sad day, indeed, when a politician unashamedly stirs up racial hatred. If this had been said anywhere in the world by a white politician about a black constituent, the former would be forced to apologise and resign. How come this sort of outrage is acceptable in Anguilla in 2008?

    Shame on the CM and the Speaker!

  11. I'm disappointed to learn this of David. In Antigua they say of good people, "if they lie down with dog, they rise up with flea."

  12. The Chief Minister's tirade in the House of Assembly made me vomit.

    And it was a storng reminder that Anguilla is not a democracy. We are a very long way from there. There is no free press nor freedom of expression. Our so called newspapers are a joke.

    Any time anyone expresses a view which is not in keeping with that of the Government in power, he or she is sentenced to death.

    I am saddened by the slow death of freedom of thought and expression for which we fought in 1967.

    Your truly, a born and patriotic Anguillian.

  13. Electricity comes from electrons. But morality doesn't come from morons.

  14. I read with interest the posting entitled “BRIBERY”. In this article I get the impression that your Chief Minister was accusing Mr. Mitchell of being prejudice and void of love; and in so doing attempted to justify such allegation based on Mitchell’s completion and the fact that he are not a biological father. Nothing can be so far from the truth. I was a police officer assigned to Justice Mitchell when he was a judge in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I have never met a more loving and humble person than Justice Mitchell, at time I felt as if I was his son, base on this fact, I was willing to forget personal pride and humbly perform any duty Don Mitchell requested of me; and anyone who knows me know that I am an extremely proud man.

    I think Don is correct when he speak of the integrity among our people. We have seen evidence of this among every country that have moved forward into self-governance, it is very important that the necessary checks and balances (such as integrity legislation) in place before any territory move in that direction. This should be done to ensure that the dirty hands of corruption are kept at bay. Don Mitchell is a man of impeccable vision and I am of the opinion that his experience as a judge would have put him in the position to know how easy it is for so call honest men to become corrupt if they think they can get away with it.

  15. You are full of bollocks Mitch. There are no more favoured opportunities available!

  16. David's inaction brings to mind something Confucius said:

    “To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.”

  17. Let us keep down the personal attacks, folks.

    I won't be publishing any more of them.


  18. Mitch, quite a swarm of bees on this topic, some who want for the common good (build the hive), others who just want the honey pot. I suppose there are those that see you as an antagonist, yet retired, you are now just an advocate for justice. Evidently, corruption runs deep, and only getting deeper, as you are stepping on many toes, yet only hurting those that "wear sandals instead of boots". Keep it up Mitch, I'll speak on your behalf anytime.
    - Scotty

  19. i always thought that part of what makes anguilla great it is that it is a color blind society.What is going on with the prime minister?Just show us your financial status and the one of the rest of the government and stop making racist comments it will scare the tourists away.

  20. Quite honestly, I think the CM's definition of what constitutes "corruption" is different from the definition of Mitch and most of the rest of the world.

    I don't mean this as a joke or a sly comment, it's just plain true.

    Our politicians are (probably) not corrupt in the aggravated sense that they would sell out to the highest bidder such as a drug dealer or violent criminal. But I venture they see nothing wrong with "helping a friend" even when this clearly means improperly applying the powers of their high offices to some degree. This is clear from many statements of the CM. We've all heard it before: this is how Anguilla has always been run, "you scratch my back...", etc.

    The many foreign businesses coming to Anguilla probably fall somewhere between these two extremes in the eyes of the CM: not as bad as the former and therefore worthy of some friendly gesture, like a positive review or planning permission...

    Unfortunately for him, "times they are a changing", and this system can no longer be tolerated by law-abiding and democracy-loving people, and should not be acceptable to a Chief Minister who is concerned about the international perception of his country, or to a country that is seeking greater self-rule. Scrutiny of politicians by citizens can and should be greater than ever in this age of instant communications - this blog is a case in point. If the CM objects to such scrutiny, he is fighting a rear-guard battle - he may delay the process, but will not stop it.

    I hope it is clear that it is not acceptable for Anguilla to have its own particular definition of "corruption". As long as we don't agree that "helping a friend" by violating the rules is corruption, plain and simple, we will be speaking at odds, and both sides will continue to have some legitimate claim on speaking the truth in their self-defined universe, without adding any clarity to the debate.

    Anguilla may still be an island, but it is connected with the rest of the world in many ways, and it can't afford to keep the status quo on such an important issue.

  21. If this definition holds true, this means that Anguilla's corruption is parallel to the rest of the world's.

  22. Earlier this week, Dr. Kevin Brown (Leader of Bermuda)son the Dr. Antario Brown was arrested in California for sexual assault charges involving a minor. In Anguilla this would be hidden under the carpet. It should be an outrage for a CM to use such personal attacks in the House of Assembly againsta a private citizen. We have a SPeaker who does not enforce the rules on paliamentary procedure.

    It is the old generation who is promoting this hate and racial tensions in Anguilla. and sadly, many of the younger generation are using the same bigoted remarks on the public airwaves.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.