13 August, 2008


Penny Legg should not have been censored. So wrote one of my correspondents. I do not know Penny Legg. I only know that she is the wife of the Governor’s Staff Officer. She also writes for The Anguillian Newspaper. She writes well. She recently did a post on her blog about the knifing of the young man in The Valley over Carnival. I reported at the time that I thought the post she wrote was quite perceptive. The following day, the post disappeared from her blog.

It was an innocent enough post. Indeed, she claims that she only removed it because of viruses and the spam that it attracted. Some of my correspondents think they know better.

Perhaps, the only criticism that could have been made about the post was that it naively came to the conclusion that any American or European traveler could care in the slightest what the fate is of a poor black Jamaican lad in Anguilla. As if such a stabbing would have any impact at all. Still, the post was caring and concerned. It should not have been removed from the blog. It should be preserved.

This is what she wrote:

Sunday, 10 August 2008
Carnival Trouble

As the 2008 Carnival season comes to a close, there were reports of a stabbing yesterday, Saturday 8 August, as rival gangs decided that the Last Lap Sunrise Street Jam, in the streets of The Valley, was the perfect place to stage a riot. I understand that police had to be drafted in from neighbouring island, St Martin, to assist Royal Anguilla Police with bringing order to the island once again.

This morning there is nothing about this event in the media, but talk is rife and people are shocked. There is no official news on the victim yet. It is understood though that the hospital broadcast calls for blood donors to come forward. As our radio, along with most of the rest of our possessions, is in a box waiting to be shipped, we missed this appeal.

If Anguilla means to ride out the world recession it must clean up its act. People have less money for holidays in their pockets and this must inevitably equate to fewer tourists coming to the island. Anguilla only has tourism. Without the tourist dollar, pound or euro Anguilla will sink. An American family, for example, faced with the option of going somewhere in the US or going to Anguilla for their well earned break, will look at crime levels and make judgements on how safe they feel the destination to be. At present, a local US resort will win hands down. Anguilla needs to look critically at the problem it has with its youth.

Some serious thought needs to go into formulating a response. Leaders also have to look hard at role models and throw the book at those who betray the public's trust. If those people youth look up to are seen, for example, to brandish and fire a gun, and are seen to get away with it, then what message does that send to the young of Anguilla? Role Models who commit crime should be used as an example and punished accordingly.

I am sorry to be leaving Anguilla but sorrier still that Anguilla is in its present state. Whatever prompted the riot yesterday, nothing gives anyone the right to stab anyone else.

Posted by Penny Legg at 09:57

I think her post is worth preserving. The visiting touroids could not care less that the young man subsequently died.


  1. Interesting to note that several major American cities, in particular Los Angeles, have just (re)instituted youth curfews. In LA it's during school hours. In other places, it's after 9PM. It seems that in LA most property crime and vandalism are being committed by children during school hours when everyone's away at work.

    This after RICO prosecutions of gangs, individual restraining orders against congregating, and, most embarrassing, the confiscation on the street of gang paraphernalia including various articles of colored clothing. Even wearing the wrong colors can now be considered prima facie evidence of gang affiliation and make you subject to interdiction efforts, including automatic probable cause for search.

    Needless to say the liberal nomenklatura and the press are completely beside themselves at all this. The ACLU has already announced it's going to sue, which is always a good sign you're on the right track.:-)

    When I was a kid several of the places I grew up in had curfews. If the cops caught you the first time, you were taken home and your parents were given a good talking to. The second time, your parents were fined, and it escalated from there. Gang crime was virtually non-existent, even in the poorest neighborhoods.

    One wonders what would happen to "youth" crime in Anguilla if something like that were done. If the police could, or would, enforce it, that is.

    The interesting thing about Anguilla is that four guys could vote on it one afternoon and it would take effect that evening, something impossible in the US except under martial law.

    One presumes Anguilla's current crop of "urban cub-scout" wannabes are getting at least some of their gangsta merit badge instruction from history shows on cable TV like "Gangland". Too bad they're not paying attention to the end of each of those episodes, where everyone either ends up in jail, goes straight -- or dies.

  2. Caribbean Net News
    August 14, 2008
    By Oscar Ramjeet
    Caribbean Net News Special Correspondent
    Email: oscar@caribbeannetnews.com

    ST JOHN’S, Antigua: The Antigua government says it will propose the death penalty for crimes involving weapons - even if the victim is not killed.

    This was disclosed by the Justice Minister Collin Derrick to the Associated Press, following the slaying of honeymooning couple from Britain.

    The legislation, which will be introduced at the next session of parliament, would set a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, Derrick said, and added that judges could also impose a sentence of life in prison.

    Derrick told the AP that gun traffickers, who are blamed for a recent spike in violence in the tourism-dependent Caribbean nation, could also be sentenced to death under the proposal.

    There are major dealers in firearms in the island, and Derrick said, "We're seeking ways to address that issue, which is causing tremendous injury and grief to families and this country.”

    Three additional Scotland Yard detectives arrived in Antigua to assist local police officers in connection with the slaying of Benjamin and Catherine Mullany, the British newlyweds who were honeymooning at a beachfront resort on the island's southwest coast.

    ----------------article ends--------------

    So if we had such a law here, Kenneth would have been given a mandatory sentence of 25 years at the Green Hotel?

  3. It seems to me that if the Government is going to force people to do to things, it might be much better for them to force people to carefully supervise their own minor offspring than it would be to force people to disarm themselves into learned helplessness.

    There is considerable hard data now to show that disarming the civil population actually causes crime, instead of reduces it.

    On the other hand, summarily stringing up murderers and people like gang leaders and others who demonstrably represent an ongoing clear and present mortal danger to others is appealing, fiscally at least.

  4. The Tourest do CARE very much and read everything


  5. That's "touroid" to you, Ms.(?) Tourest.

    By the way, Don?


    These are Anguilla's *customers*. People who pay Anguillians *money*.

    Apparently their money's way better, and certainly more copious, than that of money launderers, tax evaders and drug dealers, and thus they might merit a little more respect than the implied derision of "touroids", don'tcha think?

    I'm just sayin', here...

  6. They have some resemblances. They block the passage. They get in the way of business. They are usually very painful when encountered in person.

  7. Well. when the touriod trade dries up What did you say Anguilla exported??

  8. The "touriods" do care about the latest murder on Anguilla, as I'm sure the big multi million dollar investors do. Continued crime can only make the types of accommodation they offer more appealing. Look what's being built on Anguilla - full service resorts. Everything you need within a secured area. As some Anguillians seem to find dealing with their "bread and butter" unappealing, these types of accommodations are obviously best for all involved. The "touriods" won't have to leave the resort grounds and worry about being a victim of crime. And, the Anguillians who find the "touriods" a pain in the *** will no longer have to deal with them. Win-Win situation. Oh, did I add "bye-bye" local economy?

  9. The persons who are a pain in the butt are not tourists.

    The death resulting from this unfortunate fight between the young people is a blemish on our reputation. So far for the year there were no murders in Anguilla , before this incident. Tourists were never in any danger.

    I personally do not go to last lap because of the possibilty that a fight could break out and someone can get hurt. Unfortunately it did in this instant.

    A tourist or anyperson can walk down any street at midnight in Anguilla and the chances of being bothered by anyone is almost zero. Anguilla has to be one of the countries in the world with the least serious crime rate, so why are you posting lies about crime in Anguilla? This is a specific unfortunate incident.

    The other lies that have been posted here about Anguillians and tourists since you have posted it here, is that suppose to make it true?

    Anguillians are the friendliest most welcoming people in the world. We have always been, not just to tourist but to everybody.

    When we say things which you may consider negative, it is not about tourist- it is about overdevelopment or too rapid development.

  10. The last person to add comment to this discussion point should stop fooling himself or herself. You are living in a bubble if you describe Anguillans as persons who are friendly and would not harm others. You are out of touch with reality on Anguilla!

    What explanation can you give for the attack on Mr. Lloyd? Can you chronicle the time that he ever interfered wih anyone? If he is subject to attack, what then of the tourist who is assumed to have money?

    Your nonsensical argument really beats me! If you are trying to save Anguilla or the tourist trade, then assist with addressing the crime problem and the problems of our youth that the government is at a loss with finding solutions.

  11. Somebody above said something quite wise. It in turn caused me to realise that Anguilla can have high customs duties or tourism, but not both.

    If you want to get rid of tourism as a basis for the economy then you have to *liberalise*, not constrain, the economy, by scrapping capricious regulation and high import restrictions and duties.

    Of course, then you end up with a trading/production economy, which is not necesarily conducive to promoting the empty-beach-seeking tourist, er, touroid, of Don's attempted neologism.

    Singapore did this in the 1960's. Singapore after World War II was a quaint place to see the orient for cheap. Raffles Hotel, lots of opium, rickshaws everywhere, the world's best brothels, incipient revolution, and all that. Cheap and quaint because economic restriction -- and the resulting corruption -- kept it that way. Hungry people don't charge much to do things, and they look quaint because they can't afford to change their lives much.

    When Singapore woke up to the fact that the entire East/West trade could go through their harbour and the Singapore Strait, things changed, both politically, and then economically. Politically, now, Singapore is much more concerned about the protection of property, instead of human, rights. Though less so than it has been, primarily because people can afford to assert their human rights much more than they used to be able to.

    Of course, Mao showed us that government's ostensible concern about "human rights" (not liberty, another thing entirely, as "freedom from" is conflated with "freedom to" at our peril) is mostly an excuse to deprive people not only of their property, but their rights and lives in the bargain. And modern China shows us that it is now, more or less, on the same path as Singapore, no matter how repugnant their still-totalitarian one-party state is to liberty-loving westerners.

    Maybe Anguilla isn't there yet because times were so hard in the past, and tourism is making Anguillians much more money than they had in the past, but Anguilla will, someday, be at a crossroads. It can retain a tourist-centered economy and make a few people rich and everyone else their employees -- or government bureaucrats :-) -- or it can trade freely with its neighbors, deregulate and foster more business creation in enterprises other than servicing tourists, and make all Anguillians individually wealthier at the margin, "working on their own account", as Colville Petty said a while back.

  12. With reference to your last sentence about Colville, where is he? I have missed him from the Anguillan newspaper for some time now.

    I am to assume like everything else on Anguilla, he has bowed to the political pressure?


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