07 November, 2009


Wendy Ledger is writes sense.  I don’t know Wendy Ledger.  I gather she is a well respected journalist in the Cayman Islands.  Somebody sent me a very perceptive piece she wrote recently on the website of her Cayman News Service.  She was commenting on a fallacy common among our colonial intellectuals concerning the United Kingdom-Overseas Territory relationship.
The theory is that the UK is somehow ‘out to get us’.  They plan to destroy our financial services and tourism sectors through subterfuge and convoluted plots.  The plan is said to be to take us over Chagos-style, replacing ungrateful brown-skinned natives with thousands of kith and kin, pale-skinned Brits.
Ms Ledger’s contrary view is that all the British Government wants is for the OT’s to be more like Victorian children, seen and not heard.  Essentially, we can do whatever we want, so long as we don’t cause the FCO any trouble.  Their governance of us is marked more by incompetence and indifference than by interest or by concern.  I agree with that view.  It is neither new nor radical.  It is based solidly on the evidence over the centuries.
The FCO could not care less about our islands or our people.  They are not sitting around in an underground bunker plotting the demise of our civilization.  All they want is for us not to bring them any trouble or embarrassment.  They have got a little paranoid about where trouble might come from.  TCI has not helped, nor has the global financial crisis.  These pesky territories could give them a whole lot of trouble economically not only in terms of global reputation.  There is the little matter of international commitments and contingent liability.
I agree with Ms Ledger that there is nothing they would like more than to see the back of every last territory.  The jolly good chaps in Whitehall are outdoing each other to show the natives who’s the boss.  New governors hang up their suits, change into camouflage and sniff around for any potential trouble that may upset the mandarins back at the Old Admiralty Building.  Their instructions are to head off any pending trouble at the pass and get their ‘fine chap’ award before they retire.  A bloody hardship post, what?
Then there are the few colonials who delude themselves into believing in the UK’s ‘motherly’ love for its colonies.  The truth is that we are an embarrassment on the international stage and a reminder of the British Empire’s brutal and cruel past.  Left wing governments in Whitehall in particular find that constant reminder very uncomfortable.  The ‘mother country’ was a myth even in earlier colonial days.
The task of the FCO today both in Anguilla as in the Cayman Islands is to retain enough control to be able to clamp down if we look like we are about to cause any trouble, while giving sufficient of an appearance of autonomy to satisfy the UN.  What they really want for all the OT’s is for each and every one of us to start plotting out our routes to independence.  Either we shut up and behave, or we take down the Union Jack.  The only thing holding them back from delivering the final push over the edge is the US State Department which does not want any more risky States in either its backyard or in its soft underbelly right now, thank you.


  1. I agree with the notion that the arms of the FCO in the person of the Governor and Attorney General serve no advisory role in the overseas territories.

    The theory that the UK somehow wants to retain power over the OTs could be true facilitated by conservative gov'ts like the Anguilla United Front. Why esle would the Governor of Anguilla allow the Minister of Finance to raise civil service salaries in the same year of a global financial meltdown?

    Foreseeing a shortfall in tourists arrivals and the collection of taxes. A 25% increase in civil service salaries is proposterous!

    We must beware of wolves in sheep's clothing!


    The political and social damage inflicted on Britain by its own government is truly heart rending. A messed up economy, massive national debt, high taxation and wasting of taxpayers money, giving sovereign rights to Europe without a referendum, massive immigration, increasing child poverty……….

    Now our British “partners” have announced their intention to do the same for us.

    “Britain has no use for Caribbean Islands with 200 miles economic zones abundant in fish and possible other exploitable resources. The islands are self governing. The arms of the FCO in the person of the Governor and Attorney General serve no advisory role in the overseas territories”.

    Who needs a conspiracy?
    Incompetence covered by lies will do just fine!

  3. The FCO Plan is malevolent. They may well see us as "irritants", but they use the Big Stick of the Governor's 'Reserved Powers" to pummell the United Front Government into submission. It does not help that we have had a sucession of foreign Attorneys-General since Anguilla was conquered by Britain in 1969.After Richard Whitehead of England we have had Kurt DeFreitas of Guyana, but now more British than Elizabeth Windsor, Ronald Scipio of Guyana and England and now Wilhelm Bourne of Barbados and Bermuda. It is safe to say that none of these men would put Anguilla and Anguillians before the U.K. Indeed it is said that DeFreitas once said, when asked a similar question, that he worked for the British. His faithfulness has resulted in his getting plum FCO jobs in various Colonies, a very close relationship with the FCO and the guaranty of a desk job and comfortable retirement in the UK.
    Contrary to your and that "well respected" journalist in th Cayman Islands, ( doubtless not a Caymanian Native),the UK does indeed have Plans for us: it is to integrate us into the UK and the EU if we do not take our Independence.
    It is to render the Anguillian People, and the other natives of the Black Colonies insignificant in their own countries. They have succeeded in Cayman, are nearly there in Bermuda and are vogourously at it in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
    The UK and the EU have a design to expand their physical Territorial Borders. absorbtion of these island colonies would greatly increase their maritime Rights etc.

    Do not be fooloed Don.That "well respected journalist" may be in favour of that design.

  4. Conspiracy theorists of all stripes have one thing in common: they believe that they & their beliefs are the center of the universe; therefore it is believable that "everyone is out to get them."

    Adolescents tend to be paranoid, also, thinking that their personal "drama" is more important than anyone else's. Sometimes, they actually grow up...

    We Anguillians would be better served with grown-up leaders. No outside person or entity has malicious designs on Anguilla. That role is solely in the domain of our greedy, rapacious "brothers & sisters" with their BH degrees.

  5. While we might think their are no sinister designs on us by the UK,or no conspiracies ,one must ask the queston as to their motive.If they do not want us why is it that they are not fully preparing us for independence?Where is the training that should be given to us in terms of getting us ready for such a move?Shouldn't they or someone be grooming us for that process?Wehave no one instructing us in matters of security,international finance or diplomacy.Why pray tell is it that the UK seems reluctant to include us in these processes?We have no representation in the house in the UK.Conspiracy?You tell me.

  6. Why is it the responsibility of UK to prepare Anguilla for independence? If Anguilla wants to be independent, it makes sense that Anguilla prepare herself for independence. Isn't that what independence is?

  7. "...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

    And of course it works equally well for opposition candidates who are desperate for an issue to unite some followers behind him. Hubert has done it for years. Haydn and "Realist Spikenice" during their deceptive "Independence Movement" campaign. Elements within the APP continue doing it today.

  8. Because that is what a "mother Country"(Britain) is suppose to do for the "child" (Anguilla) entrusted into her care, before sending it out into the big bad world of adulthood (Independence).

    On the other hand, a wicked stepmother ......


    "The governor he is acting like a dictator.”

    ( Excerp from BBC Caribbean Report)

    …. while most islanders were in favour of direct rule to begin with, says Barbados-born Boyce, 95% of the population are now "anti-Brit".

    One politician even suspects mutiny may be close at hand.

    "We currently have petitions going on about concerns of new taxes that are coming on stream. I think we'll see a greater agitation on part of the people," says Douglas Parnell, the new leader of the Peoples Democratic Movement party.

    "The Gordon Wetherell administration is the only other administration besides Castro's Cuba that has the type of power that exists in the Turks and Caicos. One man can decide the fate of an entire country."

    These comparisons with dictatorial regimes continue in the offices of the territory's oldest newspaper, The Turks and Caicos Weekly News.

    Editor Blyth Duncanson supported the arrival of direct rule in August, but that changed, he says, when it became almost impossible for his journalists to get information on how government decisions are being made.

    "The interim administration, which is supposed to be run by the governor with the aid of an advisory council and a consultative forum, is operating like a closed shop. It's more like a military junta."

    ANGUILLA: Dictatorship by Governor is unworkable and it is not good governance.

  10. Governor Wetherell had wide public support for the takeover. News to the contrary that was circulated here was carefully selected from speeches and interviews by the criminals who raped the country and its treasury, and their supporters.

    However, the Governor's public relations skills are clearly lacking, and people everywhere fear governments that operate in secrecy. I understand that criminal cases are being prepared and there is need for a reasonable measure of confidentiality. This does not justify HM to be inaccessible.


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