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‘I read the online news!’ – Governor John S. Duncan

-Governor’s tenure is four years and not three. Governor Duncan said ‘I will be here for four’
Confirming that he pays attention to the online news sites, Newly arrived Governor of the Virgin Islands His Excellency John S. Duncan said that he intends to remain in the Territory for the four year duration of his tenure. Photo: GIS
While Governor Duncan lauds the efforts of the press in the Virgin Islands, the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government continues to undermine press freedom with its passage of a Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act which seeks to censure and intimidate media houses and put journalists in jail. Photo: Internet source
While Governor Duncan lauds the efforts of the press in the Virgin Islands, the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government continues to undermine press freedom with its passage of a Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act which seeks to censure and intimidate media houses and put journalists in jail. Photo: Internet source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Confirming that he pays attention to the online news sites, newly arrived Governor of the Virgin Islands His Excellency John S. Duncan said that he intends to remain in the Territory for the four year duration of his time here during which he will be working to address the many challenges faced.

He said that while there are challenges, there are areas which the Territory has gotten right, such as its democracy and its strong media.

“You might have heard me saying that since coming to the Virgin Islands I have been very impressed with the vibrant democracy and an Opposition that holds Government to account. And the fourth estate, the media, who are active and equally demand accountability of elected representatives and a very vibrant social sector,” Governor Duncan said in an exclusive interview with Virgin Islands News Online on Thursday November 20, 2014.

“If you want a community to be healthy in its democracy I think that these things are all important aspects,” he said.

“Of course I have only been here three months. I was appointed a year ago and I have been working from London with the previous Governor. So he had brought me up to speed on a lot of the issues before I got here. So things like the cruise [pier] issue, the airport issue I knew a lot about those before I got here,” he said.

“But what you can’t know is the people. So obviously for the first three months I am still learning, listening to people and getting their perspective and there are many different perspectives as they are people,” he said.

“But overall I have been very very impressed by the way this community has its own democracy that works, has its own working fourth estate, it may be uncomfortable but that’s the nature of a democracy,” he said. “And obviously I watch the online press. So when 18 people like or dislike something that is only 18 people out of the entire population of 30,000. But nonetheless it is important to listen to what people are saying,” he said.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government continues to undermine press freedom with its passage of a Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act which seeks to censure and intimidate media houses and put journalists in jail.

Governor not appointed

“There is a misconception that people are appointed to be the Governor. You are not appointed to be Governor. You have to apply like any other job. It’s a very ferocious competition and I was urged to go to other places where my background might be useful in solving some of their problems but I was very keen to come here and everything I have seen in the last three months has reinforced that that was the right choice,” he said.

“And it is a four-year job. I get the feeling that there is a misunderstanding that it is a three year job plus an extension. When you have these jobs that are quite demanding you have the option to leave after three years. So it is not an extension it is an option to leave. So I fully intend to do my four years here,” he said.

He said that he wants to continue to get to know the Virgin Islands people and for this reason he is making the rounds in social and service organisations with customary honorary membership.

“I am very keen to be part of the voluntary sector to work to help the people. I think this is very vibrant in this country…we have got the Rotary, we have got the Lions and also we’ve got some informal groupings which are also engaged in helping people,” he said.

“I am keen to get out and talk to the ordinary people and see what people’s concerns are. I’ve also been to the Sister Islands,” he said.

20 Responses to “‘I read the online news!’ – Governor John S. Duncan”

  • ccc (22/11/2014, 09:53) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Of course he is appointed
  • notes (22/11/2014, 10:01) Like (29) Dislike (5) Reply
    good to hear governor. please know that there is rampant cronyism and severe conflict of interest concerns in almost every project big or small here in the bvi.

    take a look at the names of the landowners at wickhams cay near where the pier project is taking place: it'd make ken bates himself blush

    • Blah Blah (23/11/2014, 04:50) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
      When VIP had their plans to deveop out there, why wasn't the land owner issue brought up then? Don't talk abou the one or two lots, talk all. Who own all the lots between the cruise pier area and Scotia Bank/Village Cay?
  • NICK (22/11/2014, 11:11) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    He is impressed because of the outspoken opposition- a good thing. However, he is still naive to the subtleties of favouritism, dismissal of written laws, and bull-dozing forward, both literally and figuratively. And please realize governor, that for 18 responses by those lucky to have a computer or who can even read represents 100s more opinions. journalists are still being muzzled and anyone who speaks out are subtly retaliated against. But you would never see that because you are visiting elite organizations and considering them as a reflection of the whole population. without being disrespectful, I would talk less and observe more.
    thank you.
  • Marco Polo (22/11/2014, 11:45) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Dear Govenor, If what you have to say is not sweeter than silence be careful not to fall off your soap box. Your four years will pass in a flash, and the BVI will continue on with it's own unique way of doing things.
  • oh really (22/11/2014, 13:41) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    good job not pre judging anybody. Has there ever been a competent governor? What makes a good gov. ? If you dont want a gov. Than separate from u.k. if not then expect an outsider to be in a power position every four years.
  • Reality CHeQue (22/11/2014, 13:50) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    The Governor realize ppl will blog blog up on his name in the way in which they feel about him lol, so he trying to throw a spin at the thing, the fourth Estate, Democracy lol poor fellow. Governor you started off with nitro, full speed, then now it seems like you already have gotten a douse of the............... Stop and analyse things for yourself, they will be to you false prophets........... there are victimization, cronyism, exploitation, nepotism, favoritism, Racism, CORRUPTION ALL AROUND YOU, TAKE OUT YOUR GLASSES OR CHANGE PRESCRIPTION GOVERNOR. Do not become sidetrack as to what your responsibility are. The BVI need a law where they can vote against a governor if they believe he is not performing his mandate he should be sent back on a AIRFORCE1 UK version. Did the previous governor told you how much complaint was made aginst him, that he was sued and labelled as corrupt. That he made decisions contraventions to his office and powers. That he delegated responsibilities to the COP which he should not have. He Kept you up to speed? with what about the beautiful Sun Sand Sea and Mulligan bar and at the end of your contract you can ask for an extension to do what you choose. Did he mentioned the Appointment of the COP was done by him even though the PSC did not recommend him the present COP.

    LOL Expats should know BVI values BVINEWS ARTICLE– Governor!!! this article, why do you not join hands with the government and send all the expats home, EXPATS should not even be a word to describe our Caribbean brothers and sisters. I wonder if the bvi have an influx of uk nationals, how would that be, i wonder if they will work in bobbies, and one mart, and do constructions and all the work that is being done by the "expats". i wonder if they will pay those exorbitant house rents doing the same jobs that afforded them the luxury of about $5.50 an hour.

    No victimization seen since my arrival – Governor BVINEWS article!!!!!!
    governor, wake up, maybe you need some coffee, step into reality, analyse the BVI before you make such statement. People will look at you with shock and Awe!!! especially the victims, Mr. Governor why don't you set up the opportunity for people to meet with you one and one to voice their concerns, Do this as a different thing for the people, make history in the BVI, Good history, you believe in democracy, at least give them a listening ears.

    No partiality – New governor says he grew up in Africa BVINEWS article!!!! what growing up in Africa has to do with anything Governor??????? the fact that u made such a statement shows that you have some form of resentment in your mind, to your surprise the bvi is a black society. DO you think a person who is racist will say i am racist!!!!! it funny how the article speak of partiality, but there is not need for your impartiality, the Government already in full practice of it against its people so no need.

    Businesses Doing Well With Substantial Markups - Governor; Raises Questions About STT Shopping!!!!!
    There need to be a research to see if the governor had any business franchises in the UK, or if he did study economics, before the the governor say, SUBSTANTIAL MARK UPS IN THE BVI WILL BE REVIEWED TO ESTABLISH WHAT IS THE REASON OF THE HIGH COST OF GOODS AND SERVICES IN THE BVI WITH AN INTENTION TO REVIEW WHERE POSSIBLE, he is saying people, the business people are doing good, but he did not say i wonder how people survive on $4.00 an hour in this country where basic necessities like food are so expensive.

    THIS GOVERNOR NEED A REALITY CHECK!!!!!!!! a real one!!!

  • .. (22/11/2014, 14:10) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    Call the Commission of inquiry on the Ports then we will trust u
  • weed (22/11/2014, 17:01) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    hope when he goes to cabinet he tell the NDP he loves press freedom!
  • wize up (22/11/2014, 17:40) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    the governor need to advise that bald-head minister to leave the press alone
  • jtv (22/11/2014, 22:43) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    This governor just talks to much end of story
  • yes (23/11/2014, 03:42) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I LOVE this new Govenor!!!
  • Intention (23/11/2014, 06:53) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yea, the intention is there but this place takes its toll. Look at the shape of Governors when they arrive and when they leave. They all look worn out and unhealthily when leave. If he has a conscience and continues to ignore all that goes on in this place then he will go as soon as he can if only to save his health. Or, maybe its just the rum!
  • pay us now (23/11/2014, 19:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well Mr governor u need to look in to the department of agricultural and the minister who over it because workers up there r afraid to speak out on long over due overtime money from January up to now no and mean while you there look in all the lands up the country that fence up with government materials
    Things to talk
  • me (23/11/2014, 20:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Since this new governor came to the territory all he is doing is wining and dining.
  • IPOD (23/11/2014, 22:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dear Governor,
    I am glad you read the comments. what you read reflects 1,666 times more than 18. Black people are by nature suspicious of the White man because of their previous record in the way they treat Black people so working in Africa or Europe makes no difference.

    Now, if you truly want to make a difference, Rotary and Lions Club are for the privilege few. I implore you to go out in the society and meet the Common man, woman, boy and girl in places like Scatliffe Alley, the Sunday Morning Well in town and West End, the boys and youths on the block who has the stories to tell, the poor homes in the Communities where people are paying high rents with few amenities the expatriates who work over time and have to wait months before they are paid or get none at all. The minium wages where they have o slave from dusk to dawn and are afaid to talk. The young girls who are sexual abuse to get money to pay their rents as they are getting 4.00 per hour, the skyrocketing food prices with no price control. Also the rude public service / customr service you get when people look at you and feel you come from a different island. The unprofessional conduct of teachers on the job to students and parents. The disregard for people in authority who may not come form tortola. The little respect you are shown if you appear to be more learned in certain areas if you happen to be an expt. The underlying deep seated hate that exist between locals and expt. even though you become one through intermarriage. Walk out of your box meet the ordinary man. They are the masses and you make your mark from there.
  • Babbler (24/11/2014, 00:29) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    This man reminds me of George W. Bush, a programmed babbler
    and a serious imbecile!
  • Plank (24/11/2014, 06:42) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    leave the good Governor alone, he knows what he is doing. He has to mingle with the elites, to get info from the elites about the elites. You have to mingle to get info. Please, I am not picking on the Police
  • Thegovernorreplies (25/11/2014, 18:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some people have brought to my attention a possible confusion in this article about "Appointment of Governors' So to be clear, all governors in the UK Overseas Territories are appointed by Her Majesty the Queen on the advice of the UK Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary. The recruitment of governors is carried out by the Foreign Office on the basis of an open competition in which candidates are invited to apply from any part of the UK Public Service or military. Interviews are then carried out by a panel headed by the FCO Director General responsible for the Overseas Territories and a recommendation on the most suitable candidate is made to the FCO Overseas Territory Minster and Foreign Secretary. The Premier/Chief Minster of the Overseas Territory is also consulted during the recruitment process.

    There is a common misperception that Governors are simply selected by the FCO HR Department or FCO Ministers. If this may have happened in the past it is no longer the case. A person who wishes to be governor has to demonstrate at interview that they have the required skills and experience compared to other candidates. The result in practical terms is that of the 6 Governors in the Caribbean and Atlantic Overseas Territories 3 come from the FCO while the others come from different branches of the UK public service. This was the point I was trying to make.

    In my inaugural address I set out how a governor has to represent a broad community of interests, both in the UK and the BVI. Unless an Overseas Territory choses to become independent, a citizen of the Overseas Territories cannot apply to be governor. This would change the nature of the post which would strictly speaking become that of Governor General as exists in a number of Commonwealth countries today.

    I hope this clears up any confusion. I have taken good note of the other views expressed in reaction to this article.

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