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Premier Smith fires back @ Gov Duncan

- says Governor Duncan’s recent comments were made @ an inappropriate time
Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL),right, believes the recent public criticism of his National Democratic Party (NDP) Government by Governor John S. Duncan OBE, left, was done at an inappropriate time. Photo: VINO
Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL),centre, briefed the local press on his recent trip to the United Kingdom among other matters yesterday, February 16, 2017 in the Conference Room, Office of the Premier. Photo: VINO
Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL),centre, briefed the local press on his recent trip to the United Kingdom among other matters yesterday, February 16, 2017 in the Conference Room, Office of the Premier. Photo: VINO
‎ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The call to have deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) be done as an open forum has been put to the government on numerous occasions in a bid to promote transparency of the people's business; however, this continues to be unheeded.

Why? Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) was pressed to address this issue at a press conference held yesterday February 16, 2017 in the Conference Room, Office of the Premier where reporters demanded an explanation for the inaction.

It takes time!

"One of the things that I find interesting is that there are many things that people would like to see, including myself, including my Ministers of Government, including the Governor, including the public, but sometimes things take time. I find it best not to rush into things so quickly because sometimes you make the wrong decision. And making things public after, you realise there are various aspects you want to make public, when to make it public. Those are the things which we are looking at, which we are discussing," Premier Smith responded.

Earlier this week, Governor John S. Duncan OBE publicly blasted the National Democratic Party (NDP) government at a public event held at Her Majesty's Prison, suggesting that they are struggling with setting priorities for passing legislations that have been on the table for an extended time now, including the passing of the Freedom of Information Act and the establishing of the Human Rights Council.

As he sought to defend those matters, Premier Smith said "Even with the bill which the Governor spoke about that is on the table for discussions and some of these bills that you need to present to the House take quite a lot of discussion, take a lot of research, take quite a lot of negotiating before they are properly presented before the House, because ‎you want to make sure that whatever you do is in the best interest of the people of the territory. Sometimes even when you do that and we carry bills to the House, shortly after it needs amendments to change some things which perhaps were not suitable at the time."

Poor timing by Governor, says Premier Smith

However, the Premier believes that the recent public comments made by Governor Duncan were inappropriate.

"Let me put it this way, I was taken aback by the Governor's statements, which I thought was not appropriate for the occasion. I also want to add that we all work well together, all the Ministers of government and the Governor, we have frank discussions in Cabinet," said Premier Smith.

"I will say that we work together as a team...We all contribute to all the discussions that go on, whether it's in financial services, whether it's in health, tourism; and we make decisions collectively...So as long as I am aware, I know that whatever decision we are making is in the best of the Territory, as far as we can do. I am fine with that," he said.

Further asked if he was infuriated by the public outburst of the Governer and if he spoke to him expressing his distaste for the manner in which he made the statement, Premier Smith declined to comment on whether he spoke to the Governor.

The Leader of Government said; however, that he is not fazed by the growing attacks on him and his administration.

"No, because what I am doing here is putting in the time...meeting with my colleagues to have discussions and discussions with the public so we can continue to build an economy for the people.”

We support RVIPF ‘inside & outside budget’- Premier

Governor Duncan had also criticised the NDP Government for cutting the budget of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) by 46% since 2012. His sentiments supported the earlier call by former Permanent Secretary and Businessman Julian Willock to properly fund the police.

"For example, the matter of the police, as a government we support the police inside and outside the budget," said Premier Smith, while also noting that last year, outside of the budget allocations, government provided funding for the hiring of 30 additional police officers and the purchasing of new vehicles.

"As you know, a budget is a budget and during the budget, you have to make a decision as to what programmes (have to) be in that budget. Decisions are made by Cabinet, taken to the House (of Assembly) and a final decision is made."

33 Responses to “Premier Smith fires back @ Gov Duncan”

  • ernst & wise (17/02/2017, 09:18) Like (44) Dislike (1) Reply
    Ooooh and can you imagine if we go independent or give ministers more power?!!! Hahaha!!! People we would not have a voice anymore!!! The Governor, The Queen, The Matriarch Representative! He cannot even govern these rugrats we call Honourable!!!!

    This Premier that everyone view has his elected Members so Out of Order from day One!! As they get in they start disrespecting the Opposition Members, persons in authority and wider community. Oh when and how you want the Governor to address their unlistenable backside!! Should he do it behind closed doors!! Problem no 1 Abuse of Power. We created disrespectful and hired greedy unintelligent Monsters. Problem number 2 Transparency!!! Problem number 3 no accountability, Problem number 4 Cronism and Victimization, Problem number 5 Self Interest before serving the people, Problem number 6 Lies, tricks, fake promises and delusion about true state of country. Problem no 7 Inability to prioritize the country's needs, Problem number 8 Bad Finance Management/lack of (e.g years of audited accounts), Problem number 9 The Country is Broke, Problem number 10 The people will have to pay for this Government mistakes true increase taxes, crime, poverty and lower quality of living.

    Who can say they are not paying for this Government mistakes already except for the cronies of course. In case the Premier isn't aware even himself has a boss and he should go Address the education minister and his other members from wasting the people's time and attackng the throne!!!!

    • LOL (17/02/2017, 14:58) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      Let them fire the Governor now. The Governor agrees with Cline on a lot of things including that airport. It is not for want of trying to speak to them in private but they are not listening so everything going public. You all will understand it better by and by.
  • apple pie (17/02/2017, 09:33) Like (34) Dislike (1) Reply
    poor governor he is as frustrated as WE the voters
  • No Name (17/02/2017, 09:47) Like (50) Dislike (4) Reply
    Dr. Smith. You and the NDP need to GO!!
    • @ No Name (17/02/2017, 11:27) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
      Aaah I think that's what Ernst & wise was saying. Thanks for summing it up!! Send them packing!! Get out of here!!
  • just asking.... (17/02/2017, 09:47) Like (40) Dislike (0) Reply
    when will the people hit back?
    • Reply (19/02/2017, 13:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Who would willingly turn their lives upside down to enter such a unstable situation.
  • SMH (17/02/2017, 09:59) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
    all doc has is just lame excuses
  • kelo (17/02/2017, 10:39) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    What kind of a hit back is that?
  • sign of frustration (17/02/2017, 10:51) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    It had to be that the Governor just pissed off with all ah dem and he couldn't hold it back.
  • wize up (17/02/2017, 11:06) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
    why the governor got so much venom all of a sudden(what is going on has been on going for years)...I personally think the governor is speaking out now because is about to leave and have to give an account for his conduct in while in the territory
    • Hmmm (17/02/2017, 13:55) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      His ticket was already purchased so suddenly he is trying to portray himself as a no nonsense kind of guy....too late
      • wize up (17/02/2017, 15:29) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        @ Hmmmm: you understand my position in the matter(I wish none of my people any harm) but some folks had concerns with the spending of taxpayers money on that cruise project(what the governor did?)....suddenly the man full of talk
  • lord o. (17/02/2017, 11:14) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow. Wow. Not faze or worried about what the people say or think about him and his government.. Omg . So who do they listen to and what bother them?
    • @lord o (17/02/2017, 11:30) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Exactly! They think they are untouchable that's what happens when you give some people power! Let them know the power ain't no permanent power. Keep calm!!
  • visionary (17/02/2017, 11:52) Like (5) Dislike (7) Reply
    This is just the beginning of sorrows if we continue to be 'young tings who cannot leave our mother.' The Governor's time up now, so he starting to spew his venom against the Government. Where the hell was England when Willard Wheatley brought us out of granting aid? What resources did the mother country gave to us to bring us where we are today? Instead Europe continues to be who it was from the days Christobel Columbo came to these shores -- a destroyer of indigenous people. Boss, take this and smoke it in you and England's pipe: if we made it when we were a bird sanctuary, we will make it further without you and UK. I repeat and will say it again, no Virgin Islander who loves this country will do it worst than if you place it in the hands of the Edomites. So we could never be worse off. You doubt me, take a look back in history. Read the hanging of Arthur Hodge story. The day our people wake up from their slumber and understand how we became a country in the first place, we will find the strength and power to move on fearlessly. Come on, Virgin Islanders. Let us not be afraid. We may fall low, but yet we will rise.
    • @visionary (17/02/2017, 12:58) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      Do you mean Vision-less? Stop bringing Willard Wheatley name in this mess. You so ungrateful you think we could have been where we are today without the backing of the throne!! Do you think the"island people" them would even crave to be here if the BVI didn't have the mother country behind us and the American dollar all these years? Do you think with our current status and attitude we are ready to tell Great Britain kiss our beehive we going independent.

      Some of us indigenous people are what destroying the country and its people. We put other people down and hold them just there, treat other nationalities bad just as how you doing the Governor for doing his job. Let's talk about victimization, poor managemebt, hog treatment, evilness and the "shut your mouth don't oppose me" mentality that prevails the ndp administration. An indigenous as Cline had to face it and many more. We have bitter mean vindictive and ungrateful people leading and living in this country they claim they love. A big problem is ndp believe they don't have to answer to anyone but I got news for them. They better chill because the Governor is on to them. Race and nationality has nothing to do with how this country is being run. It's the shittyest and most degraded administration by far. Mr. Governor continue to do your darn job!!!
    • John (18/02/2017, 11:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Those of you who are talking about independence never address the the issues of accountability, transparency and victimization. Do you think these problems are going to go away, if the same people who created them in the first place take us independent? I don't think so. The people of the Virgin Islands have gotten this far, we will consider independence in our own time, when we deem it appropriate to do so. We are not going to be hustled by party insiders who stand to benefit from more of the current behavior.
  • voter (17/02/2017, 12:01) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    Ndp soft only ralph could handle these governors
  • balo (17/02/2017, 12:20) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    sitting there and listening, the majority of the audience cant even vote when incarcerated so we could make a difference. Maybe the gov tried everything before with them but they too stubburn Gov was just royally royal and disgusted with them, so he come up the prison as a last resort.
  • cay (17/02/2017, 12:26) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    They will still get elected as they will buy it out again
    • @Cay (17/02/2017, 13:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      You mean by you out!
      • noooo (17/02/2017, 20:23) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        I blame the people. I blame the excessive influence of money is politics. I blame those who voted for the NDP in 2015 and those who didn't vote at all.
  • the bay (17/02/2017, 14:44) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    I lost all respect for the DOC ... Gov. Duncan and Willock is right about funding the Police force because down here in the bay a pilot car was damage and when he went to the police station he met a "Cat" on the step keeping watch making sure the thieves don't damage the Station..Why Doc give and Airline 7 mil to help improve the tourism sector and can't give the police 70 $ to keep the Cane Garden Bay Police Station open..Who will protect the tourist when they come ? The Black Ram Cat on the step? Why pay rent every month for a place and don't use it ? I think the time has come for these Guys to give it up .the Governor is so right about this Government Priorities and all they trying to do is make lame excuses..Cane Garden Bay entertains 90% of the tourist on Tortola ,what we waiting on something drastic to happen ?The people in the Bay need answers ,even NDP REP Turnbull is crying out for help and they just hurting their back benchers like what VIP did when they had the NDP 11-2..Watch what will happen to them next election, just watch, the benchers will be ragged up like a shaggy old mops..
  • Boss (17/02/2017, 14:53) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now the doctor gone loose he mind! Telling the Queen's Governor no no now not the time! Doc say yo inappropriate to address ma minister! Wha wrong wid a likkle gesture!

    Lawdy doc how you go disrespect the throne! The one that look out for you and help you grow! When words get to the Queen you go know! Don't disrespect the throne! Ayayea lol
  • alaya (17/02/2017, 14:58) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everyone has a problem with VIP and NDP. And have so much to say about how bad VIP and currently NDP is doing. So, who will lead the way? Let's talk about that. Just a thought.
    • @alaya. Agree (17/02/2017, 16:29) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ alaya. Agree. The way forward should be the discussion.. VIP has failed us. NDP is failing us. So what's our solution?
    • wize up (17/02/2017, 16:43) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ alaya: we need a coalition government because if we have another group we will have problems because of within that group will hold one head: I recall back in the day following an election lobbying was done to form a ruling administration....the territory truly need good leadership for the people of the territory be those persons from BVI or not: the tax money should no longer go into the pockets of those we elected: I think the guidelines associated with spending tax money must be reviewed and those persons guilty of miss management of our tax money must answer criminal charges
    • @alaya (17/02/2017, 17:18) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      VIP only problem is to build its team and continue our forefather's legacy. Andrew got enough training and went up against a lot of pit bulls. I hope you see that we must stand for something. We can't be so ungrateful all the time always looking something new. It's the same ungratefulness that got us in this mess with the NDP. Worst government ever in the history of the BVI.
  • Liat 521 (17/02/2017, 20:19) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    It takes a gutsy, no nonsense person to run this BVI and Dr. Smith is not the one!
  • Shanna (17/02/2017, 20:46) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Tell both Dr. Smith and HE Duncan to put country above punch line politics. That will solve the problem.
  • lodger (19/02/2017, 22:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hello NDP. You are now in power. You are wasting time. Or are you finally realizing that the governor has woke up?
  • teacher john (19/02/2017, 22:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The National Democratic Party lament:

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us—if at all—not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.

    And Mark and Myron leads the parade.

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