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Should the Premier 'bell those cats'?

- Dr Smith says Hon. Walwyn’s statement was personal opinion; reveals that Territory is up to date on ‘self-determination’ discussions
Ministers, Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool (left) and Hon. Myron V. Walwyn were chided for statements made during the Emancipation Service held at the Sunday Morning Well on August 4, 2013. Photo: VINO/File
During a press conference held by Premier Smith yesterday, August 20, 2013 Premier Smith said he thought Hon. Walwyn’s statement was made in his own personal capacity and did not represent the position of the government as this had not been discussed by Cabinet. Photo: VINO/File
During a press conference held by Premier Smith yesterday, August 20, 2013 Premier Smith said he thought Hon. Walwyn’s statement was made in his own personal capacity and did not represent the position of the government as this had not been discussed by Cabinet. Photo: VINO/File
Commentator, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, felt that the Premier could certainly rein in his Ministers on that issue and also recommended that Dr Smith rein in his Ministers on using the Emancipation service as a platform for very
Commentator, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, felt that the Premier could certainly rein in his Ministers on that issue and also recommended that Dr Smith rein in his Ministers on using the Emancipation service as a platform for very "contentious" political issues and instead allow that platform to be used to celebrate the ancestors of Virgin Islanders. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Commentator and social activist Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru said as a citizen of the Territory, he would like to see Premier Dr The Hon. D. Orlando Smith take a much stronger stance when it came to certain subjects that Ministers are left to make statements on.

The commentator felt that the Premier could certainly rein in his Ministers on that issue and also recommended that Dr Smith rein in his Ministers on using the Emancipation service as a platform for very "contentious" political issues and instead allow that platform to be used to celebrate the ancestors of Virgin Islanders. 

“I would like to see him take a strong stance on that and rein in some of the behaviours of the Ministers,” he said.

“I think that there are a few statements that have been made by Hon. Walwyn and I even think, Hon. Vanterpool that would have been more appropriately stated by the Premier; but perhaps the Premier doesn’t seem to mind that because he doesn’t seem to voice any objection to it,” Wheatley stated.

During the Sunday Morning Well service held on August 4, 2013 Education Minister Hon. Myron V. Walwyn called for the children of expatriate parents to be freed with respect to them being granted citizenship upon their birth in the Virgin Islands.

At the same service, Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool re-stated a call he had made the previous year for the Territory to move closer towards self-determination.

Meanwhile, during a press conference held by Premier Smith yesterday, August 20, 2013 Premier Smith said he thought Hon. Walwyn’s statement was made in his own personal capacity and did not represent the position of the government as this had not been discussed by Cabinet.

“It has not been discussed by the Cabinet or the caucus of government. It was a statement made by the Minister and it was the personal way he felt about it,” Dr Smith said. He added that it is a matter that he was sure will be discussed and the government would determine when that would happen.

When asked whether he supported the Minister’s view, Dr Smith said, “I think that the question of birth citizenship is something that is very detailed. It’s not something that you can just make a statement without considering all the ramifications. The thing that is important too is that the British Nationality Act is not an Act under the laws of the BVI, it is an Act under the United Kingdom.”

The Premier added that any recommendations that will be made will have to be made to the UK as far as he was concerned and any such recommendation will have to be discussed widely internally with the people of the Virgin Islands.

He further expressed that he felt the issues of the Territory’s independence and that of self-determination, while being closely linked, were not one and the same.

According to the Premier, the entire issue was a question of timing, “timing has to do with when the particular country is ready for that decision, economically, politically and socially. So that is the whole thing.”

He stated that while Hon. Vanterpool suggested that there should be a start to the conversation, the reality is that the conversation has been ongoing. The Premier added and the Territory, by virtue of the Deputy Premier’s participation in discussions with the UN committee on de-colonization, was up to date on the said topic.

“The matter of when, that is something that has to be decided. As I said it has to depend on when the country is ready for such a move,” he added. He repeated that he was not in favour of independence for the Territory at this time.

28 Responses to “Should the Premier 'bell those cats'?”

  • 1 (21/08/2013, 08:04) Like (9) Dislike (28) Reply
    Well saw two wild cows
    • virgin gorda (21/08/2013, 11:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Bout time...

      • VG as well (21/08/2013, 12:17) Like (0) Dislike (30) Reply
        Hush if you don't have anything to say VG is better off under this administration
        Seem you love promises what Ralphie was given or you mis hand outs like oooooo you all a self sintered its not about you get that it's about the better mint of our country
        • @ VG as well (21/08/2013, 21:55) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
          You all have time to answer this damn nuisance MVW...bouy enjoy yu little trip away boss!!!!
  • fact (21/08/2013, 08:19) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    My person opinion is that the Government should consider giving children status after five years provided that the parents can demonstrate some form of commitment to the VI. If we take this approach then the Nationality Act is a non issue.
  • son of the soil (21/08/2013, 09:44) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    Are these guys indigenous?
  • . (21/08/2013, 09:47) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    Shine head and dye head are two loose cannons.
  • pat (21/08/2013, 09:58) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    now that the premier has thrown them both under the bus and made it clear they do not speak for him, let's see if they both keep their traps SHUT..from chatting hogwash???
  • Uncle Ruckus (21/08/2013, 10:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You telling me that the man Vanterpool is a member of the MCC. Noooooo Sir, that can't be right.
  • xxxxxxxx (21/08/2013, 11:12) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    two down, two more years to go!
  • Concerned (21/08/2013, 11:54) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I really cannot help wondering how many times these two men will speak out of turn and the poor Premier will have to clean up afterwards!
    • BELL (21/08/2013, 15:44) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Dr. Smith the people are very skeptical of your ability to manage your government and control those two runaway ministers because of the past things they have said.
  • in the news (21/08/2013, 12:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow!

  • Madness (21/08/2013, 12:59) Like (11) Dislike (13) Reply
    I think something is seriously wrong with our thinking. Since when a Minister cannot voice an opinion that is different from his leader? Dissenting opinions help to foster robust debate so that when decisions are made they are sound. I now see why we have so many problems in this place. I understand fully why people are so upset with the current administration. They are upset because they feel that everything they say should be done the government should do it. News Flash! Anytime you find yourself in a situation where everyone is in agreement with you it is time you realize that something is seriously wrong with what you are doing.

    There are two old sayings that we should always remember: "Great minds think alike" and “fools seldom differ." Think about the latter and you will understand the value of dissenting voices. There is a big difference between how a government acts and what individual members of that government say. Laws are passed based on unanimous consent of sitting members. There is hardly ever a time when all members agree on something but that does not prevent it from going into effect. Honorable Fahie was the lone dissenting voice on the BiWater contract and that did not stop it from taking effect. We need to stop prating nonsense about what is being done when half the times we don't even understand the issues. We hear something and run with it as if it were our own opinion when we don't have a clue.
    Ministers Walwyn, Vanterpool or any other member of government do not have to be in total agreement with the Premier but they must respect their opinions just like they must respect his.
    • Madness (21/08/2013, 15:32) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Amen to Dr. Smith but you cannot rain Myron and Mark in by simply saying they are expressing their own opinions, you must demonstrate that you are in charge of your government...ugh!
  • watchful (21/08/2013, 13:24) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    Do we exist in utopia? Who will be brave enough to discuss our ills? When will we see that as representatives of the people its every MP's job to bring up the concerns of the society. We all need to see how would can solve issues before it gets to the point where it becomes chronic.
  • DarkVader (21/08/2013, 14:45) Like (0) Dislike (13) Reply
    Some of you all comments are so jokey I just have to shake my head..Free speech..anyone can say what they think and the ministers and back benchers are not excluded.
  • VIlander (21/08/2013, 15:26) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    All I can say is that it’s good for Dr. Smith to speak out now but it’s clear he does not control the agenda or his government!!!
  • the real issues (21/08/2013, 15:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sorry to say, but the BVI cannot be open for business until crime is under control.
  • . (21/08/2013, 17:10) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I prefer when the speak openly what is on their minds. That way we know what they are thinking and what their true intentions are and can act accordingly.
  • common knowladge (21/08/2013, 17:48) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is obvious that the so call Leader has lost control of his government
    • Ms. Diva (21/08/2013, 21:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      With that gang you not even sure who is the leader…seems like confusion…a house divided cannot stand, they will go the way of the VIP voted out!!!!
  • Rastarite (22/08/2013, 17:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let the NDP, Myron and Mark fight for power and destroys themselves, while Fraser and Fahie united the country and continue there long standing support for the youths and move the country forward


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