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'UK assistance was woefully inadequate' - Claude O. Skelton-Cline

- said more effort was placed on the security of the territory following the hurricanes of September 2017
Former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and social commentator, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, believes that the United Kingdom (UK) assistance was not adequate enough post hurricanes Irma and Maria, adding that the majority of the assistance went into the security of the territory. Photo: Facebook
The United Kingdom (UK) military was sent to the territory following the devastating hurricanes of September 2017 to assist with restoring law and order. Photo: VINO/File
The United Kingdom (UK) military was sent to the territory following the devastating hurricanes of September 2017 to assist with restoring law and order. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Brodrick Penn, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee (DRCC), and his team were publicly applauded by social commentator Claude O. Skelton-Cline for the 'tremendous' work that they have been doing during the recovery and development process. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Brodrick Penn, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee (DRCC), and his team were publicly applauded by social commentator Claude O. Skelton-Cline for the 'tremendous' work that they have been doing during the recovery and development process. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and social commentator, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, believes the United Kingdom's (UK) assistance was not adequate enough post hurricanes Irma and Maria, adding that the majority of the assistance went into the security of the territory.

He was at the time speaking as a guest on the radio talk show ‘Stay Woke’ on ZBVI 780 AM on Saturday, March 17, 2018, voicing his concerns about the development of the Recovery and Development Agency. The host of the show was Zoe J. Walcott-McMillan, Mrs BVI 2017/18.

“I do not believe that the meaningful assistance that the United Kingdom has given is adequate from the onset. Much of the assistance if you recall came from the heels of the debacle and the fumbling with the security, which was already under the responsibility of the Governor. So most of the work that they did on the heels of hurricanes Irma and Maria was based upon that. We saw the breakdown of the prison, police department and the tremendous looting. So we had a security breach of the country and that’s where I think they gave most of their efforts, but in terms of post, I think it has been woefully inadequate,” expressed Mr Skelton-Cline.

He believes that the UK, being the mother country responsible for the overseas territories, “could and should have done more” instead of putting the territory in debt, describing it as “economic enslavement”.

He said, “What do we know about debt? It is economical enslavement, it doesn’t matter how you spin it and it doesn’t matter how fancy it is. You go and mortgage a house like my spouse and I, we are in debt. We owe that thing every month. The UK could have been a more faithful partner with us in this endeavour.”

“I am for the protection, preservation & preparation of Virgin Islanders”

Meanwhile, the social commentator emphasised that he is “for the protection, preservation and preparation of Virgin Islanders” but noted that his issues lie with an Agency or Board that does not give Virgin Islanders first preference.

He also indicated that he does not like to hear the words “international best practices and globalisation” because often times there is a conflict with locals when a tender and procurement process is open to anybody and VIslanders do not get first preference.

He explained, “Let’s be clear, I am for the protection, preservation and the preparation of Virgin Islanders first. My only conflict with any agency or board would be to the extent that is not consistent or commissary with protecting, preserving BVIslanders in terms of being able to participate fully in the economic development of their own territory and that is why I give caution when I hear words like international best practices and globalisation, because those are often times in conflict with local participation in any meaningful way, because it opens tender processes and procurement process and anybody can feed in.”

In addition, Mr Skelton-Cline urged that there should be strict measures in place in the procurement or legislation document that protects Virgin Islanders and give them “first refusal and to not become employees” in their own country.

“I applaud these guys behind the scenes”

The former Managing Director applauded Mr Brodrick Penn, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee (DRCC), and his team for the work that they have been doing thus far during the recovery process, noting that their jobs are not an easy undertaking.

He commented, “I applaud these guys that work behind the scenes, doing a tremendous job. I’ve been where they are and they are the ones that do the heavy lifting, are the ones who have more information really than the ministers themselves. They spend hours away from their families in meetings after meetings and they travel the world trying to make things better for the BVI. So I want to let them know publicly, from me personally having been in some of those same situations, how grateful I am for the work that they are doing no matter the criticism that they hear from the outside.”

The DRCC Chairman continued, “While this is a rush to make the April 1, 2018, deadline so that we can meet the budgetary timeline of the UK to see whether this thing is going to be a part of their stuff. Let’s be real. There is going to be a long period of time before you see the next move because this thing is not easy. This thing is a beast. This is heavy lifting. This thing ain’t no joke. Seven hundred and twenty-one million dollars by whatever means, that is a serious undertaking. This is going to be a long haul and we need to ready our public for what’s about to take place and ensure that they can fully participate in the entire process from commencement to completion. This is a big deal.”

18 Responses to “'UK assistance was woefully inadequate' - Claude O. Skelton-Cline”

  • Port (20/03/2018, 11:04) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    given the woeful performance of the Port i’m surprised any one’s interested in his diagnosis; and I know he was let go before the storm, but to get to the current level of shambles must have taken a long time. Hardly an advert for first refusal for Virgin Islanders. I think there are some British soldiers trying to improve things at the moment. Let’s hope they succeed.
  • Loving it! (20/03/2018, 11:11) Like (11) Dislike (19) Reply
    Don't ever stay silent Mr. Skelton-Cline; your voice is definitely needed in the mix at this time in our country's history- popular or not. Our Democracy requires all thoughts to the table to ascertain the most feasible direction forward before we all perish in this place.
    • Enough of it. (20/03/2018, 12:59) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
      @ Loving it

      He is free to talk of course, that is his right. But he is showing the world that either he is a fool or that he takes us the BVI readers for fools.
  • oen eye (20/03/2018, 11:35) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    he change up on us
  • qc (20/03/2018, 12:37) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    the governor and his team must investigate the Ports 40 M over run
  • Incline2decline (20/03/2018, 13:59) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wake up !!!! "Globalization and International best practices" are here to stay it is the way world business is being conducted. Some people are afraid simple what this bring
    into play transparency and accountability, a blessing the honest but a curse to those who are hell bent of vonducting shady business. This also means like it or not, our people must now compete for positions in their own country. International bodies could now set up businesses in the territory, once they meet the legal requirements. They are not longer "force" to employ any person based solely on who your parents are or where you were born, it is now those who are qualified for any post are the ones who gets it.. The commentators should tell you the truth. It is OK to bring issues to us but what is the solution?
  • mute (20/03/2018, 14:16) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    This guy don't have a mute button? If it wasn't for the UK military to restore law and order, y'all prisoners would have still been on the loose. That's more than money can buy. BVI can't even maintain its standard, police force. All the woeful crap that was going on was due to your premier. The state of the youths in BVI is woeful because you woefully spent money you were entrusted with for your selfish desires
    Woe be unto you...
  • Hmmm (20/03/2018, 14:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Nothing is ever enough to please us on this little island. Arent we tired of waiting for handouts. Get up and help each other instead of pulling each other down.
  • ok (20/03/2018, 15:31) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree the need to come together for sure else we will go backward. What I have seen right after the hurricanes really shock me . There is no love for each any more. The churches have to take down some of these so call believers until they do what they are professing. People let us humble ourselves and support each other and if we cannot get together then the government will always do what they want regardless of who run the government.
  • pat (20/03/2018, 15:35) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    do not kill the messenger he is speaking truth to power bottom line!
  • Phoenix (20/03/2018, 16:18) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Whuh? You ain't remember the HMS Ocenan from the UK being sent away to Barbuda with a shipload of trucks and backhoes and earthmovers and engineers and people to help make a plan? You didn't make a peep then. Why now? I respected Mr Skelton-Cline until the last few weeks.....We need a whole new crop of politically active citizens who actually care about the Territory. Time to rise above.
  • Forgiving (20/03/2018, 20:52) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Whatever happens to us in this country we do it to ourselves! we are stuck in our ignorant, tunnel vision, narrow minded, ignorant and unforgiving thinking.
  • island man (20/03/2018, 21:38) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Clone, instead for you to help us get back that 7 million so I can get something to help repair my house you here talking nonesence. I don't have insurance and am living in poverty right now. Man leave the UK alone and help the needy please.
  • Rubber Duck (20/03/2018, 22:32) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    The port fiasco proves that this man has no clue how to run anything.
  • Courage (20/03/2018, 22:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    He is a real farmer ...planting all kinds of negative political seeds. Be careful what you sow you don't reap pastor cline.
  • observant (21/03/2018, 11:06) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Several folks with whom I've spoken, including members, said the Royal Marines were shackled by local government, told they could ONLY do supplemental policing, NOTHING else. Meanwhile the Marines said they could be doing "so much more". They were sent off too soon and way under-utilised. There's a great deal of "We don't need the UK" sentiment in the BVI - Karma sucks.
    • AncestralWorship (22/03/2018, 10:33) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      The UK wants us for their haven when the Muslims kick them out of their own country. They raped these islands for hundreds of years with cheap labour for their king sugar, it is time for us to separate from them. The notion of fear that they put over us is what has us down. What did Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Dominica had when they gained independence? A strong will of the people to govern themselves, faith in God and a rosolve to work for the betterment of the country. Say it plain; people beating around the bush, the UK just want to rule us and make us into their little slaves again. We not going back there, no! The revolution has started. Can't you hear. The sooner we wake up from our slumber, the quicker we can move on with rewarding our ancestors for their sacrifical labour and toil to free future generations. When the UK becomes a Muslim country, are we a Christian nation going to still continue to be 'young tings who cannot leave their mother? Wake up, people; it is time to start charting our future rather than wrapping up in bed with those Edomites.


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