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UK casting blind eye on undemocratic practices in VI- Doug Wheatley

Respected radio talk show host Doug Wheatley has accused the UK Government of ignoring undemocratic practices of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) government. Photo: VINO/File
The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government of Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith has been accused of engaging in undemocratic practices. Photo: VINO/File
The National Democratic Party (NDP) Government of Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith has been accused of engaging in undemocratic practices. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Respected talk show host Doug Wheatley has accused the United Kingdom government of standing aloof and not wanting to intervene on various undemocratic practices that plague the territory from time to time, despite them being brought to their attention.

The outspoken host of the weekly programme on ZBVI 780 AM, Speak out BVI, on Tuesday August 23, 2016 made reference to several instances where the UK government did nothing on critical issues arising, which affected the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) in one way or the other.

He pointed to a letter that was written to that government regarding the National Health Insurance (NHI) which he, along with a group of other concerned citizens, wrote in an attempt to seek a more favourable response than that given by the National Democratic Party (NDP).

Nefarious NDP?

Wheatley said the British Government was called upon to intervene because the NDP government was not being given information requested. However, still not wanting to “wash our dirty linen in public” the group in its letter used more diplomatic wording instead of what really was on their minds like “nefarious governing” out of the good hearts, but they were in for a surprise.

“We did that out of the goodness of our hearts and we were very surprised that the British did not take any step with respect to the undemocratic practices that were being perpetrated on the people,” he bemoaned.

“So I say that to say that sometimes we think that we have the British government there and you can appeal to them and they will say something and do something, but our recent experience is that they don’t want to get involved! And we see it on a number of other instances.”

The “other” instance he mentioned had to do with the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) asking questions on things that were going contrary to the law, the latest being Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) who accused the VI government of acting illegally with respect to the latest move to reverse the decision to increase the tax on alcohol products, through an order published in the Gazette.

Hon Fahie had argued that under the law, the government has to return to the House of Assembly to repeal the law and cannot just instruct Her Majesty’s Customs to stop collecting the increased 25 percent on import duties on alcohol.

Governor not the eternal policeman!

Meanwhile, Governor John S. Duncan, who has said the role and task of the Governor are to strike the balance between the views of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, those of the Government of the Virgin Islands, its elected representatives and the aspirations of the people of the Virgin Islands.

“It should be clear that I do not see the role as Governor to be the ‘eternal policeman’ ready to intervene at every turn when people are dissatisfied with the answer they have received from the Public Service, or their elected representatives. I believe firmly that the institutions of the Territory and those elected to make decisions, should shoulder their responsibilities. I have to say that that commitment has often been tested over the past two years,” Governor Duncan said at a press conference at the Governor’s Residence on August 19, 2016.

8 Responses to “UK casting blind eye on undemocratic practices in VI- Doug Wheatley”

  • EASE UP (24/08/2016, 10:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yo going kill the dead horse wid blows? Stop beating a dead horse partner.
  • Hushymt (24/08/2016, 10:17) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    Why Douglas keep asking for interference of the UK Government in our affairs? Haven't you read your history books? Keep those people out of our affairs as much as possible. Learn to deal with your issues domestically.
  • John (24/08/2016, 11:26) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the Governor does want to be the 'eternal policeman' he should submit his resignation to Her Majesty's Government . Who will protect the people when the policeman is sleeping on the job and criminals are breaking the law? The Governor once said that he and the ndp are not corrupt; an outrageous comment, since he appears to be speaking for the ndp. He can speak for himself, but not the ndp, unless he knows something he is not telling us.
    Governor, if the people are accusing the government of breaking the law, it should be investigated.
  • i from here (24/08/2016, 11:45) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    This Wheatley man good in his head ?
  • east man (24/08/2016, 12:17) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    DOUG please ease up on our people we from here
  • wize up (24/08/2016, 20:03) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope if Doug gets his wish he wont cry long eye water...home boy keeps harping about the UK....His father took this territory out of the hands of the U.K. In the very careful what you wish for: mr wheatley been talking the same things over and over for almost 5 years: if he dont like how the country running put down the microphones then find 13 persons and form a political the change that you want to see mr wheatley
    • John (26/08/2016, 01:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      People have a right to criticize their government. If you do not agree with wrongs perpetrated by your Government, you can draw the people’s attention to them. By raising these issues, Mr. Wheatley may inspire those who wish to do so to run. Running for elected office in order to correct things is not his only option. That approach is nonchalant and over simplistic.

      All Mr. Wheatley is asking is for our government to come clean and provide good governance. What is wrong with that?

      If the UK intervenes, that would not be without precedence in recent Caribbean history. We recall that in 2009 the British government did just that in the Turks and Caicos Islands, when it imposed direct rule on those islands where former Premier Michael Misick and other officials were accused of corruption, financial mismanagement and selling government land for personal gain. Misick was forced to resign and fled to Brazil. He was later found and returned to TCI, where he and his group are currently on trial.

      After it was deemed by the UK, that the rule of law was sufficiently restored, elections were held in November 2012. The TCI is now back on self-rule and the people are better off for it.

      The government is the people. They must hold the managers they place in charge of their affairs accountable. Why leave rats in charge of the cheese factory? We know they eat cheese. Wize up!!
  • virgin gorda (25/08/2016, 08:41) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    do not depend on governor Duncan people get in the streets and march

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