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'We got the leader of the country like a toy'- Hon Vanterpool

- said the Premier received 'hostility' from UK parliamentarians when he asked for assistance for VI
Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) has said Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL), who is also his brother-in law, should get respect from the members of his own administration who are refusing to vote yes for the £300 million loan guarantee agreement with the United Kingdom. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has been struggling to get elected Representatives, including from his own Government, to support the Bill entitled ‘Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018’. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has been struggling to get elected Representatives, including from his own Government, to support the Bill entitled ‘Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018’. Photo: VINO/File
The debate on the Bill entitled: Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 wrapped up yesterday, Monday, March 26, 2018 and members are now in Committee Stage. Photo: VINO/File
The debate on the Bill entitled: Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 wrapped up yesterday, Monday, March 26, 2018 and members are now in Committee Stage. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – During the continuation of the Third Sitting of the Third Session of the Third House of Assembly (HoA) on Friday, March 23, 2018, Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4), Minister for Communications and Works, told the House that Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, received “hostility” from the United Kingdom (UK) parliamentarians while seeking assistance for the Virgin Islands (VI).

Hon Vanterpool, who had accompanied Dr Smith to the UK, stated that one of the UK parliamentarians seemed to have been harbouring ill-feelings because the VI did not agree to implement a public register that would effectively reveal the names of offshore company owners registered in the Territory.

He said, “One member got up and asked him, ‘Why should we give you help and you don’t want to allow the registry?’ Can you imagine, in the middle of all our knockdown state, the gentleman going to ask the Premier that in a public committee?”

Furthermore, the Communications and Works Minister mentioned that other UK legislators were questioning why the VI deserved to be helped when it has a per capita income that is probably higher than the UK’s.

Hon Vanterpool commended the Premier for handling the hostility and other questions “remarkably well.”

“You know what the Premier said, ‘Sir that was then. That was pre- Irma. I am here to talk to you today about looking help for what is now,” said Vanterpool.

“We got the leader of the country like a toy”

Meanwhile, he emphasised that Premier Smith, who is also his brother-in law, should get respect from the members of his own administration who are refusing to vote yes for the £300 million loan guarantee agreement with the UK.

In order for the VI to receive the loan guarantee, the territory must implement a Recovery and Development Agency which will manage all the loans that are received for the rebuilding of the territory.

He passionately said, “I see the Premier went before them and he come back here and we got him like a little toy up and down the place. We got the leader of the country like a toy. He ain’t the type of person who will make noise like me and fuss and tell you a thing or two and this man is trying to help this country genuinely.”

The Premier has been under heavy criticism for how he went about drafting the Recovery and Development Plan and for omitting important information from the Members of the House regarding the High Level UK Framework for UK Support to BVI Recovery.

So far, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), Opposition Leader; Honourable Julian Fraser RA, Third District Representative; Honourable Delores Christopher (R5), Deputy Speaker; Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6); Honourable Archibald C. Christian (AL), Junior Minister for Tourism; Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull (R2); and Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), Minister for Health and Social Development, and Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8), Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, opposed the bill in its current form and hopes to see many changes before they can vote yes.

The debated on the Bill entitled: Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 wrapped up yesterday, Monday, March 26, 2018, and members are now in Committee Stage.

22 Responses to “'We got the leader of the country like a toy'- Hon Vanterpool”

  • Voters (27/03/2018, 11:24) Like (29) Dislike (7) Reply
    Mark go hide we sick of you
  • WTF (27/03/2018, 11:27) Like (41) Dislike (3) Reply
    Mark you are the main culprit who is treating Dr. Smith like he is a toy. He is your personal play thing. If Dr. Smith wants respect, he cannot lead from behind. He is going to have to stand up, stand out and be visible. Then he must be transparent in his dealing with the people's business. He has to stop letting you and his wife make decisions that he should be making. If he changes these things he will be credible, and gain respect from the people and the UK.
  • karma (27/03/2018, 11:29) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    If Virgin Islanders had stick to their roots and not played this divisive crab in the barrel game, things would have been better. Chickens are now coming home to roost and they don't like it. You reap what you sow. Judgement came in Irma, there is no easy way out. Keep playing your little hypocritical games and see where you end up.
  • Pleaseeeeeeee (27/03/2018, 11:38) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    You and your sidekicks are the ones "who got the leader of the country like a toy." talk that...
  • welsir (27/03/2018, 11:44) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    who this one think he kidding; he must take us for foo-foo, another nanci tale he telling.
  • resident (27/03/2018, 11:58) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    Dr. Smith brought this on himself. You cannot keep your membersof the HOA in the dark and still expect them to support you. Come clean. Who the He** is Richard Branson to be speaking on behalf of BVI. Where was he before? Involve all the members of the House in planning, talks or whatever else. I totally agree with all of them who do not support the bill. Put everything in the open. This is not the backward ages where the Whites rule and the Blacks shut up. We are intelligent too.
    • oops (27/03/2018, 16:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      you may be disproving your own statement. skin colour has nothing to do with where this country is now and should have nothing to do with where this country is heading.

      as to the questioning from UK MPs, like any country the UK is not immune to having a cross-section of ability in its parliament (the person is not in Government). It should be well within any of our government and industry representatives to show up the poorly-informed questioner with cold hard facts. The public register they want will solve nothing to do with financial crime. The public register they want, if it happens should to a one two three leap that is timed with all of our major competitors including the US otherwise all we are doing is chasing good business away. The hooky stuff, if they have any sense, will be long gone but there will be some like there is everywhere in the world that don't play straight. It is then that we show we have the resources and the appetite to take action. This public register is just economic and political warfare and it is up to the UK and the overseas territory leaders to collaborate robustly against the broken EU socialist project and the financial empire desires of the US (we are already all dependent too much on their currency).
  • the bible (27/03/2018, 12:07) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW
  • vex (27/03/2018, 12:13) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    could you imagine Dr Smith took Mark with him to negotiate loans SMH you see why we in this mess today?
    • Peaches (27/03/2018, 15:03) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      You kidding me! well sa!! This situation is scary! Prayer warriors where are you?
  • Diplomat (27/03/2018, 12:39) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    MCW, Pray tell, tell us how was the Premier dissed and is being treated like a toy. If the Premier cannot field and answer questions from some UK MPs who are looking out for their political interest and stating the concerns of their constituents, then perhaps the territory needs to find a new leader to lead it out of this political and economic crisis. Similarly, if the Premier feels offended by other members of HOA, even some members of his administration, debating a piece of legislation being brought to the floor, then perhaps the territory needs a new leader to lead it out of crisis. Politics is not for choir boys; it is a dirty, rough and tumbled game. If you want to play in the game, you got to have old fish skin.

    Further, the MCW is advocating for the Premier to be respected. Well, respect is earned, not demanded. The Premier is a BIG, not a likle, boy and should appreciate democracy at work. He can take advice from close family and friends but he must lead strongly from the front. The buck must stop with him. Furthermore, some of the perceived dissing that the Premier is supposedly getting he brought upon himself by reportedly not being transparent and open about some routine, not national security information. For example, the Premier errored by not fully discussing the Recovery Plan with local officials and getting their buy in before flying off to London.
  • ndp fault (27/03/2018, 13:03) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    This hurricane shine light on the nonsense. Uk right the per capita supposed to b rich. U wan kno wa happen? Its like me telling my wife and kids we saving all this money for a rainy day while i secretly squandering it. So wen the rainy day come ain got no money because i spent it all secretly and now i gotta ask ppl that i been hiding stuff from for help. They gon watch me like i crazy and my family should be pissed i was lying to them. Perfect analogy.
  • dude (27/03/2018, 14:23) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    What about the grants? no more mention of the grants now just loans lol
  • Eagle Eye (27/03/2018, 14:50) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Them spanish women cant wait for Elmarko to get his hands on that money
  • PHD (27/03/2018, 15:42) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    It is a true saying " BVIanders cannot govern themselves. It doesn't matter which government in charge there will always be infighting. If you font believe me see what happens when the NDP is no longer the Government of the day we will still be having these same issues.
  • Lily Ann (27/03/2018, 15:45) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    He Toying around so wa u expect !!!
  • papa chulo (28/03/2018, 03:18) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    @ Eagle eye.....you plenty f..k around.
  • son of the soil (28/03/2018, 10:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    it's time to kick them a**es out and get proper people to run the country. No one is perfect but this right here is bullcrap. It's beyond human, why can't we just vote them out now?


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