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‘CoI designed to make people feel VI can’t govern itself’- Deputy Premier

- said UK would like for VI to come to that conclusion so they can govern
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) is of the view the United Kingdom would like us to come to the conclusion that we are just not capable of governing ourselves therefore they must be the ones to govern us. Photo: Facebook
From left: Counsel to the CoI Bilal M. Rawat and Commissioner Gary R. Hickinbottom. Photo: VINO/Internet Source/File
From left: Counsel to the CoI Bilal M. Rawat and Commissioner Gary R. Hickinbottom. Photo: VINO/Internet Source/File
From left: Host Cromwell Smith and guest Shaina M. Smith-Archer on Umoja on August 24, 2021. Photo: Facebook
From left: Host Cromwell Smith and guest Shaina M. Smith-Archer on Umoja on August 24, 2021. Photo: Facebook
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI- “The United Kingdom would like us to come to the conclusion that we are just not capable of governing ourselves therefore they must be the ones to govern us.”

This is the strong view of Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7).

CoI seeking ‘to make you look bad as possible’- Dr Wheatley

“They would love to come to that conclusion and quite a number of persons have gone to that conclusion or leaning to that conclusion and we have a Commission of Inquiry process designed to make people feel that way,” Dr Wheatley said on the radio show Umoja with host Cromwell Smith and guest Shaina M. Smith-Archer on August 24, 2021.

The Deputy Premier's conviction does not exactly come as a surprise since United Kingdom Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson once said colonialism in Africa should never have ended and downplayed Britain’s role in the slave trade.

Dr Wheatley explained that the CoI, which is being operated through a law from the 1880’s, does not allow for cross-examination for information and witnesses. One attorney in the VI even likened the process to an “inquisition”.

“So they are the one completely in charge of the process. What question to ask…In fact they have gone through all of this information and they have designed their question specifically not to bring truth to the public to make you look bad as possible, based on what they perceive to be your deficiencies,” Dr Wheatley asserted, to the agreement of Mr Cromwell Smith.

‘We have to praise VINO’- Cromwell Smith

Dr Wheatley continued: “And I guarantee you if you take a look at their societies you will find way worse.”

"But they worse than we,” Smith retorted, adding that VINO should be praised for publishing stories about the UK that bring a balance about their state of affairs.

According to Dr Wheatley, “It’s just a reality. Does our population know that the United Kingdom has been just as delinquent as they have been with their registration of interests?

“No, they don’t know that. We don’t know,” Mr Smith said, adding “We think we are the worse people on earth.”

“Which is sad right?” Smith-Archer added.

‘VI more transparent than UK!’- Dr Wheatley

Dr Wheatley even went as far as to say the VI is more transparent that even the United Kingdom.

“Why? Because everybody knows your business.

“Here is what our people were so demoralised by; Dr [D. Orlando] Smith did not write down on the paper that he had interest in PicSmith [Medical]. You know how foolish that is for us?"

It is no secret that PicSmith Medical is a joint venture by former premier Dr D. Orlando Smith and former legislator Dr Kedrick D. Pickering.

“[Hon] Mark Vanterpool did not write down on the paper that he had interest in One Mart. You know how foolish that is for us? Not that I am saying we shouldn’t write it down on the paper but the point of the Register of Interests is for when you having a debate or when you making a decision on a particular bill that the public will be aware of a potential conflict that you have," Dr Wheatley continued.

What is the purpose if Register of Interests?

Smith-Archer added that persons need to indeed understand what is the purpose of the Register of Interests because there is a system already in place whereby anyone seeking to run for political office has to declare their interests.

‘Even before you become elected you have to declare your interests, actually publish it in a newspaper. So that information is already something that has to go public to even qualify to get on the ballot,” Smith-Archer said.

22 Responses to “‘CoI designed to make people feel VI can’t govern itself’- Deputy Premier”

  • LCS (06/09/2021, 15:43) Like (42) Dislike (9) Reply
    The COI is investigating corruption and malversed funds by Government officials. Is not about how the government way of governing the Territory. And definitely is not looking good. Let the chips fall where they may.
  • Yes or No??? (06/09/2021, 15:44) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    Politics and politicians in almost every country is messy. BVI is certainly far from the bottom of the barrel but I guess being so small makes the controversy easier to spot. But please, let me have your answers Honerable Deputy Premier:
    Do you think that the continued practice of airing ever item of dirty laundry in the online rags aka gossip papers, has contributed to the perception of government incompetence?
    Do you think that the VIP begging the governor for a COI when they were in opposition could have contributed to the current circumstances?
    How about going cap in hand to the UK for assistance while local funds are squandered on controversial projects?
    Did we virgin islanders perhaps play our part in bringing about this debacle?
    Yes or No?
    • Nine (07/09/2021, 08:39) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      ehem! Can you specify the controversial projects. I mean those that you think is controversial. The ones that does not help the people in part or wholly. Sometimes we inject our own verbiage into manners to stir the pot in a particular direction. So if you could put aside your frustration and organize your thoughts clearly articulate these controversial projects let me/us have a reply. I do enjoy a debate. hanks
  • ... (06/09/2021, 15:48) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    you need hire Myron as a consultant quickly
  • Papa Smurf (06/09/2021, 15:51) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    The evidence so far supports this hypothesis. You all are proving this inference factually correct.
  • Meh son (06/09/2021, 15:59) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    No, its designed to investigation corruption.
  • bvibuzz (06/09/2021, 16:13) Like (4) Dislike (31) Reply
    you hit the ball right on the bat. They are oppressors and racist trying to take over the BVI a set of criminal they are
  • WOW (06/09/2021, 16:29) Like (64) Dislike (2) Reply
    Is this guy SERIOUS? We are making ourselves look bad! Look at our roads, schools, sewage, water distribution, the entire infrastructure is in shambles. Waste management is out of control, everything is going wrong, Tortola looks like a complete dump and it's shameful because we spend so much money annually. Regardless of the UK's intentions we are not blameless and should be ashamed of ourselves. Look around and tell me that you are proud of this Territory Sowande, honestly. The middle of town is stink bad, schools are run down, we are doing open burning with gargage in 2021 and here you are talking foolishness.
    • Cold as ice (06/09/2021, 17:16) Like (3) Dislike (32) Reply
      The CoI lawyers acting in breach of the criminal law are in no position to lecture us. Given that the AG has advised that they are breaking the criminal law, why is our useless DPP not bringing criminal proceedings?
      • @coldasice (06/09/2021, 19:14) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
        The ah said no such thing. She wants them to apply so they can be lawyers here after the coi done.
    • hgfhfdggfdfds (06/09/2021, 21:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Con Firm (06/09/2021, 16:30) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did I hear correctly during today's CoI hearing that Andrew has been given a deadline to submit proof of his repeated assertions that Smith led NDP was corrupt?
    Must say that Andrew's reputation did not fare well in today's COI hearing.
    Thank you Jesus ,Atty Knox was muzzled.
  • Almost Fair-minded (06/09/2021, 16:34) Like (35) Dislike (3) Reply
    Contrary to Hon. Sawande, Dep. Premier, Rep. D7, that the CoI is not trying to make us look as if we are unable to govern ourselves,. The truth is that we can't at this point and time. It is not the CoI our main problem at this time. It is our political leaders, and others of like-minded individuals. This is not a hidden facts, but a widely known one.
    This skin colour thing is a deceiving thing. Too many black skin people think with their eyes and see with their ears. Sure we can run our country, but because of greed, we are ruining it. Power is not evil, but the misused of it is. Vote your conscience, like or dislike.
    • Please!. (06/09/2021, 18:17) Like (38) Dislike (0) Reply
      Start showing some remerse for you all wrong, how hard it is to say you are sorry. U made mistakes. The COI is here to indentify those mistakes, plug those holes and put processes in place to avoid a repeat...But you all are turning the COI into a battle feild enemy and you all are going to lose....
  • @ YES & FAIR (06/09/2021, 18:34) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    i like the way you both brought forward the message /\\_ ( ah got it
  • Guest (06/09/2021, 18:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So far I don’t see it as a stretch………
  • Windy (06/09/2021, 19:02) Like (0) Dislike (16) Reply
    coi go home
  • How foolish? (06/09/2021, 19:23) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    What seems foolish to me is that our legislators spend hours of taxpayers monies creating laws that they themselves either can't comply with or don't intend to comply with. I can only imagine this is how the commissioner sees the matter. And who can blame him?
  • fact (07/09/2021, 06:08) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is not about the COI and how it makes people feel about our ability to manage ourselves. The facts are that the last 20 years have shown we are not capable of governing ourselves
  • sit down (07/09/2021, 09:12) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is not designed to show that we can’t govern ourselves. It exists because we have shown we can’t govern ourselves.
    It could be that the district and HoA electoral system just cannot work in a place so small that everyone is loyal to family/friends/allies above and beyond the basic principles of governance.
    So CoI might come back saying this system just cannot work here because corruption is inevitable due to everyone’s close relationships.
    If that is the case we need a new system. But trust me, Failing Britain has no wish to rule us directly. Too much trouble and confected race nonsense to deal with here while the rest of the UK falls apart for its own separate reasons.
  • Hmm (07/09/2021, 10:33) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    But Nat you all cant govern this place...obviously....take your regulation like a man
  • BIG YOUTH (07/09/2021, 22:05) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Get your act together bro , you are being schooled from the script ,


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