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Dictatorship vs Self-Determination

Thomas C. Famous. Photo: Provided
Thomas C. Famous

“I see a bad moon arising

I see Trouble on the way.”- Credence Clearwater Revival

Over the last week, anyone who truly loves the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, and freedom, has had a heavy heart.

Not unpredictably, the Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson-led United Kingdom Government has used the pretext of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to launch an attempt to “suspend” the Constitution, or should I say “Constitutional Order” of the Virgin Islands, and impose direct rule from London.

Anyone who has studied the Colonial history of the Caribbean knew that this was never going to end well.

Former Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert, and others, put in place a plan to divide the people of the Virgin Islands and by extension, the Overseas Territories. Once the British launch a CoI to this level, it generally is not for altruistic purposes.

Nevertheless, now is not the time to dwell on “We told you so.”


This is where we are in history, and there are some things that we have to be crystal clear about:

The UK is not interested in “Good Governance”. If they were truly interested in accountability then where is any evidence that they themselves practice it. Look no further than what is going on in “Jolly Ole England.”

  • A Prime Minister that mislead his own Parliament
  • A Finance Minister that withheld that his wife was avoiding paying taxes
  • Contracts for billions of pounds of PPE given to friends of the ruling party
  • Cuts in Benefits for the most needy
  • Rising costs of living
  • Conservative MPs jailed for child molestation
  • Conservative MPs defending child molestors
  • Threats to privatise departments of the UK Civil Service

All of this happening over the last three months. So, let's ask ourselves, who are they to speak about virtue and or accountability?


Here is the thing, we do not need those who fail to hold themselves to account, attempt to exalt morality over us.

We have regional organisations that can and will assist us, as they have always did.

  • OECS

Lest we forget, they were the same ones who assisted us when Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck in September of 2017.

Here at home, let's face some facts. We have to do the following:

  • Be honest about systematic shortcomings
  • Institute stronger checks and balances
  • Hold those truly guilty of crimes accountable

In doing so, we show ourselves, our region, and the world, that we are truly ready for self-determination.

15 Responses to “Dictatorship vs Self-Determination”

  • smfh (04/05/2022, 00:11) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    The unfortunate fact my friend is that we are NOT ready for self determination. Our government is a mess and our institutions are in shambles. The Caribbean intuitions you laude are themselves struggling to stay afloat. Don't fool yourself.
  • fact check (04/05/2022, 00:16) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    When you are criticizing the former Governor for setting up the COI you need to remember and state clearly that it was Premier Fahie who lobbied endlessly for a COI to be put in place. This is his folly. Blame no one else.
  • pat (04/05/2022, 01:50) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    A good stands
  • east man (04/05/2022, 02:16) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Once again, well said.
  • mad max (04/05/2022, 05:19) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a load of uninformed drivel.
  • Outsider (04/05/2022, 06:40) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Oh yes former Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert and others are obviously the villan here.
    The Honourable Premier of the Virgin Islands and his Most Honourable Members are blameless. Their leadership commends itself to the People of the Virgin Islands. We can TRUST in THEE. Let's carry on. Nothing much to see here.

    Let's go through your recommendations:

    We have to do the following: [just who is the "We" in that? Please be specific.]

    Be honest about systematic shortcomings [I am not part of the Government; my shortcomings are irrelevant. Surely you are not trying the line of'let's balme everyone so no one is blamed"?]

    Institute stronger checks and balances [who is the "We" that is going to do that? A government led by Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley, MHA who happily served in a tiny government led by Criminal Fahie? Can we really trust him not to be asleep at the wheel? Can we trust that any of our Honourable Ministers and Members aren't in on it?]

    Hold those truly guilty of crimes accountable [who is the "We" in that? Have you seen the timidity with which the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley and his Honourable Ministers have responded to situation. "Let us pray for the family of Ciminal Fahie etc."]

    Have some sense man. Grow up. The rest of us are not 5 year olds. We don't believe in fairytales.
  • UKRite (04/05/2022, 06:43) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Thomas Famous and E. Leonard both educated in British Overseas Territories never has anything good to say about Britain. Both always writing crap. Dictatorship? Really! The UK paved the way for democracy in all its colonies. How you all get dictatorship out of all the good things that the UK has done?

    Instead of lashing out at the UK, why don’t you both look at the corruption in your homelands and help them wipe it out. Britain laid the foundation and provided the support, including the umbrella, for foreign direct investment to occur in both Bermuda and the BVI. Who open the door for Bermudians and Virgin Islanders to emigrate to Britain? The UK. Show some gratitude. Now that the BVI is in trouble who is rescuing it and providing better for the BVI people? The UK. Clearly, the BVI people failed miserably to get the job done. Good day mates! Be proud to be British.
  • Quiet Rebel (04/05/2022, 07:09) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    @Thomas Famous, real talk. The UK are indeed hypocrites. It is a cesspool of wrongdoings from top to bottom but want to lecture others on virtues. They are playing the distraction game, for if they can shift the focus to supposedly a corrupt colony, they hope the British people will shift the focus away from them. They need to pluck the plank out their eyes. But the BVI needs to fix itself. The BVI people have been brainwashed and hopelessly conditioned to believe that they are inferior and must lean others for leadership. That mentality is handicapping them, thinking small. The crab in the bucket mentality is keeping them in the 16 Century but we are in the 21st Century. They are behaving like Uncle Toms giving the Brits the ammunition they need to keep Virgin Islanders in their places, making their case and satisfying themsrlves about their erroneous stereotypes. The BVI people are too blind to see. Oh, the self-reinforcing discrimination! We are hopeless embracing false friends and fools gold. A snake will always bite and choke you. Be aware. Cry for the BVI people, for we are a lost lot and least sighted among regional people. The US dollar we spend is not helping us. I’ m a proud Virgin Islander but oh boy these are dark shameful, and embarrassing days. My people are daft and dense.
  • Rall (04/05/2022, 12:06) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Its guys like you want to keep poor people in the gutter. Rich help themselves and the poor don't get anything.
  • E. Leonard (04/05/2022, 14:05) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thomas good read! Since my name was invoked, I’m not going to be swift-boated. Let me say I’m not defending criminal activity regardless of who does it. Additionally, institutions and organizations failures and shortcomings are not self-effected; they are caused by people. Both the UK and the VI it seems have structurally weaknesses. The VI has some behavioral, human, and institutional failures that it needs to fix. The UK too it seems. Let’s take a peek at the elephant in the room: Colonialism.

    In short, colonialism is an extractive institution (both political and economic) with a sordid, harmful, etc, history. The UK invaded the West Indian islands, Africa, east Asia, etc, taking land and resources and exploited labour to work the land for the benefit of the UK. The UK was a key player in the Atlantic slave trade. The key point is colonialism created extractive economic and political institutions in the West Indies that stifled growth in the islands but created inclusive institutions in the UK, building its economy, created dizzying individual wealth, and funded the industrial revolution. The benefits of the industrial revolution did not extend to West Indian islands, though slave labour contributed to its funding and growth. Colonialism and associated extractive institutions was a vicious circle. The legacies of colonialism are not diminishing.

    The ill-effects of colonialism are still present in the Caribbean among former British colonies that have been independent for several decades but still struggling. The reach and impact of colonialism are still very visible and present in the VI and other OTs.

    There have always been a contradiction between colonialism and democracy in the Caribbean. That contradiction still it seems exist in the OTs. In the VI and other OTs constitutions, the UK still has the decision-making/unilateral power, eg, devolved powers can be easily reversed without consent from the people. Some may call that something other democracy. For example, suspension of VI constitution and employing UK direct rule is dangling over the VI people’s head like the Sword of Damocles. But the people have no say; clearly, it is not a democratic process. Suspending the constitution seemed to have been a foregone conclusion and there a search for justification to give it credence. The arrest of Andrew Fahie was the nail needed for the hammer to do its work. Take a look at the sequence of events relative to the release of CoI. Again, I’m not defending or condoning criminality. The VI people needs to set aside differences and come together to solve its structural deficiencies.
    • Outlier Peasant (04/05/2022, 21:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Mr. Leonard, that is a deep into the vices of colonialism. It explains some of the problems in regional independence and former Anglophone countries, as well as OTs.
    • UKRite (05/05/2022, 06:53) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      See this is exhibit 1. Colonialism was/is not perfect but it did not good things for the colonies. Imagine the colonies with colonialism. But E. Leonard could not find one single thing to credit colonialism with.
      • Quiet Rebel (05/05/2022, 09:28) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        @UKRite, you don’t like what E. Leonard said about colonialism, which I agree, so tell us some of the good things about it, ie, slavery, violence, genocide, exploitation, invasion, confiscation of land, destruction of families, religion, culture, heritage; taking natural resources, treating blacks like 7th class and inferior, mentally deficient citizens; creating a cast systems with blacks at the bottom, destroying the environment, limited if any say in government, failure to pay slave descendants reparation, willingness to build prisons but not high school, casting poor, undeveloped, etc, colonies adrift after depleting resources, etc. Let’s face it colonialism was/is a taker, a parasite.
        • UKRite (05/05/2022, 12:38) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
          Here you go Quiet Rebel. Before the UK and colonialism, the West Indies was a backward place. Colonialism brought modern housing, indoor plumbing, running water, automobiles, electricity, a market economy, democracy, organize government, modern healthcare, high school, etc. Do I need to go on. The UK is the best thing ever le happen to the BVI. It tried like to give a bit of self-government but clearly it is not up to the task and UK cannot take off the training wheels as yet. It crashed the last island with its corruption, poor leadership and management so who you going to call? Of course, the UK. We know it was not going to work . Running a country is for well, the big boys. Still want more mates.
  • @ QUIET REBEL & MR E (05/05/2022, 15:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

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