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Governor dodges question on suspension of constitution before his departure

UK-appointed Governor John J. Rankin, CMG (centre) was yesterday, July 20, 2023, asked at a press conference whether he plans to suspend the Virgin Islands’ Constitution before departing the territory at the end of this year. Left is Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) while right is Police Commissioner Mark Collins. Photo: VINO
Many progressive voices in the VI continue to call for independence from the UK. Photo:
Many progressive voices in the VI continue to call for independence from the UK. Photo:
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- As speculation continues to circulate, UK-appointed Governor John J. Rankin, CMG was yesterday, July 20, 2023, asked at a press conference whether he plans to suspend the Virgin Islands’ Constitution before departing the territory at the end of this year.

A suspension of the Virgin Islands (VI) constitution will mean full colonisation of the Territory and put the Governor fully in charge of the VI.

This means the dissolving of the other two branches of Government- the Legislature and the Executive Branch.

In response, which many commentators saw as a non-answer, Governor Rankin stated, “The short answer to your question is that I remain fully committed to carrying out my responsibilities as Governor for the remainder of my term of duty. As it regards the issue of the reform programme, I remain committed to playing my part and working in cooperation with the Premier to ensure that the reform process succeeds.”

The target list for speaking truth to power

Many progressive voices in the VI continue to call for independence from the UK, while some of them have been targeted by the UK police officers. 

When the last controversial Governor, Augustus J. U. Jaspert, was leaving the territory he set up a one-man Commission of Inquiry (CoI), which many believed had a pre-written script that the people of the territory are corrupt and the UK Governor and Police Commissioner (both UK nationals) are saints. All subjects under the Governor, including the police, were never inquired into.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has pushed back on any plans by Governor Rankin and the UK Government to fully colonise the VI. He has gotten full support from the United Nations and from regional bodies such as the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The VI is a democracy with an elected Executive and Legislature. The Governor is not elected. 

Mr Rankin is expected to depart the VI in December of 2023. The UK has appointed a new Governor in the person of Daniel Pruce.

42 Responses to “Governor dodges question on suspension of constitution before his departure”

  • People I am neutral (21/07/2023, 12:01) Like (14) Dislike (28) Reply
    Orders in Council are modern day slavery whips, and they must be banned as anyone who uses them or supports them are supporting slavery and not democracy. Slavery has been abolished. Don’t forget the UK also has one for the financial services. This does not reflect a modern partnership.
    • @People I am neutral (21/07/2023, 12:40) Like (8) Dislike (11) Reply
      WELL SAID!!!
    • This Governor has a good heart. (21/07/2023, 16:56) Like (28) Dislike (5) Reply
      He had enough evidence, enough proof and enough reasons to suspend and take control but he always giving the govt and the people the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to fix their problems,. This new one may not be this nice. Britain figure this one we have is too nice so they have to replace him..
      • @This @Governor has a good heart. (21/07/2023, 22:16) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
        Oh please. Stop talking foolishness. It is wrong what and how the UK is doing it.
  • Come on (21/07/2023, 12:03) Like (11) Dislike (12) Reply
    How can this be a modern partnership when one side can use arcade nondemocratic powers to suspend a constitution. No one should have the power to suspend a constitution in this modern day and age. It is wrong and dictatorial.
    • @Come on (21/07/2023, 16:25) Like (9) Dislike (10) Reply
      I agree. I was not a supporter of fahie but I am beginning to realize more and more what he was fighting and trying to protect the BVI people from and why they had to try to eliminate him one way or another but who God bless no man can cuss.
  • balance (21/07/2023, 12:06) Like (9) Dislike (12) Reply
    Any system that allows one side to look into the other but does not allow the other side to look into them is not a modern partnership but rather a dictatorship. Some of these Governors need looking into especially their bank accounts before and after they served as Governor wherever they have them in the world. We all may be surprised at the findings even those in family member's names.
  • Not Right (21/07/2023, 12:08) Like (13) Dislike (16) Reply
    An Order in Council must be banned forthwith. Anyone who supports this wicked action is supporting slavery in a modern form.
  • chucky the best (21/07/2023, 12:10) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Life surprises you, SURPRISE gives you life
  • Bvi wake up (21/07/2023, 12:14) Like (11) Dislike (10) Reply
    More than 10yrs ago the UK did this same foolishness in Turks & Cacos Islands. Now more than 10yrs later the UK has not completed the very recommendations they suspended the Constitution to implement blaming the local government back then of not moving fast enough to implement. People of the BVI this is not about good governance but about a takeover because they will never have confidence in any Caribbean country and their leaders and people. It is a superior verses inferior complex they are still working under, and it will not change. BVI has to fight this high-handed plot or generations will be doomed.
  • vex (21/07/2023, 12:14) Like (10) Dislike (15) Reply
    No to uk take over
    • @vex (21/07/2023, 12:42) Like (11) Dislike (12) Reply
    • @vex(I back no political party) (21/07/2023, 14:17) Like (11) Dislike (9) Reply
      Most people agree with you but below are my reasons why I am not buying the Governor and Uk tactics. I painstakingly took the time to highlight a few duplicitous conducts by the Governor and his UK bosses:
      1)After Irma and Maria the 1st thing the UK did was send a ship with body bags. Enough said there.
      2)After Irma and Maria the UK gave non-OTs grants for millions of dollars but give the BVI a loan guarantee offer (not a loan nor grant).
      3)The BVI received little or no help from the UK like the UK is portraying internationally in regard to Irma & Maria.
      4)The Uk bragging how much they spend on OTs after Irma & Maria but they refused to break down what they spent by islands and categories so the truth can come out as most went into fueling and maintenance of their ships & soldiers.
      5)I clearly remember the BVI Government stating they want to take the UK loan guarantee but needed clarity in some of the areas of the agreement which the UK refused to give but the Governor now trying to fool us saying otherwise.
      6)The Uk always has to guarantee any loan any OT gets so what was so special or different after Irma and Maria that they wanted an agreement signed when the procedures for such guarantee already existed. I firmly believe what the COI has done is what they wanted to do in the agreement. This is why most question the transparency of the COI.
      7)The last Governor found a man who was missing when neither the police nor their dogs nor others could find him and to this date no one has received a clear explanation on this matter with the dead man that was found by the Governor. Quite interesting to say the least.
      8)Plenty rumors of ill behavior of Governors but never looked into especially their bank accounts abroad and in their family's names which will show what happened while they served.
      9)Rumors of Governors owning major property in the country while serving but such are quickly dismissed.
      10)Abuse by them on public officers but such are quickly dismissed.
      11)Could not pass the BVI marijuana bill but want 48 recommendations passed in record time.
      12)The Governor & his UK staff refused to be a part of the new BVI registry of interest act to register their interest in the BVI but insisting others in the public service & public office (which I agree) do so and make it public. Their excuse is they are already part of such in the UK. Really?
      13)The public service is under the Governor's responsibility and most of the failures is the government system the COI points out, but the Governor is getting a free pass. I guess because the COI is really him any how.
      14)Likewise the police have been a failure with no serious succession planning, but the COI gives the Governor and UK Commissioner of police a free pass as they blamed everyone else for their failures except themselves & the COI accepted this folly & let them get away with it. I guess because the COI is really them any how.
      15) As for the COI the Govenor cannot state if the Commissioner was selected through a transparent and open process. No one can find if there was a tender process, or interviewing process, or what were the terms and conditions of the hiring that contributed to him accepting the assignment. Plenty questions I have on this alone.
      16)The Governor keeps insulting our intelligence the COI was an independent process. Meanwhile, he called it. He hired the man who was doing it. He & his bosses put his colleagues from the same UK office the Governor works from to assist the Commissioner and to do the recommendations. He received his own work. Yet still insisting it was independently done. Oh please! If a politician did this, then the public would not let them hear the end of it.
      17) The Uk & Governor wants to suspend a constitution in the 21st century. This is unbelievable! It is wrong!
      18)Used a slavery 1880 Commission of Inquiry Act to do a 2022 COI. Talk about people with nerves. Notice no recommendations to upgrade this act was made by the COI. I wonder why?
      19)Put unrealistic deadlines to implement mostly unrealistic 48recommendations which some are good for the BVI, but most are not. There is no input on them from the people. This is an exercise doomed to fail before it started. It is a full set up.
      20)Make it seem as if he or no Governor has done anything wrong or failed in their responsibilities over the last 40yrs. Talk about being naive. This says a lot about their ongoing colonial mentality.
      21)The Uk made it known they could not help the BVI with covid as they had their own issues in the UK. They handled COVID WORSE than what they are accusing the BVI of doing but sweeping their mistakes under the rug but trying to exploit the BVI actions for finding how best to keep their people and economy alive from dying because of the worse pandemic in the last 100yrs where no government knew how to handle it & what to do. The UK refused to do a COI during covid on their actions in the UK but did one during covid on the actions of the BVI. They said the timing to do a COI in the UK during covid was wrong as all energies in the UK must be channeled towards saving lives and livelihoods in the Uk. TALK ABOUT HYPOCRCY!!!!
      22)Now using a modern-day slavery action in the name of an Order in Council to say to the BVI you MUST do as we say & when we say, or we will take over your country, constitution, judiciary system, laws, rights, government, parliament, democracy, freedom, elections, elected officials, public service jobs, cabinet, generations, and everything else. The country will run how they want & by them only and to hell with the people of the BVI as they alone know what is best for us in the BVI although we built it by ourselves over the many years, while they neglected us. Now the BVI is a strong & prospering country they want the BVI but not with its people. To hell with elections unless who they want to run the country is allowed to run and win. IT IS ABOUT GLOBAL BRITAN!!! Read the document!!!!

      I will stop there for now, as there is plenty more. I am not saying the BVI does not need to improve in some areas as every country does but the way the Governor and the UK is selling this is totally unjust and unjustified. The way they are going about it is high handed. Orders in Council should be banned as they are anti-democratic.
  • Be real (21/07/2023, 12:17) Like (15) Dislike (6) Reply
    The Governor & UK officials full well know that 48 recommendations is difficult for any organization in the world to get approved and implemented in a year or even 2yrs. No fortune 500 companies can achieve such ridiculous assignment and unrealistic deadline. This is a set up from the inception to try to justify to the UK taxpayers and the international world the reason for their takeover which they know is unjustifiable.
  • Wait (21/07/2023, 12:20) Like (9) Dislike (10) Reply
    When will the BVI people realize all the Governors' actions were never about the people but about power. Their actions were not transparent nor well intended. They need to be held to account because they are acting as if the people of the BVI have no rights other than the ones they say they should have.
  • No Sir (21/07/2023, 12:24) Like (17) Dislike (7) Reply
    We could set the constitution issue aside for a moment. We want back all the covid money illegally stolen and given to family members of legislators followed by criminal prosecution. What's the difference between these culprits and those arrested by the police everyday and those that recently held up the business on the pier park?
    • @ No sir (21/07/2023, 12:39) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
      Not yet. First let us get due process and allow counter reports to be done and made public about your claims as well as those of the Auditor General report and the COI report as every story has three sides, yours, the accused, and the truth.
  • Reel (21/07/2023, 12:24) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    We seem to be rudder less for some time, someone has to do something sooner than later.
  • Let's review (21/07/2023, 12:24) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    The last Governor and this one spent their time calling BVI corrupt and most likely wrote to their UK bosses saying the same thing and this is why all letters from the governor to the UK and the responses need to made public because I am pretty sure a case with false information was made to justify the move to use a 1880 Commission of Inquiry act to do the COI in the middle of covid while the people of the BVI were trying to stay alive physically, economically, and socially. You see where the UK interest in us was during COVID --- HOW TO TAKE US OVER IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC!!!
  • youth man (21/07/2023, 12:25) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
    The post of Governor needs to be an elected position. It is time they be accountable to the people.
  • facts (21/07/2023, 12:29) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    The UK and their Governor has done enough one-sided public relations to fool some of you to believe they really care about us in the BVI, but it is far from the truth. This is why a Governor can never act in the best interest of any overseas Territory because the people from those islands are not his boss and he does not and will never answer to them. His agenda is set from his UK officials who are his only bosses, and their agenda is not and will never be in the people of the islands best interest. Independence is the only way out for all islands.
  • Information (21/07/2023, 12:32) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Can the Governor tell us where we can find the laws and procedures stating step by step how any of the UK overseas territory can apply for and become independent. I hear the Governor say if we want independence just ask the UK for it but in the spirit of good governance and transparency in the 21st century, the process should be well documented and clear to all and not just them.
  • No transparency at all (21/07/2023, 12:37) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Governor, we all agree there are areas in BVI government that needs cleaning up and modernizing but stop painting a picture as if this is only the case in the BVI. Stop bold facedly selling the case as if the Governors are not guilty for some of the failures. Stop painting the picture as if the BVI has more bad than good when in fact it is the other way around. What you are doing is disingenuous because your motives is not right.
  • People (21/07/2023, 12:40) Like (6) Dislike (10) Reply
    I am a foreigner working here in the BVI. I have said it again and again. Unless the BVI stop its corrupt practices, it will not be well with the Government. The Government are not getting it right simple it becomes a norm to practice bad governance and that doesn't make it right. Starting with Immigration and Labor Laws delays for Residence/ Belonger status. Government contract, over employment of public servants, the delay of infrastructures completion, high least of unnecessary private buildings to house government offices. Get rid of corruption speedily and be at peace with the UK. Am telling you, the BVI wont win a battle for independence from the UK, put that i your pipe and smoke it.
  • HMMM (21/07/2023, 12:45) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    This story is on the other tabloid online news site that protects the Governor from most post not in favor of him and his anti-democratic actions towards dictatorship. Thanks, VINO, for posting the comments for and against.
  • Governor's responsibilities (21/07/2023, 12:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Most of the subjects, if not all, under the Governor are complete failures but he cannot look into himself nor can the people look into him, so this missed the COI report as well as the Auditor General report. This is why people are concern of the lack of balance in accountability in all arms of government and not just the elected officials' section.
  • To Governor (21/07/2023, 12:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Governor, the police is under your responsibility so you and your UK Commissioner of police please tell the public when will the Cane Garden Bay and West End Police stations be opened 24hrs a day and 7 days a week. Our safety matters!!!!!!!!!!
  • WOW (21/07/2023, 12:52) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    When I listen to the Governor, I am hearing more and more the 400yrs of slavery mentality coming out.
  • What a set up (21/07/2023, 12:58) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Everywhere in the world has issues with some worse than others but the BVI has done well over the years. There are more good than bad. Any of you check the UK news lately? Crime, drugs, and guns are now almost out of control in many areas of the UK. The economy of the UK is in shambles. Ministers of government resigning continuously. More than 3 Prime Ministers in less than 4yrs. More than 3 Ministers of Overseas Territories in less than 4 yrs. Do not take my word for it, go and research it for yourself. But they are in the islands with their Governors trying to make us believe they have it together and are our best hope for the future because they believe that only them have all the answers. This is sooooooo wrong.
  • One word (21/07/2023, 14:21) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Manjack (21/07/2023, 15:42) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Gov John Rankin, CMG, was deployed by the UK Government/Crown to execute its pre-plan of action. The Governor may carry the title of Governor of the VI; however, he is here to represent the interest of UK, not the VI, for the VI people had no say in his deployment , though the VI taxpayers pay the lion’s share of his rule, ie, housing, transportation, communications, entertainment, utilities, food, etc. This is crusading, ie, paying to be ruled.

    Moreover, there is no surprise or big news that he dodges, skirts, the constitution suspension issue. As noted earlier, the Guv is here to represent the UK and he is reading, singing from the playbook. He is a diplomat and has canned answers to questions on specific subjects, especially controversial issues. The CoI was a pre-planned, departing gift by controversial departing Governor Jaspert as he was exiting out the door. It was a team effort by the occupants of Mount Olympus and others. One does not have to look to far to verify that it was a team effort. For example, all functions under the Governor was airbrushed over or ignored altogether. Others coalesced together and they don’t hide doing so. Only Virgin Islanders don’t see the value in working together cooperatively, collectively and collaboratively for the their personal well-being, as well as the interest of the territory. The conditioning worked well and going as intended ,for Virgin Islanders have adopted the attitude of putting the needs of others before and over their own best interest. Their altruism is interesting. With our behavior, are we working for some type of meritorious manumission? Here is a news. There is none, for you are only being used, used, and exploited. It is straight out of the slavery and colonialism playbook.,

    Moreover, if you give someone the gun( not literally), ammunition, and opportunity, it is good nite. You got to control one of those factors. Further, to start a fire, requires heat, fuel, and oxygen. Deprive of one of those things, there will be no fire. The CoI was one sided, pre-planned, selective, racist, etc., but if we didn’t provide the heat, fuel and oxygen there would not have been any fire. Nevertheless, some of the changes should not have been taking place just on the urging of a single, hand-picked, probably bias commissioner, but rather by a more August group of people, Virgin Islanders. Lessons learnt, let’s do the right things, learn from and capitalize on failures, execute the work plan, work together, plug along on a self-determination course, ie, free association, independence, integration, etc., Remember snakes are not loyal pets, for in time they will do what snakes do.
    • @Manjack (21/07/2023, 16:18) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
      So well written. I agree with you but this is about achieving their GLOBAL BRITAN strategy. They want to suspend the constitution to put things their way with their people so the current BVI people whether Caribbean or local can be outnumbered by them. In doing this they can control the HOA and economy and police and public service and all over. Even if they restore the constitution afterwards, their UK control would be so strong and we will be so outnumbered that a bid for independence will never see the light of day. THIS IS THE REAL PLAN FOR BVI & ALL CARIBBEAN OT.
      • Manjack (21/07/2023, 22:51) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ Manjack, indeed this may be the plan of Global Britain. The once powerful, exploiting, enriching, etc, British Empire has fallen. It is now a footnote in history.,So Global Britain is an attempt to regain some relevance. In the VI post slavery, the VI was struck by a series of events, ie, drop in sugar prices, hurricanes, riots, ie, 1853 Cattle Riots, etc. The VI was in a depressed state. Consequently, the planter class bolted from territory, referring to it supposedly as only useful as a bird sanctuary. Nonetheless, the tide has change, turn, with the VI now being much more than a bird sanctuary. Gentrification is on the rise. The Brits now see opportunity in the VI and are using their leverage and power to gain control. If they gain control, there would be no push or need to change the VI political status. The VI may be recolonized while Virgin Islanders are in a deep slumber.

        • Mustang (22/07/2023, 06:43) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
          @ Manjack, ditto, ditto. The once mighty British Empire which control controlled over 25% of the globe, over 400 million subjects, disrupted many lives, culture, heritage, etc, exploited and expropriated labour, land and resources, etc has crashed, landed hard and burned. The power, influence, status , etc, of the Empire will be recorded in the annals of history as oppressive, exploitive, expropriated, racist, etc. Britannia ruled the waves is gone like a passing waves, and the sun has set over the Empire. Nevertheless, Britain is hoping and planning that the sun will rise over not the Empire but Britain/UK again—-Global Britain. Further, the Commonwealth of Nations is being treated as a hereditary organization that can only be led by the Crown. The UK is a basket case. Its economy is in shambles, its healthcare on life support, its politics is in disarray, the royal family grappling for relevancy and riddled with racial tension and family feud. Oh, Britannia has brought her pig to a fine market., has she not? It is trying to control the VI and other OTs, the last remnants of the once mighty empire. Britannia was punching way above its weight and reality has hit—-its superpower status was pure fancy. It suffered the fate of all empires , ie, rise and fall.
  • ALL AYO WANNA KILL POOR CINDY (21/07/2023, 16:18) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
  • BVI need 2 Thks X Premier. (21/07/2023, 17:03) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    The X Premier is so clever he is actually saving the BVI from a Britain take over, he doesn't want that. He knows once he goes to trial or take a deal and all the evidence start coming out..Britain will have more than enough reasons to take over, hence he kept asking for more time and more adjournment try to stall the inevitable..But Britain sits waiting patiently on the case to call..
  • Virgin Islander. (21/07/2023, 18:31) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    Where are these people from that keep advocating for the UK to suspend our constitution? As a Virgin Islander it pisses me off to the core when I read these posts advocating for the VI constitution to be suspenders. We have lots of traitors in our minds who are foreigners who cares nothing about these Virgin Islands. Hmmm. Hmmm. We in trouble in these Virgin Islands. We opened the flood gates and now have these people trying to take control.
  • cap (21/07/2023, 21:49) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Everyone is so scared of the C word. If the UK takes over it is not colonialism for god sake. I personally would welcome the UK takeover and weed out all these corrupt and ignorant politicians. It worked for T&C. You people are too damn proud to accept that your government is stealing from you. Wouldn’t you rather suck up your pride and let someone finally fix this place?
    • @cap (22/07/2023, 07:00) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
      @Cap, it is either that you are a Sambo who drank too much of the Colonialism cool aid and is sloppy and filthy drunk on it or you are a placed Trojan horse trying to sell the virtues of an an exploitive, extractive, expropriated, racist, violent, exclusionary, etc institution. Trying to sell colonialism is like trying to sell ice to Eskimos. You and friends, kind, need to stay off the colonialism cool aid , for it is not good for your mind and mental stability, inflicting you with the Stockholm Syndrome. Stay yu rass off it!!!
      • Sambo (22/07/2023, 11:11) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
        In the 1950s, Republican Senator (Wisconsin) Joe R. Macarthy was on an unproven, stomach turning, eye swinging, rampage advocating that the US circles /departments were ripe with and infiltrated by Red Communists who were subverting. He tagged many of being communists; his accusations were unproven. In 1954, in a confrontation with Lawyer Joseph Welch over alleging a colleague was communist, Mr. Welch quipped, “ Do you have no sense of decency.” To the Sambos in the BVI don’t you have no sense of decency, self-respect, shame ? I get the behaviour from the colonialists, for that is their game plan, their mindset. Nevertheless, I don’t get it from the local Sambos. As the Norbert Wheatley AkA Fix It used to say fix yourself!! What color the cool aid time to get off it and get some decency, shame, self -respect. Here is a news flash the people that you are a bring cum carry for are not int you. To them you are just a disposable item to be used and thrown on the dung heap. Geez som bred!!!
  • Look words! (22/07/2023, 23:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    ....some of you need to write a book. what is with these long comments like is an Essay competition!

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