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Hold Gov’t 'accountable' rather than just 'complain'– Cromwell Smith

-points to lack of health & exercise spaces in VI’s public infrastructure
Talkshow host and Social Commentator, Cronwell Smith has called on the people of the Vi to take concrete steps to hold the government accountable rather than complain about issues and do noting about it. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Cromwell Smith, left, with guest Dr Sharlon Lewis on ‘Umoja’ on November 15, 2022. Photo: Facebook
Mr Cromwell Smith, left, with guest Dr Sharlon Lewis on ‘Umoja’ on November 15, 2022. Photo: Facebook
BAUGHERS BAY, TORTOLA, VI – Talkshow host and activist Mr Cromwell Smith has called on the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) to take concrete steps to hold the government accountable rather than just complain about issues.

Mr Smith was at the time speaking on his show ‘Umoja’ on ZBVI 780 AM on November 15, 2022. His guest was Dr Sharlon Lewis and the topic was diabetic awareness and the need for policies to prevent chronic diseases.

The talk show host said within VI’s national strategic plan of 2012, there were policies that put health at the forefront with the aim of preventing chronic diseases. 

“There is something in that plan called a Health in All Policies {HiAP], and part of that Health in All Policies was to have persons designated in each department, that whenever something was happening, infrastructure was being built, it would be built in such a way to accommodate exercise.”

“So you would have bike lanes in the streets and you would have trees on the sidewalks,” he said.

'Enforcement & accountability often lacking'- Dr Sharlon Lewis

Dr Lewis pointed out; however, that people might not be aware of how everything impacts health.

“We need to understand how everything impacts health, so when plans are being approved for certain buildings, all of these things need to be taken into consideration and we need to have the fortitude to enforce them because that's the other thing.”

Dr Lewis added that while some plan might be there in policy, enforcement and accountability are often lacking.

“We as a people need to hold ourselves accountable. You can't rely on the government [to] always do everything and spoon-feed you,” she said.

'We just continue to complain'- Smith

Smith remarked, “We ain’t organising ourselves to hold government accountable. We just continue to complain all the time, because this policy been in place from… 2012,” he said.

Dr Lewis added that moving forward, the VI needs another plan since the existing plan will expire in two months, given 2022 only has another month left.

She added that the VI now needs to do an analysis of why the previous policy didn’t work, including "who dropped the ball" and why the plan didn’t work as well as come up with another plan that would cater to new challenges like COVID-19.

21 Responses to “Hold Gov’t 'accountable' rather than just 'complain'– Cromwell Smith ”

  • old crook (17/11/2022, 10:00) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    He wasn't saying that when his government {NDP} was in power
  • @ old Crook (17/11/2022, 11:33) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    If he cannot ebmven decide what his name is , what do you expect / and it looks like he was backing g both governments because he was ready to take up ARMS to fight the UK for the saint andRew , another joker with a miC
    • the real issue (17/11/2022, 13:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      First we have to get the politicians to listen. They are not good listeners, they are only seeing and hearing "Money". All who we try are the same...
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (17/11/2022, 11:33) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Even if Mr. Cromwell Smith in the past didn't aggressively participate in Holding the NDP defeated government accountable in reference to the above topic issue, does that excuse our country's people from holding the current Unity Government accountable?
    All elected politicians, particularly, should be strictly be held accountable to their employers, the people, and to honour the pledge to serve their Oversea boss, the UK, in accordance to their sworned in pledged.

    Mr. Cromwell Smith and other persons that are encouraging us to hold our government leaders for full accountability about how they are managing our affairs cannot be rightfully ignored and criticised, facts.

    Particularly in the 7th electoral district garbage is deliberately left for weeks on the sidewalk. Criticise that. Isn't such a health hazards? Raw sewage water daily running in the street. Isn't that a health hazards?
    Should we not hold our government leaders for these accountable passive neglects? Yes, we should.

    Vote your conscience: like or dislike.
  • Danica Legacy.. (17/11/2022, 13:25) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    That's the one good achievement Danica can boast about, She had the nation focus and conscious and actively engage in healthy life style, walking , swimming, eating....I remember every Saturday I had to join Dancia walk a thon..Then aerobics at the AO Shirley grounds...Now I'm hearing we have to pay to's getting crazier and crazier in the BVI.
  • @ senior citizen (17/11/2022, 14:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    ,no disrespect , but you missd the message / and
    am sure he knew that before , regardless of which government he supported , if the country isn't being managed property , ( with integrity nthat the government has to be held accountable ) solely n why was he pointing his fingers away from
  • @ SENIOR CITIZEN ( no disrespect (17/11/2022, 15:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think the message is according to ( old crook ) he was with ,( NDP ) yet he said nothing / bsnd he switched to ( VIP ) and said nothing untill now , we know he knew that what's going on and those who is disrespecting the country should be held accountable , which is the government , and am sure he knows what the ( old crook meant ) it wasn't about his message , ( which is true ) so it has to be about the messenger
  • WEW (17/11/2022, 15:12) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    And how are we going to hold government accountable? Your family and the other big name families have held the expats and others hostage like slaves since 1847. Can’t wait till UK throws you all out.
    • WEW (17/11/2022, 16:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      What is significant about 1847? Educate us. This site is not only about reporting the news but also about educating the public on on local, regional and international economic, social, cultural, environmental and political matters.
  • E. Leonard (17/11/2022, 15:51) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    The UK is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; it is a representative democracy. Its voters elect 650 MPs to represent them in Parliament. Similarly, the VI as an OT of the UK is a representative democracy. As such its voters elect 13(9 District Reps, 4 At Large) members to the House of Representatives (HoA) to represent their interests. It delegates some power to elected members to work on their behalf. The elective members don’t have absolute power nor were they given absolute power. The true power resides with the people. Whether the BVI people wants to acknowledge and embrace the fact that they ate deeply implicated in and responsible for the performance of elected members /government and has the responsibility for holding politicians feet to the white hot fire. Holding politicians/government feet to the fire involves more than racing to the polls every 4 years to elect a new government. It must be an ongoing process getting actively and civically engaged and holding government responsible and accountable.

    Moreover, the constitution is the foundational document that sets the principles, policies, practices, procedures and institutions by which the territory is govern. It also details how members are elected, for how long, and how they can be removed and who can vote; it also limits the power of elected members denoting the rights of the people. However, somehow along way, the people were misinformed that the politicians, not the people, have the true power. The people delegates some power politicians who are responsible to the people. The People have the True Power. Ultimate power cannot be delegated away. The misinformation has had an impact on people voting. They show an indifference to voting, believing that their vote will not matter and politicians will do what they want, when and how they want. Voting matters and it makes a difference. Though power is useful, it is useless unless used effectively for the common/public good. The constitution is not self-executing. It requires active engagement by the people to make it work. It requires changes from time to time. As such, people should actively engage with the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) to provide inputs to ensure that the VI creates a constitution that is current, modern, and meets the BVI needs.
    • Curious (17/11/2022, 20:56) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @E. Leonard, I hear you about holding government responsible and accountable. But how do the people do that after an election? Don’t we have to wait until the next election to kick poor performers to the curb? There is no means to get rid of poor performers before an election. You talked about engaging the Constitutional Review Committee. Well, one thing the committee can do is give us the voters a mean of removing poor performers before an election.
    • RealPol (18/11/2022, 06:49) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      The scenario outlined is true. But the reality on the ground is that the people have ‘apparent’ power and politicians have ‘true’ power.
    • Eagle and Buffalo (18/11/2022, 07:34) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Edju Enka is on point with BVI people like to complain but when it comes to action to effect change, they take a holiday and grow silent. We like to run our mouths but when action is needed, we hope and lean on others to take action. Complaining and licking melee are among popular past times. But can the people totally to blame for their attitude and behavior? The BVI education failed in its mission. It has not reach a critical mass in educating our people. The BVI was among Caribbean British colonies to get secondary schooling (1948) and it is still lagging in quality education. Case in point is that it is still having to import labor to perform routine functions (I’m not talking about non-skilled) labor). One problem we have is an indifference to reading. My grandmother told me that back in the day B.V. Islanders had a passion for reading. Where has that passion gone? When was it lost? The few words that I’m penning will probably get read. And if it gets read, there will be much dislikes without any constructive reasoning. Don’t get me wrong dislikes are ok but provide reason(s) for the dislikes, for doing so will enhance the discussion, the debate. We need to stop with the fast food mentality for everything; it is holding us back. Fast food sells and spells convenience but it is mostly unhealthy. Healthy fast food is an oxymoron. So what should the BVI do to change and enhance its circumstances? It must a) become a reading nation again (readers are leaders), b) shed the fast food mentality, c) revamp its education system, etc. Let’s talk about our education stem. In addition to a focus on STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics), it must also focus Local BVI history, government and the governing process, politics and electoral process, civics, finance, government budget and finance, education, etc.

      [Let’s lead like eagles, not careen off the cliff like buffaloes]
    • Major Bay Primary Connection (18/11/2022, 11:28) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Two Major Bay Primary School alumni linking up and tag teaming. Cromwell’s criticism and credibility on holding government accountability is null and void. He sat for decades out of self-interest supporting poor governing by the former NDP. His objectivity is in question? Is he seeing clearly and objectively? Or his performance is opportunistic and chameleon. E. Leonard, well, he lives in diaspora land and means well but has little knowledge of what is going on in the BVI. Got to suffer us to know what is happening.
    • Undercover Observer (18/11/2022, 19:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Indeed, the people have more than they recognized and are willing to use. People, though having the power, throw their hands up in disgust when it comes to poor performing, self-serving, arrogant, and full of themselves politicians. In their minds, they are powerless. The evidence is clear that they are not powerless, so why do they feel powerless? Is it that they are afraid of loosing something, some benefit(s)? Do we put self-interest ahead and over public interest, seeing poor performance and bad behavior and look the other way? Nice leading in and plug for the CRC.
  • lol (17/11/2022, 19:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    next election when they come around promising and handing out envelopes everybody forgets
    • @LOL (17/11/2022, 21:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Lol, people must stop prostitution themselves for political patronage, ie, cronyism, nepotism, party supporters. The passing of the alleged envelopes are an affront to good governance. Is political patronage going to stop? No. Nonetheless, it will take a strong behavioral change over time to bring about even minimal change, for political patronage is a culture in the BVI.
  • ,@ E leonerd (18/11/2022, 16:38) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    U come with some good points , and U mentioned the word ( misinformation ) when are
    you going to give us the history on ( this island people culture and how it began , and what was the purpose of it , we have been begging U for answer for a long time now ???? U have been pushing history from centuries ago , BUT U ain't touching that kind of racism / the truth will free your mind of hypocrisy •¿• after all , we all have the same ancestry / so why U doing Michael Jackson's moonwalk on us like that for ???❓
  • guy hill (20/11/2022, 06:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    The people in the Virgin Islands, Local or foreign.....Need to develop a culture where the corrupt individual fears the incorruptible individual and not the other way around..... Growing up in Road Town and living on main street you saw that everyday. People would call your silly @## out when you are doing bull-nonsense.

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