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I have resisted Media & Opposition pressure to intervene- Governor Duncan

Governor John S. Duncan’s relationship with his bosses at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is mixed as they are ‘often confused’ with some of his positions, according to an FCO source. Right: New Government House. Photo: VINO/Internet Source
Governor John S. Duncan OBE (right) told Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (left) in a correspondence that he has resisted pressure from both the Opposition and media to intervene and be more proactive with the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John S. Duncan OBE (right) told Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (left) in a correspondence that he has resisted pressure from both the Opposition and media to intervene and be more proactive with the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- When John S. Duncan OBE came to the Virgin Islands as the United Kingdom appointed Governor in August 2014, he fell out of favour with the people, the media and the Government of the Day just after about a year in office.

His own relationship with his bosses at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is mixed as they are “often confused” with some of his positions, according to an FCO source.

I am not touching NDP-Governor

In one of the many letters to Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) Governor John S. Duncan boasted how he has resisted pressure from both the Opposition and the media to intervene and be more proactive with the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government.

The Opposition in the House of Assembly (HoA), civil society, the media and talk show hosts have all called on the Governor to address allegations of corruption, reckless spending and poor financial management.

However, in a letter to the Premier earlier this year Governor Duncan wrote “as you will be aware the Governor’s Office has come under intense pressure since the beginning of the year from both the Opposition and the media to intervene more proactively with the Government. I have resisted such pressure….”

I am no police, you on your own- Governor

In the same letter, Governor Duncan is ‘hands offs’ on all the pressure to do something about the allegations. He said “the Territory should shoulder responsibility for ensuring Good Government. The role of the Governor should not be that of the eternal policeman, but the recourse of last resort.”

Many critics have blasted this approach as the Governor failing in his duties to help bring about Good Governance. They have accused him of dereliction of duties and one talk show host, Edmund G. Maduro, and many callers to his show have publicly demanded that Mr Duncan be recalled for lack of performance.  

Mr Duncan told Premier Smith that he was satisfied that “your Government is committed to talking the required steps under the Medium Term Fiscal Plan process.”

The Public has not forgiven Governor Duncan for not calling a Commission of Inquiry into the Ports Development Project despite overwhelming evidence of conflict of interest, no one looking out for taxpayers monies and breaking of financial management rules as reported by the Auditor General, the HoA Public Accounts Committee and a former Developer on the Project Mr Hugh E. Darley.

20 Responses to “I have resisted Media & Opposition pressure to intervene- Governor Duncan”

  • From Peter to Paul (02/11/2016, 11:46) Like (15) Dislike (17) Reply
    this governor does not care he goes off to retirement next year while you black folks will be still here under a NDP rule
    • Blacksfixourown (02/11/2016, 14:24) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      Y'all voted them in, to be honest I prefer that the white man not intervene and we black folks fix out own problem. If he the governor got involve to heavy hand I am pretty sure there will be an issue. Vote them out and never vote them back again, elect a balance govt or change the political system allowing more power in the hands of the public.
  • i from here (02/11/2016, 12:49) Like (16) Dislike (15) Reply
    Well done Governor. Don't side them with the witch hunt. 11-2 have them going crazy!
  • dog (02/11/2016, 12:56) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    "The role of the Governor should not be that of the eternal policeman, but the recourse of last resort.”

    At what point is that determined? When the damage is done? The precautionary principle applies here:
    "indication of harm, not proof of harm should be the goal". By the time there is proof after the fact it is too late.
    That is what oversight is for. Being a "policeman" is not a bad thing. Letting children squabble when it could be turned into a learning moment so they can resolve things themselves is not contrary to the governor's position.
    • Scary Mary (02/11/2016, 14:45) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
      You are absolutely right dog!

      The Governor's "hands off" approach has been to the detriment of the people. In fact, if it were possible to have an election tomorrow, I am pretty sure our current government would NOT be re-elected.

      Minister Skelton is quoted in another online news site as saying the following:

      "It is important for those of us who are in leadership positions to remind you that this year, 2016 is a very important year because for more than once, more than twice, the UK government decided or is thinking of instituting direct rule over us again here in the Virgin Islands".

      While we (the lowly taxpayers) have never officially been informed that the UK government has in fact considered instituting direct rule even once, it begs the question, WHY?

      Assuming Minister Skelton's statement is true, I'd like to point out that the UK is not in the habit of instituting direct rule FOR NO REASON. Logic therefor dictates that our government must have given the UK government reason to at least contemplate such a drastic measure.

      However, if the UK Government never did any such thing, then I can only conclude that Minister Skelton (and others who have made similar comments) are using this as a scare tactic with an ulterior motive.

      Taking a wild guess at what that ulterior motive might be, perhaps they are trying to rile Virgin Islanders to the point where they will happily agree to INDEPENDENCE!

      I have said it before and I will say it again. I believe this government will stop at nothing to gain independence for the BVI, so they can more closely align themselves with China.

      It is immensely important that we each do our due diligence and fact check these statements being made by our leaders.

      Did the UK government "IN FACT" make any threats, suggestions or statements that if the BVI government doesn't do this or that, they would institute direct rule? If they did, what were the requests or demands made by the UK government with which our government did not comply?

      Before anyone starts spouting nonsense about the British are coming, the British are coming; don't you think we should know the FACTS?

      My guess is that our politicians are (once again) making political mileage out of statements made earlier this year by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party. Need I remind anyone that the CONSERVATIVES are in power - not Labour! Mr. Corbin was shot down as swiftly as our own opposition party is shot down on just about anything they have to say.

      Unless our government ministers do not comply/conform with long standing requirements that have been in effect for donkey's years, there is no reason for the UK government to swoop down upon us.

      However, if our government has breached any rules or laws, then it is certainly within the UK government's power, and is in fact their DUTY to intervene on behalf of the people of the BVI.

      Since we have no civil rights to speak of and no freedom of information act, we rely heavily on the Governor to see to it that the people are protected from government wrongdoings, as he is in a position to know when such things happen or IF they happen.

      I believe Governor Duncan's comment about not being our Policeman is actually flawed. If not him, then who will protect us from governmental wrongdoings?

      A large number of people (myself included) believe that our government has not been fully transparent in regards to many important things affecting our territory's finances. I have tried to source specific information on a number of occasions and have been stonewalled at every turn. Without having access to information which SHOULD be available to the public, we are left in the dark. We are at the mercy of our government every step of the way.

      I for one feel the Governor has let us all down terribly.
  • Bad Ones. (02/11/2016, 13:02) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need help. Tax payers need help. Nothing last forever. I'm certain that help is on its way.
    • Help? (02/11/2016, 14:21) Like (0) Dislike (5) Reply
      Who are you? I know the bad ones to be musicians What kind of help do you need? Tax payers are required to pay their taxes from their income. Does that help?
  • trrefdrfds (02/11/2016, 13:08) Like (10) Dislike (7) Reply
    The Governor before did, and this one as well. They come see the shit that is happening, don't do anything about it and walk away with their big salaries. Because at the end of he day they don't want to be the one to be blamed for what is happening in his country. When will we ever get a Governor with "real balls" that would stand up and say "this is wrong, I don't agree with want is happening". This BVI is just a place where everyone come and get a cut/slice of the pie and leave with their pockets full and a good name. Everybody just helping them selves.
  • Interested (02/11/2016, 13:42) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Intervention is unnecessary when you can give them enough rope to hang themselves.
  • Boo (02/11/2016, 14:23) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    So let me get this straight. On one hand we want independence from the Governor and the UK to carry on our own affairs on the other we want him to do his job. Here the Governor has to his own detriment given the government opportunity time and again to right its listing ship and they do nothing. Now that the axe is falling all these blasted politicians talking about slavery and all kinds of piss instead of doing what they are supposed to do: "Abide by the laws of the country!"

    This is bullshit and they are all playing us for fools while throwing up all kinds of smoke screens about imperialism and slavery. Get your shit together or can we just get a new Government already!
  • wongchichi (02/11/2016, 14:29) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can we see the letter? I'd rather not get this from your interpretation.... Lets see the whole context of the documents.
  • bb (02/11/2016, 15:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    do your job
  • Time 4 answers. (02/11/2016, 16:03) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Time they answer to someone. We need lots of answers. They think they are untouchable. Keep the pressure on Mr Governor..
  • JACK BE STILL (02/11/2016, 18:10) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
  • worry (02/11/2016, 19:19) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    When these fellows are finished their pockets will be full and the rest of us will be hungry. There is deception in whatever they do. The sad. Part is they are not informing the public about what they are doing. There is no transparency . They think the public purse is theirs. Look at the deception in introducing the NHI. The report did not go to the house until months after it was forced on the people. Look at road works that started just before snap election. Still not finished. Check the cost of the cruise pier. Where did that cost come from after the fact? Something must be done with this group.Crime is on the rise.
  • Common Sense (02/11/2016, 21:40) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    All of them are corrupt, when has Government Ministers ever helped the masses of the BVI, all that they do is:

    1. Say things they don't mean, or make promises they won't keep
    2. Spend more money than they can make or raise
    3. Sign things they don't read
    4. Plan things without thinking
    5. Hire and pay consultants huge fees to think for them without checking the facts
    6. Don't listen to the people that elected them, unless they are family
    7. Raise tax and fees without explanation on the people
    8. Give themselves raises for doing next to nothing
    9. Withhold payments to civil servants and minimum wage workers
    10. Delegate work to civil servants and minimum wage workers
    11. Come up with ridiculous rules, regulations and policies
    12. Spend tax payers money on starting plans they can't ever seem to finish
    13. Use tax payers money like their own personal bank account
    14. Take trips without explaining why, on the tax payers dime
    15. Ignore the peoples needs and complaints as much as they can.
    16. Live rich while most of the BVI's people are suffering and fighting to live while the cost of living rising
    17 etc....

    Do you really need to hear more LET'S PROTEST THEM NOW!!!
    • Scary Mary (03/11/2016, 12:43) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      You name a place and date for the protest and me and my family will be there!
  • The Eye (03/11/2016, 03:05) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Brothers and Sisters,

    The Virgin Islands (UK) online observers have finally woken up and talking sense after being reduced to cents on their table for their families.

    Take charge NOW my people!

    So mote it be,

    The Eye!
  • wed (03/11/2016, 07:55) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Since these politrickians want independence so bad lets give them independent cells up Balo. Once the corruption ptobes are done the new DPP should have no problem getting convictions.

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