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‘We have done good things in this Territory’- Hon Ronnie W. Skelton

- Urges members to get ‘emotionally strong’
Despite the negative image that the United Kingdom has seemingly been trying to portray about the Virgin Islands, Opposition Leader Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) has said a lot of good things have been accomplished by Virgin Islanders over the years. Photo: HoA/YouTube
Many have argued that the narrative by the UK one-man-sponsored Commission of Inquiry headed by Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom was to portray the local political class as being all corrupt, not able to follow laws and policies, and not capable of governing themselves. Photo: VINO/File
Many have argued that the narrative by the UK one-man-sponsored Commission of Inquiry headed by Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom was to portray the local political class as being all corrupt, not able to follow laws and policies, and not capable of governing themselves. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) told the House of Assembly (HoA) on Thursday, July 13, 2023, that the Virgin Islands has “done a lot of good things”.

The Opposition Leader was at the time speaking during the debate for the second Supplementary Appropriation Provision (SAP) of 2023.

Hon Skelton reflected on when he was growing up and said there was “nothing in the Territory”, but said we can look at the Virgin Islands (VI) differently today. He said, “only a few could have made it to secondary school while others had to go and look for a job”. Today that is not the case, as secondary education is available to all.

He also mentioned, as an example, that his colleague and veteran Member Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) made it to secondary school. Most often in those days, if you were not from Road Town, it was hard to make it to secondary school where there were limited spaces. 

We are much better off today- Hon Skelton

Hon Skelton noted that when he graduated from High School there were only about “four persons with degrees, now today everyone has a degree”.

The politician, who made it back in the HoA for another stint after losing in the 2019 general elections, opined: “Do not let anyone tell us we are bad, we have done nothing good or all of us are thieves and criminals.”

The Leader of the Opposition also warned his colleagues in the HoA, “not to worry about all the negative blogs" and that they "need to become emotionally strong”. 

He commended the Government on having two new Ministries and said the Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) was well within his legal right under the Financial Management Act to bring a SAP to the House. 

Hon Skelton also cautioned that the regulations in the financial services sector may be having negative fallouts on some local businesses. 

Many have argued that the narrative by the UK-sponsored one-man Commission of Inquiry (CoI) headed by Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom was to portray the local political class as being all corrupt, not able to follow laws and policies, and not capable of governing themselves.

Many in the progress class have rejected that narrative and pointed out that it was the locals who built the Virgin Islands with little or no help from the UK.

25 Responses to “‘We have done good things in this Territory’- Hon Ronnie W. Skelton”

  • Outsider (14/07/2023, 07:57) Like (15) Dislike (6) Reply
    When you set the bar that low Ronnie, it's easy to look good.
    Everything is relative and relatively speaking the territory is struggling.
  • indeed (14/07/2023, 08:17) Like (18) Dislike (15) Reply
    Skelton is right. The locals have built the Virgin Islands, but consider the quality of the build. Crumbling roads, broken schools, dysfunctional electricity supply, medieval style waste management practices, rampant cronyism and abdication of any form of accountability despite missing millions from the public purse. Presumably this is the best that could be done despite for decades having a GNP of more than $ 1 billion a year, now less than half of that. And, let’s not forget looking the other way regarding narco trafficking despite increasing size of seizures. What answer do you suppose Skelton would give regarding the better future the government has created for it’s use?
    • @indeed (14/07/2023, 10:19) Like (9) Dislike (7) Reply
      Cart your MS back to your country and see if it is any better off than the BVI
    • homegrown (14/07/2023, 11:50) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      Indeed, Greetings,
      Are you still here to read this?
      Well what's up? Cant get a flight or can't purchase the Ticket?
      I am willing to buy the Ticket once its a never to return one way, and i am also willing to send you $150.00 USC for the next three months just to make out as you start.
      Let me know in six years how you are doing, maybe i will send you another 150. You would not even have to say thanks. It would be alright you ungrateful Skunk.
      Dont forget to leave the Immigration Stub at Beef Island , for it's more valuable than you.
    • @indeed (14/07/2023, 12:53) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      It is so bad here and you still hanging on for dear life it must be much worse in your country.
    • Lucy (14/07/2023, 13:37) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Indeed, Since none of this happens where you are from, why are in in the BVI finding fault?
  • HEY YAH (14/07/2023, 08:25) Like (19) Dislike (6) Reply
  • People (14/07/2023, 08:51) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    I need some urgent help from the immigration of BVI. I am an employee of Mosquito Island and yesterday the HR department held a meeting with all workers. after the meeting i was given a check and a travel ticket then told my service is no more at Mosquito. This is not fair, and am asking the labor department and Immigration to intervene Immediately as over 30 persons were treated the same way.
    • god is watching (14/07/2023, 13:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @People this is so unfair. Did they give you an indication beforehand? A letter of dismissal?
      • People (14/07/2023, 15:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        The letter was given to sign on the spot yesterday. However there was a general notification letter not given a date.
  • You listen to them (14/07/2023, 09:17) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    They are where they are because of the people that they use to get where they are they give you a little government job and you can’t even get paid when your done they give you the little contract and you have to finance the government contract and when it’s all said and done you are in the red and they have their building or whatever you got the contract to do then they tell you go get good standing after you did what was supposed to be done , that’s what slavery by your own looks like ,I will hope that the UK take this place and get everything in place then give it back because if it’s up to those in power it will never change ,they had a chance to be deputy and look at what they did they wanted to be the premier the greedy mentality but that is who they are (NO GOOD)
  • WOW (14/07/2023, 09:21) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    When you were spending the government money in china yes doing good things
  • rubber duck (14/07/2023, 10:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Many in the progress class have rejected that narrative and pointed out that it was the locals who built the Virgin Islands with little or no help from the UK.
  • What? (14/07/2023, 10:02) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Much better off today? Children graduating from the high school system cannot answer simple questions in complete sentences. I beg to differ. It is not quantity that matters. It is quality. Also I do not care to hear about the dark ages. That story has been told enough times. The country is not moving forward and we are heading backward into the dark ages again. Sort it out and talk better next time.
  • WOW (14/07/2023, 10:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    @what your wrong we’re past that look at how dark this place is god forbid we had any emergency that we had to run to save our lives how are we going to run when you can’t see where your going further more we had all those derelict vehicles and galvernize in the hills after Irma and Maria before his government had workers bring those galvernize down to the bottom of the hills and dump them they allowed the bushes to grow over them if we have to run to the hills where are we going to run @what you are so on point
  • Manjack (14/07/2023, 11:38) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Hon Ronnie Skelton, AtL, Leader of Opposition, is reflecting on old times. It is true that only a few, the elites, the Big Shots, from Road Town, chiren got the opportunity to attend the small secondary school in Road Town. I know, for I never got the opportunity to attend. Took the exam several times but never got in. Perhaps, I was not smart enough to get in. That was probably true but they never tell the low class chiren from Country and outlying islands what the passing score was and what their score was. All we know was that all the children for the Big Shot families got to go and some of them was not as bright as you. The reality was that the in addition to being a racialized community, it was also a class conscious society, ie, Road Town ( Upstreet, Down Street, Country, big outlying islands, Cays, etc and other subclasses within these major categories. Moreover, the lack of space in secondary schools was not the sole doing of the social class in the BVI. The Leeward Islands was a major part of the problem. Let’s remember the BVI was part of the Leeward Island Federation which was headquartered in Antigua. The powers that be in Antigua held the view that the BVI was a scale fry with a small population who was agrarian and therefore didn’t did need any higher education to work ground and fish. It took protest, agitation, advocation, etc by locals to get results.,That was when Virgin Islanders had the fight, the rugged individualism, etc. Today, they are soft. Anyway, eventually the Leeward Islands Governor yield a bit and allowed a small senior school , which transitioned into a small secondary school. Then in 1968, the comprehensive school opened and all students had the opportunity for a secondary education. It is important to note that the BVI was the last colony to get secondary education, but it had a Her Majesty’s Prison, now His Majesty’s Prison. Yes, education progress was made but education is still a challenge. A critical mass of BVI graduates are not ranking atop education achievements. Many are functional illiterates. Labour has to be imported to fill jobs that Virgin Islanders should be able to easily perform. Human Resources are the BVI most important resource but the BVI is not getting the best from that resource. Behind health, education should be the next top priority.

    Moreover, the VI was left supposedly by the colonialists as only useful as a bird sanctuary. And indeed Virgin Islanders hard work, sacrifices, etc, built the BVI to the level it is today. Today, it can boast as having one of the highest standard of living, quality of life, human development index, and per capita income in the region. However, it let its guard, lost focus, planned poorly, got drunk on its success, etc, and the governing process faltered, exhibiting poor and c inappropriate behaviors, etc., allowing the UK to roar back and take control, threatening to suspend its constitution. The VI needs to get its swagger back, take charge with a plan and how to strategies, etc to get back on track. This will require the collective, cooperative, and collaborative effort and energy of All Virgin Islanders. Those riding in the wagon must leap out, those standing on the sidelines looking on , etc, must join in moving the country forward. Hoping, dreaming, etc is not going to the BVI on the right course to get to its destination. Our politicians play a key role in getting the VI to its destination. They must pass the best policies to get the ship of state safely to its destination. Policies are social contracts between government and the people who reside in the BVI. The people must awaken from their deep slumber and hold their elected members feet to the fire. Keeping the stars and kicking the dead weights to the curb.
    • Stealth (14/07/2023, 18:08) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Manjack, good summary of the past class structure in the BVI in regards to education. There was a quick transition from slavery and race, to class. Nothing compares to the abusive, dehumanizing, exploitive, etc, nature of slavery.,Nevertheless, the class structure was divisive, exploitive, and exclusionary, establishing one social group as superior to others with special privileges, entitlements, etc. My families account of Town v. Country or Country v. Rest, is painful an un Virgin Islander.
      This social class situation presented unequal access to education, health services, housing, nutrition, employment, social services, transportation, justice, etc. Some may say why not let sleeping dogs lie, for the territory is beyond that. Well, is it? What happens in the dark must come to light. Just like how we should not let the atrocities and dehumanization of slavery and colonialism lie. Similarly, we should not let damages of social classism lie. We should not pretend it did not happen as the colonialists and imperialist want to pretend that slavery and colonialism did not happen or they were not that bad while whitewashing black history, banning books, limiting instruction and speech, etc. Hogwash!!! It is way pass time for reparative justice for the exploitive , abusive, dehumanization action etc. of slavery and colonialism.
  • all i see (14/07/2023, 12:12) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Xxx (14/07/2023, 12:56) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
    Ronnie will be premier next time
    • &XxC (15/07/2023, 11:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @XxX, Ronnie had his opportunity to become Premier up to the morning of April 25 but then one of the opportunist birds flew away. The whole process was about self-interest. The opportunist ungraciously used her leverage to overturn the Apple cart get what she wanted. That was Delilah type behaviour—cunning, devious, untrustworthy, exploitive, deceptive, etc. How can a Delilah face te voters? Was it a one and done opportunity? Anyway, Ronnie’s opportunity to becoming Premier is now slim to none. He is still an elected member and has the moral obligation to fight like hell for Virgin Islanders, for Voters give him the opportunity, the thinnest of opportunity but an opportunity nonetheless. In politics, one has to know one’s colleagues , as well as one’s competitors. Colleagues can be wipers just like competitors.
  • Much more than VIP (14/07/2023, 13:57) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    In Less Time and more meaning full things...Let me name a few. 1/ Drakes 4 lane high way..2/ Noel Lyoyd drive Road.3 / The Hospital...4/ NHI very good intent but bad rollout and needed a yr trial then adjust..Still can be adjusted for betterment.. We have it and all benefit. 5/ $ 10.000. Tax free income. Need adjusting to $18,000. 00 for those making under $30.000 per yr. If Ronnie was in Govt that would have Happen....6/ Salary increase from $350 per hr to $6.00 . If Ronnie did get back in it would have gone to $9.00...Have it said all of that it is very clear to see that Ronnie is the Man for this Country...
  • Hmm (14/07/2023, 14:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I live here what good things he talking about?
  • Young BVI Citizen! (14/07/2023, 14:07) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Aye! These elected politicians are either delusional or they take ppl for fools. Dehman! We aint better off than we was before because we aint really gone no where. We paddiling the canoe but aint going forward. You aint hear what IRitical say in he song" We still have potholes from". 96". I really aint see much progress we make. The only ppl progressing are you the politicians and your famililies friends and associates.
  • Mustang (15/07/2023, 09:37) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hon Ronnie Skelton, AtL, indeed, the VI have done good things, despite the attitude, ungratefulness, and disrespect dished by “Indeed,” an apparent immigrant. If the VI is such a “wutless” and less place, why is he/she spending another microsecond in it? Why is not he/she not racing back to their perfect, beautiful, prosperous, progressive homeland? Or we can assume that the VI is the pits but it is head and shoulders better than their homeland. I will take what the VI provides but I don’t give a rat’s ass about the place. What a hypocrite. Ok. Is the VI a perfect place, does it have some governing challenges, has it exhibited some bad and inappropriate behaviours, has it made some poor social, economic and political decisions, can it change course and get on the right track, should it start changing course now, has it gotten drunk on its success, has it done some good things, etc? Yes, Yes. Is it an alone as country in making mistakes? No, No, No.

    Moreover, due to its tiny size, and lack of natural resources, the VI was forgotten and neglected by the colonialists. In some quarters, it was viewed as a little sleepy hollow, the poor house of the West Indies and not worth investing any scarce money on even on basic services, ie, education, health, roads, communications, economic development, etc. The British has had full control of it since 1672 but it has treated it as it treated its larger colonies, ie, poor healthcare, education, physical infrastructure, economy, social services, etc and as a pitiful place.

    Nevertheless, through hardwork, grit, persistence, signature rugged individualism, sacrifices, etc of a few warriors, ie, Christopher Fleming, Theodolph Faulkner, Noel Lloyd, Hamilton Lavity Stout, and a myriad of others it was able to pull its self up by its bootstrap with little help from the British who having exploited it of its meagre bolted from it with Eusain Bolt speed. Well , it was more like supersonic speed supposedly categorizing it as only useful a Bird Sanctuary. Nonetheless, as another blogger note, it can boast today as having one of the best and highest standard of living, quality of life, human development index, and per capita income in the region. The Bible says that the rejected stone becomes the head stone. Today, all roads seem to lead to the VI, which some castigate as a hell hole. Some 120 + different nationalities call the VI home and still coming. Gentrification is on rise by those who once label it as only useful as a bird sanctuary. The VI boots has some broken straps that needs fixing. Vigilate, vigilate, vigilante!!
    • Eagle and Buffalo (15/07/2023, 15:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Mustang, skillfully put with a little history and and little currency weaved together. Vigilate indeed, fie we must stay vigilant. We have let our guards down and open up our selves to external control.

      [lets lead like eagles, not careen off the cliff like eagles ]

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