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Would independence have dire consequences for VI? - 3D Show

- caller says Minister has somewhere to go!
Host of the 3D Show, Doug Wheatley questioned whether independence would have dire consequences for the VI. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Continuing the discourse on independence for the Virgin Islands (VI), host of the 3D talk show, Doug Wheatley, raised questions on whether independence could have a serious backlash on the Territory.

One of the main concerns he raised last evening, September 21, 2012 on a local radio station, was the continued use of the US currency in the VI. He noted that the question of whether an independent VI would be committed to continuing with its usage of US currency has been repeatedly asked. 

Wheatley then raised the issue of a hypothetical man-made or natural disaster occurring in the Territory. He asked what responsibility, if any, the UK might have in the hypothetical case of an independent VI becoming insolvent as a result of a terrorist attack, positing that an event such as this could conceivably cause a crippling effect on the local economy, and ultimately necessitating a large scale injection of capital. 

In the absence of any bi-lateral arrangement with the territory, he continued, it would seem that the UK would have no obligation to make such provisions for the territory. 

A third concern, he noted, was the flight of trust companies. He raised the question of the financial situation of the territory deteriorating and the government being forced to levy additional fees and taxes to mitigate the additional cost associated with independence and asked, “Might this action not adversely affect the competitive advantage of the BVI in its financial services industry and lead to a fall off [of] incorporation?” 

He also raised concerns of defence aggression (signing agreements to preserve territorial integrity) and also the concept of a secession possibility wherein one of the sister islands objects to leading into full independence. 

There was a general perception held by many, Wheatley said, that with British sovereignty,  the VI was able to achieve political stability, protection of real democracy, aversion to corruption, rule of law, reputation for fair play and a sound financial system; all of which he noted were factors for a sound financial system and were important elements in drawing businesses to the jurisdiction. 

Subsequently, one listener phoned in to the programme to say, “Be very careful who talks about independence, a lot of them have someplace else to go...Where are we going?...The Minister who started it, he has someplace to go, we have no place to go,” the caller opined. “I don’t think he was thinking of some place to go at the time, but the fact of the matter is he has someplace to go,” the caller insisted.

The caller was at the time referencing statements made by Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool at the Sunday morning well service on August 6, 2012. Hon. Vanterpool had said, “the VI continues to be dictated to by the government of the United Kingdom.”

He added it was “Time for the management of our own affairs to be in our own hands, rather than depend on guidance and instructions from those who live away from us, who may wish us well, but not tell us what is well for us. Conversation needs to begin, for us to light our own destiny, identity, self -determination and pride as a people.” 

The caller then proposed that it was "ok" for the host to talk about independence, but to also ensure at the same time to advise the people on what it means. “Be very careful when you talk about independence,” he said.

Earlier in the programme, the hosts discussed the issue of political accountability and the essential nature of politicians being representative and accountable to the public. 

Guest of the programme for the evening, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, expressed that “just because people voted for you, it doesn’t mean that they agreed with every aspect of your manifesto, it doesn’t mean that they agreed with everything you said on the campaign.” 

Political representatives, he felt, must consult with the populace since they were making decisions on their behalf. He added that it was not enough to say that it was in your manifesto or that you campaigned on it.

7 Responses to “Would independence have dire consequences for VI? - 3D Show”

  • public (22/09/2012, 09:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    i like that one Mark do have some place to go Augulla so does Myron- Antigua and Archie- Antigua poor the rest of us only Tola
  • school children (22/09/2012, 09:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    if we go independent under ndp..we will overthrow the government with a coup de tat
    • rat (22/09/2012, 23:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      trust me we not going no independent with those dictators we have now... no way Jose
  • Eagle and Buffalo (22/09/2012, 17:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The continuation discussion on the pros and cons of self-determination is educational, healthy and constructive. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, the verdict will be that the costs will outweigh the benefits. Sowande is on point in that winning an election does not provide absolute freedom to do whatever one pleases. Feedback from the electorate is still needed.
  • don (23/09/2012, 08:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am sick of this independence talk that not going anywhere!
  • one country (23/09/2012, 23:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    independence is a muss

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