British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Dec 04, 2021

BVI deserves more mature leadership — Skelton Cline

BVI deserves more mature leadership — Skelton Cline

Political commentator and government consultant, Pastor Claude Skelton Cline has come out in scathing condemnation of what he suggests to be the immature level of leadership being meted out to residents.

He was referring to the public dispute between government and Opposition legislators concerning a Request for Proposals (RFP) the Ministry of Finance recently issued to secure a special health insurance plan for House of Assembly (HOA) members.

Skelton Cline said on his Honestly Speaking radio show on Tuesday that the people of the BVI deserve a more mature leadership than what they’re currently receiving from legislators.

He acknowledged that his criticism might be harsh but said he was unfazed if it were received in this manner.

“The people of the Virgin Islands are more deserving of a more mature leadership … In too many ways we are behaving too childish [with] kindergarten, primary school kind of banter,” Skelton Cline argued.

With the territory currently experiencing a Commission of Inquiry as well as a crippling health pandemic, the talk show host said times are too serious and challenging for its leaders to continuously get into these “sophomoric fights”.

He urged togetherness and emotional sobriety so that residents can meet the needs of the moment. “We’re better than this and we have to begin to behave better than this,” the clergyman said.

The talk show host described as “tit-for-tat” the responses legislators have been hurling at each other about the increasingly controversial RFP.

Compensation packages poorly executed

Speaking to the issue of HOA compensation packages – which includes the matter of insurance coverage – Skelton Cline suggested that these were untimely in the manner in which they were rolled out.

“I believe that the compensation packages or package for the House of Assembly members are rightly conceived but are poorly, very poorly and untimely being executed,” Skelton Cline said in the wake of the uproar over the legislators’ insurance saga.

He said there really is no room or time for legislators to continue to play political football on these issues.

Skelton Cline said while he remains hopeful there is a window of opportunity to turn things around, he would be intellectually dishonest in not saying that he remains disappointed at the level of behaviour.

Both legislators from both sides of the political aisle have given contradicting stories as it relates to the Oppositions involvement in the proposed insurance plan that, among other things, seeks to circumvent the National Health Insurance scheme and offer legislators coverage for cosmetic surgery (in the event of an accident), alcoholism, and substance abuse rehabilitation.


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