British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021

CoI: VI has always been a reactive society - Angelle A. Cameron

CoI: VI has always been a reactive society - Angelle A. Cameron

Former Mrs BVI and ‘My BVI’ talk show host, Angelle A. Cameron has called on Virgin Islanders to stop being reactive, and rather, be proactive towards issues affecting the territory.

Mrs Cameron was at the time speaking at the June 6, 2021, edition of the Honestly Speaking radio show alongside host Claude O. Skelton-Cline and guest Shaina M. Smith-Archer on the topic of the Commission of Inquiry.

CoI & attitudes of Virgin Islanders


Regarding the CoI, Skelton-Cline remarked that one religious leader had told him, “the bee that stings is also the bee that produces honey.”

Referencing the Great March of 1949, he underscored that the CoI could be a work of God, to shake Virgin Islanders who would otherwise not believe the UK does not have their best interest at heart until they see what is next.

Mrs Angelle A. Cameron was at the time speaking at the June 6, 2021, edition of the Honestly Speaking radio show alongside host Claude O. Skelton-Cline.


Does the UK have our best interest?


There have long been sentiments that the UK does not have the best interest of the VI at heart, including due to its attempts to force the VI to have ‘Public Registers’ which could severely hamper the financial services industry, as well as wanting the VI to legalise gay marriages.

The Virgin Islands generates its own revenue and does not rely or receive monies from the UK to meet its annual budgetary commitments.

When Hurricane Irma ravaged the Virgin Islands in September 2017, the UK refused to assist the Virgin Islands with significant financial assistance to aid in its recovery but instead only offered a loan guarantee, while refusing to make adjustments to the Protocols for Effective Financial Management to allow the territory to access significant loans without violating the protocols.

Premier Fahie has refused to sign the loan guarantee unless the adjustments to the protocols are put in writing. There are reports that the UK is upset about the Premier's refusal.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started to seriously impact the Virgin Islands economy in March 2020, the Government of the Virgin Islands made a request to the UK for a grant to help persons made unemployed as a result of stringent measures to fight the virus.

Ex-Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert responded that the VI was capable of financing its own initiative and that it had ‘healthy reserves and the Social Security Board Fund is very robust’. Mr Jaspert had noted too that the United Kingdom was also facing its own challenges due to the impact of the pandemic.

Interestingly, while the UK was unwilling to help the VI financially it was willing to finance a Commission of Inquiry into the VI in the height of the pandemic while its own [UK] government has dodged a CoI into its own management of the pandemic, citing that the pandemic was an inopportune time.

The current UK government has been labelled by its own parliamentarians and press as one of the most corrupt governments. Its Prime Minister and buddy of Mr Jaspert, who was recently given a job by ‘Boris’, continues to be accused of corruption, telling lies and cronyism and investigations have been launched into some of the allegations.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started to seriously impact the Virgin Islands economy in March 2020, the Government of the Virgin Islands made a request to the UK for a grant to help persons made unemployed as a result of stringent measures to fight the virus. Ex-Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert responded that the VI was capable of financing its own initiative and that it had ‘healthy reserves and the Social Security Board Fund is very robust’.


More proactive VI - Ms Cameron


Using the bee analogy, Cameron responded that the VI has several ‘stings’ which has prompted people to move towards change; however, that precursor may not be the best call to action.

“If we aren't careful, we are currently repeating that history. So that stinging, I can believe that because unfortunately or fortunately we have always been a people who don't move unless there has been some upset or sting of sorts.”

According to Ms Cameron, even in 1949 and beyond there was a ‘sting’, and that has always been the precursor for persons to make moves, “I want to get to the point where that's not where we are. That we are proactive and not reactive.”

According to Ms Cameron, as the territory modernises it should not be repeating the same steps of VI’s forefathers, but rather, making new steps that will benefit future generations.

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