British Virgin Islands

Monday, Apr 19, 2021

‘Control your destiny or someone will’- Josephine Gumbs Conner

‘Control your destiny or someone will’- Josephine Gumbs Conner

Anguillan Attorney-At-law, Mrs Josephine Gumbs Conner has laid down the gauntlet for Virgin Islanders to start taking control of their destiny, first by recognising their value as a nation.

The attorney was at the time speaking as a telephone guest on the Honestly Speaking radio show with Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline on Tuesday, February 4, 2021, touching on topics including the Commission of Inquiry and the United Kingdom's relationship with its Overseas Territories.

'Recognise your value' - Josephine Gumbs Conner


“I urge BVIslanders as I do my own people, to recognise your own value, your value not just individually but your value as a nation.”

She said, “Often, we think of ourselves as why would the British want us? What do we have to offer? and that tells me that you neither understand your history or you choose not to interpret it in as fully as it should be.”

Speaking on the need to be self-determinant and on the value of a community, she called on Virgin Islanders to first get into an independent mindset and to claim value by asserting dignity.

“If you do not see yourself as being a black independent nation moving forward to your own destiny that you are crafting, then I can assure you those others whose destiny they have already determined will simply assimilate you into their progress,” she said.

“I just hope that our people understand that if we do not craft on a daily basis and make sure that our governments are pushing us to a position where we can control our own destiny there will be somebody who will come in and control the destiny not just of you but of generations to come.”

The Attorney was at the time speaking as a telephone guest on the Honestly Speaking Show with Claude O. Skelton-Cline on the Tuesday, February 4, 2021 edition of the show on ZBVI 780am, touching on topics including the Commission of Inquiry and the British relationship with its OT states.

The recent Commission of Inquiry called by Ex-Governor Augustus J. U. Japsert, mere days after he exited the Virgin Islands, has been seen by some in the political arena as a cover for a possible direct rule by the United Kingdom. They have argued this is supported with the knowledge that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reportedly colluded with the UK media to maliciously portray the Virgin Islands as corrupt and needing UK intervention.


Building a self-determined future


Since taking office, Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), his members of government and even Members of the Opposition, have been pushing Virgin Islanders toward a future of self-determination, telling the populace that if the VI doesn’t lead and police itself, ‘someone will do it.”

Further, the recent Commission of Inquiry called by Ex-Governor Augustus J. U. Japsert, mere days after he exited the Virgin Islands, has been seen by some in the political arena as a cover for a possible direct rule by the United Kingdom, as was seen in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

They have argued this is supported with the knowledge that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reportedly colluded with the UK media to maliciously portray the Virgin Islands as corrupt and needing UK intervention.

The political pundits have further opined that the move to keep the government in the dark about the CoI was also to catch them on the 'back foot' so they would not be able to respond in time to save the territory's reputation from severe damage.

According to Mrs Conner, “we need to find ways to lift that value and create it so that it respects our culture and it respects us in our fullest dignity and human right to be able to forge our own destiny.”

She further urged Virgin Islanders to recognise their own intellectual capital and to recognise that there is value in community leaders as well as value in the territories by themselves.

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