Beautiful Virgin Islands

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Everything run by locals runs exceptionally well - Skelton Cline

Everything run by locals runs exceptionally well - Skelton Cline

BVI institutions run by locals have come in for high praise by political commentator and clergyman, Pastor Claude Skelton Cline.

But he contrasted these institutions with the public service which is helmed by the United Kingdom (UK) appointed governor and a locally selected Deputy Governor.

“Everything we run in this country, everything that is run by locals in this country, runs exceptionally well,” Skelton Cline said on his Honestly Speaking radio show yesterday, March 1.

Skelton Cline pointed to the financial services sector – which he said the UK never wanted the BVI to have – as an example of this and said successes in the industry came despite hurdles placed in front of locals.

The clergyman praised the work and vision of the recently retired CEO of the BVI Financial Services Commission, Dr Robert Mathavious and former First Lady, Lorna Smith within that arena and said Mathavious was particularly keen on ensuring that locals populated that industry.

According to Skelton Cline, the Social Security Board was another example of a similarly well run and locally helmed body.

Public service doesn’t run well


Meanwhile, the talk show host questioned the practice of holding only the elected government accountable though, even as the unelected side of the proverbial coin was left unscathed.

“You know what don’t run well? Our elected form of government that is dependent on a public service that is run by the governor and deputy governor, that is what doesn’t run well,” he argued.

Skelton Cline said he was not blaming individual public servants for the sector’s performance, but suggested that good people were being placed in a bad system.

“Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Her Majesty‘s Prisons – those are the things that don’t run well. Do you know what side of the coin those things are under? They are under the unelected and selected government part of the public government partnership that we have with the United Kingdom,” he added.

The talk show host also had a response for critics who may doubt his point of view.

“You say, ‘well, Claude Skelton Cline I hear you. But, are you saying our elected government is not in charge?’ Of course, they’re not! In charge of what?” he asked.

Skelton Cline argued that the BVI sends 13 people to the House of Assembly to carry out its affairs, only for them to step into shoes that don’t fit.

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