“Like every other country in this modern-day, we the people have the ability and the right to manage our own affairs,” Hon Vanterpool said during the debate on the Virgin Islands Investment Act 2021 at the continuation of the Eleventh Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) of the Virgin Islands at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom on August 19, 2021.
Hon Vanterpool drew comparisons to the UK government and corruption allegations and questioned if the UK would let outsiders take over their country and run their affairs due to those allegations.
“But we in the Virgin Islands seem to think that because we may do something wrong or not right, or we might not follow some rules… we must let somebody take us over,” he said.
He said the VI has not asked the UK for ‘a single penny’ and has even financed a large portion of the UK-appointed Governor in the Virgin Islands, yet persons believe that the territory cannot manage itself.
Pointing out mistrust in its own people, Hon Vanterpool said that when persons in the VI do wrong, they must be a system to have them corrected or brought to justice.
Likewise, he said, Governments who do wrong must face the boot from office; however, that should not mean the territory is unable to manage its own affairs.
He said the VI has been managing its affairs for decades, since the end of Grant-in-Aid, and called for an end in the reliance of the Governor as the figurehead of the territory.
“Everybody seems to think that the Governor… must do everything, we must put our faith in the trust of the Governor,” he said.
“I'm not Speaking of any particular governor, I’m talking about the name governor, Mr Speaker, its time that we run our own affairs,” Hon Vanterpool declared.
“Why are we afraid to say that there are investigations in the Uk Government's Present Prime Minister handling of stimulus funds?” he questioned.
The Fourth District representative reminded that the UK Government remains shrouded in corruption allegations, and yet they continue to run their own affairs and manage their own finances.