Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley said he was no longer willing to defend what he described as “nonsense” of the past that ensued before the installation of his Government of National Unity.
As an example, the Premier questioned whether it was the first time a suggestion was made for assistance grants to be moved to the Social Development Department. He further urged persons to be honest with themselves regarding concerns made in the Commission of Inquiry
) report’s recommendations that helped form the current framework agreement between his administration and the UK.
“Let’s take a look at the audits which have been done in the past. Being in the Unity Government feels better for me,” the Premier said as sounds of applause rang out in the background.
He continued: “Yeah, I feel like I’m being true to myself. I don’t want to be in a position to defend nonsense—things you know are wrong, anybody on the street could see it’s wrong. And you have to try and fumble and explain it. I don’t want to do that anymore.”
While he did not specify the wrong things he fumbled to explain in the past, Premier Wheatley urged persons to take a look at themselves and said a lot of the criticisms that are in the COI
recommendations came from civil servants and different people around the territory.
“Are we saying that there’s nothing for us to learn from this whole process that we went through?” Premier Wheatley asked.
Dr Wheatley said he wanted to be the type of leader that can inspire some level of confidence in the people who want to see good governance in the territory and related an anecdote of how difficult it was to face children who he said were disappointed after the COI
report was released.
“I had to speak to some little children after all the events that took place and those little children were so disappointed,” Premier Wheatley said. “It was hard to explain the situation to them. They were so disappointed.”
He added: “I want to inspire confidence in those young people that they can look at the Virgin Islands
and have some pride in it. You could see the shame on the faces of those little children.”