“I am not fearful of a transparent and legitimate Commission of Inquiry, but I think that everyone out there should stay laser-focused and engaged with the process because, Mr Speaker, there is no excuse to roll back the gains which we have made as a society,” he said.
While debating the Register of Interests (Amendment) Act, 2021 in the House of Assembly on Thursday, March 4, 2021, Dr Wheatley said the VI's relationship with the UK must also evolve to not be one-sided, with one party imposing their will the other.
“There are some persons who have… they see the United Kingdom as some type of watchdog for the BVI. The people have to be the watchdog, we have to create institutions that will be the watchdog in our society. What other nation is a watchdog for the United Kingdom?” he questioned.
With the CoI ongoing under the sole commissioner, Sir Gary Hickinbottom, Hon Wheatley questioned the moral authority of the UK to even view the VI as morally inferior compared to UK society.
“I've read media reports, Mr speaker, of persons challenging the United Kingdom for no-bid contracts, for allegations of cronyism and nepotism. Are they morally superior to the people of the Virgin Islands?
Hon Wheatley continued, “I would suggest to you that they are not, I'd suggest to you that there are many things which have happened today and in the past that are questionable in their moral standing and immoral grounds, even in their relationship to we the people,” he said.
Even as the UK has called an Inquiry on the Virgin Islands, the Government of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson ‘aka ‘Boris’ has resisted calls for an immediate inquiry into his Government’s handling of the pandemic, where officials have been accused of blatant corruption.
Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.