Beautiful Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

Lawful societies promote the greater good

Lawful societies promote the greater good

The culture of 'wrong and strong' is a Virgin Islands folly. It will be the undoing of the Virgin Islands. There is aversion by a significant sub set to the new reality of correctly imposed Indirect Rule from the UK.
Every resident knows that this was a last-minute intervention to save this Virgin Islands community from disaster. This Writer for years warned this community that a date with a sad fate was on the horizon. He once got into trouble for pointing out an incident of clear corruption. It is never his style stating ‘’ I told you so.’’

OK. Blaming international law enforcement agencies and the police for doing their due diligence, intelligence, and investigative work, in trapping criminals and corrupt officials, is simply a rendition to a culture of ‘’wrong and strong’’ that appears to have taken hold of this community in recent years.

The latest rendition is the use of the fake excuse of colonialism and racism, as the reason for the authorities taking action against crime. It is a false narrative. That the former premier caught in a drug sting operation in Miami, was part of that colonialist plot: nonsense!

Observe the culture of ‘wrong and strong,’ where certain people believe they have the divine right to act outside the Rule of Law.

It is very simple to observe lawlessness in this community. The streets are the common reserve of illegal scooter riders who ride about without helmets and legal papers with an attitude that they are essentially ‘untouchable.’

A child assaults another violently, and the story is that because of who his parents are there will be no legal ramifications. He gets off scot-free. Worse is the secret code that hides murderers and criminals in various corners of the community.

Thankfully, this is not a criminal culture unique to the Virgin Islands. It is a culture of crime endemic in most of the world’s most corrupt societies.

Tolerance for crime is at the root of the cultural entitlement in the Virgin Islands. The idea that ‘I can do what I want’ because I ‘bahn’ here. This has led to the lawless and anti-social society we all have to live with today.

The Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry and the consequent report and recommendations of the Commission have brought about the reality of the poor moral condition of Virgin Islands Society.

The praise for the gangster, scamp, and the corrupt politician, entities at the root of lawlessness and social and economic underdevelopment in the territory, is key feature in a Virgin Islands culture where wrong has become right, and the ‘ends justify the means.’

This Old Boy was talking to a colleague some while back who was resigned to the fact that crime would never be controlled in the Virgin Islands, as long as there was poverty, and an opportunity to make a ‘quick buck’ by illegitimate means. She was partially right of course. However, that resignation allows the continuation of the nightmare we all live with.

Residents may not see the damage this idea of being ‘above the law’ does to the local morality and culture. Not until sons are incarcerated in prison, or worse still, felled by a bullet in a drug deal gone south. The future of a whole generation of native young men is under threat because of this culture. Then we complain when ‘’outsiders’’ arrive to take jobs that our youth should have had? Please!

People believe that the law is for lesser mortals. However, a long rope offered to these people is for their hanging. That rope after decades of high tolerance for crime in the territory is over. There is a new reality. The next few years will see investigation on top of investigation. Wrongdoers will be booked. Assets gained illegally seized by the state.

The apprehension of the Ex-Premier may just be the start of a period of investigations and probes long overdue.

Paradoxically, these investigations began with the Ex-Premier and a predecessor who is no longer with us adopting hostility to expatriates, especially officials from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Most of that behavior was unjustified. The longsuffering Virgin Islands public today understands why.

In a land where self-rule was, the order of the day, diplomacy would have been far better than hostility in managing relations with UK Oversight of self-governance by overseas territories.

Instead, it became the trend for the Premier to clash with the Sitting Governor for no just reason or cause. It appeared the politically expedient thing to do.

However, it has become clear after decades of dreadful governance, the reason why. The reason was to hoodwink Jack and Jill Public just how much they were being shortchanged in their governance by ‘’leaders’’ who could care less for the country, but their own pockets.

Every act of governance before the COI was infected with the ‘’what is in this for me’’ syndrome.

Patriotism and respect for taxpayers was the least of the concerns of the politician. Power was simply a way of directing resources away from the needs of the country to the greedy interests of the politician and his friends and family: nepotism in the BVI was on steroids.

Thank God for UK Oversight. If there was no Oversight we would all wake up one day to the reality that the poorest countries on earth were better off in terms of their infrastructure than the ‘’wealthy Virgin Islands.’’

The Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry came just in time.

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