2020 elections in Anguilla – Part 1

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Tyrone Hodge is an Anguillan currently living in California and an educator, who values education and one’s heritage. He has written extensively for the Anguillan newspaper and is a panelist of the Mayor Show, which originates in Anguilla every Saturday, in which we focus on identifying problems and offering solutions. His father was Walter G. Hodge, one of the original stalwarts of the Anguilla revolution of 1967

By Tyrone Hodge

“Dear father please open our eyes to see, all the things that you Lord want us to be.  A people that do not have a vision inevitably shall perish from on this earth.” ~ King Konris

With the 2020 elections less than a year away, just about everyone on the island wants a piece of the action.  Everyone thinks he or she can do a better job than the present government and therein lays the rub.  It is with much trepidation that I write this piece and it seems to be a pattern of late.

Anguilla right now is on the cusp of something, and whatever it is, no one seems to know. What I do know is that we ought to give serious thought to the direction in which our beloved country is heading.  The choices leave a lot to be desired, for given the field of candidates who have so far tossed their hats in the ring; the outcome will be a mercy killing.

I am saddened when I see some of the things that are happening and the fact that no one seems to care one way or the other causes me to wonder, what are we doing?  Meetings are scheduled and rarely anyone shows up, when the House of Assembly meets the place where they make decisions that affect our lives, no one is there to hear what’s being done in our name.  The apathy and lack of interest in the democratic process says all there is to say.

The way that our government operate forces one to ask the question; what has happened to us as a people?  Are we that jaded that we now lack the curiosity about the goings-on in our beloved country?  Are we that tired of the constant bickering and the lack of caring for us as a people that we are now in survival mode?

If that truly is the case, then may God help us for I don’t see any relief in the distance.

As part of the British Commonwealth, we fall under the umbrella of the Foreign Commonwealth Office  and as such are subject to the whims of old white men,  foreign ministers and the like, who haven’t a clue about Anguilla and given that Brexit has caused just about everyone a lot of sleepless nights, that hasn’t helped us either.

Every five years we say that Anguilla is at a crossroads, and what we do this time will either make or break us. Well, I genuinely think that this time more than any other, is the one that will decide our fate one way or the other.

Anguilla, it is often said is literally the last of a dying breed, and as such needs to catch up to the rest of the world.  That is all well and good, but how and with whom do we catch up, is the $64,000 question. As Konris said in his calypso; “A people without a vision inevitably shall perish from on this earth.”

I believe that our leaders do not have a vision for Anguilla.  Not only do they not have a vision, but like Indiana Jones, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, are making it up as they go along.  Our leaders in Anguilla have  long since abdicated Anguilla’s governance to the likes of The Foreign Commonwealth Office and Lord Ahmad, minister of state for the Commonwealth and the United Nations (UN) who seems hell-bent on bringing about a Chagos Islands type of genocide on the indigenous people of Anguilla.

Anguilla cries out for leadership, and I’m afraid that if we as a people do not educate ourselves about the issues that impact our lives, then we are doomed as Winston Churchill so famously said, “To repeat the mistakes of the past.” We seem not to have a clue as to what’s going on and based on our actions, neither do we care.

Marcus Garvey told us that, “A people without the knowledge of their history is like a tree without roots.”

How quickly do we forget the hard times; we were forced to endure? We have been at nation-building for a little over 50 years now, and we are yet to understand what running a government entail. We elect ‘leaders’ who lie and mislead at every turn.  We elect ‘leaders’ who are more concerned with their party’s agenda than they are with ours – We the People.

As a people, Anguillians have got to change and re-kindle the spirit of 1967.

They can’t be a divided lot because that plays right into the hands of the present government and thereby guaranteeing them another five years.

Can we really afford to have Victor Banks and his cast of political miscreants for another five years?  What have they done for us?

They are more concerned with what Anguilla can do for them, rather than what they can do for Anguilla.

Have they improved our infrastructure?  Have they improved the economy?  Have they saved our indigenous banks?  What about the Stabilization Levy?

Not only have they lied to us, they are now getting ready to tax us with Value Added Tax (VAT), a regressive tax from which other countries tend to shy away.

Now to add insult to injury, the Victor Banks government has resurrected the long-lost attempt to tax undeveloped properties. If that were in fact allowed to happen, it would wreak havoc on Anguilla given the condition of the island right now; hardly anyone would be able to pay their taxes.

If Victor wants to see the Anguilla revolution 2.0 let him try and float his asinine idea of taxing people’s undeveloped property.  This is why Victor is an imminent threat to the homeland.  This is cause for concern for all of us.

To be continued …

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