Providenciales, TCI, September 5th, 2016 – When the power is restored the glory will come!
Despite of their economic struggles, our forefathers held to the hope that they would one day change their condition through determination and hard work, earning for themselves, notable achievements and high honour. We are the continuation of our ancestors, their hopes and their dreams, which naturally obligates to improve on their efforts to obtain the Glory they pursued! We are uniquely skilled to the mission given our human capacity to reflect on our past and dream of a future that is informed by the mistakes and setbacks of that past.
In the Turks and Caicos Islands our climb is steep and our struggle fierce and hard because our democracy remains under siege by the heavy handed and resentful British government who have imposed on us a ‘Constitution’ that is lacking key elements of good governance which restricts our full enjoyment of our Divine Right to freedom and the power for self-determination. This document in effect misappropriates the power of the people into the hands of technocrats – a select few – who, while they may possess some competence, they lack accountability, because they have not been elected. Therefore the document is useless!
On one hand she’s The Mother of Democracy and the other the Architect of Slavery and at every turn she denies us this Glory that we seek. This contradiction in her historical positions speaks to the schizophrenic nature of Great Britain’s approach to oversight of the Colony and the wickedness our state of dependency. But if the power is restored, the Glory will come!
We have an escalating crime rate, which has adversely impacted the quality of life of The Turks and Caicos Islander and created a climate of fear and dread. Our homes are under the constant threat of invading bandits who target our Nissan Fugas, Sankey Televisions and Acer tablets, our personal symbols of achievement in our march toward Glory. This speaker is convinced that crime is a contributing factor to our country’s plummeting travel-ratings because even our tourists are not exempt from the tyranny of lawless men whom we seem unable to deter. But if the power is restored then the Glory will come!
Flaws in our border control attract Illegal migration, a prolonged and vexing plague on our society. And while there have been some successes with interceptions and repatriations, the general feeling is that Turks and Caicos has a leaky border that allows in all sorts of other contrabands like guns, drugs, gangsters and infectious diseases, forever changing the Turks and Caicos experience. National Security is key to maintaining law and order and guaranteeing the continuance of our way of life. Government is responsible to protect the country and its citizens against all national threats. But if the power is restored, the Glory will come!
Our Public Service is challenged to meet the fundamentals of its Core Values because it is afflicted with redundancies and inefficiencies with no demonstrated ability to be proactive reactive to the growing and changing demands of the public. The Service is under resourced in technology, human assets, cogent policies, supplies and equipment all of which are required to create a public service that is professionally respected and able to serve the people with efficiency and effectiveness. The Public Service is not setup for the success of the Civil Servant, and this breeds antagonism and hatred between them and the general public. But if the power is restored, the Glory will come!
The current tax model for Turks and Caicos matches no best practice plan known to man. The haphazard nature tax hikes have proven to be, a heavy burden to existing businesses, it has endangered the middle-class and it hangs about the necks of the poor like a milestone on the head of a drowning man. The continuous indiscriminate tax hikes are and in the words of my Uncle Boogie “nothing but a down-drivement” to foreign investments! The surpluses that resulted from the fleecing of the Turks and Caicos Islands are being misrepresented, by this government, as fiscal prudence without taking into consideration the dwindling numbers of players in the economy or the threat of significant shortfalls next year – But if the power is restored, the Glory will come!
The Glory, we are toiling for, is not impossible to obtain, it is within our reach; we have had a glimpse of it before. While the gross missteps of the current regime have been a hindrance to our march to Glory, they are not alone in the struggle against us for there are fearsome giants on the landscape that also seek to undermine us:
There are Giants of special interests, who seek their selfish desires at the expense of everyone. Some come bearing treats to satisfy our immediate personal needs then work to deny us, not only the long-term gains that would result from a growing economy but also the power of self-sufficiency that makes us lords of our own destiny.
Consider the Giants of irrational emotionalism; they are the defenders of business-as-usual. They try to dull the sound of your conscience by getting loud and combative over petty issues. These behaviours corrupt good manners and expose their own fears of the very change in governance they also crave and deserve.
Then there are the Giants of political dynasties that cast long, ugly shadows of intimidation over the citizen statesmen, like me, who would dare to challenge the status quo and work with you, to usher in a new era of equal opportunity and fair play. But Giants, they die! The bigger they come the harder they fall… I am willing and ready to sling rocks at Giants…
I am aligned with that silent majority who share the belief that, when the power is restored the Glory will come! We are well able to obtain Glory without compromise while maintaining the highest moral standing. We have the strength of our conviction that Turks and Caicos is destined for greatness and we are worthy of it and we are the people to achieve it. We are driven by the fortitude and resilience of our fore parents who through sheer will and despite the British abandonment, overcame and reserved for us an inheritance, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, a lender and not a borrower; This Glory, ladies and gentlemen, is our inheritance.
My beloved Turks and Caicos I have heard your calls for leadership that embodies our highest ideals and commands a deep respect for our rich cultural heritage. I have heard your cries for representation of your passions for a national identity that would produce a unifying national vision, because we have been weighed in the balances and found wanting. A response to your call however, will require that we all work together as a force for change to chart our course to Glory.
For all the challenges we have to our democracy, one of our greatest institutions still obtains, free and democratic elections. This is our opportunity to return the power to the people and lead the march to Glory!
I am the proud legacy of ESTHER VALERIA HALL-FORBES and FRANKLYN CYRENIUS FORBES natives of Bambarra, Middle Caicos. My parents provided a good life for their seven children, replete with religion in the Jumper tradition; a healthy appreciation for family and our cultural heritage; a sound education, good manners and the ethics of hard work. Throughout my life, these values have served me well in social and professional dealings and they showed up most notably in moments of challenge and conflict. It is these virtues I draw upon as I envision us working toward a Turks and Caicos that is United, Just and Free. Don’t change the guard now? If not now, when? For when the power is restored, the Glory will come! Wop Kon gorge!
My name is Oscar O’Brien Forbes, an All-Island Candidate in the upcoming General Elections
My fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders; We are blessed to live on the jewel of the Atlantic, which sits on the most fertile turquoise waters that continue to declare us as the envy of the world. We have also inherited, from our God fearing ancestors, brotherly love and neighbourliness, which are pillars of civilization and characteristics our Creator proclaims, are beautiful by nature. Give me an x and receive an Oscar!