#Providenciales, December 18, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – It is very disappointing, but par for the course for this Premier. She is acting like President Trump in blaming the Opposition for her failures. She seems to have forgotten that she campaigned for the job of Premier so that she could be the mover and shaker, but now that she is in the driver’s seat as the “best man for the job”, that the grass is only greener when looking from the outside. One of her Ministers some time remarked in the House of Assembly that he didn’t realize that governing was hard work. That sentiment seems to percolate from the head to the toe!
Let us look at the blame game with respect to Constitutional advancement that we all want. After the review led by Dan Malcolm, the UK rejected those proposals out of hand. Their response was read in the House of Assembly after it was received. Everyone knew that save and except the Premier. Yes the Opposition was engaged to move the process forward and we did on two occasions. We were to the point of having our position ratified by our Party Stalwarts. Process was that we would have that agreement and on a bipartisan basis hold a series of town hall meetings to gage the views of the public, even if it meant changing the thrust of the current position and adding more to bolster our position. We would then be able to say that we have the full backing and blessings of the Turks and Caicos Islands people when we engage the UK on a date for bipartisan Constitutional talks.
Before we could conclude all of the arrangements, the leadership contest came into play and we advised the Premier that we would disengage until this was concluded. The Premier, in trying to be “previous” and score petty political points set her own time to come on the back end of the JMC, an annual event between the UK and all the OTs. This did not give sufficient time to hold meaningful discussions and make the requisite changes. It was sheer laziness and no attention to detail the reason why the Premier sent up to the UK the exact text of a document that had already been rejected. Yes, we used it internally as a starting point of our discussions, but that had to be jettisoned before any discussions with the UK as were to be taking a different perspective, bearing in mind the failed previous attempt. The Premier got slapped around by the UK, even though they were mired in the stalled Brexit negotiations.
Madam Premier, do not blame the Opposition for your grief and despair. You wanted to come back from the UK flaunting a document to show that you had what it takes to govern on the heels of the disaster of the Service Charge Bill’s implementation date being pulled back. You just got hung by your own petard! Now you have to eat crow and wait for a full engagement by the Opposition and a demonstrable backing of the public for whatever is being proposed. It is instructive that in a previous correspondence that the UK cited the number of persons who attended the Malcolm’s exercise to be 200?
Remember, it was never the intention of the Premier for the hospitality workers to get what in the legal profession is called “an uplift” for Christmas! If that were so, she would have stated in the Gazette that the start date was 1st November as it is a 21 day lag between the end of the pay period and the day that payment to the workers would have been. So this Friday 21st the workers would have been assured a BLUETIFUL Christmas!
Hon. Dr. Royal S. Robinson, MBE
Chairman, Progressive National Party