Saturday, April 11, 2009


Switch Newfoundland for Turks and Caicos Islands, and this story sounds strangely like 1934 all over again. What's particularly eerie is the fact that the return to direct rule is receiving support from supposedly ardent defenders of liberal democracy.

Who said that British colonialism is dead? As is so often the case with Globe editorials, they are paternalistically supporting something in another jurisdiction that they would never support in Ontario. Notice how they move so immediately and so silently from an atypical situation (in this case extreme corruption) to a gross over-generalization (colonialism is good). It looks like the learned editors skipped their logic classes at Upper Canada College:

Some suggestions for the neoimperialist editors: perhaps the concerns of people actually living in a region (in this case the Caribbean Community) should not be so quickly dismissed. Perhaps there are other, less regressive ways to deal with corruption than imposing direct rule from London. Perhaps you should be extremely careful when generalizing about what's good for other people living in another country. Perhaps people in other countries deserve the same rights and freedoms as you do.

"From Saturday's Globe and Mail
April 11, 2009 at 12:47 AM EDT
The Caribbean Community, an organization of island nations, has expressed concern that colonialism is being reimposed on the Turks and Caicos Islands, a overseas territory administered by the British government. But if it is colonialism, then the people of other developing countries may want a part of it.
After the island's British-appointed Governor raised the alarm, the Queen sent in a judge recently to undertake an investigation into “possible corruption or other serious dishonesty” in relation to the conduct of island politicians. In an interim report, Lord Justice Sir Robin Auld cited “political amorality and immaturity,” and “chronic ills collectively amounting to a national emergency.” The British government is acting on the recommendation, urgently suspending parts of the territorial constitution, imposing direct rule from London, and dispatching an emergency state-building team of bureaucrats and advisers to oversee “a root-and-branch overhaul” of the government. The Caribbean Community might not like it, but this is very good news for the 32,000 people of the Turks and Caicos.
After the investigation found “clear signs of corruption,” Michael Misick, the premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, resigned. Mr. Misick denied the allegations and defended his US$288,000 salary, which is more than is earned by the British prime minister, telling the inquiry: “I have done more for the Turks and Caicos than Gordon Brown has done for England.” Whatever the merits of the massive sell-off of Crown land and the accompanying development frenzy that has occurred over the past six years, one of the leading beneficiaries appears to be Mr. Misick himself.
It is reported the premier had a modest $50,000 in assets in 2003. This ballooned into a multi-million-dollar fortune during his term as premier. He flew in a private jet, wore designer suits and lived in a $8-million mansion. Unlike the kleptocracies in Africa and elsewhere, which are looted bare by corrupt leaders and officials who are rarely held to account, the residents of the Turks and Caicos islands have been spared from apparent serious misconduct at the highest levels of the territory's government, and have seen precious Crown assets protected. If this is colonialism, then it has had a bad rap."

Give me a freakin' break!

Look for yourself. I'm not making it up:

P.S. And while you're reading newspapers online, check out the front page to today's Tely. What's missing? Not only is there no oversized photo of DW. Not only is there no story on DW. Not only is there no story based on a Dangovt news release. Not only is the Opposition actually discussed. But, unless I missed something, DW doesn't get a single quote, beyond a generic reference to the infamous death threat he made last week. Instead, we're treated to a thoughtful editorial and a fine column by Pam Frampton. My favourite part was reading Steve Bartlett explain to readers why Jones had to raise her voice in the House last week. If the Tely keeps this up, I'll have to eat some crow.

No comments:

Post a Comment