Author: Jeevan A. Robinson | Date: 22 May 2020
After being exposed as an uncaring and heartless Government this week in The Montserrat Legislative Assembly (MLA), The MCAP Administration went into panic response mode.
I can see it. The panic behind the scenes. The MCAP Chairman George “Ratamba” Howe being called upon to head on to the Radio to give damage control on his MCAP party’s behalf.
During his radio presentation on Friday May 22nd, Chairman Howe despatched what is nothing short of a brutal bashing to Civil Servants who are working to help citizens of Montserrat during this COVID-19 crisis.
I understand that Howe is calling for processes to be simplified, but his ruthless attack on the civil servants doing their jobs, is in line with the position MCAP has always had towards the Civil Service; calling down the Civil Service workers when this government is seeing to be failing.
If Howe is having this view towards the Civil Service, then as Chairman he must be expressing the views that his Government Ministers have about the Civil Servants by extension. He has only appeared on the Radio today, as the MCAP caucus must have convened and thought it prudent that damage control be the immediate order of priority. One wonders if these civil servants are taking note.
I am calling on Minister of Health and Social Services Hon Charles T Kirnon to publicly distance himself from Chairman Howe’s comments, and come to the radio and defend his staff from that vicious attack on their work ethic and integrity.
Howe further made an additional point of stating that no other Government across the region is doing as much for their people as the Government of Montserrat is doing. This statement by Howe is deeply misleading. Howe should have added to that statement that also, no other government across the Caribbean is assured 60% of its budget. None! Also, no other government were handed an extra £2.5 million to assist 4,900 people. So, Howe using this as some great feat that his Government is doing is a redundant and a grossly weak point.
Thirdly, is there any privacy within the MCAP Administration? How is it that Howe as a non-elected individual has been given access to such sensitive information on relief applications, whilst at the same time this MCAP Government refuses to share such information with Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.
The fact is, Howe came on the radio as Chairman and a caucus member of MCAP to do damage control after the body blows his Government took in Parliament, where they were thoroughly exposed for being the same heartless and uncaring MCAP of old. His tactic of shifting blame to civil servants is yet another display of MCAP's desperation to regain the narrative. It is also an insult to the intelligence of Montserratians.
Government’s role in this COVID-19 crisis is to look after its people, and not to be making politically expedient excuses to mislead the population.
If MCAP Chairman Howe can be hauled out to come on the radio to defend this Government now their backs are against the wall in the court of public opinion, then that should tell everyone listening that MCAP are in a panic. It should also tell citizens that the Ministers of Government are weak and uninspiring in advocating for their own people, and being overseers of their very own policies to help the people.
It should have been Government Ministers on the radio today taking tough questions from the public. Not Chairman Howe who is skilled in the art of misleading, misdirection and outright fallacies; distracting suffering Montserratians with a bashing of civil servants and a basket of excuses for his Government's failures in helping the poorest of its people during this COVID-19 Crisis.
Note: Jeevan A. Robinson is Founder & Editorial Director at Marketing, News & Information Media - MNI Media; a two times New York, USA, Award Winning Media House.