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Legislators present & past must unite to fight 'assault on territory'

Legislators present & past must unite to fight 'assault on territory'

Past and present legislators in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) have been urged to unite to fight the current United Kingdom's (UK) assault on the territory in the form of the Commission of Inquiry announced by Ex-Governor, Mr Augustus J.U. Jaspert.

These were words of ‘Honestly Speaking’ Radio moderator, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline during the Thursday, January 28, 2020, edition of his radio show.

Time for unity in VI – Skelton-Cline


“Listen to me carefully, I am asking, I am begging, I am pleading with us we have to make a commitment not to fight one another especially now. We must come together collaborate, organise and expend all of our efforts and energies and fight this UK colonialist system and structure,” he said.

Many in the Virgin Islands see the CoI as an imperialist move to possibly impose direct rule and set back the territory's constitutional advancement, as has been seen in other Overseas Territories. The takeover is usually initiated with a CoI called under allegations of corruption and then a suspension of the territory's constitution as was the case in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Ironically, the CoI was called just a month after the Virgin Islands House of Assembly met in honour of the 70th anniversary of the restoration of the legislature in the Virgin Islands and the same day recognised by the United States and some in the Virgin Islands as Martin Luther King Jr Day- January 18, 2021.

“I am asking this country the citizens of this country and especially the leadership of this country the ones present and the ones past, all of you who have sat in the House of Assembly at some point in time. I am asking that it starts with you, that we make a commitment not to fight each other.

According to the clergyman, now more than ever, the VI needs unity in the form of energies, efforts, brainpower and genius to fight systemic colonialism that still exists under the UK.


Many in the Virgin Islands see the Commission of Inquiry as an imperialist move to possibly impose direct rule and set back the territory's constitutional advancement, as has been seen in other Overseas Territories. The takeover is usually initiated with a CoI called under allegations of corruption and then a suspension of the territory's constitution as was the case in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

CoI empowered by colonialist legislation - Skelton-Cline


He pointed to the Commission of Inquiry Act as one such colonial system that empowers one man to be the final judge and jury against the territory.

“Here they are resting this on top of us, which puts one man already in charge of the country. The judge is the judge, he's the jury, he's the prosecutor, he's the final arbiter… one man in 2021, an old piece of colonial legislation,” Skelton-Cline underscored.

He called on politicians and the leaders of the political party to unite, hold and summit and address the challenges facing the territory.

“I am calling on all of you currently in the House of Assembly and those who once served. If I could call the summit I will, you all need to call the summit amongst yourselves. Sit down in a room and flesh out together how we're going to move forward as a country relative to this matter of this Commission of Inquiry.”


‘Honestly Speaking’ Radio moderator, Claude O. Skelton-Cline during the Thursday, January 28, 2020, edition of his radio show calls for legislators to unite against the UK assault on the VI through the CoI.

CoI an assault on VI by UK Gov’t


Calling the CoI a direct assault on the VI, Mr Skelton-Cline said should the UK be successful with its alleged agenda to take over the territory, there will be nothing to run for, nor any general election in the Virgin Islands.

“If you think that this is about just bringing down Andrew Fahie and his government or VIP government, you're sadly mistaken because the road that the UK is on with this kind of approach, will leave everybody powerless.”

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