Of all the colonial powers, the British were the most successful in transmitting the principles of good government. Few colonies remain today. One of these is the British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the West Indies, with a population of about 30.000. This is best known for its tourist resorts and as an offshore financial centre, and has been in the news recently.
Last year a routine review of the administration conducted by a committee of the British Parliament were warned of serious levels of government corruption. The Governor, Richard Tauwhare, established a Commission of Enquiry into corruption, and separate allegations were made against the Chief Minister, Michael Misick.
On 18 March 2009, Queen Elizabeth II made an Order in Council authorising the Governor the power to suspend self government and establish an Advisory Council and Consultative Forum in place of the House of Assembly, to remain in force for two years unless extended or revoked.
Michael Misick resigned as Chief Minister on 23 March and on 24 March Galmo Williams was sworn in to replace him.
Over the years there have been suggestions that the Islands become independent. This was effectively rejected in an election in 1982. Since 1917, there have been suggestions that the Islands become part of Canada.
…"God bless the Queen!"…
The following letter about the recent events on the Islands appeared in the Bremudan newspaper The Royal Gazette on 29 April under the headline “ TCI thanks the Queen”:
April 26, 2009
Your article on Dr. Brown's feelings towards his good mate Michael Misick is not surprising. However, I can tell you that we are delighted at the British intervention as we have a crisis in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Not only do I believe that Misick, some of his Ministers and friends enriched themselves illegally with tens of millions of dollars, they have bankrupted the TCI.There is no money left to pay for the civil service salaries, for health care, for education.
Crime has jumped to alarming levels as a result of the situation created by the incompetent politicians including the new Premier G. Williams who is still being dictated to by M. Misick.
If it was not for the British, it would be an absolute disaster and we can only be thankful to them. Can you imagine for one moment what would have happened if Misick had managed to take the TCI to Independence?
The TCI would have become like Haiti.
God bless the Queen!
Turks and Caicos Islands