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Falklands : Motion for Adjournment Speech of the Honourable Mr Gavin Short, MLA
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 21.04.2014 (Article Archived on 19.05.2014)

Mr Speaker, Honourable members, in rising to support and speak to the Motion for Adjournment I will probably get myself into all sorts of trouble here because I am going to doing things that you should not do like repeating subjects that have been covered.

Motion for Adjournment Speech of the Honourable Mr Gavin Short, MLA

Mr Speaker, Honourable members, in rising to support and speak to the Motion for Adjournment I will probably get myself into all sorts of trouble here because I am going to doing things that you should not do like repeating subjects that have been covered. I don’t think that is actually part of it so I shall make hay while the sun shines. Actually my short-term memory is that bad I actually forgot what has been said.

I actually had a couple of supplementary notes on the matter of thistles as I was expecting a couple of questions on that very matter. I don’t want to let good notes go to waste so I will drop them in at the end.

I have just some observations – hold my hands up – we were late getting into gear this year attacking thistles and the weeds alongside the roads but if we get ourselves into position where we will attack these thistles in all the public areas in town under our control, there is a huge amount of non-FIG land inside town and also outside of it and if you have a look on some of that land it is a breeding colony for thistles.. And I don’t think that’s the FIG’s job to go on to private properties and root out thistles. I know there are some on Stanley Services’ property very close to Gilbert House. So I think it really should be a joint approach with the Community if we are going to attack these things. Everybody has to do their part.

I believe the environmental folk have a limited programme in controlling the spear thistle which is the one with the purple flowers in Stanley, perimeters plus a couple of areas in the Common and utilise a local gentleman to do that spraying. But I believe we have had some discussions with the environmental folk who have almost given up on the yellow flowered thistles and they are the virulent ones which spread very, very quickly simply because they are almost overpowering.

As I say, in PWD we will do our part but we really need this to become a community driven campaign otherwise the little blighters are going to be breeding on private property and coming on to the verges again.

As one of my colleagues has welcomed the students who are here today and if this doesn’t put you off politics, nothing ever will. I think Byron Reid is with us at Gilbert House. On Friday Morning I was due to take him out on a tour of some parts of my Public Works portfolio. I was actually going to show him the messy bits but after his comments about putting cigarette taxes up I think we may be looking at the sewerage works.

I really would like to return to the trip that we made out to Camp. Yes that was actually my first ever trip on FIGAS in an Islander Aircraft. I have been on the Beaver. Even though I worked for FIGAS for many years the only flight I had was at MPA when we paid £5.00 for a 10 minute jolly.

When I worked at FIGAS and looked out the window – which perhaps I shouldn’t be doing – on occasion I used to see the Islander come in sideways and they would whip her around and bang her down at the last moment. And that always impressed me. It impressed me even more on Sunday when it happened to me twice – once in Pebble and once in Stanley. I really do take my hat off to those Pilots. They are good.

I suppose I really shouldn’t say this but I actually thoroughly enjoyed getting out and about into the Camp and looking at the roads and meeting those who live there. I can now put my hand on my heart and say that even though I walked past the Hennessey Probe I wouldn’t know what it looked like but I certainly know what it does.

And I apologise to the good people of the Camp, indeed folks in general for the appalling weather that they had to endure which seems to have been caused once again by my attempts to make it to the West. And the weather is only now recovering. The weather gods have realised I am now back in my box in town.

It certainly hasn’t been the best of seasons for those in Camp who are trying to fatten their animals ready for the Abattoir – just as this season has not been kind to us in our attempts to do works on the Camp Roads system. And I take my hat off to the people who have tried their best all season to make progress in capping and reconstruction works.

There is a huge amount of work to be done out there and I have been convinced that we must have a different way of tackling the problem. Perhaps longer contracts, for example, will allow bidders to have certainty and the opportunity to think about plant and work forces that will be required.

It will, of course, commit the Government to certain levels of expenditure not just for one year but for two or three. But at the root of all this is good, old money. To have any chance of standing still we have to spend substantially more on Camp Roads.

In a lot of places there has been no capping and in other places the capping has disappeared and the roads are down to their foundations. And in a lot of places, it is not a question of capping any more but of complete reconstruction which is slower and will cost a lot more to do it.

I know work has already started towards trying to figure out a way of making long-term contracts. One hopes, especially on the West that this will also help with the aims of the RDS and may see more people start to live in Camp as work becomes available longer term.

The world of international politics as alluded to by my Colleague, Mike Summers, is a dirty one as can be witnessed by the brazen attempts by the Argentine Government to drag the Pope into getting involved into their false claims to our homeland. I am not sure yet if this is another cunning Argentine Plan that can watch go horrendously wrong or the thrashings of a dying government even more desperate to save themselves for paying the price of the depths of financial despair into which they have plunged their country and people. As much as I never, ever and never will want to be anything remotely approaching Argentine, even I feel sorry for the ordinary working class people in Argentina.

Let us hope that they learned value and look after what they have rather than let themselves be led from disaster and be brainwashed into wanting something that never was theirs nor ever will be. But I am not holding my breath.

I am an avid reader of the Argentine press by offerings and twitter feeds from that country. It always pays to know your enemy and what they are saying. All that I can say is that my old granny was quite correct. Paper never refuses ink. And some of the distorted statements and downright untruths that appear both in the printed media and online outlets and from direct tweets from both Fulmis and other higher ranking members of the Argentine government are quite breath taking. I am sure that even they know that they are spreading mendacious toddle as is the more intelligent folk in Argentina and I am sure leaders in other countries.

And if they were afflicted with the same curse as Pinocchio, they would indeed have their noses in our affairs quite literally.

I am also somewhat confused by the Kirchner – Putin double act that we have seen regarding the Crimean referendum and how it relates, of course, to our referendum. Putin seems not to have liked us very much but yet says the referendum was fair. Therefore he seems to be saying that referenda in general are just the ticket. Therefore it seems to me that he must believe in the right of people to practice self-determination, which of course applies to us.

The Kirchner government, on the other hand, says that our referendum was illegal - and I wonder under whose laws it was illegal – I haven’t yet found out - but that same government sits as a Non-Permanent Member on the Security Council and voted against the Crimean Referendum whilst at the same time telling Russia that really they are on their side and that the Crimea Referendum was OK. So now we have Argentina saying that they, too, believe in self-determination. So all I will say is, “Come-on Chaps, you can’t have it both ways.”

Thank you.

 

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