Falklands : LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MEETING FRIDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2011 a
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 04.03.2011 (Article Archived on 18.03.2011)
Part 2: Motion for Adjournment Speeches: The Hon Mr Bill Luxton:
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MEETING FRIDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2011
Part 2: Motion for Adjournment Speeches: The Hon Mr Bill Luxton:
Mr Speaker, no one can say that 2011 has been quiet and peaceful for the Falklands so far. Although, we have been spared the terrible events like those that have been happening elsewhere, like the dictators of North Africa slaughtering their own people, to the awful earthquakes such as the one that has just hit Christchurch in New Zealand. I join my colleagues in extending our sympathy to all our New Zealand friends and to those who have lost their family and friends.
We do have problems, though, with our neighbours. Although their Government seems to have given up murdering its own people for the time being, they are still conducting a viscous war against the Falklands on the economic and political fronts.
So far we must seems – sometimes – to the outside world to have been somewhat placid and I, for one am fed up with it and I would like to see us go on the offensive, loudly and often to counteract the lies and propaganda that comes from the Casa Rosada from the present President, who’s stability even the Americans queried at one stage. The continual rubbish about the so called expulsion of Argentine people in 1833 is totally irrelevant as well as being untrue.
Even if it were true, so what? The world seems to forget that the usurpers who are now living in Argentina systematically slaughtered the original inhabitants to steal their land. There were no such original inhabitants in the Falklands. In fact, we are the only part of the American land mass that the present inhabitants did not displace the indigenous people with varying degrees of violence.
Just across the water from us at one time the Indians had a bounty paid when they were killed. One of our senior Argentine invaders in 1982 was heard to say that in his opinion they could not share this place with these Islanders. If he had his way, he would shoot them all – the old ones, the young ones, the thin ones and the fat ones. Take note Mrs Kirchner, we have more right to our country than you and your people have to yours. And many of us would probably have been here far longer. Certainly there are families represented around this table going back many generations more than you.
We are a free democratic community and we sure as hell don’t want to be an Argentine colony, with a government that is more melodramatic than democratic.
So let’s go out there with every weapon at our disposal. They poison the minds of tourists on ships with their propaganda. Let us provide the passengers with the truth. Next Summer, Let’s have lots of people showing the real Falklands and a proper view of the situation at the Public Jetty and on the ships if possible. As my Honourable friend said, it’s been a very successful tourist season and all of them should go away as good ambassadors for the Falklands. Let’s get out there at every international forum we can, sporting as well and put the message about.
It sickens me that the Commonwealth nations in the Caribbean support the Argentine position. We should be at these events, too, putting our case as hard as we can.
On to the home front, I would like to express my huge admiration and thanks to all who were involved with the West Falkland Response Team for their cool courage and skill in the face of a pretty dreadful situation – the recent fatal road crash on West Falkland. My deepest sympathy to the family of the victim.
This piece of road is notoriously dangerous. I believe there has already been five accidents on it, mercifully with no other deaths, showing the huge value of wearing a seat belt. This road would not have been where it is had local advice been taken at the time, including mine as I was then a member of the Transport Advisory Committee. To route it a bit further South on a level route with little extra cost. But intransigence at the time won the day left us with a very series of very dangerous hills which are even more so when wet.
I have asked Councillor Halford to ask the TAC to put a re-routing of this stretch of road in the plans if and when money is available. The TAC also needs to grip the present expenditure of our scares funds on the West Road Improvement Scheme. In the last few weeks a vast amount of money has been expended on resurfacing the piece of road known as the Chartres Straight, which is commonly thought to be one of the best bits of road on the West. It was possible to do 60MPH along it in perfect 50 miles along it in perfect safety – it being undesignated, of course. Both Councillor Edwards and I did our best to have it changed as Councillor Halford knows. But once again, outsiders won the day over locals who know better. I hasten to say that it is no fault of the local contractor. He just had to do what he was instructed to do. A total waste of money And those struggling with roads more akin to a stone run, or a mud wallow in Winter, must be spitting tacks and I don’t blame them. Let’s try and get it right next season.
The Ferry and FIGAS are operating well now for the majority of Camp users but there remain some islands where they are no use whatever. I firmly believe that many of these problems can be solved if certain people took their nose out of the rule book looking for reasons as to why not and look for ways to meet the needs of users instead.
Regarding rule books, the recent hiatus of the wool shipment is a classic. I do have every hope that this will be sorted before the next shearing season. But what stupidity! Millions of bales of wool have been shipped all over the world for many years without problems. The one question I ask is why do they cover aeroplane seats with wool? Yes – you guessed it – It doesn’t burn. Farmers are also having problems shipping ordinary fertiliser to the Falklands and again this is just ridiculous. We don’t have a local Alkyda bomb factory here as far as I know.
Mr Speaker, we will soon be entering this Assembly’s second budget session and this time we can’t blame the previous lot. Ever expanding demands on revenue that does not keep pace will have to be reconciled. The oil prospects are looking gloomier but at least that is what my small holding of local oil shares indicates. We cannot afford to get ourselves into the same trap that so many other nations have. And compared with some, a degree of belt tightening has been and will be, I hope, not too painful. But we will need to make our coats match the cloth available. We’ve been lucky that the oil related activities have kept our service industries and employment quite buoyant and the commodities boom has left many farmers in a much healthier position. Some of them may even have to pay tax.
Towards the end of this year we should have a referendum on the question of a single constituency. I am afraid this inevitably be divisive. But I do urge all Campers to give this idea a massive thumbs down. I sincerely believe that in time Camp would end up with no voice at all in our affairs. And I appeal to all fair minded Stanley voters to cast their vote the same way as you did last time.
Mr Speaker, we are working on improving the lot of those who use the internet to keep in touch with the rest of the world. As our honourable friend said, Falkland Islanders have always adopted technology with great keenness; from the days of Ham Radio when there were probably more Ham Radio operators per head of population in the Islands than any other place in the world to the present situation with facebook. I have to say that I represent the missing 29%. It’s a struggle against a company who naturally want to maintain their grasp on the golden goose. There is probably no other business in the world these days that guarantees such an obscene level of profit at the expense of the whole population.
We fall further and further behind the rest of the world who casually send you files of several mega-bites and can’t understand why you are reluctant to download them. Recently my son sent me five photos of the children with a total size of over 15 mega-bites. So I had to ask him to re-size and re send them. He did with some impolite remarks about our system.
At the very least I think Cable & Wireless should double the allowance of each of their packages. It would still remain far more expensive than anywhere else. I have a package in the UK similar to the GOLD from Cable & Wireless. It costs £15.00 a month. I can use it all over the UK when I am there and it’s faster. Business and private individuals are demanding a better deal from a monopoly situation.
My Honourable friend mentioned the signage through the Camp. I am glad to say that the Rural Development Scheme is planning to produce signs for next season to put around the Camp to show areas of interest and generally indicate where facilities are.
Finally, Mr Speaker, I, too would like to thank David Pickup for all his valuable advice and help over the years. He will be badly missed and we wish him well for the future; and also Gary Finchett. It’s a pity that his circumstances compelled him to leave and he’s done a lot for the community. We shall miss him a great deal.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.