Britain is poised to impose direct rule over the British Virgin Islands after the Caribbean territory’s Prime Minister was arrested in Miami on suspicion of drug running and an inquiry found rampant corruption problems in the territory.

The Guardian reports here that the inquiry, in its highly critical final report, recommended that the territory should have its constitution suspended, its government dissolved and be temporarily be ruled from London.

The British Virgin Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, to the east of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and north-west of Anguilla.

The territory operates, on paper, as a parliamentary democracy and ultimate executive authority in the British Virgin Islands is vested in the Queen, and is exercised on her behalf by the Governor of the British Virgin Islands.

The governor is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British Government. Defence and most foreign affairs remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

 

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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bob
bob
7 days ago

Hehe a little empire building

Mac
Mac
7 days ago

This whole arrangement of governance of the British Overseas Territory and how they’re run has long been an excuse for corruption, at the local level, to go pretty much unchecked. The local leaders always bring out the colonial race card whenever they’re put under any real scrutiny and threaten to break away from the UK, so the Foreign Office always back off, not wanting to stir up local nationalism. All these territories should be given a choice, become a full part of the UK, or go fully independent. What we have now is a relic of ‘End of Empire’ and… Read more »

Wolf
Wolf
7 days ago
Reply to  Mac

The thing is that British Overseas Territories usually have that choice of when they want to be British or when they don’t, I would agree that for the sake of the Islands and their stability they should be given that choice.

Mike
Mike
7 days ago
Reply to  Wolf

An issue we have is that the UK is very sensitive to accusations of colonialism, being racist – even when not.

In light of the current mood music, whilst France would just tough it out, would better language have been to go in with an offer of, full independence, direct rule or a model of supportive commisioners akin to that given to failing councils (such as Liverpool)?

Wolf
Wolf
7 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Yes, I think an offer would have been (would be) the right idea – I think the Foreign Office and more generally the UK government wants to be careful in what it says and does not to cause unnecessary problems, even when the accusations might be false as you said.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 days ago
Reply to  Wolf

Indeed you can see the trap here can’t you. Simple fact is due at least in part to trying to make a role for the monarchy we create a rod for our own back. As we now see in other independent Commonwealth islands the monarchy are seen as a relic of colonialism and worse still slavery esp when they own or are involved in land ownership that is controversial as it was in Grenada (I believe) which started the controversy of the recent Royal visit. We need to get into the 21st C and create a modern form of relationship… Read more »

Wolf
Wolf
7 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

A decision certainly needs to be made.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

100% correct on these points. Well said.

Grizzler
Grizzler
7 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Not a fan of The Monarchy I take it , or UK governance in general. I think you’ve been watching to much Python or reading too much Marx ..Not sure which , Groucho or Karl.

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

Give ’em a nice shrubbery – jus like the Holy Grail.

David Flandry
David Flandry
7 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Sick of hearing about colonialism, imperialism, racism, etc. The UK has 14 overseas territories , none is a colony. All pretty much run their own affairs. Ignore things like France does.

Kenneth Tynes
Kenneth Tynes
6 days ago
Reply to  David Flandry

Hundreds of years of systemic genocides, slavery, misery, & theft & you are sick of critiques of Colnialism?

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
4 days ago
Reply to  Kenneth Tynes

It’s probably those quick and easy sweeping generalisations he’s sick of.
There’s nothing woke about summarising hundreds of years of the history of dozens of cultures in a single sentence.

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  Kenneth Tynes

Kenneth , I hold a similar view to David. How does it make amends to punish present current generations to pay up or compensate for the injustices of the pasts? How would you propose holding Arab nations to account and pay up for initiating, facilitating and driving the African slave trade? That was well established before Europeans tapped into the supply chain. I can see Algeria, Morocco, et all: “Wasn’t us Mate”. So, do we dump the responsibility on the Europeans colonists then? If so, how is this equitable to British taxpayers paying for the action of those individuals who… Read more »

Tams
Tams
1 day ago
Reply to  Kenneth Tynes

I don’t participate in it. My parents didn’t. My grandparents at most tangentially did.

We don’t live in the past.

David Flandry
David Flandry
7 minutes ago
Reply to  Kenneth Tynes

Yes.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
4 days ago
Reply to  David Flandry

And the difference is? Pretty certain OT is just the PC term the Americans use so they can pretend they don’t have colonies like Puerto Rico.

France is different because they have fully incorporated their overseas possessions into France, giving them the right to vote in French elections. Our overseas territories can’t vote in general elections.

Jonno
Jonno
6 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

We need a fully empowered audit commission to see that local democracy is actually for the many not the few. We have created a hands off vacuum.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
4 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

“We need a fully empowered audit commission to see that local democracy is actually for the many not the few.”

I hope the commission’s scope wouldn’t be limited to just the overseas territories.

David Flandry
David Flandry
7 minutes ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Wordy way of saying little.

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Britain must withdraw from this occupied territories and just focus on the UK ! This islands regardless their corruption it’s their land not ours period ! A divorce is the best option

Jacko
Jacko
6 days ago
Reply to  James

I think you will find they are not ‘occupied’ at all! They have every right to decide for themselves the direction they want to go in. Stay with the UK become independent leave or stay in the commonwealth all down to them. As for all this slavery nonsense go back to Africa and hunt down the tribes that actually sold their ancestors into slavery in the first place!

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Thanks Jacko no one mentioned the fact that although Slavery is wrong , Brits didn’t start the Adrican slave trade , it had been going on for over 1500 yrs before we ventured to West Africa African and Arabs were still doing it long after we abolished Slavery Oh and too cap it all those that moan about Colonialism, and the evilness of Empire ,should Note if we hadn’t had an Empire Britian would have remained a white nation I know that may seem Racist But without an Empire no one would have bothered coming Here We just can’t win… Read more »

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Agreed – Although “1500 years before”… the slave trade existed before the Old Testament was written. It was previously the norm throughout all of human history (not that that makes it ok). If anything, it’s unusual to have so little of it now. Estimates say 46 million slaves today. It’s rearing it’s ugly head again in Mauritania, Libya, Eritrea, India & Pakistan to name a few. Another point to mention is that, for all it’s faults, without the Empire, ending the global slave trade would have been impossible as we used our position as global hegemon to bully, bribe and… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Thanks Stu I used 1500 hundred as a rough estimate for the time that Islam had surged from the middle east to North Africa 600 ad onwards I realise Slavery is probable right back to the Dawn of time Babbylon ,Romans right up too the present day so if other people want reperations for what happened in the past then I’m going too put a claim in against Italy after what the Romans did too my Ancestors see how far that claim goes Hee Hee

Martin
Martin
7 days ago
Reply to  Mac

I agree, the concept of territories is outdated. The French don’t have territories but rather distant parts of France. Referendums should be give to all territories to either form part of the UK or go for independence.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I would 100% agree with you on this point. They are an anacronism and the special privelages of travel to the UK and hosting many of their foreign criminals should also go if they vote to become fully independent. We need a grown up relationship with these islands. I mean for god sake they are seeking money for things that happened prior to 1st August 1834. Notwithstanding the fact that the only people that made money out of the slavery was the Church, the landed gentry and the Royal family.

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Those who made money out of slavery were mostly private businessman, even then, they themselves never enslaved anybody. They simply bought slaves sold by African states, often in exchange for more modern European technology. Even then this was at time when slavery was normalised and existed across the world. Funny how it is seen as alright for Africans, Arabs, Asians, Natives of the Americas, Maori peoples all to have had slaves, yet when it is a European, it’s completely and utterly wrong. It was Europeans, and Britain in particular, who ended the West and East African slave trade. These people… Read more »

Steve
Steve
7 days ago

Realistically the whole country made money out of slavery, it created the wealth of the empire. The super rich might have benefitted from it the most, but it trickled down through the economy. We can’t pretend it wasn’t considered ok at the time or that the whole country wasn’t extremely racist, as that would be ignoring our history. It was also not just the uk, it was pretty much every major country both in the west and east. However its ancient history, happened before any of us were alive and generations ago for the people claiming against it, where do… Read more »

David Flandry
David Flandry
7 days ago

The British Empire outlawed slavery about 200 years ago.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
5 days ago
Reply to  David Flandry

Sadly, slavery is very much alive today. People are currently being taken from parts of Africa and South East Asia, as slaves in the Middle East and India.

The UN estimates 40m+ are currently subject to slavery, with a further 3m in true slavery inside Arabian Gulf nations.

Warren
Warren
7 days ago

When it comes down to it, slavery was and never has been about race it was about making money and taking advantage of whichever group was vulnerable at the time. When they countries should pay reparations, they should first ask were your ancestors slave traders/owners as the trade has been documented as far back as the minnowan ( may not be the correct spelling!) Civilisation. Ultimately nobody is innocent regardless of ethnicity

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
7 days ago
Reply to  Warren

Yes, that is practically what I was saying, that slavery was a global phenomenon that was universally practiced amongst numerous. The only “reparation” we should provide is a boat, they can sail the Atlantic to whatever land their ancestors came from and seek their financial reparations there. What I find ridiculous is the blatant attempt at rewriting history to make it look like white Europeans came to Africa, rounded up entire villages of people like cattle, enslaved them and shipped them off to the colonies. This is certain what the incredibly woke in this would want British children to learn.… Read more »

Warren
Warren
7 days ago

If you want to be disgusted, just look at how the slave traders treated the slaves from Africa, killed tens of thousands over century’s

Warren
Warren
7 days ago
Reply to  Warren

Sorry should have said the slave traders from the Arabian peninsula

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
7 days ago
Reply to  Warren

Try telling that to those in the Caribbean who moan about colonialism and accuse Britain of enslaving their ancestors, as well to those in the UK who want to pin African slavery on white people.

Jonno
Jonno
6 days ago

It needs to be an offence, to exaggerate and pin the blame entirely on white people, on the same level as racism itself. Cooling the rhetoric is overdue and necessary.

JohnH
JohnH
6 days ago

The ultimate slavers were the rulers of the African Nations, the trade was well established to the east before the Europeans came along, especially to Arabia. So these are the people who should be responsible for “reparations for slavery”. Indeed IF you were a slave, the terrible conditions on a ship bound for the Americas where 25% died in transit pales against the 50% to 90% toll during transport to Arabia, on top of this the trade to Arabia caused the male slaves to be castrated, where the survival rate was down to ~10%. IF you were a slave, your… Read more »

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
6 days ago
Reply to  JohnH

Why are you answering as if I am “blaming Europeans”, when I am blatantly making the same point you are.

JohnH
JohnH
5 days ago

Sorry, that wasn’t the intention, I was just expanding on the theme, I absolutely agree with you.
The expanded point is that the narrative is that European slave traders transported the slaves in horrendous conditions with extreme losses of life. Whilst I agree that the conditions were barbarous, the reality was that the loss of life was much lower on the western slave route than on the eastern slave route, and that the men/boys were not castrated with an up to 90% loss of life by the Europeans.

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
5 days ago
Reply to  JohnH

No worries, it was just how that came across to me, left me confused as hell. Yep, your right, funny isn’t it how nobody demands reparations from the Arab states.

Expat
Expat
6 days ago

I have worked in countries where there’s still forms of slavery. I can tell you the.perpetrators are not white.

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
6 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Yes, which is point what I have been making.

Last edited 6 days ago by Christopher Allen
Mike
Mike
5 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Current thinking is that there are more people today in modern slavery than were transported across the Atlantic in all the combined years of the horrific trans Atlantic slave trade.

That’s a scary thought and why it’s so important to contact uk authorities if any modern slavery is observed within the uk

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago
Reply to  Expat

A lot of the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia don’t call it Slavery they insist that they employ Migrant workers , its just the spelling is different Expat

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
5 days ago

You forget that until the Royal Navy destroyed the Barbary Pirates, an estimates 700,000 people were captured into slavery from the British Isles. Entire Cornish and Welsh villages were kidnapped into slavery.

Rule Brittania’s lyrics are a tribute to the Royal Navy’s ending of British people being captured/ransomed into slavery by Barbary and Asian pirates.

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Warren

Couldn’t agree more – intelligent commentary Warren.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
5 days ago
Reply to  Warren

Minoan, as in the Minotaur and King Minos of Crete.

Last edited 5 days ago by Tomartyr
Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago

Chris, I would like to see recognition on the work the RN did enforcing the end of the slave trade off Africa. I find the concept of “reparations ” absurd.

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
6 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

I agree. We often hear from lefties about how British children aren’t taught “the evils” of the empire, yet they ain’t taught about much of the positive things either.

Last edited 6 days ago by Christopher Allen
Mike
Mike
5 days ago

I wonder where this idea that school kids are not taught about the negatives of empire has came from? My dad was at school in the 40s and 50s, and raised in tales of empire and all its goodness – but learnt other aspects as soon as he left at 15. In the very early 80’s whilst still in primary school, I can remember visiting the museum to learn about trans Atlantic slave trade. So if I was learning about this in the early 80s from primary school onwards, and society has only became more aware ever since, what have… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago

👍

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago

Christopher I demand reparations From Italy after those Roman twats invaded our Albian and pillaged us and enslaved or killed many of my Celtic ancestors, it has left such a traumatic darkness in my psychi that I now after finding such damning evidence of Colonialism and Empire brought about by the Romans that I refuse too eat Spagetti that will teach them , Will my case be taken up by do gooders LIBERTY

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Yes, oversees counties or independent countries is the choice with appropriate tax status.

David Flandry
David Flandry
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Pitcairn Island for Pitcairn Islanders!

DJ
DJ
6 days ago
Reply to  David Flandry

They need to get serious about some of these. Pitcairn should be handed to NZ (along with a bribe – sorry, compensation for taking it on). Their is only a handful of people & NZ already supply police etc. Most of the people were shifted years ago to Norfolk Island (Australian territory midway between Australia & NZ). This is not like handing Falklands to Argentina. Language is the same & QE2 as well. No strategic value (other than keeping CCP out). Most wouldn’t notice the change. If the Caribbean can create a cricket team, why can they form a larger… Read more »

Caribbean
Caribbean
1 day ago
Reply to  DJ

You make the assumption that the various Islands WANT to be associated with each other. In my experience (Bermuda and Cayman) they don’t actually like each other very much.

Tams
Tams
1 day ago
Reply to  DJ

Lol no.

And New Zealand can’t be trusted not to end up as a lapdog of Pooh.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Good point. Assuming the Falkland Islands voted to become part of the UK, hope it would stop Argentina claiming (ludicrously) that thay are a British colony.

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham. I’m of the view Argentina should pay respirations to the British taxpayer for their illegal invasion. Covering the cost of the conflict would be a nice start.

David Flandry
David Flandry
5 minutes ago
Reply to  Martin

That is a distinction without a difference.

DRS
DRS
7 days ago
Reply to  Mac

Agree make them either join fully or cut and run.

Something Different
Something Different
7 days ago
Reply to  Mac

I think there is merit in giving these territories a binary choice. They have legitimate complaints about the legacy of slavery, racism and colonisation but the UK’s attitude has improved tremendously since the 1950s, albeit there are still improvements that can be made. As such I think the benefits of being a fully intergrated part of the UK, which includes the ability to vote in elections and to be able to trade and move freely, may be an attractive prospective. For Britain, it retains a number of islands in possibly very strategic locations which could be useful for any future… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Something Different
Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago

They already have special privelages to travel to the UK which should cease if they become independent. Moreover, I hate it when people say the UK was racist, colonials and slave runners. No it wasn’t the UK it was the Church, landed gentry and the monarchy prior to 1st August 1834 when slavery was abolished in the rest of the colonies. The majority of British people lived in abject poverty. The conditions in Victorian industry were horrendous and very closely equal to slavery – industrial accidents were rife and I for one feel no guilt whatsoever for slavery as I… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago
Reply to  Mac

Excellent post and fully agree with you on this argument. The book the “Butler to the world” explains how our lawyers, accountants and bankers in the UK have use these to avoid paying tax in the UK. I would agree they use the race card and historical injusticies to avoid scrutiny. Give them a choice to obey UK rules or cast them off completely.

Last edited 7 days ago by Andrew Thorne
Steve
Steve
7 days ago
Reply to  Mac

Personally I don’t get why we still have these territories. If they want to be part of the UK then fine, fully become part of the UK but with disolved powers like Scotland. If they want to pick and choose, then go independent and see how that goes. Allowing them all to be massive tax havens is just stupid, but I gues it helps get campaign money from the wealthy no doms.

Last edited 7 days ago by Steve
David Flandry
David Flandry
7 days ago
Reply to  Steve

They are either too small (, St Helena), too threatened by a nearby power (Falklands), or both. Since the turnover of Hong Kong to the dictatorship in Bejing, there are no serious territories left.

Steve
Steve
7 days ago
Reply to  David Flandry

Yeah agreed, so the tail needs to stop wagging the dog. If they want our protection, accept our rules in full

Paul Corcoran
Paul Corcoran
6 days ago
Reply to  David Flandry

Hong Kong was never ours. we only had it on a relatively short lease.

Caribbean
Caribbean
7 days ago
Reply to  Mac

There is definitely a problem (common to all of the micro-countries around the world) of political and economic power becoming concentrated in too few hands. – usually groups of interrelated families. Much as local leaders might want the freedom to line their pockets, the vast majority of ordinary citizen see association with the UK as the legal backstop that keeps the corruption under control. As for giving them the choice, legally we are required to allow self-determination – i.e. let the local population decide – we cannot impose our decision or Governmental model on them. The idea of using the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
7 days ago
Reply to  Caribbean

Not just the small. Look at how bad our system has become. The newspapers are no longer independent and fully partisan to the extreme. Rich business people are paying the parties that will give them the most in return. All top policticans magically retire to directorhoods of people that won gov contracts. Same for both parties . We are a long way from politicians representing the people. Also not alone, look across the western world and many countries with policticans in criminal problems. Just when it happens in a smaller country it’s a bigger percentage of the country wealth being… Read more »

Paul Corcoran
Paul Corcoran
6 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Same for both parties….give over. The Tories are clearly ahead on being the party of Crime, Sleaze and Corruption. And now also the party of high taxation.

Steve
Steve
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul Corcoran

They are, but let’s not forget the Blair government.

Caribbean
Caribbean
1 day ago
Reply to  Steve

I think you probably would need to have lived in one of the BoTs to appreciate just how far down the pile the corruption goes – it’s not like the UK in any way, shape or form. Do UK politicians go around delivering turkeys to the door in the run up to Christmas, do they buy you a new washing machine, send the local council workers around to repave your driveway, hand out cash for votes on poling day? Do they sit on the local business licensing board and listen to all the good business ideas being proposed, refuse a… Read more »

james m
james m
7 days ago
Reply to  Caribbean

The issue of political power becoming concentrated isn’t just true of small nations like the BOTs. Look at how many of our politicians have current or former MPs as relatives (and that’s ignoring the Lords). The same is true of the US, where every president has been in some way related to every other, and Canada – Trudeau’s dad was the PM for 15 years.

Martin
Martin
7 days ago
Reply to  james m

It’s only true of the Tories and SNP in the UK.

Last edited 7 days ago by Martin
David Flandry
David Flandry
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

False

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
5 days ago
Reply to  Mac

Mac, I couldn’t agree with you more. Our model of OST is wrong. We should be copying France. Their model keeps the territories feeling much more part of the mother country and commits it to those locations. Look at what’s going on in the Carribean at present. China is bribing many of those islands to break with the UK and seek independence. Yet, when you visit them, it’s the furthist from the minds of the people. They want to be part of the UK, not some second class citizen. How different and safer, would it be to those islands like… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
5 days ago
Reply to  Mac

Corruption goes on aorund the world regardless of their sovereignty status. I have known many individuals in democratic countries complain of corruption yet they will not vote in a different Government. Until they are willing to grasp the nettle and deal with the problem I suspect the problem will persist.

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 days ago

Might give us the chance to create the first model of cleaned up British off shore tax haven. So bring in some transparancy, avoid sanctioned individuals & countries, & bring in corporation tax, but at a lower rate, so it is still worthwhile for multinationals.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

… and that is at the route of all this corruption, we are in no position to take the moral high ground when we (or more precisely the rich and powerful) take advantage of it, indeed arguably it’s the whole reason this construct of deniable culpability exists and the Monarchy used to gloss the turd with supposed respectability as cover for murky dealings. I see the island is rejecting the idea of direct Governance this could get very nasty esp if you get US pressure for change combined with other West Indian countries getting involved.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

London is the money laundering capital of the world – see how much dirty middle east, Russian and Chinese money comes to these shores. Who do you think employs all these accountants, lawyers and bankers in London – it’s not the weather that brings them to these shores!

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I thought London was a Russian offshore territory. It’s all very confusing….

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I would agree with you in many ways. I live in London and all this money laundering has made house prices shoot up unrealistically. We can’t run our country like this anymore.

Matt
Matt
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I would say house prices in London shoot up mainly because capital gains on main residences receive a subsidy across the country of £35bn a year to make it tax free unearned money.

Since most property value appreciation is in London / SE, they are the ones receiving the free money.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

This is one of those stupid statements repeated by journalists and people who have never worked or had experience of money laundering. London isn’t even in the top 10. Just because London is the largest financial capital in Europe and one of 2 in the world doesn’t have any relationship to money laundering. The Oligarchs and drug syndicates along with run of the mill criminals are always going to wash their money offshore before they even think of coming to London

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Don’t know this guy, lots of rentaquote’s out there. However, as someone that has worked for Tier one banks as a consultant and has designed AML systems for Swiss entities, written “Rules of the Road” for Russian contacts and talked extensively to investment banking sales people, worked in offshore jurisdictions etc etc. In my humble opinion that’s the lazy headline grabbing opinion that plays to the crowd. The truth is the smaller jurisdictions are less palatable game, especially, in recent years, those in the Middle East.

James
James
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

What a load of crap, the money has to be clean before it is moved into London.

Other places have very little restrictions on turning money clean, this on paper clean money may then end up in London, like it does in Paris, New York, Frankfurt and many many other places.

If London is a destination for clean money then so be it, that cannot be helped but it is far from the only one, however London is not a laundry service for worldwide dodgy money.

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

The whole system needs cleaning, but you have to start somewhere. Yes there has been the London laundromat to wash dirty money, but HMG is finally bringing in a bill to tackle that. Lets hope its not watered down.

Caribbean
Caribbean
7 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Having worked in a bank in the Cayman Islands (as did my wife), I can tell you that all the banks are legally required to comply with pretty much identical standards to UK banks – in fact, when I went there in 2011, it was harder to open a bank account in Cayman than it was in a high-street bank in the UK. They also already consult the international databases on sanctioned and politically-connected individuals as well as the financial crime databases. The days of being able to walk into a bank with a suitcase of slightly dusty used banknotes… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago
Reply to  Caribbean

Good run ashore , Wreck of Ten sails Bar but bloody expensive For a British OT it was more likened too the florida keys it was full of Yanks even the oblitory Holiday Inn , we just took the workboat and a few crates of Beer found a sandy beach and had a great time Nothing offshore about that little jolly

Caribbean
Caribbean
1 day ago
Reply to  Tommo

I don’t remember that particular watering hole – it may have closed. My favourite was Bar Crudo in George Town, overlooking Hog Sty Bay and the cruise ship line (with an occasional visitor from the Grey Funnel Line moored along with them).

The architectural style is very Floridian, true and the place is eye-wateringly expensive – it really used to grate looking at an Iceland frozen item with “Sale – £1.99” printed on it and a local price of CI$9.99, which is pretty much £10 (not that I ever bought any – the local fish was too good for that)

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
7 days ago

Interestingly this has happened fairly recently. In 2009 Turks & Caicos was put under direct rule after the Premier was found to be corrupt.
In this instance the outgoing governor in 2021 Augustus Jaspert initiated the inquiry into BVI corruption, which caused a massive stir at the time.

Martin
Martin
7 days ago

It’s the UK ability to put these islands under direct control when things go tits up that makes then highly desirable tax havens. No one is parking large sums of money in the Solomons even though it has the same head of state as BVI.

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago

A lot of Corruption around the T&Cs we were there 83 and it seems that a lot of those in charge looked the other way as the Drug cartels were using the airport runway as a stop over before flying into Florida there was also a lot of Ditched light aircraft in the shallows at the end of the runway ,from failed take offs due too weight must of been alot of Stoned fish between T&Cs and the States

Martin
Martin
7 days ago

Is anyone else getting fed up with our Caribbean offshoots? Weather it’s the constant jokeying from former colonies for apologies or compensation or current territories causing all sorts of problems. The carribean has zero strategic value for us. Time to pull out I think with what ever bland apology they want give to them. Clearly we can’t do that for territories like caymans or BVI was they have a democratic right to remain however we should very rapidly cut ties and insist on removal of Queen as head of state for places like Jamaica, Belize and Granada probably the Solomon… Read more »

Dern
Dern
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

In fact it was Westminster that *forced* the colonies to (first) give up the slave trade, and (secondly) ban slavery…. and in the meantime set about interdicting anyone elses slave trade and forcing soverign nations to give up slavery…

Something Different
Something Different
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Yes but it was British appointed rulers who permitted the slave trade to exist and to sustain racists policies after its demise in these territories. So while slavery was not directly legal in England it does not mean it or the UK has no culpability for ITS colonies. If one is to look back and take pride in one’s nations achievements (abolishing slavery, scientific discoveries, founding NHS, freedom/democracy fighting WWII etc etc) then one must also acknowledge what the country did that we’re less worthy of pride.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago

I think it’s important to distinguish between our legislators, landed gentry in stately homes, the Church, the monarchy and the rest of the UK inhabitants at the time who lived largely in abject poverty just above slavery or even sustainment levels. I think it would disingenuous for the UK government to apologise on behalf of the UK population (even at that time). It was largely a cabal of quite wealthy men (and women) that ran slavery – let’s not kid ourselves here in this regard. Notwithstanding the pure absurdity of apologising for things that happened prior to 1st August 1834… Read more »

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

👍

Martin
Martin
7 days ago

I’m not sure who actually appointed governors to these islands if parliament or the crown however on their progression from colonies to self governing democracies all rights and by extension liabilities of the previous governments were passed on. The decedents of the salve owners still live on these islands to this day. indeed many of the politicians banging on for an apology for slavery from the British government are themselves descendants of slave owners. I am all for making amends I just think it should be done fairly so if the UK government is to make an apology for slavery… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

‘I’m not sure who appointed…’. This gets to the core of the way the UK functions. A US town would have an elected sheriff and an elected mayor. In the UK vast swathes of daily life are run by unelected trusts whose members are appointed by a system of patronage: the senate chamber, academy schools, NHS trusts; and a plethora of charities. We have to face up to the fact that we are a fragmented society, that our democracy is superficial and that democratic accountability is poor. Our whole system is incestuous. Elected police commissioners and city mayors are a… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Try a new pair of glasses!

Paul.P
Paul.P
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Good morning. My prescription is fine thx. The constitution of the UK results in an unstable archipelago of diverse interest groups which have to be managed top down rather than a coherent community formed from the bottom up like a family. Government is about managing the resulting chaos – balancing competing interests; half of which are good and half of which are actually bad; we are dominated by greed. The only thing which holds us together is the Royal Family. The antidote to chaos is love and it is noteworthy this country has always prospered when the mothering principle has… Read more »

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Excellent post.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I have a lot of sympathy for your argument but sadly there are inherent problems involved. With the likes of Jamaica etc as tempting as that might be I’m sure it would be biting off your nose to spite your face esp with China hovering around so mischievously. As for Cayman islands BVI we have long refused to sort out these offshore tax havens because they suit far too many powerful people connected to or even in Government sadly. It goes very deep even down to I recently discovered the owner of the land of our local pub when we… Read more »

Caribbean
Caribbean
7 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Though slavery was not lawful, indentures were, and a lot of slaves were compelled to sign papers of indenture when they arrived in Britain. They would then be re-exported from Britain before their indentures were complete and effectively re-enslaved.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

The Caribbean might be attractive to Chinese holidaymakers….

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Especially after they paid off all the leaders in these islands. One can’t help feel that the anti-British rhetoric is coming directly from the Chinese communist government….

Frank62
Frank62
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Who essentialy has their entire population enslaved.

emjay
emjay
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Not if the USA invokes the Monroe Doctrine………

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 days ago
Reply to  emjay

Indeed. I was simply pointing out that UKExit from the Caribbean might not be what we want.

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

They made a play with Jamaica and now Looking at Barbados America won’t like that in as they call it “Backyard”

Caribbean
Caribbean
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin

That depends on what you mean by “the UK”. Slavery has not “always been illegal” in the countries that constitute the modern UK. It was first banned in England in1102 by the Synod of London and it was the Norman kings who eliminated it by the mid-1100s (having banned it in their territories in France prior to the Norman Invasion). It was not formally abolished in Scotland until 1778 (i.e after the 1707 Act of Union between England, Wales and Scotland, but before the 1801 Act of Union with Ireland). It was actually reintroduced into Great Britain when James the… Read more »

Martin
Martin
7 days ago
Reply to  Caribbean

If fairness to James under his reign all things transatlantic expanded. Englands first successful colony in the americas was called James town. As for Scotland the country lacked any form of parliament to pass legislation from 1707 slavery legislation was not introduced in 1778 simply the case of Joseph Knight upheld slavery to be illegal in Scotland. The colliers and salters were more a form of serfdom than commercial slavery that took place in the transatlantic slave trade but I suppose that’s semantics for anyone who found themselves in that position.

Caribbean
Caribbean
1 day ago
Reply to  Martin

Scotland definitely had a Parliament – it just sat in Westminster

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
5 days ago
Reply to  Martin

William the Conqueror outlawed slavery in England, in his 1067 edict to the Barons.

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Yes we went Slaves to surfs

Tams
Tams
1 day ago
Reply to  Martin

That you think the Solomon Islands are in the Carribbean says it all really.

And it’s Australia and New Zealand’s problem mainly, but increased CCP presence in the Pacific is an issue for us, as it’s a major issue for our allies.

And I don’t know why you’re going on about Belize. They pretty much owe their freedom and existance to us, and we get a nice jungle warfare training centre in return, plus some sway in the region (which would be hard to get anywhere else there now that Guyana are long independent and being swooned by China).

Jon
Jon
7 days ago

The inquiry, led by a judge, was open and transparent, the proceedings streamed live. It came to the conclusion that the territory was being run by a bunch of cowboys [my words], who ignore the rule of law and repeatedly ignore reports from those in place to oversee their conduct. So if the current acting premier, Dr Wheatley, a graduate of SOAS and former lecturer in English Literature, claims the territory is against direct rule, I’m not surprised. Pigs don’t like being taken from the trough. What he said is: What I believe is in the best interest of the… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Jon
Something Different
Something Different
7 days ago
Reply to  Jon

If Labour was in power another SOAS graduate and a person of African Caribbean descent would have to do the same thing as they would be foreign secretary. There is a way to handle this sensitively (and not to dismiss lightly the enduring pain and resentment inflicted by slavery and racism) but it needs to be done.

Jon
Jon
7 days ago

My issue is that the man, who was still a lecturer until 2019, was appointed Deputy Premier immediately on winning his first election, appointed by the man who’s just been arrested for drug trafficking. He’s part of a family dynasty in the VIP, and can’t be deemed politically innocent, even though he kept pleading ignorance to the commission when called out. Unfortunately it’s the job of the UK government to sort this out. If the Foreign Secretary allows sensitivity to get in the way of a clean break, she will be failing to do her job. And I disagree. There… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Jon
Dern
Dern
7 days ago

The RN is scrambling to get HMS Victory back into the water and sail her across the sea with Rule Britannia playing 24/7 until she reaches the Virgin Islands…

Wolf
Wolf
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

😂

Longtime
Longtime
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

You joke but I reckon that’d be a nice trip under full sail

Dern
Dern
7 days ago
Reply to  Longtime

Might be slightly stressfull aboard Victory though…

Longtime
Longtime
6 days ago
Reply to  Dern

maybe a little but I do like some square rig sailing, nothing quite like it

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 days ago

Does that means all the offshore trust accounts are now onshore?

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Actually very good point. If it is direct rule does that mean that they have to obey UK law?

Caribbean
Caribbean
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

No

Matt C
Matt C
7 days ago

The Guardian supporting British “imperialism”. We are truly living in fascinating times.

Grizzler
Grizzler
7 days ago
Reply to  Matt C

Fully proves the multi- universe theories.

Matt
Matt
7 days ago
Reply to  Matt C

I think we can safely ignore the goons from the Guardian on this issue.

Set up in a Trust structure in the 1930s to avoid death duties iirc, and has been avoiding tax ever since.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
7 days ago
Reply to  Matt C

I wouldn’t wipe my backside with that rag.

Tams
Tams
1 day ago

Oh? And what fine journalism do you suggest then?

They have some true idiots on their payroll, especially for the opinions section, but they also do some fantastic journalism too. If you don’t see that, then you’re truly an idiot.

Rob
Rob
7 days ago

Does this mean the BVIs will be under UK tax law? Seems to me that all UK territories should be under UK tax law as we pay for their defence.

Caribbean
Caribbean
1 day ago
Reply to  Rob

No – it doesn’t. BVI has it’s own legal system. Direct Rule simply means that the Governor takes back all the devolved powers and closes Parliament – the legal system remains the same. The UK can impose laws while it has control (through Orders in Council), but once local rule is restored, they will likely be repealed (for instance, the UK implemented VAT while it had direct rule over TCI – it was immediately revoked after a new local government was elected).

Mark
Mark
7 days ago

I think we should amass an armada launch a full scale blitz destroying all infrastructure and appointment our own government while systematically murdering innocent civilians and removing all presence of nazi leadership……causing a huge world wide crisis.

Mark
Mark
7 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Ooops apologies we aren’t a dictatorship trying to impose our will on a free democratic nation.

Mike
Mike
7 days ago

Should have never given up the colonies

Frank62
Frank62
7 days ago

Corrupt V.I. government overseen by corrupt Tory government. Off shoring wealth corrupt too.

Coll
Coll
7 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

“The two existing political parties are corpses. “They have Rigor Mortis, they prop each other up, if one were to fall the other would fall.”

Last edited 7 days ago by Coll
James
James
7 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Is that better than being overseen by previous corrupt Labour parties?

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
7 days ago

I went once to the British Virgin Islands . By the time I was returning home they were known simply as the British Islands …

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
7 days ago

It’s the ordinary people of the island that would suffer if we let them have independence . There would be no control over the rampant corruption that seems to exist on the island and no doubt many similar islands.
This has all come out due to the high profile arrests, but the corruption probe has been going on for a year I believe.
AA

farouk
farouk
7 days ago

I’ve read through the posts here regards slavery, Racism and Empire I personally feel that the ball started rolling with the recent so called faux anger with white liberals who see people like me as only ethnics and people whom they should apologise to than treat us as equals, so in order to excuse the angst they experience when they look in the Mirror and see a white face, they ensure everybody else gets to feel the same way by blaming Empire. Well here’s something Empire ended f-ing years ago, as did Slavery, the so called social justice warriors demanding… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  farouk

As always, BRAVO!!!

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Just read your post Farouk, an excellent piece and well written. The overarching question stands however, whatever did happen to the Flying Lizards?

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

ps Did you serve for 22 years? If so, that puts you on par with Airborne so well done !

Coll
Coll
7 days ago

Why couldn’t the deputy prime minister take over?

Coll
Coll
7 days ago

I think this is slightly out of date. But you get the point.

commonwealth-realms-6.jpg
Paul.P
Paul.P
7 days ago
Reply to  Coll

Where’s ‘GO’?

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Never seen an Uckets board like that

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
7 days ago

DIRECT RVLE FROM LONDON

Challenger
Challenger
7 days ago

The irony is The UK gets accused of neo-colonialism and an archaic attempt at imperialism when anything happens with the BOT’s but the fact is a number of those territories only stay under indirect British rule because as small island nations it’s cheaper to let another country handle all of your defence and foreign affairs for you. Gibraltar, The Falklands, Ascension, St Helen and Tristan de Cunha are resolutely British and proud and then there’s the strictly military bases in Cyprus and Diego Garcia – but frankly I don’t really think the West Indies territories or Bermuda have any real… Read more »

Longtime
Longtime
6 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

I’d have to disagree about Bermuda and the Caribbean territories I’ve spent a fair amount of time out there over the years. Always found Bermuda to feel very much like Gibraltar just a little bit more subdued on their “Britishness”. Even Barbados, they’ve recently ended their relationship with the Crown but I was on the island when they held the referendum, it didn’t feel like a vote of animosity, it was more about a new national outlook. Lots of friends to gain or lose in the Caribbean, personally I feel the soft power work we do during hurricane season is… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 days ago

So would NI be better off as an Overseas Territory?

Last edited 7 days ago by Paul.P
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
7 days ago

The whole entrapment scenario is what I have an issue with. If he’s trafficking drugs/breaking other laws then gather the evidence and arrest them. This situation of everyone else in the room is an agent and is going to lead the narrative and already have an end goal worked out is disturbing and very dangerous. Who knows if he was just agreeing with them to get out of what would be viewed as dangerous situation ( in a room with most likely armed drug dealers). We will never know and as this kind of thing would not stand in a… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

As I previously posted, there has been a corruption enquiry in the island for over a year now. In all likelihood he would have been found out drug sting or no drug sting.
The point about the Chinese is particularly relevant, they would likely throw money at corrupt officials and then rape the territorial waters of fish and no doubt set up a base (obviously only for the fishing fleet….)
AA

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago

if someone is a bad egg the evidence is there and convictions can be sought. No need for entrapment. It’s like the group of American agents find young impressionable men. Then take them to meet more agents posing as a weathly individual who wants there help to do terrorist activities. They run the narrative and use the selected individuals to go along with it. Even when they have been filmed saying this guys a nut job let’s just go with what he says to get out of here. Then they get arrested and charged with terrorism offences which had they… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

If I tell someone I have a great idea for a bank robbery and then say would they help me hide the money, they say yes, maybe. Then I say ok I’m FBI your under arrest for bank robbery. It’s wrong

Farouk
Farouk
5 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I had something of a physical argument with a DEA agent in the British Expats Club (Damn good fish and chips there) in El Salvador , gobshite couldn’t fight for toffee

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Lucky you didn’t meet someone the next day who started talking about his issues with the DEA. Then he says he has a plan to get back at them. They start showing you there plan drawing on a napkin. You say whatever mate I’m going for a piss. and come back out to get arrested for planning an atrocity against the US government.
Sounds far fetched but is about dodgy as some of the stings that have been done.

dan
dan
7 days ago

Most politicians are corrupt. Just look at Biden. Life time government employee somehow amasses a 200million fortune. lol

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

I don’t think he’s anywhere near that much. $20m maybe over his lifetime. Being a Vice President is lucrative when you finish it. His income has come from obviously senator and vp salary. Then after a hefty book deal, speaking arrangements, university professor etc.
Joe Biden has submitted all his income etc when he became president so it’s easy to see.

geoff
geoff
6 days ago

A few observations. A main reason that the UK retains power in a number of Caribeann islands is the fact that they are too small in terms of population and resources to be independent. Montserrat is a typical example. As for Bermuda, I would disagree that there is no emotional link to the UK as suggested.Bermuda is one of the UK’s oldest OT’s and there remains a substantial population there of British origin.Intuitively I feel our lcenturies old links to these islands are worth preserving though obviously some changes are needed

Challenger
Challenger
6 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Yes perhaps Bermuda does have closer emotional links to The UK through the longevity of the association and the amount of Bermudians with a shared heritage. Plus they did vote to remain British (albeit in 1995 so perhaps it would be a bit different today). The 5 West Indies territories on the other hand seem to largely just want to avoid the costs of paying for their own defence and having to have lots of civil servants sitting in the UN and embassy’s around the world which all costs money! It’s not a case of The UK wanting them, it’s… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Visiting Bermuda in the 70ts we were there for Empire day Had never heard of it it was like a Bank Holiday in Hamilton that’s probable now just a bank holiday with no overtones of Colonialism

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago

This isn’t the first time this century that the British Government has had too intervene
in Caribean OTs When the appointed Leaders fall Foul of Suspicion either Drugs or Corruption , Turks and Cacos 2005 no shouts of Colonialism then

Damo
Damo
5 days ago

A couple of points:

We shouldn’t give reparations and no one really thinks we should. How far back could you go in history? The Caribbean countries only reference it as the nations weren’t around before africa to america slavery and because, let’s face it, you’re only going to ask wealthy western nations for it aren’t you?

We’ll never bring our overseas territories into the fold like France because the youth of those islands will come straight to the UK and the islands will be screwed.

Mike
Mike
5 days ago

I see that Argentina is watching what they consider how the population of the UK is changing over these past 40 years; how the views of young people and their relationship with the idea of uk nationality / global identity is changing (presumably similarly to why brexiteers pushed for the vote at the time they did); and younger people’s view of past colonialism in light of modern social media narratives (white privileged/social angst). I hope that this, presumed or real belief that uk with its large numbers of young people with no historic links to the uk and large numbers… Read more »

Jacko
Jacko
5 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Doesn’t really matter though does it until the Falklanders themselves don’t want anything to do with the UK then that’s all that can be said really! After all that is their right under UN convention isn’t it?

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago

Remembering the Lads still on patrol D80 Hms Sheffield 40yrs Time has slipped through my fingers like Sand, I’m old now they are forever young

johan
johan
2 days ago

Time to hand them back. just offer all there nationals and residents to take the vote. as there is a current under current where suddenly the UK is being accused by the inhabitants of X Y Z in the past 2000 years. but they want infrastructures on these islands that they cannot afford, and based on most of these islands are ship wrecked sailors who settled on them. Go independent, but the 1st time a Hurricane blows threw don’t expect the Royal Navy to turn up with a Food truck. i am bored of being blamed for what my forefathers… Read more »

Caribbean
Caribbean
1 day ago
Reply to  johan

Hand them back to who, exactly? The majority had no “native” population and where they did, the original “natives” no longer exist as identifiable groups. The only exceptions to that that I can think of are Gibraltar (where, arguably, the local populations are direct descendants of the inhabitants that were there when it became a British possession), BIOT and the SBA in Cyprus.