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Home | Categories | Gen - Government Please tell us what you think of this article. Tell a friend Print Friendly

Falklands : Motion of Thanks Speech by the Hon Mr Gavin Short, MLA:
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 04.06.2014 (Article Archived on 19.07.2014)

Mr Speaker, Your Excellency, Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, If I could just perhaps address a couple of points raised in the Governor’s Address to the House? The first place I would start is to associate very much with the comments that went before me.

Motion of Thanks Speech by the Hon Mr Gavin Short, MLA:

Mr Speaker, Your Excellency, Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, If I could just perhaps address a couple of points raised in the Governor’s Address to the House? The first place I would start is to associate very much with the comments that went before me.

But I think we should start with external relations because after all I think almost that this is what it’s all about. This is one fight we cannot lose otherwise anything else we can do is not worth doing. The Argentines are certainly outgoing at the moment – scurrying around the world spreading mendacious toddle but they are doing it quite well. And whilst the eight of us will do our very best to counter that, the problem we have is that we cannot get access at the same level as the President of Argentina can and this is why I am very thankful for the support we get from the British Government who can access those levels we can’t get to.

I heard you mention local people being involved in a battle for our country. And I would like to pay tribute to those local people. There is a small quarter here in the Falklands who do battle wherever they can whenever they can with those who spread the untruth. But we also have supporters and people who are working extremely hard who actually have no connection with the Falklands whatsoever. They are people who have looked at our case and believe in it and researching it deeply. They are in different parts of the world and I would like to pay my thanks to them because they are vitally important in our struggle to survive.

The Government here in the Falklands are changing slowly as it must do. Looking back to the referendum, whilst it was a most wonderful event and we spoke and gave our message to the world in general, I see this not just as an isolated event. This is very much a stepping stone, I believe, to us further evolving our political structures here and taking even more control than we presently have. And I think that is only right and proper for a people who strive to do so.

The Public Works Department boys and girls are probably leaping up and down saying they didn’t get a mention in the Governor’s Address to the Nation. But if you look through this address they will see a lot of what he said was actually imported directly and indirectly. So I would say to them to relax as they are not forgotten. In a way it is a department that likes to be unseen and gets on with the job. They are more doers and fixers rather than being in the most exciting department in the world. But by golly, if PWD fails, you notice it.

Mention was made of the weather and the effect it has on the farming community. But it also had a very nasty effect on our attempts to maintain the Rural Road Network. Certainly when I was on the West speaking to the boys they were having some days when there was only an hour or two when they can do anything – rolling and grading. I would like to thank those people who are doing their best to maintain the Rural Road Network.

Hopefully, when we come back to the House in a couple of days’ time we may have some extra money to help us – if not to make progress on the Rural Road Network, to stop the deterioration that is most definitely happening.

Immigration is a contentious issue. It is one that I see slightly differently than some of my colleagues. I look forward to whatever comes back to us for debate but I will say it has to be done in a sensitive manner. I believe that a lot of the immigration stuff we have in place is actually very transparent and it works but we just have to be careful that whatever we get up to does not leave our core native population here in the Falklands feeling threatened or feeling that they are losing control of their country.

I am pleased that localisation is still important to this Government. At times I think the population out there scratch their heads and wonder if this is really happening. I certainly welcome Beccy at the hospital. She has a very difficult job ahead of her but I believe being a local she can bring that extra little bit of something to it. So I wish her well – I really do. There are some departments where localisation is forging head and there are others that are not seeing this happen. For what reason, I am not too sure. And I am not really seeing understudy jobs – things of that nature where we should be getting a real knowledge transfer from people who come down to do a job that we cannot fill.

Finally before sitting down I would like to say it is the State Opening of Parliament in the United Kingdom but also it is another anniversary – a far less savoury one – the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China where people stood up for more rights and more democracy and were crushed. And when you think about that and look at the country we are living in now I feel – by golly – we are living in a pretty nice little country.

Thank you.

 

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