Falklands : MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT SPEECH BY THE HON MR DICK SAWLE
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 27.08.2013 (Article Archived on 24.09.2013)
Madam Speaker, Honourable members, this is the last meeting, as my Honourable Colleague has mentioned, the current Legislative Assembly. It’s also an important milestone in our Government’s history as the first time, also as my Honourable Colleague has mentioned, we have a female speaker.
MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT SPEECH BY THE HON MR
Madam Speaker, Honourable members,
this is the last meeting, as my Honourable Colleague has mentioned, the current
Legislative Assembly. It’s also an
important milestone in our Government’s history as the first time, also as my
Honourable Colleague has mentioned, we have a female speaker. And I very much appreciate Madam Speaker
volunteering for the job because basically your job as Speaker gives you the
chance to listen very carefully to all I have to say for a change. And also, of course, Madam Speaker does not
have the opportunity to respond to me which is therefore the perfect solution. So, if we are all back, long may you continue
in your current role?
On a more serious note I would
also like to join in mu colleague’s best wishes to Richard Cockwell and I would
like to wish him the very best and hope that he will recover soon.
It is, of course, a temptation to
run over all that has happened in the last four years, as you have mentioned
and what I consider this House has achieved.
However, as I learned early on in this job, that is for others to judge. No single Member can achieve alone. He or she must carry a majority vote and
whilst we have not always agreed on all matters, this has led to much
stimulating discussion and debate and at times the odd case of raised blood
pressure and no doubt caused a ripple or two in what is otherwise obviously an
natural flow or tide of democratic progress.
You win a few. You lose a few but
you quickly learn to move on. I
certainly enjoyed the debate on the prohibition of smoking in public places in
this house but of course, sadly, lost.
Before coming here today I thought
I would read my very first speech to the Motion of Adjournment to this
House. It made an interesting read and
gave me many smiles. And whilst not all
of my aspirations have come about, I do believe that, with the assistance of
Colleagues much progress has been made.
The next Assembly, whoever they
may be, will have an interesting and very demanding job. It will be full time, properly paid and
adequately resourced. I really do hope
that removing all financial barriers to standing will result in some healthy
competition. The voting public are, and
always have been, very astute, in my view.
They will make the right choices for the members they wish to take on
the challenges that we face. And those
challenges, Madam Speaker, are many and varied.
The work that has gone on recently
with regard to oil development at FIG has been detailed, thought through,
consulted upon and very thorough. All
views have been taken into consideration but while the policies that have
emerged have received some criticism, it is of vital importance to remember
that Elected Members have to make decisions on what they believe to be the
As the prayers at the beginning of
each Assembly remind us, laying aside all private interests, prejudices, and partial
affections the result of our councils may be to the public wealth. And the
uniting together of the hearts of all – that’s to paraphrase it a little
slightly. Getting all hearts to beat as
one is a tricky task at the best of times but I would like to think that we
have been as clear and as open as possible.
That is not to say, Madam Speaker and Honourable Colleagues that we have
always been perfect. Sadly we have not. And we have not always met our own
standards. And there have been times
when, mainly due to pressures of time and workloads, appropriate consultation
which should have taken place has simply not happened.
Madam Speaker, as you will
recognise, we are all human and therefore we do fail at times. To detail progress on a y portfolio matters
at this stage would be seen as nothing more than early electioneering so I
avoid that. But I would just like to
make a couple of comments on recent developments.
FM Radio: The results of consultation on channel
selection have just been published and consequently the channels for Camp will
be the same as those for Stanley I.E. FIRS, BFBS Falklands, BFBS 2 and the BBC
World Service when FIRS is offline. The
infrastructure improvements are underway as we speak and hopefully will be
finished in 2014.
Telecommunications has improved
but as I have said many times already in this House are still begging for some
bold decisions. Cable & Wireless has
been bought out by Batelco and rebranded as Sure. (Pas-cap) Arrangements are having an effect
and Batelco will be visiting the Falklands in September, I understand. And I hope we will be having productive
meetings with them at that time.
But probably the biggest surprise
of this Assembly, Madam Speaker has been the marvellous opportunity afforded to
us by the President of Argentina. She
has afforded us more opportunities than we could have ever envisaged for
engaging with media world-wide and getting our views expressed.
We have been criticised by some by
spending too much time abroad and ignoring domestic issues. I would agree that it’s a fine balance but
the rewards have been truly tremendous.
Those rewards culminated in March of this year – a truly astounding
result which the world can’t ignore.
Rather like a ship being forced down the slipway, it starts with very
little apparent movement. The bottle is
always smashed on the bows, nothing seems to happen until there is an almost
imperceptible movement and then slowly but surely it gains momentum. I truly believe that we are now gathering
momentum. It takes time but we must keep
the pressure up.
I will be away shortly on a trip
to Brasil and Uruguay and I will, I assure you, continue to push the ship
firmly but gently down the slipway.
In closing I would also like to
make mention – and not for the first time – of my heartfelt thanks to a variety
of people. Alison Inglis is due to leave
the Attorney General’s department soon, heading for the private sector and I
would like to wish her all the best and thank her for all the work. And I would also like to thank those who form
the vast and often silent majority in our community. There are those who make frequent and often
vociferous contact. And those offer
occasional support and criticism in the isles of the West Store. All are important as they make up the strong
community we have.
The Private Sector: Sometimes it struggles to project a united
corporate view which understandably comes from the need to protect a variety of
own interests. But it is nonetheless a
valuable source of input. The private
sector is the generator that powers our economy.
And finally, I would like to make
mention of all of the Civil Service who, at all levels, actually deliver the
wishes of Honourable members. Their work
is often beyond and above the call of duty and without them, we are but nothing
– empty vessels full of sound and fury as the Great Bard once said but signify
Madam Speaker, I support the
Motion and I wish current Members and future candidates and members from
November onwards the very best.
(100X Transcription Service)