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A Legacy of Tyranny


Dear Source:
Tyranny: Possessing absolute power through the people in a state or in an organization. Generally, aristocrats who had gained power over others by getting the support of the poor people by giving them land, money, power etc, are tyrants.
Sound familiar? It’s the only word that comes to mind to describe recent events. Turnbull had become a tyrant and forgot that he was supposed to serve the people as opposed to himself. It was so evident in the second term where he rarely was seen in public. He surrounded himself with body guards, limos and yes-men. He was so close to the corruption that was going on around him that it must be assumed that he knew something about it. He had the government, through the legislature, borrow huge sums of money to meet standard operating procedures which will cost the taxpayers as much as three times the amount if finally paid back. He even included the borrowed money into the revenues of the government to try to show a surplus and make it appear that the government was in the black! Not so. The reality is we are still in debt; the government operates at a deficit, and will for many years. The books for the grant monies from the United States have failed to be reconciled in six years. There are huge unaccounted for funds and even more funds that have not been received because of poor accounting or downright idiocy on the part of the government. There are few departments of government that haven’t been the target of receivership and one, housing, already has. The fiscal reports to the government of the United States are bleak at best and Congress just may take action to rectify it. Sounds like a 3rd world country but we are part of the USA.
Tyranny. To even consider allowing dangerous criminals out of jail or even commuting sentences could only be the act of a tyrant. What audacity! I am sure that during his terms, the families of incarcerated persons begged him for mercy and he answered their call. Victims of crime have a right at sentencing and some may have chosen that right when their lives were shattered. To allow a person (in this case 37 people) to be set free or have reduced sentences goes against the very rule that allows victims of crime the right to face the accused. I doubt if Turnbull made one phone call to let those victims of crime, who now have to deal with the person who shattered their lives, know that their lives would forever be crushed….again!
Tyranny. A retroactive raise. Only a person who felt god-like would even attempt to increase his salary during a term of office where the salary was fixed by law. In his ivory tower, he must have felt invincible and the legislature went along with it because the carrot was dangling. A legislature, by the way, who will feel the full-force of the people's might as a recall of those senators who voted for the raises is taking place as I write these words.
Tyranny. If Turnbull was a man of the people, he would not have to hide from the public behind gun-toting guards. No public figure, if he felt secure that the people were on his side, would spend huge sums of money simply on his own protection. He should be able to walk down any street with pride. This is hardly the case and so we found ourselves with a person who was so wrapped up in his own glory that he failed to see the failing government, corrupt officials, misery, crime, poverty and lack of hope surrounding him while he lavished himself with antiques and re-modeled living quarters. Only the most arrogant person would do this kind of thing to his own people.
In some respects, what the tyrant did may be good for the people. Where we can’t do much about the trail of disasters the governor left in his wake, there is a huge initiative by the people of the Virgin Islands to recall senators. There is an over abundance of disgust at the recent, eleventh-hour shenanigans. People by the hundreds are calling talk shows stating their dismay and outright intolerance for a government that has gone bad. And more than ever, people are getting involved. Thousands have already signed the petition to recall senators and thousands more will follow. For the first time in memory, people are standing up and saying no more! A government for the few and the corrupt will not stand.
It will be interesting to see what the 27th legislature does in the first days and what new Gov. deJongh will do about the bill that passed the legislature on December 28th. We hope he will fight for repeal and never allow such under-handed tactics to take place during his administration or ever again.
Paul Devine
St. John

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