Saturday, August 15, 2009

More trouble in Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos are back in the news. The British outpost in the Caribbean which has been trying to become an alternate business centre as other tax havens such as the Cayman Islands have had increasing pressure to crack down on money laundering, has itself been wracked in allegations of corruption. Yesterday, the Premier of TC was fired and London announced it will directly rule the islands for a period of up to two years, in an attempt to clean up the mess.

I don't really know all the details, but this kind of hammer does sound on the surface quite strong. It's not like the islands are swamped by massive violence of the kind that plagued Northern Ireland for so many years. One can imagine the kind of uproar if there was an attempt at direct rule for other territories such as the Falklands or Bermuda. I also have to wonder if Gordon Brown has pulled the plug on TC's assembly to deflect attention however temporarily from his increasingly hapless administration in the UK.
Or could it be that the desire of some in TC to be part of Canada (in particular Nova Scotia) has started to gain traction after lying dormant for so many years and London, having lost much of its empire in the 1930's to 50's, and Hong Kong in 1997, doesn't want to lose whatever empire it has left and with it residual pride in its glory days.
Guess this kind of puts the kibosh on TC being annexed by Nova Scotia any time soon. At least there's a time frame for home rule to be returned, however -- there have been cases where direct rule has gone on indefinitely which would not be a good thing. On the other hand, this sounds like something the islands' residents should be able to sort out for themselves without supervision from afar.

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