Sir Gary and Politics

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Sir Gary Hickinbottom
Sir Gary Hickinbottom is the Sole Commissioner in the British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry.


The Commission of Inquiry( COI) was commissioned on January 19 to look into whether corruption, abuse of office, or other serious dishonesty may have taken place amongst the public, elected, and statutory officials in recent years. Following hearings, it will make appropriate recommendations as to governance and the operation of the law enforcement and justice systems in the BVI (EXTRACT  BY: BVI NEWS ON OCTOBER 13, 2021 AT 3:35 PM )


Sir Gary in his reply to Premier Andrew Fahie is giving the public the impression that he applied for a job and was interviewed by a number of independent persons to be then appointed as head of the COI in BVI …. HELLO SIR GARY ……. You are a political appointee for political reasons with a direct political objective in mind and calculated political outcomes. Your mandate came from a politician and you were appointed by a politician. I am so lost on this.  The ‘Sir’ attached to the name does not exonerate you from who you are …. This COI is a political creature, which you serve. There is no grey area here it’s very BLACK and WHITE.

Your job is to deflect political rhetoric and make inappropriate comparisons within the BVI. As it stands now you have no moral authority to respond to the Premier of BVI as if you are an employee of Ernest and Young doing an internal audit.

YES!! The constitution allows for the Foreign Secretary to support a call for the Inquiry into “whether corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty may have taken place amongst the public, elected and statutory officials in recent years”   That authority does not make it right. Ask Mandela why he was imprisoned in a modern-day society at a United Nations meeting every week.


What is also interesting and not known to the world is that your barometer for measuring standards and delivering on decisions comes from an appointee that does not report to the Cabinet. There is no such thing as neutrality in the public service and BVI islanders don’t accept that a ‘rushed’ report has any balance or merit no matter what it says… You are in a political climate, which you created and have now found it difficult to control because you have discovered that climate change is real. That is why the time is now for BVI to move on.

This COI, which is taking place in BVI has the potential to draw on the energy and the outcome of the MABO VS Queensland court case.  A landmark decision in which the Meriam people fought and won the rights to their native land. The case though different in content and purpose has a story to be told about natives, rights, and entitlements.

The people of the BVI are now positioned to take charge of their affairs and seek Independence from the British monarchy. This COI has reinforced the need for self-governance. The attack on ethnic leadership and governance is an attack on our FUTURE  but it should also be a wake-up call… The asymmetries of power are real. 

We see it at the United Nations where all are equal, but some are more equal than others. We see it playing out at the World Trade Organizations and the ideals of Special and differential treatment. How small nations struggle as their protected markets were opened up. The local dairy farmers’ industry collapsed in Jamaica.  The banana sector in the OECS all but disappeared, thousands of women out of work. Then there was sugar, which came to a grinding halt.   This is the legacy of the British to us. The BVI must resist this fate.

In 1961, the United Nations General Assembly established the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence of Colonial Countries and Peoples (C-24). This team commenced its work in 1962 with the original 17 members, which was immediately expanded to 24 members by the end of 1962. One such conference was held earlier this year in Dominica and BVI should have been at the table.

This matter of decolonization cannot be ignored. We saw how Haiti was treated by the French. We saw how the people of Mer Islands were treated. A clear message was delivered by the British in this Inquiry. Our kind will always be subject o different rules and different laws. It remains a shock that the sole commissioner could speak to an issue of political rhetoric and deflection when he embodies everything that is political.

Despite all of the political rhetoric by the Sir Garys’ of this world, the people of BVI have a mission and that goal-post must not shift.  The straw that broke the camel’s back was the insult hurdled by the sole commissioner as he tried to represent his task based on a term of reference as outlined to the public.  There is nothing in the COI for BVI. The VIP administration has done its best like others before it. This time there is no politics in the right decision. The COI has spoken its time for the people of BVI to speak. We cannot end like a typical small island state, knocking on the door of NO 10