Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Chairman of the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), Hon. Ronnie Skelton says segregation of the people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) by politicians for their own gain would be an enormous mistake.
This, despite a previous statement by the PVIM leader in which he said that he believes that it is time that Virgin Islanders and Belongers are given real preferences in the job market.
In an audio message posted on Monday, January 7, Hon. Skelton said that his party’s number one priority is “to create a better quality of life and a higher standard of living for us all, all of us who have made the Virgin Islands our home.”
“No one will be excluded from this priority. The Progressive Virgin Islands Movement is about inclusion and not exclusion. As a movement, we understand that these Virgin Islands comprise a melting pot of people from many countries,” he stated.
According to Hon. Skelton, persons of different nationalities play a role in developing the country as they live and work in the BVI.
“It would be a mistake of enormous proportion for me or any leader of the Virgin Islands, for that matter, to devalue the efforts of those who have helped us to build this country and to segregate their worth into a separate category for political or any other gain. It will not happen under my watch,” Skelton, who is seeking the position of Premier said.
He admitted, in that message, that the ongoing campaign period is a time of many political promises.
“We all know that this is the talking season. But when all the talking is over, the work still has to be done,” he said, later adding, “We need all hands on deck to rebuild this country...We therefore embrace all persons who love the BVI.”
He vowed that under his leadership, his party will not engage in any sort of segregation, saying, “Division has no place in the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement’s agenda, and as a leader, I will never condone it. Your collective cares are our concerns.”
However, back on December 7, when the PVIM held its launch, Hon. Skelton issued some seemingly contrasting sentiments.
During his address to his party supporters and members on that evening, the Chairman said, “I believe that it is time that Virgin Islanders and Belongers are given real preferences in the job market. No longer must this just be lip service, no longer. We must act.”
“Our record has not been good on this front. And we need to change it and we must change it. We need to stop thinking that only people from beyond our shores have value,” he said at that gathering.
Statistics have shown that expatriates make up close to 60 percent of the workforce in the BVI.