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Adjournment Speech by Dr Barry Elsby, MLA (27/3)

Motion for Adjournment Speech by the Honourable Dr Barry Elsby, MLA

Mr Speaker, Honourable members, yes, I too am pleased to see many students here today and Byron, as you know, has been working with members and with the staff at Gilbert House. I was chatting to him the other day as to how he was finding things and I asked him if he had heard about the Youth Parliament. He denied all knowledge of the Youth Parliament and thats a shame because it is something we should develop here. A number of people  Christine Ormond and others have done some initial work in trying to get a Youth Parliament working here and I know the Deputy Speaker who was elected a few months ago would be very keen on working with the Youth parliament and to act as Speaker of that Parliament when they have debates in the Chamber here. So I would encourage him to go back to school and I would encourage all students to ask more about the Youth parliament because I think it is something that we need to develop here. It is very important.

The other thing I want to mention and it has already been touched upon is the Honourable ian Hansens trip to the Caribbean. He flew out on Saturday whilst the rest of the MLAs were having a very enjoyable but very cold and very windy trip around Camp. On the Sunday the Marathon runners had an even more daunting task to get around the Camp. We hear from Ian Hansen that he is working very hard and its not all sun and sand over there and the fact that he is drinking Rum Punches is just part of the culture and he has to go along with it if you are going to represent us there.

I am sure he is having a good time and I know he is representing us very well over there. It is part of our public diplomacy campaign to get out there and tell the story of the Falkland islands wherever we can to counter the relentless propaganda that is put out by Argentina.

But it is not just us going out, as Honourable Colleagues mentioned today. We have a lot of people coming in  invited guests be they politicians, be they opinion formers  to come in and see what the Falklands are all about. And those people are often senior advisers to politicians in their countries so they come here, learn about what the Falklands are about and we hope they will feed that back to their politicians to better inform them to debate when it is appropriate. Also some of these people are professors of national studies and professors of politics and again when they go back to their universities we hope and believe they will better inform their students  their graduate students  their PhD students  future leaders in their own countries about the realities of the Falkland Islands. And that is a long-term investment that I think we are all convinced will pay dividends.

I had the pleasure last night of having dinner with another group that has come down from Central America. They are professionals and professors in their fields and they were very impressed by what they had seen here, what they learned about the government and hoe we govern ourselves, how we are self-financing. More importantly they were very impressed by what they learned from people in shops, in businesses and on the street. The people who can best tell visitors about the Falkland Islands is every man and women and child in the street and I think the more we do that, the more our case will be heard.

I support the Motion.

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