Mac wants public talks

| 14/09/2008

(CNS): The Leader of the Opposition has said he is happy to meet with the Leader of Government Business prior to the arrival of the London delegation regarding Constitutional talks. McKeeva Bush said that no matter what happens, he will be at the table to talk to FCO representatives as that is more important, but he said he is willing to meet with Kurt Tibbetts and the other local delegates in a public forum next week.

“We propose to talk to the government on 22 September along with the other NGOs. We can have four days to talk and we should do it where the public can listen,” said Bush, proposing somewhere in the Legislative Assembly building as a good place to meet. LoGB Kurt Tibbetts has called on Bush to meet with him on several occasions  to "close the gaps" before meeting with the NGOs and church groups and prior to the arrival of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office team on 29 September  to begin the constitutional negotiations with the UK.

Speaking to the people of North Side on Thursday, 18 September, about Cayman’s proposed new constitution, Bush said only a fool can’t change his mind and he is willing to listen to ideas, though he did not see which areas the two parties could agree on. He emphasised that the important thing was not to close down potential negotiations with the UK and to present the case from the point of view of the Caymanian people.

The meeting saw all of the Grand Cayman MLAs present as well as the party chair, Billy Reid, and was one of the UDP’s first public gatherings designed to find out what the people were thinking about the government’s proposed constitutional ideas and what they really wanted to see in any new constitutional document.

Bush said that while it had been an uphill struggle for the UDP to get their discussion paper out to the people because they were not given any financial support,  it was apparent once the government cancelled the referendum that its proposals were not necessarily what the people wanted.

He criticised the government for creating an official Secretariat, employing a professional constitutional consultant and spending money on pushing its political position on the constitution, for which they failed to gain support, while not even giving the UDP the $50,000 or so they asked for to get the opposition position paper circulated.

“The UDP has never had a preconceived position. We have always believed it should be shaped by what the people want,” added Bush. “On the contrary, the PPM have pushed what they want, which is all about their deep-rooted desire for power.”

He said the UDP would not be rushed over the constitution because, he said, the people still did not know for sure exactly what the implications were and what the changes would mean. Above all, he said there was no support for the government’s proposals. Bush said the people of Cayman wanted to maintain the relationship with the UK and that they were concerned over the government’s desire for more power over the police and to take powers from the Governor’s Office.

“It would be a sad day if they get this power. I don’t see anybody ready for that power. If they got it, we would be no better than a banana republic. We will not support power grabbing,” he added, saying the people of Cayman would not stand for it either. He said that the PPM was becoming nothing but a sinking ship with a drunken captain, whereas the talks needed to be sensible and sober.






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  1. Roy Tatum says:

     Your story states that this meeting was      "…  one of the UDPs first public gathering designed to find out what the people were thinking."

    So what did the people have to say?  Were questions asked and suggestions made by those in attendance?  Presumably you will report on this later if indeed questions & suggestions were actively sought?

    Or did Mac do as he always does – use this as another staged event to waffle and talk  and to continue to stall the process in the pretence that he does not have any firm positions already and need more time to find out what the people want.  

    We all know that Mac is looking to stall this process. He cannot fool us this time.  But he cares more about playing politics than he does about doing right by his country’s constitution.  Shame.