McLean seeks running mates

| 15/01/2009

(CNS): Political veteran Gilbert McLean has confirmed that he is taking to the hustings again in a bid for political office in the forthcoming May General Election. However, the former Health Minister will not be running with his previous political team, the United Democratic Party (UDP). He says he will be standing as an independent but is looking to form alliances with other like-minded candidates.

With just days to go before the official launch of the 2009 General Elections when the writs ceremony takes place on Monday 19 January, McLean said he has begun his campaign in Bodden Town without any formal allegiances yet but he seriously hopes he can team up with other individuals with common goals to run with. Speaking with CNS this week, McLean said that he had decided to return to the political battleground, not least because of what he described as the mismanagement of the country under the current administration, and he believes all three current MLAs in the district could lose their seats.

“I am disturbed by the reckless spending and the unaccounted for public finances,” he said, referring to the Auditor General’s revelations that some $1.5 billion of government spending remains unaudited preventing the people from having a true understanding of the government’s accounts.

He also said crime was of serious concern and it required the political will to ensure the police were enforcing the law, and that he would like to see more accountability between the police and elected officials despite the constitutional restrains. He said the elected government is still in a position to put pressure on the police to answer to the public, and he wanted to see the creation of a commission to oversee police operations. “The people expected their elected representatives to answer to them and that includes in areas of law enforcement,” he added.

McLean also said that he will be campaigning about the need to engage and empower both old and young in our community. “I want to see more programmes in place to encourage older people to retrain in skills that are required in the modern workplace,” he said, adding that this would see more Caymanians filling the vacancies and playing a valuable part in society. He said that broadly education was not about building schools but was about molding young people into strong characters. He said money should be spent in the area of pre-school programmes and a national education strategy that started in the early years to guide young people the right the way through to tertiary level.

“I also want to see moreattention paid to everyone’s educational needs despite their learning abilities. Where we encourage everyone to meet their ability,” McLean said nothing that there was a need to remove the current stigma from manual and vocational work. “In order to make a meaningful contribution people do not need to wear a tie to work,” he said.

The area that holds considerable interest for McLean is Health. Having served as the Minister for what was then Health and Agriculture Ministry, he said he was proud of his record in office. Although he said he did not get to do everything he wanted he was pleased with his accomplishments but wanted to go much further.

“I would like to see a type of national health service for Cayman where everyone contributes into the same pool and where coverage is for everyone from womb to tomb,” McLean said. He explained that in a small community like Cayman, the idea of a one stop health insurance pool was feasible and while people could still take out private policies over and above the national insurance scheme, with everyone paying in to one place, the health service would have greater access to the necessary finances.

Looking at some of the major issues grabbing the headlines, McLean said he had very grave concerns about the port project, which he said was a massive undertaking and would, if allowed to go ahead, fundamentally alter George Town. “While there is a need to upgrade the port facilities, this proposals is certainly not one to be considered lightly as it is a massive scale development and one that is not yet showing any real benefit to Cayman and may in fact cause damage.” He said there was evident opposition and that other options needed to be more carefully considered to see how the cargo port could meet growing demand.

With constitutional talks running this week, he said he was watching developments closely as he was a strong advocate of modernizing the constitution. He said the issue had for too long been hindered by personal agendas. Behind the posturing, the only thing the current political parties were concerned about was who would become the first chief minister rather than the important issues.

“We must assume more responsibility for our own destiny,” he said. “No other country, the UK or otherwise, is ever going to have as our interest at heart as much as we ourselves do.”

As far as Operation Tempura was concerned, McLean said it was apparent that the investigation had gone awry and all parties involved need to be held accountable for what has happened. “This really needs to reach its end, not least because of the negative reflection that it has had on the community as a whole.”

Working at the grass roots in Bodden Town, McLean said that he was already beginning to look at his campaign strategy and hoped, with a number of interesting and intelligent individuals indicating they could run, that it would not be too long before he could join forces with others and start forming some clear common strategies that couldsee them all returned to office.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Election 2009

About the Author ()

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Michelle says:

    GILBERT MCLEAN a solid man

    You have proven yourself in the past and YOU WILL AGAIN help this COUNTRY..




  2. Diane says:

    Dear Mr. McLean,

    Please listen to the people of the Cayman islands and the voters in Bodden Town. We do not want you to run for public office again. DO not do it. You have done what you can for us and we will not put you back in there.

    Maybe you can show your maturity by supporting some of the up and coming independent candidates – do what you can to put fresh blood in the LA. This is an important election and people like you, Ms. Maryand even Anthony Eden need to gracefully step aside. You have outlived your usefullness and it should be a decision you make instead of the people voting you out time and time again. All you will do is split the vote which is NOT good.

    We are begging you to not declare. I’m not sure who told you to run but it was BAD ill gotten advice.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The only politician with a website right now is Sandra Catron-

    I think Gilly has had a chance and he did not do the best job when in the LA. Failed HSA  and man more issues. Time for us to keep these old politicians out of the arena. What is he coming back now to offer the people of Cayman? Did we not see the article in the Compass about him running and that he no issues that were important but we the people must way for a manifesto? Shows a lack of planning. People of Cayman and BT we need some new blood. People who are education and have some common sense.

    All these guys are doing is splitting the vote. Gilly, take the advice of an old timer who has been around these part – do not embarass yourself and run again. Honestly, the people can and will do without you.

    • Anonymous says:

      We do need some new blood and fresh ideas. Mr. McLean’s initial pitch was to make an issue that Cayman Brac and Little Cayman being called the "Sister Islands" was somehow demeaning, something which he himself proposed when they were called the "Lesser Islands"! What we don’t need is more parochial politics. There was also the debacle with the HSA CEO Mr. Elliott whom Mr. McLean recruited. Despite being paid an enormous salary by public service standards (about US$0.5m p.a.),  he contributed only to the steep decline in HSA staff morale and then sued Govt. for his termination. No doubt his settlement is for a tidy sum. No Caymanian would have been paid this sum no matter what his qualifications, experience or exposure were.  Sorry Mr. McLean, but you won’t get my vote.  You need to pack it in and get a new career.       

  4. A Registered Voter says:

    I lost all confidence and support for Gilbert Mclean when in his capacity as Minister he became invovled and part of themass Status Grant Giveaway’s.  Sorry that you can’t find any running mates, but one can only wonder why that is?  I have to ask the question "does Gilbert Mclean think for once that the people forgot what his former Government did and how much they cost us?". 

    Why is it that some of these former politicians feel that all of us out here are complete ignorant idiots?  Or maybe they are so stuck in the 50’s way of thinking they forget that the rest of us grew up and now have our own minds and memories.  I am sure the people of Bodden Town haven’t forgotten either.

    Please give us a break Gilbert Mclean, your version of running a Government is partially why we are in the predicament we are in today.  I support none of the parties, so no one can blame me for ‘party favouring’.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Talk about " Reckless and Outrageous Govt spending" !!!!!! Correct me if I`m wrong, but wasn`t it Mr. Mclean who was the minister of Health at the time when a former CEO of Health Services Authority was hired and awarded a contract worth more than $400,000.00 CI per annum, with additional perks. 

    Can you imagine a CEO of a small Health Services Authority in the Cayman Islands being paid more than the President of the United States!!!!!!!  Oh, and by the way, this CEO later sued the H.S.A. who settled with him recently,  as reported by the media.

    If I had to vote in Bodden Town, I would go with Sandra Catron this time around. She appears to be a no- nonsense lady. 


  6. Twyla M Vargas says:


    Learn the Game, its being played all the time, some people even say  they are not running, just to look sympathy and hear how much encouragement they get.  I do hope Mr Gilbert McLean find some suitable candidates because I will support him.  In fact I have been voting for Gilbert from the very first time he ran for office, and that is not today.  I have no reason now not to support him also.  I find Gilbert to be very honest hard working and faithful.

    Gilbert is one of us, besides that he is smart an intelligent.  Bodden Town needs people who can go abroad and represent us, and persons who will look at the needs of this Town.  Gilbert is not selfish and malicious.  That is a problem I have with some politicians.  They feel that you are not entitled to express how you feel about a situation.  They will keep you out of a job, out of school, out of church and off the bus too. 

    Take for instance the GO EAST Inititative.  That has been blowing in the wind for four long years, promises promises, meetings, meetings, and where are the small business plans.  Where are the planned projects for the public beach.  Where is the launch ramp.  What is going to happen to Cumber Avenue, next rainy season?   Promise and more promises. 

    To the pep[le of Bodden Town I say give Gilbert McLean your support, do not vote for a fist full of dollars, it will not last.   The washing machines and refrigerators will rust away next hurricane,  The bedroom set will wearout the ham will be digested and gone elswhere, while the turkey will take flight.   Go for the long run, lower electricity and water bills.  More business encouragement , more assistance for the elderly.  Help for the youth on the Public Beach.   The elderly, They built Bodden Town, so why should not we help them in their golden years.  

    I am sure Mr McLean will find suitable running mates, he deserve that chance  give it to him.  Its nothing about UDP or PPM its all about  joining hands for the POC.  People of Cayman.  For Pete,s sake stop the division and when you all get voted in please try and think about the people and stop the figiting.  Its just like your family at home.  If the wife and husband continues to bicker  and bit– it will eventually effect the lives of the children.  So is the house of Assembly. Make a difference.


  7. kane says:

    They can say what they want about Mr Mclean About what he did or did not do in Office But take a look at what they have in comparison to others and you should come to a conclusion about  Corruption & honesty Intergrity and values. What is clear is his name is not tied up in Big deals and controversy or investigations. Aaaaaah Cayman do not let the popularity contest fool you choose people who will be consistent and reliable and honest for the betterment of the Island.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We certainly need men like Mr. McLean to steer this country in the right path, and I like his idea concerning the health issue. I believe Mr. McLean has this country at heart and is not just looking to fill his own pocket. I wish I could give him my vote, but unfortunately I live in another district. Mr. McLean I will keep you in my prayers and hope that you will succeed in your endeavours.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Does any one have a site where you can see what all the candidates are standing for?