PPM questions new honours

| 30/06/2010

(CNS): The opposition said the new national honour system is at risk of being politicised because of the power the premier’s office wields over the committee and the decisions on who will receive the awards. The National Honours and Awards bill was presented to the Legislative Assembly on Monday when McKeeva Bush said it was part of the march towards nation building. He said it would not replace royal awards but would allow the country to honour its own. However, Alden McLaughlin, who said he backed the concept, pointed out that the law was written in such a way that it may give the appearance of being granted at the whim of the ruling party.

McLaughlin said he supported the idea of Cayman’s own honours system but the law gave too much discretion to the premier’s office.  According to the law, the premier would select the members of the National Honours and Awards committee with only passing consultation with the leader of the opposition, be able to override the decisions made by the committee, confer the honours and to then remove any honour conferred at a future date if he saw fit.
“I have great concern over the legislation’s potential for politicisation on the granting of these honours,” the PPM member told the House during the debate. “If they begin to appear as though they are granted by the favour of the ruling party we will diminish them,” McLaughlin warned.
He said that none of the members of the Legislative Assembly held their seats forever as they were there at the will of the people and they needed to ensure that the honours would haveintegrity and stand the test of time. McLaughlin said it would undermine the objective if people believed the awards were granted for political favour. “We must build into this system checks and balances to reduce any inference,” he added.
The third elected member asked the premier to re-examine the structure of the law to create more independence from the premier’s office for the committee and the final decisions. “We mustn’t make them at the whim of whoever is in office,” he added, cautioning that the honours should not be the premier’s “royal" award scheme.
Arden McLean, the member for East End, also questioned the premier’s influence on the awards and queried the clause which provided for non-Caymanian residents to be honoured. He asked what was the point of even having a committee if the premier got to make all the final decisions. McLean said he was not trying to diminish the principle and said it was commendable that the premier was bringing the law, but he too wanted assurance that awards would not be given for political support.
The independent member for North Side also questioned the clause that would allow non-Caymanians to be honoured. Ezzard Miller said he supported the bill as he had never been one that liked the queen’s awards as it was impossible to know the criteria on which they were based, and pointed out that he had refused UK royal honours offered to him.
Offering his support to the bill he added that he would like to see that honours reserved for Caymanians only and a clearer definition of the criteria.
Closing the debate, Bush said he was outraged by the criticisms from the opposition but he was not going to be discouraged. However, he wondered why the opposition always had to be the way it was.
“In all my time on the opposition bench I would never have tried to throw cold water on such a laudable initiative,” he said, adding that he had no intention of changing the bill because of the opposition.  “They have nothing to offer but scepticism and dissent.
The premier said the bill had been on the table of the Legislative Assembly and in public discussion for several months but he had not heard from the opposition until now. “They can say anything but they are not going to stop this government,” the premier added.
He denied that the honours would be politicized and pointed out that the leader of the opposition would be consulted about the committee. Bush claimed that the opposition was only concerned about the awards coming from the premier’s office because he was never meant to be premier and the third elected member for George Town couldn’t get over that. Bush also dismissed the contribution from the East End member as he said he only ever spoke to hear himself talk.
Defending the decision to include residents as well as Caymanians in the honours, Bush said many people from overseas had contributed to the development of the country and they should be honoured. Relating a story about how his own brother’s life was saved at the hands of a foreigner, Bush asked where Cayman would be without the help of people who came from overseas.
The law passed with support from government, the independent North Side member and Anthony Eden from the opposition benches. Arden McLean and Alden McLaughlin abstained.
The first recipients of the country’s own medals will be awarded on National Heroes Day January 2011.
For more details of the awards see: Premier seeks public thoughts on local honours   
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Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    :…and pointed out that he had refused UK Royal honours offerred to him". Well done Mr Miller! What were you offerred and when as a matter of interest?

  2. Anonymous says:

    "Closing the debate, Bush said he was outraged by the criticisms from the opposition but he was not going to be discouraged. However, he wondered why the opposition always had to be the way it was."

    Note to the next generation embarking on a career in politics; look up the word ‘opposition’ in the dictionary and understand its function. Investing all of thirty seconds now should save a lot of embarrassment in the future. Good luck! 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Are they available for purchase?

    We really need a new product to fill that price gap between 25-yr Residency and permits for a Domestic Helper that can reignite our faltering economy. 

    Preferably something that does not run on electricity or that takes a lot of space in the landfill after we no longer have a use for it.

    We could sell these medals at the Craft Market for US$250 each along with a certificate that entitles the holder to be Caymanian for a day. Once a week the Premier could come to the Craft Maket and hand them out amid some pomp and flair.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Once again, this proposal by the premier sounds very much like the thinking of a dictator! Why does he think he has to have all the say with who receives an award? We all know that no person who opposes the premier will ever stand a chance of receiving an award no matter how deserving they may be. Any person that the premier does not like will never have a chance of getting an award.
      How can he propose a law that allows him to take back an award that he gave to someone? Now if that is not dictatorial then I do not know. That man never fails to amaze me.
      How he can turn such a patriotic proposal (such as National awards) into an insulting political act is beyond me. XXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Hilarious!!! I am pretty certain you meant to be sarcastic but you actually may be on to something LOL! Beats raising money with a gas hike!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ohhhhh!! Another idea – how about re-introducing the National Lottery with the grand prize being a choice between money or "Residency with Right to Work"……….. and perhaps an annual grand prize of either "Cayman Status" – or a million dollars….hmmmm….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Could the Government please focus on the economy and making money rather than spending it?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have an idea….we could call it "The McKeeva award for Puppetry"

  6. Pit Bull says:

    How can somewhere that is not a nation give out national awards?

    • Anonymous says:

      How this must pain a nationalistic Brit.

      We are an aspiring nation with our own identity that is constitutionally not a part of the UK.   

      • Anonymous says:

        The Cayman Islands Constitution is an Order-in-Council issued by the UK Cabinet, so it is incorrect to say that Cayman is constitutionally not a part of the UK.  I am not a Brit, by the way.

        • Anonymous says:

          The UK comprises England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Obviously we are not any of these.  The same Order in Council recognizes that we are a separate, albeit subordinate, jurisdiction. According to the British Nationality Act as amended by the Overseas Territories Act, we are an Overseas Territory of the UK, and you cannot at the same time be an Overseas Territory of the UK and also a part of the UK.  If we were a part of the UK we would be subject to every law passed by the UK Parliament and consequently we would be entitled to have representation in that Parliament.  We are not. This has always been recognized in British Constitutional law.

          By way of contrast, the French Overseas Departments (e.g. Martinique and Guadeloupe) are integrated into France.

          The UN recognizes as one option for self-determination of colonies integration into the administering power. If we were integrated into the UK then we would become a part of the UK.

          I suggest you do some homework starting with ‘The Legal Status of British Dependent Territories’ by Elizabeth Davies.      

          • Pit Bull says:

            So basically we are all in agreement that whatever Cayman is it is not a nation. 

            Nice embassies? No. Comfy seat in the UN? No.  End of story. 

            • Anonymous says:

              You are missing the point. We are an aspiring nation. Nation building must precede any de jure status as a nation.   If handled correctly (and it does not appear that they will be) the awards could be an important aspect of nation building.  

              • Lyp O'Sucshean says:

                Really?  Do you believe that?  Or are you Mac posting in disguise?

                • Anonymous says:

                  I don’t think you read my post properly. I said I didn’t think the honours would be handled properly. Hardly something Mac would say as he will be pulling all the strings.  

          • Hamish Macbeth says:

            Don’t you bring Scotland in to this. "They may take our lives, but they will never take our …Freedom!"

          • Anonymous says:

            Correct! Go to the head of the class.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’ll just wait to McKeeva f’s things up enough for the UK to impose direct rule again and all your arguments above are irrelevant.

            Don’t think it’ll happen — just let McKeeva keep screwing up the budget and it’ll all be over soon.

    • Ex Caymanian & Not by Choice says:

      Urgent Newflash-

      Cayman Islands British  Overseas Dependant Territory Renamed

      Mckeeva Islands, or Lil Jamaica- No Longer a British  Overseas Dependant Territory

      His Royal Highness King Mckeeva, has declared all born Caymanians are now the subjects/slaves of all the Expats, his royal stooges are now his footstools, and all the opposition are tobe banished to Owen Island……..

      told unna get up off unna ass and do something before it was too late….

      remember UDP & PPM unna gonna have toeat XXXX like the rest of us soon, Y’all aint got a chance in Hell of getting back into POLITICS  AGAIN XXXXX

       

       

    • Richard N. Parson says:

       LOL (that means laughing out loud!)

    • Dirk says:

      We may not be a country, but we’re certainly a nation. From wikipedia, for example:

      "a country is a geographical region. The term is often applied to a political division or the territory of a sovereign state, or to a smaller, or former, political division of a geographical region. Usually, but not always, a country coincides with a sovereign territory and is associated with a state, nation or government."

      "a nation is a group of people who share common history, culture, ethnic origin and language, often possessing or seeking its own government… A nation is different from a country in that a country is the land that belongs to a nation, and from a state in that a state is the government of the nation and country."

  7. Twyla Vargas says:

    Those who deserve awards do not get it.  Its political abuse by both parties.  What a shame.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The only thing that would give any credibility to this plan is if they would make the gongs out of the scrap metal from Mt. Trashmore.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I suspect that the Premier has already decided that the person most worthy of one of each of these awards is Mr. W. McKeeva Bush. It should make for an amusing awards ceremony.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like it is developing into one of those scenes from South America where the dictator takes the stage with his chest covered in medals that he awarded himself.

  11. jasonZ says:

    What is an honour?  What is an award?  That you partaked in a broken economic system, feeding those on top whilst those below are deprived of their basic needs?

    Keep your foolish capitalistic awards and honours!  They have no place in my world!

    • Anonymous says:

      Capitalistic? What has that got to do with it? Don’t doubt that  yourworld lacks honors, however.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Was there anything in the annoucement about how much each of these awards will cost to buy? Do they have a lay away plan? I would like to start my Christmas shopping early this year before the new fuel tax takes away all of my money.

    • Ex-Caymanian & Not by Choice says:

      I am gonna buy one for you, too my friend just for poising this question, hope they except cheques or plastic, cus cash aint readily availiable as of tommorow

  13. Dred says:

    How much you wanna bet he’s one of the first? Then other UDP members or supporter. This is a big joke.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What’s the betting Mac gets awarded the Victoria Cross from this committee ? – it would be in keeping with his Idi Amin style of politics.

  15. As I see it says:

    Why on earth would Miller ban expats from receiving awards? Has he forgotten just how much is owned to those who came here in the 60s and 70s to help build this country? Whilst many prospered not all did but a large proportion greatly assisted this country in getting it to where it is today. Has he forgotten the expats who helped organize the many sporting clubs, charitable organizations and service clubs? If a Caymanian can receive an award from an overseas country why should an expat not be awarded an honour in the Cayman Islands? Has he forgotten all those servicemen in the second world war that received honours from the countries they helped defend in addition to those they received from their mother country.

    Having said that reading between the lines it will inevitably be honours for the boys similarly to jobs for the boys.

    • Beachboi says:

      Ezzard why oh why did you have to let that remark fly????  I was not totally confident in your position but you did show some promise.  Now you failed to engage brain before mouth.  If you deny that foreigners should not be awarded recognition for their contributions to the development of Cayman then you too "mussa mad"!!!  Everyday I hear "expat this" and "expat that" and "paper Caymanian" and I am sick of it.  As I Caymanian I have to wonder why it seems that only people with any sense realize that these islands were originally populated by migrants from all over the world.  Yes I am a Caymanian as my family goes back here farther than I can count, but even today you would swear that when referring to "Caymanian" that one is speaking of some kind of royal blood line. 

      Okay so I am off topic.  Lets get this award system right and I hope that on hero’s day that not one politician receives one as none of you are worthy.  If  any of you receive them we will know that this system as all the others are for sale.  XXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sick & tired of saying it, but Caymanians built Cayman. Those expats who came & "HELPED" us build Cayman, came because it helped them financially, NOT because they loved Cayman. Not one expat came to Cayman because they felt "oh I love Cayman, even though I’ve never been there. I think I will go to Cayman (oh, where is Cayman), & help build Cayman because I LOVE Cayman." Yea, right. Please, give us a break. We are thankful & grateful for all the foreigners who helped Cayman in the early years, & I am happy that they prospered from coming to Cayman, but please let us get past this foolishness that foreigners came here to "help build Cayman." THEY CAME HERE TO MAKE MONEY, to send back home, no ifs, ands or buts. CAYMANIANS BUILT CAYMAN, with a little help from our friends, thank you.

      • Gordon Barlow says:

        Fair enough, but I think you should give some credit to your immigrant ancestors.  Don’t you?  Or was their contribution limited to mating with native Caymanians of the time? 

        Admit it or not, immigrants made Cayman – every step of the way, usually in voluntary partnership with native-borns.

      • Anonymous says:

        no comment

      • Anonymous says:

        I am as patriotic a Caymanian as there can be but it would be dishonest to suggest that no expats have contributed to building Cayman other than for financial reward. Many have simply made Cayman their home and contributed accordingly with their time (particularly in their contributions to the work of charities) expertise and donations.. Those persons have actually made it better than they found it. Whilst they are the minority it is in our interest to encourage them and perhaps inspire others to follow suit.

         If handled correctly, these awards could be a way of bringing expats and Caymanians together. For that reason, I profoundly disagree with Ezzard’s objection. In this case the Opposition’s objections have a great deal of merit and unless they are heeded the awards will have no credibility.   

      • Anonymous says:

        If you cannot have a child by birth and you choose to adopt – do you think you would not love that child as deeply as you would love your own?

        For one moment, please try to imagine what it would be like for you if you "had" to leave here to find work, and you found a lovely new home somewhere else in this big world. Imagine that it was a place of peace and freedom with people who were for the most part, friendly and kind. Imagine that they welcomed you into their community. You would likely miss your birth home, but you also might grow to truly "love" your new home as well.

        It is very true that there are "some" expats who come here and leave with a pocketful of money. Yes, I agree that some have "helped" to build this nation with selfish reasons and a price tag. Perhaps they make the rest of the expats look bad….

        I would venture to say, however that there are many expats who come here for the same reasons that Cayman was first inhabited  long ago by your ancestors. They came to a lovely place and perhaps began to fall in love with it the day they set foot on this soil – just as a mother’s love began the moment she set eyes on her new adoptive child. Not all "foreigners" should be judged by the same standards. Your great-grandparents would wish for you to remember that respect is something you must give in order to get. Each one of us is first and foremost an equal member of the "I hope to get to heaven someday" society of planet Earth.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow — someone is really bitter. Can you come to grasp with history? If we not for "expats" help there wouldn’t be a Cayman as you see it today!

        You can say Caymanians built it but when there aren’t any natural or business resources then how can they have built anything. Surely it wasn’t all the money the sailors made and sent home that built up the financial and legal sectors.

        If not for the money and resources brought here by expats then there wouldn’t be any roads, hospitals, schools, or property rental income.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well, this beats it all. McKeeva is a clearly megalomaniac that becomes enraged at obviously legitimate criticism. The honours are obviously meant to be politicised. He is acting as if he is the Sovereign and granting himself powers accordingly.  If we do not remove this man from office this country may well beyond repair in 3 years time.  

  17. Anonymous says:

    It’s a joke. Here we go again. Politicians arguing over who should be allowed to grant honour! But this is a "serious" joke as anyone who has some inteliegence should see. It matters not what award system we institute as the evidence (the honouree- or would it be honoree?) always wll outweigh the award. 

    Like Elton John, and Catherine Zeta-Jones being granted C.B.E.’s. So, on this one, I am with Mr. Miller/Ezzard (though I don’t often agree with him). These awards mean little. Whatever happened to people doing things for the honour of simply doing them for the benefit of his fellow man?

    But I take issue with boths sides,AGAIN, as instead of the PPM recognizing that we have far greater issues to deal with than to waste time fighting Premier McKeeva on this stuff. We know this is McKeeeva’s modi operandi; to award anyone and everyone who supports him personally. Frankly, the PPM could learn a little from this by trying to suround themsleves with those who support some of their policies regardless of whether they are party members (and follow every thing the party does) or are large contributors or not.

    This is very similar to when a former member of the L.A. decided to make flying the Cayman flag his main contribution to his service (instead of more serious issues). All we have to do is look and see where that took him. We can only hope that this acton by Premier McKeeva will take the Premier to the same place in 2013 (or thereabouts if we have an election in this dictatorship). We know he will reward his blind followers mostly and I can only hope that those who realize that McKeeva must be reined-in (like the out-of-control mule-minded person he is presently) in 2013 still outnumber those he has given more and more power to.

    Back to my point above; the more Premier McKeeva abuses his power the more he will expose himself as the dictator he desires to be. As some older Caymanians would say "The higher the monkey get’s up the tree, the more his butt is exposed".

    I am so eager for 2013!

  18. Backstroke!! says:

    Why oh why does politics have to be invoked in everything we do. Why cant they just set up a committe for this, then have the public send in the names and why that person should be honored.  Then the committee can do the research and confirm that this person is truly entitled to become a hero, not just a croonie that do political favors.

    As I see it now with the Premeire having full control, there will only be those that will kiss his hand and wash his feet that will get an award.

    What is this country coming to, I do beleive that the party system have ruined our Island.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with this post.  I think Wendy and Nicki of CNS should get an award for BRAVERY!  Yeah right, like that would ever happen.

  19. durrrr says:

    dissent*, unless they were coming in to land

  20. Anonymous says:

    I quote from Mr. Bush, "He said awardees would be chosen by a committee of fair minded people and the office planned to consult with the leader of the opposition on the awards as well."

     

    What he didnt’ say when he put it into the public domain is that he would be the judge and jury!  I wonder if he actually read the CNS comments for the input that he says the public should provide, or if he just relies on the input from those that surround him, all of those "yes" men and women.  Appears he could care less about what the actual public thinks.  Actually, it doesn’t appear that it does, he has made it obvious he doesn’t care what anyone thinks.