‘Cayman Islands pride’ bites the dust

| 07/02/2011

On Wednesday evening I heard the ‘Honourable’ McKeeva Bush declare an alleged $17 surplus in the first 6 months of this financial year’s budget. On Thursday morning I received an email regarding the Cayman Islands Pride Campaign (the clean up project). This employed people for between 3 and 4 weeks in late November to mid December 2010 and was supposed to start a second phase (as it did last year) in early February 2011.

With less than a week’s notice this campaign has been cancelled by the government because it ‘does not have enough money’. Mr Bush’s much trumpeted ‘stimulus plan’ played heavily on the clean up campaign as one of the main ways that the government was helping Caymanians and putting extra money in their pockets, which would in turn be spent with local businesses. The fact that the ‘stimulus’ would only be for 3 weeks was conveniently omitted.

The Pride Campaign gives a lot more to its temporary employees than just money in their pockets for 3 weeks. It has been invaluable as a way of raising the morale of those who are unemployed and giving them a chance to obtain a decent reference for use when applying for permanent jobs. It has shown those in charge of Public Works Roadside Maintenance crews what can actually be achieved in a short space of time if you have motivated workers with responsible supervisors who do not see the work day as an opportunity to do as little as possible (although it is a great pity that this doesn’t seem to have changed to attitude of those in charge of that auspicious department).

Those who worked on the project were told that there would be a phase 2. To be told a week before it started that it will not be taking place and then in the same day to hear the Premier in a live broadcast boasting of a (alleged) $17 million dollar surplus in the budget is a slap in the face to all the Caymanians this government has time and time again said it is trying to help. The clean up campaign has a total budget of $1 million dollars across the islands. How pathetic that those with the most who are controlling these purse strings cannot see their way to pass on a little of this alleged surplus to those who have the least.

In the words of Harry Truman, ‘it’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own’. Let us hope that we don’t all one day feel the bite of the depression at the hands of a government unprepared to help when we need it most.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (28)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Government already pays for clean up. The department of Environmental Health is to maintain clean roadsides. Why this seems to be such a challenge for them I don’t understand as in my opinion it should take one person about one full day to walk and clean up one of the bypass roads. The problem is that it needs to be done routinely, not just once in a while. Focus needs to be given to the “high traffic” areas most likely to be frequented by tourists who pay and arm and a leg to be here.

    For the rest, the community has to come together and get their pride back in order and clean up their own crap and not expect someone to do it for them. Think outside your yard so to speak.

    For this being employment opportunity for some, come on. I doubt highly that there was any though applied towards who was elegible for this project and assume that people on work permits (who shouldn’t be here if there is no work for them) and thugs got some of the benefit.

    Instead of putting on a band aid and blowing a million dollars on something that is a temporary fix, buy a machine that can sweep the side of the roads and provide the DOEH with more permanent staff. I figure $ 1 mil can go a long way in that regards.

    For the people relying on such projects for income, get out there and go to work. There is work out there, it may not be the one that you want, but put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      If people took more pride in their country, did not throw their garbage (beer bottles etc.) out of the car window, then the road shoulders would not need to continually "cleaned-up".

      Also, if trucks making their way to the dump had their loads properly covered, then the Harquail By-Pass would not be strewn with litter!

      • Anonymous says:

        There is $500 fine for littering maybe we can pay a few people to keep an eye out for people doing this.  Pay them $10 a hour if they catch one person in a day they’ve paid for themselves for the week…  A few extra dollars for gov’t, some new jobs and maybe a few people learning a lesson?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Keep hopeing, And good luck with that. When a man (or Government) does stupid things over and over and the people still belive in something smart happening in the future you have to wonder.

  3. Anonymous says:

     Come on guys put things in perspective ask yourselves what did the PPM government do for the unemployed of this country when they were the government?     Besides depleting the little savings that this country had and they were also being so incompetent as to say that the fall of the U.S. economy would not affect us.   Although it is just a few weeks worth of work per year but at least it’s something for the unemployed I commend the UDP Government for providing temporary jobs for the unemployed of this country. For those of you out there who only can sit down by a computer and type negative stuff I challenge you to contact any of the Pride Clean up employee’s and ask them whether or not they appreciated those temporary jobs.  I guarantee you their only complaint was that it was too short,  But its only so much that the government can do.

    • Joe Mamas says:

      In the eyes of the rest of the developed world your UDP is just as incompetent, XXXX and incapable of running a government as your PPM. But I understand why you stand behind one or the other as it is the best thing you have. Too bad. Maybe one day enough Caymanians will have enough of a real education to want more for their country then their country can give them. Until then we watch as just about everything your government tries to do ends in comical failure.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Someone in that work gang last time was smoking pot next to a residential/commercial area with a preschool. I couldn’t believe they were so unsupervised. Why are we paying them if they are smoking pot on the job? Hello? anyone?

    • Anonymous says:

       I also saw one in the Turtle farm area who appeared to be drunk with a lawn mower in the middle of the road.

      I’m all for a "stimulus" but most of the folks that come out for these jobs don’t want a real job anyway.

      • Victoria McIntee says:

        A typical hardcore ‘holier than thou’ comment from one of the many hypocritical Sunday ‘Christians’ who seem to populate positions of power on your islands. I know of a man who has been deperately seeking work for three years on Cayman Brac but has been thwarted at every opportunity by the petty minded, corrupt and nepotistic fools in charge – mainly due only to happy accidents of birth that gave them a certain surname. How dare you make such a pompous comment about who wants work and what they are worth. Some hardworking, decent people are existing on the scraps your tinpot little government deign to give out and they deserve a lot more.

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t go to church. I don’t have any power.  I grew up in Cayman, worked hard in high school to get a scholarship to do my undergraduate studies and am currently abroad getting a Masters degree.  I can use big words too, if you prefer.  By "most people" I meant most people in this "stimulus" campaign, not most people who want work in general.  Don’t mistake sweeping generalizations (something you seem familiar with, judging by your first statement) for something I’m just calling it how I see. I sincerely hope your bracca friend finds a job soon. And don’t talk about "my government" like you have no responsibility in contributing to the issue this country face.  It appears you care, so stand up and realise what a "pompous comment" looks like.

    • not CS says:

      Because no one else is stupid or desperate enough to.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think we need to look at the quality of the man we call the “Premier”. He cannot prepare a speech for himself, he is very much lacking in education as well as social skills and only God knows how he was chosen as the Premier. He acts like a child who found a bag full of money and candy and has gone crazy with joy. Caymanians need to demand that the Crown does something about what is going on here.
    crime is progressively getting worst. Nothing sensible is being done about that. Does our Police Commissioner really believe that CCTV cameras will help solve crime. Caymanians are afraid to report anyone to the Police, because the Police cannot be trusted. The Government gives the needy 75.00 per week to buy food for a week for up to 4 people. Tell McChavez to go to the supermarket and tell me how much food can 75.00 buy. In the meantime, he is xonstantly travelling with his entourage at the expense of the people. Is it any wonder people are committing robberies? We all have to eat.

    Cayman’s Pride was buried the day McChavez became the Dictator of the Cayman Islands.

    My computer is old and sick and I can nolonger boldface letters.

    god knows

  6. Hot Lunch says:

    Finally a commonsense decision from someone in authority! Would you like to see the pictures of the mess left behind by the last "cleanup crew"?

    GET A JOB!

  7. Shock and Awe says:

    Unfortunately, as with government everywhere, once the money from taxes, fees, etc. is in their hands, they feel it is their money.  And they come first.  Their salaries, pensions, perks, cooks, expenses, cars, trips, and all the little things believed to be necessary for "good governance take precedence.  They and their counterparts have their hands in the till first because after all they won.  And they decide on the priorities after the speeches and promises. Wait just four years and you will hear the same promises about how your money will be redistributed to you.  But no one ever looks to where some savings can be made. Huge savings.  Perhaps a lower wage for the representatives?  Fewer perks?  As an example, and just a small gesture, paying your own household bills. Cutting back to reflect what others are going through.  That would be a start.  We all do this by reducing our expenses and are asked to. "Times are tough, the turn around will be difficult." Yada yada.

    No one ever decides or looks back to where immediate expenses can be lessened. There is no austerity in government instead they look under the cushions by imposing fees.  Making it even more difficult for the average person.

    "You want to sell fruit at the roadside and employ yourself?" That will cost you."

    "How about starting a small home business??"

    "That will cost you."

    In fact, government’s biggest expense is itself!  And because of that, it is the last place government looks. Who?? Moi?

    • Concerned Caymanian says:

      And apparently we now have to pay someone in Government $10 to rent a cabana at PUBLIC BEACH. What a travesty!!

  8. Libertarian says:

    Carroll, I share you sentiments; for I too, know what it is like to be without a job. However, it is the role of government to simply leave the private alone, “hands-off,” so that the job market, small and medium-size companies can grow. They need to stop or remove the unnecessary regulatory barriers, the petty or restrictive laws that keeps businesses from moving ahead and creating jobs. Yes… you need enforced laws and regulations for a fair and decent market, but that a man has to pay government just to sell his mangoes alongside the street just because the mangoes could be infected with some agricultural desease and not considering that it is the consumers choice to buy the mangoes, is a law akin to many other foolish ones in the Cayman Islands, that ends up hurting everyone in the long run because it is f%cking trivial! (Sorry for cussin) But government need to remove the policies that are anti-business that discourages people from taking risks in the new and growing market. How do you think jobs are made? This “Judas-government” also need to remove the hike fees, import duties, licenses, and permits that are hurting small businesses across the islands, causing many of them to down-size. Yes… the fees, the duties, licenses and permits. all indirect taxes, helps keep government afloat, preventing them from cutting the civil service salaries mroe than a 3.2 cut; however, government is to blame for the unemployment and their own reduction of salaries! They are the ones who hiked the fees, hurt the market, and ran the people / tourists away due to increase costs. And they are the ones who increased government operational spending and reduced revenue from coming into the country. These efforts (projects) of bringing more revenue into the country, you see the Premier talk so much about, are not pro-business efforts, but solely-pro-government efforts to save itself after they started the damage and increase their size against the private sector – you can mark my words! In conjunction with reducing the hikes, they should reduce the size of government to only “essential services,” and privatize or create public-private partnerships to relieve most of government costs and demands. We are a small island! Why are we attacking the private sector? Why do we have the largest Police Service in the Caribbean for the size of an island nation? Why do we have one of the largest for an island-nation size, civil service in the West Indies? This is rediculous! Allow the private sector to grow so that jobs can be created and we wouldn’t need such a large government! If government would just but allow the private sector to freely grow and expand in the business community, Carroll… you will see jobs! Note: It is not for government to be giving hand-outs to the community! The day that happens, is the day the small-middle class private sector has died, and there is only the well-off and socialized government to deal with – what a disaster for Cayman and the UK economy that would be! If we don’t change, we are nearing to complete government control of all aspect of our lives, a police state, and possibly in the future, dictator! It is bad that we still have a UK government over us that still engages in some colonial practices upon certain members of the Overseas Territories – But it is worse that our own local government appears to becoming the newly grown teeth and claws of the colonial system that will do us worse in terms of a false democracy. It is not that we just have one abusive government to deal with, but two! I say… they need to get out of people’s lives, pockets, and allow the community to grow. Look at Egypt… I am proud to know that he people took action against a government that was growing more and more in size and oppressive the people! My hats off to Egypt. But Cayman we are so small – who will be the ones who will bravely stand up against the big elephant in the room???

    • Jesus on a Surfboard says:

      A simple, patronizing, ‘I understand your frustration’ would have been much easier to read.

  9. Hallowe'en Jack says:

    Every person on the clean up could get a bar or hotel job if they wanted one.  But drink, social life, pride and crack seem to get in the way.

    • Anonymous says:

      why would they want to go to the bother of getting a real job when they live on gov handouts all the time….zzzzzz

    • Victoria McIntee says:

      You are obviously a delusional facist – you should be sectioed rather than free to expose yourself on public forums.

      • not CS says:

        Read the thumbs up/down. Either a very large segment of people who can read and have a computer are delusional facist or you are.

      • Hallowe'en Jack says:

        I don’t expose myself on CNS!  That is what Chatroulette is for.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Euro is up, so JuJu will need extra cash for her Barcelona holiday. Oops, I meant business meeting.

  11. Antony says:

    As a supporter of the PPM, I wholeheartedly agree with the viewpoint expressed by the author. I hope everyone will support the PPM in the next election and thereby rid these islands of the XXXX incompetent McKeeva Bush.

    • shock waves says:

      You can see you have a little following. PPM too short! : )

    • sugarish says:

      McKeeva is incompetent? How about a man of action! When PPM was in for four years, what did Kurt or Alden do for the economy but put us in debt? I am still waiting for an answer

      • Anonymous says:

        so whats your point? two wrongs make a right?/

        ppm/udp are as bad as eachother for a variety of reasons….

        direct rule please!