Gov pulls up Mac over AG

| 26/08/2011

(CNS): For the first time since taking up office, the UK’s representative has directly criticised the Cayman Islands premier for what he says is “unacceptable behaviour”, in connection with comments about the Auditor General. In a short statement released on Friday defending the work of the audit office, Duncan Taylor said McKeeva Bush’s remarks were “unhelpful”. He said he had spoken with Bush and asked him to “show restraint” and work with the governor to address the auditor general’s recommendations. In an extraordinary move by a representative of the Foreign Office, Taylor raised his concerns publicly about the premier’s attack on the Auditor General and his staff following the release of the office’s latest detailed report on the problems surrounding government procurement. (Photo Dennie Warren JR)

“It is perfectly legitimate for the premier to respond robustly to any points made in reports issued by the Auditor General and I would always defend his right to do so.  But, in my view, it is unacceptable to respond by making personal attacks on the Auditor General and his staff,” Taylor said in his statement. “I do not think it is helpful to accuse the Auditor General of bias, of 'seeking out banner headlines', of being used 'as a hit man', or to accuse his staff of being 'spiteful' or of 'indulging in bureaucratic harassment',” he added.

Taylor said that Bush had made serious accusations against Alastair Swarbrick and his team.

“I have seen no evidence to justify them,” the governor stated.  “I believe that the Auditor General and his staff have acted in a responsible, objective and professional manner, as I would expect of all Civil Servants. I have spoken with the Honourable Premier and made my concerns known to him.  Ihave urged him to show restraint.  I hope that we can rather focus, together, on how to respond to the Auditor General’s recommendations.  The Auditor General’s reports have highlighted an urgent need to tighten up Government Procurement practices.  It is one of my main priorities over the coming months to ensure that all of us in Government work together to achieve this,” Taylor stated.

In the last two public broadcasts on TV and radio made by the premier he has taken direct aim at the auditor general and his office, publicly criticising him in a similar way to the attackshe made on Dan Duguay, the previous auditor, who had also produced reports critical of Bush’s handling of various projects and procurement’s of services.

While this is the first time that the governor has publicly criticised the premier, Bush has taken aim at the governor in the past. Even before Taylor arrived, during his address when he was sworn in as the country’s first premier in November 2009, Bush warned the new governor when he arrived that he was now “the chief defender of the Cayman Islands”, and he had fought the UK’s representatives in the past and won and he would do so again. He warned Taylor not to try and micromanage.

More recently, at an Overseas Territories Council meeting in the BVI last month, Bush said the UK should leave the overseas territories alone and said he would be telling that to both “my governor” and the UK.

“Don’t ask if we can do it. Just see where we came from. We came from nothing to what we have. All we need is not for you to handcuff us, all we need is for the United Kingdom to help us and show us the way and in showing us the way, do not handcuff us because the same good governance (and I don’t care how people feel when it comes to that because it’s an issue that is strong to my mind) for 60 million people will not always determine the facts of good governance on my Island. The culture is different,” he said.

See the full statement from the governor’s office below.

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Category: Politics

Comments (75)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Go Your Excellency, Mr. Duncan Taylor!  From the very first day I met you I knew you were a good man, an officer and a gentleman, one of us… and all that good stuff…we want big mac to go and you to keep up your good work…..watching…pondering… then taking action…thank you so much for standing up for us!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just love how Mac says the UK should leave us alone yet he seems to borrow money all the time?  I also love how he hates to be criticized yet he's happy to say what he wants, when he wants about other people.

  3. richard wadd says:

    From Pirates we decended, and into Piracy we are decending ….

    • Anonymous says:

      Historically inaccurate. We were not descended from Pirates.   

  4. Truth says:

    Time for the UK to take over and get Cayman back on its feet.  For the good of all the people who call Cayman home including those who are too fool fool, too greedy, too anti-expat, and too lazy to want salvation.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the UK could just come in,replace any non working CIG intities and get it back to self sufficienty and good governing Cayman might have a chance to stay self Governing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If the Governor knew the sabotage that going on here he would not even have commented.  I hope one day he do realize.  Because how the people are so two faced here on this Island.  The same persons supporting him, will slam the plane door on his fingers when he is leaving, and Mackeva will be the one who would release it.  Take my word for it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t speak for ALL Caymanians. Thanks! This man a waste of space and should have been kicked out on his all-powerful (as he believes) ass a long time ago. This is not the type of behavior one would expect of a statesman. It is more like an office temp with a bad attitude.

  7. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Praise God Mr. Taylor's silence has been broken!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Drape him Guv, I know where you can get your hands on a Tamarind switch when the time comes

    • Petunia Pigue says:

      …and if the Tamarind switch don't do the trick, Oz can hand over the cow cod to the Gov. 

      Dat 'ill learn him!  

    • Anonymous says:

      When the time comes? Sorry but taking a tamarind switch to McKeeva is like trying to fly a 747 with a lawn mower engine.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Another nail in the coffin for Bush.  It must be approaching the stage where consideration by the UK is taken for replacing Bush and restoring temporary governance by the UK to get this country back on track.  A sad state of affairs but necessary before further events under the current regime drag this country further below acceptable standards of governance.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Do not worry about HE Duncan Taylor, he is a vey wise man.  We will soon know the meaning of good governance wait until the AG is finished with the backlog of the audits.

    Accountability, law and order will return to the Cayman Islands soon, hold on its just a matter of time be patient.  The present house of cards will crumble and a new era of law and order will begin.  Gone forever will be anarchy and chaos.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can he please audit the Immigration Boards? Why are there so many breaches of the Law and so few prosecutions? Why can a call to (or from) the Premier still override due process. Why are businesses which steal pension monies from expatriates still granted permits? Why are people who fail to arrange health insurance still given business licences?  

  11. Anonymous says:

    ……so I take it the private jet trip, the Cohen deal, the Thomas Real Estate transaction, at least one multi million dollar beachfront condo, the status grants, Boatswains Beach, the refrigerators, and God knows whatever other perceived improprieties are all acceptable? You cannot have seen any evidence to justify these oft-repeated  and probably entirely unfair allegations that issues surrounding them not pass a smell test.  Please confirm Your Excellency, because it must be simply awful for our Honourable Premier (may peace be upon him) to have these allegations continuing to haunt him year after year. He is under great strain – and these baseless accusations are taking a toll on the reputations of a number of others who steadfastly confirm him to be a near perfect being. If you are willing to come to the defence of our Auditor General (who just got here and whose mother was probably an expat (although a particularly lovely one)), then surely you will come to the defence of our Honourable Premier (may peace be upon him) and clear is name? 


    Thank you.

  12. SORRY STATE says:

    It's about time the Gov puts Fearless Leader in his place. It has to be done a lot. Please keep it up. We need this to help this island's lack of true leadership so we can move forward.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I honestly think that we are heading into a situation similiar to what happened in TC.


    But you know what, Cayman would emerge cleaner, & we will then be able to know what the true financial situation is, & also find the who, what, where, when & why regarding any corruption.

    FCO, please we need you to take action now!!!! 

  14. My2cents says:

    Thank you Mr. Governor. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well done Sir…lets have more dignified responses to our home bred bully.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Very unfortunately for the Cayman Islands and it's people, he seems to be simply chastising McKeeva for being the little boy that he is rather than addressing the obnoxious moron that he is in the interests of these islands and our people. It does appear he is taking Mac's introductory threat very seriously. Thanks but please smarten up Gov.

  17. CaymanFisting says:

    “Don’t ask if we can do it. Just see where we came from. We came from nothing to what we have. All we need is not for you to handcuff us, all we need is for the United Kingdom to help us and show us the way and in showing us the way, do not handcuff us because the same good governance (and I don’t care how people feel when it comes to that because it’s an issue that is strong to my mind) for 60 million people will not always determine the facts of good governance on my Island. The culture is different,” he said.

    So let me see if I have this correct _premire Bush, place no restrictions upon “us” but help “us” when we ask of you? Unfortunately the days of “our” good graces in assisting a sinking vessel to become “where we came from” (ie a taxfree island) have become nothing more than a page in a history book in comparison “to what we have” under your administration. The “culture is different” because you perpetuate the problem by continuously blaming others coupled with an inability to address an astounding number SERIOUS concerns “we” have. When two women disappear, an unprecedented amount of armed robberies are occurring, and faxes are eing sent requesting monies for benefits that aren’t on the books take place under your watch, it doesn’t take 60 million people to determine good governance is not occurring on THIS island.

    I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, “The only thing that ever consoles man for the stupid things he does is the praise he always gives himself for doing them.”

  18. Anonymous says:

    Guv, PLEASE…. don't stop there…. CONTINUE !!!!!  

  19. Anonymous says:

    I was DEAD WRONG… I thought that not even a little slap on the wrist as the Gov gave McKeeva, would ever happen. 

    " I have spoken with the Honourable Premier and made my concerns known to him. I have urged him to show restraint. I hope that we can rather focus, together, on how to respond to the Auditor General’s recommendations."

    That my good people was nothing more than a little slap on the wrist for someone who has produced so much abuse, breeched so many regulations/(laws), created so much controversy and havoc/embarrasment, not giving us anything that we could call economic recovery/value for dollar but instead PERSISTENTLY TRYING TO SELL US OUT and has spent/lost(or God know what else has happened with the money) so much of the tax-payer's money in the due course.

    Yeah…. A SLAP on the wrist.

    • Anonymous says:

      You may consider it a slap on the wrist however, in the area of diplomacy this is more of a slap down! Unfortunately Mac is so full of himself that he does not recognise the diplomatic way the slap down was given.

      I am afraid HE the Governor will have to use some of the same ignorant language that Mac uses to get through to him.

      Mac what the Governor is saying is "Mac leave the AG alone he is doing his job of digging your grave"!

  20. Anonymous says:

    This premier makes the whole country look like a joke!

  21. Empty Chair says:

    I can only think that the premier is going off. It has gotten worse over the years, but I honestly believe he is past help now. Not only does he act like a dictator & attack everyone who opposes his view, he also acts like a dictator & listens to no one (he believes his view is the only view, yet blames everybody else when things go wrong; "it is never his fault").
    He attacks every opposition politician there is, he attacked the previous Auditor General, he has attacked the present Auditor General, & now he has attacked the Governor. This is embarrassing, & to believe that his colleagues support him is astonishing! When is the FCO going to finally step in?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Birds of a feather flock together.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The sooner Mac resigns the better! Imagine what wil happen if the FCO forces him to resign.

  24. Andrew Reid says:

    Unfortunately, this has already become Governor Taylor's "Chamberlain" moment.

    All those with a dictatorial bent in their DNA exhibit a few certain character traits and, principally, an abundance of energy and aggression combined with an extraordinarily thin skin. So they like to continually dish it out but they cannot take it when the tables are turned.

    At this point, the two most important officials in the land are the Governor and the Auditor General. It is vital that the AG perform his role without fetter or fear and it is equally vital that the Governor provide him with all the protection that he may need.


    The Governor will hopefully be less measured the next time he shows himself above the parapet.

    If that is not to be, perhaps the fellow from Turks can be sent over.
    Yours for a better Cayman.
    Andrew Reid


    • BORN FREE says:

      Well said Andrew Reid, both you & Wayne Panton have hit the nail on the head (sometimes I wish it wasn't only a nail that you are hitting on the head)!

    • Billy Nomates says:

      Hold on Andrew – Are you really in favour of the UK stepping in to assume control for a while to sort this crap out? I mean, I'd agree to that but I'm not Caymanian..

      • Anonymous says:

        He is not recommending a UK takeover, he is referring to a tough-talking governor who calls a spade a spade, and a crook a crook.

      • Anonymous says:

        If they completely cleaned house and assembled an advisory brain trust of the intelligent, educated, successful Caymanian families, I could support this (as a Caymanian).  We all know who they are.  It could be a fresh start.

      • Andrew Reid says:

        My point was that we need a very firm Governor who is willing to step in BEFORE it is too late.

        We must absolutely avoid any escalation to a TCI state of affairs, which occurred because the FCO turned a blind eye for too long and then had no choice but to shut things down.
        If we were to get to that stage the financial sector would be destroyed overnight and the Caymanian middle class (including most of the civil service) would be out of a job.
        This is very serious stuff. We have to repair the road to disaster that we are currently on before it becomes a highway to hell.
  25. Hit the road Mac says:

    Thank God the Governor has finally opened his mouth.  He is smarter than we give him credit for being.

    He came, he observed quietly..

    he waited for Alastair (a fresh pair of eyes) to come to the same conclusions as Dan had..

    and waited for the people to voice their concerns,

    and now he has added his 2 cents.

    My only question is:

    How to we as a country ensure Mac is removed quickly from power before he can do any more damage and is never allow to do this to us again? 

    …becase I want to dance to "Hit the road Mac and don't you come back no more!"


  26. Anonymous says:

    Can't wait to hear Bush's rant against the Governor.  Go ahead Bush.  Its whats expected of you.   Do what you do best.   Cry.

    • Anonymous says:

      And yes…his ego will allow him to rant against both the Gov. and the AG.

      This man doesn't seem to know how to say..ok, I made mistakes, now I should

      sit down with the AG or Gov. or whoever  and try to correct them and do what's best for the

      ''people of the country'' from now on.

  27. Anethesiologists are a Gas says:

    The Governor is not elected by the people, so much for democracy in 2011.


    • Anonymous says:

      Nor was Mac. He was elected by a minority of people, not the people, and it seems was assisted by a long history of undemocratic methods ranging from refrigerators to status grants to grace and favor for supporters. Faced with that, I would take the Governor over the status quo any day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whether the Governor was elected or not has hardly any relevance here — that is a different story.  What the Governor is doing is carrying out his duty under the constitution.

      However, the poster's comment does call for some response:

      We are where we are because we obviously need the overarching UK framework — if we did not, I would be among the first to make the call.  Every country needs to grow up and be responsible for itself — but obviously by the way the Premier behaves at times and the things he says we are clearly not ready.

      If you want to see "democracy", then get rid of the Governor —  right now he stands in the breach between what is looking like a looming crisis and solid platform for democracy.

      And what  Andrew Reid was saying earlier (in a rather convoluted "lawyerly" way) was that Caymanians do not in these matters appreciate appeasement (the posture that Chamberlain took with regard to Hitler, that would obviously have been disaster for the whole world).

      Governor Taylor, we know that you have a delicate dance in your role as Governor, but your action here is timely and measured and just what was needed.

      The Premier has to understand ethics, procedures, rules, laws, and proper statemanslike behaviour — that they are important and must be observed.  I think that this is what the Premier means when he made some allusion in the BVI to a sort of "Cayman-style" governance that was in conflict with the Governor/FCO's perspective (not that I am always in favour of what they do).

      It is time for Caymanian politicians to stop acting out backwater politics and to be aware that the world has moved on to transparent, above-the-board, ethical delivery of transparency.

      Oh, and by the way, I am Caymanian — the reason I am so concerned — the expats will desert the ship when it is sinking, but we will be left to pick up the pieces.


  28. Anonymous says:

    Mac will dump  on you, Mr Taylor. Ignore it. It's just his modus operandi.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Great, thanks Gov, but…this is what you chose to speak out about?  Yep, we're screwed.  Perhaps it's because you said that you think 'one should exercise caution' – or whatever passive civil service speak you used – when it comes to CNS postings.  Let me assure you that every post here is from a real person that has had enough!

  30. a naw no mouse says:

    I'm pleased the Governor has spoken up here. Doubt the Premier will do otherwise than to attack the Governor also.


  31. sammy sea says:

    Yeaaaaa Gov.

    At last we see that you were just waiting for the long rope you have given this 

    loud mouth to tighten. Now he'll begin to feel the pressure, but then probably not because of

    his ego he still thinks that the people of West Bay will save him.  Sorry Pal! There won't be any

    singing of "A candle in the wind"  to save you this time. Resign before it gets worse!  

  32. Anonymous says:

    So embarrassing and sad that this should be necessary when you're dealing with a leader and so-called man of God!!

  33. Anonymous says:

     He pulled down his diaper and smacked his bottom!  Big respect, Mr. Govenor.

  34. Anonymous says:

    well it's a start. 

  35. Anonymous says:

    OMG……..when all my faith in our Governor was gone, actually I too thought he must have died, he stands up to the Mac Dum Dum and is once again back in my good books.  Don't stop now Mr. Taylor….we are with you all the way.

  36. Anonymous says:

    He should be saying a hell of alot more then this!!!!

  37. noname says:

    Dear UK,

    Send us your money.  Send us your tourists.  Help us when we are in need.  But otherwise shut up and mind your own affairs. 


    Does that sound right to you?

  38. Dred says:

    OOh my God….We have a Governor? I did not know. I always thought it was like a myth or something you tell your kids to make them sleep at nights. I must now revisit the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa caue maybe just maybe I was wrong there also.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Couldn't be more pleased to see that the Governor (UK) has reached the limit on letting the madness continue…hopefully we can get out of this mess without becoming another T&C. 

  40. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Governor.  Now hold him to it.  You have been quiet too long thank you for speaing out now.

  41. Libertarian says:

    Cns, I am convinced that even if the british government was to handcuff our government (micromanage us or declare full british rule on us), the deed itself, will not ensure the best economic and political interest of the Cayman Islands. Look at Turks and Caicos Islands under a UK dictatorship, and you will see that the Constitution they have created for them, still does not provide enough provisions of a direct democracy for the people and by the people. It is like "we" the people are destined to always be under some sort of dictatorship and a democracy that is conditional. We are in between parties of many interest, but our own interest is ignored. God help us.  

    • Village Vicar says:

      Can u get it into your thick skin that the problems of the TCI were brought about by their premier not the UK Government! Every article you write blames the UK. Think before you put pen to paper. Remember, Cayman has the same problem as the TCI, a totally incompetent Premier. Corruption and nepotism are rampant. The previous AG knew about it and now the current AG is onto it. The Premiers days are numbered.

  42. nauticalone says:

    Thank you Governor Taylor. Certainly you have practiced restraint….posibly too much so.

    It is however very unlikely that Mac will change his deplorable attitude and behavior. He is clearly without the accumen for the position of Premier….especially in this day and age!

    Mac may mean well (in his world) but he is causing Major damage to Cayman, locally and Internationally. Cayman is "OUR" islands….NOT Mac's private business to "do as he wants"! He is clearly "stressed" but is largely responsible as he has put himself in charge of too many areas of Govt. Areas that he is NOT qualified to handle! And where he consistently over-rules the people who are more qualified.

    Hopefully this is NOTICE that if he continues as normal (which is highly likely) that the Governor will call new elections early, or otherwise cause his removal.

    This is NOT about not liking you Mac….this IS about doing what is right!

    Again, thank you Governor for speaking up to help us effect "Good Governance". And thanks also to the Auditor General, FOI Commissioner/Office and those LA Members and other persons who are calling for Mac to follow the rules and laws of the Cayman Islands.

    Let us all continue to call for the rule of Law….for ALL…. Especially to "Lead by Example"!

  43. Anonymous says:

    At last!

    The auditor has shown real concern at irregularities which COULD conceal illegalities, and a person in a position of power berates him for it, and finally, the overall Boss comes in with mild criticism!

    This is too little and really late, but now it requires action. Get down into the detail of what these irregularities might hide and if necessary call in the police. This time however, give them a deadline of much less than a year to report back!

    Any chance of HE doing that if he took this long to rsepond to all this, dont think so!

    • Auditjudge says:

      The last few Auditor Generals have done a good job. The difference between the old and the new is that the old reports were suppressed. Dan tried to focus on bringing matters to the press and why not. Auditors are generally boring but where would we be without them? More notice should be taken of their reports unlike what happened to the audit reports on First Cayman Bank, Bank Intercontinental and Mr Doucets bank which were all ignored by our Governments of the day. If I were Mr Bush I would keep quiet as there is undoubtably much more to come and most of us know precisely where the next skeletons are buried.

  44. The lone Haranguer says:

    Crack that whip!!

  45. Anonymous says:

    The Governor asked Mac to "show restraint" and I now ask the Governor to "place him in restraints".

  46. Anonymous says:

    At long last!! The Governor speaks. He is alive! Well done, Guv!

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      I doubt this came as a spontaneous reaction by Duncan Taylor. More likely it comes from the FCO who, with a definitely no-nonsense OT Minister on the case, finally decided it was time to step in.

      Watch out for more of this when the LA re-opens next month.