Alden condemns Mac’s attack

| 30/08/2011

(CNS): The opposition leader has described the premier’s attack on the auditor general and his staff as shocking. In a national radio broadcast on Tuesday, Alden McLaughlin said the bitter, verbal attack which led to the governor publicly chastising McKeeva Bush was unwarranted and a deplorable example of intimidation. The PPM leader said the premier had abused his power in an effort to try and reduce the credibility of the public auditor, who holds a critically important office.  McLaughlin called on Bush to stop criticizing the AG and take note of his reports, and in particular the need to cease political interference in the awarding of government contracts.

The opposition joined the governor in condemning the “deeply personal, vitriolic and unwarranted attacks on the auditor general”, which were unbecoming of the premier’s office and were an abuse of authority because they were clearly meant to intimidate the auditor general, McLaughlin stated.

“Given the recent findings of the auditor general on the way in which the premier … has handled the award of major government contracts, it is understandable that (he) would not presently be very happy,” the leader of the opposition said, adding that while it was understandable Bush would feel the need to respond to the criticisms in the reports, how the premier responded was “unjustifiable, disproportionate and deeply regrettable”.

“It is alarming that the premier, without proper basis, would claim that the auditor general and his staff are 'individuals who are partially informed, spiteful and their main motive is to cause bureaucratic interference and harassment'.  Describing the auditor general as a 'hit man', as 'vindictive' and of telling 'lies of omission' is clearly a determined effort by the premier to lower the auditor general in the estimation of the general public which he serves,” he added.

However, as wrong as the behavior was, McLaughlin said it was what people had come to expect from Bush. 

“The former auditor general, Mr Dan Duguay, was the recipient of similar verbal assaults and many, including me, believe that the non-renewal of Mr Duguay’s contract was heavily influenced by the campaign waged against him by the premier.  In the present circumstances, we applaud the governor for publicly standing up to the deplorable intimidatory tactics of the premier,” the opposition leader stated.

Acknowledging a degree of tension between elected officials, public servants and the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), McLaughlin said this was a necessary part of the local system of government. The OAG is independent and constitutionally protected because of the nature of the work the office undertakes. The PPM leader said it was one of the most important checks and balances on the exercise of executive authority by those who have been elected, and unwarranted attacks on the holder of that office must be viewed very seriously as an attempt to undermine the system of government.

“The reports of the auditor general which have resulted in the firestorm from the premier have brought into focus alarming instances of political interference by the premier and other members of his government in the process of awarding government contracts.  The reports have highlighted the politicization of the government procurement process under the current administration and have shown what happens when, as the premier has declared, the regulations are overridden to ensure 'substance over process'.” 

"Although in his responses the premier has insisted that interference by him and his Cabinet has saved the country millions of dollars, in no instance has the auditor general been able to find that the political interference and the failure to follow the proper process resulted in any savings to the Cayman Islands Government,” McLaughlin added.

“On the contrary, the political interference has incurred additional costs to the Cayman Islands Government, created the risk of fraud and corruption within the government and has undermined the reputation and integrity of the Cayman Islands,” the opposition leader stated.

McLaughlin noted the auditor’s warnings of the risk for fraud and corruption and said the case studies revealed “cause for grave concern”, in particular the handling of government financing and the Cohen and Co loan deal.  The opposition leaders said the premier's claims that he saved the country $3 million in interest costs by delaying the loan were not borne out by the facts in the auditor general’s report. 

“The delay in entering into the CI$155M loan was not because of any decision of the premier,” McLaughlin stated. “It was because Cohen and Company was unable to deliver on the promised long term loan, which actually resulted in costing the government more money in both arrangement and interest costs. The premier breached the Financial Regulations, overrode the Central Tenders Committee’s decision, ignored the advice of the financial secretary and other staff in the Ministry of Finance and on the recommendation of the UDP Treasurer, Peter Young, awarded the financing contract to Cohen and Company in October, 2010,” he said.

In the end Cohen were not able to provide the promised $24M in interest costs which “were just fantasy”, McLaughlin said, adding that the concerns and criticisms of the auditor were properly founded and he encouraged Bush and his government to turn their attention to addressing them and stop interfering in the tendering process.

“While the substance of the matter is always critical, contrary to what the premier seems to believe, the process is also important and not just for compliance with the rule of law reasons,” the opposition leader noted.

“When due process is not followed it opens up the ominous prospect of corruption.  There are huge reputational implications for the Cayman Islands Government here.  It should not be forgotten by the premier that it is the Cayman Islands Government’s reputation for probity and reliability that has made it relatively easy for it to secure financing even in these hard economic times.

“The spectre of corruption has the capacity to undermine any government’s reputation, including ratings by Standard and Poors and Moodys.  If potential bidders come to believe that the process of awarding contracts is not fair, predictable and transparent, then the attractiveness of this jurisdiction as a place to invest is lost, with potentially dire consequences,” he warned.

McLaughlin dismissed the premier’s complaints about bureaucratic harassment and said he believed the “greatest impediment to investors staking their money and reputations on Cayman” was the uncertainty created by the way this present administration does business.

“The unprofessionalism, the failure to follow the law, rules and regulations, the conflicts of interests and the inappropriate demands of members of the government and their operatives” were the problem, he said.

Category: Politics

Comments (59)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Bush should be explaining the Cohen deal that I understand cost this country half a million dollars instead of taking out a full page ad in the local newspaper trying to make Alden look bad. Bush should stay in the bush. The more he talks, the more rubbish he says. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The full page ad made McKeeva look bad. It sounds childish, especially with the overuse of exclamation marks. It seemed to be an attempt to insinuate impropriety associated with all the projects listed while being sufficiently vague as to avoid a lawsuit for libel.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very simple, Alden is 10 times the man Bush could ever hope to be. I have never read anything where Alden being investigated for anything. If you put them in a debating ring, Alden could mop up the floor with Bush. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is so amazing is that the same people were saying the same things about Alden and Kurt last election.  So the question is who to trust?  Stupid people cant you see they are all alike.  It is all about money and power, cant you people take your heads out of the sand long enough to trace back elections and saw what took place.   Alden is far worse than McKeva, dont you people know that by now.  What a waste!!!

    • Wet Paper Caymanian says:

      07:49 Alden is far worse the Alden. ARE YOU SERIOUS ? You are either very silly or related to McKeeva. And if you know him so well why did you spell his name wrong ? I believe you did that for so. Even a blind person can see what your intentions are and as we call that a blind charm. Do us a favor and do not insult our intelligence. And next time compare Apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Get it ?

    • Anonymous says:

      CG, coz this could only be you, please look at the facts – Alden and Kurt were NOT:


      travelling the world for half of the year and in a recession;

      choosing "substance over process" and shafting the Cayman people;

      the subject of police investigations

      causing lawsuits to Govt by choosing their main political supporters for contracts over CTC

      and the list goes on.


      On wednesday morning, Alden listed almost 20 projects started and/or completed in his four years as minister. This UDP admin has yet to count to one – they have 20 to 30 different proposals and scheduled ground breakings, but, as The Ezz says, wings flapping but no birds flying. Mario R called in to Alden and said the reason for nothing happening is that the country had no money since May 2009 so that's why nothing could get done – well Mario, it's 25/26 months since that time, two budgets brought and still nothing started/completed by UDP. When do you think UDP might accomplish something?


      Then Frank M calls in to basically say (i am paraphrasing here) he had plans to do a gym when he was there before Alden took over so Alden should not take credit for starting and completing the gym. Well Frankie, everybody got plans to do something, but until you actually DO SOMETHING, guess what – nothing is done. You did get rewarded for your plans after the May 2005 election – you go voted out!! You also did not do too well in the MAy 2009 elections, you have now taken the hint and admitted that you will not be seeking re-election in 2013, hence the reason you are on Radio Cayman you say.


      Stay quiet and don't disturb big people when they are talking. That goes for you too CG.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Alden is far worse than McKeva".

      Really, by what measure? Do explain.

      Was Alden removed from Cabinet due to his involvement in a banking scandal?

      Did he arbitrarily grant 3,000 people Caymanian status without appropriate background checks? 

      Is he under criminal investigation for suspected corruption?

      Was he chastised by the Auditor General for political interference in contract procurements which could give rise to fraud or corruption? 

      Was he instrumental in creating FOI in Cayman or did he try to shut down FOI?

      Did he create a political slush fund and give to persons not according to any discernible objective criteria according to his personal whim?

      Was he publicly chastised by the Governor for improper and personal attack on the Auditor General?

      Did he terminate contracts exposing the Govt. to civil suit for millions of dollars?

      Did he breach the Public Management and Finance Regulations, ignore the advice of the technocrats in the Civil Service re the Cohen Loan deal and follow the advice of his party treasurer thereby costing the country an additional $1/2m?

      Did he, in the face of strong public opposition, support projects like the EE Mega Quarry, Dredging of the North Sound to accommodate superyachts and Oil Refineries which would destroy the environment of these Islands?

      Is he constantly embarrassing the Cayman Islands by ignorant, belligerent statements? 

      The worse you can say about Alden is that he should have been more prudent about phasing in the development of the new schools in the face of a recession. In no way can that put him in the same category as McKeeva let alone "far worse".            

      • Anonymous says:

        You summed it up better than I could. Bush is a disgrace to the nation and to himself. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mac should heed Psalm 109:8 "Let his days be few; and let another take his office."

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks, but I believe the correct translation should be 'let another replace him in the people's office'. Last thing we want is Mac's head exploding on us right now.

  5. James says:

    Mac attack… isn't that a burger?

    • Anonymous says:

      It used to be, until Mac exchanged it for a vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure is.  And guess what they both have in common.  They both give me heartburn and indigestion and sometimes flatulence due to all the hot air they generate.  Once in a while i get a little "runny belly" because of the toxic nature and its effects.

    • Anonymous says:

      no, it's a burglar

  6. Anonymous says:

    Alden and Ezzard you are our pillar of strength right now in the political arena.  Do not let the naysayers twart your efforts or your stance on these important  issues.  Thanks Alden for manning up this morning on Rooster, that you may had been over ambitious in trying to get the schools projects on their way, but you were doing all this for our children's future. Afterall, they have been neglected over the years.  Keep pushing those pins in the UDP sides as they foolheartenly are selling out our Islands to the highest bidder, so that they can get their commissions. Thank you Mr. Alden for being the voice of the people. McKeeva is too out of order and McKeeva remember this, to gain respect, you much show respect, throughout.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Alden, As a supporter of yours I have to tell you that you will never get a groundswell going with these delayed responses. CNS can you please get in the habit of asking the appropriate people for comment as and when things happen? Try this on for size Alden: "I am not surprised to hear that the Premier has attacked the Auditor General in this way. It is what we have come to expect from him. Right-thinking people understand that the AG is a professional who is doing his job. The Premier's attacks carry even less weight – if that were possible – because the previous AG came to many of the same conclusions and received the same treatment. I welcome the Governor's defense of Mr Swarbrick and his staff and echo what he had to say. This is yet another reason why the Premier and his government have got to go and that should be abundantly clear to anyone who is paying attention to the state of our public affairs". Took me 5 minutes to type on an iPhone.

    CNS: In response to: "can you please get in the habit of asking the appropriate people for comment as and when things happen?" – a general question, presumably, and not this issue specifically. In defence of the media in Cayman generally, not just CNS, you have no idea what questions any journalist from any media house asks or when, or who they contact for response, you only know who answers — not the same thing. Please do not think that reporting the news in Cayman is as simple as asking questions. If you think for a minute about how difficult it can be to get answers when we have the law (FOI) on our side, you might get an idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am the above poster

      I know it is not simple to get answers and you all are doing a fantastic job. What I meant is that instead of the home page saying:

      Alden criticises Mac
      Mac says bad thing back to Governor
      Governor criticises Mac
      Mac says bad thing

      Could we not have: ‘Mac says bad thing. Alden says Mac said very bad thing. Governor also says bad thing’ in the same article? That way people who don’t need to look weak and slow and are not weak and slow are not made to look so.

    • Anonymous says:

      And what exactly are you trying to say?

  8. Dare to Dream says:

    I listened to Alden's speech last night and there was nothing inarticulate about it.  Those of you out there who had problems understanding what he had to say (and agreeing) probably have a problem with reading and understanding.  He is smart, he made sense!!  I am saddened every day by the realisation that so many of our people has no common sense.  So many get on this website and spout out their ignorance.  Please try to educate yourselves, pick up a book and read, get the dictionary and learn to spell words. Read other articulate persons' writings and try to emulate them.  Try to raise yourselves up higher intellectually; do not use the Premier as your measure of self worth.  For God sake please try to  use the brain that the Creator gave us and improve our lot in life.  Alden is an educated, honest,  person, whether you are PPM or UDP or "other"  we can all learn from him. I said it before and I will say it again, his mistake was trying to get the best for us, for our children, perhaps at the wrong time.  His intentions were above reproach and he did not go around giving away the island to every Tom, Dick and Harry and he did not curry favour for his own bottomline. Alden remember that Integrity will take you where Character will keep you!!


    • Wet Paper Caymanian says:

      Dare to Dream, thank you. Alden is exactly how you have described him and anyone who still chooses McKeeva Bush rather then Alden well as we say, the apple don't fall far from the tree. XXXX Dare to Dream I am glad I am not the only one.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the party Mr Alden, we had expected you sooner.

  10. truth says:

    Now…………..Back it all up with hard work, dedication, doing what you say and most imprtant RESULTS.  Show the islands that all Caymanian politicians are not self centered, egotistical,incompetent bastards.  If you can do this you can save Caymanians from themselves.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Mac is a disgrace to the existence of life. It makes me sick when he opens his mouth and all the hot air escapes. His is the poorest excuse for someone to fill the role of Premier. Verbal attacks, slander, abuse of power, how long can we exist under this regime? I like  to listen to a good speaker who motivates me,  challenges me, explains things well and makes me proud. On the other hand I have to listen to Mr. Bush.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It's all just knock-about politics, while the country goes down the drain. 

    With zero economic growth, if there is a $25M budget surplus (and my guess this is just "creative accounting") it has been achieved only by punishing the hard-working people of Cayman — including the poorest — with massive tax and duty hikes. We're all paying through the nose because the government have no idea how to stimulate the economy to raise revenue. 

    The UDP are a one trick economic pony: try to get a few rich people to invest in Cayman — Dart, Shetty, China Harbour — otherwise, they are completely devoid of ideas on how to stimulate the job market, stimulate the local business sector, get real estate moving again.

    Show me one inward investment project Bush has actually started during his tenure as Premier. Lots of MOUs (the country is MOU mad!)  but no REAL contracts. Show me one significant social or economic initiative to come out of his administation. On the other hand, there's no need for me to list all the initiates that have collpased under his auspices, you just have to look at the list of writs the government is faced with! 

  13. My2cents says:

    Better late than never I guess……said the right thing, but the timings off. 

    • Wet Paper Caymanian says:

      06:00 yes better late then never but Alden needs others that can also talk specially if he is away . Consider this "A good leader leads by example and then Team effort is what get things done properly. I personnaly only see 1 Good man in the UDP and it sure ain't Mc.Keeva. Sure he gets things done ":ASSFOMAS". No I don't think you can google this word but Caymanians know it's meaning ! How do you spell that word ? If the late Henry Bush was still here he would tell you…..:)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well said Alden, the "dismissal" of Duguay was shameful, thank goodness his successor is not cowed by that event. He has gone straight to the heart of the issue and is not afraid to speak ofhis findings. His next phase is to see if this is just failure to apply the rules, or concealment of wrong doing.

    The fact that Bush has tried to intimidate suggests to me that he doesn't want that next phase, if so why? Of course it may be that he just doesn't like "red tape" but then he shouldn't be a Government minister because people might just suspect he has something to hide which surely isn't the case?

  15. Anonymous says:

    what will be done? this we all be old news in a matter of days……. what the premier did was a disgrace!

  16. Caymanian Boat Captain says:

    ALDEN = POLITRICKS at its BEST !!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Please explain. What is the "politricks" involved in correctly identifying the Premier's behaviour as a disgraceful attempt at intimidation?

    • Anonymous says:

      Now I am curious. Just “how” is that politricks? Facts: McKeeva insults and lays blame when he speaks, under investigation, and is wasteful with our governments money. What part of calling that out is trickery? I’d want this to be reported of any wrong doings.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I can’t speak for 19:19, but I was articulate a year ago. Now facing default on my mortgage, having to choose between paying astronomical CUC bills and feeding my children, coupled with the constant finacial pressures, weak job market, blatant govt. waste, reduced income and increased fixed costs, etc. having another scotch seems completely reasonable.

    • Cumber Avenue Woman says:

      20:55 I read ye loud and clear, make sure you break the glass when ye done. LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      Just  a suggestion, if your having trouble feeding your children, may be you should think about using the money you spend on scotch to buy food for them

  18. Anonymous says:

    Kind of weak coming this late dude.  Looks like you didn't see anything wrong until the Governor said something. 

  19. Anonymous says:

    Get your popcorn! Sit back, relax and enjoy the show, folks. This is great entertainment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not much of a show to watch.  Alden is weak!  No cojones as the spanish would say…

      • Anonymous says:

        The one that McKeeva is starring in is indeed more entertaining, if you're into horror movies. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, just like being an inarticulate loud mouth bully buffoon gives you big cajones……..yeah? That’s just great. Our leader is a disgrace to the people of this tiny nation, but at least he has balls! It appears to be the only qualification needed to run this country these days.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Alden don't impress me much

    ~ Cayman Shania Twane

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps McKeeva Bush impresses you more. I doubt he would impress the real Shania at all.

  21. nauticalone says:

    Very well said Mr. Mclaughin!

    Listen for Mac now with his "last lick" mentality….

  22. Anonymous says:

    Alden's problem is that no matter how sensible he sounds he can't fight off the stupidity of the school expenditure on his watch and the terrible squandering of money on his government's watch.

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva HAS to go folks. Thank you for the beautiful schools Alden.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously you haven't heard who the Auditor General is probing and reporting on for his terrible squandering of Government's money. You really think that is ALDEN'S problem scroodge? No doubt at all McKeeva would very happily agree with you. The UDP and it's supporters such as you are an unspeakable disgrace to this country.

    • Dred says:

      Actually much like your comment. Nothing to grab on to except PPMs single BUT ACCOUNTABLE mistake from their tenure. Can we now start to look at all the STUPIDITY YOUR UDP ARE DOING?

      – Refinery

      – North Sound Dredging

      – East End Mega Quarry

      – Wasting money going around regulations for Cohen deal

      – Dismantling of boards because they won't TAKE CRAP from Big Mac

      – Proposing closure of Pirates Week for WHAT Heritage Week??????

      – Gifting of his church millions of dollars

      – Potential illegal activity via "Financial Irregularities" investigation

      – UDP MLAs in court over battery charges

      – BT MLAs not filing proper paperwork on time

      – GT MLAs directly or indirectly involved in GT Election handing out of papers on Election day

      – UDP flying all over the globe on the peoples money

      – Paving of private driveways

      – Tax hikes on everything including general products, business fees, gas etc

      Did I forget anything?

      OOh yeah not wanting to get proper books on the final years of PPM to SHOW Cayman the truth about what ACTUALLY was the final figures for PPM.

      UDP blasting of now Cayman's second auditor for doing his job.

      Hope I did not miss anything…I know I have…..

      So what do you have to say now? Still holding on to the schools? I mean at least we could reach out and touch them and they will serve our children for many years to come but where ooh where are your items? Can I reach out and touch the millions you have wasted on travel? How about the money thrown at the churchs for their support oops I mean for their "programs". How about the half million wasted on the Cohen deal? How about the millions and millions and millions we are going to loose from all your tax hikes because of the big companies who packed up and left us can you get that money back for us? How about our mangled reputation because of the blatantly stupid comments blurted out by Big Mac to the world media about how bad we are off. You don't think that will cost us millions in our GDP because companies won't want to invest in Cayman because they may view us now as not stable.

      Big Mac is the worst Politician this country has ever had HANDS DOWN. No one is even remotely on his level. Nothing and I mean nothing he does is done by the books. Why?

      We are just giving you enough rope to hang yourselves and you are doing a damn fine job of it too.

      I am not a big fan of PPM either mine you but compared to UDP their are like Angels sent directly from our father in heaven.

      You do know that ONLY IN WEST BAY could Big Mac win a seat right? This is why he does not want one person one vote. He fears what might happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Trying to improve the terrible mess that education was left in by previous govts is not stupid. Not spending money on education and allowing our kids to leave school illterate is stupid.  Not finishing 2 high schools already started is stupid.  Allowing kids to attend the building site called John Gray for over a year is stupid.  Money spent on education is never wasted.

  23. When Pigs Fly says:

    What a way Humpty Dumpty falling, and no Kings Horse to ride on,  to mention Kings Men. get him now Sheriff.