Stop the downward spiral

| 26/09/2011

There is only one word which adequately describes the situation Cayman is in today – FAILURE: by our leaders (elected and official), by some parents; by the government education system; by immigration policies; by our police; by our development policies and plans (none existing); by our religious organizations to deal with the festering social issues; by the business community to adequately invest in local human capital because it was easier to import foreign cheap labour, while building wealth; by all of us for not recognizing that the good ship Cayman was heading for the rocks.

Why the Caymanian people are not mad as hell and demanding the resignations of their entire leadership is unbelievable. In any other democracy there would be demands for those in charge to accept responsibility and step aside, especially now that our dear leader thinks there is a conspiracy in the works against his government; but not in Cayman. Why?

For the past 25 years respective governments have been cajoling, spoon feeding  and using the “left behinds” in our society for votes at election time, when they make them false promises, throw them a victory party and send them back to their holes of hopelessness until the next election, when they are trotted out again. This worked for several cycles, until the internet, social media and other wake-up tools became freely available and now the” left behinds” have figured out the truth and are taking matters into their own hands.

Some time ago, some politicians stated that there was nothing which could be done to save this generation and that they would have to be written off. Well, that’s exactlywhat we did – but guess what! They didn’t go away and are back reminding us.

Cayman is now doing what it always does in an emergency – reacting, because it does not appear that we have plans to deal with anything – while continuing the very policies that got us into the mess in the first place. We lack the very ability to recognize the present position in order to make corrections.  And forget about anyone admitting they may have made mistakes. How sad!

For Governor Duncan and Commissioner Baines, some advice:

Please visit immediately the families of all the victims; you may learn some things. You have to step down to their levels because they cannot step up to yours. There is none or very little communications with these folks, thus another reason they feel neglected.

Declare a “National Day of mourning” during a work day. Shut this country’s business down for a day (including alcohol sales) to allow our people to focus and realize how serious this situation is and understand that this is what life will become if these issues are not resolved now.

Encourage people to take the day to get out of their comfort zone and visit family, friends and acquaintances they may not have seen in a while. (Call it ‘touch a friend day’.) Cayman needs to take a long hard look in the mirror.

Take your NSC meetings on the road. Visit the districts and build bridges and listen to the people, not insult them like the premier does at every opportunity. Come prepared to listen not to lecture. Our people feel cut off from our government, therefore no reason to try and assist as they should.

This country is no longer on the edge of the cliff. History will show that September 2011 will be the month that we fell into the abyss  and all indicators point to a continuous downward spiral. There are going to be rougher days ahead, so our people need to prepare themselves accordingly.

During the last election campaign I recall a candidate use the analogy of Cayman’s runaway development being like a moving train. The train was travelling so fast that it left some of the people behind and others kept falling off, yet the conductor (our politicians) wanted more speed. Well, those folks who were left behind simply decided to dig up a piece of the rail track, so when the train came back, it would derail. That derailment now has a name: “MURDER”.  I thought this was a simple and practical analogy, and yet so few voters seem to grasp its relevance at the time.

Some months ago I heard on the radio a discussion about the contractors asking government to fund a skills training program for the unskilled, unemployed in North Side and they were asking for the equivalent of keeping one prisoner in jail for a year – CI$60,000.00; but the government would not support the idea as they claimed they could not afford it. Yet they could afford to give the churches $7 million and build a Hurricane Hilton in the Brac for some $9 million.

But the real reason they did not see fit to support it was political; it was not the UDP’s idea and they will not give anyone else credit for anything. The premier is only capable of seeing issues in one dimension: “politics”.

Perhaps they should reconsider the Brac monster and put that money in a “lock box fund” to help buy food and pay CUC’s billings for the poor to keep this place from turning into total anarchy. Don’t think it can’t happen. One year ago this week Colonel Kaddafi of Libya was addressing the United Nations General Assembly. Today he is hiding in a hole, untold numbers dead and wounded and Libya is in ruins. That’s the power of disenfranchised people when they decide they have had enough. But unlike Cayman, Libya has oil. We are even short on turtles.

To those who are committing these crimes, I beg of you to stop now. You have made your point loud and clear. Youare killing your friends, perhaps even family members, and while you may think they are your enemies, most of you are too young to have enemies. Instead, put your energy into designing placards and signs expressing your grievances and peacefully demonstrate in the public domain so everyone can know you and help find solutions to your grievances, in order that we can all have a better life going forward. If you don’t you will certainly kill Cayman and we will all loose.

For us to get through this crisis and rebuild the country for the next generation it will require a new vision, new leadership and new policies and plans, which must be fully inclusive of all our people. We must abolish this political party divide that is destroying us; we are simply too small for it to work here.

Career politicians need to be replaced with individuals who have already made their careers on their own abilities. Those were the types of leaders our forefathers were and they worked together for the betterment of all so we could reap the benefits of a 40 year period of unprecedented success.

For those who feel reluctant to stand up and be counted, please remember, “He who has the most, has the most to lose.”

But we have children and God knows we cannot afford to lose any more of them.

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I take your point regarding the power of the disenfranchised. Imagine what would happen if the unrepresented majority – euphemistically referred to as 'ex-pats' – were to do the same?

    Cayman needs to allow all stakeholders to participate – may as well face all of the big problems at once.

  2. Profound Reality! says:

    Completely agree



  3. Anonymous says:

    Here are some Downward Spiral stoppers:


    1. Remove consecutive terms in office. Replace it with one four year term to help take the politcs out of play.


    2. Use the Nation Building Fund as the only source of funds available to those running for office.

    No politician may receive funds from outside sources and can only spend a pre-set amount which is the same for all candidates. This removes lobbying and political payback to private citizens and corporations. Elections are for the people and should be paid for by the people only.


    3. Elimiinate the party system and district representation. All members of the L.A. should be voted for by all Caymanians to represent their interest in our entire well being. It is a small colony and cannot be split by sector politicking. Anyone elected to public office should have the whole of Cayman as his or her vested interest. This is more likely to happen when their votes come from all of us. Chances are if something is good for George Town, it is also good for Bodden town. The measure of political action should be "is it good for all of Cayman". The more pieces we divide this island into, the more divided we become.

    There are countless cities in the world that have populations far greater than Cayman and are governed well and efficiently with far fewer elected members and civil servants and public authorities. We have become bloated to the point of looking like a Socialist society. We have also spent far more money than we have. We have lived on credit for too long. It is time to pay the piper and do with less as we re-pay our over exuberance of the past.


    Of course, all of the above would have to be implemented by elected politicians which is not likely to happen. It could happen with referendums or petitions, but it takes the will of the people to force such changes.






  4. Anonymous says:

    Your article is timely. You said it all when you state that "Career politicians need to be replaced with individuals who have already made their careers on their own abilities. Those were the types of leaders our forefathers career politicians should give way to people who have achieved something tangible in life".

    Career politicians have only created a culture of failure.

  5. Anonymous says:

    certainly topical viewpoint currently.

    the problem i have is that who is going to replace the current government?  PPM is not much better, in fact, PPM is just prefer to talk about things.  sometimes they don't even say anything with meaning. 


    i remember a while ago, probably before this last election, alden was on the radio and i recall very clearly that he said "we have been talking to the people".  just because you're talking, does not mean that you are saying anything worthwhile.  it does not make you a good government just to talk.  we need action. 

    i'm never sure how to feel about elections, because i don't see a candidate that i think could do something different than what they are doing.  mckeeva's government has been in there for a while now and i don't really see much changes from before.  except maybe mckeeva's nuisanced ideas that have sparked outcry for the environment.

    where is the environmental legislation?  where is the help for the youth?  the schools systems are failing badly, because there is so much beaucracy that teachers cant teach. and now i see from the headlines that we're going to put these troublemakers back in with the rest of the class.  the problem with the AEC (or whatever the school for the disruptive youths) is that no one cared to try to change their attitudes.  it may be a failure but dismantling is not the solution (at least that's what i think).  those disruptive youths need guidance.  that's when you need to intervene in family lives and see what is going on at home.  i can't really criticse the system, because i really do not know what goes on.  but what appears to be happening is nothing.  just a whole lot of talk and no action.

    • Anonymous says:

      Both the UDP and the PPM " talk to the people".  What we need are politicians that will "LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE!

      • Anonymous says:

        What you need are people who will listen to the people.

        What you need are people who can and will do the work that needs to be done in Government.

        What you need is skill and experiance over name and family.

        What you all need is to get over the "A Caymanian can do it" when its obvious they can't when they don't.

        Get skill and experiance to do the job first off.  "IF" a Caymanian can learn to do it right from skill they can take it over and do it "IF" They can prove theycan do it.  If they can't don't let them keep failing.  Stop them and get "some skill" to do it.  All of Government is failing because of this.  All you have to do is be smart enough to get smart enough people to do the work that needs to be done.  "IF"  Caymanians are not smart enough to figure this out and "IF" Caymanians are too proud to let 'others" help them out of this mess then they deserve to continue this new tradition of failure.  Help is still available.  Its still out there.  But at the rate that it is being pushed away it won't be there for much longer.  Then the true meaning of failure will be known.  I'm betting it comes to that.

  6. Just Commentin' says:

    I agree with your theme: FAILURE! And you have made some very good points.

    The part about the failure being attributable to "…all of us for not recognizing that the good ship Cayman was heading for the rocks" is The Primary Point. All the subsequent failures  – by our leaders, by parents, by the government and policies, by our police, by our lack of effective development policies and plans, by our religious organizations, and by the business community – are the consequences of an apathetic, impotent populace who failed by not acting prudently to keep things from going fubar in the first place. Now we are whining (as usual) but Caymanians are still not putting their backs into effecting real change.

    Caymanians failed by voting into office an intellectually impaired megalomaniacal buffoon, a man who comes across like a home-grown but stupider version of Hugo Chavez. He makes us look as stupid as we actually are for putting him into a leadership position.

    Bush is an embarrassment to our land and its people every time he speaks or acts. ("Devil worshippers", "it is a conspiracy", pave Brac parking lots, give millions to churches, Hurricane Hilton, etc) and yet, in spite of all his foolishness, there is still no general public demand for his removal from office. There is not even any feeling of certainty that the UDP will not be back in power come next election. Regarding the most important law of our land, we failed by voting in a deficient constitution. This says all that needs saying about the people of these islands – so far Caymanians are looking like a really hopeless case.

    Caymanians are concerned about loosing control of their country. Ha! This is an interesting concern considering that the best Caymanians have managed to do is to "control" their ship into the rocks. Considering our track record, maybe Caymanians would be better off giving up control completely and handing command to some competent people.

    The problems we are experiencing are the crops we sowed decades ago, back when when Caymanians (save for powers reserved for the Motherland) had pretty much exclusive and unbridled control. Little good did having control do us, Caymanians ran this country into the ground and have no parachute or alternate flight plan.

    Maybe Caymanians should deed these islands to Dart and make him Supreme Poobah. Since we are looking for him – among others – to bale us out, it looks like he certainly has made a better success of his life and businesses than Caymanians have relative to the affairs of the Cayman Islands. At least his business is not broke and begging for loans to pay the bills; Dart gives his people raises instead of pay cuts; Dart does not have a buffoon a corporate chief; no one seems to accuse Dart of standing idly by as his people indulge in wasteful spending.

    Being proud of ones heritage and country is generally a good thing, but we must learn to stop hiding behind the baseless pride that rests solely in being "Caymanian" and hang our heads in shame over what we have become and have allowed to happen to our country: Bush did not put himself into office; the thugs did not pop from the sky, full-grown with guns blazing;  the money in our government coffers did not walk away nor was it stolen by a thief in the night. All Caymanians lent a hand in screwing things up. Have all pride you want, hell, here, take mine – because being identified as "Caymanian" will have little value or stature if the country becomes just another bleak, miserable, crime-ridden, Third World hellhole. And make no mistake, hellhole is just what we have plot our course to become.

    We laugh and call Bush "a fool" or a "madman" for suggesting the murders might be part of a "conspiracy" (and I think those labels fit him well) but we fail to see our own avoidance of blame and outward finger-pointing as being equally absurd and sick. We need to admit we are sick and swallow the bitter pill of reality and own up to our abysmal failure as a people. We must do something meaningful with the control we still have rather than deflecting the blame to all and sundry.


    We fell into the abyss long before September 2011; it is just now that we feel ourselves being cut by jutting rocks as we tumble towards to the bottom.

    Unless and until Caymanians admit that we and we alone are ultimately responsible for screwing up the Cayman Islands, and as a people we all resolve to take responsibility for our government and act responsibly by choosing excellent leadership and holding them accountable to produce positive results, this territory is doomed to continue its headlong descent into the unfathomable darkness.

    To turn the country around, the attitude of the population as a whole needs to change and the people need to take charge of their country. Caymanians need to stop the damn whining and put their backs to the taks of turning this country around! Now!

    Is it still possible for Caymanians to do this or is it too late? Wake up! Stand up! Do what is right!

    Here is a warning, people, and it is something to give serious consideration:
    If you think the fall has been painful, just wait until you hit the bottom

  7. Anonymous says:

    A sad but well written article, I can now only hope that the leaders of this country will consider  the contents of the message in this article as a wake up call and will immediately act in the best interest of Cayman Islands and in doing so, be more proactive rather than reactive which seems to be the order of the day with this Government.

    The Cayman society is rapidly sliding backwards both socially as well as finacially, in which it would  appear that the rich is getting richer, and the poor getting poorer, regrettably, if the current situation is allowed to continue, it will simply add to the frustration of an already disenchancised Caymanian.

    I would hope that the  necessary tertiary programmes will be put in place by Government without further delay, with the hope that these programmes will encourage the unscilled to get involved in a productive way of life rather than one that offers no hope either for themselves or their families.


    • Anonymous says:

      Sad! But alot of truth. Every administration to date, has used the same method of governing, which has brought us to the situation we are in today, because as previously mentioned the PPM is as big an embarrassment to these Islands as the UDP is, not to mention the want to be politicians that call in to these talkshows and submit their articles to the news papers. To me it is very frightening, to know that the fate of the Cayman Islands and its people is in the hands of these individuals. I am most thankful that we still have a Governor. The thing that is most discouraging to me, is the fact that we have a population of POLITICALLY IGNORANT PEOPLE! They have no clue what they are voting for, some sell their vote for as little as a case of beer, some for 2 yards of crushed rock, appliances and the PPM special 5lbs of Turtle. All this is very sad, but factual. We tend to vote on an extremely petty basis, if we like you, or your family ties! Forget about your ability to govern the country. Caymanians, educate yourselves, understand your country's status as a British Colony, because that is what we are! Do not allow these politicians to continue to manipulate you, whether they be lawyers, accountants,captains or a pharmacist.These men all have the same problem, INFLATED EGOS, POWERY HUNGRY and self first. If you have not realised this by now, you have not been listening, (sad). There is not one innocent elected member, former or current They have all contributed to where Cayman is  today. Each and every administration has had a "DART", think about it. Therefore the form of governing that we have today, shoud not be shocking to anyone, it's what we have always had, perhaps it is time to change that. I pray that we will be able to find the candidates who can do that for us.

      I hope my words will not be taken out of context, but will give you serious food for thought.


  8. dave miller says:

    What we need is vocational schools to teach jobs: plumbers, elect., masons, carpenters , a/c appliance repairs, mechanics, dive instructors,  boat capt. , rest., hotel training. So that the excuses stop about not finding caymanians for jobs. Lets take the school in frank sound and make it a vocational school. We now know that not every child wants to be a banker, lawyer or an acct. These jobs pay good money. Its a career for life that will guarantee more money the better you become at it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whats in it for the politician?  If you want something done by Caymanian leadership you must think like them.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting this. You are right, particularly about the need to get rid of our "anything to get rich quick" professional politicians.

    The only thing that I would add is that many of the most abused have no access to the social media. There is the need for educated local activists to organise the "left behind" and to show them how to become effective. At the moment the only "leaders" they see are the polytrix "gunna get me a new SUV" types who come around every 4 years to get their votes so that they can gain access to the public treasury cash trough.