UK talks cause concern

| 03/11/2011

(CNS): The independent and opposition members have raised a number of concerns about how the review of Britain’s relationship with the overseas territories is being handled. The premier’s failure to inform the public about the consultation, despite knowing about it since March, resulting in the current rush to consult is just one of many concerns that have arisen over the UK’s decision to replace the existing OT’s White Paper. The premier will be presenting Cayman’s input on the new paper in London later this month but the MLAs have warned that the public will have no idea what that position is until after the event.

During a packed meeting in North Side on Tuesday evening hosted by Ezzard Miller, who was joined by opposition members, the district representative said he was very disappointed in the secrecy that had surrounded the whole effort to pull together a national position and what he described as the “last minute road show".

A committee was recently formed by Premier McKeeva Bush to host a series of district meetings and collect opinions from the wider public. But the MLAs all noted that the premier has known for many months that the UK was seeking to review the existing white paper and that it expected the local OT governments to consult with their people and bring their position to the annual November OT council meeting. Yet he left the formation of the committee to the last minute and established its membership behind closed doors.

Miller said he could not understand why things had been conducted so secretly and queried why parliament was not given the opportunity to debate such an important issue openly.

“They have votes to pass whatever they want but they should have at least given us the opportunity to articulate our constituents views on this,” Miller said “This is a denial of the people and a serious trespass on your democratic rights. We need to find a way that the UK understands that in the end the Caymanian people have no idea what is going to be said on their behalf.”

Miller pointed to comments that had been made earlier this year in the British Virgin Islands at an OT meeting, where he said Bush was “chest thumping” about the UK instead of seeking positive ways to negotiate how local governance institutions can be improved and to properly exploit the window of opportunity to review the relationship with the UK.

I am concerned as I have no idea what is going to be said,” the independent member told his constituents. “I place trust that the civil service will compile the public consultation properly but I have no confidence that the current political administration will present what the people want.”

The North Side MLA said that the only indication about the premier’s position regarding Cayman-UK relations was the comments he had made in BVI, where he said he was going to tell the UK to leave the OTs alone.

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin added his concerns as he agreed that the process to collate a position about the new white paper was being so rushed that people did not have the opportunity to understand the issues that matter, never mind go on to make a constructive contribution. “The people are being deprived of a proper opportunity to make representations,” the opposition leader said.

McLaughlin also noted that the direct contributions being made on the FCO’s website would allow for anyone to comment about Cayman even, if they did not live here, which may give a false picture of the view of the Cayman people.

He said it was a very important issue but the way things had been handled by both the UK and the local government had prevented any real and careful national discussion. It ought to have been subject of public discussion and national debate in Legislative Assembly, he said, so that when the premier went to London he would have gone armed with a document that reflected the views of the people of the Cayman Islands.

Despite the lack of time, however, McLaughlin said there was nothing to be gained by boycotting the process as he encouraged people to speak up during the remaining window of opportunity. The MLAs were urged by the audience to go to London themselves, a move which they said they were considering. “There are several flights leaving directly for London each week,” the former speaker, Edna Moyle, noted as she urged her PPM colleagues to go.

Bo Miller, a former political candidate, warned the people they had to take advantage of the UK’s offer to comment directly on the website and make sure their voices were heard before it was too late as this renegotiation with the British could have tremendous implications for Cayman’s future.

Overseas Territories Consultation on FCO website

Cayman Islands Governor on FCO website

Category: Politics

Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Opposition and Independent members should indeed go to the UK and ask for more time.They should also take their story to the British media.However prior to doing so they reach out to other Overseas Territories who may also need more time.

    • Libertarian says:

      Make sense to me, because those in the UK Foreign Office, are not really for us, but appears to be against us. I am sure that our leaders can play a game of leap-frog, go to the UK and muster as much support for our rights and democracy as needed.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    In my opinon, I think ALL foreign nationals should just LEAVE! Let Mackeeva do his "cuba/venezula" thing and let's just get it over with. We deserve it! We deserve to be left alone to fend for ourselves. And you know why? BECAUSE WE LET A MAN RUN THIS COUNTRY INTO THE GROUND FOR YEARS AND JUST STOOD BY AND WATCHED! Plus on the up side CUC will have no choice but to cut us off because we'll use candles and the water company will have to close and when we get cisterns to bail from. CAN'T CHA JUST SEE IT – IT'S WHAT MAC STRIVED AND AIMED FOR…..TO BRING US BACK TO THE GOOD OLE DAYS!

    EVERYBODY WHO AIN'T CAYMANIAN – PLEASE LEAVE!! (EXCEPT FOR OUR MOSQUITOS OF COURSE – GOT TO KEEP THEM AROUND TO ENJOY THE TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE!

    Thanks UDP – you brought us back to the 1930's.

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why not go ahead and set the date for independence for 150 year and get full internal self government which is much better than what we have now.  Bermuda is the perfect example of how full internal self government should work.  Why are we so afraid to set a date for 150 years down the road.  By that time every single person alive in Cayman will be gone and an entirely new generation will emerge.  It is my belief that at that time there will be not a single Native Caymanian, plant, animal or human left.  So why not set the date and let the fat lady sing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    READ THIS AND BE ASHAMED… CAMANIANS

    As a British citizen I think it is disgusting how we are treated on this island…

    My son was born here, with a tumor behind his eye, thus needing urgent medical attention… on this British territory-island…

    IMIGRATION, yes that dirty word… IMIGRATION… as a government body is the rotting core of this island….    

    As a Cayman born boy, British Citizen… he had NO rights, thus NO passport and therefore NO WAY of travelling… to seek the medical attention we so desperately needed.

    If you are wondering, no it wasn’t life threatening, so therefore no airlift, but VERY urgent and worrying…  all the same.

    We were categorically told by IMIGRATION ‘the face of Cayman’ that he would not be allowed to leave without a passport, unless travelling to an Embassy… 

    ‘What take a new born baby, needing medical care to cue in a Jamaican Embassy’??!

    “That’s all we can suggest!”   They said, flatly.

    “What about granting him temporary citizenship?”   NO? my wife was in tears…..

    Home land security, from the U.S would have… the Governor’s office were amazing and fast tracked printing little Jack’s passport… so so grateful to them for their help…!!

    The Caymanian Government not so much!!! 

    But Caymanians’ all get British passports right!!? for a small admin fee… this gives you huge rights… free education, welfare, totally free medical, housing,  Naval Support, Army Support, the list goes on and on.

    Trying not to sound too bitter, I think full independence will come back and bite you right in the behind… the level of corruption in the Government is way high and rising? The violence is increasing, and British help is being snubbed…

    Every Caymanian politician should be made to look at the Cayman islands on Google Earth every morning to keep their egos in check and realize how insignificant they and the Cayman Island really are.

    Watch out, the bubble has well and truly burst, it’s time to embrace change, and embrace all EXPATS from around the world!!!  They are your live blood… and Britain your Muscle!! Without us you arejust an over developed fishing village… and “I’m telling you, not asking you” the old days have well and truly gone!!

    • UK Worker says:

      Every British citizen should file a response to the FCO questionnaire asking for immediate political rights in this territory – it is a national issue for London not a territorial issue for Cayman.  We must all speak up for the oppression, the threats for speaking up, the corruption the British citizens suffer on British land.  We will get NOTHING out of the power crazed local politicians.  We must hope that Mr. Hague reads ours pleas and does the right thing. 

      The questionnaire is our ONLY chance to express our concerns safely.  We must not miss the opportunity.

    • Anonymous says:

      This post is a little curious.

      A (British Dependent Territories) Caymanian passport would entitle the child to very few immigration rights at all in any other country.

      It is only with a British (EU) passport that the child would bypass the immigration restrictions that the parents say they were anxious to circumvent in the name of speed.

      The Caymanian government cannot give out British passports even to the weeping mothers of babies with a tumour in their eye. The British Government could and did.

      Just saying…

      • Anonymous says:

        Now this is a fair comment… the catch was  that we didn't want to go back to the UK where we could have travelled to without a passport…. we wanted to go to the place the doctors were recommending we go… we had been made to  Pay for private health care & sure as sh-t we wanted to use it…  for our sons well being!! 

        The real spit in the face was just they way we were treated at IMMIGRATION… we were British, in a British Terrotory, and may as well of been on Mars for the good it did us.

        I meet, am employed by, do work for, some great Camanian people… I've actually not really met anyone I haven't liked…  not so venomous.

        I think…  ifyou want inpendance… take it… if you don't…. step into line…  either way…  another great british saying…  Sh-t or get off the pot!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Now there is a load of tripe if I may borrow a British term. Any child can travel on his/her mother's passport for years. All you had to do was take a picture of your son and add him to your own passport. Even without his picture, if he is your son all you needed was his birth certificate and you could have gone straight back to England with him.

      Could it be that you were expecting the Cayman Islands Government to give your son something that you were not entitled to? How could they?

      One of the most admirable traits of the British is the way they queue, so I am perplexed at why you didn't want to "cue" in Jamaica.

      Respect. 'nuff said rasta.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said. The sense of entitlement of some people never ceases to amaze me. Oh, but wait, you're an expat. I forgot that a sense of entitlement is the preserve of Caymanians.  

        • Pit Bull says:

          You certainly are among the world's leaders, so we ex-pats learned from the best.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should have tried theIMMIGRATION Department with two M's.

    • Anonymous says:

      "IMIGRATION, yes that dirty word… IMIGRATION"

      Actually it is not a word at all.

      I am sorry to hear about your son but your venomous rant won't do much to help.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not only should they go to London ,they should also make use of the British press and television to get their message out

    • Anonymous says:

      Brits/Jams – what a fight over this rock.  If or when the Brits take over, the high positions held by the Jams will be taken over by the Brits so you see, that's the fight the few Caymanians will be watching.

       If we go independent, the fight will be the Brits/Jams again.  Who will win?  Caymanians are too few so again, we will be watching because this is not our country any longer.  What a mess! Poor Caymanians – didn't see it coming or did we but couldn't do anything?

      Expats keep grumbling about their rights here but couldn't do so back home.  They need to keep in their heads that Caymanians have rights also.

  6. Anonymouse says:

    It is not fair to us to be given so little time and having been kept in the Dark by our ruling Government. I have a serious problem with the premier being in charge of this to begin with as it's evident we can't trust him to even have talks with the UK on our behalf as he hid it all from us only the last remaining days. mr. Governor you are there for good governance yet you act as if you see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing. Can you imagine us going independant with the type of near Dictatorship that we are currently under. Oh! I am sure the premier will report what he wants anyways as he don't care for us and will blame the PPM once more.God said vengence is His but at times I find that rope is much longer then time. I have no comment because this is too important of questionnaires to respond to insuch little time. No Confidence in our premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are not "in the dark" if you click the link…seriously, how hard IS THAT?!?

  7. Anonymous says:

    England looking  to sever ties with us. We too much of an liability for them now. Plus we don't have the appeal we once had. We are like the supermodel who was the hottest thing going 10 years ago and now she is a nobody! Cayman has passed it's prime now. Our beaches suck (too many condos), crime is high, politicians are ignorant and it's too expensive to live here. Man, the only people that continue to use us are the drug trafficers fueling up before heading North!  Hell, not even the war ships stop by anymore. Good job UDP, unna F'ed it up real good for us, real good. What a bunch of a.holes.

    • Anonymous says:

      ' Cayman has passed it's prime now. Our beaches suck (too many condos), crime is high, politicians are ignorant and it's too expensive to live here. Man, the only people that continue to use us are the drug trafficers fueling up before heading North!'

      I agree with you however I do have to ask …… what did YOU do to try and fix these things if you saw them happening?

      Did you just wait for someone to fly in and 'fix' it for you, complain about them whilst they tried, put obstructions in the way and then 'traded' them up for a new one?

      I have no sympathy.

  8. John Evans says:

    I just want to know who found an old-fashioned, un-vandalised phone box in London?

  9. Absurdistani says:

    Interestingly, if we believe that this issue has been knowsince Mar 2011, we have not heard a peep from the Governor. Zzzzzzzzzzz. No press releases, no mention, radio silence. Relying on Frequent Flyer Mac and his drones let the public know shows a lapse of judgement and more of the "pass the buck" mentality that is destroying Cayman. The Governor should have used his office to let the public know.

    This seems to be more "seat of the pants" leadership rather than ensuring good governance.

  10. Libertarian says:

    They are rushing the process with no regard for what Caymanians want:  Do we want Independence?  Do we want to remain a British Overseas Territory and put with their ministers?  Do we want to integrate the Cayman Islands with the UK as one of their electorate constituencies?  Do we want full internal governance and the UK- external governance; in other words, become a Protectorate?  Or, do we want to be Annexed to Canada, the United States, or some other sovereign nation to rule over us?

    If the people of these islands are not educated well about our self-determination and our relationship with the UK, I am afraid, they could compose this White Paper, and completely misrepresent the people of the Cayman Islands. That is where the real danger lies!

    First of all, Independence without Annexation to another sovereign nation or secured coalition that has military power, is suicidal!  We cannot become Independent, go on our own, and fend for ourselves without help from a stronger nation. In terms of agriculture, what can we produce?  We have no grips on crime and corruption. The UK is our only watchdog right now against political corruption!  Moreover, to become a protectorate or free association, could be costly when we would need that protection and support in a time of emergency. We have no source of energy like oil.

    Of course, and it can never be denied that the UK has (and is) treating its territories unsatisfactory. There is still this colonial mentality and special interest groups that look down on the inhabitants as second-class citizens or natives and only seek to use the people in that they have no voice. Big names like Dart, Ryan, and well-off developers, seem like they are the only ones who have voice. Our neighbors like Turks and Caicos Islands, is currently under a UK dictatorship and the people is being used for a political end as we speak. The Governor says it is to make a better TCI, but just take a look at their new Constitution and tell me if the people are being democratically represented to the fullest?  The Constitution is a document that has too much "representational democratic provisions" – the people are not involved in their democracy like they should. Hence, money can still controll the politicians like puppets over the people. Meanwhile, TCI's economy has declined, the TCI Central Bank has been dissolved, and the Civil Service had to be bailed out by the UK tax payers with 10% of their salaries cut. Know your history, people:  Under Great Britian, some of its territories have declined economically with improper auditing, then it is at such times of financial incongruity, you hear of arrangements being made for the pursuit of Independence. They then wash their hands and say they don't need you anymore.

    All this to say – that if Caymanians in terms of Democracy, are still being considered second-class by Mother, perhaps, the best option for Cayman, would be annexation with another soveriegn nation. If the UK cannot come with fairness and more direct democratic provisions for the people, then wouldn't it be feasible to align with another superpower?

    The best alternatives I see is for all of us to either remain under the UK, send a Cayman Island's delegation to the UK to represent us and strengthen the bond, so that our basic human rights and "direct democratic provisions" can be secured and implemented into a new Constitution. Or, if that does not work or there is no hopes for that happening, I suggest annexation with another country.

    But our politicians should act quickly and educate the public along these matters that could affect us for generations to come. Mere Independence to stand alone without annexation and secured coalitions, would be suicidal and a wicked act to pull on the people of these islands.

    • so Anonymous says:

      Your politicians are doing the best they can.  And yes they suck.  But they were still the ones who were hired.  Who is the bigger fools?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Please click on the link provided and leave your comments for the FCO, they will not be reading the CNS diatribes.  So far only 2 commentators from Cayman Islands.  If you want to gripe, do it there, and do it now.  Hopefully some more reasonable people leave helpful comments.  This is our chance to be heard.  

  12. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Mr. Miller and Mr. McLaughlin could let us know where they stand on the issue? Given such little time, lets use it constructively. And NO, I do not support Bush, I support Cayman having continued success.

    As for where I stand, I think if we went Independent, every negative generalization about Cayman and Caymanians would come to fruition. Its not that I think we are incapable people, I just don't think we are capable of being the first country, in the history of world, to choose Independence and maintain the very standards that we achieved because we wisely chose to remain with the U.K. in the first place. 

    The positives of having the U.K. as landlords far outweigh the negatives. 

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not a discussion or debate over independence.  The FCO has requested input on how they can help us.  Click on the link and read.  If you do not want their help, continue to do nothing.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    Fire Ready Aim has been working well so far so why should this be any different

  14. The Prophet says:

    This Island has many people who are not thinking.  Dont you all know, or have you forgottwn, or you do not want to know, that every government handles things the same way.  They all do the same thing.  I do not blame the politicians for feeding these things to the public.  I blame the public for not seeing what is being done.  Instead of chattering I believe the Opposition and Independent need to pay more attention to the welfare of ther people.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Britain has not been totally irresponsible on this, no matter what McKeeva Bush says, does not say…or does.

    This issue has been made public and the websites have been given where people are expected to air their views and identify which BOT those views are in relation to.

    I've been on there and had my input so any Caymanian who is truly concerned about having their views heard will take the responsibility to go on this website and speak their piece.

    This is a repeat of the constitutional negotiations where Cayman's public took no real interest, did what they were told to do…..and are now suffering the consquences….and complaining to high heaven about McKeeva Bush….they elected him, they voted for the constitution that gives him so much power over them….they are ultimately to blame for their own situation.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I understand the delay was caused by civil servants not doing anything when Government was informed by the UK of the review. In civilservicespeak, "it fell between the cracks", "it took time to burst through the list of priorities to reach the top of the pile", "a misalignment of priorities occurred" etc. In real language "I couldn't be effed and in any case it should be so and so doing it since he/she's getting paid more than me".

    • Anonymous says:

      Uhm… the entire civil service did not get a memo from the UK advising everyone of the White Paper consultation.  That communication took place only at the highest level of government (i.e., the Premier).  Therefore, whoever it was that was "not doing anything" had to be either the Premier or someone on his staff – not the civil servants.

      The contention that somehow an unruly and belligerent civil service controls the Premier and his actions is complete bulls**t and is a common comment by dimwitted UDP supporters hoping to deflect criticism from the Premier.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        9:56: No one said anything about the entire civil service getting the memo from the UK but the Caninet Office and his Ministry and Chief Officer certainly knew about it. I am neither dimwitted, certainly not a UDP supporter and I do not excuse the Premier's deficiencies in regard to this review or, for that matter, many many other issues. And if you do not agree with the civilservicespeak in the post above, it is probably because you are yourself fluent in it.

        • Anonymous says:

          You said you understand the delay was caused by civil servants.  But the Premier is not a civil servant, he is an elected official.  He instructs his Ministry and Chief Officer on what he wants done and what he does not want done.  If your beef is with the Premier, say so.  Don't say civil servants caused the delay when it was your own beloved Premier who caused the delay. 

          • Anonymous says:

            He certainly is not my "beloved" Premier. He's all WE have, alas. And yes, it was civil servants who were supposed to action the review who "forgot". It's not the first time it has happened in this or any other Government. Good try in defending your beloved civil servants though.

    • Knot S Smart says:

      Good then. I will take your explanation with two tablespoons of castor oil…

  17. Anonymous says:

    Many years ago (at least 10) when he and Oswel Rankine did a radio show together, Ezzard said Cayman should prepare itself for independence in 15 years. That would be about five years from now. I wonder what his views are now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard has made no bones about his opinion on this issue. He believes independence for Cayman. However, he said that instead of us sticking our heads in the sand and not taliking about it was a mistake. Instead we should talk about and fully understand what we would eventually get into.

      Thats what he has always said. But no, true to what he said, we would rather stick our heads in the sand (leaving our a$$ out in the open) and just hoped that nothing happened.

      Now we have a politician who would like to hand us over to Jamaica if he had his way.

      I for one am for independence, however if 50 years whn all of the current political players are dead and gone!!!