Ethics law should apply to governor, says Bush

| 30/01/2014

(CNS): The opposition leader has said that the Standards in Public Life legislation should apply to those who hold the office of governor as well as all other public servants. Offering his support Thursday for the legislation during the debate on the long awaited ethics bill, McKeeva Bush told his legislative colleagues that while the constitution may bar lawmakers from directing that the governor declare “his” interests (as he made a pointed reference to the former incumbent) the governor ought to make a report to the Legislative Assembly about how he spends money and what he receives.

The opposition leader said the governor earns more than anyone else and receives significant benefits and allowances. Bush said “he” is allowed to accept gifts, hospitality and “spend public money entertaining his friends at Government House”, as he referred to Duncan Taylor. Bush said that whatever the constitution states, the governor should be held accountable as he also appoints people to boards and commissions, whom legislators cannot remove, and has significant influence.

He noted that the governor is the only senior person in public life that the law will not apply to and that was not right. Bush added that in the interest of fairness and transparency the governor should be accountable.  “We can’t force it but they should do so and we should receive that report as members of this House,” the opposition leader said.

One of the last members to speak in the debate on yet another historic bill for the new government, which lasted all day, Bush offered support on behalf of the opposition. He said the bill repealed the register of interests law, which had been the only legislation of this kind and which he had piloted through the Legislative Assembly. He said that then, as now, he felt it was something that could only contribute and preserve public confidence in the system, as he described it as a foundation piece of legislation. The new bill was a continuation of that, he said.

In a mixed presentation in which Bush welcomed the law, he spoke about the hatred and jealousy that members would face regardless and lamented the past suspicions that have historically surrounded members who acquired homes and cars. He said no matter what law was in place, it would not “stop evil minded people” from making unfounded allegations. He said politicians would always be targeted, regardless of legislation.

Referring to the ability for people to report to the commission, he said the authorities had to ensure that whatever was being said about anyone was “said with facts” and not political vendettas or other vindictive reasons. “Perception is one thing, while fact will be fact,” he added.

In support of the law the leader of the opposition said, “We operate a democratic system and we must always be concerned about the efficacy and integrity of the political system.” When people were elected they gave up their private life to serve the public and had to understand they would be scrutinized, he said.

He welcomed the scrutiny and the need for board appointees to declare their relevant interests as well as politicians but said that while there was a need to strength democracy, they could not make it “so you can’t get anything done”. As a small jurisdiction the government had to be careful of not being able to find “good people to work” on the boards because they would be “scared to have their names smeared”, he said and queried what kind of democracy that would be.

Bush said he had always declared everything he had in the register of interests and despite all the investigating and the allegations he endured, he had never hidden any money or assets in anyone’s name or in any companies.

Bush is facing several charges relating to corruption, abuse of office and the misuse of government credit cards relating to his time as premier. Several theft charges have been dropped for lack of evidence and despite ongoing probes into other issues, no further charges have been brought against the opposition leader, who ran for office at the height of the probe into his time as premier and was still returned with a significant percentage of the vote by his West Bay constituents. Bush has categorically denied all of the allegations and said he will be vindicated when he has his day in court. He is currently set to stand trial in September.

Category: Politics

Comments (45)

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  1. Cay5 says:

    I learn a valuable lesson in politricks. You have to agree and do the good they say, but never ever do what they do!  At times you will find Alden saying the right and doing the wrong and McKeeva doing likewise or even worse. What do you expect?  Saints!  A politician will always be a politician!  Defend them to the core for what they say, but take my advice – don't let it trouble you if the other day you hear they did something for personal gain. I haven't seen not one person who has obtain power not have their own self-interest are the forefront. People may criticize Alden, McKeeva or any politician for that matter, but if they were in their shoes and start to see the money opportunities, what would they do with such power???

  2. Anonymous says:

    How does Mac not choke on his words? Seriously. Some of the statutory authorities managers earn more than the governor. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Blimey, I was born on a Sunday but it wasn't last Sunday. The balls of this guy!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh boy, I wonder every day how different WB, the Cayman Islands would be if Mr Bush had not been 'educated' by his anti-colonial, anti-British, anti-UK friends who came here and found such a gullible, power hungry Caymanian politician?

    Can you imagine if Mac had worked with the English or if they had welcomed Caymanians versus pushing uas aside? Now we have a country divided and the only people united are the expats, many of whom have their group controlling our political parties and civil service….and we worry about holding the Governor accountable? please give me a break..

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva has every right to speak out on this issue.

     

    He is ethical. His heart is pure. His hands are squeaky clean.

     

    This is absolutely true……..according to the definitions of those terms that you find in the West Bay dictionary.

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously don't grasp the concept Mac…ETHICS…it's something you practice not preach.

      Go away Mac..Just go away, you have lost all cerdibility XXXX

  6. Anonymous says:

    Some people still believe that if you cross your fingers behind your back when you say it, or sign it, then it doesn't count.

    • Anonymous says:

      And some people think they are perfect. you all so eager to jump on Mac…thats our problem in this country point fingers..hypocrites. You dont care if he aske for  good for the country…just beat him up! you idiots!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The ethics debate was a good opportunity for MB to keep his mouth shut.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Bush is the last person who should be entitled to speak about ethics.  And he needs surgery to remove all those chips from his shoulder too – seems he has plenty of them too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chips on his shoulder? If he had any of those he would be off to Vegas in a flash.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is a good one – thank goodness the Lord gave us a sense of humour else we'd all go mad!

        • Anonymous says:

          Support Rundown.

           

          It is one of the best features of Cayman culture.

           

          In fact, it is one of the things that gives me hope for Cayman's future.

  9. Richard Wadd says:

    "He (Bush) doth protest too much, methinks".

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    I AGREE WITH McKEEVA

    If the Governor is going to spend our money then he or she have a duty to present a spread sheet showing how and what the money was spent on. They are not above the law and it is our money. The reader who suggest thatbthe Governor is subject to UK standards is talking a load of rubbish, up to this date I have never heard of the UK giving the Governor a budget or a block of money for entertaining in the Cayman Islands. They need to be accountable like everyone else in public life.

    • Anonymous says:

      This poster clearly has no idea about how the legislation works. But when you think of the scores of innocent, hardworking people who provide their services, out of a sense of duty and for free, to the various  committees and commissions but who are caught by this legislation, it seems more than reasonable to include the Governor. After all, she is being paid for her job by the Cayman Islands, so why shouldn't she be subject to this law?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why should a national official be subject to local authority legislation?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Even now Bush is trying to throw mud at the last Governor. Is there one shred of evidence that Mr Taylor was anything but honest. Let's face it, even a wiff of scandals would bring the UK press corps straight out and once they have a story they don't let go.

    i would say which of these two men have charges hanging over them, XXXXXX

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bush? Ethics? YGBFKM???

  14. Anonymous says:

    Lately, every time I've read articles about transparency, corruption and self-interest, one song comes to mind over and over again.

    Sinnerman by Nina Simone.

    Please look it up on YouTube and give the 10 minute version a good listen…you just may enjoy it.

    Though written many decades ago it seems to have been tailored for us in the present.

    If you've made the effort to hear this song please let me know what you think by giving a thumbs up or down or leave a reply.

    For those of you who take the time, this should be interesting.

    • Anonymous says:

      My answer to you is this song is so very very very true and thank you for sharing. I hope they read it and understand that it’s not just the ethical part they need to pay attention to, but it’s also so the MORAL. And for all those who may have difficulty loading the video.See lyrics to Nina Simone’s song here:

      “Oh sinner man, where you gonna run to?
      Sinner man, where you gonna run to?
      Where you gonna run to?
      All on that day

      Well I runto the rock
      Please hide me, I run to the rock
      Please hide me, I run to the rock
      Please hide me, Lord
      All on that day

      But the rock cried out
      “I cant hideyou” the rock cried out
      “I cant hide you” the rock cried out
      “I aint gonna hide you, guy
      All on that day”

      I said, “Rock whats the matter with you, rock?
      Dont you see I need you, rock?”
      Lord, Lord, Lord
      All on that day

      So I run to the river
      It was bleedin’, I run to the sea
      It was bleedin’, I run to the sea
      It was bleedin’ all on that day

      So I run to the river, it was boilin’
      I run to the sea, it was boilin’
      I run to the sea, it was boilin’
      All on that day

      So I run to the Lord
      “Please hide me, Lord
      Dont you see me prayin’ ?
      Dont you see me down here prayin’ ?”

      But the Lord said, “Go to the Devil”
      The Lord said, “Go to the Devil”
      He said, “Go to the Devil”
      All on that day

      So I ran to the Devil
      He was waiting
      I ran to the Devil, he was waitin’
      I ran to the Devil, he was waitin’
      All on that day

      So I cried, “Power, power
      Power, power, power
      Power, power, power
      Break it down
      Break it down

      Power, power, power
      Power, power, power
      Power, power, power
      Power, power, power
      Power, power, power

      Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

      Oh, I run to the river
      It was boilin’, I run to the sea
      It was boilin’, I run to the sea
      It was boilin’ all on that day

      So I ran to the Lord
      I said, “Lord hide me
      Please hide me
      Please help me”
      All on that day

      He said, “Girl, where were you?
      When you are old and prayin'”
      Said, “Lord lord, hear me prayin’
      Lord Lord, hear me prayin’
      Lord Lord, hear me prayin’ ”
      All on that day

      Sinner man, you oughta be prayin’
      Oughta be prayin’, sinner man
      Oughta be prayin’ all on that day

      I cried, “Power, power
      Power, power, power
      Power, power, power
      Power, power, power
      Power, power, power

      Bring it down
      All down
      All down
      Bring it down

      Power, power, power

      Power, power, Lord
      Don’t you know?
      Don’t you know, I need you Lord?
      Don’t you know, when I need you?
      Don’t you know, ho ho ho that I need you?

      Power, power, power, Lord

      SONGWRITERS
      SEEKERS (THE), (GB 1)

      PUBLISHED BY
      LYRICS © WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC, INC.

      • Anonymous says:

        You're welcome.

        I'm glad to see you appreciated it and thank you to all the others who responded after listening.

        Please share this song with friends and family.

        It definitley has a powerful message, but it's dependant on how you interpret/perceive it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What crap. The governor is subject to UK standards.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's the problem! Case in point… Tempura!

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps, but when it comes to its Overseas Territories, those standards can be very low. Do the words EuroBank trial and Operation Tempura mean anything to you?

      • Anonymous says:

        Tempura is a fiasco but this law, even if applicable to the governor, would not have stopped the fiasco.

    • Whodatis says:

      Very true.

      Which is even more reason why Mac may be spot on with his assertion.

      Confused?

      Just ask any typical Brit about their views on "ethics" as it regards British politicans. Better yet, simply refer to one of the many UK surveys on the issue.

      • Anonymou says:

        I understand you do not see a red herring when it is thrown into an ethics debate.

      • Anonymous says:

        yep British politicians fudged their expenses a few years ago to get a few extra thousand quid.

        Compare that to a ration of GDP to Bush and his Millions and Cayman GDP. Then remember the UK politicians paid it back, has Bush………

        And the fact that UK MP's have a salary after taxes about a fifth of Cayman's and have on average constituencies and work load greater that 20 times compared to MLA's.

        If you cared more about the problems in cayman, instead of other places, maybe things could change here, but your obsession with the UK obviously gets in the way of trying to improve things at home.

        A good analogy would be you getting a warning from your boss for getting to work an hour late everyday and your excuse is someone you know who works at another company is 10mins late everyday so you have done nothing wrong

  16. Anonymous says:

    September can't come soon enough.

  17. Hancock says:

    Bush speaking on ethics is rather paradoxical in the light of the Thomas affair. Are the blind leading the blind here. Why is it that every time Bush opens his mouth his foot can be sighted?

    • Anonymous says:

      To me Mac is the most transparent of them all. His whole life has been subject to prying eyes and ears. Everybody in he business.

    • Anonymous says:

      Paradoxical or not, what's good for the goose should be good for the gander. Not excusing Bush for his actions, but the UK should be held accountable for its action. There's no way the Cayman Islands should have been made to foot the bill for the Tempura debacle. That colossal screw up was all at the hands of the UK and yet Cayman had to pay. 

      And, Bush is right. The last governor hosted lots of people at his house, serving good food and wine that costs more than $100 a bottle. I know this because I attended one of them. And the Cayman taxpayers paid for that.  Maybe it's justified and maybe the total cost is reasonable, but all of this should be public record.

      The UK should lead by example and quit this 'do as I say, not as I do' nonsense.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bush is right you all hate the man so much, you cant see through your hate. If mac was to tell you all to stay home because your death would come..you all would be dead.

        Let by gones be by gone…damn it!  let it go! he did wrong and redeemed himself. What are you all doing about you skelton in your closet? you hypocrites!

        • Anonymous says:

          Redeemed himself…? Pray tell how he has done that…lets go back to First Cayman Bank, Turtle farm financing, Cohen deal, port fiasco, Stan Thomas deals and the list goes on….not to mention casino and world tour jaunts at our expense.