Archive for July, 2008

Shooting ourselves in the foot

| 14/07/2008 | 0 Comments

Currently at least five countries including the US, UK, India, Norway
and Germany, several international non-governmental organizations and
a number of academic institutions, including Oxford University, are
conducting serious investigations into what really goes on in the
world of offshore finance. More than ever the Cayman Islands needs to
defend its regulatory regime and to advocate its importance in global
finance.

Given this situation, the removal of Tim Ridley not only from the
chair of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) but from the
Board as well is nothing short of stupefying. Love him or loathe him –
if the country is seeking to defend its position and to fly the flag
for free market global finance while maintaining a reputation for the
highest level of regulation in an offshore jurisdiction, the
government could have no better representative. Not only does Ridley’s
reputation stretch around the world, he is also a brilliant messenger
for Cayman’s cause. An eloquent and intelligent public speaker, Ridley
has been, according to many in the world of finance, an outstanding
ambassador for Cayman and for sensible solid regulation. He has flown
the flag and educated many on the idea that good regulation enhances
the ability of Cayman to do business, and that what Cayman does is
neither sinister nor illegal.

Yet, perhaps because Ridley is outspoken and an independent thinker,
perhaps because he does not toe what is perceived to be the
government  ‘line’, or perhaps because he is not ‘Caymanian’
enough, the country has lost its most effective advocate at a time
when we never needed one so badly.

In fact, we have no idea why we have lost him. The government has as
yet offered no information regarding the reasons for his removal, so
it could be any of the above or something entirely different. Ridley
is said to have beenmore than happy to continue his tenure, so the
decision has come from the administration and still, like so many
things in Cayman, remains a mystery.

It is no surprise that the local financial services sector is silently
seething, and it will be interesting to see who eventually breaks that
silence and says publicly what everyone else is thinking and asks the
question openly of government – what in hell are you doing?

Losing Richard Rahn, one of the last few remaining international
directors who has also advocated widely for Cayman’s cause and is a
leading columnist, was another blow to the country’s financial
industry. If these changes have been made for parochial reasons then
we all need to be concerned. Any damage to CIMA’s reputation for
efficiency and objectivity would damage the sector as a whole and, as
Ridley has often noted, we are all dependent on the offshore sector.
From the small car mechanic’s shop to Foster’s supermarket, our
domestic economy feeds off the success of the financial services
industry. Add to that the current worldwide focus on Cayman and other
offshore tax havens, losing the advocacy of Ridley and Rahn is a
significant blow.

As various interested parties wait on the explanation for Ridley’s
removal, it is likely to be a long wait. If government genuinely
believes that CIMA will do better without the services of Ridley then
it really should explain why. However, it is hard to feel anything but
a sense of unease that, in this case, any explanation will fall far
short of the truth. If this is indeed a case of nationalism raising
its very ugly head in a very inappropriate place or the desire to
silence someone that cannot be controlled, neither bodes well for the
future of the country’s golden goose.

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Country matters

| 11/07/2008 | 0 Comments

By Gordon Barlow – Posted Friday, 11 July 208

Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins by
saying, everyone has the right to take part in the government of
his country.
  However, Cayman is not a “country” as the
United Nations uses the word, and nor are Britain’s other overseas
territories. We are not nations. We are parts of the “country” of
Britain.  So the right to take part in the government of our
country means we have the right to vote in Britain, and the right of
equal access to public service there. Fancy that!

Gibraltar is also a British Overseas Territory, with an FCO-imposed
constitution much the same as Cayman’s. Yet in Gibraltar, a mere six
months’ residence is enough to establish the right to vote. I don’t
think the residents of Gibraltar can vote in UK elections, but they do
vote in European Union elections as part of a specified English
electorate.

Gibraltar’s six-months-residence qualification was set by the European
Court of Human Rights. The Court ruled, in effect, that every genuine
immigrant is entitled to vote in the local elections of his own little
section of “his country”. He has the same rights as a new resident of
any small town on the mainland of Britain, who is of course entitled
to vote in his local elections. Why isn’t this ruling followed in
Cayman? Why do our immigrants have to wait twenty or thirty years
before being allowed to vote?

For centuries (since 1713, in fact), Gibraltar has been a crucially
important British naval base, but in today’s world it simply isn’t as
important as it used to be. With regard to all the overseas
territories, the FCO determines each one’s importance to Britain’s
national interests (as interpreted by the FCO), and in these days of
the European Union, Cayman is reckoned to be of greater strategic
value than Gibraltar.

Our offshore tax-haven and financial centre are vital to British
national interests inthe Caribbean region. We residents of Cayman are
in the happy position of being allowed to benefit from this situation.
We have a surfeit of excellent jobs, and our standard of living is
high. The price we pay for this comfort is 1) we have to stay a part
of Britain, and 2) we have to leave it to the FCO to decide what
access we have to the fundamental human rights set out in the
Universal Declaration.

In Cayman, Article 21 is flouted openly and unapologetically. Itmay
seem surprising, but the FCO is on many issues actually on the side of
the anti-human-rights people here. There is some huffing and puffing
at the moment by the FCO’s Parliamentary oversight committee, but
that’s just for show. 

Article 21 declares, the will of the people shall be the basis of
the authority of government.
But in respect of Cayman and its
local government, the FCO has not wanted this to include the will of
first-generation immigrants. There won’t be universal and equal
suffrage
in the foreseeable future.

It’s interesting to speculate whether Britain will ever follow the
lead and logic that France exercises in respect of its overseas
territories. In St Martin, French Polynesia and the rest, the
residents have no separate colonial status to speak of. They can and
do vote their own respective local Island legislatures, as well as
electing their own representatives to the French Parliament in Paris
and to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Until that happens in Cayman – or until we become independent, and
therefore officially a “country” – Article 21 of the Universal
Declaration is likely to remain a dead letter in these Islands, pretty
much.

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Anti-gay rants are pathetic and dangerous

| 07/07/2008 | 0 Comments

By AquaWoman – Posted Monday, 7 July 208

4 comment

Enough is enough. Sooner or later a gay person is going to be attacked
in the Cayman Islands by some demented person who was encouraged by
the steady stream of anti-gay hate that is being spewed over our radio
airwaves via two popular talk shows.

I wonder if the more sensible people in our country are aware of how
bad it’s been since the ridiculous “gay kissing incident” and the
suggestion that we should adopt a bill of rights. Why haven’t
government officials or the police spoken out against this
inflammatory talk that has filled the airwaves in recent months? Do
they really think this is acceptable? One caller to Radio Cayman’s
afternoon talk show said that we should bring back stoning for gays in
Cayman. He wasn’t joking. Shockingly, the host of the show did not
hang up on him or condemn the barbaric and dangerous comment in any
way. The caller was allowed to keep talking for another five minutes
or so!

Rooster’s morning talk show is the scariest. The host of that show is
passionately anti-gay, so much so that one has to wonder what it is
that motivates him to protest this one particular issue so vigorously
and consistently. But he’s not alone. Call after call comes into the
show from agitated men who are alarmed by the thought of gay people
holding hands in public. Most of these callers show the classic signs
of men who are struggling, consciously or subconsciously, with their
own sexuality.

These men sound like textbook cases of repressed homosexuality. Maybe
they are, maybe they aren’t. But they sure do talk the talk. Just
listen to their own words. Virtually every day, numerous callers to
both of Cayman’s radio talk shows repeat what has become the
unofficial Caymanian slogan for gay hate: “They can’t shove it down
our throats.” Hmmm…  It’s interesting that so many of them keep
articulating their stand against gay men with such a loaded phrase.
The host of Rooster’s talk show host recently made a comment that was
bursting with subconscious meaning: “It’s the snake that sneaks up
behind you that you have to watch out for.”

Paging Dr. Freud.

Cayman’s anti-gay hot heads just don’t sound much like the guardians
of pure heterosexuality they claim to be. They seem more like
tormented souls desperately trying to camouflage or compensate for
their own hang-ups and desires. If they only knew that many people are
snickering at them every time they go off on one of their hate-filled
rants. Any smart person who has been around for a while knows that the
biggest anti-gay bigmouths are almost always the ones who are creeping
around in the shadows secretly lusting for Liza Minnelli music.

Knoxman: Dearest Aquawoman, It is unfortunate that your verbage
online today shows that you clearly do not understand the issues here
or that you just do not care.

Your quite valid message of not harming “gays” physically is equally
clothed in misguided rants regarding the character of Caymanians who
are anti-gay, thus totally ineffective – in fact it may have added
fuel to the fire. Also it clearly displays your lack of understanding
of the Caymanian society, whether you are Caymanian or not.

What is clear with this case is that the Cayman Islands have never
been a place of extroverted displays of such behaviour. The fact that
other countries have been worn down to accept (thanks to Hollywood)
that being a homosexual as being “normal” is neither here nor there
for most Caymanians and I can assure you that those that feel that way
do not have any pent up desire to be one. I would hazard to guess that
most Caymanians would not want to see homosexuals in Cayman with these
types of public displays and as such the Cayman society should be free
to decide what is best for the society as a whole. It is really quite
inappropriate for another culture, country or person (other than
Caymanians) to decide what should be the best for the Cayman Islands.
And to date, what Caymanians have said is that they do not want
Homosexuals roaming the streets displaying what the people find
disgusting behaviour. The same is probably as true for some of the
“Soca style heterosexual” behavior that we see infusing our culture
from overseas.

Unfortunately, the socialist UK Government in particularly seems bent
to create a little microcosm of their country here. From where I sit,
I believe that they have not done too well of a job creating a decent
and functioning society in the UK. Their immigration and
constitutional issues make ours look petty. It is obvious that you are
of the same irk as them and I suggest that you refrain trying to
change our country.

Additionally, I suggest to you that in future you are more considerate
of the local culture if you are from overseas and if you are
Caymanian, please try to find your true Caymanian self.

Michael: There is no “sooner or later” for Cayman; we have
already had 2 murders this year where both victims were gay, in
addition to numerous violent and verbal attacks on gay citizens,
including gay Caymanians. If the “free press” of Cayman don’t want to
say that then they are obviously not a free press. Free speech means
that ignorant bigots can say what they like on the air and run for
office, and free choice means we can avoid the businesses who
give money to the station for advertising. I agree with Aquawoman that
it is a well-noted coincidence that so many “real men” who take issue
with gays turn out to be unable to deal with their own internal
struggle: As pointed out, Ted McTaggart and Larry Craig, both
Conservative, both publicly anti-gay, are just two excellent recent
high-profile examples.  Why can this not be so in Cayman? What is
it about so many people here that they feel that homosexuality is an
import, that true Caymanians are just not capable of such a terrible
thing?

Sadly, Mr Knoxman rubbishes the satirical but spot-on analysis above
with the usual xenophobia we are so used to here, tarnishing the
bright future of bright young Caymanians. I think this lady DOES care.
It is the homophobic ostriches and dinosaurs here that do not really
care, for they allow their primitive and irrational beliefs to poison
our image worldwide. Yes, they may have good intentions, but they
are blinded by faith and a lack of true facts.

Let us remember something, many of us “indigenous” (ridiculous term
here) Caymanians are the descendants of African slaves – that may not
sit well with many who want to avoid this issue but it’s there and
it’s true. I am proud of my heritage. I may have had no choice in the
matter but I will not ignore the struggles my ancestors had for me to
have my place here. Anyone that believes there were no homosexuals in
Africa, or on those first boats, is deluded and too insecure to deal
with history and biology.

Can you imagine what the feeling towards gays was in those days?
Perhaps in Africa long ago it wasn’t a problem, just like it wasn’t a
problem in Rome (I will come back to that gem in a moment). It was
thanks to the tenacity of European missionaries, the uneducated mind
of the African ancestor and the fear that came with the aggressive
conversion to Christianity (oh, how so many here forget/ignore the
brutal conversion) that we have these beliefs instilled in us. Ask any
anti-gay Caymanian or Jamaican why they are against gays and most will
answer with reference to God or The Bible.

So interesting that so many here cling to the book and beliefs that
were forced on our ancestors through intimidation and fear. Do you
really think our ancestors, who were worshipping all kinds of deities,
welcomed this with open arms? No, they either accepted or were beaten
or even killed. Fast forward a few hundred years and here we are,
repressed and brainwashed, haters with no rational basis for hate.
THIS is why you don’t see much public display from gay people, because
they fear for their LIFE. Who are the ones creating this fear? The
pastors and talk show hosts, who take advantage of their low-educated,
eager-to-feel-special flocks. I’m a very fortunate young Caymanian; I
have good parents, I listened at school and had great higher education
overseas. This has given me a questioning mind, able to see beyond
hate and embarrassingly stupid statements using impartial logic and
reason.

Knoxman and others – you may never ever agree or accept this but
homosexuality is NATURAL, i.e. it is part of nature. Many species have
homosexual tendencies, dogs, dolphins and monkeys, to name a few. It
is the belief that we are unique, special, gods chosen people that
keeps many from raising their consciousness and letting go of their
selfishness to see that we are all linked. Clinging to the Bible quote
that God gave man dominion over all creatures shows ignorance of germ
theory for one.

Just because we are a small island doesn’t give us the right to spew
hatred and attack “foreigners” for speaking for civility and
acceptance (I don’t like the word tolerant).  Is my brother
“abnormal” because he “chooses” to be gay?Do the village fools
honestly believe that he chooses to be in hiding, paranoid, scared for
his life? He doesn’t want to parade in the streets waving flags, he
wants to be accepted – as he cannot change the way he feels about the
gender of his partner, just as I cannot help my choice of gender in my
partner. Who are you to be superior? By the way, while we have the
Queen on our (Tax Free) currency and take advantage of the MANY
benefits afforded to us, the UK and her laws dictate most of what
happens here, and I am glad of that as I wouldn’t stay in another
Jamaica or other backwards Church-controlled society.

Yes, there may be issues with the UK and others but what on earth
possesses you with the belief that by maintaining such hatred we will
be better than them? There are no real answers; we are an evolving
society in Cayman, as is the UK and all. Yes, I am aware of
cultures when I visit Dubai for example, and wouldn’t advise anyone
visit Iran (unless you enjoy watching gays being hung) but that
insinuates they have the right idea. These cultures stone adulterers
too – not many Caymanian men left if that happened here! Point being,
this is not Iran or Dubai, this is Cayman – a so-called accepting
melting pot of social democracy.

Back to Rome, I always chuckle at the “when in Rome ..” line, as it’s
clear that most people who use this line to moderate their gay-hate
have no clue as to the history of Roman culture, where homosexuality
was very public and “normal” not only ok, but it was quite normal for
a young boy to be “groomed” by a family friend. Nero was married
to a man and 11 out of the 12 emperors were gay!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Rome

Caymandude: When someone tries to defend the homosexual
lifestyle I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it
to be an abomination… End of debate. I do need some advice, however,
regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend
of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can
you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
her period of menstrual uncleanness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is
how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’
of abomination?

7. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have
a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses.
Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to
death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep
with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)


#2 – Have you tried E-bay? Check some of the shady Third World
countries for going rates.

#3- See #4, and get your wife to find out.

#4- Don’t smite, be polite. Invite the neighbors over for a cookout.
Make sure you got rice and peas.

#5 – Just send the neighbor to the drug areas — they will take
care of him, probably more efficiently than the police and definitely
less red tape.

#6- It’s only a top ten abomination if you’re gay and eat shellfish.
PS don’t include shrimp with #4.

#7- Try contacts — nobody will know the difference.

#8- How bad is the hair cut? If they have a Nike sign carved in their
head – stoning for sure.

#9- Latex or Cotton gloves? Who do you think is going to the Superbowl
this year?

#10 – I personally believe in private burning, brings the family
together. Maybe you can include #4, make it a full family day?

I certainly hope this clears up some of your questions.

 

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Teen violence and crime

| 04/07/2008 | 0 Comments

By Felicia Rankin (Year 11, JGHS) – Posted 4 July 2008

More than anything I would love to inform you that teen violence and
crime is decreasing on our island. But unfortunately that is the exact
opposite of the truth. Things have in fact been worsening. And it
makes you stop and wonder…what in the world is wrong with these
younger generations?

In my personal opinion, I think that as citizens of this island you
should stop sitting on the sidelines watching as things go from bad to
worse, and stop thinking of all the “wonderful” things you do for your
children, and start thinking of all the things you DON’T do for your
children.

I, as a young Caymanian, still attend high school, so I witness social
issues every day and sometimes I’m even faced with some for myself. So
I have a very good idea of what I am writing about. I witness teens in
school with the foulest of attitudes, ranging from profanity,
disrespect for staff and students, defacing school property, and even
racism.

It has even gotten so bad that at a simple event such as a school
talent show police cars are parked ready and waiting. Dogs trained for
finding drugs have been brought onto school grounds. Assemblies are
set up for teachers to preach to us to behave better as if we are
still kindergartners. These are just a few things that sadly have to
be done for this crumbling generation.

I do think that the media has a lot to do with how teenagers act these
days. When you listen to the derogatory lyrics of popular music genres
such as rap, reggae and soca, it’s quite shocking to hear what makes
music “fun” these days, and it should come as no surprise that, since
its popular, that’s why children so easily follow the lyrics’
instructions.

Like listening to artists like 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg, whose lyrics
almost always speak about violence, drug use and disrespect to women.
And they present it in such a way that makes it seem highly appealing,
especially to young men. They see how men such as those artists “made
it” with their rude remarks and thug attitudes, and figure it worked
for them so why not for me? So they start with bad behavior, which
attracts more bad behaved boys, and they feed off of each other
encouraging one another to continue walking the wrong path. This all
leads to fights, drug dealing and, as a result, sometimes even death.
Even movies can portray things that give teens a false idea of how
they should be.

Just like it says in the song by The Black Eyed Peas, “Negative images
is the main criteria, infecting the young minds faster than bacteria,
kids want to act like what they see in the cinema.” That simple lyric
from the song describeswhat I’m trying to explain perfectly.

But I do not completely blame the media. Because, by the time you have
grown to be a teenager, you already have a strong sense of the
difference between wrong and right. Therefore, teens are more than
able to make a lot of their own choices, but they choose the wrong
thing. There are numerous reasons for this.

Peer pressure is one of the main reasons: to be around your peers and
have them try to tempt you into doing the wrong thing; to have someone
force you into something either by threatening you or by saying it’ll
make you fit in and become popular. As everyone knows, all teenagers
want to have a good school experience. And how do you have that? By
having lots of popular friends and have people love, respect and
admire you. People naturally long to be accepted, especially if they
feel like they aren’t being loved and respected at home.

Which is where my next point comes in. Some parents sadly aren’t doing
the best job in raising their children. Some have a very ‘Que Sera
Sera’ attitude. Some parents just look at teen issues as unimportant
and silly. Most parents do not seem to realize that times are changing
drastically and being a teenager these days is a lot harder than it
used to be. The majority of parents out there will completely disagree
because we have better classrooms, easier transportation, better
clothing, computers and iPods. Those are material things that at the
end of the day don’t matter. What really matters is the attention and
understanding you show your children and, of course, the values you
instill in them.

When I speak to some of my peers and hear how their parents treat and
raise them, it astonishes me how horrible some of those parents are.
And their bad parenting is reflected through their children. It’s easy
to notice because those teens are the ones who are known to be the
troublemakers. Those kids are usually very aggressive, always ready to
insult a teacher, harass others, and even fight and threaten to kill
students at outside events such as Batabano or Pirates Week. I have
even heard from some students that there are parents who encourage
them to carry out violent acts and even to disrespect teachers. Now
how else do you expect kids to turn out with parents like that, when
they are teaching their kids about how to deal with life but going
about it completely the wrong way? Other parents bully and put down
their kids. They may either physically or mentally abuse their
children. Doing that has a great negative impact on a child.

All of those things affect a child greatly and may explain why these
younger generations seem to be losing their minds. Lately, drunk
driving, drive-by shootings, stabbings, bar fights, drug dealing, and
murders seem to be occurring more often in our society, especially
with young adults. Now that is something we don’t need to become part
of regular Caymanian life. Something needs to be done and it needs to
be done fast. Is this what Cayman is coming to, a place that can’t be
called paradise anymore? Is it soon going to become a place filled
with crime, where our youth will be looked upon as criminals and the
ruination of this island? I hope it will never come to that. But I ask
you, if you care about the future of this island, what are you willing
to do about it?

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A lesson in constitutional politics

| 03/07/2008 | 0 Comments

As the dust settles on the government’s decision to postpone the
planned referendum regarding the proposed constitutional changes, the
country now has the opportunity to reflect on the significance of that
move. One thing that emerges from the entire process is that,
regardless of suggestions to the contrary, the constitution is about
politics. The decision not to hold the referendum this month, the
decision to hold it or not to hold in the first place, the contents of
the proposals, the local meetings, the talks with the UK, and the
disagreements with the Opposition – all of it is political.

To suggest that fundamentally altering the balance of power between
the Governor’s office and the elected members, changing the role of
the Attorney General or adopting the principle of ‘one member, one
vote’ is not political is missing the fundamental point.

Had the government adopted the position that its proposals were indeed
political from the start and taken on the challenge of winning the
people over to their view, the entire process may have taken a
different turn. The onus was on government to sell its constitutional
position and convince the electorate why it was proposing the changes.
The game of politics is about persuasion and taking a stand,
attempting to be all things to all people is an impossible goal.
Consensus politics and harmonious coexistence may seem like a nice
idea but it is just not the way that controversial developments in a
society are achieved.

The People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) administration had a mandate
from the country’s, albeit limited, electorate. While it is arguably
an undemocratic system because of the disenfranchisement of such a
large section of the community, under the system, the PPM were voted
in fair and square to carry out their policies.

As such, the government was in a position to draw up proposals,
campaign for their acceptance and then put them to the vote with or
without engagement with the Opposition or the people. In their efforts
to include everyone and, more importantly, trying to please everyone,
they fundamentally failed to win the debate. They did not even
persuade the people that the country even needs to renew its
constitution at all.

The entire process was a demonstration of failure by government to
have the courage of its convictions. Instead of mass consultation we
should have seen leadership and persuasion. The referendum has been
cancelled because the government has seen that it has failed to
generate real debate over constitutional and serious political issues.
It effectively failed to win the people over to any of its proposals,
not necessarily because the political position was flawed but because
they did not define or promote it. The government should not have
feared their proposals but declared and supported them whole heartedly
and then campaigned for popular support in the same way they would
campaign for the party manifesto in a general election.

The commitment instead to a non-political debate failed to generate
the necessary level of consciousness from the people and allowed the
discussion to focus on the distraction of gay marriage and non-
Christian religious influences, none of which needed to have anything
to do with the creation of a modern constitution.

Now that the government has opted to talk to the UK before it holds
the referendum the lesson to learn must surely be that politicians
need to have the courage of their convictions. When they have achieved
a constitutional document that they believe will work for Cayman, and
in order to ensure this process is not derailed again, the PPM must
take the political bull by the horns and sell it to the people. As the
referendum will now be held on the same day as the election there can
no longer be any pretence that this is not a political issue.

Depending on a successful outcome from the UK negotiations, the PPM
can sell the document alongside their 2009 political manifesto. As
there is every possibility that the United Democratic Party, which won
their political battle to undermine the entire idea of renewing the
constitution will again be campaigning for a ‘No’, especially if the
UK agrees to some of the significant changes the PPM has sought, it is
even more imperative that the PPM recognise and embrace the politics
of the process.

Whatever the outcome, this entire process is political and it needs to
be both acknowledged and sold as such. We need to see the PPM
campaigning boldly for the content of their proposals in the way that
the UDP campaigned against the entire process. The Opposition seem to
have been well aware from day one that this was a political game. It’s
now time for the PPM to start playing.

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Religious Tolerance

| 01/07/2008 | 0 Comments

I myself have become very close to a friend who practices Hinduism. I
have come to learn that it is a peaceful religion that is tolerant of
everyone no matter their beliefs or actions. She is one of two Hindus
in our Christian school and she is able to sit with us as we pray and
listen to the teachings of Christianity. It causes me to think –
society is afraid to allow people of other religions to have equal
rights, yet this one girl can sit among a crowd that is completely
different from those of her own.

Christianity is supposed to be based on tolerance, not ignorance. In
the Second World War the holocaust occurred. This tragic movement did
not happen because Jews were doing wrong, but simply because a leader
followed by his group of people had a fear for Jews changing their
ways of living. Jews were seen as greatly inferior to the Nazis. Why?
Because they had different beliefs – because they were Jews. This
event happened for a reason – to teach others of the importance of
tolerance and acceptance. We, all human beings, are meant to learn
from this.  

I believe it was Nietzsche who said out of chaos comes order.
 This country is in constitutional pandemonium!  But the old
political weeds are dying and sinking their thorns into this country
trying to sew their seeds of intolerance and hate and reap support
from the people of a bygone era.  The future is coming and it is
one that will bring order out of the mess they have created.

Why are we so afraid to EVOLVE? To evolve means to improve and it is
impossible if we stay the same.  I thought that we took pride in
saying Caymanians are friendly people?   In our local press a
writer coined our defiance as culture and was very pleased about it!
 “Defiance” is a euphemism for fear in our situation.  There
is nothing patriotic about discrimination but there is something
totalitarian about it!

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