Bush slams PPM over debt

| 05/01/2009

(CNS): The Leader of the Opposition has hit out at the government for shouldering the Caymanian people with debt and described the PPM administration as a “runaway train". In his New Year speech and a clear start to the election campaign, McKeeva Bush criticized government on numerous issues, from the CUC deal to signing Cayman up to the European Convention on Human Rights. Describing 2008 as a challenging year he said, “Unfortunately with the PPM at the helm 2009 holds no better promise.”

In a speech damning the current administration the Leader of the United Democratic Party said the government had little or no regard for the lives of the Caymanian people.

“They have become blinded by political expediency, as the country smothers under the debt of their arrogance,” he said. “The PPM with their runaway capital projects has placed this country in almost $1 billion of debt.”

Bush said that the opposition had been responsible despite the reckless behavior of the government, whom he accused of poor leadership and economic management. He took aim at the government’s deal with CUC, which he said had seen Minister Arden McLean place an additional burden of $13 million on the country. He accused Education Minister Alden McLaughlin of breaching the trust of the people when he signed Cayman up on a permanent basis to what he described as a constitutionally changing agreement in secret with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Bush was also critical of the process of constitutional reform, as well as the proposals offered by the PPM, and defended his decision to leak the draft constitutional document to the people after the government had agreed with the UK negotiating team to keep the proceedings behind closed doors.

“As Leader of the People’s Opposition, I echoed your call for those meetings to be held publicly, in a strong and decisive manner, and even when the government failed to follow my cry continued,” he said. “Out of my responsibility to the people of these islands I broke protocol and made the draft Constitution available to the people despite the criticisms of the PPM for doing so.”

He also described the government as embarrassing in its inability to lead and criticized the Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts for numerous failures.

“They have squandered and have permitted the squandering of the people’s money, and shamelessly cry in too many instances that they were misled,” Bush added. He cited the issue of Hassen Syed who has been accused of embezzling several hundred thousand dollars from the University College of the Cayman Islands, as well as the fiasco over attempts to purchase a police helicopter that has seen some $3 million spent on a machine not fit for purpose, and the regional insurance policy which has failed to pay up in the wake of Hurricane Paloma.

“The Government’s cries of being misled are just completely unacceptable.  It’s just pure terrible leadership!” Bush exclaimed.

Bush also criticized the government’s failure to see the economic crisis coming and their subsequent reaction.

“They have attempted to create a committee 18 months later, after the horse is out of the gate and this phantom committee that to date the public has not even heard of, the committee members have offered no solutions that the public is yet aware of,” he said.

Calling on the people to turn to the UDP at the next election, he said the PPM’s previous slander campaign aimed at him had proved false. “Time, and the Commission of Enquiryhas proven them to be liars, and their management has exposed them to the world,” he added.

“We are in a defining moment in our history.  Our country is at serious risk.  But we offer change from the failures of the past and present – we offer strong leadership and hope.”

He said the people were seeking strong leadership and not monuments that the country cannot afford.  In a clear pitch for votes he asked the people of Cayman to stand with the UDP.







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  1. Twyla M Vargas says:


    Because some of us would try and hang McKeva Bush under a grape tree because of the Status grants.  Has anyone considerd that he was not a one man band at the time.  It was everyone of them.,  So enough is enough, hang them all if you want to be fair, Your politician and mine too.   So I wish you all would stop the crap about status Grant.  I am a Caymanian and never have I had an expatriate to keep me out of a job or ever tried to do me harm., and if they had tried it I would not have been afraid to say what I had to say.

    Do you sincerely blame McKeva Bush for loosing your job to expatriates with status, blame your own people  Who are really employing, status holders anyway?.   Which status holder took away your job without a Caymanian giving it to him.     For crying out loud ,make another check.   Further more I know we are only refering to a certain Caribbean Country.  But although we have had some run-ins with certain nationality they are not taking away peoples husbands and breaking up Caymanian families.  Have we done a recent check to see who is taking over this Island, in every Crab hole and under every rock.  Of course that will not bother us.  You know why, because we like too much Red Mouth and straight hair.

    This STATUS rumour started before the last election,  and why was that so,  It was Only a Political stragety, To mix up the minds of Caymanians for Voting purpose.  A Good job was done and we spent 4 years paying for it.  Now again the same stragety is being pulled.   THE OLD STATUS GRANT TRICK.   Fall for it again, see where it will get you.   But you know something it is not going to work with the intelligent people of this country.    McKeva Bush has done more good for this country than bad, but his heart is too big, and he has suffered under the hands of those he trusted, He wined and dined with so many of them who at the same time held a knife under the table trying to cut off his legs. 

    I know all of the anonymous letter writers will attempt to hang me for this letter, but guess what I really dont care a rat…………what anyone have to say.  I am not going to be a coward and hide behind anyone frock tail. 

    Be blessed

    • Anonymous says:

      "This STATUS rumour started before the last election,  and why was that so,  It was Only a Political stragety, To mix up the minds of Caymanians for Voting purpose".

      Twyla, it started as a rumour because it was being done secretly behind the backs of the Caymanian people. However, thanks to "rumours" the fact and reality of the status grants became known. There was no transparency. Mr. Bush IS the UDP. His former fellow Ministers have said it was a personality cult. He has never denied responsibility  for the status grants, but has sought to justify them. Whether you wish to admit it or not it has done incalculable harm to this country.

      Mr. Bush is in fact a master of "political strategy, to mix up the minds of Caymanians for voting purposes". That is he what he is doing with the Constitutional review process, that is what he is doing in trying to blame the increase in crime on the elected politicians (who he knows have no responsibility for the police) while at the same objecting that the constitution should be changed to allow them to have some responsibility. That is what he has always done.  Blinkered people like you fall for it every time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, so the Leader of the UDP is now supposed to be above criticism when almost every day we see an article where he is attacking the PPM Govt. for everything under the sun whether they are responsible or not! All of a sudden, when the shoe is on the other foot, criticism is equated to HANGING? Leadership is about accepting responsibility for the actions of the group which you lead, not schoolboyish responses such as ‘well it wasn’t only me’. And it is about admitting when you erred, not about excuses like ‘they made me do it’ or pretending it was the right thing to do. Confession is good for the soul; repentance is even better.  

      Has anyone stopped to consider that the criticisms directed against the Govt’s spending are directly the opposite of what the big brain economists in the U.S. are almost unanimous in saying is necessary to do in an recession even where it leads to major budget deficit? They are all for stimulus packages and major expenditure on infrastructure.  It was actually the thinking reflected in these criticisms that turned a major recession into the Great Depression in 1929. Yes, I know we don’t have the tax base of the U.S. but part of their stimulus package is also to reduce taxes.  Yes, the spending can be reined in some, but don’t go overboard in condemning it. 

    • Anonymous says:

      It is really a shame that you can’t see all the harm UDP has done to this country and Caymanians.  Thank God that you have not had to deal with the repercussions of their decisions that were motivated by sheer selfishness.  Not love for their country but love for themselves.   Unfortunately your children and mine will pay for their mistakes for many years to come.  Therefore, if you are not feeling it now you will soon.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The status grants were the UDP’s way ofattempting to ensure that they would always win re-election.  No one in their right should vote for UDP candidates regardless if they are from West Bay or as far away as Cayman Brac. They have destroyed the islands more by their selfish act than Ivan and Paloma combined. Has any other country in history ever given citizenship on such a large scale all at once? In less than 10 years the majority of the voters in this country will be those who were given status and their family members.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Want to know why things will never improve here.  This quote "I must admit that the UDP Govt did make a few mistakes during their time in power, but what Govt hasn’t?" tells it all. For anyone to not admit the the UDP was/is about as bad as it could get is insane. I think that a simple solution is to have a strict 2 term limit. Everyone that has been in longer than 8 years needs to go without question and many of the others have proven that one term was too much

  4. Anonymous says:

    UDP??!  Are we prepared to go through that hell again?!  I think not!  The economy is bad all over and PPM should not have done as many capital expenditures as they have but they have better intentions for this country than UDP!  Also, let’s not forget the many INTENTIONAL mistakes that UDP has made.  Selling out the country to the highest bidder and GIVING AWAY status grants!  What else are we going to allow them to steal from Caymanians.  The economy is bad now and it is hard for Caymanians to find jobs and it hurts when those who did not deserve statuses are taking what few jobs are available.  PPM is trying to build new schools (which I think needs to be postponed as we can not afford all those school at this moment) to accommodate UDP’s mistake of granting so many statuses which also meant our country is now obligated to educated their children!  I don’t have a problem with those who earned the right to be Caymanian but for those who got on the "List" without earning the rights I feel victimized by.  Our resources are limited and what little we have Caymanians should benefit from but UDP has made that a huge challenge.  I am not sure at this moment who would be best to run this country but I know NOT UDP!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Please, PLEASE go out and vote for people who believe in action and less on playing the blame game and nepotism.  Both Tibbetts and Bush need to retire….

  6. Anonymous says:

    I must admit that the UDP Govt did make a few mistakes during their time in power, but what Govt hasn’t?   However, they brought a lot of good business investments to these Islands, even though he took alot of heat for projects like Camana Bay and the Ritz Carlton!!  Mac continues to do his best to assist the people of these Islands who are struggling to make ends meet.

    • Common Sense - not all that common anymore! says:

      "they brought a lot of good business investments to these Islands, even though he took alot of heat for projects like Camana Bay and the Ritz Carlton!!"

      …. what you meant to say was that the UDP politicians and members earned a lot of personal benefits for projects like Camana Bay and the Ritz Carlton.

      Helping the chosen few rather than the country at large is more along the lines of what really happens/happened – not the people of these islands in general.  If you’re not a UDP supporter, do you get help making ends meet?

      Take a drive down WB Rd these days — all big high rise condominium buildings that the average Caymanian would be lucky enough to visit once or twice, but sadly and realistically wouldn’t be able to afford. 

      Changing the law for the Ritz project only opened the door up for the rest of them — the masses are now seeing $$ signs and replacing the nice, more traditional Caymanian or Caribbean properties with these South Beach / North American type properties.  ‘Great job’ there UDP!

  7. Common Sense - not all that common anymore! says:

    The UDP is not our answer to our country’s problems.

    If one feels the PPM hasn’t served us well, don’t just jumpfrom one ‘bad ship’ to another.   Remember the UDP’s mistakes – they can be made again. It’s the same people in charge.  

    Can our country afford to again give away what was once an honour of Cayman Status / RERC to thousands of undeserving?  Not to say some who got then didn’t earn it, but many, many , many who got it, didn’t deserve, or earn it and now it can never be taken away from them.  That was an eternal mistake that the UDP has never even owned up to and one which they conveniently nevery bring up meanwhile they blast the PPM.  That was one mistake that this young Caymanian can’t forget. 

    Perhaps the PPM inherited such a mess of a gov’t after the UDP lost power.  Is it all PPM’s doing?  That’s not a statement – it’s a legitimate question.  I don’t know and therefore can’t pass judgement on it.

    We’ll see what our options are in May.  Caymanians, do your part and vote for the best/right choice for our country and our country’s future – whomever that may be!   Think sustainable development.  Think reduction of crime.  Think better education. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you that as as a young Caymanian UDP has taken away opportunities from me with the senseless status grants!  I hope that more Caymanians vote this year but especially the young so that our voices can be heard.  All of UDP’s mistakes are now on our shoulders and we will have to suffer from their mistakes for the rest of our lives.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I agree it’s kettle calling the frying pan black so lets DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT ON ELECTION DAY!!…..After all, we the people get the government we deserve as it is us who elect them…….and we all know the definition of insanity! 

    • Anonymous says:

      What is our choice? The UDP?! Heaven forbid that we should make that tragic mistake. Bring on some credible choices.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can they do better for the country when they can’t agree on anything???? Instead of them trying to work together for the betterment of the country and the people, they waste time crying each other down!!!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    kettle calling frying pan black

  10. Anonymous says:

    "PPM". What a joke!

    I won’t even waste my time commenting on their performance over the past 3.5 years.

  11. Collin Mc says:

    PPM must go at the rate they are going  my children will be paying off the debt they are putting this country in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1