UDP invite falls foul of law

| 19/04/2009

(CNS): The UDP confirmed on Friday evening that Miss Cayman Islands, Nicosia Lawson, would not be speaking at their youth rally as promoted due to her role as a civil servant. According to the Public Servant’s Code of Conduct, government workers have a right to attend public meetings but they must remain politically neutral to protect the integrity of the office. UDP General Secretary, Rolston Anglin, said due to a miscommunication Lawson was promoted as being a speaker but that this had to be cancelled.


Cayman Islands government workers were warned earlier this month by the Chief Secretary George McCarthy not to engage in political activities in the run up to the General Election on 20 May. Civil servants cannot assist parties in their campaigns, fundraise or put bumper stickers on cars, never mind actually speak on the platform of a political party or candidate.

“In accordance with the rules of civil servants Ms Lawson will not be able to speak at this event and we sincerely apologise for the mixup which resulted in us inviting her as a speaker,” said Anglin on Friday.

A recent memo reminding public sector workers about the rules concerning elections from the Chief Secretary’s Office said they were entitled to gather information and ask questions to allow them to make an informed vote. The Cayman Islands Civil Service Association recently asked for a more specific list of do’s and don’ts regarding what civil servants can and can’t do, as it stated that it is frustrating for public officers as they try to engage in the election without violating neutrality.

Lawson, who is on sabbatical as Miss Cayman from her job at the Cayman Islands Development Bank, had been invited to speak at a special rally organized by the UDP for Cayman’s younger voters on Friday night, which Anglin said had generated a lot of excitement and he was expecting a large turnout at the free concert. “We are looking forward to having some clean fun as well as interacting with our youth. The entertainment is great and we are looking forward to this event,” he added before the concert started.

Entitled “Empowering Our Youth”, the UDP youth rally featured local boxing hero Charles Whittaker, Richard Christian and Yentel McGaw, as well as artists such as Big J, Jeffery Wilson and Atomic Disco.

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Category: Election 2009

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Some of the people making comments about this situation are so incredibly narrow minded and unreasonable!!! Miss Lawson could have simply seen this as an opportunity to speak to young people who she would not normally have access to and give them a little guidance, God knows some of our young people need all the help they can get.  She didn’t necessarily have to see this as some great political opportunity, after all she is not a politician and wouldn’t be thinking like one!!!  Please put your energy into something that really affects all of us like making suggestions about combatting the rising crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Miss Lawson could have simply seen this as an opportunity to speak to young people who she would not normally have access to and give them a little guidance, God knows some of our young people need all the help they can get".

      Whatever Miss Lawson may have seen it has it as the intention of the UDP was clearly to exploit it politically. The problem is with it being done under the auspices of a political party. Surely you can see that.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Its a conspiracy theory! UDP wrongly stated her as a guest speaker to increase attendance at its rally, the Miss Cayman committee ask them to apologize and now she gets all the blame. That’s politics for ya! She does not deserve this!

  2. Roy Tatum says:

    For Clarity my comment did not state that Elio contacted or spoke to anyone. 

    Elio is the person whom I heard on Rooster radio inviting the public to attend the function and advising about the programme for the evening. Mac is in charge of the UDP. It is these reasons that I stated these two names – I could have readily named all of the UDP candidates as they would have all been involved with planning or would have seen the plans for the event. One of them should have asked whether it was a good idea to get Ms Cayman involved. Someone in their camp should have realised that it was not appropriate nor fair to Ms Lawson to ask her.
    I do not fault Ms Lawson and regret the attacks on her within this post.  I believe that she was well intended.  She has certainly done Cayman proud in her role as embassador.   As I noted previously, if people want to indicate their displeasure then address it where it belongs – towards the UDP. 
    Mac and crew should not have made their political ambitions over power their common sense or good judgement. The event was a political one and they should not have sought to include Ms Cayman. But then again…  if Mac had common sense or good judgement the many fiascos that occurred during his administration would not have occurred. 
  3. Anonymous says:

    Ok UDP supporters please acknowledge when your party is just blantantly wrong!  The girl should not be dethrowned but just need some guidence.  I would hope that after this scandal she will pay close attention to whatever she partakes.

    • A Wally Whittaker Supporter says:

      PPM – Wrong

      Wally Whittaker did more for labor in the Cayman Islands than Alden McLaughlin did in eight years.



  4. Anonymous says:

    What?  Miss Cayman should lose her crown for accepting an invitation to speak to the young people of this country?? Get a grip!!  This is Cayman, not Cuba under a Communist regime.

  5. Concerned Caymanian mother of 2 youth says:

    Reading these comments are really worrying me.  Some persons are taking the extremist position and not thinking about what they are saying or what affect their comments are making.

    Ms. Lawson was scheduled to speak at the youth forum not to endorse any candidates or parties.

    Our youth are our future and they have to make a constructive decision come May 20th.  They have an obligation to themselves to hear what candidates from all parties have to say and how they feel they can solve the many problems and issues our country is facing….

    Why are we focusing on who speaks at a youth forum and not on how crime has increased over the past years, loss of  jobs, failing economy, tourism etc.  Is that not what we need to be focusing on?  Isn’t that what we need to be focusing on and how these issues will be dealt with.



  6. Anonymous says:

    Leave poor Mr. Roy Tatum alone for merely stating a fact! It is common knowledge that Ellio approached the "young lady" in regards to "participating."  I am confident that other incidents …

    Typical PPM – cannot find anything valuable to contribute so they must throw mud.


    • Anonymous says:

      "Leave poor Mr. Roy Tatum…..Typical PPM-cannot find anything valuable to contribute so they must throw mud……."  Not mud sweetheart, merely facts.  But then the truth hurts doesn’t it!

  7. Anonymous says:

    PPM would never do such a thing!  The candidates of UDP have poor characters!  VOTE PPM!

  8. Anonymous says:

    UDP will cheat at all costs! Even at the expense of Miss Cayman’s character.  Poor girl… Didn’t know what hit her when she mixed the with likes of that party!  These are the same people whose team consists or at least two persons (Elio and John) who were once against UDP and now with them due to being more interested in power than the country! 


  9. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    Nothing wrong with Miss Cayman talking at any functions as long as the function is not linked to a political candidate or party.  She should take place in such LEGAL events but should have informed herselfof what is not allowed in her contract.  I hope that she pays closer attention to details with other matters while serving as Miss Cayman and a Civil Servant.  Missing such important details of a contract is very worrying.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s so sad to see that some Caymanians are so ignorant. I think everyone should just mind their own business until they know what they are really talking about. Why should some people make comments if they don’t really know the truth? Take a hint- It makes you look very foolish to people with common sense. Weahter or not she Nicocia agreed to speak at the Youth Rally she still didnt speak in the end.  WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL!? Yes, it may state in her contract that she can’t get involved with politics because she is a Civil Servant, but she is an Ambassador for young people. Wheather she is on a platform, in her own home, or even talking to her peers, she has the right to voice her own opinion. So therefore, all you ignorant people that believe that this can make or break UDP, think again. IT WONT!


    VOTE UDP! =]

    • Anonymous says:


      PPM gets an NRA staff member to water down the spot for their rally. Arden Mclean’s response was ‘u want me to fire a caymanian for using a 100 gallons of pond water – no!’.

      Ok, so UDP ask a Government employee to speak at a rally – which doesn’t happen – and the PPM wants the government employee to lose her crown as Ms. Cayman.

      PPM – nothing but a sack of crabs.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think she should lose her crown!!!!! she is a bright girl so she would have none better to even accept a call from the UDP. let the runner-up take the CROWN maybe she would do a lot better than nicosia is doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      This sounds like sour grapes from either a fellow contestant that lost to Nicosia or one of their mothers.  Lay off. 

    • Common Sense says:

      This comment was obiously made by someone of lesser intelligence and with some other agenda. I am sure the runner up would also be ashamed of your ridiculous, almost childish comments.


  12. Anonymous says:

    I amneither here or there with political parties.  However I think that Miss Cayman should be allowed to speak at  the Youth Forum and any other polictical youth forums; as long as her message is directly at empowering the youths and not endorsing any individual candidates or political parties.  After all she is Miss Cayman; and not Miss. PPM, Miss. UPD or Miss. Independent.

    Thank you Mr. Tatum for letting us know who contacted Miss. Lawson; can you now tell us truthfully who arranged the NRA water truck to prepare the site for the PPM launch.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is but another attempt by UDP to “brain wash” the young people into voting for them. Imagine they are even on facebook promising every person on this island a job if they vote for them! How deceiving is that………they are a dangerous set of people, will stop at nothing to gain control of this island and this time ole Mac will come back with a vengence………God help us all!

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is but another attempt by UDP to “brain wash” the young people into voting for them. Imagine they are even on facebook promising every person on this island a job if they vote for them! How deceiving is that………they are a dangerous set of people, will stop at nothing to gain control of this island and this time ole Mac will come back with a vengence………God help us all!

  15. Unimpressed says:

    I agree with everyone of the comments that has clearly stated that there are more important issues at stake in this country than an invitation to a rally…

    Miss Cayman if you are reading this, hang in there and keep on doing what you do! Please don’t let any of these petty naysayers get you down! Cayman’s youth need inspiration, and I bet there are other avenues where you will be able to affect change in a young person’s heart! Stay strong!!

  16. Roy Tatum says:

    If one is looking to put blame somewhere it should go where it deserves to be – at the feet of Mac; Elio and the UDP for even asking Ms Lawsonto  participate.  They should have known better than bringing Ms Cayman into a political event.  

    This may have been billed as a Youth Rally – but it is a political youth rally.  The objective of the rally was to help convince those present who could vote to vote UDP. It was not a public service event. Hopefully they have learned their lesson. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Roy Tatum!
      Take Ellio’s name out of your mouth.
      If you have an issue with the UDP you deal with that, but you don’t know if Ellio asked the young lady to participate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Leave poor Mr. Roy Tatum alone for merely stating a fact! It is common knowledge that Ellio approached the "young lady" in regards to "participating."  I am confident that other incidents regarding Ellio may surface as election time approaches as they did during his last attempt to gain a seat.  Not everyone has  forgotten the headlines at that time concerning his outstanding debt to a local paving company.  if you can’t control your own pocketbook, how can you run the country?

  17. Anonymous says:

    There is no excuse here for either Miss Cayman or the UDP. They both should have known better. It looks bad on both of them.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if Big Mac gave her status and that’s why she feel so loyal to UDP?

    I think that was his strategy when issuing all those statuses!  He knows that most "Cayman Status Holders" will vote UDP out of gratitude.

    I hope the new Caymanians (Status Holders) realize that they are now a part of Cayman and should also want the best for these islands even if it means not supporting the party the got them status!

  19. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    It is unfortunate that Miss Cayman is caught up in this issue.  However, she should have taken heed to the many e-mails/memos sent out to civil servants over the last month.  All civil servants received a written warning from government on this issue.  How can you speak at a rally for a particular candidate or party and expect to not be associated with it?  We all know that is not possible.  However, if she truly feels the need to speak to the youth she should be sure to do so at non political functions.  Hopefully she will be more careful with her decisions next time and the committee should be giving her guidance on the decisions she make while she holds the title.

  20. Anonymous says:

    ok. .but  whatever….there is much more to worry about in this country than the fact that a party cancelled a speaker because that speaker is a civil servant who is on some type of special leave from their job…

    give me a break and lets talk about how we are going to deal with the challenges this country faces!

  21. Anonymous says:

    headline is a headline….her participation was cancelled when it was discovered that she was still technically employed with the government even though it appeared that she was not …in spoke to soemone recently who even said she was not working for government…so this sabbitacal/leave  thing was not clear even to them..

  22. Anonymous says:

    give the girl a break guys..she is a local youth mentor and it was perfectly in line to invite her to speak….there seeesm to have been come confusions re whether she was a civil servant becaue apparently she is not actually working and is on some type of leave from work..but mots important thing…she did not breach anything..she did not participate in the event and the whole thing was corrected before the event. give the girl a break..

  23. Anonymous says:

    She is on a sabattical from the development bank. so it was not even obvious she was a civil servant at the time. it is a pity that no one has reported that. in fact she is STILL on the sabatical and it was not known at the time that she was still technically a civil servant…

    Anyway the UDP made an announcement BEFORE the event which was aired to avoid any confusion.

  24. Only For Caymanians says:


     While we all take note on the heading of this posting, that  the words are  "UDP invite falls foul of law"

       This by all means is simply  that the UNLAWFUL attempt  made by the UDP or United Democratic Party,  just shows what kind of  "United Democratic Party" we have in the running of our Government, that takes those sort of circumstances to "Attempt"  into breaking the Laws of the Country.  Then the helping to people in the mids of election  times, with  money being given away to the poor people and more broken promises to them we can see the glowing pictures of "Misrepresentation"

    Yes we do need a Change in Government, and with the "Unwanted Dictating Politicians" or UDP then I say  "CHANGE" your present Representatives and see if the CHANGE is  applicable.

    Only For Caymanians


  25. Anonymous says:

    Warning to all – anytime the UDP calls you and you have any affiliation with government – run like HELL.

    I’m sure someone in the UDP should have seen the CLEAR CONFLICT of INTEREST – Even if Miss Cayman was not smart enough to.

    They are using all the young people like Jon Piercy and clearly they will use anyone they can to get the youth vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical UDP style breaking the rules for their benefit. BTW where are the reports on the youth rally. How many people where there etc…….etc………..???? No news reports on this important UDP event. Come on now!

      CNS: Unfortunately, the event coincided with the West Bay forum and CNS has just one reporter on Grand Cayman, Wendy Ledger, who tries really hard to be everywhere but is restricted by the laws of physics.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for your hard work CNS. Its rather surprising though that none of the UDP supporters have posted any comments of this event.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I think that she should be able to speak to the youth.  As long as your speech is geared to educating the youth and not politically motivated it should take place.

    She is not a possession of the Government…she is a national pride for Cayman and in such should be a role model for these kids and speak to them.  I support the fact that she would speak and help our youth and this should not be stopped.

    Please do not take this young girl and make her to be a scapegoat to anyone.

  27. Anonymous says:

    She’s a civil servant and paid too – so she must obey the rules like everyone else. How on earth did this even get to that point? Isn’t there a committee who approves her appearances?

  28. Twyla M Vargas says:

    POOR CHILD, Should loose her Crown, WHY ?

    What has this child done why we should suggestthat she looses her Crown.  Miss Lawson has done well, she is pretty, she is intelligent and she is MISS CAYMAN.

    I am sure if she felt that she would be doing the wrong thing, to speak at the youth rally she would not  accept, However I  do hope she will not feel defeated  and stand tall.   Smile, there will be other times when you can speak at youth rallies and it will not be a first cousin to politics.  Blessed


  29. Anonymous says:

    Political rally or not; Is’nt Miss Cayman a representative of the Cayman Islands? She is not the possession of Government.  A  youth rally is exactly where on would expect to find such a role model addressing her peers. That does not mean that she supports that particular party; but being an ambassador for the Cayman Islands qualifies her to speak to our youth no matter what the occasion.

  30. Anonymous says:

    She should lose her crown!

    • Anonymous says:

      Just shows you the intellect of person representing the UDP that requested her presence and the drive to try to include the votes from the youth at all costs.  Including theirs, she could have and should have lost everything if she had publically supported the UDP.

    • Anonymous says:

      She must not go to the UDP.  I remembered when another black girl had won Ms. Cayman when the UDP was in power,  and take alook and see how many time she was called by Mr. Bush to represent Cayman Overseas or any where else.  Please look before you answer.  I will try and remember her name.  Cayman Open your eyes.   Ms. Cayman I wish you all the best.