PPM sets out opposition stall

| 23/02/2010

(CNS): The People’s Progressive Movement have reiterated their opposition to government attempts to erase the current deficit in one year and said that the premier must go to London and renegotiate the government’s debt ratio in order to give the country time to recover from the global recession. At a public meeting in South Sound George Town last night, which was more akin to an election rally, the opposition rallied support against the government’s proposal to sell the new government administration building and changes to immigration policy, as well as proposing a national crime strategy that involved border control.  (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Telling the people, “They’re screwing it up again!” Arden McLean, the member for East End, led the charge against government policy and said the PPM had given the UDP administration a chance to get things right but now the opposition was no longer going to remain silent while the government burned the country down.

The meeting attracted around 300 people, and while the election may be more than three years away the opposition seemed to be hitting the campaign trial. The entire previous Cabinet took to the hustings as four of the party’s current MLAs were joined by former minister Charles Clifford, who lost his Bodden Town seat in the May 2009 elections (Moses Kirkconnell was detained on the Brac). The meeting attracted around 300 people during the course of the evening and heard the former ministers lay out their opposition to changes in immigration policy, which they said would do untold damage to the community, the sale of government assets, which they described as short sighted and irrational, and their opposition to a cargo port and possible oil refinery in East End.

Mclean asked those who had opposed the road through the Ironwood Forest to join him as he lay in front of the bulldozers if ever the project was underway.  

During the meeting the former minsters also spoke about the need for a non-partisan approach to crime and hoped that the government would consider their proposal for a national crime prevention strategy that included border control as much as internal policing issues. Alden McLaughlin, who has filed the motion in the Legislative Assembly, said crime was not the fault of any specific political administration and was an issue that had come about as a result of a combination of social failings and it was now time to fight the issue together. Above all, he demanded that the new National Security Council, as set out in the new Constitution, was convened.

Charles Clifford confirmed that he had gained permission for his march on the Glass House at 2:00 pm on Saturday 6 March. He urged everyone in the country to come and support the demonstration against government policy, called on those who had stood as MLAs and lost in the last election to come and bring the people who voted for them, and asked his own 992 voters to join in the protest. Clifford said he believed the changes to immigration policy to allow virtually all those working in the financial sector to gain key employee status would result in a significant increase in permanent residents and by implication Caymanian status holders, which he said would cause social disharmony. “The future of Caymanians is not for sale Mr Premier, “Clifford said, “and it’s not yours to sell.”

During his time at the podium McLaughlin also queried a number of the government’s proposals regarding immigration and said that, having spoken to a wide cross-section of people in the financial services sector over the last few months they were all far more concerned about the damage the increase in fees had done to their businesses than they were about problems securing permits.

He said that the premier’s idea that putting more pressure on business at a time of global recession was no way to cure the country’s woes and the increase in fees had directly impacted the amount of new business Cayman was able to attract.

“Only a special, special genius like the premier would say the way to increase business would be to charge more for it,” he said, and added that revenue in the financial sector remained dramatically down. He said that McKeeva Bush’s world tour and PR campaign to attract investors had failed, but then he was not surprised as, again, only "a special genius" would start an investment PR campaign by saying the country was bankrupt.

Anthony Eden also spoke briefly about the global recession and that it was absurd to think the country’s economic woes were all the fault of the PPM. He said, given the global circumstances, Cayman’s politicians needed to stop the partisan politics and work together. He also lamented the rise in crime and called on families to take responsibility for their children and warned people of the end of days.

The “irrational and short sighted” decision to sell the new administration building was the focus of Leader of the Opposition Kurt Tibbetts when he took to the podium. He said the move made no sense and noting the recent comments from the premier that he wasn’t selling it, Tibbetts waved the offering document in the air, pointing to the part where it said the government was looking to sell the freehold. He explained that government intended to sell the building and use the cash to balance the budget, and would therefore still be faced with the loan and the need to pay rent for government accommodation.

Tibbetts asked, once the premier had sold the building and the sewage works to balance the 2009/10 budget what would we have left to sell to balance the 2010/11 budget?

The former government leader said if Bush was to sit round the table and negotiate with the UK, which had already stated that it was prepared to see the deficit erased through borrowing over a longer period, he would ease the pressure and the need to sell key assets. The opposition leader said this did not mean direct taxation but it would need to see government spending curbed and new revenue measures introduced. He said the PPM was more than willing to go to the UK with him for the negotiations and present a unite front to the UK to find a way of extending the borrowing ratios in order to give the Caymanian people and the economy time to recover.

“I don’t know what government are going to do, but I really hope they listen to what we have to say,” he said. However, the former ministers all lamented the government’s failure to include the opposition in discussion and plans for the country, especially as the opposition bench contained some of the LA’s most experienced politicians. McLaughlin said the only invitation they had received asking for their participation was with the premier’s coronation.  

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  1. Anonymous says:

    People are crying to get rid of the party system, get rid of Bush, get rid of Tibbetts.  Put some names forward of some educated, intelligent, articulate, honest etc. people who you want to see and who are prepared to run these Islands.  Name some……

  2. Anonymous says:

    When did the PPM intend to pay the owners the land taken to build roads?  Never!!!!

    With all money that the PPM left in the coffers can teh present Gov’t do the right thing and pay now? No!!!!

    Caymanians need to start realizing that this PPM bunch is a criminal organization that is trying to lie, steal, cheat, and rape this country of its Citizen’s assests for personal gain.

    Kurt is trying to secure a position next year because with all his failed businesses he knows he can’t go out and get real job.  Chucky is trying "March" in and demand a job since he has made a mess of tourism and nobody will hire him.

    Open your eyes, there is nothing but lies from the PPM as they struggle to survive after the mismanagement of Cayman’s Gov’t.



  3. Anonymous says:

    To 20:59. Please answer one question. If we are to borrow more money to keep from, as is being said, "selling Government assets", who will be paying this money back?

    The answer, your children!!!!!! Doh!


  4. Anonymous says:

    It amazes me how once out of office the PPM administration has all the answers for all the problems in this country. They had four years to solve problems and couldn’t but now expects the new Government to solve them in nine months!!!

    I also wonder why they would want to cause further unrest in this country with their protest and marches, when it was their reckless spending that greatly contributed to the position we are now in. Everyone knows that they spent money like it was going out of style and now we have at least three big projects that are unfinished!!!

  5. Bodden says:

    IN THE MIDST OF ALL THIS POLITICAL RHETORIC, as a born Caymanian, how come have I not seen the gathering of INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES?




    • You asked for it says:

      Cayman suffers from its ridiculous rules limiting the available candidates to a choice of a pool of around 50 people.  Cayman is getting the terrible candidates its ridiculously precious laws deserve.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Things will only change in Cayman when voters become brave enough to break the McKeeva Bush/Kurt Tibbetts political merry-go-round.  Until then, we’ll get the same old tit-for-tat, knock-about politics this country can well do without.  It’s time to break the stranglehold that party politics has on this country– it’s too small.  Isn’t it time for a new era of Cayman politics?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I really want to see if the people of this country will sit back and watch this happen… We need to do this march for our children even if we don’t suceed.

    Our children will pay for this mess if you all make this happen, you mark my word today February 23, 2010.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The PPM bankrupt the country! Look who created this mess -The PPM!!! They built a school for $90m and the Govt Bldg for $100m. Was those capital projects neccessary? If there was ever a protest  that was needed it would be to have them thrown in jail.

    • Anonymous says:

      WAS those capital projects necessary? I suppose they could have purchased slates and sent your children home to educate you. lol.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can we go back to the original photo – that was a hoot!

    • Anonymous says:

      I suppose that you prefer to see $78 million wasted on Boatswain Beach (XXXXXX), $40 million to buy into an insurance company, & $50 million on a cruise terminal, than to see $65 million on a much needed school or $85 million on a Govt building that is going to save this country billions over the years? How stupid can you get? Oh, that’s right, you support UDP? That explains the stupidity! Was the Boatswain Beach necessary? The planned protest march is definitely needed to send a message to the UDP, but I agree that the planned march should be all about putting the UDP in jail, but don’t worry because that soon come!

    • Anonymous says:

      if the PPM need to thrown in jail, UDP need be hung!!! they put us in the mess 3000+ poor people granted a right, that Mac had no right to give, sold out the land the Ritz is on for bascially free, waive millions customes  in fees for Ritz and Dart, Mac call ya buddies we need all that money now!!!  BBeacha waste of 68 mil plus the 10 mill or more that govt have to fund it every year! talk about waste! talk about UDP

    • Anonymous says:

      Wonder why you forgot to include Boatswain Beach?  Oh yes, I forgot, that was a UDP misguided expense that continues to strangle this country.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Post 16:03 let me ask you something? Do you really think it was only PPM who put us in this mess? They were only there for 4 years, MacKeeva was there for 25 years, he contributed more to this mess, than any other Politician in Cayman’s History. Do your research and check his history.  The status grants alone brought us to this deficit, because we had to adjust the whole infastructure to accomodate them.  Most of them were not even solvant.  Go to Social Services now and see who most of their recipitents are.  Check the public schools records and tell me if any of them are paying school fees.  Check out the civil servants and tell me if the marjority is not them.  Why do you think the PPM had to build bigger schools?  You need to stop and think before you critize others.  Your biggest enemy today is the Premier and you cannot see it, because you are probably getting benefits from him.

  10. Anonymous says:

    WHEN KURT, ALDEN AND ARDEN can say how they planned to finish paying for the new Glass House and the LAND under the new roads then they can speak. Until then they should stay silent.

    If they had won the elections, how would they have done it?? what was their plan? Alden said they saw the recession 18 months ahead so it could not have sneaked up on them….how were they going to do it?? how??

    As for Chuckie, it is clear that he is looking for the leadership of PPM…… no honour amongst fellows anymore?? Seems you better not turn your back around here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Until McKEEVA BUSH can say how he plans to find over $10 million EVERY YEAR just to keep the turtle farm open he should keep his mouth shut. Until he can tell us where all those millions that was supposedly spent on the turtle farm went, he should keep very silent! The last person who should be criticizing others about overspending is McKEEVA BUSH! As a previous poster said, Mckeeva bush has been in government for over 25 years & there is not one politician that has contributed more to our financial problems than McKEEVA BUSH, not one!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Party system is tearing the country apart….time for some bandaids, cough medicine, pain pills….lets try heal instead of getting worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, the Party System have divided this Country. Even with relatives, some of them treats their relatives the worst. All I can say is that " every length of rope has an end to it" praise God in advance. There is no loyalty what so ever with some of our so called Politicians. I just want to remind them that CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME, and DONT FORGET THE BRIDGE THAT CARRIED YOU ACROSS.

  12. Anonymous says:

    300 people out of 57000 population dont seem like a very enthusiastic populace to me.

    If the PPM thinks that the half percent of the population that turned out last night is going to get them back in Power then the only ones they managed to fool was themselves.

    What a bunch of clowns they are.

    If they really want to do something for this country they need to start undoing the mess they left it in rather than trying to force the Government to continue it. I heard a politician on the talk show today saying that the public comments are being seen and heard around the world. I wonder if he thinks the Premiers rhetoric is not being seen and heard around the world too. It was also disclosed on the talk show that the cost to complete the PPM schools are now increased by 20 million under the present leadership.

    • Wake up says:

      Boy you UDP people so "fool fool".

      You sound jealous of the crowd.

      Please find solutions to the problems that your leader is putting us in, instead of watching the PPM.

      He don’t even know what he is saying from one minute to the next – "The GAB is for sale for $50million, no its for sale for $100million, oh no its for lease" – what a joke this man is to the rest of the world and imagine there are really a few "fool fool" people blindly following.

      Is it the PPM that is spending thousands of unnesscessary $’s travelling all over the world, or is it the PPM that is giving away everything that is for Cayman, like Government assets and our birthright, no, so get a grip on life!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a civil servant so i see the points both sides make in all these arguments. It seems CNS (thank God for it, ladies) is blogged by more PPM people than UDP. Ah so it go. The notion of Chuckie as the Leader of the future as I think he sees himself is far fetched. He has zero clout and charisma and the whole Commission of Enquiry thing cast him in a petty light.

      Comments like "300 out of 57,000 people", Anon Tues 16:03,  need to be taken with a grain of salt the size of the iceberg that sank the Titanic. Out of those 57,000, how many have a vote-maybe at most 13,000 (step forward to help Eklections Office people getting paid year round for something happening every 4 years)? Why would people (about 44,000) who have no voting rights risk their jobs to get into a public march?

    • Stand Firm says:

      It sounds like the few remaining UDP supporters wants the Cayman people to remain silent while their incompetent leader does as he pleases.

      Well we are not like you few spineless ones that will sit back and watch the destruction of our beautiful Isles Cayman.

      We will not sit back quietly as your leader sells our country to the higgest bidder, as he wants to do with the GAB, and we will not sit back quietly as he sells our birthright, as he plans to with the sale of Permanent Residency for $1million, THAT IS WHY WE WILL MARCH on the 6th of March.

      This peaceful public protest is in response to these draconian actions, which includes the new Immigration bill, and has nothing to do with Party politics.

      We are marching to get our country back before we have nothing left.

      I wonder if Caymanians, and that includes the few blind UDP followers, really know that it is very dangerous for one company, person or family to own more of a country than the Government, and people, that is what has happened in Cayman, and he wants to sell more, MY GOD!

      Wake up Cayman and lets just take back what is ours, as it does not belong to any ONE person to sell as he wishes.

    • BORN FREE says:

      What a very ignorant comment!
      I remember a campaign meeting held by the UDP just before the May 20 elections last year & the UDP were boastful that they had what they estimated to be 1000 people in attendance! This was just before the elections, in all the hype & excitement of the elections!
      Now let me say "1000 people out of 57000 population in the heat of election fever don’t seem like a very enthusiastic populace to me."
      I think that 300 at a meeting in South Sound almost one year after elections is a great turnout as far as public meetings go. But you wouldn’t know that, would you?

      I congratulate the PPM on a great meeting last night. The differences between the PPM & the UDP was stark & evident. Everyone complimented the PPM on a well conducted meeting that was factual & informative, with all speakers acting in a mature & gentlemanly way which the Cayman people have come to expect, unlike the hateful rhetoric & lies that is always spewed out by the UDP! They are always disgusting!
      Thank you PPM for a wonderful meeting!

      • Bodden Town Slave Wall says:

        Most of the PPM’s meetings are held in small areas to make the crowd look big,check it out next time…….

    • Anonymous says:

      Well fom what I saw the UDP didn’t do much better to draw any substantial crowd tonight! That, however, is not a bad thing because both of those parties need to go away!

  13. Anonymous says:

     OK, so they have had their meeting.  Did they propose anything in the way of solutions.  They have said that the Premier should go back to London and have meetings to defray the CIG’s debt over a longer term period.  They already did that and London had this to say "impose direct taxes, whether in the form of income tax or property tax".  At that time the PPM commended the UDP for standing firm in the face of London’s directive to not only impose direct taxes on the population but were supportive of the Premier’s stance on the issue, that is, implementing direct taxes would be tantamount to killing the financial industry in the Cayman Islands.  In addition, London has directed that by the time the next budget is tabled, the CIG should have already commissioned and reported to London the basis upon which they would finance the budget for the next fiscal year.   As far as I know the Premier has not commissioned such a report on implementing direct taxation to the Cayman Islands and has actually been trying to find new income revenue streams.  The fact of the matter is that there are not many options.  Cayman has no manufacturing sector.  We have no export crops on which to rely.  We are a service economy, dependent only on the income that is derived from fees charged for our services.   I am not sure what is the solution to this problem as the only way to increase revenue without directly taxing us in Cayman is (1) cut expenditure, this would mean decreasing the number of persons employed in the civil service; (2) increase fees, this has already been done; sell government assets and use the revenue to finance the budget, a hard sell which is making folks wary, and rightly so; (4), invite investors to invest in the country by encouraging them to set up business here by granting incentives.  Many countries when they are inviting investors into their country usually relax the cost of doing business.  They waive the duty on items that are being imported which are to be used in the business, they give them a waiver on export duty for a number of years etc.  As there are no manufacturing entities proposing to set up shop here, the only thing left to lure investors here is a virtually crime free society, wonderful climate and a standard of living second only to New York and some  European cities, this you can get at a price.  If anyone else knows of any other ways in which the government can balance the budget, I would be happy to listen. 

    • Dream on says:

      "ta standard of living second only to New York and some  European cities, this you can get at a price"  What a joke.  This place is a backwater full of hicks with nothing to compare to the great cities of the world.  Theatre – none.  Art scene – none.  Music scene – none.  Cuisine – atrocious.  Travel connections – awful. 

      And for that Sunday morning stroll – Hyde Park, Central Park or that little bit of scrub which is now the bus station?  You choose!

  14. Anonymous says:

    when the cats away the mice will play  – this cat does indeed think he has the cream – if the cream is  those he is in Vancouver with $$$$$ – however what he is forgetting is all his rich friends that he is socialising with just now arent the ones who will be able to keep him in power – its the ordinary people on the  island and you appear sir to have forgotten that 

  15. Anonymous says:

    ppm would curb spending???? this is from the people who almost doubled the size of the civil service and bankrupted the country through reckless spending….zzzzzz

  16. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    Thank God we have people finally standing up for this country!  Let us all be supportive in getting Cayman back to where it needs to be.  We need to see an increase in business and a decrease in crime.  The people of this country (all residents) need to unite so that we can have a safe and successful environment to flourish in.  The recession is only part of our problem and we need to look at these bigger issues.  I also pray for the leaders of the Cayman Islands as it appears clarity, vision, humility and integrity is needed at this time.

    • Anonymous says:

      What people could you be talking about. If its the PPM then you better wake up.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t this man claim to be a born again christian? How can he publicly say on the radio that the UDP government did not have the GAB up for sale? As pointed out as fact by the PPM at their meeting on Monday night there is a notice on the government website advertising that the GAB is for sale! Now he is claiming that that was never so, it was not for sale but up for lease! And he claims that he is a christian?  

    And remember, he claims that the UDP is the better way forward!

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re talking about Mckeeva, right??! This article refers to Kirt, the Leader of the Opposition.

      • Anonymous says:

        The comment refers to Mckeeva Bush. At no time did Kurt ever say the building was for sale, & would never support such foolishness! I understand that the comment should have made reference to Bush but I think it is still obvious who the comment is talking about, the one who changes his mind & proposals more than he changes his underwear!

    • Anonymous says:

      I just want to remind the writer that THERE IS NO POLITICIAN THAT IS A CHRISTIAN. A Politician is just a survivor.

  18. Anonymous says:

    What a great meeting that was last night!

    It’s so true what Arden said too…this is the 2nd time (1st was the People for Referendum) in 5 or 6 years that Caymanians have had to march against Mac…what does that tell you? Mac is NOT fit to lead!!!

    I’m ready to march Chuckie!

  19. anonymous says:

    What’s going on with CayCompass forum. I sent in comments to Mr. Kurts letter supporting him there it looks like they are being suppreseed by the UDP

  20. Anonymous says:

    300 people!!!! .Lets hold an election right now and show the  PPM how little they are regarded  . This is destabilizing and reckless petty politics at a time when the Islands face great internal challenges. Obviously the voting population sees it as such. 

  21. Anonymous says:

    Until the PPM apologize to the country for their excessive capital spending, I will remain unable to trust their judgment in financial matters.

    Much of their meeting sounded like it was based upon emotionalism rather than real answers.

    If you can rev the people up then don’t worry about actual solutions.

    • Anonymous says:

      well said, the ppm never took responsibility for all their fiascos in government, and they still can’t admit to their mismanagment to this day…

      unfortunatly the udp have proved they have not got the ability or courage (tackle civil service?) to fix the problem….


    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t you mean until Ken Jefferson apologizes for not doing his job!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac never apologized for his xxxx. And all he can do is blame the PPM.  At least at the meeting they acknowledged it cannot be blamed on any one government and that the parties needed to be set aside and come together for a solution better for these islands.

      "Much of their meeting sounded like it was based upon emotionalism rather than real answers.

      If you can rev the people up then don’t worry about actual solutions."

      —-what the heck do you call what the UDP does when given a microphone?!

      The PPM are not in charge, so why should they come up with concrete solutions yet? They want to know everyone agrees that the UDP solutions are nothing of the sort before they move forward.  But I guess you’re used to wasteful spending on chasing-your-own-tail research.

  22. Anonymous says:

    WOW!  I sure was enlightened last night!!  Thanks guys for opening my eyes to the truth.  I will support you guys with whatever solutions you may come up with to stop this sale and to get the National Security measures as per the Constitution in place.  I am appalled that the UDP are not including you guys in these decisions of National Propotions.

  23. Anonymous says:


    The UDP and PPM are both causing this Island to become Divisive!  We need clear independent thinkers in the LA! 


    • Anonymous says:

      When?  The clock is ticking…

    • Anonymous says:

      I AM SORRY BUT WE DO NOT HAVE SUCH PEOPLE LEFT IN CAYMAN. I will name a few of them that could but unfortunately they died. Dr Roy Mc Taggart, Mr Ormon Panton the good old Mr Dennis Foster, the great Jim Bodden, Capt Charles Kirkconnell Capt Mabry Kirkconnell and not to mention Miss Annie Huldah Bodden  and Mr Burkley Bush. May God rest their souls.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I was unable to attend the meeting but I listened to it on the radio.  I thought it was a very good meeting and they discussed the issues.  

  25. Marching NOT the answer says:

    Positive, revised answers are needed in all discussd proposals….however

    Marching is NOT the answer, all it does it takes Cayman a notch down !!! 

  26. Anonymous says:

    I am not a PPM supporter but I am pleased that they have voiced their views. I was beginning to think that Cayman had turned into a one man, one party country. I agree with what the PPM is saying about selling the country’s assets. It is foolish to adopt the short term and short sighted option of selling the country’s assets without addressing the long term problem of too much government spending.

    My big disappointment with the meeting last night is that the PPM missed the opportunity to announce proposals to significantly increase the punishment for violent crimes, to get rid of parole for violent crimes and to reform the Northward Hotel to make it a real place of punishment. Instead they opted for a new committed to hold meetings. If talk and more talk could get the criminals off our streets they would have been gone a long time ago.

    Cayman has many problems at the moment but it is the criminal scum which are killing our children and making our streets and homes unsafe for law abiding Caymanians. I hope that before it is too late, some politician will have the strength to take the criminals on and to put them away for a very very long time.