Mac rejects opposition debate

| 22/06/2010

(CNS): The premier spoke for over three hours on Monday morning as he delivered his reply to the response on the budget debate in the Legislative Assembly. Taking the opposition to task for not offering solutions and again blaming them for the current problems, McKeeva Bush also accused the PPM of hypocrisy over comments the leader of the opposition had made implying that the UDP had been involved in back room deals. In a long and often angry response the premier rejected all the proposals from the opposition benches by both the PPM and the independent representative for North Side. He said both he and the opposition members had struggled to respond to the government’s budget.

The premier spent the first hour of his reply talking about the PPM muddying the waters with accusations of corruption but said they were not lilly white and had made backroom deals at the Turtle Farm. He laid several letters on the table of the Legislative Assembly from Joey Ebanks and his attorneys in which the former Turtle Farm director was claiming some $18,500 from government for vacations pay and a complaint from a tour operator who is suing the farm over a contract that wasn’t fulfilled.

Bush told the Legislative Assembly they were both evidence of backroom deals by the former administration, who were no angels. He angrily accused the opposition of wasting time trying to investigate him when he was in office but they couldn’t find anything on him. However, he said it was the style of the opposition leader to accuse McKeeva Bush of all manner of evil. The premier noted that there were people in the PPM who were very good at English who were using the blogs and newspapers and talk shows to launch “vicious and vile” slanderous attacks on him.
He warned the opposition that he would prove more of their backroom deals as something had gone on at the school, and while he didn’t have a letter about that yet he would do so before the end of this administration.
Turning to the budget debate he rejected Miller’s suggestion of a smaller channel and emphasized the need for a deeper channel as he wanted to attract the yachting business. The opening of Cuba would make the region an attractive yachting area, Bush stated, but owners of mega yachts would not leave their boats there as they wanted a safe, sophisticated, jurisdiction where they could keep their yachts, fly in on their private jets and enjoy fine shopping and dining.
“Cayman is uniquely situation to fill this need,” he said, adding that the industry would build on the country’s maritime history and provide jobs for people in Cayman with seafaring skills.
“The North Sound is a great natural harbour and we need to use it,” Bush observed. He said the water was already in trouble and larger boats using it now were running the bottom as well as the leeching from the dump and the hot water from CUC, which was polluting the water. The premier suggested that the environmentalists on the blogs knew nothing and he would get proper assessments from experts to mitigate any real environmental problems.
Despite arguments from East End representative Arden McLean and Miller against the cargo dock in East End, Bush said he would do it even if they planned on lying in front of bulldozers, as the country needed it to bring in revenue.”If you want economic development you need to create opportunity,” the premier added. He also rejected proposals to collaborateon ideas with the PPM and rejected the opposition leader’s suggestion of a national conference.
Again he accused the opposition of creating all the financial problems and that the leader of the PPM did not know how to lead as he knew nothing of world affairs. He also said it was shocked that the opposition’s best speaker thethird elected member for George Town (Alden McLaughlin) had not spoken and concluded that he could not have found anything wrong with it.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Compass gives a fuller account of Mr. Bush’s allegations about PPM "backdoor deals".–back-door–Turtle-Farm-deals/

    What they amount to seems to be:

     (1) That Joey Ebanks was first told by Minister Charles Clifford had promised that there would be a variation of a term in Ebanks’s employment contract that he would have to pay a penalty for failing to give the required six months notice and that he would be paid some money for the remainder of his term, but that at a subsequent meeting with the LOGB he was told that he must submit his resignation with immediate effect.

    (2) That the govt. "interfered" with a decision to charge a particular operator more than others because it had been awarded a contract by the cruise line on the basis of better prices in preference to another operator. 

    Really?! Those are the "backdoor deals"? Is that the worse that Mr. Bush could come up with?!  

    As for the first one, it seems to me that whatever transpired before, the ultimate decision with LOGB was clearly the right one, particularly with Mr. Ebanks’s being under investigation which would have changed the entire complexion of the matter.

    As for the second, one cannot arbitrarily disrciminate between operators by charging one higher fees for the ulterior purpose of favouring another operator. It is to Ebanks’s discredit if he did so and the govt. would have been right to intervene. What was the wrongdoing by the govt. exactly? This is a nefarious "backdoor deal"? You gotta be kidding me! Perhaps it is understandable that Mr. Bush cannot distinguish between legitimate interventions and unlawful political interference in the operations of govt. statutory authorities, boards and govt. companies.         


  2. Let's look at the record . . . says:

    "they wanted a safe, sophisticated, jurisdiction where they could keep their yachts, fly in on their private jets and enjoy fine shopping and dining."


    1) Safe – FAIL.  Indiscriminate murder and gun crime is on the rise thanks to a core of hardened West Bay based criminals.

    2) Sophisticated – FAIL.  This place is like a dumbed down version of poorly developed low end Florida resorts.  Basically, Cayman has it all – if you come from Indiana.

    3) Fine shopping – FAIL.  You can buy top end watches for the same price as they are fixed by producers elsewhere in the world.

    4) Fine dining – FAIL.  Our top end restaurants claim to offer "fine dining", the use of the term alone says it all really.  Blue has got a little better recently.

    Cayman sold out to the mass fly over state US market some time ago.  Having made that ghastly bed, it has to lie in it.


  3. McDinejhad says:

    "YOU SHUT UP!"

    "Da PPM has gotten us into this mess. What choice did I have but to seek approval from the FCO in order to borrow funds to pay for my CUC, Water, Cable, security and gardener bills for me and my entourage?"

    "Da PPM has offered up no solutions all they do is talk,talk,talk,talk,talk and build expensive buildings that we cant afford…Da Alden Mclauglin is a real brute"

    "All unna old PPM spies and liardsI Unna bloggers is mashing up dis country"

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller is the only politician looking out for Cayman and Caymanians, we need to get rid of PPM and UDP, their only for themselves and supporters!  I know for sure Bodden Town MLA’s is going to be one hit wonders"

  5. Seriously? says:

    "… as they wanted a safe, sophisticated, jurisdiction where they could keep their yachts, fly in on their private jets and enjoy fine shopping and dining."

    Um, are we talking Cayman here?  I just want to check, cos, I’m not exactly sure where the rich and sophisticated visitors are going to enjoy "fine shopping and dining" on this Island.  Dining, perhaps.  Shopping, erm, no.   

    I also love how Big Mac is saying that, because the North Sound has been polluted by Mt. Trashmore and CUC, it is a good reason for them to dredge it.  Here’s a novel idea:  get rid of Mt. Trashmore.  That way the North Sound can recover and there will be no need to dredge it.  Ah, but wait, then we can’t get the "sophisticated" rich man with his yacht coming to Cayman to … erm … shop.

    On that note, does anyone know if there was in fact anything in the budget for the removal of Mt. Trashmore?  I haven’t heard anything …. 

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Mount T is a pathetic situation. I cannot understand why this horrible situation is not being addressed. Captain Solie must be rollin over in his grave……..

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      In 1985 I had the wonderful opportunity to sail from Cayman to The Bahamas, Virgin Islands and on down The Windwards. It was an incredible experience especially armed with a "letter of introduction" from then Governor Russell. During this trip I stopped in St. Thomas and assisted a friend with the running of mega yacht facility. I saw Jimmy Buffet, Madonna and numerous others fly in to their yacht’s.  Mega Yacht owners/charterers like to island hop down the chain of islands. Simple leeward wind calm 1/2 day trips to the next beautiful place. IMHO the only thing Cayman has to offer is re fueling when headed back to Florida. Is destroying The North Sound worth selling fuel…..?

  6. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of Saddam’s "trials" and "evidence" against people he wanted to get rid of.

    Mac you disgust me and make me ashamed to be a Caymanian.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The whole purpose of the Opposition is to create an informed debate to guide action?  How can the Speaker of the House allow these people to waste so much of everyone’s time and money?  If nothing else, they are being paid to know why they are there!   

  8. anonymous says:

    If only Cayman had oil. The US would invade and overthrow this dictator.

  9. Anonymous says:

    absolutley hilarious….. wonder why ‘dem furriners tink we stupid’???

    direct rule please!

  10. Hugo Chavez says:

    The following is a speach by Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela (Cayman Islands), given to the United nations General Assembly in 2006.  I have substituted a few choice words to allow Cayman’s own beloved XXXXX to use it for his next premierial address rant: –

    "Representatives of the governments of the world (anyone bored enough to listen to a semi illiterate rant by the self-obsessed dictator of a small Caribbean dot of map snot), good morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it. Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent books, Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States. [Holds up book, waves it in front of General Assembly.] It’s an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world (UK) throughout the 20th century, and what’s happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet.


    ……May God bless us all. Good day to you."

    Okay that’s enough. I think you get the picture. If you are interested the rest of the speach can be seen here: –

    Rise up oppressed masses! Or think for yourselves, deeply, rationally and intellegently.

    CNS: I cropped most of it. We have enough way too long, rambling speeches made right here in the Cayman Islands, thank you.

  11. Anonymous says:

     I know for SURE what am doing next elections!!!!

  12. livingcayman says:

    Besides spend money on and in the Cayman Islands, what did the PPM do that wrong.

    At least the UDP has the option to sell the assets accumulated by PPM’s bad spending to pay their bills and live off the Caymanian People.


  13. Down with the Party System says:

    Simple response less self-centered parties and more caring individuals. Do away with group think.

  14. Anonymous says:

    When something is a given, should it really be called "news"? His XXXXX are the negatives of Mac. It always has been and always will be. The positive side, to some, is that he claims to be pro business. But truth be told he is only pro BIG business (Caymana Bay, Ritz, Mega Yachts etc.) The recent fee hikes proves he doesn’t care much about small business people. Many stores have closed under his watch. His enemies love to point out he is pro-expat. However, his introduction of the rollover and increase in work permit fees proves them wrong. 

    His enemies are, without a doubt, anti-expat. Sorry, Pro-Caymanian, as they would have you believe. Under them no law can be broken if the action was against an expat. Nor do they have a clue about spending. How much better off are we if they overspend honestly and with good intent? NONE.

    What both parties lack is balance.

    The independents need to form a third party, with traditional,Caymanian values. The next election is the greatest chance you will have of coming to power. Please take advantage of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ "When something…" Though I have some disagreement with some of your comments, your advice re the third alternative is spot on and by the Grace of God and some effort, shall be done.

  15. IRON CLAD says:

    People, it IS Time for a R E F E R E N D U M

    Let’s get him out.



    • Rorschach says:

      Methinks the time for R E F E R E N D U M is long past and it is time for a R E V O L U T I O N!!

      • IRON CLAD says:

        Aaaaahhhh…. NOW that’s what I’m talking about. REVOLUTION…That word/idea always make my day.

        When do we get started?

        Positively – IRON CLAD

  16. CONCERNED says:

    The one thing that I apreciate with Mr Ezzard Miller is that he is solely looking out for the betterment of Cayman and its people.

    Being an indendent, is like sitting on the fence between two grasspiece watching the grass grow on both sides.   He is up there to tell weather you are watering your trees or not.  When leaves start to fall, one of two things is happening. You are not wateringthem or drowing them.  Either waythey will die.  Dont take any side because of friend or favour,just keep on looking out for the people.  Afterall you have the best seat in the house.

  17. Beachboi says:

    For 3 hours this child stood up in our legislature and threw a tantrum.  I wish I could wake up tomorrow and see these idiotic antics portrayed in every single media in the world.  This XXXX is wasting time blaming and talking about back room deals while the "other thieves" are carrying away what little bit he has left behind. 

    What about concentrating on working with the other members of the legislature on some ideas to aid the local economy and do something about the crime.  CCTV is not the answer on the crime and I dont know what the fix is for the economy but I bet that both would get better if we got rid of McKeeva Bush as the "bauble head" that runs our government. 

  18. 911 HELP says:

    This is Nothing New from MAC same XXXX XXXX just a different day .Any time anyone (LOCAL) got anything that make sense he dont want it unless a forigner our one of his UDP puppets bring it. One Day Mac One DAY

  19. vocal local says:

    What a mess!…Both PPM and UDP all about themselves, with no clear plan or care to properly lead Cayman. PPM seems the lesser of the two evils…but neither team amounts to what Cayman needs these days.


    • Anonymous says:

      My sentiments exactly. We need strong new leaders to address the serious issues of our country and by the Grace of God, I will personally do my part to contribute to finding this new leadership!

      • livingcayman says:

        This true.  But who will we get to lead us.  We for sure need to get rid of McKeeva and put him in retirement for good!

  20. Reason and Facts Please says:

    Mega Yacht Harbour Unfeasible


    1. Best case scenario 5 mega yacht’s per week (avg 250 ft) + 20 additional yachts (avg 100 ft)  (which can already be accomodated at the Yacht Club) visit per week on average. This is quite optimistic. If you’ve spent anytime around Nice/Monaco, you’ll rarely even in high season (excluding yacht shows) see more than 5 to 10 mega yachts each week.

    2. Yachts pay a slip fee to the Ritz Carlton/Mike Ryan (the developer who is pushing for this). A hand full of people, brought in from other countries, staff the marina, a few jobs for Caymanians or people already on island.

    3. A small percentage of  the slip fee, goes to the Government?  (e.g. 5 mega yachts * $1,500 per week fee to the CIG=$7,500 *52= $390,000 + $728,000 for 20 100 ft yachts per week= CI $1,12 million pa). These are very high estimates based on what average slip rates currently are throughout the caribbean and the CI Yacht Club (e.g. CI $0.95 per foot per day). This is more likely the amount that the Ritz/yacht club would make and not the CIG


    1. Cayman is not strategically positioned to be very attractive to yachts or mega yachts. These boaters will prefer island hoping, to harbours which are close together (e.g. TCIs through Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean, Greek Isles, Cote d’Azur and other Mediteranian ports) and do not require long hauls on opens seas as is the case with Cayman to get to or from any neighboring islands (Cuba, or Jamaica or TCI or the Bahamas).

    2. There are numerous mega yacht harbours already existing or under construction throughout the Caribbean who are more favorably positioned to be attractive to the mega yacht business e.g. Christopher Harbour in St Kitts, Turks & Caicos Yacht Club, Yacht Haven Grande Anguilla & St Thomas. Rodney Bay – St Lucia and Simpson Bay – St Marteen and others. The market is flooded, with islands that are more competitive for yachts than Cayman

    3. Mega yachts are staffed with thier own chefs, cleaners, crew, and stocked with food, wine  etc which limits their passengers spending in the ports they visit. They’ll eat a few meals out, have a few drinks out. But this is a very small quantity of people who will therefore have little $ impact. Thier passengers are likely to prefer shopping for jewelry etc on 5th Avenue or in Paris rather than fighting through the greasy cruiseship passengers at the duty free stores in Cayman.  They’ll be fully stocked with wine, spirits wherever they depart from and only top up as they go along.

    4. Major dredging in the North Sound. As Mac has pointed out to us in his recent speeches, this ecologically sensitive heart of the island (think of all of the tourism revenue currently associated with North Sound boating, diving, fishing, snorkeling which is dependant on the health of the North Sound marine ecosystem) is already under threat from leaching from the dump, CUC’s dumping of hot water, and current small craft traffic. The last thing we need to do is add to the problem by undertaking major dredging in the sound – which is going to have minimal economic benefit for the island.

    There is a bogus argument being touted, that the use of the mega yacht channel by all boats will overall decrease the environmental impact of current small craft traffic which currently navigates wherever it pleases across the Sound. All that needs to be done to fix this problem is to create routes which boats should all follow. Simple. No dredging required. A few dozen buoys and route maps.


    • Anonymous says:

      thank you!

      If it was suggested that those who would benifit the most (Ryan, Dart..etc.) cough up the money to do this you would see this whole issue go away I suspect. They, at least, know how to do a cost/benefit analysis.

      But if our sad excuse for government could perhaps be convinced to pick up the tab…well then….

    • Voice of Reason says:

      Some interesting points. Some very valid but maybe displaying a slight lack of familiarity with the superyacht industry.

      You need to ask yourselves why most of the superyachts base themselves in Falmouth Harbour / English Harbour (Antigua) and Simpsons Bay lagoon in St Maarten during the European Winter (the "Caribbean" season as it is known in the industry).


      1. Both places are well placed for cruising the large number of different Islands in the Eastern Caribbean and have well developed marinas which are superyacht ISA security approved.

      2. Antigua has two large marina’s, a classic sailing week, a local workforce of skilled varnishers, carpenters, sailmakers and chandlers. Provisioning is not as good as St Maarten – the Epicurian supermarket in St Johns is not great. security is a concern (a few crew have been robbed and one has been shot dead in front of his children following a botched robbing a year ago). Antigua is picturesque and the large amount of yachts based down there makes it popular within the industry.

      3. St Maarten is slightly better developed and provisioning is a lot easier. It is certainly safer.

      4. Grand Cayman is not ideally located to play home base to superyachts – which is where the local economy starts making serious revenues. Some yachts might be interested in basing themselves down here once Cuba starts opening up and if there is interest in spending time in Jamaica and central America – Costa Rica especially. 

      5. Grand Cayman does not have a developed superyacht support structure and workforce with the skills relevant to large superyachts – it could be developed and it would take time. 

      Cayman is a difficult sell but not impossible. It would be a sell of a completely different product and region to the Eastern Caribbean so it is arguable that comparisons are not appropriate. No superyacht is going to want to visit an island if the construction of the docking facilities destroys the beautiful environment that they would have wanted to come and visit in the first place……. 

      Provisioning in Cayman would be excellent. Security (compared to Antigua especially) would be better here. Some owners are looking to do something different within the Caribbean, and some captains would prefer a safer base for their yachts.

      If you destroy the marine environment by doing so then you have shot yourself in the foot and the yachts will not want to come.

      Control of discharge of effluent  (black and grey waters) from large yachts would be essential.

    • RJ says:

      You forgot one con – Mega harbours in the Caribbean is a harbor for "economic pirates."

      The day you see boats from wealthy elites harbor here in the Cayman Islands, you know they are here to hide whatever. lol… almost reminds me of Port Royal’s use.

      • Voice of Reason says:

         This is an ill-informed and incorrect comment. Similar comments from similarly ill-informed people try to paint the Cayman Islands as a haven for tax dodgers and pirates. Don’t join that band-wagon.

        Eric Clapton has a yacht based out of Falmouth Harbour Antigua and is not the only famous entertainer to have alarge yacht. Royal families and reputable businessmen also own yachts. There will always be the odd bad egg (look at the violent crime situation in Cayman). Careful not to over generalise.

        Such comments can cause unnecessary and incorrect damage to an entire industry (or country as the Cayman Islands have discovered).

  21. Anonymous says:

    I am tired of all the backstabbing. Let Mr. Tibbetts be quiet and make who ever this country elected do his job, even if he is not doing it right. Let him do his job. He was elected as the leader of government and business and now that he is trying to do his job… all one does is accuse him of things. Grow up people! Nothing will change no matter how bad you speak of him. So… just let him continue doing his job for the next 3 years.

    And… I really don’t care how many thumbs up or down you put on this comment. This is s free country and CNS has this website for people to share their comments. I am sick and tired of all of this hypocrisy!

    • Kent says:

      Unfortunately this is not as free of a country as you or I would hope.

  22. Rabble Rouser says:

    I goin tell my mama on you!

  23. Anonymous says:

    How about he starts paying for his personal bills him self if he wants to save the country money and stop acting like a tyrant if he wants to attract inward investment.

    This guy is starting to sound like a broken record, each time he is challenged, he says the exact same thing every time "its your fault you did this to us in the first place" give me a break.

    How on earth did people vote for this guy? Did they spike the complementary drinks with ganja at the political meetings they attended?


    • Anonymous says:

      Re: How did this guy get elected? It was a miracle; partly to punish us for our lack of leadership, and because we are treating people unjustly (if you have enough money, it matters not if you are a good citizen, you can stay but if you need money but are a good citizen, you should go), and partly so that the need for new leadership could be magnified.

  24. Jon says:

    CNS: "He [the Premier] warned the opposition that he would prove more of their backroom deals as something had gone on at the school and while he didn’t have a letter about that yet he would do so before the end of this administration."

    Hmmm… it would be interesting to see some of the stink resurface again from the PPM side. He is right on one thing LIKE HIMSELF, that crew that put us in debt are no angels themselves.

    LOL… and you can give me as much thumbs down you like!  But that’s the God honest truth.

    Dem PPM is just like Dem UDP!  Both looking out for themselves… Look at the perks and bonuses attached to the Premier’s position. Under PPM, they implement these perks, and now under UDP they bathing in it.

    So thumbs down all you want PPM and UDP supporters… I hope your finger hurts, but I know at the end God will disclose your self-interest and your secrets

  25. Kent says:

    How infantile can one really be?  Why does McKeeva find it necessary to continually place blame on the PPM.  I will say that I am no great lover of either party.  They both have their major faults.  However, McKeeva now has the title that he so wanted for decades. He now needs to act like the leader of our country and stop the school boy antics.  The arrogance is really getting old!  Does "BIG MAC" really think he is the end- all-be-all of international relations and policy?  Does he really think that he can make no errors?  Is there even a slight possibility that the so-called opposition may have a good idea?  Or at least a thought worth considering? 


    As a Caymanian born from many generations of Caymanians, it is time to put away the "he said she said", time to put the blame away, and use ALL of the resources available to put our country back on track.  That means getting all of our Caymanian legislators to work for the common good.  That can only be done by you, at this point. 

    As for my personal stance, I am sick of the same thing over and over, election after election.  PPM, UDP …  We are experiencing a paradigm shift, and we need NEW fresh ideas, with new fresh faces that are not carrying the baggage of decades of rivalry.  I pray that we will give Cayman a chance in the future, by putting faith in the future, not the past!

    • Anonymous says:


      What I dont understand as an Ex-Pat is why so many people demand an alturnative to the UDP and PPM but will not put themselves up for election. As I understand matters there will be 18 MLA’s (and why does there need to be such an increase from 15) and there is 35,000 Caymanians. Assuming the adult Caymanian population is 60% and a voter turnout of 70% then to win a majority in an election you will need to get something like 417 votes to get elected.

      Stand up and offer yourself if you truly believe you can make a difference and not just sponge off the country like the majority of the present lot.

      As I said, I am an Ex-Pat so it is amusing to see how many moan but do nothing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Though I don’t think it is your place to point this out… since you are correct, I think it is worthy noting. I announce anonymously that, by the Grace of God, I shall take your (unsolicited) advise.:)

        • Anonymous says:

          If you do take my advice then promise yourself one thing. Resign from office the moment you put yourself interest above the interest of the country. I see it all the time in this country and it would take an exceptional person to be able to do that.

          As for it not being my place to point this out, well I was brought here to do a job which should utilise my knowledge and overall experiance and common sense. If I suggest a course of action or express an opinion it is because I feel it is in the best long term interest of my employer even if I am not going to be around to benefit. That is called professionalism. I did not expect to find such resistance and xenophobia to my input just because I was not born here or have Caymanian Stuatus. This applies both at a job level and from comments like yours.In view of your comment I cannot believe that you have the ability to see issues from the wider perspective and therefore think (based on very little evidence I admit), that you should not consider standing as an MLA.

          If I am wrong then I wish you all the luck

          The Ex-Pat

      • Kent says:

        Without getting into a long drawn out discussion.  I ask the exact same questions myself!  I personally am willing to throw my reputation, time and efforts in if the people of Cayman are of the mind set that a simple person such as myself would be of value to theIsland.  I get very frustrated with the unwillingness of our population to put a face to the words, or being willing to actually stand behind the words that are spoken.  This is exactly the reason you will ALWAYS see my name attached to any words that I utter (for good or bad) 

        I don’t know what the future holds, but if we don’t get very serious, I have a good idea of the outcome and it isn’t good.  IMO.

        • Anonymous says:


          I applaud your stand. As an Ex-Pat I feel that I would be on the first plane out of here if I revealed my name.

          I suggest you start thinking and acting. The country needs new blood in the leadership.

          The Ex-Pat

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for recognition of the need for new leadership. I covenant to, by the Grace of God, to offer another, hopefully better alternative to these "parties". Please be minded when you see it announced. Thank you again.