Our new dawn

| 08/08/2010

The Cayman economic explosion began in the late seventies when, simultaneously, banking, tourism and development (construction) began to grow at such a rapid pace our inability to supply the high demand for labour for these industries became a threat. New immigration
legislation and the “Protection Board” were introduced and the economic pull factor facilitated the rest creating a fourth industry, Labour Trade.

Very quickly, the land scarcity was identified and George Town and Seven Mile Beach became the commercial zones for banking and tourism. However, labour also needed housing and the property in West Bay was soon sold to facilitate this. Caymanian land ownership began to shrink
as the indigenous population exchanged the land for cash, slowing only as a result of the uncertainty as it related to the work permit holders ability to obtain citizenship. By the late eighties, few prominent Caymanians remained as major land owners, those remaining were in Savannah, Bodden Town, North Side and East End.

At the turn of the century, the multicultural social issues were at a boiling point and nearing eruption, not only locally but also from the UK as they proceeded to issue a “White Paper” outlining a range of discussion topics, including the advancement of our constitution,
citizenship for work permit holders, a conservation bill and sustainable development. No longer would we be allowed to sit back and ignore these pressing issues. If we failed to act, the UK would act for us by order in Cabinet.

And so, one year after the 2000 election there was political instability for the second time in our history and political parties were introduced as a result. Additionally, during this period, persons
who had been working and living in the country for extended periods were granted status by Cabinet, causing the multicultural social issues to erupt.

This brings me to the point of this paper.

It is now ten years following the mass status grants and large portions of the Savannah and Bodden Town properties have also been sold. Major housing projects developed to provide home ownership to not only the “new” Caymanian, but also to the decedents of Caymanians
who had sold their land three decades previously. The great “new” social change came from within as citizens relocated in masses to these new homes, bringing cultures from around the island and around the world. No longer were Caymanians relocated to a parcel of land up
or down the street, they were relocating to other districts, primarily, the district of Bodden Town, which has seen and continues to experience unsustainable growth. All of the residents of this district saw their lives turned upside down and viewed the “other” people as strangers.

Sadly, the entire social infrastructure was ill prepared and unable to manage the growth and culture shock, so rather than creating the communities we were all accustom to, we created new communities of strangers. To this day, very few have attempted to address these social issues. Politicians, through their “new” parties, are utilizing their national reach to win support from the new citizen in their constituency. Churches found it difficult to integrate the new citizen and the new citizen longed for the comfort of the church they grew up in. Teachers in schools saw the culture of their schools change overnight as the many varying cultures demanded prominence, lacking the tools to cope; they did what most human beings do under those conditions — some ran away and some shut themselves down.

Of course, when there is instability, the blame game is central to causing further social disruption, and so the “strangers” proceeded to blame each other for the ills they faced. And no one benefited.

What was missing from the new communities? Remember when we were growing up everyone in your neighborhood was our friend? Your parents’ friend? Family? When your parents trusted your neighbor to watch, love and discipline you? When parents got together regularly to “gossip”?
That is what the relocation of the masses caused to be removed from their social order.

It is now time for this country to recognize ALL its citizens.

If we fail or refuse to embrace our neighbor as family, regardless of his/her racial background, we will never advance economically, socially and academically. It is time for us to put the “foreigner”
debate behind us, embrace status holders as Caymanians and respect the contribution of work permit holders. We must not simply become more dependent on each other, we must commit to supporting each other. It is impossible to legislate this and foolish to expect political leadership to direct it.

I believe that the greatest social injustice is the resentment and hatred passed onto children from parents towards others. While the relocation of many occurred very quickly, the reestablishment of the “Caymanian Community” will take time and is best vested in the hands of the children who require guidance from their parents. Now, can the parents learn to never spew words of hatred towards their neighbor in the presence of their children?

It is a new dawn and we must write the new chapter of our history with pride.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (88)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    If all of your perceptions about Mr. Ebanks were correct then I would have expected from him an objective analysis of the causes of social division. Instead, his article failed to convey many of the legitimate points you have raised. Instead, what we got was an attempt to justify the mass status grants by statements which Mr. Ebanks must have known were erroneous, and a one-sided account of why there are social divisions. We cannot build peace upon falsehoods.   

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree. Mr. Ebanks does not try to justify the mass status grants, he makes mention of them as being part of the problem within the communities and states that we cannot change it, we need to accept these new Caymanians. You have to admit they are now Caymanians, like it or not. He also points out that the "Us v Them" issue was here prior to the mass status grants and erupted as a result, now, we need to find middle ground as they are our neighbors. These new Caymanians children are playing and interacting with our children, going to school with them, eating at our tables. To continue to hate will result in our demise as we now hate our fellow Caymanians.

      I hope this helps you to understand that Mr. Ebanks is not expressing something here that has not been discussed by all of us for the last 30 years; this is hatred from "Us and Them" that needs to stop.

      Seems to me you are one of those Politicians seeking to keep this alive to maintain control of themasses.

      • Anonymous says:

        Read the article again.

        First, he claims that the UK made the govt. do it. 

        "AT THE TURN OF CENTURY…the UK…proceeded to issue a “White Paper” outlining a range of discussion topics, including the advancement of our constitution, CITIZENSHIP FOR WORK PERMIT HOLDERS, a conservation bill and sustainable development. No longer would we be allowed to sit back and ignore these pressing issues. IF WE FAILED TO ACT THE UK WOULD ACT FOR US BY ORDER IN CABINET.

        Second, he falsely states that persons were granted status on the basis of length of residency (after all this would comply with the UK requirements set out in the White Paper).  

        "AND SO, one year after the 2000 election…persons who had been working and living in the country for EXTENDED PERIODS were granted status by Cabinet….It is now TEN YEARS following the mass status grants".

        Sounds reasonable. Anyone reading that who didn’t know better would say, "Oh well, I don’t see the problem with the status grants then. Those Caymanians must just be hateful against foreigners". This is this image of Caymanians that you and he wish to portray.

        I have already made the point that there was no such criterion of length of residence. The other problem is that the White Paper was in 1999 and the status grants were in 2003 but he tries to fudge this by talking about the "turn of the century" for the White Paper and "10 years" ago for the status grants in an effort to connect them.   Also, we didn’t have any other other White Paper issues rammed down our throats by Order in Council either. It was 10 years later before we got a Constitution that contained a Bill of Rights. We still have not got a National Conservation Law.    

        And no, I am no politician, but I am a true-blooded Caymanian who believes in exposing corruption, not coveringit up.  The issue has nothing to do with hate for the people who were granted many of whom are my good friends but they know where I stand on this issue.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          You are dwelling on your bitterness of the mass status grant process and missing his point on the fact that we cannot revoke them. I too am bitter over the process; however, we also had Caymanians submitting names to this list, MANY Caymanians. The grants have NOT been contested by any citizens and clearly we need to move on. Mr. Ebanks point in this article. We now live side by side with equal rights under the law, so, let’s move the country along collectively.

          As to your point on the constitution, that was clearly in process and being debated by the public and as you rightly stated was approved ten years later; however, the conservation bill has been in the public domain for a number of years as well. Therefore, there is no need for an order in cabinet, it’s in process.

          Your statements here are clearly focused on Mr. Ebanks inaccurate dates contesting 1999 vs turn of the century, ten years vs seven and so on, so let’s agree he has this wrong. Come now. The question is simple. Do you believe that we Caymanians need to accept the Status holders as our fellow Caymanians and work together for the betterment of Cayman?

          • Anonymous says:

            People submitting names is not the issue. Just because 100 people apply for a job does not mean you should hire all 100 and does not mean that objective standards should not apply in deciding who to hire. That is a red herring. 

            Whether we can revoke them or not does not mean it was right or that it should be condoned.   

            It is not just a matter of inaccurate dates. My post focussed on the fact that Mr. Ebanks was trying to justify the status grants and I showed this by quoting his own post.  It is impossible to believe that one who has been involved in politics for a long time, who one previous poster believes is an intellectual, would not do basic research before writing a Viewpoint article. The intention must have been to mislead.

            Like Mr. Ebanks, your account of the social divide is completely one-sided. You fail to acknowledge the fact that many of the status grantees do not wish to be identified as Caymanian. In fact, many of them see it only as a convenience to be able to live, work and open businesses here without restriction and a stepping stone to get British Citizenship. FACT: Some persons wanted to get naturalized as British Citizens and obtain a UK Passport without first obtaining a Cayman passport. 

            Lest you forget it was Mr. Ebanks who raised the whole status issue, not me. Let sleeping dogs lie.         

  2. One Banana says:

    It is amazing how many posters harbor tremendous resentments over the status grants and don’t see that it is in the past.  They need to let it go as their bitterness is poisoning the Cayman of today.

    • Anonymous says:

      What you may not recognise is that there may not really have been any status grants. I do not deny that most recipients deserved their grant, but if the manner in which they were purportedly bestowed by Cabinet was illegal or otherwise outside its power, then as a matter of fact and law, nothing was granted and the recipients are not necessarily Caymanian.

      If the Cabinet could say, "x has been here for 16 years and is a good person and it is just that we bestow on them the honour of being a Caymanian", then I (and most fair minded  people) have no problem.

      But what Cabinet really did , it seems, is say "We do not know who they are or what their nature is or how long they have been here or what the justice of their case is or if they live here or if they are even alive or what the effect will be or how many relatives they will bring to Cayman  or what the strain will be on society or the police or the hospital or the department of education, or social services, or Caymanians careers, or their employment, orour finances and it is just that we bestow on them the cheap give away of being a Caymanian."

      All evidence points to them having done that. If that is true, I am convinced the grants were illegal and probably void.

      And in some cases – because there is no transparency and despite FOI requests – people are left to wonder whether choice of realtor or even outright cash payments under the table (and not length of residence or contribution to the future of these Islands) may have been a determining factor as to who got it and who did not.

      Of course people are bitter. Unfortunately you telling people whose country and people may have been sold out and set back for generations, (not by the grants but the possibly unlawful manner in which they were handled, particularly where many Caymanians and Expatriates alike are shown weekly examples of recipients doing things to undermine these Islands and decent and deserving  individuals of all nationalities who live here), is not going to change anything.

      • O'Really says:

        Ah, Cayman’s equivalent of the "Birther" movement. 

        You write " I do not deny that most recipients deserved their grant…" yet you would deny ( or indeed in your mind do deny ) status to this large group solely because in your opinion the process, not the principle, may have been flawed. 

        What I find more disturbing than your love of process over justice is how little faith you have in your own people. An example "… people may have been sold out and set back for generations." Why exactly? I can only believe it is because you fear true borns will not be able to compete, maybe will even lose their political monopoly over time when the protection of nationality is removed. 

        Yet how many times have I read that the expats here are nothing special, that they are easily replaced? I happen to think that this is largely true by global standards, so you tell me why true borns should fear competing with paper Caymanians drawn from such average ranks and why they should not feel insulted at your low opinion of them?

        I recently browsed through the Gazette list of recipients ( I like to see my own name in print) and was once again struck not by how many names were undeserving of the grant, but by how many names there were of individuals who I had previously believed must have status because of their time living in Cayman and profile in the community. The mass grant righted a lot of long standing injustices, whilst creating a few new ones. With your focus only on the few new injustices you are destined to be part of the problem. You do bitter well though, I concede that.

        • Anonymous says:

          I do not know how anyone can make a statement that most of the people were deserving of the grants. Do those commenting actually know most of the almost 3,000 people? I doubt it.

          The truth is that those who were deserving (and all of us know at least some) would have received the grant if it had been considered in a proper manner. It is therefore an injustice against them to have received a grant in this manner that it puts it under a cloud. It is an injustice to those who previously had to observe very high standards in order to receive a grant. It is also an injustice against those who were deserving and did not receive any grant. I had an American friend who owned a small business that employed Caymanians and had lived here for some13 years at the time. He was absolutely livid that others who had not been here more than 6 months had been granted status while he had been overlooked, and threatened to leave. I encouraged him to stay and provided a letter of reference for his permanent residency application.

          It is an injustice to Caymanians who are already disadvantaged by prejudice against them in the workplace as this will only serve to mask that prejudice as a business can then claim to have Caymanian partners, managers etc. The point about competing against even average expats is that in the minds of some you are automatically superior if you are expat and there is accordingly very little scrutiny of probity, credentials, performance etc. and there are more opportunities to shine. This is why UCCI could employ the con man Mr. Sayed as President without bothering to check his credentials, but everyone was all over Roy Bodden’s credentials.     

          The process as a whole was unjust as it failed to provide a level playing field or apply any objective standards. There was no equity. It is specious to separate process from justice in this case.  

           

          • O'Really says:

            I agree that it is unlikely any one individual can know all3000 odd grantees, but then again I did not suggest this, I merely referred to the original posters comment and ran with it.

            Your belief that those who were deserving would have received status by operation of law is illogical. The fact that you know individuals who received status in the mass grant who met your criteria for being granted status by operation of law but had obviously not been granted it, is indicative of the fact that the system was not working. Maybe you missed the moratorium on grants of status imposed by way of policy directive in January 1991 and found to be void by judicial review in 2002.

            Or are you naive enough to suggest that in the absence of the mass grant and following the judicial review decision, the Governor’s annual quota would have cleared the backlog of legitimate status applications in a period short enough to be considered reasonable? 

            As for injustice to grantees, there are of course degrees of injustice. I can say as a beneficiary of the mass grant that the stigma attaching to it is unjust, but no-where near as unjust as arbitrarily barring me from applying for status in the first place by the imposition of an illegal moratorium. 

            Your third paragraph is not worth commenting on since it says more about your own prejudices than it does the topic under debate. I would add though, that when you write " … a business can then claim to have Caymanian partners, managers etc" you have missed a fundamental point. If the guys at the top have status, they are Caymanian, so there is no claiming about it. The fact that they are not true borns is what gets your goat, but this is not a distinction recognised in law.

            The point of the original article was to advocate integration of new Caymanians with the old, a laudable objective in my view, but not yours it would seem. The whole purpose of your response is to identify supposed injustices and then use these to continue to drive a wedge between the various groups who are now, whether you like it or not, Caymanian.

            • Anonymous says:

              Your 2nd and 3rd para (probably deliberately) completely miss the point. You are presenting a false choice as though it was either the 3,000 status grants or allowing immigration policy to go unchanged.  Instead, govt could have announced a policy that a reasonable number of persons (say 200) would be granted Caymanian status each year. It could have laid out the criteria, e.g. 15 years residency, clean police record, letters of reference, and invited persons to apply. It would have been transparent and free from any suspicion of hidden political agendas, cronyism etc. and there would have been a level playing field. It would have avoided grants to persons who were not interested in Caymanian status thereby cheapening what it means to be Caymanian. The numbers would have allowed a steady transition to occur.  

              The stigma attached to mass status is not unjust at all for the reasons that have already been discussed. Anything which smacks of corruption ought to have a stigma attached (or do you only believe that when it does not concern you?).  

              Your 5th para is ridiculous, but serves to illustrate my point that there are people who think just like you.  The fact is that discrimination on the basis of national origin etc. (presumably you have heard of this) etc. can continue freely merely because the person has now acquired Caymanian status. The point is that you are using his legal status to cover up the real issue of discrimination. 

              Integration of Caymanians and expatriates is indeed a laudable objective. The point which I have consistently made is there is responsibility for social division on both sides and that needs to be acknowledged if it is to be addressed. We cannot expect to build and harmony based on falsehoods.  Reconciliation must be based on truth and mutual respect.      

                       

              • O'Really says:

                I sometimes wonder if you and I live on the same island!

                The situation set out in your first paragraph would indeed have been acceptable, but the history of Cayman’s policy on status since the late 1970’s ( my time here ) simply does not support such a reasonable policy being introduced. The quota before the illegal moratorium came into force in 1991 was 12 a year, a far cry from your 200. Are you aware that the Immigration Board, having been forced to recognisethe illegality of the moratorium, backdated it’s annual quota to 1991? Did they use this opportunity to increase the annual quota to an order of magnitude suggested by you? I’m afraid not, they used 12. 

                There is no basis for you to suggest it would be raised to 200 rather than reverting to 12. Speculate all you want, but recent history is on my side. Here is a link to the pertinent details. Other readers may be interested.

                http://www.caymanjudicial-legalinfo.ky/judgments/Cayman-Islands-Law-Reports/Cases/CILR2002/CILR020188.aspx

                Feel free to attach all the stigma you want to us dirty Caymanians, it actually exists only in the mind of those who are still bitter. I find myself remarkably untroubled by what you think of me.

                I have no time for discrimination, no matter which way it cuts. I also have no time for less capable individuals who claim discrimination as a means to cover their own inadequacies and there is plenty of that here. I reserve my judgement on your motivation.

                 

                 

                • Anonymous says:

                  You are nothing if not stubborn. Whatever happened in the 1990s does not change the fact that this could and should have been done properly. Nowhere did I suggest that it "would" have been raised to 200 but for the mass status grants. Clearly, your time since the 1970s would also not have suggested a mass status grant for almost 3,000 people either, so that is a dud argument. 

                  The Immigration Board did not set the quota. That was set by Cabinet. Accordingly, it obviously had no power to (retrospectively) increase the quota. Note that Cabinet at the time of the 2002 Judgement was the same Cabinet that made the 2003 status grants. If indeed its motivation was to address any human rights concerns, rather than serve some ignoble political agenda, then something along the lines of what I havesuggested would have been reasonable.   

                  I am trying to point out what we can learn from this experience whereas you keep trying to find points on which to disagree – and delivered in a very patronizing tone.    

                  I think you know that my point was not that the recipients (many of whom are good friends) are "dirty Caymanians" but rather that the process was tainted and is therefore rightly held in disrepute. Indeed I made the point earlier that the grantors have delivered an injustice to those who were deserving. But I understand that it serves your rhetorical purpose to pretend otherwise. 

                  Likewise, I find myself remarkably untroubled by your opinion of my motivation.  

                  • O'Really says:

                    If setting out the facts of Cayman’s policy towards granting status through to and including the illegal moratorium is me seeking to find points on which to disagree, I guess I disagree.

                    I see that your objection to the mass grants is based on your belief that they "…serve some ignoble political agenda…." Politics in Cayman and the rights of expats are virtually mutually exclusive concepts. I am unencumbered by political considerations and have no political agenda to promote but I have trouble believing you can say the same. I wonder then which of us is more likely to be objective?

                    • Anonymous says:

                       Surely you jest, sir. As one of the recipients of the mass status grants you are no more capable of giving an objective opinion on their merits than the Attorney General was, i.e. not at all. My posts have been very explicit about the nature of my objections as I have listed various injustices and explained the merits of what I consider to have been a proper alternative. You have chosen to ignore them in favour of casting an entirely unwarranted and false aspersion. It does not speak well of your character.

                      Funny, when you speak of the injustice of Cayman’s Cayman’s immigration policy and illegal moratorium you are merely "setting out the facts", but when I do the same regarding the probably illegal status grants it must mean that I have a political agenda to serve. 

                      I am confident that objective readers will see through this.  

                       

                    • O'Really says:

                      I have often wondered in some of our exchanges if you actually understand what you write. Your latest post convinces me the answer is no. 

                      I really hope you are not a lawyer.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      I was hoping that, rather than sniping, you would at least finish the thread with a valid point for a change. Disappointed but not surprised.   

                    • O'Really says:

                      Actually I’m still posting on this topic, just not with you ( except this of course). By way of explanation for the next time we cross swords ( and we will won’t we! ) I am happy to respond to posts which stay on topic, or where the change of topic or focus makes sense. I stop posting when it becomes apparent that my "opposition " cannot stay on topic. I regret to say that with you, I often get the sense that you are like a school kid faced with an exam question he can’t answer, so he answers a different question but gains no marks. Once we reach that point, I stop.

                      As for the poster who feels I have been put in my place, it wouldn’t be the first time and if I was worried about this in the least, I would simply stop posting.

                       

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Lawyer or not, he/she sure made mincemeat out of you!

        • Anonymous says:

          Funny thing – I am not a true born. Indeed I myself am a status recipient. However, having received that honour I do not denigrate those who (or in whose name it was) bestowed it upon me, and continue to seek what is in the best interests of the Caymanian people. That may sometimes mean challenging, and otherwise bring to light, those things that I believe are not.

          I am sorry assumed I must be a "true born".  Perhaps you could not have contemplated the fact that someone who became a Caymanian as an adult might actually have taken the time to understand the Caymanian people and their society, and to have reached the stage that they self identify as Caymanian above all else. Someone who understands that the relative peace and tranquility that we have enjoyed  quite rightly and understandably depends on local persons being afforded opportunity where practicable, and that mutual trust, cooperation, and the rule of Law is what is required for it to continue.

          I may be being unfair to you. I am not unsympathetic to your position. I ask you this: Would a right minded impartial observer consider that you deserved to become Caymanian, and do you consider yourself to be Caymanian, holding the rights and aspirations of Caymanian people of all walks of life in some substantial regard as you plod this mortal coil, seeking to leave these Islands and their people better than they would have been without you?

          If so, regardless of any technical issues, I am prepared to say out loud " welcome my Caymanian brother (or sister)." Knowing true borns as I do, I am sure they would say the same.

          Or do you scramble to make as much money as possible in a manner that lacks regard to the effect that you will leave behind when you the proverbial plane door  hits you in the arse either as a result of your planned retreat "home" or because your actions ultimately help a Caymanian Pindling  to gain support, rise up, and chase you  (and even a bunch of good guys)away?

          I hope you reflect and find you are the former. If so,  I look forward to working with you to mend all bridges and build a better Cayman for all. You can help me with my bitterness, and I can teach you how to make a good rundown, and what solja tail is best for catching..

          If you are the latter, I hope the plane door gets you good. You are not a Caymanian, legally or otherwise.

           

           

          • O'Really says:

            You ask " …do you consider yourself to be Caymanian, holding the rights and aspirations of Caymanian people of all walks of life in some substantial regard…."

            My answer is no and yes. I do not consider myself Caymanian even though I have lived here longer than I lived in my home country. I can answer in all sincerity yes to the second part of your question and this seems to be a position which is beyond your understanding, given that your only options for an expat who does not self-identify as Caymanian is to be the type who deserves to be hit hard in the ass by the plane door closing. You seem to have completely missed the point that your two groups are the extremes of integration or non-integration and that most of us happily reside somewhere in the middle.

            I would also answer yes to the second part of your question were it to relate to expats, something I find missing from your posts. Expats do not simply have responsibilities, they have rights, but in general these seem to be of no interest to you. You really do self-identify, don’t you?

            My original objection to your position stands. It does nothing to promote greater social harmony to harp on about something which is fait accompli. Oh, and I’ve been here a long time. I put my rundown up against yours anyday!

            • Anonymous says:

              Not really O’Really.

              An Expat is an expat. I and I believe the vast majority of Caymanians welcome them amongst us. They are unequivocally deserving of respect and fair treatment in every aspect of life, as are Caymanians.

              Expats are critical to us.  Although I consider that we must have some restrictions in place on their right to freely work, trade and live here for the good of us all, and the viability of these Islands, I encourage those who qualify and want to become a permanent part of this society to apply to do so. I hope that their applications are treated promptly and transparently, and where appropriate, granted. Where applications are not successful the disappointment should be dealt with humanely and with understanding and compassion. 

              Where an expat (or Caymanian) is wronged (by a Caymanian or anyone else) I would expect and hope that the full force of the law be imposed to protect and to defend them, and to suitably punish the wrongdoer.  I realise that this is not always the case and this angers me as much as any status grant.

              To me, also,  a Caymanian is a Caymanian – it matters not that they used to be an expat. However, if anyone deserves to have a plane door hit them in the ass it is an expat who claims all the rights and privileges of being a Caymanian (especially having obtained that designation in (at best) questionable circumstances) but does not look out for Cayman’s long term interests. Put at its simplest, if you say you are a Caymanian, claiming all the rights and privileges, but do not consider yourself to be a Caymanian, why should anyone else? Worse, if you claim all the rights and privileges of being Caymanian, having been granted (in reality or not) (or even having been born with) that right, but undermine the Caymanian people to maximise your personal profit as you plan your trip home (or elsewhere), then you are nothing but  a treacherous SOB.

              If you are in the middle as you describe I have no probIem. I respect you. I am delighted that you prepare a mean rundown and perhaps at least your children, with mine, will complete the integration. I just hope that in future some treacherous SOB, granted status coincidentally  following payment of 100,000 yuan to a politically connected figure doesn’t insist that only persons who went to his old college in Beijing can work at the economy changing and dominating complex of the future he is develloping. That might leave our otherwise highly educated kids with no option but to emmigrate for quality work or remain in their country with little to live off but whatever meagre inheritences we leave behind. It would be enough to make them start saying nasty and probably unfair things about the Chinese, and rightly or wrongly, deny that the SOB is a "real" Caymanian.

              Ironic, don’t you think?

              I actually think you have the makings of a good a Caymanian. I am sorry you do not identify yourself as one. Work at it a little more, and the moment you are ready, call yourself one (in priority to, but not necessarily in place of, whatever else you might be.). Your welcome will be warm, overdue, and dramatic, and would do great things to promote social harmony.

              We can still disagree (perhaps vehemently) on even major issues. I don’t even have to like you, although suspect I would.  New ideas and ways of looking at things are healthy in any society – and by freely debating them and considering alternatives we can and will adapt to meet all challenges. But to work change has to come from the inside. Expats telling Caymanians they have it wrong without discussing options and anticipating and having empathy for what Caymanian’s fears and concerns may be, only does harm.

              Cayman has opened the door for you. You still seem to be sniping from the other side of it. Come on in.

              • O'Really says:

                Good post, I enjoyed reading it and I happen to agree with most of it. It is interesting however that your words convey not just the immediate meaning with which I can agree, but ahint at underlying attitudes where we do not apparently share common ground.  

                Here is one area. You wrote " …if you say you are a Caymanian, claiming all the rights and privileges…." If I were writing this sentence, it would include a reference to the responsibilities which go with being Caymanian. I find no reference to this in your post. It is the recognition that Caymanians have responsibilities, which for the purpose of this debate  I am equating to expats have rights too, which I find lacking in Cayman generally. To give an example, a while ago Ezzard Miller put forward the suggestion that 600 work permits be cancelled to create openings for 600 unemployed Caymanians. It did not happen but clearly Miller had no regard for the rights of the workers he wanted fired, or the employers who had gone through the immigration process to hire them. I believe tone is set at the top, so you tell me what tone this was setting? Please don’t argue he is alone in his beliefs, that one won’t fly.

                To take a second example, you wrote " You still seem to be sniping from the other side…." Again, if this is how you view anyone who believes that a balanced discussion requires both sides to be able to have input, we are not on the same page. On the issue of the mass status grants, I readily concede that some individuals received status who never deserved the privilege and this created injustice for both Caymanians and other more deserving expats. I don’t exactly know what the process was for approving applicants, but again I would concede it was probably flawed. However, I also recognise that the policy of the Protection/Immigration Boards towards granting status and particularly the imposition of an illegal moratorium from 1991 to 2002 was an injustice for many long term expats for whom the goalposts for applying for status were constantly moved.

                In my view the mass grant corrected more injustices than it created. You don’t agree with me and that’s your prerogative, but I would be more comfortable with your position if I could convince myself that you actually believed there are two legitimate sides to the issue, as opposed to one legitimate and one to be ignored.

                • Anonymous says:

                  O’Really – we were just getting to the good part and have slipped off the front page! You may be reading too much into the absence of certain clear statements in my post as being intentional.

                  Let me try to be clear. Caymanians and Expatriates are equals but –

                  When it comes to preference in employment:

                  Caymanians are first amongst equals

                  Persons married to Caymanians are second amongst equals

                  Permanent residents with the right to work (in that occupation) are third amongst equals.

                  Expatriates already resident in Cayman are fourth amongst equals.

                  Expatriates not living in Cayman are fifth amongst equals.

                  This is what the law says and I happen to think it necessary and appropriate in our circumstances.

                  Similar restrictions are appropriate when considering things such as access to free education, government housing, medication, groceries etc. 

                  Ezzard was not necessarily wrong. It is a condition of every work permit that the employer demonstrate that they have used their best efforts to identify a Caymanian (or other – see priority above) before applying for a work permit. No-one should be fired. Simply, if there is a surplus of locally available labour able to adequately fill a role, permits ought not to be renewed until there is again a demand for workers from overseas. Persons not having their permits renewed should be given some priority in seeking other positions for which they may be suitable, and in the absence  of that option, ought to be sent away with dignity and be put on a preferential list to be invited back when circumstances change. No-one (even a Caymanian) should get a job based on Nationality – they must be able to perform at an appropriate level.

                  You concede that at least some of the mass status grants created injustices for Caymanians and more deserving Expatriates. How was that injustice remedied? Well, the more deserving Expatriates were able to make their own applications to a Board which for the most part were considered fairly and granted. Meanwhile, the Caymanians who suffered injustice as a result…still suffer the injustice. No remedy – just a few treacherous SOB’s urinating on them and their futures on an ongoing basis.

                  In pure numerical terms I agree the mass status grants likely remedied more injustices than they created – but the realisation that the old policies were wrong was dealt with by a means for everyone to have some prospect of progression in their immigration standing. The injustices could have just as effectively been remedied under the Law – using a vetting system that stood some prospect of having credibility – such as the one that was introduced the very same year as the status grants.

                  What is your alternative – because I think doing ot any other way will ultimately result in overturned cars and a lot of stones being thrown. I am not simply and blindly following the Law. Rule number 1 in my experience is avoid tear-gas fumes whenever practicable.

                   

                   

                  • O'Really says:

                    I’m with you completely until you get to the paragraph starting with " Ezzard was not necessarily wrong…."

                    The fact was that he declared he wanted 600 permits cancelled; 600 permits which, unless you have evidence to the contrary, it is reasonable to assume were issued after the employers went through the legal requirements of the immigration law. Ezzard had no time for the niceties of the law, the situation legally employed expats would find themselves in if their permits were revoked mid-term at the whim of government, the difficulties such an arbitrary action would have for employers ( many of whom seem to be almost regarded as pariahs in the current climate, instead of providers of vital jobs ), nor the international reputation of Cayman as an employment destination once it became known that you could be removed mid-permit any time unemployment numbers rose.

                    We both seem to accept that if an employer goes through all of the immigration law requirements in both practice and spirit and after doing so hires an expat from overseas, that expat has the same employment rights as a Caymanian until the permit comes up forrenewal. At renewal, the process starts again and the expat takes his/her chances, but not before. So why exactly, is Ezzard "not necessarily wrong"? Did his proposal suggest he recognised expats have rights too? Not in my book.

                    With respect to the injustice Caymanians suffered because some of the grantees should not have received status, there is probably no remedy. However, who is responsible for this? Were the politicians who first imposed the illegal moratorium which masked the build up of numbers of expats being eligible for status not Caymanian? Were the politicians who decided the mass grant was appropriate not Caymanian? Were the people asked to submit names not Caymanian? Were the final approvals not made by Caymanians? Have these same politicians not been voted back into power by Caymanians and is this not tacit acceptance of their acts, at least by those who voted for them? Some Caymanians may have been caught in the crossfire of the mass grants, but the damage inflicted was inflicted by other Caymanians.

                    As a solution, I have no problem with a quota system with appropriate residency requirements etc; such a system existed prior to 1991. Why Caymanian politicians decided on a mass grant I don’t know but I doknow you can’t lay responsibility for this approach at the feet of anyone other than Caymanians. 

                    What I don’t accept as a solution is individuals such as yourself stoking the expat/paperCaymanian/Caymanian controversy by suggesting the grants are void. They have not been challenged in court. The Cayman Bar Association commenced but never completed a challenge. I suspect any challenge is now statute barred. So you tell me what you are contributing to Cayman’s current and future social stability  by keeping this issue on the front burner?

                     

                    • Anonymous says:

                      The joy and value of open debate – we now fundamentally agree.

                      The main difference seems to be one of interpretation. Whatever his actual words, I took Ezzard to be saying 600 permits ought not to be renewed (if there are 600 capable caymanians available). You took him  to be saying they should be cancelled mid stream.  If your understanding is correct, I am with you (but I do think multi year permits granted for administrative convenience ought still to be terminable on their anniversary date, subject to at least 3 months notice). I take it that on my interpretation (if it is right) you basically agree with me.

                      Ask the Bodden town MLA’s about who "voted" them back into power. It seems clear that status recipients ultimately determined the outcome of the last election – so your analysis on that is a little tainted- but you do make good points.

                      You may not have a problem with quotas but I do, it means that the most deserving may not be successful. I prefer a stringent test that is set high enough that the number granted status isat an acceptable and appropriate level, rather than settling on an arbitrary number.

                      On your last point – I already told you I need help with my bitterness. I am also motivated by the fact that there are some who may have paid for their status, or received it because of murky business relationship, or in return for sexual favours, or some other plainly illegal basis (ignoring that they are all likely illegal anyway) and who are now abusing the privilege. My stance should be seen an exaltation for them to be better citizens in the future, a warning to politicians to be careful how they use their power,  and an invitation to the authorritioes to investigate and deal with illegality and corruption wherever (and whenever) it may occur. Those, I believe like you, who came by it as legitimately as possible in the circumstances, are not individuals who Cayman ought to be concerned about – I only ask that you (and they) come to consider yourse(lf/ves)  to be Caymanian, and be faithful to these Islands and their people. Then the harm will for most, be fleeting. 

                      Help me with this one last point please O’Really. If there were clear evidence that someone paid 50K to get on the list – do you care that 7 years have passed, or ought it to be declared void and the "recipient" declared unfit to be a part of this community?

                    • O'Really says:

                      Call me pedantic, but Ezzard’s words are central to my position, so I’ve taken the trouble to find them here on CNS.

                      Quote "…Here is what needs to happen. If there are 1000 caymanians out of work in cayman where there are 25,000 work permits we need to cancel the coresponding 1000 work permits. " I was wrong in my recollection, it was 1000 not 600, but I don’t think this helps!

                      Another quote I found "…“If government has to let go five accountants, for example, then we approach the large private firms and ask them to cut five accounts on work permits from their staff,”.

                      My problem with this, at the risk of repeating myself, is that it sets a tone at the top which completely ignores how the law should operate in favour of how a politician would like it to operate to fit his own ideology. It is indicative of a prevailing attitude here that laws should be ignored if they don’t suit. But that’s another topic. 

                      This response is incomplete because I’m short on time but I will try to get back to your other points. 

                    • O'Really says:

                      To follow up on my previous post, in case anyone is still awake on this thread, I’ll briefly address the points not addressed above.

                      With respect to the Bodden Town UDP MLAs they are both serving their first term and therefore were not "re-elected." They were not part of the decision making process over the mass grants and should not be tainted by it, although they will be in some peoples minds by association with the UDP. My point related to those MLA’s elected this time around who were responsible for the mass grant, first and foremost BigMac and the West Bay boys. As for the BT MLA’s swinging the election, I could equally hold that the election of the 4 WB candidates swung the election. Take your pick.

                      I believe I mis-understood your initial point on quotas for status grants. In any event, your suggestion as to how this should be handled is fine with me.

                      As for those individuals who obtained status under the mass grant illegally, through bribery etc. I have no more time for them than you do. On a practical level though, what remedies are there now? None I suspect, because apart from the fact that I am not sure any remedies in law exist, I certainly have seen no inclination for anyone to tackle individual cases of possible abuse. Faced with this real world situation do we pick at a festering sore or do we let it heal? My view is that for the benefit of all here, this wound should be allowed to heal, but I’m realistic enough to know this is unlikely, particularly because there is political mileage in it for PPM supporters and independents when confronting the UDP.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Thank you O’Really. It is a pleasure to disagree with you, especially to find I do not really.

                    • O'Really says:

                      You’re welcome. I look forward to our next exchange.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      It has been fascinating to read this exchange, particularly because of the markeddifference in tone in O’Really’s posts from when he thought he was corresponding with a ‘true-born Caymanian’. 

                      In terms of political mileage, there is benefit to the UDP for the grantees to support them politically by writing posts suggesting that people who criticise the grants must be politically motivated. 

                      True about picking at sores though. But that is exactly what this article did.     

                    • Anonymous says:

                      We must also remember that Ezzard started the status grants while sitting as the Chair of the 500 year celebrations. He recommended that 500 status grants be issued, this of course like all things under the control of politicians got out of hand. We must also recognize that Ezzard, while sitting as the Chair of the Work Permit Board sought to import several hundred workers for one of the local hotels in exchange for "source" payment. So while he has been on both sides of the immigration issue, it is fair to say he has been unwavering in his political position!

                    • O'Really says:

                      I wasn’t aware of either of these 2 pieces of information and now I am, I don’t know what to make of them!

      • Nonnie Mouse says:

        Well you can live in your fantasy bubble by the time to mount a legal challenge passed a long long time ago and the recipients all have accrued and permanent rights now which are unimpeachable.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not the point, really.

        • Anonymous says:

          Good, considering how much I had to pay for it, I’m glad I can keep it. I still need to get another 6 years out of it before I go home. (Yes, I am being sarcastic, but you get the point).

  3. Man says:

    I had lunch with Joey Ebanks a few weeks ago and I must say I found him to be very interesting and enlightening. I have known him for many years; however, we have been out of touch for about five years or so and I decided to send him an email inviting him for lunch. Great lunch discussion! The man is very passionate and educated.

    Here is why I choose to post to this. During our discussion I asked him if he was going to run in the next election, without any hesitation, his reply was “Absolutely not. No way, no how. I cannot win”. He proceeded to tell me why and during this segment of our conversation I discovered just how passionate and intelligent this man is, and, I agreed with him, he cannot win.

    I am not surprised he wrote this paper. He went on and on about the threat to our economy being from within, our inability to maximize the efficiency of our labor, develop future expertise and the missed opportunities of Caymanians who have not taken advantage of the foreign knowledge and the expats who have denied locals the relevant training and knowledge necessary. He said that politicians have consistently fueled the hatred and segregation of the locals and expats in order to prevent the “liberalization” of the Caymanian worker. He actually used that word! He believes that preachers and politicians will consistently do whatever is necessary to keep people dependent to them.

    I gave our conversation a lot of thought the days following our lunch, primarily because I was so impressed with his intellect and beliefs. I am posting here because I am convinced he will not run again, that he will attempt to force debate on the issues HE believes are affecting us, such as the “Us v Them” issue here.

    So Joey I know you are reading these post! I do not believe you will force public debate on the issues of political reform, social reform, education reform, Government divestment and the other issues we discussed. You my friend, will need another avenue to stimulate the public’s discussion of these issues, so far here, the debate is your political aspirations, the mass status grants and everything else other than what you wanted debated. Segregation, hate, civil liberties.

    To CNS, if he would agree, I think you will find an interview with him to be very interesting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, ok, Joey won’t run…we’ll take your word and his for it. 

      Question:  How do you know a politician is lying??? 

      Answer:  His lips are moving.

  4. Anonymouse says:

    Joey is an aspiring politician who thinks that taking a page out of Mackeevas book will give him a political advantage. Unfortunately for him, he would need to fix his own image before he could get my support.

    All of the politicians sitting outside the fence are using whatever media they can find to try to garner support. Every second post on my facebook page is from a local politician making friends with someone else.

    So take it for what it is, the CNS viewpoint is just another forum for our politicians to try to make political inroads.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is those so-called politicians don’t even control their own facebook pages! How sad … they have a PA doing it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    On my street Caymanians, status holders and work permit holders are all living in the same neighborhoods raising their children on the same streets and facing the same issues. What Joey has attempted to point out here is that we all need to recognize that and help each other out as best we can.

    I am a single mother with two children for a Caymanian Man and an expat boss. My MALE expat boss has shown me more respect than the father of my children. My MALE expat boss has encouraged me to return to school. It is my fellow Caymanian FEMALE "friends" that are discouraging me.

    So I too am sick of hearing my fellow Caymanians blame expats for their problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are absolutely right most of the time. The problem arises when your Expat boss gets moved to another office or leaves, and his replacement (who got his permit or Key Employee designation) in part on the basis that the business was supporting you in school – cancels your scholarship and makes you redundant "due to economic circumstances" and then employs an expat friend to do the tasks you were going to. 

      I hope it will not happen to you, but it has to many.

      If it does happen every lawyer you speak to will tell you the law is on your side. Then labour, immigration, politicians will do nothing. 

      There are still two sides to this coin and both need to do better.. 

  6. Anon says:

    Mr. Ebanks is absolutely correct here and very courageous to pen his name to an issue that is in my opinion the root cause of many of our problems. Having read it, it appears he is attempting to force us to look at this issue of "us" v "them". The resurfacing of this to the forefront over the last year is causing a great deal of stress not only in my work place, but in the public. I have never heard a politician speak out about our Immigration issues and take the middle of the road position rather than the Caymanian side, so he has my respect for that. It seems he is truly concern about the future of this country rather than the "now" unlike many of the current elected members.

    It is unfortunate that we cannot find it within ourselves to debate this issue as adults, expressing our fears and concerns and finding the middle ground.

    Thank you Mr. Ebanks,

    Past student of your management class at ICCI.

  7. noname says:

    If you’re going to treat your guest workers like you do, you better make sure that you get all the guns out of private hands and keep it that way. One day there is going to be hell to pay, and you’re not going to be able to round up and deport 30,000 people, particularly if they are armed with more than pointy sticks.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you are saying that treat them so well that they will take up arms in order to stay? Either that or this is a threat that should not go unheeded.

      • Pauly Cicero says:

        I think he is saying treat them fairly and humanely.

        • Anonymous says:

          There would be a huge outcry if there were a similar threat of armed violence against expats by Caymanians who are not treated fairly in their own country. Images of someone going ‘postal’ come to mind. That someone would even have such an idea in their heads is serious cause for concern and perhaps investigation.   

          • Major Tom says:

            Yes, let us enlist a band of top mind-readers to walk the streets of Cayman rooting out those that are thinking disturbing thoughts.  I have seen Minority Report, it can be done.

            • Anonymous says:

              Don’t be an imbecile. When someone makes threats of violence it should be taken seriously.

              • Anonymous says:

                Don’t be an imbecile, it wasn’t a direct threat.  Just like there’s not going to be any terrorist attack on the Cayman Islands – you’re not that important…  You think you are – but you’re not…

  8. Anonymous says:

    The reason(s) for the grant of Caymanian Status, if they ever existed, disappeared a long time ago. The Ministry of Education was the only Department to find any records when I made a request early last year. Here is an excerpt of what I received from them:

     

    Thank you for your application dated O6-MAR-2009, received by us on 06-MAR-2009.
     
    Your application has been regrettably denied as the record(s) requested is an exempt record(s) pursuant to sections: 23(1) unreasonable disclosure of personal information of any person, whether living or dead, of the Freedom of Information Law, 2007.
     
    The record(s) requested is exempt pursuant to section: 23(1).3
     
    I would like to see the original list or lists containing the 2852 persons who were granted Caymanian Status, showing the names of the individuals who put their names forward and the supporting documentation (with personal information redacted as necessary) as to why those particular 2852 individuals should have been granted Caymanian Status.
     
    A search was conducted of the files from the former Ministry of Education, Human Resources and Culture, and two lists with a total of twelve (12) names were found, It could not be determined where these lists came from and what ultimately happened to these lists. Two names from the twelve (12) individuals identified were found to be on the Gazette lists of Caymanian Status Grants, one name on 31st December 2003 and the other 18th August 2004. Neither list contained any information that outlined a justification as to why they were on these particular lists.
     
    We feel that it would not be appropriate to release the names of the twelve individuals, because we deem that they fall under the personal information exemption, section 23 (1) of the Freedom of Information Law.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      But if there was no valid reason put forward, would that not make any grant (made without valid reason) illegal andvoid? I don’t understand. How has this happened?

      • Anonymous says:

        Possibly because we are not really a country or even a territory but a child-like amalgamation of competing interests held together by a common disdain and disregard for the rule of law.

         

        I have come to a veryu sad conclusion. Micky makes the FOI requests here because we live in the Micky Mouse Clubhouse.

        • Pit Bull says:

          "a child-like amalgamation of competing interests held together by a common disdain and disregard for the rule of law."  Genius.  Best description I have heard in years. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Better late than never.

  10. Jonathan says:

    The mass status grants were a political ploy by one McKeeva Bush in an XXXXX attempt to set the people in this country against ourselves.  It was meant to garner votes at a period when the disgust with his antics were at an all time high within the established electorate.  Many folks, especially those who have/had truly invested their lives here in the medical, educational and other fields were used by [Bush] to once again create disruption for his own interests.  Many others of the same deserving credibility were also left out in the cold.  I have met one man who actually refused status as he was wise enough to see the beast behind the veil.  As I am personally acquainted with some who did receive status and as I have had discussions with them regarding this the damage done is evident.  I would hope that with the 20/20 improvement of understanding, which is hindsight, this becomes obvious to all.  While many of those who received status were, in my humble opinion, worthy and deserving of status in Cayman I truly hope that they can see and have the courage to admit that the vehicle which got them there was driven by a ploy.  If there are any secretively established caveats to their attainment of status then I challenge them to muster the courage necessary to let that information be blessed with the light of day which as we all know is the best sanitizer.  The results are plainly obvious to us all.  I am so sick of the way we as Caymanians and also expatriates have been subjected to the exploitative, manipulative and destructive way that this country has been ill-administered.  It has to change because the road we are collectively on has a very high cliff at the end of it.  The identification of those who would create disruption within their own country for their own political furtherance is necessary and both the perpetration and the effects of said act will always will be unacceptable.  As the Cayman Islands are a relatively small nation the effects of such are magnified.  If we as a nation can achieve solidarity on the subject of dis-allowing those, who have proven themselves to be wolves in sheep’s clothing, from positions of power then a brighter future is possible.  If not then we can expect more of the same, and worse.

  11. Snoopy dog says:

    Right!

    And where this "new dawn" will take us is another topic altogether.

  12. anonymous says:

    Has anybody thought about the social impact resulting from the restriction of places in government schools to Caymanians? Obvioulsy this was done because spaces were limited and Cayman should look out for Caymanians first, but the result? Segregated schooling system. Ooops? Bringing up schools of obe culture physically separated from schools predominantly filled with other cultures, is surely one of the most powerful ways to create a lastng "us" vs "them" cultural divide.

     

    Whatever Joey’s political aspirations, issues of cultural divides are at the root of many of the social problems our islands are facing.

    • Sir Caustic says:

      The right to public school education for all residents is guaranteed under the ECHR which binds Cayman.  Any resident who wants to sue for the recovery of the school fees they have had to pay can sue the Uk Gov in England for their breaches of the Human Rights Act.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many Caymanian schoolchildren go to private schools along with their expatriate counterparts. Of course there are some expats who specifically do not wish for their children to be schooled along with Caymanian children. Many of them are sent off to boarding school not merely for a better education but to reinforce that they they are really English etc. and not Caymanian.    

      I agree that issues of cultural divides are at the root of many of our social problems.  

      • da Bone says:

        Actually many send their children to boarding school for stability.

        Being subject to roll or teo week deportation and any given time can seriuosly damage children.

        Boarding school means that if this happens then the will at least have some stability in their lives.

        Frankly some expats care for their children enough to do without much for their sakes.

        • Anonymous says:

          Stability. That’s a new one. You think uprooting an 8 year old from their family to go to Boarding School  5,000 miles away gives stability?

          Actually the parents in many cases have either permanent residency or Caymanian status.

          • Boarder says:

            Yes I do, going through 7 years at one school instead of going to 4 different schools in 4 different countries is a great deal more stable.

            Being a kid constantly uprooted is no fun, I should know, unitl I went to I got a scholarship to Boarding school and finally felt settled.

            But of course you know better, LOL

            • Anonymous says:

              I think you know that you are not the typical boarding school kid in Cayman, amny of whom have parents who are permanent residents and status holders.

  13. Joe Bananas says:

    Cayman is really just a small speck of humanity in a large sea of  people living on the earth today.  Look around  and see the very same thing happening everywhere in almost every nation.  These are the days when almost anyone can leave their homeland and travel and or settle in another land.  Look at America,  England, Canada, etc.  In 100 years from now almost everyone that lives in All nations of the world will be gone and everyone there will be new.  Cayman is no exception.  Historically there are always those who will oppose the "new" people and those who embrace them.  Regardless someday those new persons will be the new owners of the land along with the power to change things and the responsibility of maintenance.  If those in power now abuse those who will ultimately take over then the future will not be kind to them.  10 years from now will bring more changes to a nation then the last 100 years did.  Caymanians can still either embrace the future and welcome change for the better of all its people or continue down the road of neglectingits people while living off of them by employing more draconian laws and more abuse of powers until it becomes much like Cuba where the very lifeblood of the land wants nothing more then to leave.  Not hard to see that if the UK was not overseeing the current crop of leadership  which road and how far down it Cayman would already be.  For now the "old"(for lack of a better word) Caymanians still lead and decide which direction to go.  But like it or not the future belongs only to the younger generation ofthose who will live on the island.  Someday they will decide which way to go.  lets hope by then they are tired of the way things are run now.

  14. Chris says:

    Joeys paper is little more than a pedestrian attempt to ignore the white elephant in the room.

    The mass status grants was an inappropriate remedy which was poorly executed.

    This resulted in the obvious resentment by established Caymanians and disenfrachisement of duly qualified persons who were here for many years and were overlooked.  

    If after 7 years (the mass status grants were given in 2003) the Cayman Islands could see tangiable benefits Joey’s paper would be a moot point. But the animosity still persists. 

    In the wider context of an immigration debate few steps if any have been taken to tighten up the immigration policy since the 2003 grants. To the contrary, in the face of rising unemployment, and stagnant wages, exceptions for various industries ranging from domestics to financial services providers have been promoted by government.     

    If there is one lesson that we should clearly learn from the mass status grants it is that immigration decisions must be well planned,carefully coordinated and calculated to benefit the country as a whole in the long term. Decisions that are made for short term political gain will inevitably result in long term pain for us all where ironically many who were granted status or exmptions may quickly be looking for a hasty exit from these islands.

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Ebanks ought to know better than to make political forays at a time when his dealings at the Turtle Farm are still freshly embedded in people’s minds.

  16. My2cents says:

    I agree.

    It is time for this country to recognise ALL of it’s citizens, equally.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would, but I find it easier to recognise those persons who actually live here.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hmmh, call me cynical, but this sure sounds like someone, as in Joey to be more specific, is looking to take a shot at the next elections.  Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Clearly, notwithstanding the debacle of his candidacy in last year’s general elections, Mr. Ebanks still harbours political ambitions. Further, he is making clear his political alignment as he distances himself from the views of the incumbent from his district, Mr. Miller, and seeks to minimize and justify the issue of the mass status grants and suggests that our social divisions are really caused by Caymanian racism.

    It does not say much for the accuracy of Mr. Ebanks’s account that he states that the mass status grants were given 10 years ago rather than 7 years ago (July-Dec. 2003). But I understand that his purpose is to try to connect it to the 1998 White Paper Partnership for Progress and Prosperity in order to falsely suggest that it was required by the White Paper and if the mass status grants were not given by Cabinet the UK would have done it for us by Order in "Cabinet" (sic). That is also the reason for disingenuously stating that "persons
    who had been working and living in the country for extended periods were granted status by Cabinet".  The fact is that there was no such criterion in the mass status grants. Many persons who were granted status had been resident for a relatively short period or were not resident at all, while many other persons who had been resident for 10+ years were not granted status. The recent death of a convicted criminal individual who was granted Caymanian status nonetheless has demonstrated the reckless way in which they were undertaken. Clearly, the status grants created far more legal issues than they would have solved.   

    Reconciliation is good, but it is must be based on truth.

    I am sorry to say but Mr. Ebanks now has even less credibility than he had in May, 2009. Perhaps he is hoping that his paper will garner the political support of the "new" Caymanians.           

    • Snoopy dog says:

      FOI request:

      Mickey, I would love to see a list of names for wealthy and economic influencial persons who received Caymanian Status from Cabinet?

      Would that be possible?

      • Pauly Cicero says:

        Here you are. Google is your friend. Knock yourself out.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow – is that the Attorney General at number 349? If he got it, who was advising Government as to the process and its legality? Obviously it could not have been him(or anyone in the legal department) as they would have a conflict of interest. Does anyone know which firm was used?

          • Anonyboy says:

            Ehm…it was a conflict of interest. Period.

            • Anonymous says:

              So who advised? No-one?

              • Pauly Cicero says:

                Advisors? We don’t need no stinking advisors!

                • Anonymous says:

                  So who says it was legal? Most lawyers I know do not think it was, and Pannick Q.C. (who Government now uses on Constitutional issues) said he did not think it was, and the Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands (without hearing full argument) acknowledged that there was a case to be considered as to whether or not it was? Is this another case of the Emperor having no clothes and no-one willing to say so?

                   

          • Snoopy dog says:

            wow…

            I think I see Mackeeva’s good friend, Kenneth Dart.

            No wonder why he has so much authority to buy out our lands. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The whole list of all recipients was published by way of Government Gazette. No need for FOI – you can pick it up for yourself from the LA.

        It is interesting reading. I used to have fun comparing it to the list of names of persons charged with criminal cases before the summary court – my own sick version of bingo (first to 5  matches was the winner in any month) .

        What would be fun as an FOI request would be for confirmation of the "special reason" each person was granted status as required by the Law.

        To avoid being accused of being vexatious perhaps Micky (or Donald or Goofy) might contemplate limiting that request to persons who had been resident for less than 5 years when they received a grant. That really would be interesting.

        Of course, given all the anti corruption investigations we have suffered through.those reports will have already been requested and considered by independent and impartial investigators, and we can all be assured that nothing untoward occurred. If it had there would have been prosecutions. Still, it would be nice to know the legitimate basis for the grantsto people who had not been here for long.

        • Anonymous says:

          "Of course, given all the anti corruption investigations we have suffered through.those reports will have already been requested and considered by independent and impartial investigators, and we can all be assured that nothing untoward occurred. If it had there would have been prosecutions".

          I assume that was tongue in cheek. I am not aware of any anti-corruption investigation that was conducted into this matter. Clearly, the Caymanian Bar Association considered that something unlawful had happened when it commenced proceedings but that effort had to be aborted before it could examined in court. Presumably you are aware that the one person whose job it was to give objective legal advice on this was hopelessly conflicted because he was himself a recipient. The same person who must give leave for any prosecution to take place.  

          We have majored on the minor.

          • Anonymous says:

            What do you mean there was no anti corruption investigation into this? It was the most obviously corruption – prone event to have befallen recent Cayman history. If in the UK they have a full investigation because a politician isaccused of setting up an OBE for a couple of friends, the status grants must surely be worthy of a sniff under the rug?

             

            • Anonymous says:

              I didn’t say there was no corruption, but that there was no anti-corruption investigation. If there had been such an investigation there is no telling who might be in prison.

              • Anonymous says:

                Should we not demand one! I would like my country to have some credibility!

    • Anonymous9 says:

      Glad I read the entire comment before I thumbs’d you down. How naive I can be….

      Everything you have said is true. Let’s hope he isn’t the author of any of Cayman’s history books!!

  19. Anon says:

    Wow…Great insight and direction.