Clifford: Miller taking lead

| 23/09/2010

(CNS):  Former tourism minister CharlesClifford has said he believes the independent member for North Side is emerging as a more effective opposition spokesperson than the official leader of the opposition. Clifford, who recently resigned from the People’s Progressive Movement, the party in which he served as a Cabinet minister, told CNS that Ezzard Miller was increasingly taking the role that people would expect to be filled by the PPM party leader Kurt Tibbetts. He pointed out that on all the major issues, at present, the North Side MLA was the first on his feet in the Legislative Assembly to point out the problems that government’s policies may cause and to speak on behalf of the people. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Speaking to CNS about the current problems with Cayman’s political system and the desperate need for local politics to be about policies and not personalities or party colours, Clifford said Miller was demonstrating how much more effective an MLA could be when focused purely on the policies he believed would benefit or harm his constituents.
He said that at the last election there was a lot of talk about how independent candidates would not be able to function if they got elected to the Legislative Assembly as they would be up against the established power of the party system.
“There is an interesting dynamic going on here because Ezzard Miller is the sole independent member in the Legislative Assembly, and while this might not be the real position, it is the perceived position – Ezzard has emerged as the informal leader of the opposition. He is the person that is out there opposing the government more aggressively than anyone else on some of the policies that he does not think are in best interests of the country,” Clifford told CNS in a recent interview.
Clifford said it had been telling recently that rather than the leader of the opposition standing up first to respond to the premier stating the opposition position, Miller has been the one getting to his feet first and stating his position on a government bill or debate. It was interesting, the former minster said, that even as the single independent member, whether you support his policies or position or not he has made his mark.
“That says quite a bit, not just about Ezzard but independent candidates,” Clifford observed.
Although he said he was not advocating for the concept of independent candidates, he said Miller demonstrated how effective and powerful policy positions are in political representatives.
Clifford admitted playing a part in the style of party politics that had emerged, which he has previously criticised, and said is not about policies and ideologies as it should be but about personalities. He said that not only did this not suit the Cayman Islands but it was also stifling the best ideas. While he acknowledged that, as a UK overseas territory, we are obligated to practise the Westminster system of parliamentary politics, which was inherently adversarial, the country could find a new way that rejected the current ideology of "us and them” or attitudes of “you are for us or against us”, which has discounted positive ideas that were not from within the parties. Clifford said no one party had a monopoly on good ideas.
Avoiding the specifics about his own future plans, he did admit to talking with a number of people and working towards the formation of solid policy ideas about how Cayman could adopt a political system that could embrace creativity rather than stifle it. He said he was not against political parties and perceived a future for them, but ones shaped on political positions and ideology and not personalities. He said good people were being put off from entering the political arena because of the way the system worked. But Clifford said the country needed people to step up to the plate and offer policies that can move the country forward and he was in the process of recruiting people to his potential alliance or coalition to find a way to do that.
“What is more important than a name is what are the policies that this group will represent and present to the people as solutions … The name will naturally emerge from the ideologies but it’s less important that the ideologies.”
He said he understood the value of having structure and discipline in an organisation and said he was not opposed to politically parties at all, but to the way they had emerged and the negative issues associated with them. Clifford said using colours to identify parties may seem a minor point but it was divisive. “Even very young people who have no understanding of the key political issues yet are rallying around the colours, he added.
“Until we reach a level of political maturity where we can have an honest discussion about this party issue and what needs to be done, we are going to continue doing what we have always been doing and expecting different results,” he said, adding that voters needed to ask themselves questions before they cast their votes. “The electorate needs to begin looking at who it is that is being elected to the Legislative Assembly. Are they proposing the right policies? Do they have the wherewithal? Are they competent enough? Those are the real questions that the population needs to ask,” Clifford said.
The former cabinet minster, who lost his seat in the last election, says that he is not done with politics yet and has not ruled out running for election again. However, he said that regardless of whether he is directly or indirectly involved, he wants to pull together a political group of some kind that will be focused on ideology and policy positions that will lead Cayman in a specific direction and ensure the country changes course before its too late.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Would Chuckie have gone thru with this had he held his seat in BT?  I can bet my house,my car and possibly my life that the Chuckster wouldn’t have given up that comfortable seat in the LA…………….Charles people can see right thru you,please give it up!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually splitting from the PPM would not mean that you give up your seat in the L.A. at all. It may mean that you change your seat in the L.A. literally.

  2. The Tale of Chuckie and Hazzard says:

    Chuckie liked getting off the big plane first and walking through the customs line.  He walked straight and tall those days, and he would think to himself "I feel tall today", and it was good and Chuckie wanted more of this. 

    So Chuckie did whatever he couldget that feeling again, but he went wrong, and the wrongness got worse.  Not only did he not get to fly on the big plane for free, he no longer got to eat at the big trough on which so many had grown fat. 

    So Chuckie stamped his feet.  And nothing happened.  This was a surprised to Chuckie.  Did they not know how much he like that feeling of walking tall?  So he stamped his feet again and his friends did not like his feet stamping.  So Chuckie walked away from his friends calling them names.

    Now poor Chuckie was all alone.  It was dark.  The good feeling and the big plane seemed so so far away.  But this was Chuckie.  Chuckie said to himself "Chuckie WILL get on the big plane again and get that nice warm tall feeling".

    Alone in the darkness he saw bright colors, and then a man wearing a shirt of bright colors, he was playing a little whistle and the music sounded good.  The man in the bright shirt called out to Chuckie "I am Hazzard the Pied Piper of the Mediocre, follow me and I will get you on the big plane again."

    So Chuckie followed the Hazzard man and liked his music, and as he was being lead to a big cave in the East End, Chuckie thought to himself "and now I will get to fly the big plane . . . . "

    • Dred says:

      WOW. What a rediculous waste of time.

      • Hallowe'en Jack says:

        The very fact that you are too stupid to spell the word "ridiculous" is probably a good sign why this went way over your head.

  3. Not surprised says:

     A Master Mariner went ashore in Mobile Alabama to have a meal and take in some entertainment. He stayed too late, spent all his money and his ship sailed without him. He had no clothes, money, friends. He had nothing and he knew no one. He told some of his friends later that he had nothing and he felt like nothing. Of course this is a seaman’s story. It might be true or it maybe stretched a little, just like what politicians do daily.

    • Anonymous says:

      The story is true, with the exception that Connor was NOT a Master Mariner, or even an Officer of any sort on the ship.

      A Master Mariner, and several Caymanians have held this high qualification over the years, is a Captain (not the North Sound variety) whose license is unrestricted in the size of vessel, or location in the world, that he can be in command of said vessel.

  4. says:

    When the party system was thrust upon the electorate in 2001 we were promised and many hoped for transparent Cabinet selections, stronger leadership clear philosophy and direction which would result in better governance.

    The party system as we know it with all its bells and whistles (literally) has failed to deliver on its promise of better governance. Instead of we have been overrun by colour schemes, greater confusion, petty partisanship and deeper division and more organised systemic corruption.

    Until we have a truly participatory democracy where focus is placed on the issues and not on the personality Cayman will remain stuck in this political (and economic) purgatory.

    The party system is not the answer as its discipline makes it very difficult for its members to disagree with the leadership on any issue. It defies logic to blindly support any group based on their party name or because you are a member of the party. It is not the system but the people in it that will make the difference.

    Caymanians need to raise the bar of expectation for our representatives and not simply usher them into positions of power based on their group affiliation.Instead do your homework and examine what the candidates opinions are and where they stand on important issues and vote accordingly.

    Independent candidates are often independent thinkers who choose to avoid the pitfalls of group think and are unafraid to stand up for what they believe.

    Charles Clifford and Ezzard Miller have these traits.

    I wish them all the best.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Kurt still sleeping on the job.

  6. Blousen Skurt says:

    Any of you who think this insignificant, opportunistic "looking for a job now he’s lost his seat" fellow can help Cayman, must be truly desperate. Other than opposing Mackeeva when it was politic, popular and profitable to do so, what does he have to offer? What is his vision? Easy to criticise the government – like we all can – but what would he offer? Other than a march, silly fellow.

    • Anonymous says:

      well said…what are chuckies solutions to the bankruptcy him and the ppm created???

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well Chuckie  has  lots of solutions to the problems we have now and he appears to be so BRIGHT!

    He is now POWERLESSS. He never seemed so BRIGHT when he had lots of POWER.

    Huuumm!!. Let me say this again. When you HAVE POWER, you are dull but as soon as the POWER goes off you are bright! 

    How he is so bright now? But Chuckie is same thing now that Connor was in Mobile.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please would you tell us the story about what Connor was in Mobile? Sounds interesting.

      • Anonymouse says:

        It is an old story mostly known by the old seamen. Connor was "NOTHING" in Mobile. Flat broke with no place to stay, food to eat or clothes to change after his ship sailed and left him ashore, he expressed to his friends that he felt like "NOTHING" when faced with the circumstances.

        His story became a reference for other seamen who may have considered missing their ships.

        • anonymous says:

          He  became LESS than NOTHING in Mobile when he missed his ship. No job, No money, and it is happening to the people of our Islands. Very soon if a solution is not found to help our  people we will be forced to sit on the highways and byways making pleas and preaching about the Politicians who have forsaken us, while reaching our to Asia, China, and India in hopes of hanging from their $$$$$$ baskets. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, leave Connor out of this!

    • Anonymous says:

      Chuckie, Kurt, Arden, the whole lot of them from PPM have no backbone.  When it came to challenge Mark Scotland and John John, not one of them stepped up…..good bye good riddance, don’t let the door hit you in the ass!!!

      One party should be allwe need.  Look at all the money the government is spending on keeping the PPM employed…and what are they doing NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!! Get rid of all of them and have one party system again….next election one party system, whether it be PPM or UDP at least we won’t be wasting more money then necessary

    • anonymous says:

      Chuckie is FREE away from the PPM now so he can shine.

      We’ve noticed ‘NONE OF THE PPM ARE SHINING" they are only interested in their own selfish loyalty to the party and NOT THE PEOPLE.

      Chuckie is doing the right thing. He got the monkey off his back so let him dance around and enjoy himself.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Funny how some people just don’t read beyond the headlines or are too dumb to understand what they were reading. Chuckie didn’t "endorse" Ezzard as some have suggested he just pointed out that Ezzard has emerged as the informal Leader of the Opposition and he stated his position of what direction we need to go in as a country with regards to politics in Cayman.

    Those of you who don’t agree with Chuckie what are you advocating ? Is the current system working for you and country ? Should we continue doing what we’re doing and expecting different results ? Do you think Mac and Kurt are doing good jobs in their respective roles ?

    If you don’t know the answer to the first question and answered yes to all the rest – then I respectfully suggest that you need a mental health assessment quickly !

  9. anonymous says:

    No Third Party is required, just good statesmen.  If a third party should emerge, I hope they will find 4 strong personalities for the West Bay District to run against McKeeva and his 3 followers. However, it is noted that the Chuckster did not say he would be running with Ezzard, he just spoke about him tackling the issues.  I gathered that he detest all the mudslinging by the likes of McKeeva, Ellio, Rolston, CG and Alden.  He spoke about tackling the issues not tackling personalities.  Chuckster if you run independently, you will be rewarded on your own merits not on a Party dress hem.  God Bless!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with the Chuckster that the opposition is too nonchalant and we do not hear enough from the opposition leader, but I hope all this recent noise & bitching by him is not an indication that he plans to get back into the political arena because there is no hope in hell that he will ever been elected again. There is more chance that we will re-elect the late Jim Bodden before we re-elect the Chuckster, so he might as well go sit down, unless of course he is only bitching in an attempt to betray Kurt like he did Mckeeva. Who on earth could trust our little Chucster now? Future colleagues would be constantly looking over their shoulders in fear of the day the Chuckster would betray them and stab them in the back, as has now become his habit.

    • Anonymous says:

      The "four strong personalities for the West Bay district" will get nowhere because the intellectul level of the masses there is like Cayman Brac, very very low and they just go for the populist ‘guy next door/you’re a Caymanian entitled to everything/seamen built up this country, noone else/you don’t want foreigners running this place do you/ mentality.

      Has worked a charm in West Bay for donkey years and with different variations on the Sister Islands-"barefoot brown girl" blah blah.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the intellectual level of the masses in West Bay is so low then why has West Bay produced the most leaders, and majority of Caymanian bank managers?

  10. Anonymous says:

    What am I hearing ya!!! The Chuckie is endorsing the "N" Man?!! Chuckie, Mac has your number, it’s over. Can’t find a job? Tough. There are many of us in the same boat as a result of decisions YOU made.

    What is the party to be called?!! CNP?!

  11. Double Dippers says:

    Mr Clifford your star is shining better and brighter everyday your former party should be put to sleep, they have now become part of the problem with politics as usual in Cayman. Love for Cayman has transformed to love for themselves and that big fat salary. what a shame?

  12. Dred says:

    WOW. This again has been all about party lines. If you read this discussion you can see people and where they fall.

    You see people who dislike the fact he strikes at PPM leadership so they vote against it. You see the UDP chiming in defending their peeps about people not having solutions despite the fact that their policies are cripling the country and driving away business.

    It’s truly a mess we are in when some people are so shallow minded they REFUSE to see with their own eyes situations.

    Silly thing is he is100,000,000% correct. Kurt looks neutered. Bush looks like he’s on steroids. Kurt doesn’t do half of what he should. Bush does so much he shouldn’t.

    When we went into elections I thought Ezzard was shadow UDP but now I see him as a voice of reason doing what Kurt should be doing.

    Don’t get me wrong I am not so fond of Chuckie because let’s not forget he too was a puppet for awhile. I would say I do give him some props for standing up.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well said Chuckster. Arden its time for you and Moses to join this new mission to take our country forward to success again.

    • Anonymouse says:


      Please change the recipe and stop drinking or smoking whatever you presently are.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Another very rational, intelligent and visionary statement by Mr. Clifford…….better days must come !!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie:  "Ezzard has emerged as the informal leader of the opposition. He is the person that is out there opposing the government more aggressively than anyone else on some of the policies that he does not think are in best interests of the country,” Clifford told CNS in a recent interview.






    • Anonymous says:

      We are such an intelligent people. We all know that the political party system has failed us. So what is our solution to the failures? Form a third political party. Is it any wonder we haven’t progressed in the last 8 years?

  16. Anonymous says:

    if ezzard is the best cayman can do…..then there is no hope or future for this place

  17. Ezzard Please!!! says:

    Ezzard please do not fall for the hype and do not let Chucky distract or sidetrack you from your job. You are an excellent leader and you are looking out for us, but Chucky is looking for a way back in and if you fall for it he will be the same one to criticise you in a few years too. Judge people by their actions !!!!

  18. Fflorence Goring-Nozza says:

    Certainly an admirable report. I support this 200%. I’m very pleased to see that Mr. Charles Clifford is indeed on the right tract, so is Mr. Ezzard Miller, I myself has watched Mr. Miller emerge as a Leader not only of the opposition but more importantly a leader of the people. This is what Cayman needs. We need to move away from loyalty to party politics and focus on loyalty to what Cayman needs and loyal to those who are loyal to us.  Mr. Ezzard Miller certainly fits that criteria. Its time to quit being loyal to leaders and political parties that are not loyal to us as a people.

    Lets support these two guys and all others that join up with them THAT FIT THE CRITERIA AND IS DULY QUALIFIED . It makes not only political sense but also socioeconomic sense, after all Mr. Ezzard Miller has been censuring how this government is handling and  abused the public purse!

    Be very careful Ezzard and Chuckie how you make your selections. DO NOT SELECT ANYONE FOR THE INDEPENDENT TEAM THAT IS NOT STANDING UP ALREADY  AS A FIGHTER AND THAT HAS NO BACKBONE.  A man or woman that is not already a contender will not fight for the people later. So don’t fool yourselves. Leave your friends out of this, and use sound judgment.  If you pick your soft friends you will have to work twice as hard all on your own! .We have way too many whimps already elected that is serving no purpose at all but their party leader. We want men that are real men that are flat footed and can stand up and face  the cabinet, the AG, The Governor, the Commissioner of Police, The Premier and the Judiciary and the party leader when they get off track. We need men that can Vote NO on issues that will hurt this country and hurt the people. We want candidates that have a proven track record of being loyal to WHAT IS RIGHT more than Loyalty to their political Party. Most of all we want leaders who are way too BIG TO FIT INTO THE BACK POCKETS OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS!

    If you follow this advice it will enable you to work "Smart  doing the right thing for the people, and not hard doing the wrong thing for the party" 

  19. S. Stirrer says:

    A bit early to be touting the independents are awesome line isn’t it? Don’t give up on finding someone to run with you yet. Lots of time left.

  20. Anonymous says:

     KIudos for speaking up whether right or wrong.  Too many of our politicians get a paycheck without any work being done.  As much as Ezzard loves his protectionism, Immigration is a complete mess and if we do not want to lose another 4,000 people this year ($$$) 2000 work permit holder with wives and children)…people who buy groceries, gas, water, household items..the we need to reverse this exodus and FAST!!!

    I say….if your work permit is pending renewal and you have been here for over 2 years without as much as a traffic ticket, then ALL must be stamped through right now!  The ONLY way the ex-pats will stop this rush to exit is if we throw them a bone.  

    The backlog has to be cleared in one sweep, admit Immigration fell down hard, and start with the permit processing for new applications October 1st again….BUT CLEAR THE BACKLOG ANY WAY POSSIBLE NOW or watch the money go home for Christmas and not come back.

    Nurse’s permits and teacher’s helpers permits,  are now being "deferred"….what is next???  

    Cayman is suffering from Immigration’s failings.

    • Dred says:

      Most of the exodus is coming from the company end. The businesses simply can not pay CI$9,000 for permits which one year prior was CI$2,000. How do you recoup these cost while trying to stay competitive in a hostile environment thanks in no small part to the recession?

      So most of them simply do more with less. That’s the famous speech we are hearing now. Some businesses simply can’t bear it and simply close down.

      Honestly not sure where Mac takes his business strategies from but they are stupid thought processes. Raising business expenses during a recession is a disasterous cocktail. I am not even talking about the raising of the duties also. Businesses in Cayman got a raw deal under UDP. Not to say PPM put us in any joyous situation either but UDP compounded the situation in an effort to further their agenda.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The Chuckster "slide-tackled" Mr Bush and now he has "slide-tackled" Mr Tibbetts.

    Very disappointing!

    It worked before but it wont work again!

    • anonymous says:

      Kudos Chuckie,

      WAY TO GO!

    • Tracy from Swamp says:

      The fact is,  Charles Clifford is correct in his statement made, and it says nothing about slide-tackle of any one party.  Go to the LA and listen.

    • Dred says:

      Spoken like a true PPMer.

      Facts are facts. We need more thinking in our LA and less "Yes Mr leader sir". This is PPM and UDP.

      We need people that are voted in to generate ideas instead of people who’s sole purpose is to keep a seat warm.

      I am for neither party. There are ideas and positions Bush takes that I like and some I could beat him senseless for and the same goes for Kurt. Bush is overly agressive and Kurt is overly passive.

      We need people in the LA that when they vote on something it’s not because their leader said to but because they believe in what they are voting for.

      Strange thing is I always thought Ezzard to be a shadow UDP person who while pressing the independent position would almost always vote with UDP but he has pleasantly surprised me. He is gartered a new found respect with me on how he deals with issues in the house.

      So I agree with Chuckie on this. Ezzard does a much better job at being the voice of reason than Kurt does simply because Kurt feels it important to discuss it with his colleagues before he says what he feels. Now is this because he has no response of his own and it’s really someone from his party putting forth the ideas I don’t know for sure but he almost always seems hesitant while Ezzard finds his stance quickly.

      The problem in all of this is that independents can only get into the LA via East End and Northside. I would dare say I feel it IMPOSSIBLE at this time for an independent to get in in any other district simply because of the voting straight problem that exist. 

  22. Anonymous says:

    Do I smell a 3rd Party!

    Wrong way to go about it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong Way???

      It would be good for the cause of Democracy –

      May I suggest a third party – call it:


      Color: Yellow / Black / Gold

      One of its tenets should be –

      No money-deals allowed that would over ride the wishes of the Caymanian people. Before even a contract is approved, get the approval of Caymanians by poll or vote. That way we won’t have foolish concessions and favors made to wealthy individuals and companies that come here with their promises.

      So a CAYMAN NATIONAL PARTY would be good opposition to UDP!

      PPM is dead! PPM does not even try to establish a Union here or Labor organization that looks out for low wagers. PPM is appearing to resemble UDP in many of its policies, and always remember that before our economic decline, it was PPM who was in power.

      • Pauly Cicero says:

        You’ve already got a name and colours for the new "party". You’ve only managed to put the cart squarely before the horse. Dr. Frank, Dr. Roy and others have correctly explained that the political groups you have now are not parties, and you are just advocating the addition of another useless group. These groups will only argue over whether the chicken should be baked, fried, or grilled, whereas parties will argue over whether we have chicken or fish, and most importantly, why.

      • Fire Ant says:

        It’s a shame that people with some degree of intelligence can’t see the forrest for the trees. What Mr. Clifford is saying is real. Don’t make fun of him. The PPM used him for political gain. There is not a penny difference between the UDP and The PPM for our countryman. The Brits just love this divide and rule crap. You continue to play into their hands.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh God. Not Jamaica colours again

  23. Anonymous says:

    Anyone can stand up and criticise government policies but what Ezzard Biggot or anybody else does not do is offer realistic solutions to the problems the government (and the people of Cayman) face.

    It’s easy to go to the LA and argue against cutting the civil service or complaining about the economy and government keep raising taxes, but without suggesting better options they are completely useless. The government has a difficult job. They know that expats can and do generate much more income for the island than locals, they also know that without their business the island would be flushed down the toilet. But they also have the anti-expat sentiment held by a lot of caymanians that demand that all the foreigners are sent home, and they are the only fools alowed to vote, so any government is walking a tightrope.

    With the economy in tatters, the government needs to balance the books with work permit revenue falling fast as companies leave the island taking their jobs overseas. They have to cut costs (by cutting civil service jobs massively) and increase revenue (mainly through taxes). So any opposition can see the negative side of cutting civil service jobs or increasing fees, but they are not making suggestions on how to recover the deficit.


    • anonymous says:


      Get lost all three of you UDP croonies. How dare you refute the truth?

      Mr. Ezzard Miller is all about solutions and that’s what we all Love most about him!

      You can’t knock him out

      His fist is stronger

      His strike is heavier

      His mind is stronger

      His vision is farther

      His insight is wiser

      His words are stronger

      You can’t knock him out

      You can’t knock out a true champion.

      Listen to the song about a true champion someone sent this to me recently you should watch this then you’ll understand what I’m talking about:

      go to :-

      Click on : YA  CAN’T KNOCK ME OUT

      • Reality says:

        Don’t worry folks.  Whatever this guy is drinking should have him passing out soon enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      I will have you know that if you would but just take the time and listen to Ezzard (the one you call bigot), you would see that he does offer realistic solutions. He is the only one I see so far, speaking out for the average Caymanian, and many business owners and well-off Caymanians don’t like it, because they are indifferent to what the average Caymanians is feeling and going through. Ezzard relateswell with his constituency and the rest of the country. He seems to be radical, but in order for radical changes to come, talking passive like Kurt Tibbitts and just sitting down watching the UDP call their shots, won’t cut the cake!

      And yes… Ezzard is not a comely and most handsome man there is; however, it is in the ugly clam you find the shiny pearl, and I feel this man verse in business and law, will make a good Premier, and he will offer positive solutions. Also, I feel he will not sell-out his country to some wealthy elite. I trust him more than Chuckster.

      It is surprising that Chuckie would all of sudden endorse him. I saw Ezzards potential the day he enter in government. Never judge a book by its cover I say