Stewardship of our inheritance

| 11/04/2011

I am absolutely appalled at the blatant disregard of the well being of the people of Cayman by ourelected officials. It seems to me that not very long ago, our government was at least making the effort to give the appearance of caring about its people, but recently, in light of the fact that our Premier seems to be abusing his position, I am left (almost) speechless by the depths he and his fellow “servants of the people” have gone and are continuing to go to profit from their positions of power.

Sadly, it appears they are taking advantage of their once loyal citizens, with three of our elected officials enjoying their pension whilst still earning a healthy government wage. We can all agree that by virtue of the law (written by those benefitting from it), this is legal but we can also agree that it is not a position that is entirely moral. We have heard them shout proudly about the decrease in the deficit whilst not telling you this has only come about because there are some bills that have yet to be paid (my bank balance also looks quite positive before I pay my bills each month). There are examples of local businesses struggling to make ends meet because our government has yet to pay for services rendered.

When will this stop? When will we manage to stand up and say “enough is enough”? What will it take for us to finally admit that we’re on the road to nowhere and we can’t afford to keep our premier in the style he’d like to be accustomed to?

What is happening here is actually no different to what happened in Trinidad and Tobago with the rise of Eric Williams some 50 years ago. There is a vast difference between Williams and our very own premier, most notably the fact that Williams was a very well educated man and a gifted speaker. However, the similarity lies in the fact that Williams made promises to the local population that he never kept; whilst he was enjoying the high life by means of his ability to abuse the status of public office that was gifted to him, many of his citizens were still left without water and electricity, disillusioned by the promises made of better times to come. As extreme as that may seem, we only need to take a cursory glance around to realise it is absolutely impossible and completely irresponsible to justify the expenditure of our government once we consider the reality of daily life of many of our citizens. We can easily find families right here on our own doorsteps – families that have very real difficulties in making ends meet.

How is it possible that with so many “haves” here in Cayman, once considered the fifth largest financial centre in the world, there are equally so many “have nots”.

Why do we have a foster home (to name just one of the many charities in need that have had their financial support from government decreased in recent years) at capacity that can’t find the $295,000 per annum to run and yet almost 20% of that amount was recently spent on a trip to Spain that doesn’t seem to have been vital to our existence during these tough economic times?

If we can’t find the impetus to do something about our leader(s) before the next election, I sincerely hope at that time it’s not too late. Change is coming and change must be made. Our leaders know this and perhaps this is the reason for the seemingly blatant plundering of our resources for their personal gratification. They must know their time is up and it would appear they’re becoming increasingly keen to benefit while they can. One would hope they are ignorant of the suffering that surrounds them, given the only other alternative is that they simply don’t care.

We’ve been asleep at our posts for too long now, so it’s hardly surprising we’ve been taken advantage of.

It’s time to wake up and plan for a brighter future.

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  1. says:

    A most Excellent and Thoughtful Commentary.
    Now that it has all been said, what do we do?
    When do we do it?
    How do we do it?
    Most importantly, lets clearly define who “we” are and what “we” want to accomplish.

  2. MER says:

    Sounds like we need to get a large crowd together and march around the “West Bay White House”, the biggest problem will be figuring out when to do it while Mac is actually home to hear our pleas!

  3. The Crown says:

    Excellent piece Tara. The Premier’s recent gesture’s at the meeting in North Side speak’s volume’s to your opening remark’s. Wake up Cayman,our people have been cheated out of their birth right. Watch what happen’s next. Scores of foreign worker’s have been allowed to settle here,draining the economy to what was unimaginable. What was 30year’s of ‘sustainable development’ has been cut to between 6 or 7 year’s. So the Premier must come up with idea’s to keep such score’s of worker’s (particularly the construction industry) employed. Discrimination against real Caymanian’s is now a culture,which is even embraced by those who can afford to pay higher wage’s/salaries,but simply dont have to for the abundance of option’s made available to them. They have ran to Cayman seeking shelter from the tax monger’s & simply dont care who has a home prior to their arrival. Least of all who is losing a home. The Premier next action’s will be interesting,but you may have gathered,predictable. 

    • The Royal says:

       Score’s of foreign workers draining the economy?  Cheated out of your birthright by Whom?  Scores of options made available to them like what options?  Total crap!  Get some education then read the papers instead of getting your info at the bar.

    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      And the 2011 award for the most violence done to plurals in a single post goes to The Crown.  Or should that be plural’s? 

      "speak’s volume’s to your opening remark’s" Brilliant.

      • A Godless Type says:

        DICK! I see the force’s is still with you’s all’s. Good to hear from you’s.

      • Just the Facts says:

        Dick, I call it called, ‘just-in-case’ punctuation. It’s like that extra pinch of loose tea tossed into the pot.

  4. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    "We are free to evade the effort of thinking-to reject reason-but we are not free to avoid the penalty of the abyss we refuse to see." ~ Terry Goodkind

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tara for ruler!  Very well said..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tara your article was well written but please do not vilify and marginalize the name of one of the greatest stateman and politican of our time, Dr. Eric Eustace Williams with your limited factual knowledge of him and the politics of Trinidad and Tobago.Your comparison is beyond belief and shocking.

    • Anonymous says:

      Morning "Anonymous 07:40" – I will agree that I do not have in depth knowledge of the politics of Trinidad and Tobago but I do know that there were people suffering during Eric Williams’ time.  I absolutely acknowledge that Eric Williams was a great statesman and politician and highly educated (unlike our own Premier) and a very gifted speaker (again unlike our own Premier and as mentioned in my article) but he did also have his failings and he was unable to carry out all the promises made to his people during his political campaign.  I apologise sincerely for any offense caused – that was not my intention – I have alot of respect for Eric Williams and truly believe that for the most part his intentions were true despite some of the failings of his party as a whole.

  7. Just Commentin' says:

    I hear ya Tara! And I could not agree with you more.

    CNS: I hope you don’t mind – you didn’t leave an email address so I could ask – I’ve posted the rest of this comment as a viewpoint. It is certainly a topic in need of debate.

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Ohhh…so that’s how my comment came to posted as a Viewpoint!

      Whew! I was worryin’ when I saw my words on the celebrated Left Panel among the Viewpoints. I mean I thoughtI had originally posted it as a comment on Tara’s Viewpoint; it was getting late when I wrote and I was beginning to think I just got a bit hazy and posted in the wrong place; or maybe too much cholesterol had finally taken its toll on my cerebral arteries, or…gads!…early-onset Parkinson’s! The theme for the “Twilight Zone” was beginning to play in the back of my mind. It was eerie. I even toyed with the idea that the jarring I received from driving over potholes on the Brac south side road had caused brain damage and disorientation leading to early-stage FPLS (Forum Posting Lapse Syndrome).

      I am so relieved! Thanks for leaving the note here. I knew there was a rational explanation. I can cancel the appoint with the doctor now.

      Yup, this needed to be “outed” and discussed. What utterly puzzles me is that this has been going on for (how many months?) and the media has not picked up on it yet; nor have I seen any comments here about it. (Or maybe I missed ’em.) Anyway, I had intended to write about the Grand Highway and the Freebie Parking Lots sooner. Tara’s Viewpoint inspired me to sit down and get (my take) on the story out.

      Heck no, I don’t mind. I am honoured.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well said Tara! Tara for Premier! Tara for Premier!

  9. nauticalone says:

    Very well said!

    Let’s all come out tonight to North Side Civic Centre at 8pm for the Town Hall meeting that Mac is holding and have him hear our voices!

    More of us need to speak up….and take action!

  10. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     Excellent commentary. "When will it stop"? It will stop when the voters of West Bay are educated to the fact that there are better people in the Cayman Islands that can serve the people than Mr. Bush. It will stop when the voters in the Brac are educated that the money spent on frivilous projects to trickle down into the peoples pockets is not what they and their children need. O’connor threw away your money on several trips that had have no benefit to the people. It will end when voters understand that gifting at election time does not help them. It will stop when Mr. Bush and Ms. O’connor are not re elected.

  11. Anonymous says:

    When?  When the people of the Cayman islands start to act like responsible adults and not scared little kids.  This Government and this Premeir is only their responsibility if they do their part.  Until then the all expenses payed for party will continue until the bill comes due.

  12. Democracy says:

    OK, nice artice. So now what? Are you going to form a party to run against the establishment (i.e. “squandering greed” on the left, “unfathomable incompetence” on the right), meaning a new one that won’t rob the treasury? Are the West Bayers going to stop selling out the country for a new fridge? What’s going to change? New results need new actions. Anyone want to be a leader?

  13. Jonathan says:

    Tara you rock.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hear hear!  I couldn’t agree more.  We have sat and we have grumbled whilst watching our elected leaders take, take, take – it is time to act now, before there is nothing left for us to fight for.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Excellent commentary.

    You are absolutely right. We have allowed these people to treat the precious resources of this country as their pocket money. We have allowed them to treat the birthright of our people as theirs.

    What really shows the depths to which we have descended is that there is not a single elected politician other than Mr. Miller who is prepared to stand up in the LA and say that what has been going on is just plain wrong. I don’t agree with Mr. Miller on all his positions but on this one I applaud him.

    It seems almost certain that the rest of our politicians are either content with the multiple of the average persons wage that they are taking from our Treasury or they are biding their time hoping to move up the trough closer to the slop bucket when the time is right. They are hoping that the people’s outrage over their greed will blow over and they too will be able to manufacture their own "entitlements". (The operative word here is "manufacture" as the concept of earning has no application in the context of such greed.)

    Those politicians who think that this will blow over are wrong. It has been almost 2 years since the first class spending spree at public expense started and the people started to complain. The voices of those outraged by our current politicians have only increased in number and volume. We will not forget.

    I am hoping that a new group of honest and honourable politicians will emerge with a platform that includes clawing back all that has been ripped off. Just as the current politicians have changed the rules to make themselves rich, a future group of politicians can pass new laws to claw every penny back – whether in cash or condos.


    • Anonymous says:

      If you think the politicians spend here just look at the spending of the civil servants. They are constantly traveling also, or “training”, or “having department meetings”. This all costs me and you.

      The new Constitution that was voted on by less than 50% of the electorate is not only undemocratic but will be the biggest single cost increase in the next 10 years to our government. It needs over 500 more civil servants just to implement all of the commissions in it. the lost time on FOI requests by Mickey Mouse et al all ads up. Please use FOI responsibly.

      However the spending spree started before this government..PPM did a good job too…just look at the $125M for 2 schools, $86M for GOAB and heaven knows what on roads which are on lands still not paid for. And Charles Clifford spent almost a million dollars on travel and misplaced $80M in his ministry alone…

      We need to get rid of all these jokers…both UDP and PPM, but please anyone else but NS MLA for Premier.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Your points are all valid but I am afraid nothing will change until the people of the Cayman Islands finally decide that enough is enough and for once they will stand together and demand a change.

    Unfortunately it seems that the people in Cayman are still too busy terring each other down, rather than trying to uplift each other and look out for their own.

  17. udp kate says:

    Tara, you should respect (and if not respect, support) the Premier, because he is engaging in projects that will help to beef up the economy. The UK has given us a deadline to better our economy, or else they will impose taxation on us. Do you know what that means – taxation on the Cayman Islands? That means the ruining of our financial industry! What do you expect the Premier to do? Sit back and worry about the environement and wait years for the go ahead from environmentalist to start one project at a time. The UK has given us a deadline – the clock is ticking! The Premier is hastingly engaging in projects for that reason. His critics are alleging it is all about the money he will get from the projects. But how when these project will create jobs and boost the economy??? Suppose the UK declares we have to go on our own – then what? We have no leg here to stand! Are you suggesting we make rope and rely on fishing? Hence, our Premier needs the support! Remember he inherited a broken economy after the PPM’s tenure. And Kate, my question to you is, how is it IMMORAL that our elected officials enjoy their pension whilst still earning a healthy government wage? How can that be immoral? IS IT NOT THEIR MONEY??? Maybe, you should elaborate more on what you meant by it being immoral.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wha rubbish. Tara’s article has to do with greedy politicans abusing their position for personal gain and you have managed to roll this up into the UK imposing taxation on us if we do not “improve our economy”. I guess we get the govt. we deserve when I see the mindless support the govt. receives.

    • Jonathan says:

      Hey there udp kate, in all of your fakeness you made the mistake of addressing yourself, McKeeva wants his washing machine back now.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the problem. HASTINGLY !

      Those kind of projects need to be thought through and not HASTILY put together because once they have been completed they are here to stay and everyone (and our children and grand children) will have to live with it.

      I firmly believe a lot of this “the time is running out that’s why we need to approve all those projects) is just to try and scare the ignorant people into supporting him! If things are so bad, why is he collecting a salary and pension and doesn’t do a thing to set an example? Why not turn around the overnight tourism etc.

      Unfortunately our Premier hasn’t exactly a good rap-sheet to point to when it comes to those great projects. Look at Boatswains Beach – do I need to say more??????

    • Anonymous says:

      OMG – I am scared that such ignorance still exists in this day and age. Really, really scared!

    • Captain Kirk says:

      Err, what planet are you living on Mr Bush… ooops I mean Space Cadet?

      Get real or stop taking the drugs – whichever it is.

    • Anonymous says:

      You start off the message writing to Tara and end it by questioning Kate… so come on then udp kate.. who you really is ???

    • cc says:

      funny… I can see you adopted the handle name, kate and mistakenly used it for tara! You know people who talk to themselves – that’s the first sign of going mad!

    • Anonymous says:

      opps… correction…. I forgot I was tara and mistakenly called myself kate… so in fact I am tiara and not katie – comprehende

    • Anonymous says:

      According to McKeeva, we now have money in the bank, and we should continue to have if we can just keep him and JuJu off the plane, so why are we worrying about taxation?

  18. Right ya so says:

    Hear, hear!


  19. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians are great at staying quiet and afraid of their own shadow!

    Speak to your UDP family members and say what is on your mind!

    Attend the Premier’s meetings and say what is on your mind!

    Corner your MLA and say what is on your mind!

    Tell them ALL – control Mac!

    Before the Fall!