Are we able to blog for the better?

| 13/04/2011

As a series of town hall meetings kicks off across the islands and information is piped into every orifice of our collective being, the blaring question remains unanswered: will there ever be a new generation of Caymanians able to change our islands for the better? Anyone who absorbs the information of the day, and now by the hour, will understand the notions that swirl around our heads.

We are a 21st community stuck with 19th century leadership. The rhetoric is so stale, so uninspired that we are all becoming apathetic to its scalding presence.

There is an outward shell of discontent, confusion and anger present daily on our social network mediums; CNS and Compass blogs have become the marl road of the past, Facebook has replaced our village shop step debates, and the community outreach of our churches are now featured in the Tweets from the vibrating and ever adapting façade of our varied and plentiful social watering holes.

But our leadership, the actions of our governance remains cripplingly “off-line”, unable to adjust or even demonstrate its adaptability to what is now a community of better educated, adequately exposed and questioning minds with far reaching intellects. The young people of today are not like the young people of the past. There is a greater confidence to challenge, to question, and assess opinions and information that can foster a community of independent yet connected social thinkers.

Our leadership embarrasses us and it shows and is evident daily in our use of social media to connect with our respective social communities. We crave anonymity in our blogs, not because we are scared but because we are embarrassed as our leadership no longer represents who we want to be or who we would want our children to emulate. It’s a sour pill to swallow, to be truthful and honest, but democracy with its worst clothing only produces the leadership which a community allows.

If you can ever brave the air of monastic egoism and enter our parliament on a day in session, the odour of mediocrity is over powering. On critical examination, the reason is easily identified for the state of our affairs. With the exception of a few, the majority of our elected officials have never ever achieved any success, social or economic, outside of their locally rewarding and increasingly isolating political careers.

We are naturally dammed with the consequences we now all suffer. Out the window has gone the notion of achievement paramount, service first, and self last. As we watch the luxury cars file out of the LA parking lot, some MLAs driving others being driven, one cannot help but feel disturbed, as the same individuals out of elected office present a much more humble demeanour and much more shallow pockets.

We have a massive problem here, as we have created a Tammy Fae and Jim Baker type PTL (“pay the leader”) culture. Do we have the strength to reverse our mistake, accept responsibility that we, the voters, have encouraged and allowed our democracy to develop in this direction? Or will we continue to turn a blind eye, hide our true dismay and accept the consequences, which a disillusioned society brings?

We need leaders who can inspire us to be respectful of our past, grateful of our present and hopeful of our future. Not just those who can only reflect to us the failures of our collective sense of shock and sorrow for what we have allowed ourselves to become.

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  1. UDP Supporter says:

    This person clearly has not examined the record of our Premier. This man has accomplished many great things for Caymanians and the people of West Bay have always supported him!

    • UDP Truthalizer says:

      With a handy new app, "UDP Truthalizer", you can automatically change the bot-like rantings of "UDP Supporter" into intelligible English.  Here are the results:

      "This person clearly has not examined the record of our Premier. This man has accomplished many great things for Caymanians [himself  and those who support him] and the people of West Bay [who have benefited from this] have always supported him!"

  2. Kerry Horek says:

     Thank you Harris, well written and on point.  I agree witheverything you say.  Would love to read more, so please keep writing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Excellent Article. I hope all of our politicians read this and them repent.

    • Anonymous says:

      Charles Kennedy a UK MP in December 2009 stated in a speech at a function at the House of Lords whilst speaking of his own career he said:

      “That his 84 year old mother, who might arguably have become used to him being in politics after more than a quarter of a century, was still asking when he was going to get a ‘proper job’ which would involve him ‘making something’. He said that politics can have a huge impact but it can be difficult to point to something specific and say ‘I did that’. Therefore it was important for politicians to reflect on the lessons offered by engineering [manufacture]”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whille much of what is said by Harris is true, it is also true that people like Harris are reponsible for the the dearth of good, educated represenatives since all they do is moan and complain about these issues. Politics is tough, dirty business the world over and honest politicans are hard to come by. There are fewer and fewer Caymanians who have achieved success and have the experience who are willing to enter the quagmire of politics. The sacrifice is too great most of them think. They’ll have to forego their huge salaries and perks and privacy. And they’ll be subjected to relentless criticism and scrutiny. How many successful and high-earning people want to do that in the prime of thier lives? It is popular for people to complain about how much our politicans make. In reality, while their salaries are not bad, they are well below what successful professionals earn in Cayman. Frankly, I’m surprised that the likes of Alden and Rolston gave up successful careers to do what they do. It is a thankless job and they both are earning well below what they would command in the private sector. Come on Harris and some of you other whiners,when are you going to do more than complain?

      • Anonymous says:

         You may not be aware of the contributions Mr. McCoy has made to our people. Since 2001 he has donated thousands of dollars to Caymanian artists through the National Gallery and Museum.

        He has written substantial cheques for the Library and the Traditional Arts Council.

        Most notable, however, is his spearheading of the restoration of the National Museum. In volunteering his time and money for this noble cause, Mr. Harris has shown that wealthy men can maintain their honesty and give back to their community. More Caymanian men should be like Mr. Harris.

  4. MER says:

    So true though, we hardly have one MLA who would have risen to a Senior Management position within a private sector financial institution in the Cayman Islands, yet they are the head of our country and make daily decisions that impact every individual living within the islands lives. If they couldn’t be trusted to run an accounting division with 10 or 15 staff, how can they hold the key to the vault of or countries money and over 40,000 lives? These islands are as backwards now as they were forty years ago!

    • Anonymous says:

      Financial Institutions are not the only institutions running the country. There are other institutions where they have not demonstrated any leadership either except one or two. We need to get a new crop of proven leaders locally into the political system. People in their 40’s and 50’s who have had a sound track record of achievement in business,industry etc should be encouraged to run for office. And we don’t mean HR people, because they are usually not involved in the day to day operational and strategic matters of industry.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The only thing missing from this article is a more honest and straightforward admission by Harris that in the last general election he was a promoter of the government which he is now criticising. He wanted the UDP in office and yes Harris it is true what they say…….”you get the government you deserve”. In other words you get the government you vote for !!!

    Lessons learned – Alicia Keys

  6. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately the old guard reigns supreme in the LA, both parties and the Independent member who feigns otherwise are all part of the system and know where the skeletons are buried and will never breathe a word of it.

    As long as they respond to solving constituents day to day problems, get junior a job or get my helpers work permit then they will remain in power.

    What is equally disheartening is the younger breed of politicians who are learning their craft from the old guard so that the cycle continues.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Not only do our leaders embarrass us, but they actually hurt our country and especially the values of our children. Speaking as a mother of school age boys, how do I motivate my kids to get an education when they can point to the Premier’s lifestyle of being chauffeured around, flaunting personal body guards and flying the world in first class and say ‘why should I study?  Look at his life and he didn’t even finish high school’. 

  8. Right ya so says:

    Thank you.  A very, very well written article that with no holds barrred! Very impressive. And so true.

    Harris, please publish this in all of the local print media as well we know there are still many who do not read any form of electronic communication. I hope those that read this are as stirred to action as I am after reading it.

    My fear for the future of Cayman is indescribable as I watch the horrific displays of ignorance and plain disregard for the electorate by our elected officials although one can only presume they are only mirroring the actions of their leader, the premier.

    The elections cannot come soon enough for this upset, angry and extremely concerned Caymanian although I suspect it is going to be a very bitter fight as those now elected will fight ‘to the death’ to retain that which they now have not wishing to return to a life of "mediocrity" as so eloquently described by Mr McCoy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    piped into every orifice…talk about spicy rhetoric, I love it Harris!

    • Anonymous says:

       ‘Not to mention the "vibrating…facade…of our social watering holes"!TeeHee

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have never ever been a fan of Harris’s but I applaud him wholeheartedly for this really excellent article, especially the crucial observation, made all the more powerful because it is a proud Caymanian making it and not a cynical expatriate:
    “With the exception of a few, the majority of our elected officials have never ever achieved any success, social or economic, outside of their locally rewarding and increasingly isolating political careers”.

  11. The Crown says:

    Wow! Harris this is the greatest informative,collective article addressing the present situation,it’s making & it’s solution,that has ever been written. Certainly a article to be memorizedin any time of abundant disillusion. A triumph.