Next step independence

| 17/06/2011

"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”  Even our recent recallable past counts as history.  Here’s a quick refresher. Back in McKeeva’s first term (before the word Premier was introduced) CIG was suffering a severe financial crisis, so much so that the police force was trimmed back considerably and it was announced by Mr Bush that he did not know where the money was going to come from to meet the next Civil Service payroll.

CIG was on the verge of shutting down for lack of money. People were scared and concerned. This financial catastrophe was the talk of the day. Then suddenly, out of the blue, huge roads projects began happening. Roundabouts were springing up everywhere almost overnight. It was even joked that Cayman would soon look like lots of bulls-eyes on a dart board (no pun intended) from outerspace due to all of the roundabouts. No one explained where the sudden windfall of money came from. CS got their paychecks and everything seemed normal except for the obvious and extravagant spending on public infrastructure projects by CIG.

The source of the funds and the amount supplied to CIG is know by a few insiders but has never been publicly disclosed. Neither has the terms (if any) of repayment or compensation for the money. We will probably never know.

Now CIG has “partnered” with Dart, a private company in order to save the day and our future. Most people are happy and feel fortunate to have such a generous person living here and supporting our economy. A deeper look at the deal raises questions. This partnering has been in the works for some time. Many issues were placed before us as distractions while all of this was going on. The Premier announced often that he was traveling the globe to bring investment here, all the while knowing that he had closed this partnering deal with Dart and did not have the honesty to announce it beforehand. Yes, politics as usual.

This partnering plan calls for a billion dollars to be invested over 20 years. Since our GDP is about $1 billion per year, this amounts to about a 5% contribution to our economy per year or 50 million dollars per year.  On top of this CIG is granting Dart a duty waiver of 45 million dollars. With the current rate of duty at 22%, this waiver represents 205 million dollars worth of imported goods. Dart has businesses that are in direct competition with local businesses. Do we know that he won’t use this duty exemption as an advantage to be able to sell his goods for less and destroy the competition?  This playing field is tilted in Darts’ favour and is in contradiction of free market economics. As our partner, what is to keep Dart from dredging the North Sound to suit his needs? After all, he bought the right to do what is best for all of us.  The deal so far has not been transparent, so why would we trust or expect transparency going forward? 

It was declared by Deloitte in their Economic Impact Study performed for Joe Imparato on the EE Seaport that for every 1 million dollars invested here a single job is created. Using this as a yard stick, Darts’ 50 million per year contribution will create 50 jobs per year. Not all of these jobs will be filled by Caymanians. It will fall far short of putting a dent in our 6.7% unemployment rate.

As a partner in our lives, I would think it should be required by law that Mr Dart be forced to disclose his personal and corporate finances publicly for the last 15 years. Our own CIG is attempting to throw its past accounts out the window. Why do accounting at all if you are not going to be accountable? CIG should be forced to reveal the past accounts, no matter how badly they were kept and no matter what the results show. Let the public see the numbers. We have the right since its our money after all. The only reasonable explanation for not disclosing them is the political and possible legal backlash that would take place. Showing the accounts could shed a bad light on those in charge but not showing them sheds the worst light possible because it leaves us in the dark. Perhaps the powers that be are afraid of looking like they are not capable of performing their duties or worse. Either way, the confidence in this government is gone and cannot be regained.

The big question now is whether the UK will want us as a territory with our new found partner in Mr Dart. I don’t believe this is standard practice among British territories. Without full public financial disclosure, the UK is taking on a partner they know little about. They could be opening themselves up for unforeseen liabilities, as can we. This may just be a “backdoor” way of ushering in independence from UK by having them get rid of us rather than us leaving them. It sure seems that the Premier’s actions are leading up to this.

A really good politician is able the stick a knife in your back while making you think he just gave you a gift.

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  1. truth says:

    Try to imagine TCI now without the takeover by the UK. Good?  Really?  For Whom?

    Try to imagine CIG without the oversight of the UK.

    Just look to Jamaica.

    Cayman obviously does not have the ability to Govern its own people, its own money, and its own infrastructure.  Or do you really think its doing a good job so far?

  2. snaffles says:

    WOW…you guys live on one of the greatest Islands in the caribbean and yet you are still companing like b*tchy little girls. The world is not fair…get over it!

    If you are unhappy with Britians influence do the job of running your island like a first world country and stop behaving like a third world one.  The rest of us our fighting REAL problems and REAL corruption.

    Trying living on an island where the tourists get there fingures cut off for a $10 hand bag. Where the police want $25 to take you to the police station after you are a victim of crime…oh and the crime is usually carried out by off duty police men.

    You have it good in the Caymans, stop complaining and sort your own mess out!

    • Dred says:

      You know what our problem is. We don't want to be like that and the first step is to stop it ints tracks. This is where we are at now. It's not just about btchin and complaining its about the realisation of what we have and want to protect it while we still have it not when we have lost it.

  3. Raymond says:

    Well,well I would like to disclose to you that Roatan,Bonnaca and Utila better known as the Bay Islands of Honduras are well on their way demanding INDEPENDENCE FROM HONDURAS!!!!!!!!!. By the way a steering commission is in place and they are prepared to go ahead come what may;I support their efforts and bet that's their only way out from under the thumb of a corrupt,crime infested nation like Honduras.



  4. Seriously folks! says:

    "Dart has businesses that are in direct competition with local businesses. Do we know that he won’t use this duty exemption as an advantage to be able to sell his goods for less and destroy the competition?"

    Clearly you have not read the details of this "partnership".  This is a mutually beneficial relationship and as in any negotiations, there is give and take on both sides, and not everyone will agree on all aspects.

    But your comment above just shows how ignorant you are as to the big picture…  The concessions will not be applicable to "goods" they sell.  The concessions are applicable to work on specific projects, indeed, it is an incentive to get the projects going and keep the money and investments flowing in.  

    Ultimately, unlike the previous business deals which people love to flaunt about Dart's South American country investments, there is a fundamental difference with his Cayman investments – he actually lives here!!!  He is not offering to refinance the local debt and threaten to foreclose if we default, THEY are offering to pour money into hotels, businesses, and the community – and for that, we should all stop being jealous and petty, and embrace the fact that in some very uncertain global times, a very wise group of people (Mr Dart isn't making all the calls here, in case you were delusional to that), have the faith in our long term stability and endurance, and want to be partners in our growth.

    And yes, they are businessmen, so, yes, they want, no, NEED to make return to justify their investment, but I am pretty sure you don't go to work for free or lodge your funds in a bank with the hope they won't pay you interest…


    • sea bash says:

      So I am local and my business can offer the same works like Dart. So why can't I get concession too???  Tell me if that is encouraging a fair and free market???

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why all the scaremoungering? Cayman is no nearer to independence than the USA is to being a Monarcy.

    What is worng with partnership with DART enterprises, we need direct financial assistance and the financial industry is not providing it so really what should the country do?

    Unemployment this problem is easily solved, 23K permits 3,500 unemployed a no brainer, move on.

    The take over of Cayman Islands by the UK, if this is the last resort is not a good things but not the worst that can happen, this is a much better option than independence. Better to live in Mother's house under her rules than to live on the street begging.  Too many islands within the Caribbean thought that they would be better off with independence from the UK and I know of only two that are able to keep their heads above water, these two also have a high standard of eduction and very few of their citizens migrate all over the world in search of a better life and both are high end tourist destinations where their nationals come first in their country and they are very aware of  their history and culture. 

    • Libertarian says:

      "Better to live in Mother's house under her rules than to live on the street begging." 

      lol… I am afraid that's a flawed and very ignorant comment.

      Presently,Turks and Cacois Islands is under Mother's dictatorship where the people there have no democracy, no uncensored press, constitution suspended, government financial records seized, and no elections or right of democratic representation. The Governor dictates everything and all of this to rid the country (so they say) of corruption. It has been over two years now. And the financial center is in ruins – investors due to the UK's invasion has pulled out of the TCI. The Central Bank of Turks and Cacois has went into Liquidation.  Don't be decieved if you think TCI is all good and thriving, it because this year alone they received emergency bail-out monies from UK tax-payers. People in the UK don't really know where taxes are being used for – but to support TCI, reduced to almost like a welfare state.

      I guess that is what you want for Cayman. 

      And here's a question for you – Does seeing people begging alongside a street, MUST MEAN that the country went Independence?  There are alot of Independent countries that severed from the UK that are doing pretty well with their economies. So… I am sorry to say, but your reasoning is flawed.

      I don't want Independence for the Cayman Islands, but I am not going to say that our state with Mother is a good and healthy state in terms of the people's democracy and freedom. If push comes to shove, Independence may just be an option in order to ensure that democracy and freedom, because right now, the UK has an "F" on the way it treats its Overseas Territories. I haven't said that, but the United Nations, because of her colonial acts.  It is either she amend her ways or "we" the people do what is in our best interest, or else, it is too late. Seeing history (and I am not being bias, but factual), she may do harm to this Offshore Financial Centre and after the harm is done, push Independence upon us. TCI's Premier Michael Misick and his party was pushing for Independence from the UK just the same year, the UK all of a sudden finds him and his party with corruption, and they declared full British Rule on the inhabitants. Not that there was any corruption lurking in government, but Misick could have been prosecuted in his own country, and the people spared from a UK dictatorship without their consent. But they were unwilling to do this for a 95% black nation. If was a 95% white colony, they would have been compensated to this date!  

      I am watching the debucle in TCI very closely, and I won't be surprise that TCI would have no other choice but to go Independent after the country's finances will be unable to be audited. No one will know what has happened to TCI's empty purse, but those who held on to it. The UK will patch things up and make it look like they never had any interest with TCI at all. They will wave them good-bye and push or allow the oppressed country to go into Independence after they have drain her so much of her wealth – that is my prediction.

      No!  Are you out of your mind!  Direct Rule is never a better option!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have heard it said that the country won't go independant as it would drive away the law firms, financial sector etc.  Is this true?

    • Libertarian says:

      Any state that we find ourselves in, may drive away the law firms, financial sector etc. Many businesses left TCI under the current UK' dictatorship. It is safe to say, TCI's financial industry is pretty much gone. So you're right, independence may be a factor that may cause financial instability, but it is not the sole factor. Right now the law firms in Cayman, are having problems with their recruitment process due to a Rollover policy that was supported by both UDP/PPM.  In general, some of the policies we have today, are hurting the stability of our offshore financial center.

      I think financial stability is most determined by the way we govern our country. At the end of the day, whether independent, dependent, or integrated, what really matters, will be the nature of the policies and laws government legislate on the private sector.  

      • Anonymous says:

        You make many good points but I can assure you that law firms are not suffering any recruitment problems due to rollover.

  7. Average Caymanian says:

    I wasn't born yesterday, but:

    – The British negative dealings with its Overseas Territories like Turks and Cacois

    – The evidence of strain relationship between us and the British, and their desk clerk incident with the Premier

    – The partnership with a wealthy investor, Mr. Dart

    – Now the talks about Oil Refinery

    – The Premier's visits to Jamaica

    It does sounds like Independence approaching and the UK is accelerating the process, because they got what they want from us.

    • Tiger says:

      And I am no fool I am a Goring.
      from the lineage of C.J. Henry Goring,Educator, Vestryman, Barrister at Law. I TOLD YOU SO!
      Most of you are not paying attention,you are not conducting comparative studies of the preceding atrocities and financial scape goats that are let loose in the wilderness of British colonial territories and societies PRIOR TO THE UK imposing Direct Rule or forcing the territory into independence. Take out your history books and read.

      The Premier is not telling you everything. His actions speak louder than his words. He is preparing for independence.
      Unlike some of us that are still asleep; I'm curious I would really loved to have been there when Mr. Bush sent Attorney A.Steve McField, M.B.E. to the UK last year to discuss Independence whether Yes or No. Such a serious topic calls not only for a multitude of counselors but a multitude of witnesses!

      We have no full proof of what really was discussed, and that was the intention of Mr. Premier. Afterall had anyone else accompanied Mr. McField to the UK that would be a third person responsibile for keeping this obviously top secret.
      Guys, Yes There is a secret, I don't need an explanation, these signs follow all those that believe in Independence:
      Huge development
      Oil Refinery
      Imparado Project
      Dart Development
      Dr.Shetty's Mega Hospital
      Direct Taxation
      Gun Men out of control
      More guns in the country than there are bibles and text books.
      Politicians' Loyal to the Party and no loyalty to the People.
      More focus on having fun than education.
      Gross Corruption targeting the wrong people.
      Influx in Immigration out of control, unregulated and unsensored.
      Big Business Chamber of Commerce running the government.
      Politicians not accountable to the people anymore only to the rich and famous.
      High rate of UNEMPLOYMENT
      Abuse of employees, local and foreign.
      SPENDING OUT OF CONTROL! by elected government and former government now Opposition. Not acting with good stewardship in handling the Public purse is something that the UK acts as an opportunist and scorns,abhors, and she will act before co-signing any loans for her child that could causes her to loose her own good established credit on the world's stage.

      Most of us do not want Independence, we have no sustaining or natural resources but what choices do we really have with the UN beating the UK daily accusing her of colonial bigotry and modern day colonial slavery sentiments filtered into the UK territorial oversight? Of course the UN has a hidden agenda as well.

      I conclude These signs follow them that believe in Independence.Some hard questions need to be answered good luck.

  8. Libertarian says:

    Dart will receive waivers in the millions – this is definitely a competitive advantage over other local entities!  Better watch out that this public-private partnership don't  =  a controlled government monopoly.

    Where if I own a company and business that is similar to Dart's company and business, because of the exemptions and favors that were bestowed to him by government, he can now fluctuate his prices alot easier and win more customers. Government is helping Dart to have a leeway advantage over everybody else!

    In terms of Independence, I know that is coming…  I tell people about its coming and they don't like it. But it is coming!  And that should not frighten anyone, because Caymanians have always been able to survive. Along with faithful expats, Caymanians built up this financial industry!  So I don't see doom and gloom. But this I see – I do believe in standing up for our rights and freedoms.

    1. I would hate for the UK to set their dictatorship on this island, deal with our finances, and cause our economy to sink like TCI; and,

    2. I would hate for us to go into Independence and be under an oppressive local government or dictator who is sided by a private entity.

    So Independence is not my concern!  It is individual freedom, protection of land, beaches, and private properties, and the ability to start and maintain local businesses and companies in an atmosphere of free and fair competition.

    Cayman, presently, we are not a Democracy!  Anyone with brains who would read our Constitution 2009 will be able to see this reality!  Do we need a better Cayman Islands for the people and by the people???  Yes we do!  How do we arrive at that state??? 

    It is either the UK amend their ways and our Constitution to allow us to have COMPLETE DEMOCRACY so that we could have COMPLETE and SECURE FREE ENTERPRISE. Or, we go Independent in the safe and securest way!  At the end of the day, whatever state we find ourselves in, our INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM should never be suppress, because it goes heart-in-heart with our FREE ENTERPRISE / VIBRANT ECONOMY!  

    • ha ha ha ha ha ha ha says:

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  9. Anonymous2 says:

    My friend, the UK will not let us go without first getting a piece of the money pie. That is how they operate!  But everything else, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I recalled in Governor Jack's last speech to the Cayman Islands, he indicated that Independence is soon, and I remember he was famous for the corruption probe here – meanwhile TCI was talking about Independence when just after a year of their announcement the UK found them with official corruption. Politicians look out for their self-interest and not the people's interest. Jack's words still ring and it is frightening because the ones who will suffer is us.

  10. nauticalone says:

    Very interesting! And unfortuately, likely to be mostly, if not entirely, accurate!