PPM: Demo not the problem

| 30/06/2011

(CNS): The leader of the opposition has said it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the people’s right to a peaceful protest about their government is the cause of destabilization. Following the march on Tuesday, Alden McLaughlin pointed out that the opposition and the people have made every sensible effort to deliver a message to the premier about the various concerns they have but he is refusing to listen. In the face of a letter to the local media from former political representatives Truman Bodden and John McLean, the PPM leader said the opposition had done everything it was possible to do to address the lack of transparency and the lack of compliance with the law but to no avail.

“We have raised the issues on the floor of the House, we have a filed a motion of no confidence that has not even reached the order paper, we have railed on the talk shows, we have held public meetings, what more can we do?” he asked. He pointed out that the government has once again adjourned the Legislative Assembly without giving members a date to return.

He noted that when the politicians are sitting, the premier controls everything that is on the order paper and both the opposition and the independent member are at the mercy of McKeeva Bush when it comes to getting their motions on the floor of the LA for debate or the parliamentary questions answered.

McLaughlin pointed out that there were very real and genuine concerns among the local business community, the financial sector and the public at large, not just about the inappropriate project proposals, but about the way decisions were being made and in particular the circumvention by the premier of due process. He said this was further compounded by the recent revelations that the premier is at the centre of a police investigation concerning 'financial irregularities'.

He said this was the issue that was causing any instability. He pointed out that, if anything, the march demonstrated that the one thing that did remain alive and well was democracy and that the people were still able to speak out despite the many who are afraid to do so.

His opposition colleague, Arden McLean, had suggested the same thing when he MC'd the peaceful demo outside the LA Tuesday. McLean had gone a step further, however, and suggested that investor confidence was being undermined because everybody was "holding their hands out for their piece ofthe pie".  

In their letter, which was sent to various media houses and can be seen here on Cayman27 site (it was not sent to CNS), Truman Bodden and John McLean criticised the opposition for leading the demonstration.

“The democratic right to public demonstration should be used as one of the last resorts. Internationally the demonstration may be associated with instability in a world where recently governments have been removed by demonstrations and riots,” they wrote. The two former ExCo members blamed the party system and its further entrenchment in the new constitution, adding that under the old system “extreme actions were rarely used”.

The opposition leader said he disagreed with Bodden and McLean and the Compass editorial on Wednesday, which had also criticised the demonstration.

“This was not a riot or civil disobedience,” McLaughlin pointed out. “It was a peaceful protest carried out in an orderly manner with permission of the commissioner of police. It is absurd to suggest that it was destabilizing.”

The leader of the opposition said he was worried about potential destabilization but people exercising their democratic right was not causing that instability.

“It is the constant undermining of the rule of law and the spectre of corruption that is the problem,” the PPM leader added. McLaughlin said crime, the economic problems, the high cost of living and unemployment were undermining the country and this is what needed to be addressed.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What is important is not a UDP/PPM win or a loss, but rather to ensure that the democratic system balances the rights of all those who come before it. A peaceful demonstration serves to signal to any government that they are on the wrong path. It is the people's right.

    In case Tru-Tru and John don't know, this is how true democracies work. Just take a look at the anti-British monarchy protests in Quebec with the Royal visit. The Quebec people have not forgotten how the French were treated by the British, and are protesting why the Queen is still their head of state.

    In true British fashion Prince William publicly stated that this protest will not detract from his visit and he will still enjoy Quebec. So why does Tru-Tru and John think that a peaceful demonstration will detract people from Cayman? Or are they not mature enough yet to recognise or even remember such as their Jim Bodden Unity Team/Party protested in 1976 the benefit of a protest?

    At one time a stalwart George Town woman described Tru Tru as " having more degrees than a thermometer" but I daresay that is no longer the case as he has a lot of competition locally nowadays, with local people no longer in the dark ages but enlightened.

  2. 4th CLASS CITIZEN says:

    Truman and his Puppet John. That's all we need again?

    Please. Do we need to turn back the clock on a Colonial thinking pair of do nothings? I think we can do better then these two. They need to crawl back in to their hole and zip their pen. We don't ever need them again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    All I can remember is PPM running the expats off the Island, especially Alden, so whats the big fuss about, PPM is no better Option, jus a big waste of time. If we vote them back in power they will do nothing to help, just like they did last time they were in, all i Kno is dat when PPM was in power that when things got tough, and social unrest was at a high, i am surprise to hear them talkin about , do away with role-over and all that,, Just Politics, tryin to get vote.  that protest was a bad thing for cayman. But The Premier needs to try and listen more, then make decision. but we have to trust him thats why majority of us vote him in, its not a easy Job, God Bless Cayman

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM did not "run expats off the Island". The UDP passed a law to introduce rollover. When the first term limits expired under that law it so happened that the PPM was in power. That is all.

      When the Premier has not given us any reason to trust him since he has been in power we don't "have to trust him". Why would you want to trust a person who is against Freedom of Information? Or a person who wants to control who gets legally defended at public expense and therefore  access to justice. Or one who circumvented the CTC process to choose Cohen & Co and then cannot answer pertinent questions about the Cohen loan? Or one who is under criminal investigation for official corruption?  

  4. Anonymous says:

    Not being a supporter of either party I have to say that I was surprised that Alden would “point out that the financial services and business community have very real concerns about …inappropriate projects and financial irregularities…”.

    Was is not under the PPM’s watch that the biggest economic asset the people and the CIG have, the financial services industry, was black listed as a result of simple inactivity by the then government. Our own country having it’s biggest industry black listed when it could have been simply avoided by a bit of work and understanding by the CIG was and still is a disgrace. People do not forget or underestimate what a serious impact this had and still has on our economy. We are now paying the price.

    Was it not under the last watch they we went and spent Millions of $s we didn’t have on inappropriate projects we couldn’t afford like $150 m on multiple school projects?Sensible economic management would suggest building schools when you can afford them, when your population growth requires them and when older facilities demand to be replaced. We are now paying the price.

    Was it not under the last watch that the failure to produce government accounts started?

    This is not a pro this or pro that party comment but politicians that live in glass houses shouldn’t through stones….inappropriate projects and financial mismanagement was alive and well before this lots turn in the political ping pong of Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Was is not under the PPM's watch that the biggest economic asset the people and the CIG have, the financial services industry, was black listed as a result of simple inactivity by the then government".

      Let us be precise and not selective with our facts to gain political points. Our financial industry was never "blacklisted". Cayman was placed on a grey list together with every other British Overseas Territory. (There was a blacklist that included jurisdictions such as Panama.) Was the PPM also responsible for the grey listing of Bermuda, BVI, Anguilla etc. as well? The fact is that Cayman had given an undertaking to the OECD to enter into these exchange of information agreements back in 2000/2001 and no govt. since had followed up on this undertaking. That includes the UDP Govt. of 2001-2005 when Mr. Bush was Leader of Govt. Business.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We had a gathering by the UDP and now a march PPM over politics. Screw this, we need both parties to get together and get on with the Crime on this island, I know both parties don’t get along, but I know both parties agree on this one point and that is crime is out of hand. Now we don’t want to march in town, we need to go to the bad areas, we all know them, show up on these guys door steps and show them we want to stand up for these islands, otherwise this island is going to be Jamaica or worst soon.


    Just my thoughts.

  6. The lone Haranguer says:

    This is bad, it is hard to believe that we have young Caymanians that are so cold so hard as to shoot a man in in the face because he would not hand over the money. Wow we have to catch them jail them and interview them to find out how and why they can behave like this then we need to target other young men who fit the profile and try and turn them before they go bad. Social services need to earn thier money.

  7. anonymous says:

    Truman and John if you wanted to run the country why didn't you run in 2009? One thing we can say about you you can truly "Dunk the public purse just like Mikol Jordan! Lately you been acting like Lebron James! not up to it! This is the ffinals!

  8. Anonymous says:

    TRUMAN BODDEN &JOHN McLEAN  has very short memory. have they forgotten the march by JIM BODDEN  in 1976. how do they think that got elected. the goverment of the day was doing wrong things and jim bodden and his team/party marched against them, of they both were members.  XXXX  i do not know how you two guys can sleep at night.  JOHN McLEAN since your son in law led the march in east end against the QUARRY/PORT maybe you can tell us what is your position onit. i will check here for your comments or your letter in the compass

  9. Anonymous says:

    What is baffaling about this letter that Truman Bodden and John Mclean wrote and published about their concerns related to the protest is that they only address the people who are standing up for their rights. Why don't they speak about the numersous 'bad deals' that have been presented by the Premier recently? 

    What Mr. Bodden & Mclean don't realise is that from the time they were in office until now… the caymanian people are sick and tired the disatrous decisions that are being made and have they effect our beautiful islands! Honestly, I think just like Kurt Tibbetts stepped aside … Mckeeva needs to do the same thing. Politics in cayman needs some new representatives and truly its time for a change. Because these people are not only selling off the country to 'dart' but they also double and triple dipping too when it comes to salary and benefits.

  10. Anonymous says:

    "The democratic right to public demonstration should be used as one of the last resorts." Yes, Tru Tru and John, we ARE at a point of last resort and that is why we did it. The PPM don't get a chance to put forward any proposals as they are ignored in the house every day.

    It is also about time we had some sort of legal clarification on civil servants signing petitions and being involved in demonstrations. How come they are allowed to in the UK. They did it today! 

  11. Anonymous says:

    John and Tru Tru are so false false.

    Criticising protesters rights without offering any other solutions is irresponsible, especially for seasoned politicians.

    What else are the people to do?

    To make it worse, the Premier refused to come down to hear the protesters concerns, arrogantly claiming he would not do so until "rooster cut teeth".

    My friends, rooster will "cut teeth". An elected government MUST listen to its people.

    So if i can agree with Tru tru and John on one point it is that the recent protest may lead to furtherinstability; not because of the protest itself but simply because the Premier refuses to listen to the people.


  12. Anonymous says:

    I don't know if anyone has figured this out yet but everyone in that march were branded together with the PPM when that was not their objective.

    It is a shame that the opposition PPM and Ezzard hijacked what could have been seen as a bi-partisan march. Now it still looks like PPM versus UDP..Ughhh!!

    • Shaken, not stirred says:

      @ Anon 13:47, are you blind? Or did you not witness the protest march?

    • Caymanian- no more politricks says:

      Yes, yes, yes!!!

      I am tired of party politricks.  This party system will only lead to our demise (read today's editorial in the Compass too)

      Our Eastern Caribbean cousins have shown us the greed, corruption, and even families divided over party politics.

      We do NOT NEED PARTY POLITICS!  PPM or UDP. I dont care!  Balance the da*%!m budget and stop the unbelievable overspending.

      We are a small island that simply needs some administration, period.  Cut the fat of civil service, make the payroll, control crime and be done with it.

      I'm all for going back to the days of "Custos".


    • Anonymous says:

      How do you get that PPM hijacked the march? There were 10 speakers, only 2 of them are PPM MLA's, and Miss Miller is the president of the Young Progressives.

      The other speakers were:

      Ezzard Miller, who voted with the UDP to form a government.

      Alice Mae Coe – Concerned Citizens

      Mervyn Smith

      Paul Rivers

      Charles Clifford who has left the PPM

      Capt. Bryan from Save Cayman

      Brent McLean.

      I am capable of seeing that the last seven people listed are not "branded as PPM', and neither were all of us who marched, why aren't you?

  13. Beachbay meatballs says:

    We need GOD to help us right now,We need to P.U.S.H [pray until something happens] and continue to march until victory happens,Caymanins stand shoulder to shoulder march and pray,pray and march.

    • Anonymous says:

      God helps those who help themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      The opposition leader is nothing but fluff their demo failed miserably and he tries go attribute the lack of participation to people whose employer threatened them. Nothing further from the truth which employer can deny you a lunch break, if people were for this grandstanding of the ppm then they could have used their lunch hour. Op leader come again you got to do beet to have a majority bred a.

  14. a naw no mouse says:

    Tru Tru and John John need to hush and go back and sit down wherever they have been!

    They did next to nothing, to plan for, and address education and other infrastructural needs, while they were in power!

    I'm thankful to have the Democratic Right for Assembly, and to have taken part in both demonstrations of saturday and tuesday. Both of which were completely peaceful!

  15. Pro Democracy says:

    I amBritish, I joined over 2 million people and marched against the Iraq war in London, and I’ll darn well march against the Oil Refinery, the seaport (aka quarry), and anything else I feel strongly about if I think it is going to ruin this beautiful country and the heritage of the Caymanian people who have made me feel so welcome here.  They have no right to try to quell the people's voices in a so-called democratic society.  Governments being removed recently in demonstrations and riots were oppressive regimes that could not possibly be compared to Cayman.  In England the democratic right to protest is a tradition which is upheld by the authorities, subject to the relevant permissions and responsible organisation. 

    In a white paper published in 2009 the (then) Home Secretary, Alan Johnson stated:

    “All public authorities must start from a position supporting those who want to exercise their right to peaceful protest. The public can expect some inconvenience and nuisance as a consequence of the state upholding those rights. This is a hallmark of an open, democratic society.”

    It's time our politicians, past, present and future, realised and accepted this.

    • Forelock says:

      Today's BBC Headline News is carrying footage of UK public sector unions marching in Westminster.

      That's civil servants marching to complain about changes the Government is making to their remuneration packages, pensions in this case.

      I'm not saying those changes are right or wrong, but those civil servant's right to demonstrate is not up for discussion.

      They absolutely have the right to demonstrate if they want to, without fear of losing their jobs because of it.

      It should be the same way here too. All this about "demonstrating against one's employer" is hogwash.

  16. Anonymous says:

    CNS Article: "The two former ExCo members blamed the party system.."


    Are not Truman and John a "party"? Anything other than one person is a party

    • Anonymous says:

      Just Hold On! 

      I agree with Truman and John 100%!

      They are Independent thinkers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hardly. Have you ever seen a letter written by one without the other's name attached. I'll leave you to to figure out who is dependent on whom.

        The less we hear from these dinosaurs the better.  

      • Anonymous says:

        They are political dinosaurs who bragged about the surpluses they had as a result of not spending any money on schools for 20 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Independent thinkers write independent letters,silly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Two people are usually considered a couple although a couple can also party if they choose to.

  17. Anonymous says:

    What is Truman and John's idea of a peaceful protest? Bend over and take it and keep your mouth shut?

  18. Whodatis says:

    I wonder if these two gentlemen would offer the same advice to the 750,000 – (yes, 3/4 of a million!) – British civil servants that are not only marching and protesting, but have actually gone on STRIKE on this very day in the UK?

    Here is a brief breakdown of what is taking place across the UK right now:

     – 30,000 people on strike in Scotland.

     – 537 of 550 staff on strike from Liverpool passport office.

     – 3,000 people strinking in Nothern Ireland.

     – 40% of staff at Jobcenter Plus on strike.

     – 1,000 of 1,800 schools in Wales are closed due to strike action.

     – 90% of police / emergency call operators on strike in London.

     – 80% of schools are closed or paritally closed across the UK.

     – Air, rail and road travel has been severely disrupted in some areas.

     – "The government said that about 100,000 of its 500,00 workforce are currently on strike."

    *Note – this is marching and protest action combined with STRIKE action!*

    My fellow Caymanians, I have always stressed the importance of having a global perspective whenever we address our domestic issues.

    Mr. John McLean and Mr. Truman Bodden were both very much off the mark with their letter and comments.

    We need to quit living in passive fear and act according to the times – regardless of what any supposed revered individual has to say about it.

    What we witnessed the other day was merely, yet significantly, a peaceful march that went by with out so much as a hiccup. Not a stone was hurled, not a building was vandalized, not a fire was set and not a punch was thrown.

    Contrast that with what we have witnessing today in "great" and "civil" nations such as the UK, Greece, Canada, Italy, Spain, Ireland etc.

    Were there some cringeworthy moments on Tuesday? Of course.

    Do some Caymanians take the party politics conflict to worrying levels? Yes.

    Was I comfortable in the fact that the PPM / Opposition was at the helm of the protest? No.

    However, we still managed to express our feelings and grievances in a civil, mature and respectable manner.

    I hardly think any level headed and unprejudiced "foreign investor" would be put off my what transpired in our little capital on Tuesday.

    If so, he or she is free to take there business elsewhere – I'm sure Greece, Spain, UK and many other "great" European nation will be happy to have it today.

     – Whodatis (Now at an online media website near you!)


    • Whodatis says:

      Please excuse the above misspellings.

      It is not easy to be both a concerned citizen and a productive member of society … pressed for time – everything in a rush!


    • Anonymous says:


      Thank You!!!

      Maybe some people of these Islands need to Wake Up and stop thinking that everyone is Uneducated and living in the past!!

      Caymanians have serious problems;

      1. Unemployment
      2. Starvation
      3. Poverty 
      4. No Future for the Young People
      5. Government need to connect with the Issues of Their People…the list goes on.

      Finally the Man that sits down and take what is dished out does no good, but  the man that stands up for what is Right will always make a  Difference..

      May God Bless our Beautiful Islands.

    • anonymous says:

      simple question….is this improving their country and the lives of the citizens there?

      I rest my case. Not everything you see on CNN you should emanate. 

      • Anonymous says:

        It can certainly lead to improving the country and the lives of citizens here.


  19. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Truman and John..back in the days it wasnt no party against party business. We came as one, and objected to an idea/ project because we truly believed that it would not have a positive effect on matters…not because UDP say yes, i must jump go say yes. Foolishness man. Everyone seems like they just want power. Does anyone really care about the future of these islands?

  20. Anonymous says:

    easy for mclean and bodden to sit back and do nothing..they are both ancient dinosaurs who have been fattened from years at the trough…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said.

      They are in no position to criticise anything when they did not put in place or enforce policies to protect the Caymanian people during their many terms in office.

      Who originally gave the special concessions to a nowadays certain predatory mega developer? Was it not during the Unity Team days that they allowed the policy of development on the swamp side of the West Bay road which has caused us to build bypasses at great expense to relieve traffic congestion? Did they not also throw out the 1975 development plan which the previous government had put in place for the orderly growth of the Cayman Islands and ensured the protection of the Caymanian people?

      It is very petty for them to blame Party politics. Does'nt the mother country and a former British colony which is now the most powerful in the world have politicial parties? Have they ever heard of the USA which was granted independence in 1776?

      Any estimation I had for them has now eroded to the point where I have to wonder why did they not prepare the Cayman Islands for today when we have more educated Caymanians demanding answers.

      Are they still living in their parents' houses too and dependent on them like we are of the mother country? I am not advocating independence but full-internal self-government which we still do not have.

      They are not living in the real world like they did when they denied there were no gangs in schools during their time.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Tru Tru and do nothing John  giving advice, what a joke

  22. Anonymous says:

    While they have a point much worse is the UDP protesting the protest with that party in public beach, they should be ashamed. Furthermore, they validated the protest as a way of political expression, they ultimately promoted this route and more protests will follow.

    Mr. Bush, I'm not making a judgement about your innocense, but for the good of the country you love, please step aside if not only temprorarly. Let someone else in your party be leader, stay as MLA through this investigation, and if you are ruled innocent you can come back, but is no good to anybody (not even yourself) to go through this while you are Premier.



    • Non-Partisan says:

      You who are calling for the Premier to step aside, what solutions do you have to better the economy. I mean, really… from Alden, Ezzard, and Arden, I have not heard ANY SOLUTIONS from these guys. The Premier will engage in huge projects that will bring investment in this country. You asking him to step down, could be our fate!  If Alden/PPM gets back in – GOD HELP US!

      • Yea says:

        And In the end I will hear you saying "That man has brought prosperity to these islands" while the crime spree continues and we plunge further and further down the bottomless pit.

      • Anonymous says:

        I said aside, not completely down. If he doesn't the whole UDP will sink with him and we are going to get those that you do not want back or even worse we are following the path of Turks with an amazing precision (I wish we could apply that precision to other things)

        By the way, you mentioned projects, has any brick been put down?

      • Anonymous says:

        No serious investor will want to go forward with his investment with the Premier of this country under investigation for corruption!

        Mac step down until the investigation in concluded. Do not bring more disrepute on our little nation. 

      • peaceful protest man says:

        Hello guys, there really are no solutions for the problems we are facing, but certainly the issues could be managed better than what the UDP is doing and so could the fall ourt be mitigated.

        For those who state that all politicians are crooks, then if that is so, lets get some new crooks to run this country.

        Stop sitting in your comfort zones, doing absolutely nothing and calling on your politicians for assistance every minute.