Invisible men

| 29/08/2012

They are not action heroes, but their ability to maintain a well paid position in elected office during the past 3 and a half years by doing next to nothing is akin to a superhuman feat. These are the members of the Legislative Assembly that are rarely seen to be doing any of the people's work, submitting the occasional private members motion (if that) and generally taking it easy on the job.

To be clear, no one should confuse 'shouting louder' or seeming to have a strong presence on the floor of the LA with actually doing a good job for the people (we have some clear recent examples of how this is not the case). But Mr Dwayne Seymour, Capt Eugene Ebanks, Mr Kurt Tibbetts and Mr Anthony Eden have managed to let 3 and a half years pass without any demonstration that we are actually paying them to do anything. Aside from occasionally appearing on a local radio talk show (and only one of the above has done that) it is hard to understand why they are being paid. And rambling on on radio about 5 or 6 times in 3 years is hardly the beacon of an example of a good representative.

Everyone understands the difference in the influence of a back bencher versus a minister so I guess we should temper our expectations a bit. But that is no excuse for being virtually invisible, particularly in these times. If nothing else these gentlemen should proffer up their own ideas on the challenges and what they see as the solutions to address them.

One of the common responses to any criticism of such elected members is that they are actually doing "key political work" on the ground in their constituencies, for example going from house to house helping the elderly/needy etc.

That works well in support of the next election campaign and to be fair I'm sure it also provides some assistance to members of the community. But is that what we are really paying upwards of CI$500,000 a year collectively to these 4 men to do?

It makes all the sense in the world that we tend to focus on cabinet members when scrutinizing the government. But in a time when finances are a challenge and we are about to add a further 3 seats to the Legislative Assembly because we are "under capacity", can we continue to affordthese invisible men?

Most of these individuals are 'nice' enough and I'm sure one or two of them have been more active on behalf of the people in past years, but we are not paying their salaries today for work done in the past. They can still speak with their constituents, present the government with a few private members motions, advocate for policies that can make Cayman a better place, arrange focus group discussions with members of the community, stand up and be counted during debates on important issues in the House and a lot more.

If you are ever interested in finding out the truth on how hard your representatives are working for you and country, have a look on the website of the Legislative Assembly to see how active they have been in debates, motions, and anything else that legislators should be doing. (I am hoping to summarise the findings in a viewpoint in the near future).

And its not just the invisible men that we should be concerned about. A step above them are a few slightly more active backbenchers who get by with attending a few meetings each year, sit on 1 or 2 House committees (and missing many committee meetings when the media is not watching), refuse to read the documents they are supposed to speak to, and take 3 hour lunches in the common room that we pay for (in between fist fights and running their private businesses). All on our watch and tax dollars.

This is a mockery of accountability and one of those clear signals that as a country we need to demand more from politicians and wannabe legislators in the upcoming months. None of us can get away with this type of behaviour while earning a cool 10 to 12 thousand dollars per month. So why should we continue to let them off the hook?

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Category: Viewpoint

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Who?

  2. Anonymous says:

    CS cuts anyone ? It’s only fair to be across the board !

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kurt Tibbetts is a hardworker. Just ask any GT voter. You think he always gets the highest # of votes for nothing? Kurt is a man of the people who is on the ground with his constituents.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dont try too hard guys. The captain has a free ride on macs coat tails and he will likely get in again precisely because he does those little runs his wompers that 101 is talking about. It upto the west bay voters but im not putting my hopes up too much.

    I know a few young west bayers who could make a run for office but they are too afraid of mac and thats a fact. If they lose he could do certain things to destroy thier current jobs.

  5. Aunt Pootietang says:

    Who is Capt. Eugene? I follow politics in Cayman very closely but never heard of him.

  6. Anonymous says:

    capt eugen never came by our house to help so that doesnt count in my books. he is just getting money for doing nothing. what an ambarrasing thing that cayman allows so many politicoans to keep doing that. where is the new blood ? we can do better than these guys in there. right now the way i see it cayman is on trouble and we need beter people

    • Anonymous says:

      So sad that Caymanians have no one in their ranks to come to the front and save them.  It would take some one like the UK who has the power to fight the fat building machine that is Caymanian leadership of today.  Every educated person knows you can't teach an old dog new tricks so it will be a huge struggle to get CIG to stop being a huge vacume that consumes everything put in front of it and turns it all into a pile of crap at the other end.  But they knew that.

  7. Anonymous says:

    did anyone see the recent poll? parties are hopefully done now. lets finish them off by voting for indviduals regardless of which oparty they belong to and also independents

    • Anonymous says:

      Just remember that a vote for any UDP candidate is a vote for McKeeva Bush to return as premier.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Excellent article! when you consider how the majority of these MLAs are being paid because they say 'nice things, smile have nice personality', namely Eden, Kurt, Eugene, Dweyne, Ellio; CG allowed to pursue a law career we really are heading this country in a sad direction.

     

    Kurt, Eugene and Anthony Eden are seniors to the others and willing to sit back, do nothing (leg work of political parties don't count!!) and collect money while the young, educated, willing to work Caymanians are suffering. Many of us have been saying that about these persons for awhile now. As a West Bay voter I am proud to say I never voted for Eugene and never will (did vote for Bus when he ran with Benson Ebanks)….and it was based on the fact that the only criteria they met for my voote was having a decent career before and meeting requirements of law to run, simply not good enough.

    They should try to do ONE thing to illustrate they care for this country, are not simply greedy men heading to their retirement, and REFUSE to run in the next election. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Seriously speaking do you really expect Dwayne to have a serious idea or contribution?   REALLY??????? 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Not even the ministers did anything. None if the, otherwisevwe would not be in this position today

  11. Anon says:

    101 im looking forward to the other viewpoint you mentioned about the various motions etc. that would be interesting to see who has actually done what in the legislative assembly

  12. Anonymous says:

    what a great example they are setting for the youth of cayman…..

    maybe what they say about the caymanian workforce is true after all……

  13. A weh dem deh says:

    We need to find and support a new breed of leaders now. Get these old farts out of there. They just taking our hard earned cash. Out with them!

  14. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    The fat begins at the top and has permeated thru out the whole civil service, good money and benifits light low stress work, weekends off, this is going to break the country and our children and grandchildren are going to suffer for it.

  15. Democracy Now says:

    To sum up 101's viewpoint here's a remark Mark Twain made:

    "Don't vote it just encourages the bastards." 

    Oh yes we can vote. And it's supposed to be a part of our democratic right. But the choices, not just in Cayman but elsewhere are terribly limited. Look at the U.S. right now Mitt Romney, vulture capiltalist, will be running against Barack Obama, who hasn't kept a single promise to the American people. The choices given are limited for a reason, and it isn't us who make that choice. It's political parties. so waht we end up with as 101 is stating are the same old same old flunkies trading places whilst sitting on their sorry a$$es doing nothing, and extracting huge paychecks. It's really a game show and watching the workings of the legislature or congress or the senate makes it all too obvious. In the majority of cases they don't represent us they represent themselves. We seem to be powerless to do anything about it even when we are given the priviledge of voting. Because of the aformentioned lack of choices it's like betting on a horse race that has been fixed. But perhaps there is something we can do to send a message thatwe're not fooled anymore. Don't Vote. I've heard it also: "if you don't vote – you can't complain about the results". But what if – the choices you are given are so abhorent or so limited you just hold your nose when you do? .Are you doing anything worthwhile with your vote?  Or are you picking, as usual, the lesser of two evils?  By withholding our votes, and it would take a majority of voters to reach the same conclusion that it is an excercise in futility and frustration we would be sending a very clear message that gig is up. And therefore we won't settle for the same bunch of incompetent clowns or as 101 put it invisible men. Withholding votes in that case could be a powerful weapon in restoring a true democratic representation. It would also bring the sham to a halt. And make political parties think twice before foisting the same lot of pre-annointed low lifes on us time after time. Votes are too valuable to waste. Withholding them would empower us more I believe than continuing to participating in their charade. In the hopes they might actually do something, and then marching off to the polls like lemmings.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Folks we all know what to do. Cayman has changed forever and we collectively must no longer put up with this BS! Lets take our country back and it starts with electing ONLY those who are willing to work for us and actually talk about solutions.

  16. Mon E Ting says:

    Bless you 101!

    But do not become cross eyed!

    To be quite honest none of the other you did not mention has done much better than those you mentioned!

    In fact doing nothing is a fvour for us. After seeing the GLF deal, the Dart land swap, the Cohen deal, the regress in educaion practices, Mike Adam's handling of Socail Services, the Panama trip (CG said on Radio Cayman they were looking for medical services on that trip)Julie's Black topping Cayman Brac. I could go on forever, but hope you would not want all of them to follow these examples of good Government!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Are Cayman United going to have any candidates in the election? If so they have my vote.

  18. Anonymous says:

    sshhhhh!…you might wake kurt up!

  19. NotRollin says:

    Bless you 101. I likes you!

    As a reward, why you don't come on out by the Barn and have some whelk fitters?

    On the house with special "double dipping" sauce………..

     

  20. Anonymous says:

    This viewpoint is too polite on the issue. The i see it i am paying them and they sxxxxx. So they need to go. None of these ones mentioned here will ever get my support again. Is mr eugene usually on his boat or in the assembly?

    I havent seen kurt do anything but go on rooster and talk about what to do with fruits and yam and cassava. The more you think about th fact it is your hard earned money the more pissed you will get.

  21. Anon says:

    101 i agree. But nothing will change as long as voters keep focusing on personalities and not the issues facing this country. I niotice that everytime someone raises an issue objectively we just knock the person rather than trying to debate the actual subject.

    That is one if the major failings right now and ti has a lot to do with lack of education combined with victimisation.

    The stupid party system is also breeding more ignorance as people talk along party lines. We already have a major issue with low quality graduates keaving high school an this just makes the situation worse. Caymanians must stop dumbing everything down, we are more capable than that. Right now things are too serious to ignore the real issues.

    These invisible people are a reflection of our society. Its sad bu its true.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we should pay them invisible dollars. Similar to the ones the government saved by cutting expenditures.

  23. Anon says:

    Good article but you are going waaay too easy on ellio solomon. What has he done? Not too much is the answer.

    • Just Sayin' says:

      Set Cayman back at least 40 years with his warped pension policies. Give the boy credit, he’s been busy.

      • Anonymous says:

        95 Families got a house because of what you call his "warped pension policies".

        A few dying caymanians will get an organ that will help them live, because of him being busy working for the people.

        And maybe, just maybe, your next Chief Immigration Officer or Collector of Customs will be a Caymanian because of his advocating jobs for Caymanians.

         – reflect on the above before you put politics before personal agenda.

        • Just Sayin' says:

          95 families got a house they can’t afford. Death is inevitable and organs have been freely available (and I do mean freely- think CINICO) overseas. When has there ever been a Non-Caymanian Chief Immigration Officer or Collector of Customs (the latter of which would likely greatly increase revenue for that Department)?
          Reflect on that.

          • Anonymous says:

            McGuire who was CIO before O.C. Connor was a non-Caymanian.  

            • Anonymous says:

              True 17:04 and of course since Caymanians (Connor, Manderson and Evans) took over being the Chief Immigration Officer, there have been absolutely no problems in Immigration. Correct?

              • Anonymous says:

                You seem to be a bit off topic. There was never a time that there were no issues with Immigration whether the CIO was Caymanian or not.

          • Anonymous says:

            John Bostock was a non-Caymanian Chief Immigration Officer.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean Alden McLaughlin.

  24. Anon says:

    I disagree. We should get rid of ALL if them.

  25. Anon says:

    This could be part if the budget solutions list. Thats 2 million over 4 years big mac! Although hopefully you wont be there to witness it as you should be a hard working man on the outside…we can only dream the west bayers will do whats right but …..

  26. Anonymous says:

    Great article! At a time when the country is on its knees because of the waste, greed and incompetence of our political leaders we can't afford to ignore these issues.  The country should be reducing MLAs not increasing them.  Why does Cayman even have backbenchers at all?

    • Wote says:

      And guess who put it on its knees? Some of these very same persons. No one can explain to me why the captain is still in power earning anice fat check. Thats the worse example if all if the four mentioned. Although i agree its more than these four.

  27. Anonymous says:

    While we are at it lets ge rid of foolio. Cant afford any more mercedes benz!
    What a bunch.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Dwayne john john seymour is a joke

    • Anonymous says:

      Speaking of jokes…….did you hear the one about the "sacred vessle"?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Only thing wrong with this is we need to get rid of ll of thm not just 4

  30. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely on point!!!