The Likeable Rogue

| 03/09/2012

At a cocktail party of polite company, it might have even been at Government House, an English gentleman visiting on official business was overheard making a reference to the “likeable rogue”. Funnily enough he was apparently talking about our very own McKeeva Bush. Like him or hate him, you cannot dispute that he has a certain je ne sais quoi

Historical figures, whether they go down in infamy or honour, often have a colourful history or storied background. Many have made great mistakes as well as accomplished significant deeds. There is often no definitive resolution of their place in history, and the debate continues generation after generation.

The picky head boy from Old Bush, as he often refers to himself, never completed high school, and began his political career under the tutelage of the older West Bay stalwarts. His focus was on the poor and underprivileged, concentrating on social issues, veteran benefits and youth sports. He was heavily involved in the Church and a Scouts leader long before he became an elected member of our legislature.

McKeeva was always a people person and loves mingling and having a laugh at social functions of all kinds, especially with his West Bay folks.  Indeed this is one of his favourite pursuits, and some say, even higher on his list than jet setting off to Dubai. His love of socializing and his approachability has endeared him to many. It is difficult to box him in ideologically, as he displays both liberal and conservative political values, namely strong support of welfare and business at the same time.

On the flip side, he demonstrates his street credentials, often by his bullying tactics and by putting down people who challenge or even appear to question his motives or decisions, and it seems that these are ingrained instincts that he either enjoys or simply cannot overcome. His turn of phrase, use of colloquial terms, biblical quotes and humour often makes for interesting listening. He just loves to go “off script” and when his ire is up, the opposition trembles with anxiousness as to his next utterances. He is quite the orator and is our most charismatic leader by far. Lately he has also given some problems for the UK, but they have much experience in dealing with that sort of thing. Hopefully he still recognizes the value in our historical and beneficial relationship.

As Father of the House, as the current longest serving member of the Legislature, McKeeva clearly has considerable political acumen, which many have underestimated to their own political demise. His ability to also display magnanimity and offer opportunities to his enemies is particularly noteworthy, and he may even be starting to learn the immense strength and power in the appropriate use of restraint.  We have some budding new potential leaders, many with dictatorial tendencies of their own, but sadly without the heart of the Likeable Rogue. 

With the constitution of a bull and an indomitable will to fight on regardless of popular opinion, controversy, allegations, tremendous pressure or obstacle, he is also a man of great faith.  I can think of no one else in Caribbean politics that could have survived the personal, economic and political challenges that he has faced, especially in this last term.  He is the strong man of local politics.

What will be the lasting legacy of the Likeable Rogue? Only time will tell.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    "He is quite the orator and is our most charismatic leader by far." Charisma and Oratory skill are not often associated with McKeeva so I was intrigued to read this… unless we have completely different definitions of the two I would have to say that McKeeva is one of the worst public speakers I have ever heard! Barack Obama he is NOT! He bumbles through speeches and never seems able to speak in full coherent sentences!  

    As for Charisma… this man has the charm of an ogre. He is dismissive, chauvanistic (on the verge of mysogonistic) and boorish at the best of times. Try and make McKeeva sound endearing all you want… it won't work! Painting him to be a 'likeable rogue' is like putting lipstick on a pig!

  2. Anonymous says:

    what is the status of the 3 investigations into the Premier??

  3. Truth Hurts says:

    The legacy Mr. Bush will leave behind will be the destruction of the finance industry, which had so much promise, yet was crushed under the weight of duties and fees until they left our shores for more economically friendly locations.

    The legacy left will be vast wealth squandered on buildings and monuments yet very little invested to help the people and islands progress.

    The legacy left will be Cayman exiting one of the most prosperous periods ever in the history of the islands with every dime spent and more, and a huge, unsustainable debt left for future generations to grappple with.

    There is nothing likable about the legacy left by Mr. Bush.

  4. Adult Fiction says:

    "Boss Hog".  That is the type of politics McKeeva Bush exemplifies.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Likeable Rogue is a British diplomatic term and code for a despot dictator and criminal.

    Prey tell us what is likeable about our despot leader. Get real!

  6. Just Commentin' says:

    Actually this is one of the most well-written pieces I have seen here in a long time. But I could not resist…

    …so…I took  time to interpret the "skirt on a pig" nicey-nicey language.

    Here are certain phrases from Bartlett's article put into plain english…

    …Darlin':

    "At a cocktail party of polite company…"
    = At a gathering of elite expats from the UK…

    "…an English gentleman visiting on official business"
    =…one of those "horse-face" officials from the UK…

    "je ne sais quoi"
    = "the ability to get morons to vote for you"

    "likable rogue"
    = dangerously seductive scoundrel

    "colourful history or storied background"
    = …terribly dysfunctional upbringing and questionable background

    "Many have made great mistakes as well as accomplished significant deeds."
    = There are many in history whose f***ups far outweighed their good calls.

    "…no definitive resolution of their place in history"
    = …rendered irrelevant (or) …best  forgotten

    "was heavily involved in the Church and a Scouts leader long before he became an elected member of our legislature"
    = …was always was a hypocrite

    "…mingling and having a laugh …is…even higher on his list than jet setting off
    to Dubai
    = …having fun is obviously a higher priority than governing the country well.

    "It is difficult to box him in ideologically…"
    = He was always unstable and volatile…

    "…he displays both liberal and conservative political values…" = …he is as
    confused as it gets…

    …"street credentials,…"  
    =  …inexcusably rude, crude and trashy behavior…

    "…(he responds by using) bullying tactics and by putting down people who challenge or even appear to question his motives or decisions"
    =…any challenge to his authority is met with with a crude, tactless and immature response.

    "…it seems that these are ingrained instincts that he either enjoys or simply cannot overcome."
    = …it is obvious that he has the self-control of a three-year-old.

    "His turn of phrase, use of colloquial terms…"
    = His atrocious sematics and pitiful grammer…

    "…often makes for interesting listening."
    = …would be quite amusing if he were not the Premiere.  (or) …is an embarassment to intelligent Caymanians.

    "He just loves to go “off script”…
    = He cannot stay focused for long…

    "He is quite the orator…"
    = Heis a long-wided blow-hard…

    "Lately he has also given some problems for the UK…"
    = He is continually rude, crude and trashy with FCO officials

    "…but they have much experience in dealing with that sort of thing."
    = …but they are used to dealing with morons.

    "Hopefully he still recognizes the value in our historical and beneficial relationship."
    = I know that there is not a snowball's chance in hell he gives a rat's a** about the damage he is doing our relationship with the UK.

    "As Father of the House, as the current longest serving member of the Legislature, McKeeva clearly has considerable political acumen, which many have underestimated to their own political demise."
    = Bush keeps getting re-elected because he is apppealing to voters who apparently love crude, rude, trashy behaviour and don't really want any better.

    "His ability to also display magnanimity and offer opportunities to his enemies is particularly noteworthy."
    = That he is a demagogue of the highest order is something to beware of.

    "…he may even be starting to learn the immense strength and power in the appropriate use of restraint. "
    = …he is maturing and may even be starting to display the self-control of a
    four-year-old.

    "We have some budding new potential leaders, many with dictatorial tendencies of their own, but sadly without the heart of the Likeable Rogue."
    = There are some young wolves in sheep's clothing with political ambitions but when itcomes to screwing up none will hold a candle to Bush.

    "With the constitution of a bull…"
    = …hopelessly pigheaded…

    "…an indomitable will to fight on regardless of popular opinion…
    = …does not give a rat's a** what the people want…

    …"he is also a man of great faith."
    =…is still a hypocrite

    "I can think of no one else in Caribbean politics that could have survived the
    personal, economic and political challenges that he has faced, especially in this last term. "
    =I am clueless about Papa Doc, Baby Doc, and Castro.

    "He is the strong man of local politics"
    = He is our very own elected "gangsta boss".

    "What will be the lasting legacy of the Likeable Rogue? Only time will tell."
    = Only time will tell how much more he is going to screw up this country before it is all over."

     

  7. Anonymous says:

    The last time I heard the term "strong man" used in that sort of context it referred to Manuel Noriega.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    This article tries to put lipstick on a pig. At the end of the day, you still have got a pig.

    • Anonymous says:

      But with the right staple you can make the pig a skinnier pig with make up, and then it might be a more attractive prospect.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Please, enough with the wistful sugar-coating of an individual who has in the opinion of so many done so much damage to the country and its people. There is nothing, overall, truly "likeable" about him, unless one is in denial, that is. It would be nice if there were but when all said and done, surely he is a model of representative to flee from, not embrace? Sorry, but what I see in this rather jolly piece is more of a case of wishful-thinking and misdirected sentimentality than anything else. Even the most infamous individuals from history can be found to have some manner of redeeming qualitiy or qualities if you dig down through all the dirt far enough, but it's all rather beside the point. History will assess Mr.Bush – stripped of our often rather shallow present -day perspecives, for him and against him – in a far more exacting manner than the piece in question has. It's what usually happens.

     

  10. Verticalpig says:

    The UK Foreign Office had  Idi Amin pegged as a likeable rogue and look where that went. Not that Bush is in that homicidal class but he has other traits of a village tyrant who lucked into the top job.

     

    The sad part is that Bush truly does represent mainstream Cayman politics which is a buy and sell business. Too many voters have nothing of value to sell apart from their allegiance. Used to being put down or looked down upon themselves they assume all criticism of Bush is unfair and rooted in snobbery / race / class differences. He can do no wrong, everything is the fault of his enemies.

     

    Bush hardly matters as an individual: if it wasn't him it would be someone else like him running the show.  The real problem is twenty years of political degeneration and sliding backwards into and the slackness and sickness of  today's Caymans politics.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, but you give the mental midget far too much credit that he does not deserve…  He was and is an opportunist who fell into incredible luck, the fact that his electorate has even less brains, if that were possible, than he does. 

  12. The lone haranguer says:

    Gosh ! That was close to the bone.

  13. Peanuts says:

    He say's he is from the wrong side off the Tracks, I wish he would hurry and go back.

     

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    likeable or not…a rogue is a rogue

  15. don't drik the koolaid says:

    This is certainly not a tongue in cheek article. this is an well written article by one of our young Caymanians who truly beleives in Mac because he is one of those who currently benefits from the goodwill extended by this man.

    I will not deny that there is a wholesome part of MacKeeva that truly manifests many of these qualities. However, for every good deed he does, it is fueled by votes. Mr. Bush is known for "helping" people and then turning around and reminding them that he did this and that for them and announces it to the entire world also. 

    Mr. Bush may appear to those at a distance to be a "likeable rogue". Well, i suppose at some point in time in the history of Germany, Hitler was a likable rogue also, until the totality of his plan was revealed to the world and after millions of people had already drunk enough of his koolaid to make him so very powerful not only to take over a nation but to take over Europe.

    Therefore, i encourage my fellow Caymanians, the Premier is perhaps "likeable" in his own way. He is after all one of our brothers. However, that in no way qualifies him to lead Cayman. There are many other likeable people with charisma that i would not vote in.

    We must vot in people who are selfless, stepping forward to make a difference and quite frankly have no problem sitting for one term.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't think it is written by a young Caymanian at all but by one of Mac's former political contemporaries in the UDP who fancies himself a historian. 

      "Likeable rogue" is intended to make light of his serious trangressions.

  16. Former bartender says:

    This is tongue in cheek, right?  You can't be serious.  Every time I see McKeeva I want to vomit among other things that I can't write on CNS.  Likeable rogue is definitely not how I would describe him.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I'm pretty sure what his legacy will be, it will be the same as Truman Bodden's, Linford Pierson's et al. 

    He will most likely end up with a statue of himself in Heroes Square and maybe even a medical school named after him in the similar manner to the re-naming of the Cayman Islands Law School.

    Politicians' legacies have very little to do with fact and truth and a lot to do with perpetual titles and other people seeking power and the sad human tendency to not focus on real heroes. Teachers, nurses, judges seldom receive the accolades they deserve but our Honourable Premier will at some point be memorialised as our first Premier with subjective statements such as "he is quite the orator" and "the strong man of local politics" – he is only strong because the people think that's where the power lies-hopefully before the next election the people will realise the power lies with them and they will do what they have to do to remove a man from elected office. 

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Not enough bronze available – certainly not at today’s prices.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Can he please go back to the sports and veterans issues and leave our finances to someone who knows what they are doing. please!!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    The problem with calling him a "likeable rogue" is that it diminishes the seriousness of his failings, the breadth of his "alleged" corruption and his absolute lack of ability to make intelligent policy decisions for government. It's just another way for people to keep their heads stuck in the sand.

    I'd like to ask, without malice, what exactly has he accomplished these past years, if anything? What did he accomplish prior to that? We're all aware of his long list of failures, I'd like for once to see an actual list of concrete accomplishments.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Then why do I feel sick to my stomach. embarrased for and ashamed of him when I see him? We will not look back and laugh at this.

  21. Ann O.Neemuss says:

    This is a joke VP right?…..CNS? I mean just a little something to give us all a giggle after a long Monday back at work…..right…..yeah?….

  22. Anonymous says:

    More rogue than likeable if you want my opinion.

  23. Anonymous says:

    This elegant little pitch calls to mind the literary stylings of Knal N. Domp, another savvy auteur cum salesman cum armchair politico.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Saleswoman

      • Anonymous says:

        Who Mac would refer to as Darlin or Sweetheart.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you believe that putting a picture of a woman by your name makes you a woman, then it's easy to understand how Mac get by putting warm bodies on a platform and telling people that they are politicians.

  24. Anonymous says:

    You are far too kind and must be a great admirer of his.

    "His ability to also display magnanimity and offer opportunities to his enemies is particularly noteworthy".

    Frankly I have never seen such a quality on display in him. He certainly gives the impression of one who is vindictive and anyone questioning his views or statements is regarded as a mortal enemy to be obliterated.   

    • Anonymous says:

      it is true that the premier does help people who ran against him. to prove this just ask any number of people who have benefitted recently like Mario Ebanks now director of labour, Joey Ebanks now Director of Electricity and Charles Clifford who recently completed his law studies under a govt agency.  

      the premier might not have had direct involvement in these appointments, but i am fairly certain they would not have been possible if he had decided to make problems.

      give credit where credit is due.

      • Anonymous says:

        One way to shut up the opposition is to give them a job.  This is what happened with Mario.  A very smart move on Mac's part.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are naive beyond belief. That is obviously a way to silence his critics. He also gives them or their relatives awards. And then he will constantly remind them and the voting public of what he did for them. It is all about control and manipulation. It may be politically astute to do that but it does not speak to any magnanimity in his character. 

        Joey Ebanks turned coat just after the 2009 elections and has been on McKeeva's platform since lambasting his former colleagues in the PPM. This is obviously the reward.

        But what I find truly hilarious is that you are giving him credit not for the actual appointments but  for NOT MAKING PROBLEMS in respect of their appointments! You have set the bar really low.  Is that the depth to which we have sunk as a society? Are my countrymen really this stupid? 

      • SKEPTICAL says:

        What a load of drivel…..

  25. Anonymous says:

    I suspect the thumbs down and trolls will come out in force for this viewpoint but I for one happen to think it nails Mac down pretty well. Doesn't mean I approve of how he is running things in this one man government we have but it it is accurate in many ways.

    • The Real Beenie says:

      Good to see someone with sense commenting.  Most of these posts are a prime example of trolling.

      Mac is what he is.  He is good and bad. The article is pretty true. Yes he is a sometimes dodgy guy but he also is amicable in some ways.

       

  26. Anonymous says:

    Cayman's fall from the financial industry has the potential to become his lasting legacy. amongst many other things.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I believe the McKeeva, who probably thinks of himself as Robin Hood, would make a great mayor of West Bay.

     

    Leader of a country with a budget that is over a half billion? Sorry, he is not qualified.

    • Anonymous says:

      I live in West Bay and take offense to that statement.  He is no more qualified to be mayor of West Bay than he is to run our country.  The investigations would judt be for lesser amounts most likely.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why not? You are the people who keep electing him, not the rest of the country.

        • Anonymous says:

          He would not be Premier if the rest of the country did not elect his puppets.  Their is plenty of blame to go around. without the rest he would be just another back bencher.

          • Anonymous says:

            Not quite. Mac got into power in 2000 because he brought 4 votes from WB with him and that simply could not be ignored by any government that would be formed. STOP electing him and his fries in WB and he will not make it to Cabinet.

        • Anonymous says:

          With all due respect, that's not fair on those who didn't/don't, as well as the ever-growing number of those who never will again.

        • Anonymous says:

          The no voters are as much to blame – Macs Supporters always vote

      • Chris Johnson says:

        I also live in West Bay but was born in Nottingham from whence hailed the good Robin and his merry bunch. They were fit, athletic, amusing and were very successful in everything they did.They prepared and maintained their own budgetary process and generally made sure all were fed and clothed without the introduction of VAT, payroll taxes, excessive duties and other draconian tariffs disguised as Community Enhancement Fees. Our Premier needs to study history to see how it was done.
        Comparing mr bush with Robin is outrageous and had the latter been alive the former and CNS could well have been the subject to some serious litigation.

        • Anonymous says:

          You live in the West Bay electoral district Mr Johnson but, with respect, where you live  is hardly what is understood as West Bay in the minds of most Caymanians so the first six words of your post are rather disingenuous. The rest of your post, however, is whimsical and very amusing, coming from someone born in Nottingham and knowing therefore just how unreliable and dubious, historically speaking, the whole wonderful legend of Robin Hood is. What we in Cayman cannot shy away from is the fact that Mr Bush, unlike Mr Hood, is categorically provable as a historical figure and we have to cope with his very real robbing………….whether it be of the rich or the poor, expatriate or local.

          • Chris Johnson says:

            Thank you for noting my current address. I do not wish to be disrespectful but many of my West Bay friends recall my living on Town Hall Road and later Mount Pleasant. I played cricket on the two grounds for over twenty years and soccer at the Town Hall ground for several years and in addition worked on Rotary projects from the eighties to a couple of years ago at the old Bonaventure Home for boys. I recall the Blue Horizon Club, Hell as it was and MCDooms.
            Meanwhile I continue to express my opinion on the disarming manner in which this country has been run which is a far cry when we had Mr Benson amongst many other good men on board.
            In conclusion we probably share the same views but I wanted to inform you that I have been around the block a bit and not just in Sherwood.

            • Anonymous says:

              There are other differences between Bush and Mr Benson, one earned the right to the "Mr" title, the other earns the right to disdain. One did his political time for the benefit of the Islands, the other to benefit himself, in my humble opinion!

          • SSM345 says:

            Isn't CJ's house about 20yds from the WB Fire Station?

            Thats West Bay last time I checked.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      I am not sure that the Robin Hood image is one that mr bush would find that attractive. Remember, Robin used to run around in green tights with a feather in his hat, and lived in the forest with a bunch of chaps.

      • Sherwood says:

        Skeptic are you implying he was gay? Well according to maid Marion he was pretty normal except for his fallen archers.

  28. Anonymous says:

    only in cayman….

    mckeeva sums everything that is wrong with this place….