What will it take?

| 17/09/2012

The recent news of the demise of Cayman’s parrot and the latest revelations that the ghost orchid has been added to a list of the top most endangered species in the world should have been a rude awakening for our environment minister but there is still no news on the national conservation law (NCL). For more than ten years now government has been toying with the need for a law to protect the environment but for ten years it has persistently caved in the face of objections from developers.

During the election campaign the current government promised to enact the law if they were elected, but since coming to office there have been several rounds of consultation but nothing of substance has been done to move what was already a weakened bill along.

Here we are facing the destruction of mangroves on what is now a regular basis, the possibility of dredging for canals from the North Sound to Seven Mile Beach, the constant clearing of land for subdivisions, few if any environmental impact assessments being undertaken even on major protects, and now one of the country’s national symbols is under threat of extinction. But there is still no sign of the law.

In just over six weeks the Bill of Rights which forms part of the Cayman Islands 2009 Constitution will come into effect, which formalises the right of environmental protection and requires government to “foster and protect the environment” and enact legislation to protect the heritage and wildlife as well as the biodiversity of the Cayman Islands, which could see people taking legal action against government in future in the face of any kind of environmental risk.

It now begs the question, what will it actually take to force government’s hand over the issue of the environment and the necessary legal protection?

The reluctance of each and every government to push this legislation through is illogical: their reasons for dallying are essentially economic, but the economic loss to the Cayman Islands in terms of tourism and investors could be far, far greater than the reduction in the currently unchecked development. As the environment diminishes, so will the level of visitors and those willing to come and work on the islands. While a few developers and construction firms make money out of the endless building of apartments, which mostly remain empty as well as unattractive, the entire economy slowly loses out as the beauty of the islands fades.

It must have been said by thousands of people, thousands of times that people chose to holiday or vacation here in Cayman because it is beautiful and different. They do not want a replica of the Florida coast but a Caribbean island; they want natural vistas not views of more condos; they want the sound of parrots not cement mixers, and to see ghost orchids not crotons.

Investors who chose to establish their firms here or the companies that serve them do so because this is an attractive place and some of the world’s best financial and legal minds are willing to come here to live and work because it is so beautiful.

Aside from the risks of losing our tourism product and reducing the islands' attractiveness to those we want to set up shop here because of the government’s failure to protect the islands natural beauty, Cayman is also particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and sea level rises. Not only should our government be going out of its way to pass meaningful and enforceable legislation to protect our own environment locally, our leaders should also be agitating on the world stage for greater environmental responsibility everywhere to halt the potential impact the major economies are having on the planet.

The melting of the arctic icecaps as a result of global warming, which will in turn increase sea levels, is a pressing and critical danger for Cayman and other small low lying islands. We will be among the first to return to the ocean as global warming takes effect, yet we cannot even protect our own mangroves.

The government has so far listened to developers because they have been both successful in spreading misinformation about the impact of the NCL on landowners and because they have applied pressure directly on successive administrations. In Cayman with no real environmental NGOs that are free to campaign and agitate, the needs of the environment are constantly undermined.

While the Department of Environment and the Cayman Islands National Trust have both pressed for the law, as a government agency in the case of the first and an organisation dependent on government funding in the case of the second, neither is in a position to place significant pressure in the way it is required.

Cayman desperately needs to establish a local chapter of either Greenpeace of Friends of the Earth that can fund raise and, more importantly, galvanise the silent majority that supports the law and that can compete effectively for the ear of government with local developers and have the law enacted.

It may already be too late for the ghost orchid and our national bird, and with almost 47% of local plants on the international endangered ‘red list’, time really is running out for many others. But there are some 415 native plants as well as bats, lizards and marine creatures in Cayman, some of which still have a chance at survival. However, that survival will depend on lawful protection, which is the hands of our politicians.

While we all understand that crime, budgets, cruise terminals or deals with the Dart Group may be occupying people’s minds and government’s legislative agenda, without environmental protection it won’t be long before there isn’t a George Town in which to place a cruise terminal or a West Bay road to move. 

Cayman’s environment is in serious trouble and the government needs to act. When the election campaign begins next year, every voter should demand to know where potential candidates stand on the NCL and hold those who had the chance to address the issue, but failed, accountable.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It will take a reasonable Environment Law that does not give the director of the Department of Environment gestapo powers.

    • Anony says:

      Which Gestapo power, please?

      We're all tired of these claim, with nothing to back it up. Quote your source (line from the Law) or stop scaremongering.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is it true that swamp makes up 66% of Grand Cayman then it can't be endangered. Its got to be areas of red clay, or cliff rocks. Then we should save the red clay for farming to save the native human population. Only swamp land should be used to develop. 

    Beaches should also be saved and when the houses and hotels and condos reach 30 years they should not be reconstructed on the beach no more. The beach should be open to all the native population for swimming ,fishing, parties and other events. Properties across the street like all over the world will be the proper place for hotels and condos. Isn't this true?

    Becareful what you wish for ,other people in a far greater majority have demands also.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why do the people on this arguement still deny the inevitable rising of the sea? Why are you worried on placing a band aid on something you cannot fix. Why don't we worry about jobs for caymanians? They are the real endangered species. Why don't you suggest laws to protect the native species of this island, the Caymanians ? Maybe you can't see the future. But I predict that what happened in other small island countries will happen here . 

    • Oh How Terrible says:

      Let's employ all unemployed Caymanians to build a big dyke around Grand Cayman.  Two problems solved in one idea.

      • Anonymous says:

        Employed by whom? CIG? Doesn't compound our existing govt. expenditure problem?

  4. Just Commentin' says:

    The prime reason that the 2009 Draft of the National Conservation Law (NCL) has not been passed is that in its present form it is still way too extreme. I might give the UDP hell here at times but I am glad to know that they are sensible enough not to pass the law in its present form.

    Before I continue, please know that I am in the "pro-environment" camp: I have volunteered for and was a part of the National Trust in the days of its infancy. As the Trust grew, I helped negotiate with a generous benefactor who made a very nice and much-needed donation to the Trust. I was a very pro-active participant in the meetings and public discussions back in the day of Dace McCoy-Ground in regard to the establishment of Marine Parks and expansion of the existing marine environmental regulations, including protection for spawning grouper, which I still avidly support. Don Foster, myself and others tried to make our voices heard and we succeeded. I am not anti-environment; however, I do believe that we must find a prudent and viable balance between the built environment and the natural environment.

    The idea of a prudent balance seems to be something the most outspoken proponents of the NCL turn a blind eye to. Far too often, when "environmentalists" speak of the "environment" they seem to refer only to the natural environment and yet they usually spend most of their time working, eating, loving,shopping, being entertained, and sleeping, in their built environment. Our very lives tell of the importance of finding that balance.

    However politically incorrect this may sound, if in the course of achieving the ideal and prudent balance of the built environment and natural environment some centipedes get squished, too bad. Chew on this: Under the new NCL there will be no more stepping on centipedes or smooshing scorpions without first confirming that the species you are executing is not on the protected list! Under the draft NCL – Part 1 and Part 2 – certain varieties of centipedes and scorpions are protected species! Smooshing or flitting or otherwise harming thse bugs makes the smoosher a criminal and subjects the heinous offender to a half-million-dollar fine and 4 years in Northward!) Which is another problem with this horridly draconian law. Most prudent broad-sweeping laws have measured and escalating penalties for a range of violations, not the draft NCL. There are no offenses that are simple "write a ticket and appear in summary court and pay a reasonable fine" misdemeanours. All violations are full-on Grand Court white-wig criminal cases. Under the new NCL you could spend many tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to defend yourself if you are charged with hitting the wrong species of sand fly with a fog of Bop!  If convicted as a sand fly serial killer you will be branded with a criminal record and suffer all the negative consequence that accompany such a record.

    Here is what it will take to get a new NCL passed: I am a rational pro-environment "moderate" and I do think we need a new law – but not this law. Those who are clamouring for passage of a law that makes it a jail-time crime to spray a cloud of Raid Flying Insect Killer on a swarm of pesky Cayman Brac Sand Flies fail to see that moderates like me are the ones that need to be convinced. In order to see a new NCL pass it must not offend the sensibilities of us moderates. This is where the NCL Bill 2009 absolutely fails!  No government with any sense of responsibility is going to pass a mindless law that offends moderate constituents. Aggressive environmentalists think nothing of running rough-shod over the views of the moderates on the NCL issue, much to their disadvantage. Any law that makes it a jail-able offence to smack a certain scorpion or hoe up a patch of certain weeds is way beyond anything I deem supportable by persons possessing any sanity. Thank GOD the UDP possesses enough sense not to pass the NCL bill!

    It seems that a many pro-NCL folks have the simplistic belief that if we pass the NCL all our furry, scaly, and green friends will be protected against the ravages of development and will all live happily ever after. CNS places much emphasis on the role of a shadowy cadre of "developers" in blocking passage of the law. Looking at the true picture: More laws will make very little difference to the influential developer but will complicate things in a big way for the everyday man. Do you hear opposition to the NCL from the big developers? Nah. It is mostly the smaller to medium-sized developers and land owners and people involved in the construction industry locally that are voicing concern and opposing the passage. Why? Did it ever occur to anyone that the concern is genuine and valid? Perhaps the governments are not "caving in"; maybe they are doing what is sensible and right and protecting us from a terribly flawed law.

    Developers in tight with whoever is in power at the time have little to worry about if the NCL passes. The bigger the developer, the less concerned they need to be. Large multi-national development companies have staff dedicated to negotiating exceptions to, or steering around, local ordinances controlling development. Our governments have a track record of caving in to the big developers and allowing them "concessions" the small businessman would never get. If a smaller developer wants to build a neighbourhood clinic and nesting parrots or ghost orchids will be displaced, there will be a problem. But I seriously doubt a Shetty or a Dart will have to worry about some measly parrots (or scorpions or sea urchins) side-tracking their grand plans.

    The reason that the mangroves are being plowed up is not because they have no protection under existing laws, but that developers get permission by government to destroy them. The new NCL is no panacea for preventing that type of environmental damage, because, like existing laws it allows the "Governor-in-Council" (meaning for all practical purposes the "Cabinet") to make amendments and exceptions (concessions) as it sees fit.  I hate to burst idealistic bubbles but no amount of new laws will stop a ship channel or cross-island canal if a big developer can convince a Premiere and his Cabinet to allow him to dig. And there you have it! Back to square one.

    And another thing…!!! If the new NCL gives any meaningful protection to all aforementioned "415 native plants as well as bats, lizards and marine creatures in Cayman" as well as the listed scorpions, lizards, centipedes, sand flies, lizards, sea urchins, and many not-so-endangered trees and plants, etc, we humans will be the ones needing to worry about our habitat vanishing!

    • Truthseeker Too says:

      JC – your genuine concerns might receive better acceptance if you did not exaggerate the position in relation to protected species.  For example,    unless you live in Little Cayman, are intent on digging in the soil AND a conservation plan has been actually put in place  under the law you have little fear from Leptophilus caribaeanus – the centipede ilist in Part II of the Schedule.   You should not be raising a fear in residents of Grand Cayman who encounter the common Scolopendra  morsitans under a flower pot.

    • Green Mango says:

      Unfortunately Just Commentin’ fails to take in to account some basic issues.


      1. Proportionality and responsibility. The court (and before that the police and the prosecution) must weigh any decision to arrest, charge or prosecute against what is, in essence, common sense. Could the person who stepped on the centipede or ran over the pedestrian have avoided what they did? Should they have been expected to? It’s why we sometimes have no charges laid in cases that might look like vehicular manslaughter. Its why, if you step on a centipede, anyone suggesting you be charged with a crime will … well, they just won’t. It’s why we’re not charged for every ching-ching that gets hit by a car. After all, this species  is currently protected by the Animals Law from being killed in any way.
      2. There are no centipedes or scorpions on the NCL-Part 1 as suggested. It would help if, instead of falling in to the same hubris decried in proponents of the law, everyone sticks to the facts. Fortunately, anyone can double-check these for themselves as the Department of Environment has left the draft legislation online at http://www.doe.ky/laws/national-conservation-law/.  As for those species on NCL-Part 2, the way I read it is that they are only protected once a conservation plan has been passed (NCL 26(2)). A process that involves public consultation and final approval by the Cabinet.
      3. I am surprised that there is anyone in the Cayman Islands who doesn’t know that, except where a minimum sentencing tariff is indicated, the courts decide the appropriate penalty up to the limit allowed under the law. It is why we often see, again using our unfortunate road death example, sentences of much shorter than the maximum allowed under the law. That’s just the way it works. Pretending that some piece of draft legislation will somehow work opposite to general practice is a nice straw man but that’s all it is.
      4. The sand fly analogy is of the same kind, both in emotion and lack of proportionality, as the centipede above.
      5. Regarding hoeing up weeds I would ask the original poster to identify exactly which weed he is planning to hoe up that is listed on the National Conservation Law? Without specifics there is no way to judge if his claim is accurate or not. The very real problem is that plants commonly known to my grandparents generation (and perhaps the original poster’s), such as Tea Banker (Pectis caymanensis for those checking me against the NCL) are now critically endangered by the generally accepted terms of the words. I would like to know if Just Commentin’ or anyone else thinks that the few remaining ones should not be protected? And if they should be protected, how do they suggest that it be done, if not to list them as a protected species? Again, we can only have a rational discussion about this Law if we deal with the specifics.
      6. Interestingly I don’t see much objection to the NCL from anyone. Just Commentin’ has objected. But there is no indication whether he (or she) is an “influential developer”, a “smaller to medium-sized” developer or “involved in the construction industry”, though apparently speaking for those constituencies. Again, while “voicing concern and opposing the passage”, it would probably be helpful to those of us who generally support passing the Law if people could be specific about their objections. Which parts of the law do you want changed or removed? Then we can debate whether those parts are necessary or not and everyone can make up their mind for themselves (as Just Commentin’ has done). Until then, unfortunately, there will only be claims that the NCL is wrong without any ability to discuss what specifically is or is not wrong.
      7. However, I don’t think that anyone would believe that Just Commentin’s concerns are not genuine. There may be others whose concerns are disingenuous but they will probably lack Just Commentin’s conviction to sign their nom de plume to their posts.
      8. One of the interesting things is that the National Conservation Law has no carve-outs for “large multi-national development companies”. I am not disingenuous enough to suggest that just Commentin’s fear that “Developers in tight with whoever is in power at the time” might not be able “to negotiating exceptions to … local ordinances controlling development.” However, if this is a problem, if the avoidance of good development control (by whatever standard for good each individual wishes to apply; I will happily use Just Commentin’s for the time being) by some groups is a problem, that is not a reason not to try and implement good controls at all. This just means that our other social institutions need to be strengthened as the National Conservation Law tries to strengthen environmental consideration in development decisions. If anyone wants to build anything and “nesting parrots or ghost orchids will be displaced” that should be a problem. It should be a problem for all of us. It should be something we all object to. They are also not problems that are insurmountable as a nation. We need to decide, at a national level, not at the level of what will make an individual developer the most money, that we will preserve these species in the wild for future generations. I am happy that I am able to see Cayman parrots outside of an animal attraction. Around the world developers and countries large and small find ways to have development without displacing their national bird to the point that it becomes an endangered species or without paving over their critically endangered endemic orchids. I don’t think Caymanians are too stupid or too greedy to not be able to do the same. The National Conservation Law provides a framework to promote that balance. Frankly, as I read it, the law does not guarantee achieving it. But equally, it does not guarantee that developments large and small cannot continue either. (For fact checking purposes you will note (NCL 35(3)) that, outside of protected areas, etc., the decision makers such as the CPA need only “consult with the Council and take in to account any views of the Council”. Much the same as they now take in to account the views of the Departments of Planning and Environment when deciding about sea walls in South Sound. But I digress.)
      9. “The reason that the mangroves are being plowed up is not because they have no protection under existing laws, but that developers get permission by government to destroy them.” I would ask if anyone can point to any protection that mangroves specifically have under the laws of the Cayman Islands outside of a few narrow ‘mangrove buffers’? As we have recently seen with the sandbar stingrays area protection (Wildlife Interaction Zones in their case) appear to be ineffective species level protection if someone is intent on plowing them up, so to speak. However, Just Commentin’ is correct that government (or at least the CPA) does give the permission to plow up the mangroves be they in a ‘mangrove buffer’ or elsewhere. If we accept the argument (and this is the question) that mangroves and other terrestrial species are important then we need to find a way to preserve them where they are and as they are, not a few in a pots off a seawall (in the case of mangroves).
      10. Just Commentin’ and I are in complete agreement that “The new NCL is no panacea for preventing that type of environmental damage” or many others for the reasons sighted and several others relating to the inherent weaknesses of the National Conservation Law. Where we disagree is that these shortcomings of the Law mean that we should abandon all hope of saving anything if we can’t save ourselves form a cross-island canal. This is what we must all individually decide. If we cannot achieve absolute perfection should we at least try for better than now or should we settle for no improvement?
      11. Just Commentin’ is clearly under the misapprehension that those plants and animals listed are not part of our habitat already. While yes we all spend most of our time in the built environment the question is whether that means that we don’t want to save the rest of it or not? Or at least as much as we reasonably can. Despite pretending to attempt reasonable objection all Just Commentin’ has provided is ambiguous polemic. This helps no side.


      People should read the Law for themselves. Decide how much of the Cayman Islands natural environment they want to preserve. Then decide if the National Conservation Law will help achieve that. And if you have specific questions or objections raise them for informed discussion. But unsubstantiated claims, no matter how well intentioned, achieve nothing positive.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you Green Mango for sorting out the previous long winded contribution, I realize some effort was required and we appreciate it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow, you really went all in on THAT one! What a rebuttal! Über-harsh!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately for environmentalists the main argument which I feel they fail to make is the human aspect of it.  It is difficult to illustrate the repercussions if we 'smoosh a scorpion' but the ultimate reality is that without proper protection of the environment then ultimately it is the human race which is most at risk.  The environment will survive and adapt.  This is evidenced by many species, and I guess that is what you call evolution. 

      What I think you fail to understand in your argument, is that the strict liability and harsh penalities are there to discourage developers.  Because if penalities are 'reasonable'as you propose then it may be a question of a developer weighing out the options and still electing to smoosh the scorpion but then paying the fine.  If a developer can establish that paying the 'reasonable' fine is better because they will make a large profit then where is the deterrence which is supposed to happen through the NCL?

      While I take your argument that there does need to be a balance- I think somewhere they call that sustainable development- but sustainable development is actually my biggest pet peeve.  Because the only ones who have clung to sustainable development are the developers who wish to use this phrase to demonstrate their 'green' focus. 

      So there is a huge balance which needs to be struck, but ultimately we need to look to our survival as the leading reason for protecting the environment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Brilliant! Whoever you are, please run for office!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Any time I read articles like this, I am reminded of the fact that our National Hero with a statue erected by Caymanians, personally drove the bulldozer that demolished Fort George in George Town, our only really historical monument. That is not, of course, taught in the schools or mentioned in the various tourist materials. Nor is the fact that one of our increasingly popular politicians of today suggested in the last two years that farmers should be given $10 for each dead parrot produced as evidence. Any comments anyone other than just abuse at what I have said?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope,  Cayman is what it is, Caymanians are what they are.  Everyone should just plan accourdingly.

  6. Carla Reid says:

    Thank you for highlighting once again the obvious need for these islands to have a Conservation Law.

    In the absence of adequate legislation, the only means of preserving environmentally significant property is for the National Trust to own it.  Over the past twenty five years the Trust has been fulfilling its mission “to preserve natural environments and places of historic significance in the Cayman Islands for present and future generations”.  Today the fact that 5% of our land mass is protected is thanks to the National Trust.

    While the Trust receives a grant from the C I Government, it has been cut by approximately $100,000 over the past three years and covers less than a third of our operating expenses.  As an NGO we must therefore raise the funds necessary to cover the cost of operating our three core programs as well as for projects and land purchase. Despite this, we hold over 3,000 acres in trust for the people of these islands. 

    Too often it seems the Trust is criticized for not doing enough and rarely are its accomplishments recognized. 

    Carla Reid

  7. Anonymous says:

    Until the voters give a damn then the politicians will remain unconcerned with the environment. It is funny to listen to the lip service from the politicians when anyone with their head out of the sand knows that they just don't care. And I mean every politician doesn't give a damn.

    Don't even gety me started on the recycling disaster in the country, it is pathetic.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Most Caymanians take their little paradise for granted.


    They should all go to live in Northern Saskatchewan for two years. Then, coming home, they might appreciate what they have.


    No offence to Northern Saskatchewan but it is, after all, no tropical paradise.

    • Dame Surely says:

      Having travelled extensively in the Caribbean, no offence to the Cayman Islands but it is, after all, no tropical paradise.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is by comparison to most of the Caribbean.

        • Reality Bites says:

          One over-developed beach, no mountains and a landscape of relatively ugly scrub and swamp.  Not really a great start.  For visitors there is no culture or history of note either.  (There is of course things of interest in terms of culture and history if you are from Cayman, but it really is only of local interest).

          • Anonymous says:

            Yep, quite true, Reality Bites, and I have lived here for many years with Caymanians and still enjoy it. And I am not one of what is called in the US the 1% (multimillionaires) nowadays. So, you have made your point (horribly ungrammatically -"there is…..things……..but it"), now what?

          • noname says:

            Cayman has a mountain.  One they seem to be proud of.

          • Anonymous says:

            But you are still here, right? I wonder why. 

            • Reality Bites says:

              I am here for the easy cash.  Can't stand the place.  More I let my employer know I can't stand the place, the more they pay me to stay here.  Works out well.  But don't worry I will be out of here long before Mr. Balls or Mr. Cable pull the plug.

              • Ginger Chicken says:

                Thank you for saying it! You read these posts about how grateful expats should be to live in “paradise” when really we are putting up with the place. If I were paid the same here as at home I would be on the first flight back.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Thanks for acknowledging its all about the money. Now I wish the bleating would stop about how expats would like it make it your home if only the 'xenophobic' Caymanians would just grant you permanent rights. At least we can now put away that pretence.  One good thing about anonymous blogs is that it shows us the true nature of who we are dealing with.   

                  • Anonymous says:

                    God, are there people really as dull as this?

                  • Radical Cleric says:

                    Now, now.  Read carefully, because you are going to learn an important lesson.  Some people are mercenaries in Cayman for the cash and they always want to go home.  Some people are quite keen to settle in Cayman and become part of the community.  See what you did with your post?  You equated two comments with the entire expat population.  That was a bit silly to extrapolate like that wasn't it?  Here is the lesson for today – People are different.  Didn't you ever watch Sesame Street?  Now read carefully, this might blow your mind.  People change too.  Some arrive as mercenaries and then realise they want to stay.  Some arrive wanting to stay and realise they don't like the place as much as they thought.  Tarring all people with one brush is basically discrimination – it denies people their personal integrity.  So the term "xenophobic" is quite appropriately aimed at people who react they way you do, because your rush to portray everyone from a different ethnic background as yourself as having similar traits is good old fashioned racism.  And today is the day you realise you are a racist. 

                    • Anonymous says:

                      I like you.

                    • Pots and Kettles says:

                      Actually your rude and condescending tone only confirms my point. The funny thing is that expats post these things you rarely if ever see another expat condemning it. There are usually many thumbs up though.

                    • Cowitch says:

                      Your version of CNS allows you to see which posts and "thumbs" are from expats versus Caymanians? 

                • Anonymous says:

                  We should be grateful to expats like Ginger Chicken and Reality Bites because they honestly express their views about living in Cayman as far as they are concerned. I am an "expat"  with status, been here 40 years, didn't work in the type of jobs these turds are obviously working in. Yes, they are earning gazillions and are proud to boast about it and hate the place. Very sad. Life tends to even things out over time, though. So grab your money, chaps. You may need it one of these days when you are back in Blighty or wherever you come from.

                  • Ginger Chicken says:

                    I am glad you like Cayman.  I could not live here long term. We are different people. I came here with a relatively open mind but I found so much racism from the local population I could not live here long term.  I also miss a cultural life much more than I expected.  So now I am here for the extra money I can earn, and for that I am a "turd"?  I don't boast about what I make.  In fact because I am trying to save every cent I can you would not know what I earn from how I behave.  If living here 40 years has made you as judgmental as the racists I found at every turn, then I am glad that my future lies elsewhere.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      I am not the poster you replied to Ginger Chicken, but I can understand why your feathers were ruffled. I may be totally wrong, but your language sounds like you are from the UK. If so. you will be glad  to get out of racist Cayman and return to a racism free country like Britain – I understand that. UK citizens are fortunate to be able to hold their heads up high and say 'racism is a thing of the past, it exists no more in England's green and pleasant land".

                    • Anonymous says:

                      I'm not quite sure where this argument has sprung from, but this racist thing is not a thing of the past.  It is not necessarily the same as it was before as in free/slave or black/white.  Racism still exists however, and I think the racism that Ginger Chicken has seen here is expat/caymanian.  I know it is unfortunate, but it does exist.  I feel it all the time.  The problem is, that for some caymanians, they see expats as a threat.  people who come here for a good time and to earn some 'tax-free' money.  nothing really that they want to gain than that.  don't want to experience the culture.  although there is a degree of 'local interest' in our own culture it is not to say that it is not relevant and interesting to others.  perhaps if there was a bit of more open-mindness in this things could be interesting.  cayman is still young in terms of its history, but there is history all the same and it is interesting to anyone who wants to find it. 

                      I am sorry you feel this way Ginger Chicken, but please don't be fooled that there is no racism in your part of the world.  I know that there are stereotypes in the UK.  I know that the US still struggles with it, of course even with a black president, he has to be careful with how he says things.

                      I wish the world and cayman was a different place, but it is when someone feels threatened, scared and just generally misunderstands that racism can exist.

                    • Pots and Kettles says:

                      Caymanians are finally beginning to stand up for themselves which expats see as a threat and call it racism. For many expats pro-Caymanian and anti-expat are synonymous. They see it as a zero sum game. If it benefits Caymanians it must mean you hate expats.  

                    • Anonymous says:

                      I agree Pots and Kettles

                    • Anonymous says:

                      "I don't boast about what I make". But you associated yourself enthusiastically with the post from Reality Bites which did just that!!

                    • Anonymous says:

                      You are finding racists "at every turn", Ginger Chicken and are glad your future lies elsewhere.. I wonder where that presumably racism free society could be. Not the US or UK as I am sure you would agree, given your apparent laudable liberal sensibilities and I presume your reading of reputable newspapers and magazines such as the Economist.. I think in Cayman it is not so much racism as "small communityism/fear of them from outside" which can seem like the same thing as racism. If you move in the UK from London to Cornwall (or Stornoway or countless small communities throughout the UK) and live there for 50 years (as my father did and was an "incomer" all his life ) you will still be an outsider and viewed with a certain amount of suspicion. Racism Ginger Chicken?

                    • Ginger Chicken says:

                      The racism I was referring to is racism however you like to pretend it is something else.  I am referring to attitudes of Caymanians, not all, but far too many, to other nationalities, and that is considered racism by the UN and other international bodies and by any right-minded person who is not an apologist.  You should be disgusted at what you have become, and you are obviously just as bad as the other racists.  I can assure you I have lived in many many other countries, some with bigger race problems than others, but I can assure you I have never ever seen anything as endemic, institutionalized, public, self-justified or as poisonous as I have experienced in Cayman. 

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Erm, ok, GC. Don't you think your reponse to that poster was a bit "de trop" as we French say? I was sympathetic to your earlier comments but the last two sentences of this one could be construed as saying more about you than the poster you were slamming.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Oh wow, you have problems Mr/Ms Chicken. The fairly mild post from 19:42 did not deserve this nasty reponse from you and you come across as a naive and sanctimonious individual. That stuff about the "UN and other international bodies" and (gasp) "right minded person who is not an apologist" is absolutely hilarious. The rest of your post speaks for itself but happily not every reader of CNS is responsive to such self serving nonsense.

                    • Chris Johnson says:

                      Ginger Chicken I have only been here 44 years but I think you and I live on different islands. Obviously you are incapable of integrating with other nationalities in particularly Caymanians. Please leave the country and increase the average IQ of the remaining residents.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Thank you Mr Johnson. A typically sensible and straightforward remark from a fine gentleman. I just wish we all could, like you, use our own names.

                    • Ginger Chicken says:

                      My IQ is in the 140s.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Ah, well that says it all.

                    • Pots and Kettles says:

                      I guess you haev not lived in Britain or the U.S. then. What you are calling racism here pales by comparison to the real racism in those places. But I guess you don't notice it when the shoes is on the other foot.  

                    • Pots and Kettles says:

                      You're FINDINGracism in Cayman? Sound to me like you brought some of it.

                  • Reality Bites says:

                    I am sure that Cayman offers better long term prospects than wherever you came from for those who are in more basic employment. 

                • Anonymous says:

                  GC and RB may I sugegst you go home now.

                  Racism / Stereotype ..whatever..same thing.

                  I agree that there are a large numebr of Caymanians who have formed a single stereotypical view that non caymanians living in the country are greedy money grabbing individuals with no thought for anybody else but them and have recoiled /reacted against that image. That is what you are cllaing out as Racism and I woudl not condooine it. Their action is wrong and unfair to the non caymanians living among them who do not share those characteristics. Unfortunately however there is far too much evidence provided by Ex Pats supporting their stereotypes… and your posts are just that….RB to openly say that you extort your employer is probably the most sickening thing I have read from an Ex Pat.

                  For the sake of those people who I would hope would describe themselves not as 'Ex Pats' (who by definition are temporatily living away from the place they would wish to call home)  but as Non Caymanian residents of Cayman (those who live on the Island as a WP holder but do so in the hope and with the intention of integrating permanently into the community which they accept has its plusses and minuses) I would ask this. Please help break this self reinforcing and destructive cycle of mistrust by removing yourself and your corrosive views / behaviours from the mix.

                  Oh..but that would require you to care about others, not just how much money you can take out of the life in Cayman which it seems you do not so I guess you'll stay and Non Caymanian residents will continue to be tarred with your filthy brush (and consequently be rolled over and leave with heacy heart and rob Cayman of genuine contributiuon to the future with diverse but accommodating / tolerant ethnicity.

                  Thanks for nothing!

  9. Anonymous says:

    There is little use to try and try again to make Caymans leadership do the right thing for the future of these islands.  They do not have the ability.  Trying to make a little dog pull a big cart will not work no matter how hard you whip it.  If Caymanians do not have a REAL "honorable" leader in there somewhere then the island style will ultimately go the way of Caymanian parrots.  It is the will of the people.  No will=no future.  Plan accordingly.

  10. Anonymous says:

    what do you expect??? look at the type of politicians that caymanians elect….

    welcome to wonderland…… where the most educated, forward thinking people in society cannot evenvote or run for office……goodnight cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Some of the most educated forward thinking people can both vote and run for office.

      • Anonymous says:

        That has to be proven to be belived.  So far…….nothing.  Not even one.

        • Anon says:

          Are you seriously saying that you do not know one Caymanian whom you would regard as among the best potential candiates for office? Note I didn't say who are currently in office.

          • Truth says:

            Yes.  I am saying that.  
            Wait.  There are a few that can vote, are too smart to try and run for office because they are not considered "real" Caymanian that I wouldconsider best potential candidates for office.  But third world only votes for third world.  Hence the "Yes, I am saying that."

  11. Anonymous says:

    but we have caymankindness!!!!…………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  12. Stiritup says:

    Cayman Public "I wish to make a complaint.  The Cayman parrot, it is facing extinction"

    Mark Scotland "It is not facing exintction.  It's resting."

    Cayman Public "Look matey I know a species heading for extinction when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now"

    Mark Scotland "No no it's not headin' for extinction, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Cayman parrot, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!"


  13. Anonymous says:

    If cayman will be under water shortly as the polar ice caps melt, as you indicate, how will NCL save us?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mark Scotland is the Minister for Health and Environment. Recently he said that there could be no new mental health building until the legislation was in place. In order to balance that approach, he has decided that there can be no new environmental legislation until all of the building is in place.