CI premier may still get honorary Jam doctorate

| 12/12/2012

phd_degree_mug (276x300).jpg(CNS): The dean of the University College of the Caribbean has confirmed that the institution has had to change its arrangements for Thursday’s commencement ceremony as a result of the arrest of the Cayman Islands premier; however, it may still bestow an honorary doctorate at a later date. McKeeva Bush was scheduled to give an address on integrity at the ceremony when he was also set to receive a Doctor of Public Service degree for his years of service as Cayman’s longest serving legislator. Bush was described by the college as a friend of Jamaica who took risks on behalf of Jamaicans living in Cayman.

Dr Herbert Thompson, chancellor of the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), told the Gleaner Tuesday that Bush had done a lot of things for Jamaica and other nationalities who were struggling in Cayman. "He did some risky things and the Jamaicans there will sing his praises every day," Thompson told the Jamaican press.  He said that Bush had made his presence felt at a time when several Jamaicans living in Cayman were without status or citizenship. He was referring to the 2003 status grants, when close to 3000 people were given the right to be Caymanian, many of whom were Jamaicans who had lived and worked in the Cayman Islands, in some cases for decades, with no rights.

Bush was taken into custody by police Tuesday in connection with a corruption investigation. The police revealed more than 18 months ago that Bush was under investigation over financial irregularities. Then in April of this year, following comments by the governor that there was a second probe into Bush, the police commissioner confirmed the RCIPS were investigating two further matters relating to the premier confirming that three separate enquiries were on-going.

However, Thompson appeared to believe that Bush's arrest, days before he was to be conferred with the honorary degree, was political. "We don't know what this is about. A lot of what is happening is a political thing, and the timing could not have been worse," he said, adding that while the arrest had forced the university to alter its plan it had not ruled out conferring the honour at a later date.

“We will make some adjustments, but we are not passing any judgement and we hope that whatever difficulties they have will blow over and the truth will come out," he stressed.  "We had made it clear as to why we felt that McKeeva Bush was a good person to be a commencement speaker," Thompson said." McKeeva Bush, as premier, deserves his day in court like any other person."

Local personality Robert Hamaty, the retired Jamaica honorary consul to Cayman, told The Gleaner that many people in Cayman were shocked by the arrest. "It is a sad day,” Hamaty told the paper. “No matter who it is or what it is, it is not a nice situation to have your first premier under investigation…I don't think anybody expected it to come to this. It is a sad day, but we can't say anything until we hear what is happening. A person is not guilty until convicted," he added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I just saw the notes McKeeva's prepared for his speech. It says the Honda Integrity is a very kris car, and the 2013 model with heavily tinted windows should sell well in Jamaica. Thank you very much, and thanks for the stethoscope.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Thompson is having a terrible time with guest speakers. Last year Buju Banton cancelled at the last minute. The year before that it was Dudus……

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am a Jamaican, so believe me when I say this, Dr. Thompson, please be quiet and engage brain before putting mouth into gear.   You are an embarrassment to intelligent, well-meaning Jamaicans who know what 'INTEGRITY' truly means.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Many times you can't see the fire, but you can smell the smoke from a far off.  You know what I mean?  The retired honorary counsel should perhaps see a doctor to have his nose examined, cause most of us could smell the smoke from a long time ago.  Now the fire has begun to appear.

  5. Anonymous says:

    "… He did some risky things and the Jamaicans there will sing his praises every day,"  Oh yes he did Mr. Thompson and I can assure you that the majority of Caymanians have never forgotten nor have we forgiven him for those "risky things" of 2003!!   Those risky things that he did for the benefit of your Jamaicans were not a benefit for Caymanians or our beloved Cayman Islands, in fact, we consider it the beginning of the mess that we are now in.

    Here is a suggestion Mr. Thompson, since Jamaicans love the Cayman Islands' Premier so much perhaps your country will return the favour and bestow upon him an honorary Jamaican citizenship so that he can migrate there and live permanently amongst the people who love him so much .. that is if he finds himself free at the end of the ongoing investigation. Just sayin …

  6. Anonymous says:

    One would hope a chancellor of a university would be a lot better at understanding and using the English language. Sheeeesh

  7. Anonymous says:

    If he's being investigated, shouldnt they take away his passport so he doesnt flee? 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:

    He was supposed to deliver an "address on integrity"?????????????????  LMAO  What a disgrace to that establishment and an insult to Jamaica and its poeple if this is what they measure integrity by.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Ham, no one expected it to come to this.

    You are kidding right!!!  ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

    Well well I guess the powers are fading.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mickey Mouse comments from a Goofy "DR" Thompson, from a Daffy "University", do we really need to take these idiots seriously enough to care what they say…..?

  11. peter milburn says:

    PHD???Piled High and Deeper.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to worry this is Jamaican politics rearing its ugly head the kind that has destroyed its beautiful country.  God save the Queen; Long live our noble Queen, not in the Cayman Islands, TCI, BVI, Bermuda and Anguilla.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It is obviously a Mickey Mouse "university" so we should pay no attention to it or to herbert Thompson.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This was intended to influence the outcome of the upcoming election

    this is jam politck at its best

  14. Knot S Smart says:

    So now instead of the award being a 'Doctorate of Integrity' it will now be a

    'Doctorate  Fa Hepin Jacans'

    • Anonymous says:

      It was always admitted to be that. Somehow they confused that with integrity. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Hamaty, most people would agree that it is a sad day indeed for the Cayman Islands,  however I cannot agree that this came as a surprise. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    In light of the investigation going on against Mr. Bush, the University in Jamaica has to think twice about giving any honors to him. For them to continue with the honorary degree for Mr. Bush will be a disgrace to the institution and would make such honors meaningless to those who will receive them in the future.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Hamaty, ” no- one expected it to come to this”. Seriously? Almost everyone expected it to come to this! Let’s not hope the investigation extends to the beloved status ” give away” including to many who already had rights in Cayman. “Risky business” ( as described by Thompson) could be the understatement of the year!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Who cares!!  The Jamaicans are paying him for all the status grants he gave out to them. Thank God they won't be able to capitalise on that again!!

    • Anonymous says:

      They are capitalising on it now and will do so in the next elections in which they will be allowed to vote.

  19. Anonymous says:

    "We don't know what this is about. A lot of what is happening is a political thing…".

    What an outrageous unfounded statement to be made by a university college president.

    "… we are not passing any judgement and we hope that whatever difficulties they have will blow over and the truth will come out". You have obviously passed a judgement if you believe that the truth coming out is necessarily consistent with whatever difficulties they have blowing over. 

    Dr. Thompson, your university college has damaged its own reputation by proposing such an honour to someone whom you must have known from some 18 months ago was under police investigation for possible corruption. Do you not conduct any due diligence on individuals before you honour them? To have invited him to speak on the subject of "Integrity" beggars belief. Ironically, it was the proposed honour that was "political".     

    • Anonymous says:

      Please do not be perturbed. Those stupid honourary degrees are not worth the paper they are printed on.  This won't blow over- it is just the begining!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be interesting to know who else this university has bestowed this great honor on. Captain Morgan PHD perhaps? Afterall he was knighted, an admiral, lieutenant governor and acting governor of Jamaica. 


    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Bush deserves the honor, only haters would say otherwise. But the UDP supporters still love and support Mr. Bush and we are not deserting him. 

      Thanks to the University for having the will to honor this good man. In his own country there is no honor from some.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can honestly say that in almost 5 decades of living in Cayman I have never once heard the word "integrity" used in connection with Mr. Bush until this honour came up. While he has been claimed to be a strong leader, a smart politician, to look out for his own, and be good for business, those claims have been used to respond to, and apparently outweigh, any suspicions of corruption.


        Furthermore, the primary basis of the award – the 2003 status grants – was not on any sensible view of the matter based on integrity or principle. Mr. Bush himself claimed that the UK made him do it. If that is true then he cannot claim any credit for it. He cannot have it both ways. There is an learned opinion from a leading UK constitutional expert that the grants were probably illegal. The process did not reflect any principle at all. There was no objective criteria, no screening of candidates, no notice to the public and no proper consideration of the merits of each grant. It was based on whose list you appeared on. It was all done in secret until, after some 500 grants, it was finally leaked to the public. Many deserving candidates who had lived in Cayman for 15+ years did not receive grants while others who had only recently arrived, and indeed some did not reside here, received grants. UCC has admitted the honour was really for helping Jamaicans which they equate with integrity.


        In short, it had none of the hallmarks of a sincere attempt to address any human rights concerns. Instead, it will live in infamy in Cayman's history as a massive betrayal of trust to Caymanians. The honour is in fact an insult both to Caymanians and to honest Jamaicans since itsuggests that Jamaica has a very low standard for integrity.  


        This has nothing at all to do with hating McKeeva Bush but instead about respect for truth. Frankly, people like you scare me. It is all a bit Jim Jonesian.