Mac conciliatory in reply

| 10/10/2013

(CNS): Despite the criticisms of him in the premier’s policy statement and things which he described as “not right", the opposition leader made a conciliatory reply to the government’s throne speech and budget address when the House resumed on Thursday. The first to speak in the budget debate, McKeeva Bush said he was giving the government as "wide a berth" as possible and was willing to let some of the things said go as he put them down to the “euphoria of being elected ” to office. The UDP leader said the budget was no surprise and there was even a lot that he agreed with. However, he noted that much of the $100 million surplus would come from fees that his government had implemented.

Bush said he was not surprised that the campaign promise by the PPM to cut fees had not been met because he knew that the new government would have a hard time bringing the budget as the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office was not going to change.

“They have been like that for a thousand years. They are not going to change, no matter what he said about his new relations with them,” the opposition leader stated, referring to the current premier’s position that things had improved between London and Cayman. “Him and his grinning is not going to change things.”

Bush made much of his position that he was not going to nit-pick and go out of his way to find an opposition view.  “We have had enough of that destructive attitude over the last four years,” Bush told his legislative colleagues. “The opposition can’t be the 'same old same old' as it has been,” he said, adding that he intended to ignore the jibes and he hadn’t made it as far as he had in politics without learning something.

“We are one Cayman and we have nowhere to go," he said in the first of several reference to him having just one passport (a Caymanians one), clearly aimed at his fellow West Bay MLA and government minister, Tara Rivers. “We must work to build things up and not to tear them down," he said. “We are here to offer good ideas and not mash down on whatever is being attempted. My purpose here is to work. I am a worker and if I can’t be given a chance to help, I won’t be a hindrance,” Bush added.

The opposition leader said that when the debate was concluded and legislators made it to Finance Committee, he would be asking about some things he had seen in the budget that need explaining but otherwise he was not going to make extensive criticisms, as he acknowledged some savings made by the government in the spending plan.

However, Bush emphasised his view that Cayman cannot survive unless it has outside investment and that would not come without getting outside people and the infrastructure projects off the ground.

“Our people must have jobs now. The country needs the projects because that’s the jobs. That is what we are elected to do — get business done so our people can maintain a good standard of living or we will become the crime capital of world. And we all know that and we all agree we need to stop that.”

He said that no matter how many people the police capture, they had to stop the crime happening in the first place.

Bush said he was not there "to crucify anyone or be spiteful" because there had been enough spite with Duncan Taylor, the former governor. Bush said that this "would be proven" as he went on to imply that the public purse had spent money on cars to take "his dog to the vet" but that wasn’t seen as abuse, and suggested that there was one rule for the governor and one for everyone else.

The opposition leader also lamented the lack of financing for MLAs' constituency work. He said that most elected members spent significant amounts of their salaries on constituents' needs, and noted that now they had to finance their own offices, as he made a bid to get his phone costs covered, saying that was how representatives kept in touch with the people that were elected to serve. He said government was paying for iPads but couldn’t help with the phone bills.

Looking back over his own time in office, he said that his government had accomplished much. While he didn’t do everything he wanted, he believed he had a solid list of achievements as they had kept the country afloat, even if nobody wanted to acknowledge that fact. From getting Cayman off the OECD Grey List and retaining the country’s credit rating, to the road side clean ups and tourism success, Bush listed what he felt were the positives from his time at the helm between May 2009 and December 2012.

Talking about the future and the very topical issue of unemployment, he suggested government hold a national personnel symposium to let everyone talk and air the issues relating to local employment and employers, and the creation of an accreditation system for good employers. He called for capacity building and retooling of local people to transform Caymanian workers to be best in world and ensure the competitiveness of the economy. Bush said the country had to build a better work ethic and life skills training for young people to generate passion for excellence.

As he wound up his response to the throne speech, he once again emphasised his single Caymanian passport, adding that he had “nowhere to run to”. Cayman, he said, could not afford four more years of fussing and fighting, as he referred to the opening of his presentation when he quoted from the Ernie Smith song.

Closing his response to the government, Bush continued to be conciliatory. “The government has announced some things I am in tune with and that I support … My purpose is to work and I will do my part to help.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I believe that the MACster is positioning himself to be premier again.


    I would bet even money (only if gambling was legal in Cayman, of course) that the MACster will get in again in 3 and 1/2 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      He'll have to get it first

    • Anonymous says:

      And I agree with you, that is the Cayman way the UDP and PPM just take turns..Beside nithing will happen for the next 3.5 yearsexcept thing that were already started. The PPM has no money to spend on big buildings.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Pardon me for asking, but isn't this the same fellow slated for appearance in court to face criminal charges?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mandella, spent two decades in jail..

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no comparison between Mandela and McKeeva. Mandela was imprisoned under a corrupt apartheid system XXX.

  3. Anonymous says:

    mac….rubbish in government and rubbish in opposition….

    retire now……

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    BoBo Booooreing

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t blame Mac one bit for not saying much. He was beaten down for the last four years by everyone for anything people could think up. A far as the surplus surely people must realize that this is just a ruse anyway, they conveniently left out the fact the most of that money will be used to pay bills so it’s not actually a surplus if it’s money already spent But still way better than the PPM left thing when last they were in office. The one thing Mac did do was do whatever he could to get the economy rolling again and some of these things were not popular decisions so yes the PPM is benefiting from some of the things that were started during the last administration.  He was willing to say what needed to be said instead just saying what he thought people wanted to here, which is what the PPM did during their whole campaign promises promises promises is what they made knowing that they were all empty, so now they have managed to bamboozle their way into office for another  4 years the change the cayman needed is not going to happen under PPM Rule, not saying that Bush was any better but Alden is certainly showing his true colors.


    I do commend him on not playing the oppose everything put on the table game playedby the PPM for the last four years, it is utterly self-defeating to Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Troll My A$$, some people cant see the forest from the trees, Blindness is rampant in Cayman..

    • Grandfather Troll says:

      Anon 7:51, you seem to know everything about politics and politicians.  Why don't you get yourself elected next time around and show us how it's done.

    • Anonymous says:

      You could call it 'upholding the law' rather than 'opposing everything'

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love him or hate him, you have to admit that this man is a master politician!

    • The Thinker says:

      Yeah, and politicians are only a little ahead of bank robbers and perverts on my list!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately the term 'master politician' has become a disgrace to the term 'intelligent leader'.

    • Anonymous says:

      He is a master politician, if your IQ is below 80.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Like My Friend Ezzard

    Says, only a fool or a dead man can’t change his mind and clearly McKeeva is neither of the two. We need to give him a chance to prove him self as a constructive opposition leader. I think his speech was well said andhe need to stick to what he said and perhaps we will see a more united country, Gods knows we need it.

    I too believe that the FCO will never change as the are afraid that if we are given much and make much from it that it may threaten their stability in the competing businesses that both countries are involved in. FCO should be the last to talk about debt service ratio when they have one of the worst in the Europian union.

    • The Thinker says:

      "only a fool or a dead man can't change his mind".   I see no reason a fool can't change his mind. Honourable Mac has changed his mind several times, and he sure isn't dead!  Ezzard must have mis-spoken.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh no we don't!

    • Diogenes says:

      When did Ezzard last change his mind on something?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mac is a smart man. He knows what needs to be done to calm the masses! Right now a quieter role is a better way to regroup his political thoughts and get back his humblness. He ain’t going no where right now. He just obverserving and waiting. Just like Ezzard and, Alden. The more experienced are just leaving them to their own devices knowing they’ll soon be calling. Mckeeva deserves a calmer role anyway. Let PPM stress it out now. Let the burden rest on their backs. They wanted it? They got it, right? So let’s see how soon we will see all these” changes” they promised us! We waiting…..

    • Bling Man says:

      I waiting on da verdic from da judge.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe we could be studying English while we be waiting. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The only thing Mac is smart about is using Foolio and others just like him to ride roughshod over Caymanians where they could.  He needs to answer to the people of the Cayman Islands where we are going to get money just to pay our living expenses because of him giving away so much of our money to buy him big names.  He should go to prison for what he has done to the country during his 4 years.  Alden is an honest man and has already started giving the country a much more honest rating than the famous "MacCastro" has done. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    I heard this tale a long time ago and it fits this current situation all too well.


    The Scorpion and the Frog

    One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.

    The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.

    Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.

    "Hellooo Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"

    "Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?" asked the frog hesitantly.

    "Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"

    Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. "What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!"

    "This is true," agreed the scorpion, "But then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"

    "Alright then…how do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?" said the frog.

    "Ahh…," crooned the scorpion, "Because you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!"

    So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

    Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

    "You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

    The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog's back.

    "I could not help myself. It is my nature."

    Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.

    Self destruction – "Its my Nature", said the Scorpion…

    If you know what this story means then just click Like.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I must say…  I never saw this coming! 

    • Anonymous says:

      As Tarrus Riley say…..'I sight the fullness without mi glasses'

  12. Anonymous says:

    Wow, simply wow, never saw this coming, I guess its true, whilst there is life there is hope … perhaps there is hope for Mac afterall

  13. Anonymous says:

    This attitude proofs again it is only about me me and me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can't wait to read the comments on this article! LOL

  15. Anonymous says:

    well after his abysmal four years in power he can't comment too much….

    which is a pity because the ppm deserve a real opposition and also deserve severe criticism for their budget which condemns cayman to more economic stagnation…. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I am fed up with the carping and bitching between our politicians.  Personally I am not of the view that being obstructive and flaming each other is productive or conducive to an effective opposition.  All it does is set a bad example to the community and serves to divide the community further.  Much better if our politicians act and negotiate like adults instead of kids in a schoolyard.  I like the new Mac… well almost, and IF he genuinely is turning over a new leaf!  Although he got a big fail when he started to talk about the ex gov – let himself down there he was doing so well up to that point!

      • Anonymous says:

        This is not the new Mac ,This is the Mac  that have lost his power and still remembers how he got it !st time . I say to the people of the Cayman islands do not forget what mac has done in the past . Ican still  remember from !940 til today . So just watch Mac giving/ trying to get things done/ saying that was because what he put in place &so on . Remember Mac is well seasoned polition with gold & silver . You just have to remember till next election ..


  16. Anonymous says:

    FCO not going to change? Why should they? Spending more than you earn is never a good idea, you just go broke. So many point out on here, that they don't want the UK anyway so don't expect the UK to pick up the bill for Cayman's bad spending habits. If Cayman goes independent with no one to watch over the MLA clowns, it will go bust for sure.

    • Savannah Resident says:

      Why does everyone always assume this country will go bust if its independent?  All same to use Jamaica as the primary example, yet very few know why Jamaica failed.  

      Furthermore, why aren't people up in arms for the excess expenditure spent on the Governor? As a people, we are quick to scrutize the local arm of government for excess expenditures yet there is absolute silence regarding the allocation of the budget for a unelected Governor, whose remit goes without question. 

      • Dear Savannah says:

        Dear Savannah,

        For five generations my family has upheld our UK – Cayman relationship in work and in deed. 

        Please do not be so short sighted as to think we can be more successful than any of our Caribbean cousins when it comes to independence.

        The only thing that independence has brought our Caribbean cousins is cronyism & corruption and we know that is already a problem here so why tempt the sinner with more?  Two-party politics, poverty, and promises – THAT is what you will get and we are already dangerously close!!!….look to the Eastern Caribbean if you want to look past Jamaica my friend.  The view is not good.  Look to tiny St. Kitts and see what happens when the UK pulls out, look to St. Lucia and their crime rates, look to Antigua for black lists- like what you see?  Not me.

        If you truly love this country, then remain loyal to our forefathers and not fall into the greedy corrupt trap of independence. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Its about transparency, honesty and being able to count…have not seen much of that around. Jamaica is a train wreck for much the same reasons, Turks went down because of same, Trinidad a real mess, Haiti…how many more do you need to understand that most politicians in this region are incapable of thinking about anything other than there own pockets, unless they got a "mother" watching them.

      • Anonymous says:

        If Cayman when independant, who who protect thier borders, the unarmed RCIPS or maybe the Cayman Cadets. You can't be independant if you have no army…..That is all just talk, there's no way Cayman can go it alone..

  17. BORN FREE says:

    Conciliatory? If he is not blaming others as always, he is attempting to take credit for the success of the projected $100 million surplus by the PPM government. A leopard cannot change it's spots, & for sure McKeeva Bush will never change his. Hurry come September 2014, we will all be free, free from wrong!

    • Anonymous9 says:

      That is exactly what I was thinking!!

      Love this comment… So perfect in its simplicity.

  18. Anonymous says:

    They beat him until he sound like a sheep dog in the LA.

    Goodbye Mac