Open letter to Tara Rivers

| 24/10/2013

It is not your fault that we put you on a pedestal and pinned all our hopes on you, this ‘girl from West Bay’, but it is your fault that you embraced that pedestal, climbed on top of it and reveled in the attention. I have no problem with you enjoying the view from up there and would be happy for you to continue to do so IF you actually did something worthwhile to prove you were worth it. To date, I have to say you have been an absolute,utter and total disappointment.

You have achieved nothing with your new found power except increase your personal wealth at the expense of the public you were hired to serve.

I am appalled that you pulled a ‘sickie’ instead of attending the session on the immigration bill last night and suspect that it was less to do with your being sick and more to do with your wishing to abstain from the vote without having to publicly acknowledge that you were abstaining. How much simpler just to be absent instead of having to have an opinion which might put you in the firing line!

Well, Tara, I have news for you. This is precisely why we hired you in the first place, so that you would stand in the firing line and stand up for your people – have a voice and make it heard. You are not hired to win friends but you are hired to influence people and to stand up for what you believe in. But as of right now, I’m not sure I know what it is you believe in. I do know what our premier and much of the Cabinet believes in and I do know what the opposition leader believes in and I even know what all the backbenchers believe in – all of them have voices and to date have not been afraid to use them.

I don’t always agree with everything everyone says but I appreciate the fact that they’re not afraid to say it. I have lost every shred of respect I had for you and am not only upset with you but upset with myself that I romanticized what I thought you could be – you could have been so much to so many, not least because you’re a woman and a woman from West Bay. You were so ahead of the game, Tara, and perhaps it’s unfair that we pinned so much of our hopes on you, but instead of you realizing what an advantage this was and being grateful for the support, whilst trying to maintain it by being a decent, honest and hardworking member of Cabinet, you seem to have thought that, instead, this offered you some sort of entitlement which excused you from having to do anything. WAKE UP AND START EARNING YOUR SALARY HONESTLY – please!

So many of us want so desperately to support you but as we sit in our various cubicles (those of us fortunate to have jobs) working hard to pay our bills, it’s very difficult to continue to support someone who pulls a sickie the day some of the most important legislation (at least since you were elected) is being debated. Today I wanted to stay at home sick but I showed up to work, despite not having to be here to debate groundbreaking legislation that will affect the lives of almost everyone in these Islands.

I have no idea what is wrong with you but I do know that even if you absolutely could not make the debate you could have voiced an opinion or just done something to show that you’re paying attention to what’s going on and that you care. Even if you were just paying lip service, we probably would have bought it – that’s how advantageous a position you previously held.

I sincerely hope you get back to work and prove that I’m wrong to be so utterly disappointed in you. I will happily sit corrected, although have to say with your current track record I doubt very much it will come to that.

Please prove me wrong.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    LOL. The McKeeva supporters are trying to milk this for all its worth. Makes Velma look good? Come now. Don't you people know that absence is a standard way to show disapproval of the Govt.'s policy when you are bound by collective responsibility within the Westminster model. It happened as recently as a few weeks ago in the House of Commons.   

  2. Anonymous says:

    The best man for the job is a Man. 

    PPM, stop all this BS show. You tried, you gave her a chance, Winston cant be in the background all the time pulling the strings. It will create some resentment, but it has got to be done. Tara would make a great junior.

    I like Tara and I have some respect for her, but it is getting very obvious that she is away for a lot of desisions process. No sense just having someone that could be educated and not have any political experience.

    Its not your fault Tara, the little merrimaid also did not know that "there is a whole new world" inside of politics once elected.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The point is this, the Cabinet have collective responsibility, therefore  she could not vote against the Bill if she was present, no matter if she wanted to or not. By staying away she has indicated that she was against the Bill, perhaps, and the only way to show that was not to be there for the vote……

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, except it's her ministry. She should have resigned if she couldn't support the bill. But then she wouldn't be important anymore.  It does not appear that  her principles were involved at all.

  4. Anonymous says:

    SoI suppose she couldn't have sent a vote by proxy?  Or written a letter stating her opinion? What a cop out!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Waste of space. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    It still early yet Bobo, you will be a lot more disappointed over the years.


    Mac had it right when he called C4C the "Coalition For Cash"!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Velma is starting to look good now!…lol..

    Tara the "Invisible!"

    I give it six months and Alden will reshuffle the cabinet and switch Winston into her place. Not that Winston isn't a "yes" man too. Still amazes me how people change so quickly with the trappings of political office.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tara will achieve a great many photo opprtunities and TV soundbites. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    It does seem that every time there is a critical issue concerning her area of responsibility, Counsellor Conolly has to step in and fill the gap.  Perhaps he should be the Minister – at least the shows up! 

  10. Dash Taylor says:

    Well done to the writer of the open letter to Tara. Its completely irrelevant whether Tara was really sick or not- at the very least she needs to stand up and be counted, becuase that's what we elected her for. Basically what she did was pull a sick day for all of us that voted for her, and in so doing what she did was tell the LA that all of us "dont have an opinion and dont want to be heard" on this important peice of legislation.

    Shame on her. Tara- if you dont want to step up to the plate and represent us all then do the decent thing and step aside and let someone that isnt afraid to speak up do so.

    I hope you're feeling better!


    • Anonymous says:

      I so agree – what a disappointment! I guess she didn't get the memo that voters nowadays will be much more likely to make their disapproval heard and seen and the era of sitting down putting up with BS from elected members is gone!

      We all know that no matter what, she will not be able to please anyone, but I can't have any respect for someone who is trying to play people for fools – and I think that is exactly what she has done.

      I hope for her (and for us) that she wakes up quickly, rolls up her sleeves and gets going with working for the people of this country and that she can manage to put ego aside.

      As a woman, I am asking Tara to set a positive example and not pick the easy route just to avoid issues and confrontations.

      As a side note and as a suggestion, I hope she does NOT put out another lengthy, defensive statement and I would think she would do much better if she just puts out a statement admitting that she screwed up and that it won't be happening again!

  11. Conch-less Republic says:

    “McKeeva Bush, Bernie Bush and Capt. Eugene Ebanks were absent for the vote……. Minister Tara Rivers was also absent for the vote.”

    West Bay should just secede so the rest of us don’t have to foot the bill for their pathetic politricks and feckless breed of politicians.

    What a joke they are.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is amazing that the guy organising the protests against the Immigration Bill is a staunch UDP Supporter, and claims that the Bill will not provide for jobs for Caymanians. Then, you have Mac, the UDP Leader, saying that the Bill is too restrictive and weshould be leting more people into Cayman (thereby making if harder for Caymanians to get jobs).

      What exactly is the UDP's position on the Bill? Seems there is mass confusion in the ranks.

      Now that teh money train has stopped (after May 2013), the hangers-on have fallen off and are looking for the next money train.

      Mac, cut your losses with those fair-weather "friends", kick them to the curb.

    • SSM345 says:

      Whart an amazing move by the Minister responsible for Employment…..this is probably the most pressing issue right now, it required her input and she is nowhere to be seen.

      And her constituents are screaming about unemplyment….well its no wonder there's a problem when your leader sets such examples.

    • Anonymous says:

      Were they absent, really?  I did not realise that.  You mean after the Opposition Leader spoke out so voiceferously he then did NOT vote?

  12. Anonymous says:

    The majority of those persons who are on TLEPs will never obtain permanent residency.  The majority of those persons do not have the means under the newly amended Immigration Law to even apply for permanent residency.  If people had taken the time to read the bill and look at the guidelines they would have realised that the biggest issue in the newly amended Immigration Law is the fact that it has now created an elite set of folks who can remain here permanently.  These people who willeventually obtain permanent residency and maybe Caymanian Status are the ones that Caymanians need to have difficulties with.  Not the local gardener and typist. 

    I am not quite sure why the writer felt the need to lambast Ms. Rivers, a first time member of the LA and a woman.  How many times have we seen men abstain from a vote or remove themselves from the Chamber when a vote is about to take place.  The blatant sexism that permeates this article, and frankly permeates most of the Cayman Islands makes my blood boil.  Why is Ms. Rivers being singled out?  Is it because she is a woman? Why are there so much expectations being placed on this woman's shoulder.  

    Tara has inherited one of the more challenging ministries in the Cayman Islands.  She is supposed to be the person who looks out for her fellow Caymanians while trying to balance the needs of the country.  She is now in a position where she realises that even though she may want to do something, the issues are more than she realised in the first place.  Give the young woman some time to find her feet.  The issues that are in the Cayman Islands especially as it relates to job creation and employment have been with us before Ms. Rivers ever took office.  Why is she supposed to be the one who waves the magic wand and all of a sudden everything is bright. 

    Frankly speaking the 3 members who left the Chamber during the vote should be castigated even more than Ms. Rivers.  They were there and took the cowardly decision not to even turn up for the vote. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I quite agree with the first paragraph of 9.01’s post. All those would-be Caymanian lawyers had better accept the fact that they will never move up the ladder – even supposing they can get on it. The new Bill ensures that all those young expat lawyers who arrive and almost immediately buy a property here (because they are of course, financially able, with the very good salaries they earn), will be able to stay, thereby making it a bit more difficult for the young Caymanians to move up. Don’t waste time moaning about gardeners, builders and waitresses – they aren’t worth worrying about.

      Those law firms however, are always going to need those young lawyers from overseas; they depend on them for new business. Unfortunately, however well a young Caymanian does in their studies – they are never going to be in a position to bring in the valuable work – that enables those big salaries. Unless of course they work overseas for a number of years and then come back here with some REAL experience – and contacts.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Rivers ditched her "West Bay girl" campaign image within 30 seconds of being elected.  Her arrogant attitude towards the legal challenge was a good example.  She sent out vacuous PR statements but refused to be open about her position.  Then there was the statement she released about her trip aborad.  Only someone with an overwhelming sense of self-importance would have penned such a document.  At every turn it looks like her personal ambition is her primary concern, and it is a scary sight to see.  With single-voter constituencies I suspect she will be a 4 year wonder, a wonder in her own world that is.  Looking forward to the next public statement from her on this debacle.

  14. I. M. Mature says:

    Girl needs to grow up. She just too precious at this point.

  15. Anonymous says:

    she should be thrown out of the C4C at the very least……… we expected more from you roy…..

    • Anonymous says:

      C4C is not a political party. It endorsed candidates.

      As a public awareness and advocacy group it commented on the proposed Immigration bill in the CNS View Point titled Immigration Reform on 11/10/13.

  16. Anonymous says:

    tara rivers is a walking advertisement for direct rule………

  17. Anonymous says:

    tara rivers is typical of caymanian politicians. end of story.

  18. Where is Winston & Roy says:

    Hello, what happened to WINSTON and ROY????

    How can you two in good conscience vote for this legislation? I understand that the Minister of Education can't do much given her position in Cabinet, constitutionally there is such a thing as collective responsibility irrespective of whether she was sick or not.

    But, what's your excuse Winston and Roy?




  19. Anonymous says:

    I feel this way about every single MLA, including Tara, who did not stand up inside the LA and vote NO against this rubbish.I vote in Bodden Town, I will not be voting for those other two clowns again next election. I will vote one vote only for Anthony Eden. The rest of these idiots who voted for this are the same ones that are spending millions on training Caymanians in trades such as auto mechanics, electrical installation, plumping installation and other trades. Do they REALLY realise that when these 1500 get PR there will be no need for a Caymanian to fill any of these positions because THEY have just made 1500, with experience and qualified "new Caymanians". I am so mad I want to scream.

    • BTer says:

      You are dillusional if you think these 1500 people will get PR.  Most of those TLEPs were given for unskilled jobs and very few for professional positions. Hardly any of them can afford to get PR not having sufficient savings or investment in property and/or businesses to qualify, not to mention they're probably on ridiculously low wages.  The largest chunk of work permits on-island arefor similar unskilled workers, none of whom would ever be able to afford to apply for PR.  So basically the PPM have effected what you wanted – more expats leaving and less staying. The only expats who will be able to stay here under the new law are the very very rich ones.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many of the TLEP persons have already left. So no one know the actual number remaining. 

    • Anon says:

      You forgot? You have four reps now so you have three not two, clowns not to vote for. 

  20. Senior says:

    Dear "Dissappointed Voter", I don't know how well you know Tara's ill situation. I personally don't think she was that ill to not attend. Nevertheless, if I wasn't ill, Icould see myself being reluctant to vote for this new Immigration law seeing 1500+ TLEPs would be able to apply for residency and make it harder for Caymanians to find a job … so I too would have be very reluctant to even want to participate in the formation of this law. On the other hand, you do have an argument if it is investigated and found that Tara made up her sick story or was not that ill to not attend the LA. But because you are giving a viewpoint on CNS, I assume it may be a baised one, because you have not placed in your viewpoint factual information that she was being dishonest or deliberately shuning away from her MLA duties. Please dear writer, the onus is on you to factually prove to us her intentions. If you can't, please desist from defaming this person's character.

    • StayTuned... says:


      If you are sick, then you are sick!
      But as important as the Immigration matter and 1500 + TELEPs is, I don't agree with her absence.
      I think the author (Disappointed Voter) of the letter was basically trying to establish what and where Ms. Rivers stood on the matter. (After all we are just now bearing the effects of what 3000+ status grants has done and continues to do to these islands).
      Immigration, Customs and Policing in any country is always a serious issue.
      Dodging a bullet is good, but dodging a bullet and knowing what side of the field they wereon, when they dodged that bullet, is always crucial…
      After all, there will be another election process in 3 1/2 years….
    • J Salasi I. -111? says:

      The Minister of Labor absent hmmmm what a mess what a ting. Let's hear true confession on how you stood on this bill, that way you might save face.

      a true vote would have been a vote of conscience, but the Premier would in a rubber dub say, " only Divine intervention can stop this Bill". Ya never know bredren ya never know. Jahhh Rastafari.

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. Anonymous says:

    Tara Rivers I hope you read this letter.  To the writer… Well done !! 

    Tara take note you almost 1/8 of your term gone.  Election time is coming sooner than you think and I doubt you will be reelected at this pace. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Tara to read what?  What is in this letter?  You tell me!  There is nothing in this letter but pure assumption and hate but its author!

      • Cayman Concern says:

        No, I think the letter says that as the Minister hired to work with Labour matters an an important piece of legislation is on the table, you wither show up or send a statement, not call in sick and go silent.

        It is shameful that she did not send a video clip, a letter, a statement, or even a whisper.  PATHETIC

      • Anonymous says:

        Guess you lostthis argument.