NBF grants 3x$ scholarships

| 22/11/2013

(CNS): Some students who received education grants from former premier McKeeva Bush’s controversial Nation Building Fund (NBF) were receiving three and a half times the maximum scholarship given to students through the normal procedure administered by the Education Council. Several of the students receiving annual grants of around $70k are related to UDP members, including the former political advisor to Bush, the party leader. Premier Alden McLaughlin reluctantly revealed more details in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday about the NBF as he wound up the debate on the Strategic Policy Statement (SPS) following criticisms from Bush regarding the PPM's plans to reduce the grants for the 2014 academic year in line with other scholarships.

During his long response to the SPS, which focused mostly on his concerns about what he called the neo-colonialism of the UK and their unlawful tapping of his phone, Bush, now the opposition leader, also accused McLaughlin of not wanting to help Caymanian students and of playing politics by pulling the scholarship funding from those who received the grants under the NBF.

However, the premier hit back and said that so far the PPM had been discreet about what had really gone on with the NBF scholarships because it involved young people but the opposition leader’s criticisms of the government’s decision to regularize the grants demanded that he reveal the truth. Despite efforts by Bush to stop him on a point of order, the speaker pointed out that there was no point of order and allowed the premier to continue with the revelations, which were supported by documentation.

“It would be hard to conceive of a more disastrous programme or disastrous set of circumstances surrounding these grants,” McLaughlin stated. “There was little in terms of a system and the premier was the person deciding who got the scholarships.”

Pointing out that the fund would be the subject of an auditor general’s report, he said the scholarships have been given to some students who are not attending any institutions; ones for colleges that didn’t even exist and some students were receiving grants from other government sources as well as the NBF. He pointed to at least four students who were getting over $70,000 per year, more than three times the $20,000 annual maximum given to students on Education Council scholarships.

McLaughlin said the decision on who got what was made entirely by the former premier, with no proper systems in place. When a committee was finally established, he said, there was no one on it with education experience, and Bush still made the decision. The premier also revealed that when a proper application form was eventually drawn up with criteria that capped the scholarships at $25,000 per year, he still allowed the children of political supporters to go way beyond that.

McLaughlin said the grants were decided on the basis of who was able to speak to Bush, the premier at the time, and pointed to many grants being given to people directly associated with the UDP.

The premier said government was not stopping the funding because of politics, even though they had been given out under political circumstances; it was to create a level playing field. He explained that the students were still receiving the amounts they had been promised during this academic year, but next Autumn the grants would be reduced to $20,000, as it was blatantly unfair that the daughter of a UDP supporter got $70,000 per year to go to high school while other students in Cayman were waiting to get anything at all.

“There are students that can’t get a scholarship at all under the regular programme because the scholarship they should have got has been spent on students who got them under the Nation Building Fund with no checks and balances,” he said. “It was a complete and utter shambles,” the premier added as he described what his government found when they began to examine what was going on. “The then premier operated this out of his back pocket.”

McLaughlin suggested that the opposition leader had no grounds to criticise the current government for trying to regularize and create some equality, and with more than $13 million in the current budget for scholarships, the administration could hardly be described as not wanting to help Caymanian students. He also pointed to his own vision and commitment to education, which he said he was still taking licks for.

The review of the NBF scholarship, the premier said, was about the "inequity inherent in this programme”, which has given a small number of students huge sums of money while disadvantaging others. “It should not be down to which party you support; it should be on merit.”

McLaughlin challenged Bush to present the evidence that this programme was fair and transparent and he was not politically involved in every single grant. The way the NBF grants were given, he said, was the best example of how to destroy a nation rather than build it because favouring people on the basis of support for a politician instead of merit was divisive.

“We are not insensitive that these are young people with drive and that’s why we are not cutting off funding, but it can’t be on a different basis and we can’t continue a system not based on merit but how well you knew the premier.”

Although Speaker of the House Juliana O'Connor-Connolly had prevented Bush from interrupting the premier, when he had finished she allowed Bush to make a short statement, in which he said there was a committee of three people from his office and that applications for the NBF grants were referred to his chief of staff.

He said his only involvement was the final approval. The goal, he said, was to help as many people as possible and there were circumstances where some students needed more funding than others. In those circumstances, Bush said, a decision was taken depending on the benefits that may follow for the country.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This should not be about politics but clearly should be about deserving young Caymanians who have worked very hard to earn the grades that merited the scholarship.  If government wants to change the issuance from this point on, so be it but these students who have worked so  hard for their grades should be given continued support until their goals are reached.  Only then can they return and contribute to the Cayman society with their knowledge.  That's what it's always been about.  To pull their funding after they've already committed to their future is nothing short of cruel and will undermine everything that we should be working towards….training young Caymanians to take their place as leaders of our country.

    • Boned says:

      I think you missed this part of the story:

      ‘The premier said government was NOT STOPPING THE FUNDING because of politics, even though they had been given out under political circumstances; it was to create a level playing field. He explained that the students were still receiving the amounts they had been promised during this academic year, but next Autumn the grants would be reduced to $20,000, …’

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with you 100%! If obtaining a partial nation building scholarship based on the acheivement of 13 O'levels is not being based on merit then I don't know what merit is! 

      • Anonymous says:

        And the children with 13 O'Levels who is keeping up their grades and only getting $20,000 because they are not politically connected? Is that fair to them? 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mac says $70K per annum is quite reasonable, considering that an honorary degree from a Jamaican Adventist college was going to cost him $1 million.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have mixed feelings towards this NBF scholarship.  

    The fact that some students are receiving up to $70,000 per annum is quite ridiculous, but we also need to keep in mind that there are some very high-end universities that are very difficut to get into. If one is accepted, they should be given the opportunity to atleast prove themselves if they have such special abilities or talents, but if students receiving these amounts are just attending high school or a community college, this is unnacceptable.  If the scholarships were really granted to only those who supported UDP, this is by no means the proper way to run a scholarship committee.

    I was told that the Education Council grants scholarships for $20,000 annually and that students must maintain a GPA of 3.0.  I believe the NBF requirement was a 2.5 GPA. Please correct me if I am wrong.  This almost seems that the Education Council expects students to almost get straight A's in order for them to receive or maintain the scholarship.  If one student can achieve a degree with A's, B's, and C's with a 2.8 GPA while another can achieve the same degree with straight A's and a 4.0 GPA, why should the student with a lower GPA be turned away?  It's as if they prefer to grant to the more "intelligent" students", which is completley unfair.  Both the Education Council and NBF have some fixing to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      A 3.0 GPA equates to a B average.  I don't think that is is unreasonable to require that students with government-sponsored scholarships maintain a B average at all; we should be demanding above-average grades since they are using the community's money to obtain a degree.  If they pay for their own education, then they are entitled earn average grades.  I personally do not think we should accept mediocrity as a society.  This is part of the problem with the younger generations of Caymanians.  Why should you be entitled to pass secondary school if you do not earn passing grades?  Why should you be entitled to be granted a scholarship to a university if you not maintain above-average grades?

  4. Anonymous says:

    We have to be careful on how we judge this issue. There may have been some cases of abuse, but there are also many more deserving students who legitimately received grants. Let's not put them all in the same basket and penalise the kids who had nothing to do with politics. Just saying.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Did the money go to the schools/colleges, or go into the parents/students' bank account supposedly for the schooling?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dear CNS

    The Premier tabled in the Legislative Assembly on 21 November 2013 a list of all those who received funds under the Young Nation Building fund together with the amounts received. This means the document is now public although I note it is not yet on the LA’s website. Any clue how one would go about seeing the report? Do you have access to this that you could put a copy on here?

    Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, i have to agree with you, it is the only way to let the people know the truth, and not believe the BS these politicians feed the idiots that believe anything they read about Makeeva.

      What i have  noticed, is, the PPM supporters think this government is lilly white. Lets see how much PPM supporters also got this scholarship, so we can look their guardians….the  hate mongers in the face and shame them for putting down the last administrators.

    • Anonymous says:


      is it available through an FOI request… If yes, which department should we write to?

      CNS: I don't know who the FOI manager at the Premier's Office is but it may be the PR officer for the office and if not she should be able to help you Tammie.Chisholm@gov.ky.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Giving away our public purse money as 'scholarships' to those who are UDP supporters rather than to those who MERIT scholarships cost the country on several levels;

    1) it is demoralising to deserving students,

    2) the return on investment that the country should see in the  form of an increase in qualified young Caymanian will not be fortcoming,

    3) there will be less qualified Caymanian to invest in the develop of Cayman,

    4) the appalling culture of 'kissing up to politicians rather that striving to stand on your own two feet will become normal for our young people,

    5) more and more dishonesty will be entrenched into the society and in particularly into our young people,

    6) The crime rate will continue to rise and the 'good' folks will be likely to feel threatened and move away from our Island resulting in a negaive impact on our tourism and financial services industries.

    Altogether, given this type of leadership is emanating from West Bay, it is not surprising that West Bay currently boast the highest crime rate of all the districts.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is completely outrageous. How can one be awarded money to a college that doesn't exist? Do the students not provide proof of grades every term, like those of us who received through the Education Council? I received a scholarship through the Education Council a few years ago; and it was more than I expected to need. Do you know what I did? I accepted a smaller sum per annum. Transparent and ethical. Which is how our GOVERNMENT should have been. 

    • Anonymous says:


      Are you sure what you are  expressing is true? i have a son that receives scholarship at the rate of $ 25,000 yearly.

      His funds were cut to 20,000.00 yearly…. fair enough! both him and I are still greatful to our government for this opportunity to further his studies, in project management.

      He will return to cayman one day and be able  to walk the walk and talk the talk with any other one on his level…of course he has to climb the ladder first, he realise  that is the best way to go.


      A poor  Caymanian.

    • Diogenes says:

      Can whoever is responsible for the thumb down please comment to explain what basis there can be for disapproving this comment?  I am struggling to see how ANYONE could disagree with criticism of awards to non existent colleges, or reimbursement rather than allowance, or basic honesty and selflessness on the part of recipients. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Obviously a few of the people who received scholarships are able to read and write, and do the thumbs-down boogie.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think it's very unfair to the students who have worked very hard to earn their $20,000 to have these other students get $70,000 for just being a UDP supporter.  If they are not going to a college, they should have to pay the governemnt back and McKeever should have to pay for every student that got more than $20,000.

    • Anonymous says:

      No they are not,  stop embellishing this issue. My son and many more are very greatful for the 20,000.00 yearly that they receives.

      You scholars out there have to answer to these critics.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What message are we sending to the hard working children who excel in academics, apply through the Education Council for a scholarship and may get approval for a maximum of $20K but a child of a UDP supporter who may not have qualified for an education scholarship is granted one from the Premier and not even for the same amount but in some cases three times the amount as the Education Council scholarship? The message we are sending to the children of these islands is that the way to get what you want is to not go through the proper channels but to rob, steal, cheat, do whatever necessary to achieve your objective. The message we are sending is that hard work to achieve your goal is of the past. The message we are sending is to achieve your goal, you just have to know the right people and support the right party, irrespective of who those people are. The former Premier should be ashamed of himself and he has the gall to try to brush this aside as him helping Caymanians, him wanting to assist students. Just as drug dealer donating funds to a community to improve the surroundings and provide things, even though you think the end reason is good, the means are foul and has corrupted anything derived from it. Unfortunately we all can post whatever we wish and protest against the former Premier as much as we want but the people who continuously vote him in office and support him are willing to turn a blind eye because they benefit and do not want to lose that. How many would refuse assistance, monetary or otherwise if they knew the source of it was corrupted? They simply do not care because today, integrity is just word in the dictionary for many. The former Premier didn't do anything illegal awarding these scholarships, but it was certainly unethical and a lot of people in these islands feel once it is not illegal it is okay.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I asked for a small sports scholarship via a lettet to the department and not even an acknowledgment of letter much less a decline – absolutely no communication.  Must have sent it to the wrong department! So we do what is best to still have child represent Cayman and club.

  12. anonymous says:

    Third world.

    • Anonymously says:

      Yes Garrison Politics at its best, welcome to CayRock, it inna you handbag it inna you backpack.. Cayman came went now it gone just a little gravy left to soak up 60k loaves of bread. Hard times coming indeed, the hand writing was on the wall in 2003 now in 2013 the knock is at the door, gun violence and crime.  God help us all.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Let us see if the ACC investigates this one?

    • Anonymous says:

      No – they need our help. You see, this is too difficult for them to even notice for themselves. They never see anything. It is all just lumps under the carpet where they like it. Paving driveways and distributing fridges, free gas and free citizenship, real estate deals and scholarships, no-one with the ability to or even obligation to do something ever does (well, except Brian Tomlinson – and you know what happened to him). It is now so prevalant that it is like a forest all around us – that we do not see anymore because it is blocked by the trees.   

    • Anonymous says:



      Just be carful all you negative commentators. Those high scholarship funds could be granted to high end medical students. Just saying!

      The Makeeva haters are so eager to flog him. They don't realise that it's all politics. The politicians pull the strings and we react like a bunch of clowns.  Remember these students are your own Caymanian children …but of course, we do not like our selves!!!!

      • Anonymous9 says:

        To 7:38

        You are just another simpleton that doesn't 'get it'.

        These comments are not all from haters of Mac. If you cannot see what is wrong with what is going on then you are part of the problem.


      • Diogenes says:

        Cause the high end medical student wouldnt qualify for an academic grant through either government or the numerous private sector grants – right!  And he would be a high end medical student attending a non existent medical school, I suppose?

        They aren't my children, friend, but sure is my and other taxpayers money tho!

  14. Robert Mugabe says:

    Great job, I am very proud.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Who are the successful, bright young Caymanians that have far outpaced their peers in achieving financial and scholarly excellence. We need to hold them up for our adoration and idolization and as role models for the country!! Why are they being kept secret ?? Let us celebrate them publically!!!!  Hip hip hooray!

  16. Anonymous says:

    It is easy to be generous with other people's money.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Let the children in a candy store…

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is disgusting! Why is that man allowed in the LA? I know Camanians earning an honest wage 12 hours a day and only making $20k per annum, what could a student possibly need with $70k! And what kind of life are they being set up for – to expect huge handouts for no work, and expect a standard of living they can't afford! Genius…

  19. Anonymous says:

    $70,000 to attend high school? I wonder what kind of salary this student will expect once she's graduated!

  20. beachboi says:

    I have watched and listened to McKeeva Bush for years and wondered how the people of the great district of West Bay could cast any votes at all for him.  I realized in the last election, in which I voted for anyone other than UDP, that he will always be elected by the West Bayers XXXX.  People with residency should be allowed to vote or if not the voting pool in Cayman will soon not exist.  XXXX  If indeed he gave out money for scholarships to schools that didn't exist then these grants should be immediately withdrawn, and McKeeva should  be held responsible for repayment to the government coffers.  As a 50+ year old Caymanian I am amazed that he was allowed to do as he wished with the people's money XXXX.

  21. Boned says:

    “the PPM had been discreet about what had really gone on with the NBFscholarships because it involved young people…” – I say name them. They are just as guilty for taking more than deserved, any even deserving? If the young were unaware, then surely the parent(s) were. I’m pissed and any honest, ethical person should be as well. Shame on you McKeeva Bush, I wish the money that came out of your back pocket was actually yours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Boned, I wonder if the Premier will take a stand to show the 'young people' that the former decisions and unfairness was wrong and will not be tolerated? This is a clear opportunity for the PPM to show they're different from the former group running the country.


      Let's see IF for once they will not simply continue McKeeva's policies….otherwise we have not made any change my friends.



      • Anonymous says:

        Of course they will follow the same policies! why not? this is politics!

        Show the young people what??how hateful, jealous and miserable we Caymanians are? ther e is no wonder our young people are so confused when ever they return with an education, their own have no love or consideration for them,  they show no cultural pride for their own Caymanians.

  22. Anonymous says:

    A hope he trip up n pop he mout.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have seen children get scholarships who can afford to go to the best schools yet the ones that really need it don't get it…money is disbursed to these children as they need it..if there is extra THEY SPEND IT ON PERSONAL THINGS, I know this for a fact…….no accountability…

      • Caymanian hear hear!! says:

        And NO residency!  Hello?  How many kids who got status are gettng overseas scholarships?  A LOT!!!  Sorry, you MUST be a resident at the time of application maybe? How about a resident of the Cayman Island sfo rat least 2 years preceeding the application?  Little Johnny is applying for scholarships from his expensive boarding school?  Ridiculous!!!

        Also, there MUST be a financial family statement submitted with the application!!!  For crying out loud, I see wealthy kids (who's parents make a truckload of cash) receiving scholarships and they never even returned to livehere after Hurricane Ivan.

        This is MY Money and I am tired of seeing it fly into the wind on the wind of politicians whims.

        These schloarships should be based on grades and level of need, period.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nice to see yet another pathetic dig at the status grants.  Get over it.

          • Anonymous says:

            Never. I believe it to have been an act of criminal overt corruption. I believe money and other favors to have changed hands. I believe it to havedamaged the sustainability of our economy. I believe it to have permanenly damaged the ability of our culture to survive. I believe it to be an act of ongoing criminality. I will fight against it forever. Get used to it.

          • Anonymous says:

            i didn't see any mention of status grants in the post. 

  23. Anonymous says:

    A hope unna see now. A tell unna da why da lil fop Aldin wa tryn get my seat. A lease tank God it was'n da big mout Ezzud get it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you even speak proper english though…….?

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you did not get any of the money for school!


      • Anonymous says:

        No boy i didn get none. A gee it all ta dem po suckas like you det keep woting fi mi.  

      • Anonymous says:

        You're very, very funny. Not very intelligent at all but very very funny. Yet I very seriously doubt you can hold a candle to MY LOL's. Hee Hee.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you even speak proper english though…….?

      • Anonymous says:

        Dam right a kin speak propa inglish frutkake, is jes a don't spell too good. Can you even stop repeating yourself though……..?

      • Anonymous says:

        Please accept that your hosts have a dialect, which you should try to appreciate and understand.

      • Anonymous says:

        'Proper' english starts with an upper case 'E'.

  24. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    This is nothing more than a particular breed of politicians and their supporters taking the country for all it’s worth.

    Those behind this scheme are worse than the thug bandits who hold up the local citizenry.

    Shut it down NOW.

  25. Anonymous says:

    We will now see if the PPM is willing to stand up for what's ethical and make the necessary changes to these grants.

    Otherwise the PPM must stop talking about the unfair/unethical practices of the UDP for their members because if they don't stop using this NBF for what would seem to be party members' benefits both parties need to be investigated by the UK.

    So sick of  leaders willing to use limited funds when voters MUST be made to see that the role of government is not to give handouts.

    Personally when I reviewed where the money went from the NBF (churches, sponsorship for 'courses' in art, culture and education, it is a disgrace that the PPM will continue ANY of these programmes. If the parents, recipients were able to get money from UDP/former Permier and now PPM/current Premier……..what does that say about these parties? When will we see the real differences?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you cant see the diffference perhaps you need to open your eyes and read the article again. Or is this a certain talk show host posting on CNS.  

    • Anonymous says:

      All scholarships are under the Education Department where they were before  the UDP took it under their umbrella.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your eyes will open when you get the uderstanding that this is all politics.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier- the people of the Cayman Islands DESERVE to know to whom and how this money was spent. Do the HONOURABLE thing and release the FULL details of this calamity.

    • Matt D says:

      I don't see how this will help at all. If anything, it just makes you and everyone who has liked this comment seem nosey. Should the people who were gifted a larger scholarship because of their acquaintance with the UDP be made known or should we focus on the person who approved the amount they recieved XXXX? Remember who the real bad guy here is.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bot we have some double standards here. Eveybody and his dog is asking about and demanding disclosure of the Tempura information, however when the information is know to be directly involving our native caymanian nothing is said or asked to have this information disclosed.

        These alleged criminal acts.


      • Anonymous says:

        So, if you buy a $2,000 television on the street for only $50, it is only the guy hwo sold it to you that is guilty of a crime? Get real! All Caymanians involved need to be held accountable for these thefts of public money!

  27. Anonymous says:

    This is an MBA case study – Massive Bureaucratic 'Arrassment.

  28. Anonymous says:

    So what I don't understand is, is what mckeeva did just plain old wrong or is it illegal? if the later will he be held accountable?

    • Dred says:

      I would think this could/should fall under abuse of office especially if it can be proven that the funds went to people who did not deserve it or if it can be proven it was because of who they were. BUT WILL THEY??  Does anyone have the B@ll$ to do it?

    • Bling Man says:

      He never ben held accountable for anything yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      cayman doesn't do accountability…..

  29. Anonymous says:

    Scholarships for colleges that didn't even exist????? Is the Financial Crimes Unit going to investigate this alleged fraud?

    • Coconutz says:

      Ummh, no.  They only investigate the little people.  Beside, he did this for the "betterment" of the Cayman Islands – and who can argue with that….

  30. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh, I long for the good old days when a vote only cost a fridge or a paved driveway.

    • anonymous says:

      It was simple back then, just take the turtle meat from one party and / or the cash from the other. Now you have to work out how many collective or family votes can be offered up and then negotiate the remainder of the mortgage to be paid off. 

      I guess that is the price of progress.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, I long for those good old days when it was just plain 'old school' corruption. Simple, uncomplicated and the wheels were easy to grease. Just good old hard cash or the threat of getting someone kicked off the Island.

      Nowadays, there are all sorts of complications and new legislation that has to steered around.



  31. Anonymous says:

    Not sure exactly where to express these comments but it needs to be said:  Just what was the Compass thinking by putting JFK's assassination on the front page of today's paper?  Then to make matters worse they follow up with a long editorial on the matter.  Don't we have enough pressing news in Cayman to claim those coverted spots… geeze!  It's the CAYMANIAN Compass for goodnes sake – not USA Today.  And, while I'm on a rant, has anybody else noticed, or is it just me, but since the new owners took over I have never witnessed more printed retractions, corrections and applologies in the page of the Compass.  Furthermore, I find the Compass's new syndicated columists a bore.  Please bin those and invite local writers to weigh in on LOCAL topics.  Get it together you "new Compass people"… whoever you are!  I never though I'd say this but I miss Brian Uzzell's touch!

    • Anonymous says:

      As for the Caymanian Compass, I note they do not entertain letters from the reading public anymore as well. There is no print media now where Caymanians can vent their frustrations in order to  get their message across to their intended audience. The original predecessor to the Compass, the Caymanian Weeky, had a Caymanian editor, William D "Billy" Boidden, and was owned as far as I can recall by Canadian lawyer, James Macdonald who was domiciled in Cayman along with a group of local; businessmen such as Dr Roy McTaggart, Mr Norberg Thompsosn, Mr Arthur Bodden and Mr Clifton Hunter and maybe Mr Lawrence Thompson and some members of the H O Merren Sr family. We need a paper again with such ownnership and editorilal staff in order to be sensitive towards the local Caymanian reading public. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I encourage the reading public to pick up today's issue of the Compass and count the numerious pages dedicated to foreign news and how sadly lacking it is of local content.  Seems the only way to get  good grasp of what's happening in these Island from the Compass is to read the adverts!  Legge and company, may I suggest you leave the overseas contend to the internet pages – we know how to access those if we want international viewpoints and up to the minute news.  Concentrate on what a local newspaper is supposed to do and that is report on local news stories or features with local people that local people can relate to.  Enough of this cut and paste stuff from overseas.  I thank the poster that started this debate as it needed to be said.  I hope the Compass gets the message as it would be a shame for the paper to go downhill so quickly after its acqisition.    

        • Garfield says:

          I am sure you were impressed with the non news front page story about the cinema opening late on Sundays. Time to broaden your horizons fellow Caymanians and learn about what is going on in the rest of the world. Most of the local news that is going on in the Caymans other than the politics and legal/criminal matters are simply not worthy of reporting, especially on the front page such as Sunday night cinema openings. Let's start opening ourselves up to the world as that is what our economy is built on in the globalised world we  and our children live in.

          • Anonymous says:

            That's why we have foreign papers and the internet you DUFUS – the Compass is supposed to be a LOCAL newspaper.  Golly what is it that you don't understand poster? 

          • Anonymous says:

            1. JFK's assassination is not news. It happened 50 years ago.

            2. It is fine to have a world news page, but it was really inappropriate to have a non-news item from another country be not only the headline but also the subject of an editorial.


    • Compost says:

      Spot on. That newspaper is a shell of its former self and will soon whither away to nothing. Might as well be a Faux News branch at this point.

      Just a matter of time before its advertising base moves elsewhere.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you suggesting they rename their publication to the "Caymanian Compost"?

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe that the new owners were ,and are still, more interested in the other holdings of Cayman Free Press than they were in the newspaper side of things.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't worry. If you read today's editorial on how Cayman doesn't need a conservation law, you'll see that the editors of the Caymanian Compass have the interests of the Caymanian people at heart, as opposed to a bunch of bugs and slugs and things that can bite or sting you.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I doubt there will be a time limit to when the dubious actions of Mr. Bush while he held office will stop being uncovered. Unfortunately the parents who accepted the grants are equally at fault.

    • Bling Man says:

      It na make no diffrence when it uncovered.  Nothin be done about it any way.

  33. Anonymous says:

    This is like the tip of a giant iceberg – 5/6ths unseen underwater -speaking of which whatever happened to the West Bay  Barkers beach worker saga last costed at KYD 0.75 million ?? 

  34. Disconten Ted says:

    Why isn't this viewed as a criminal act?. Never mind the immorality, it's pure official corruption and should be dealt with as such. Can someone (a lawyer maybe) explain here how this cannot lead to criminal proceedings in Cayman? Please help me understand why the counry is content not to prosecute such blatant criminality, or why it cannot under its existing legislation. 

    • Anonymous says:

      If this doesn't put someone in Northward then we are all criminals for turning a blind eye to this type of behavior and everyone in Northward / Fairbanks should be released immediately. IT IS UNFAIR TO KEEP PEOPLE LOCKED UP FOR CRIMES COMMITTED LESS SERIOUS THAN THIS. This is not just Criminal, it's worse than Criminal and to add insult to injury these are people who are charged with making laws that we have to abide by.

      • Anonymous says:

        Now if only we can find a prosecutor who did not play a role in the 2003 grants…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Again – another pile of shit that has surface and absolutely nothing will come of it!

      It is beyond me how this is not abuse of a political office and authority. Those families who accepted funds for grants where the kids didn't even go to school should be ordered to pay every penny back, if they don't have the cash, seize their property, whether be it land, cars, TVs computer whatever.

      Again. Unless examples are made, this is going to continue on forever. Please send a message to the residents of these Islands who still have an ounce of ethics and morals left in them that  playing by the rules and observing the laws is the right thing to do, and give them the hope that the good will eventually win!

  35. Hear, hear - to be fair says:

    Once we all start to realize that we will win by ethics and ethics alone, we will be a stronger and better country. 

    Everything from rubber stamped preferred work permits for white collar expat "business buddies" to Gas Boy, nation building vote buyinh, to scholarships needs to be nailed down!! The one good thing I see with the new breeze of Winston and Roy is that they are know for being ethical and winning by learning the rules.

    Please continue to call out cronyism and corruption.  We need to change our mentality and I have no idea whre the areas went gray.  It is black & white- right or wrong folks.  I BLAME every politician for offering promises and paving the way to greed, wants, and corruption! Shame on any one of you that give favors, that is NOT your job and we the people need to stop asking for these hand outs!

    There is a loong road ahead for this since for many years we turned a blind eye and even in our hearts at church on Sunday we prayed to Jesus to justify "our small needs"…Sorry, there is no justification.  If you take andyou are not in want, it is stealing and rather the beggar be than a false man.  Drive around in your BMW while your kids take paid school lunch? Wahhh?  The end does NOT justify the means and it will take every person looking inside their sould to change their heart.

    Were you really sick on that sick day?  Did you use your boss's gas card? Was that perk an honest one? It starts with stealing pens and paper from the office (for your child's homework) and ends up with it is okay to take a scholarship not deserved?

    Today is a new day and the call to action is to end corruption in all forms.

    • The Parliamentarian says:

      Dear Hear hear,

      You say the call to action is to end corruption in all forms.  You are right, of course, but it ain't gonna happen.  It's part of a democratic system.  It's just the way it works!


      • Hear Hear says:

        Dear P:

        I hear you and sadly you are right.  However, I AM raising my children that white lies are still lies, honesty is the best policy, and it is wrong to accept favors from politicians.  It is so sad that this comes down to local family vote buying!!  

        It is a shame that the people named on the Boards are only political buddies and NOT the best people for the board, authority, or best suited to serve. Political cronies are killing this country.  People stand up and demand better!

        It is a shame that we have created this "it's okay" mentality.  It is not okay and never will be.

        We CAN change.  We have CNS, facebook, FOIs and we need to stay on top of thecorruption on every level – bring it out.  Name & Shame….press charges!

        Do the ETHICAL thing.

        (and sorry for my typos…I wish CNS had spellcheck!)

        Hear, hear…

  36. Anonymous says:

    There are no surprises here. When a person is provided with unsupervised power, they will abuse the system. I hope they fine him for all the funds that went out to persons not attending schools and also abused the privilege they were given. 

  37. Anonymous says:

    Frankly, I'm disappointed that the PPM knew about this and said nothing for so long.  This is a serious abuse of public trust on both sides.  Turning the other cheek to enable the abuse makes them an accessory to that event, even if it wasn't on their watch.  As for the former NBF committee and chair, they should be banned from politics – how much more evidence do we need?  If the RCIPS is really looking for signs of corruption, it doesn't get much better than this!

    • Anonymous says:

      They've just revealed the dirt and suddenly they are an accessory. You and your political spin. No abuse was being enabled. As the Premier said there will be an Auditor General report on it. Stop throwing around words like "breach of trust" (which is a criminal offence under the Anti-Corruption Law).  

  38. Anonymous says:

    Referring applications to his "chief of staff" was a useless exercise since that person was a stooge of Mr Bush's just like the political advisor who got so much money for his kid. I am glad this has come out in the open. Many of us knew about it but people would not have believed it and CNS would probably (reasonably enough) not printed it had we said anything. The auditors will uncover a real mess and a corrupt one at that too. We must ensure "never again".

  39. icu says:

    Why in the holy hell is this individual allowed anywhere near the LA in the first place?

    • Arf says:

      He represents exactly the moral fibre of his constituents – bought and paid for with a fridge or stove.  The massive corruption of it all would flabbergast anyone on Earth who is not a Caymanian, but they seem to be used to it and England doesn't seem to care.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your slur against Caymanians in general spoilt what was otherwise a great post.

        • Arf says:

          No general slur was intended – let me clarify.  I am certainly not saying that Caymanians in general are corrupt, no, but I am saying that I am dumbfounded by the fact that Caymanians in general let him get away with this, and also that England doesn't involve itself.  In my homeland (yes I am an expat) the fridge story (etc.) would be plastered on the front pages daily for months, as teams of investigative reporters fight to interview every recipient of every appliance, every paved driveway, and every dollar.  A judge would be appointed to conduct an independent investigation and would publish a report that the public could read.  The AG would scramble to staff an office of lawyers to prosecute not only everyone who paid a dollar but everyone who knowingly took a dollar.  The public would be in an uproar and the media would gladly feed the frenzy.  But in Cayman?  No – a few posts on CNS and after that there's nothing.  An election was bought and paid for and no one cares.  I'm not saying Caymanians are in general corrupt, but holy crap will they let people who are corrupt get away with anything without the slightest need to hide their corruption.   Does that help? 

          • Anonymous says:

            The definition of Utopia is" an imaginary place in which the government, laws, and social conditions are perfect".These are the same attributes that you are giving to your homeland.So welcome to the Cayman Is " O citizen of Utopia".                                   

            You say that an election was bought and paid for ,but can you prove it.Why haven't you turned over your info to "teams of investigative reporters" ,or the Cayman Is Legel Dept.? It is one thing to post anonymously on some online site and allege all manner of evil;it is quite another to back it up. Perhaps people should only post such allegations  when they actually have proof then maybe we could keep some of this gossip off 'The marl road.'

  40. Anonymous says:

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Let the Auditor General publish all of the sordid details and eventually we will recover. But we must never forget!

  41. Knot S Smart says:


    Mac needed to give the scholarships to people that he could 'wuk' with…

  42. Anonymous says:

    "He pointed to at least four students who were getting over $70K per year morethan three times the $20,000 annual maximum given to students on education counsel scholarships".

    "Several of the students receiving annual grants of around $70k are related to UDP members including McKeeva Bush’s former political advisor".


    Why would Bush provoke a fight where he would get bludgeoned!? 

  43. Anonymous says:

    Nobody has the right to act surprised by this. The NBF was one of the shadiest things UDP did. There is no way even the most honest premier should have a $10m slush fund to give away as he likes. The PPM and the UDP let McKeeva get away with it and never made a peep. Now they are going to act surprised that he gave boatloads of money to friends and family? Seriously what did they expect?

    CNS: To be fair … "Slush" fund queried by MLA

    • Anonymous says:

      This fund was developed by Bush to buy 'SALVATION' from the Churches. Little does he know that despite all of OUR money that he gave away, he still don't have salvation.

    • Anonymous says:

      09.34. I doubt anyone is surprised, but we continue to be disgusted as this smell of corruption that clings like a rotting mackerel.

    • Anonymous says:

      If West Bayers could open their eyes and vote for someone who is honest  for a change. The people of that district need a wake upcall.

      • Anonymous says:

        I tried but i believe mac cut the line.

      • Anonymous says:

        "… that district need a wake up call."


        No they don't. They just want a new fridge or air con every 4 years. The system work for them.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is a lie. The PPM roundly criticised the NBF as a political slush fund from the very start.