Leaders hang on office walls

| 22/09/2014

(CNS): Pictures of the governor and the premier are appearing on the office walls of government buildings around Cayman in what some may say is a retrograde step in a modern democracy. As other countries around the world are shunning old-fashioned ideas of having the faces of leaders posted in too many places, due to controversies surrounding the personality politics and potential leader cults, Cayman has for the first time moved to put not just the governor but its elected leader of government on office walls. The Protocol Office confirmed that this was its initiative and that this is the first time official pictures were being posted in government offices.

“I can confirm that this is a Protocol driven endeavor, utilizing the assistance of PWD to hang official photos of HE the Governor and the Hon Premier in several Government Buildings. This is the first time this has been done at this level,” Meloney Syms, the Protocol Coordinator, confirmed by email last week.

Although the Queen has traditionally hung on some office walls here, pictures of the governor or former elected leaders have not been common sights in government offices.

Hanging pictures of leaders is often associated with dictatorships and countries where the cult of leaders is strong. On his election victory José Mujica, the Uruguayan president, not only rejected the trappings of office and began donating most of his salary to social causes, but he also directed that his picture should not be posted on walls anywhere.

Ed Miliband, the leader of the UK’s Labour party, is also likely to reject formal images if he gets elected as the next British prime minister. He told the country’s voters not to vote for him if they wanted someone who looks good in a photo and rejected the concept of image-based politics.

Making reference to his unfortunate attempt at eating a bacon sandwich in public recently, he conceded, "David Cameron is a very sophisticated and successful exponent of image-based politics,” as he indicated his intention to pursue a different approach. "My true test of leadership is not just whether you look the part but whether you can retain your soul. Not being dismissive or contemptuous of people, whoever they are, wherever they come from," Miliband told the UK press recently.

However, both Alden McLaughlin and Helen Kilpatrick will now be smiling down from their official photos, seemingly unconcerned about the message such a move may send.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So in the eyes of many posters and the author, no country should have a photograph of its leader(s) hung in Government offices? We may be small but why would this not be OK in Government offices? It seems to me that many of us seem to have very small minds.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey, at least now we can actually see the Premier, if only in a picture….. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    If Alden is willng to waste money like this on selfish propaganda, what chance of there being any cuts after the EY report?

  4. Anonymous says:

    IF UK dictators can be hung on the wall – I see no reason why our elected leaders shouldn't be able to be there.


    • Anonymous says:

      What dictators?  Like it or not the Queen is the monarch,  but it does not have to be that way independence is always available shattering your theory of dictatorship.

      • Anonymous says:

        She is the head of state reigning over millions of people and is unelected. Our next three heads of state are already chosen for us, selected for emerging from the right birth canal. Your phrase "like it or not" is instructive -perhaps if we don't like it we (and all countries in the commonwealth) should have a democratically electedhead of state 

    • Anonymous says:

      Two wrongs do not make a right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I understand why you want them to be hung too! LOL!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Did they supply a set of darts with the pictures?????

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a sad day for Cayman when our so called leaders are so insecure they have to have pictures if themselves hung all over the place.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Must be April Fools Day!!! Very sad, so many people without food, water and light!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Protocol Office, first you give us PO1 & PO2 (the number plates on official vehicles), now we get this, come on Melony you can do better!

  9. Anonymous says:

    "…Protocol Office confirmed that this was its initiative…"


    A few years ago (2002 or 2003?) the Protocol Office took on another significant initiative at the expense of the tax payers. They decided to put vanity plates on their two cars. The plate numbers were to stand for "Protocol Office 01" and "Protocol Office 02". The acronyms, of course, turned out to be:


    "PO01" and PO02".


    It was a real shame when they replaced the plates. 




  10. Anonymous says:

    The 'forever honourable' have been replaced by the 'forever handsome'. 

    Oh for the 'forever humble'.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So I decided to dust off my old Carly Simon CD and play her song: "you're so vain" whilst reading this article.

  12. Anonymous says:

    All ties in with Alden keeping that hair dyed and looking slick Lmao. What a juvenile.

  13. Kim Hussein el Chavez Khamieni says:

    A puppet and his master are now hanging pictures of themselves up in Government offices Well i hope you do not forget Private bldgs too and don't forget bill boards along the highway ProTo Call OFF ICE.  How nice!  Dear priceless leader do not forget your membership fees to  International Tyrants Ltd. Only Cayman only Cayman. Where being extremely vain is a good quality to have.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Protocal Office. Now there's a Department that can be got rid of. There are more pressing issues on this Island than putting up pictures.

    • Anonymous says:

      With Bush it was an ugly 10 ft. fence around his house an eternally Honorable.  Now with PPM it's "see my pretty face everywhere".   They better not let us down on OMOV.  We need people concerned with doing well for the people not their own egos.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bush never had a 10ft fence around his house my dear. Bad as he is thought of in the eyes of some people that one was an outright lie.  

        People should have driven by to see it for themselves so they would know as we cannot always rely on hearsay.  BTW I am not a bushite fan but I am a person that is fair and truth must be told. It's a fact that his fence was more like half the height purported. 

        Wonder if they are considering also putting our past "first Premiere" Bush photo on the wall has well. LOL… that would surely tick off many, present Premiere included as it was thought that he would have been the first Premeire ever but it never worked out that way.  

        Protocol Office might as well go the whole hog now, because at this point it really makes no difference in this circus. What a mess our country is in, God help us.

  15. Anonymous says:

    You'll have to be very full of yourself to have your picture hung on the wall.

    It shows again that politicians feel they are above the rest of us.

    Time to bring it down. . . . .

    Everybody has a job to do, and they are all equally important. Just appriciated differently.

  16. Jacky Boatside from Old Bush says:

    How PPMish yes and what next giant statue's in the town squares. Yes CNS you are absolutely right  it is kind of Dictatorish, but can we honestly say we are surprise? While Peoples power and water are being shut off the Government and Governor are wasting money on self potraits to thyself  You Go deh our Dear Puppet Leader  Kim Jong "Al don" and real  Party Boss Madame KilCayman. Wow!  Cayman Good Governance Transparency and idol worship now! What a really bad mess this place is in?

  17. And Another Ting says:

    Hmmm ego based politricks. Just can't wait, me son, just can't wait.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Don't we all know who they are?!!! ….and look at that smirk…c'mon!

  19. Anonymous says:

    CNS, this is a joke, right?

  20. Natural Native says:

    What is happening here? We know who the (present) Premier is – elected by the People.  The Governor is appointed by Her Majesty, the Queen – the only photograph which should be displayed publicly. (?)    


    Another unnessary expense?  For whom? The People?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Another waste of CIG money——

  22. Naya Boy says:

    Yes kinda reminds me of Kim Jong ill DPRC Democratic Peoples  Republic of Cayman And thats just exactly  how they are runnung this little place. Why not put up now a great big statue of our Dear Puppet leader tied with a big yellow rope by the UK representative Madame Kill JOY! Boy this place is just like North Korea living in fantasy land.

  23. Anonymousand says:

    Empire-Building, it’s called!
    What’s the budget???

  24. Anonymous says:

    Talk about wasting funds.  Had this idea been done under a previous administration the PPM would have been the first to scream.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Good Lord and I thought McKeeva was bad. Alden is so full of himself ..Really wasting our hard earned money on hanging pictures of him in government offices…

  26. Anonymous says:

    Meloney keep your head up. This is typical CNS bullshit reporting to the point of trying to draw comparisons of the initiative to some incognito move towards dictatorship. Raise your standard CNS! Poorest excuse for journslism I’ve ever seen.

  27. Anonymous says:

    ROFDWL Not even Big Mac was this vain!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Oh please, Hitler and Stalin used to do this..what is the point? And why are they wasting so much money on it!! They will only have to change them all again in another couple of years. The only use I can think of is for them to be defaced or throw darts at.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why go to Hitler and Stalin? U.S. Presidents do this all the time.

  29. Anonymous says:

    NOW look what’s happening. I KNEW they should have reduced those damn work permit fees and fuel taxes.

  30. Peter Milburn says:

    Bad idea.We are going backwards not forwards on this and who bright idea was this?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t they build a gallows at Northward where they can hang them?

  32. Anonymous says:

    i have a lot of time for Alden. But he does have a history of being a bit of a megalomaniac.  was hoping he had managed to suppress this and move on to greatness, but alas, its back!!  Keep it in check Alden and be humble and statesman all at the same time.  Doubt even Kurt or Mac would have done this.

  33. Anonymous says:

    It is not necessary. It is pompous and arrogant. Just another way to waste public funds having these photographs enlarged, reproduced and framed.

  34. Biggert says:

    Seriously CNS? Must be a slow news day. 

  35. Anonymous says:

    take them down … we already have the queen and her husband posted all around we dont need a politian and the Governor too, more cost for nothing you know thisd will be expensive.

  36. Just Commentin' says:

    OMG! Please…nooooo!  Should I puke now, or later? Perhaps, appropriately, leave a pool of puke in front of one of the portraits?

    In an era when civil servnts are facing cutbacks and double work and general austerity, this expense and self-aggrandisement is utterly beyond belief.  Unacceptable!

    Wonder what E and Y would have to say about this? In light of the emphasis on value for dollar in association with government spending, I ask: How much is this retrograde step costing? What is the justification for the expendature? Is there value for dollar associated with this exercise? Alden: One leads by example, Bobo. And this is a pretty shining example of utterly wasting the people's money.  What a slap in the face to all of us.

    It is time for the people to put their foot down hard…now!  Makeewah started down this same road of self-aggrandisement and nothing was said. You see where that led!  Time to nip this in the bud.

    On another note:  Seriously, now… He ain't that pretty. Neither is she. If I were either of them, I would really not want my face plastered everywhere for people to snicker at. I could see if a bit of money was spent to install some pretty potted plants or some such improvement to the ambience of the workspace as a morale booster. But protraits of these two in offices is about as far from beautification and morale boosting as it gets

    One would have thought that Alden would oppose such trappings of 20th century totalitarianism. Silly me. I guess those here who commented about Alden's enormous ego will be proven right.

    Hail our Fearless Leaders. 

    Welcome to Caymanistan!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely Unnecessary. I see enough of them in the papers and the online news services.

  38. Anonymous says:

    So What!! Registrars of Companies have had pictures of themselves displayed on their walls for years I can't say whether or not they were transferred to the Govt. Administration Building when they moved there. I don't think this anything to make a huge hoopla about.  

  39. Anonymous says:

    Give it up Alden, there can only be one Colonel Gaddafi! 

  40. Anonymous says:

    I thought that the government was broke.


    Who is paying for this foolishness?


    I guess we will have to wait a bit longer to see the fuel tax lowered.

    • Anonymous says:

      This issue is not about who is pretty,or who is humble etc .It is not about the money could be spent on groceries or to pay some one's light bill. Some things has to be done for the Country's sake.  They are the Premier and the Governor at this time in our history and whether you like it or not it is so.  The same way you all carried on about the past Premier having a wall, security and a sign declaring that the Premier lived there. It is about  acknoweldging who we are.  I think the portraits should also be hung in every school on the island. There are students who knows who President Obama is, but would have difficulty in identifying our Premier and Governor.  The portrait could influence some kid out there to aim to be the Premier one day. Some one wrote about Cayman taking a step backward, but what is backward is that we as a people are so jealous and negative that we cannot even express pleasure in seeing one of our own making it to the top. We were always proud  of each other's accomplishments in the past- what has happened to us?  Why are we drowning in hate and animosity?  Alden is the Premier today, in time to come it could be our son, daughter, or grand child. Would we then be to callous and disrespectful.  We have to learn to show respect to our own people instead of drawing them down. The Premier nor the Governor will ever be able to please all of us, but all of us can and should have a little respect. Remember they are only human and no one is perfect.


  41. Anonymous says:

    Protocol office should be the first department to be trimmed in gov cut backs.  This blatant regressive pandering is a subliminal admission of their wastefulness.

  42. Far Canal says:

    What a shocking waste of money apart from anything else. Why are politicians and civil servants so detached from reality…ok no need to answer that one.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I think hanging a picture is fine as long as they have truly earned the title "employee of the month".

    • Anonymous says:

      If nothing else they are certainly "Premier of the Month" and "Governor of the Month".

  44. Anonymous says:

    I am more comfortable seeing the photo of a democratically elected official hanging in a public building than a photo of a Monarch.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Slow news day?

  46. Anonymous says:

    I think CNS is going a bit overboard here. Might have had a case if it was McKeeva you were talking about.

  47. Anonymous says:

    They can't feed the hungry or get ppl jobs but can waste money on pictures.  Progressives alright, what ezzard called them is correct the regressives.  LOL

  48. Anonymous says:

    Trust the Protocol Office to come up with this stumblebum of an idea. What a waste of time! That office should be closed down and stopped as a place to dump unwanted civil servants.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Can we demand them to be taken down? Referendum, I say!

  50. Anonymous says:

    It would be even better if we could hang some of these leaders on the wall and not just their pictures.

    • Anonymous says:

      09:53.Careful where you suggest this ,you might get charged with inciting someone to commit violence.

  51. Anonymous says:

    This is nothing but ego and self gratification on the part of the Premier.  I was hoping we were through with that ego bull&#!TT when we go rid of Mac.  I guess not.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Can someone say EGO EGO EGO. And it's huge.

  53. Nonymous says:

    I am hoping to bring some balance to the negative spin that this article clearly has.  

    While the article is clearly biased and paints a very negative picture via terms like "old-fashioned", "personality politics", "leader cults", and "associated with dictatorships" we should also note that this practice is widely in use in the best known democracy in the world, the United States of America.

    In airports and government offices in America it is common to see pictures of the president, cabinet members, state officials and management officials. In fact there used to be (and perhaps still is) a fairly large wall in Miami Airport dedicated to this which had dozens of pictures from President Obama right down to the airport management.

    Further, anyone who has visited Cayman Islands Government offices (Dept of Tourism, CAL & CIG UK Office) overseas can confirm that the practice of posting pictures of our own elected leaders (usually Ministers with responsibility for the area e.g. Tourism) has long been praticed.  

    We have to put everything in context. Perhaps the broader questions are now: what do we want as a people? What reflects our current values? Is the money being spent on this by the Protocol Office in line with what we see as our most pressing needs at the moment? These questions are a lot more important than snide commentary like "unconcerned about the message such a move may send"…

    This about protocol not personalities. If we don't want to follow the standards on this then the Protocol Office's budget should be cut or eliminated and that needs to be determined by the people.

    • Anonymous says:

      @9:51 – GREAT comment.  You got it exactly right.  Stated the facts objectively, gave context to the story and identified the real issues.  Can you start reporting the news please, or better yet run for the next election? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Some of you out there would complain no matter what.  I can see nothing wrong with hanging the Premier's and the Govenor's portraits on the walls of official government  buildings  no matter who is holding these positions. Court Houses usually display portraits of the Judges some , Law firms display portraits of their partners, some Police Stations shows oft their past and present Chiefs of Police, hospitals sometimes show the portraits of their Surgeons/Doctors so why not the Government.  There is  a certain  level of prestige that goes with these titles and any country/island/territory should be encourage to  appreciate that and if hanging up a few portraits is a means of doing that, then I fail to see anything wrong with that.. It should not be dependant  on whether any citizen is unable to pay, light bill, water bill, or food bill.  Some child or young adult might see the portraits and become inspired to one day become the Premier, or a Judge, or a Chief of Police etc .  Even though things are difficult for some of us , we as a Country should not fold our collective hands and take on a defeatest attitude.  We are still part of the enlightened world and still a respected financial centre and we need to act like it. We used to be proud of that – we cannot now act like beggers. Remember others will percieve us as we portray ourselves. It might cost a few hundred dollars, but some things are priceless and our reputation and honour is well worth it.


    • Anonymous says:

      I would not call a country "the greaest democracy of them all" when half of their own people are so disenfranchised they do not vote or are prevented from voting.

      • Nonymous says:

        Sorry but you got the quote wrong. It is actually " best known democracy in the world".

  54. Anonymous says:

    Obviously this is not a government "of the people, by the people and for the people"  but a government of personalities and pomp.  How very third world.

  55. Anonymous says:

    LOL he reminds more of his predecessors with each passing day

  56. Anonymous says:

    Aldin's ego has landed! 

  57. Gordon Barlow says: