The Emperor’s qualifications

| 31/10/2014

Once upon a time there existed in the islands that time forgot a thriving opportunity for its people to develop and work in an industry that would welcome visitors to its shores.
These three emeralds in the northwestern Caribbean Sea were inhabited by a hardworking industrious people who had endured and even prospered through various farming and industrial initiatives. Then the need to establish transportation from and to the islands led them to become expert boat builders and seamen.

They even progressed to the great heights of building ships for the United States Navy to use in the Second World War to defeat and turn back the Nazis.

Their skills in seamanship and boat building led to the development of the turtle industry and the establishment of a canning factory for turtle products, some of which were shipped to the European countries and were even reported to have been consumed by Royalty.

These same home grown skills and the advent of Southwell led to many of the men taking to sea for lucrative careers as seamen and in the fifties decade they earned, through hard work, determination and commitment, the reputation of the world’s best seamen. They commanded and crewed the largest supertankers and transported the most dangerous of cargoes across the world’s most treacherous seas and oceans.

The tourism industry grew into a thriving industry and during the years of the greatest expansion every hotel in the Cayman Islands was managed and staffed by friendly ambitious hardworking islanders, who went out of their way to please a guest. The industry was built on relationships between the hotel staff and its guests. Many of our first time visitors returned because of the way they were treated by the friendly islander bartender, waitress or cleaning ladies.

The advent of corporate and brand name hotels led to their demands for qualifications unavailable to the islanders to work in their hotels, and the government’s response to their demands, which was to by allow them to get work permits for persons with qualifications, led to the deliberate exclusion of Caymanians without these Emperor’s qualifications (Emperor's new clothes).

While these persons on work permits may have possessed some types of qualifications on paper based on the needs in their own countries, they had no knowledge of the islanders' way of doing things or the Islanders' work ethic or personality. The guests complained about the changing level of service, the increased cost to provide these persons on work permits and the changing clothes of the Emperor.

The focus of the corporate name brand on profits led to the extraction of the Caymanian flavour and relationship-based tourism to get them in, take their money and send them back home. These Emperor's new attitudes led to blaming the islanders' laid back, respectful, accommodating, helpful attitude as being lazy unreliable and not good for profits (more Emperor’s new clothes).

The friendly island, bartender who would willing tell an entertaining seaman’s tale to ease the troubles of the guest, now his friend, and sometimes slowly invented new rum-based drinks like the mudslide, yellowbird and fluffypussy, were told they were not qualified because they could not and did not juggle bottles of rum or beer (more Emperors new clothes) in a flamboyant way and drip their sweat generated from all these body movements into your beer or mixed drink. The friendly honest islander bartenders were unlikely to inflate their friend’s bill that was now computer generated with other patron’s drinks or double bill for your drinks which could lead to loss of profits

The elected governments of these three emerald islands tried on several occasions to replace these Emperor's new qualifications with home grown qualification for Caymanians, only to have these efforts thwarted and eventually stopped by the corporate and brand name managers, through hirings and terminations in rapid succession  — often because they interacted with the guest against corporate policy.

These hardworking islanders who were used to having to find ways to survive and improve their lot encouraged their children to shift their focus to the fast growing financial industry and abandon the tourism jobs to the work permit holders.

It was not long before these easygoing accommodating islanders were overrun in the financial industry as well and the Emperor’s new qualifications that had been so effective in the tourism sector was introduced into the financial industry.

Political leaders in these emerald isles then abounded their principles of integrity, honesty and interest in the island’s welfare and progress for WIIFM (what is in it for me) philosophy and concentrated on inward investment (more Emperor’s new clothes) to stimulate and grow the economy.

A few brave and barefaced politicians tried to tell the people the Emperor was naked but they were ridiculed by the powers that be and told they were xenophobic and were against development and wrong. They enforced the Emperor’s qualifications on the gullible and corruptible, who were willing to sell out to the handlers of the emperor or just go along and do nothing.

Today the islanders are outnumbered in the work place, the Emperors command the top jobs, own most of the successful business in both the tourism and financial industries.

Crime is rampart and increasing daily. The police force, once all Islanders who understood their physic and behavior, is also overrunby the Emperor's qualifications. Gone is the caring friendly islander police who solved and prevented crime.

Social decay is everywhere as the islanders try to adopt and accept the Emperor's changing new clothes because as the islanders acquire the present emperor’s clothes, the emperor comes out dressed in different new clothes.

Un-employment amongst the islanders is at an all-time high and growing. The younger generation of islanders are getting restless; a revolution is brewing; trouble is coming. The islanders need a Moses to deliver them from the bondage of the Emperors.

From whence will it come? Can they save themselves from extinction?

Wow! Where can these troubled emerald islands be? Could they possibly be the Cayman Islands?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    An unpleasant cocktail of rose-tinted nostalgia and xenophobic resentment.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wish you all would shut the hell up!!!!!!!!! All this ranting, that isnt going anywhere.

  3. Anonyanmous says:

    Excellent poster 6:13, Cayman was in mid flight in 1979 but the island was already off ground and at a plateau.  Everything you mentioned is as I remembered because I came of age around that time.  You did forget one little detail there was also a Fiat dealer on island just behind the Burk Maude plaza operated and owned by Mr. George Seymour.  I remember because most of the young men back in the day way were buying new cars there (if memory serves me right I believe the popular model back then were Triumph). If Cayman had opted to stay where we were and not develop so quickly this islands would be on the same status as Monaco and much better developmental and socially than Bermuda who we followed closely until around the early 80s when greed found its way onshore, it disguised itself as prosperity and made fools out of most of us.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I want all of you to realize that mostly what all of you have read here is true.Mostly what people who were here in the 60's and 70's. Caymanians were friendly the island was safer. People who worked at Holiday Inn did their jobs. Some didn't like to serve people because of their atitudes or you didn't tip. But all in all ,people came to work and did their job in whatever field they were in. Banks created jobs which was pushed by Jim Bodden .We got training We were encouraged to take correspondence courses because there was no further education on island. We were encouraged to go to school in the states as long as you had money. But nobody had any. So there really was a hard road for most people to compete with expats. They were all very friendly as people brought fish and lobster free. They were trying to win their friendship so that they could get help to hire their daughter or son (sometimes marriage). Hopefully they showed enough intelligence so that the expat would push them to take courses. Banking was getting larger and larger because the black people in the Bahamas pushed for more jobs and pay . So the Cayman Islands had changed their laws and become more competitive. Jamaica that had started to do good declined when it went independent. The corruption started immediately as the english gov't moved its headoffice to Grand Cayman. So banking that started in the caribbean had only one choice at the time . Cayman Islands. I worked in one of the banks and saw accts. go up and up. People who were poor became middle class and those who were middle class became the upper class.It was a win win situation. 

    I see something that most of you, I think realize but don't want to say. I see a future where you will need more security. You will have to place iron bars on your windows and doors like the rest of the world around you. You see no matter where you go too, the world is changing and everyone has seen the truth. Thank god for the internet and you tube.You see its all about money and who you know. It doesn't matter about your education.

    But if Caymanians are smart they would connect to each other and they would increase business and crime would be less. You could be like the moslems ,Jews, indians, chinese, Japanese or the filipinoes.

    I can assure you if any of these groups get 100 of their working people here, they won't be hiring a lot of anybody beside their own.

    That is why I have said for a long time there must be a quota system here like in the states. A friend of mine was married to a dutch national and she had to go home to holland even tho she was married to a US citizen in the military.

    Do you think the present immigration issues in the states are not important? What are they afraid of ,MEXICANS arriba andale! If their numbers go up and it will, they won't be domestics or work at TACO BELL anymore . They will want all the highest paying jobs and businesses. When you go to Miami try and get a job if you only speak english. Its not happening, you're not qualified, can you imagine?

  5. Anonymous says:

    To 7/11/14 – 11:24. Thank you for the accurate memories. Many of us in Cayman share your sentiments – most certainly those who recall those good old days.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh how I miss the days of old!  I would look forward going back to the Holiday Inn every year.  I had the same housekeeper…her name was Mary and she was always barefooted and lived in West Bay.  The same people would be in the restaurant.  Doris was always out at night dressed to the hills.  Oh how I miss her!  The same bartenders.  Oh how I loved those people.  I knew that the Caymanians were the best people in the world.  I go now and I'm met by people from every nation.  Do I even see a Caymanian?  Is was such a safe time.  No need to worry about anything.  My, how it has changed.  Cayman has paid such a price for progress.  Gladys and Harvey that lived in West Bay.  My dad would drive Harvey home when his workday was over.  Harvey was such a gentle, kind man.  Stories he would share I'll never forget.  Ms. Nell at Breakers, such a gem!  I got to see her a couple weeks ago.  She is an amazing lady.  I'm so sorry for the people that go to Cayman today and never experience the way Cayman was.  Oh and don't forget Ms. Marth Scott, her contagious laugh as we set in the car rental place.  I remember her telling my Dad that he could find his "roots" in West Bay.  I have lost contact with her.  They were family.  They were caring people.  I miss them!


  7. Anonymous says:

    To Anon 6/11/2014 16.15

    What a load of rubbish! Make lots of money? Are you delusional?? The cost of living here is one of the highest in the region.  Yes it may be tax free, but after the cost of living it works out about the same.  Good point about the UK being made up of different cultures as are most of the countries in the world, but they are all given equal opportunity to work – just because they are "English" Scottish"Welsh "Irish" or for that matter from the EU or if their ancestry is from India, Pakistan…. etc, not one group gets it handed to them on a silver platter and not one group assumes that they have the "Right" to a job!. I "choose" to live here because I want to.  I want to because I love these islands.  

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. Many expat posters on here acknowledge that is there sole reason for being here so I think you are the delusional one. Why else would you be here?  All you ever do is complain. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Lawyers and the legal community still make good money here, everyone else is just here to make marginally more and balance it with a better lifestyle.

        Each year the cost of living goes up, the same rip offs are maintained by local landlords, taxi operators, contractors and business partners. It suddenly ceases to be lucrative.

        Couple this with the rise in crime, the uncertainty of government accounts and pensions, the hoops placed to attempt any sort of permanence here, no wonder people are just packing up.

        I think we can all agree that the curtain is closing on the good times.

        • Anonymous says:

          It's not only the legal community. We have legions of accountants here, bankers, independent directors, real estate agents etc. that make a killing.

          • Anonyanmous says:

            The financial community with its legions of accountants, bankers, independent directors, real estate agents etc. that make a killing…. sounding the alarm those days are coming to an end soon.  Caymanians get a job and keep it, save all you can, stop spending foolishly, downsize on your cars, homes and everything.  Seek out jobs in tourism and the medical industry, don't believe that the golden days of the financial industry or government will continue.  Young people retool, jobs will be available in tourism and at medical facilities, go back to school, the world is changing and so must Cayman.  I will guarantee that by 2018 lawyers, accountants, bankers, independent directors, real estate agents will be pounding the pavements like everyone else and many will find themselves working as hotel managers or in a hospital in their office.  My advice to intelligent young Caymanians if you get a job in tourism accept it and stay there, for those without job please try to find one and stay there.


        • Anonyanmous says:

          Lawyers and the legal and financial community the curtain is closing on the good times for all people in Cayman and elsewhere.  In about five years Tax Heavens will be a thing of the past. Read here 

          It would be wise for our government to sure up our tourism industry, train the local population, stop the spending spree, downsize government fast, control population growth, get Caymanians back into the work force and off social services and prepare for the lean times to come.  Just a word of advice!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Am i mistaken in thinking that there were "NO native people" of this island and that the original settlers (way back in history) were also immigrants???  I worked with a lady who said she was Camanian, but her grand parents were immigrants…… does that give her more right to live in the islands than me? If so, WHY?  We all choose to live here and in doing so all show that we love these islands no matter where we came from!  I am tried of the racism – not black against white or vice versa, but Camanians (or people who claim to be) versus every other nationality.  How many generations must have lived here or how many years gives you the right to call yourself Camanian?  I know it cant have anything to do with the residency as I have heard local Camanians referring to these as "Paper" Camanians which is disgusting as the Original Camanian was a traveller/expat who settled here anyway????  I agree with the comments regarding "sense of entitlement" – why should someone, just because they are Camanian, have the right to a job without earning it?  Its not just about being willing or able they have to be willing AND able. I might not have been born here, but I do live here – I love these islands and in many ways take better care of it than some of the locals – I have seen locals throw rubbish on the beach or roadside, not clean up after their dogs, leave their dogs running free which is a danger to the dog and other people, drive like imbeciles, walk into the road with out looking (again a sense of entitlement)……. I could go on but I wont.  At the end of the day, I love Cayman, Cayman is my home!

    • Cay5 says:

      So if I am born here, my father is born here, my grandfather is born here, my great grandfather is born here, and there are tombs of my great great relatives buried on Cayman soil, you're telling me that someone from another country and have no roots here, should be on par with me on the issue of entitlement in my country?!  Boy … entitlement has nothing to do with racism!  Which country on the planet will not put their citizens before expats and strangers into their lands???  The people you meet who are racial to you does not represent the entire peoples of these islands. So stop generalizing everyone!  You should behappy that you got a spot here to work. Alot of other people would want what you want. Peace and Love Bro. 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        You should at least get a free t-shirt for that.  Entitlment has nothing to do with being worthy of respect.

      • Anonymous says:

        An avid Rooster caller if there ever was one.

    • Gut Check says:

      I have never before lived in a country where there are degrees of citizenship.    I think if you are born here, or have acquired Caymanian Status, then you are Caymanian.   Any other country you go to, if you pass the citizenship tests and requirements, you are a citizen of that country.  

      Clearly, others disagree.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanian status is not citizenship. Being born here does not make you Caymanian however much you would like to think so.  The acid test is whether you can run for office.

        • Fred the Piemaker says:

          Like Tara Rivers

          • Anonymous says:

            Now that turned on whether "working for money in a business" means "studying" which it obviously didn't.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes, exactly. A true Caymanian even though she wasn't born here. 

            • Fred the Piemaker says:

              And despite some true born Caymanians saying she wasnt one and shouldnt be allowed to run for office….

          • Anonyanmous says:

            Tara Rivers has DNA to Terra Firma this is what makes her Caymanian although she was not born here, however, her parents and grandparents were born here.  The same applies to anyone born in the UK, not everyone born in the UK is considered a British Citizen and the world know that but many posters conveniently ignore that fact and only hold up Cayman as the shining example when in fact that directive came from the UK.

      • Anonyanmous says:

        The great USA has degrees of citizenship, Native American, African, Asian, European, Latino to mention a few and if you are an American citizen and not born there forget about running for the Presidency, now you tell me the difference in comparison.

        • Anonymous says:

          Aside from the Constitutional provision, inserted as a barrier to the risk of a pro-Colonialist future President, the rest of your post it utter tripe.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are we back to this same nonsensical argument? There are virtually no countries in the world which can boast of truly indigenous populations. Certainly not the UK since Britain was also uninhabited until the Celts, Angles, Saxons, Normans etc. either migrated or invaded that land. But yet there is a clear distinction drawn between the descendants of those earlier immigrants and those who have recently arrived from Pakistan, the Caribbean, Africa etc.

      But the main point is that there are many who rightly called "paper Caymanians" because they do not think of themselves as Caymanians but according to the nationality of their respective country of origin. In fact they despise and denigrate generational Caymanians – see the stereotypes you have just put in your post about "the locals". They only claim to be Caymanians when there is a benefit to be had, e.g. starting a business. Choosing to live here does not of course mean that you love these Islands as many of the comments here on CNS show. If it is one thing that anonymity does is to give them the courage to be themselves and say what they are really thinking, and it for the most part it is not nice.  It's just an easy way to make lots of money, tax-free in a nice climate. 

      So enough with this one-sided ranting! I for one have had enough of it.         

      • anonymous says:

        The difference is, being British, we neither demand or expect to get employment, regardless of qualifications on Nationality alone.

        We have all had to earn it on merit, study and time served out in the real world.

      • Anonymous says:

        My solution is to DNA test all persons claiming to be Caymanian. If you DNA identifies you to be from a specific genetic grouping then you are an expat. If it happens to come up as Caymanian, then you can have the passport, UK passport, right to be employed, reduced interest rates, Government credit card, body guards that will work for crockery and a herd of white dwarf unicorns.

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s a Camanian?! Someone from Camana Bay awa? The word is CAYMANIAN. Yeesh!

  9. Anonymous says:

    even though the majority of us can see the nonsense of this viewpoint for what it is…..unfortunatly this the mantra that is put out on' talk' radio shows on a daily basis…….

    no wonder the locals swallow and regurgitate it…….

  10. We're not the Worse! says:

    In Cayman, it seems like the Emporer is a money thing. Look at Turks and Caicos, they have it worse. More millions are being spent by their tax-payers. Instead of arresting one man the FCO has dissolved their democracy then re-instated it with arbitrary laws. Most of TCI 95% are blacks. The Emporer is more of a racial thing up there. I feel it for these people. Read the link for yourself  –


  11. Anonymous says:

    Spoken like a true Caymanian.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I like the part about the US Navy defeating the Nazis.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was possibly the most accurate and coherent part of it.

      • Winston says:

        Actually dear boy, the Battle of the Atlanticwas won by Henry Kaiser and the US ship building factories. Karl and the Kriegsmarine simply couldn't keep pace with the vast tonnage of Liberty ships built.


    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Or Cayman building the ships that the US Navy used. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    People! It’s the emerald islands. So obviously he is talking about Ireland and its colonies of England and Wales. Maybe I’m an island short but who’s counting anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since "Emerald Isle" usually refers to Ireland, i c an only assume this person has Irish roots.   Oh wait a minute doesn't having roots i. Jamaica, ireland, scotland and England. Est describe a native born Caymanian.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Ireland does and has never had colonies! 

  14. Gut Check says:

    I think in large part, we did it to ourselves.    My great-grandparents and those before them had land.   Their children divided that land, and so on through to the current day.    Somewhere along the line, many people who inherited land sold it for the immediate gain, and lived large (or large as compared with the relatively simple life of their parents).    

    Some families sold out, sold our greatest resource besides the ocean — the land.   Without a thought toward the paid-forward heritage they were smothering, they sold, and in the process also adversely affected the notions that families worked together on the family business, to their mutual benefit.   

    Later on, various government administrations did us no favors by selling to the highest bidder for undervalue trinkets and gradtuities, which was the antithesis of preserving resources for future generations.    

    There isn't One.  Single.  Work Permit Holder.  that comes here that isn't requested by a Caymanian.    They are all blameless and just trying to make their way in the best way they know how, like the rest of us.   Work permit holders do not take jobs away from anyone.    They fill a job that nobody local is willing to fill.     

    My first jobpaid me ten cents per hour.    I developed the job myself and went upward from there.   There were bad breaks and good ones, but I always remembered that regardless of the outcome, it was my responsibility.    Only mine.   

    It seems also pointless to me to choose the RCIP as the partial focal point of the problelm.   Yes, there was less crime prior to Hurricane Ivan.     Afterward, a few cowards learned that armed robberies were difficult to thwart.    This is more evidence of our increasing social disparity and poor preparedness of our children to face the responsibilities of adulthood.    The RCIP were probably not better detectives in earlier years, they were probably just faced with far less violent crime.   


  15. Anonymous says:

    Somewhere between nationalism and racism there is a fine line.  This is nowhere near that fine line.  It is racism pure and simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      This was written by a troll deliberately stirring up tensions between Caymanians and expats. The exaggeration there is obvious to any Caymanian. Note the pen name used.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A lot has been and will be said in this arguement, some true points on both sides. I see that in the world in general (Europe, USA etc) that most "locals" also did not want the so called "menial" jobs. So in Europe,when Eastern Europe opended up, there were plenty of low skill workers, even some highly qualified people who were prepared to do these menial jobs and do them well, for they could earn much more than they could at home.

    Those natives that used to do that job managed to obtain at least some qualifications and the skills, along with a work ethic to be able to take the "better" jobs. With some very notable exceptions, including in our company, I do not see that same drive amongst many Caymanians. Making the market here tied to "employing Caymanians" has created the "entitlement" mentality, which you do not find in a free economy. All restrictions on employement should be removed. It will be painful for a while, however everyone will soon learn what is needed to earn good money, and then every Caymanian that does, will be employed. I repeat ad nauseum, do you really think foreign firms want to employ expats? No, they do not. It costs a lot of money on the fees and peripheral costs. However, if no-one here is willing to do the job, or displays that entitlement attitude, no employer, foreign or Caymanian, will want to employ them. You can go to any of our offices worldwide (with Bermuda being an exception) and they are almost 99% staffed with local people.

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm sure that this (above) statement has made a lot of people unhappy…but it is 100% TRUE.  As an expat and employer I would really love to hire Caymanians and I tried.  Doing so would save me about $120,000 a year in work permits alone and $80,000 in relocation expense.  The problem is as stated above " It costs a lot of money on the fees and peripheral costs. However, if no-one here is willing to do the job, or displays that entitlement attitude, no employer, foreign or Caymanian, will want to employ them".  The last part should read "can't afford to employ them".   Sadly of my first 5 local hires, 2 informed me AS THEY SIGNED their employement agreement that it would be almost impossible to fire them, dont even think about, because we are Caymanian.  Don't get me wrong, I have some very dedicated local talent that have the work ethic of people looking to climb the ladder all the way to the top.  Regretfully they seem to be the exception……. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    I like the touch where this bigot accuses foreigners of fraud when it comes to bar bills.  Ugly, ugly, attitude.

    • Anonymous says:

      …because we know that we don't any any dishonest foreigners here…

  18. Anonymous says:

    The trouble is that the writer has mixed in truth with exaggeration in a pitiful attempt at lampooning and discredting the Cayman story as a whole.  

  19. Anonymous says:

    This View Point is a joke?  Right?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Yikes. Basically the Islanders are naturally superior so the mean corporations impose unnecessary qualification requirements to keep them out and give the jobs to useless expats that do a poor job and drive the customers away? This is the racist narrative you actually believe explains why there are no Caymanians working as waiters or bartenders?

    What about the Caymanian business men that have gotten rich employing Filipinos and refusing to abide by the pension and health insurance laws? Corrupted by the expats no doubt? What about the politicians that so shamelessly divert the country's financial reserves away from the things that would benefit the whole community and into the things that benefit only themselves, like 5 star round the world travel and fine dining?

    What about the bar and restaurant owners that advertise for Caymanians but get no applications because they only want jobs with air conditioning, a comfortable chair and facebook access?


    • Anonyanmous says:

      Absolutely no Caymanian have ever worked as a waiter, waitress and bar tender.  Lol you can hear this crap in Cayman, by guest worker, I repeat only in Cayman.

  21. Anonymous says:

    To UK Citizen who posted 1/11/14 @ 10:33 I'd like to correct some of your information for accuracy. You mentioned that you arrived here some 35 years ago, making it around 1979. From your recollections it seems that you missed an earlier, more progressive time in Cayman. For example, in the early to mid-1970's there were two cinemas, one roller-skating rink and three active farms in Bodden Town alone. One, a dairy farm (Caribbean Farms), delivered fresh milk daily by milk-maids clad in hot-pants and high boots, driving  flower-power decorated Mini Mokes. In West Bay there was an egg farm and a beef farm (Bothwell's) which had a retail outlet in Bodmer Building in the centre of George Town from which fresh local beef could be bought daily. This belies your recollection of fresh beef arriving once per week.

    To add further accuracy to your recollection –  as for new cars, existing Ford dealer Vampt Motors opened in 1968 and GM and VW dealer Kirk Motors opened in 1972 – both brought in new cars in bulk (the Kirk Pride sank in GT Harbour in 1976 with a shipment of new Corvettes and Volkswagens)  – along with numerous used car outlets in GT, Savannah and BT. Perhaps your recollection of 4 months to have a phone installed may or may not be accurate (C&W/LIME's service hasn't improved much) but your recollection of renting pre-recorded US TV programs is correct. Thanks to the late Desmond Seales for introducing that and more modern TV media. By then the 15-year old mosquito eradication program had made a large impact on those pests although, like today, some areas were still prone to a lot of mosquitos.

    While you've experienced thirty five years of Cayman's regression, you missed what was perhaps the single most progressive decade in our history – mid-1960's to mid-1970's. Anyone who experienced that decade in Cayman will agree that in the larger picture, we were better off. That progress can be credited to Sir John Cumber's vision for these islands which was well on the way to being implemented in the public and private sectors by persons of ethics and integrity, until being derailed after November 1976 and the greed which followed. Sadly, upon your arrival around 1979 you were apparently exposed to the general reversal of our progress as a people, which has continued.

    My point is to accurately indicate that the perception that Grand Cayman remained a mosquito-infested backwater before the real-estate and financial boom of the 1980's is a myth perpetuated in part by the inaccuracies of persons like yourself who do not know (and don't try to determine) the facts. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks friend for the informative post. The scary thing is that many of the people we embraced and welcomed here who know better do not speak truthfully or positively about us. They perpetuate fibs and stereotypes and literally believe that they alone brought progress and success to our shores.

      The sad fact is we are always to acknowledge their contribution but too many of ‘them’ think it torturous to acknowledge or defend ours.

      What we should all take away from this is that there are people who really think like the author and some of these equally vile posters. If there is not a de-escalation in this vitriol we are going to see and experience some very dark days.

      Mutual respect is sorely needed folks.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Thank you for correcting the UK blogger. Whilst I only arrived in 1968  I certainly remember the amenities, lack thereof and the mosquitoes so ably addressed by the late Dr. Giglioli. Development in the finance industry came withnthe 1960 Companies Law and the 1966 Banking Law. Bankers, lawyers and accountants started to arrive to supplement local resources and the finance industry took off. The land cadastral survey took place which had a tremendous impact on the island.  Holiday Inn started in 1971 to supplement those hotels build in the previous decade and I should add that by then several subdivisions had been commenced in many parts of the island. Also at that time new office buildings were being built in the centre of George Town including the West Wind Building.

      Schools commenced rapid development and many new sports club were formed including several football  and cricket clubs plus the Tennis Club, Sqush Club and Rugby club.

      I certainly concur with the previous article insomuch that the island 's most progressive period was in the 60s and 70s. It was a joy to have been here in those largely crime free days. 

      • Anonymous says:

        And then in the late seventies our National Hero J M Bodden opened the floodgates of uncontrolled, unregulated, rapid get rich quick development and here we are today. A mess, just like everywhere else.

        • Anonyanmous says:

          Yes JMB did encourage development but he did not relinquish control politically and would not have; remember the quota placed on status? the lifting of that, doing away 60/40 ownership requirement and the moritorium placed on building hotels on 7 mile beach is what have destroyed this country.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Caymanian seamen were in demand because-yes- they were good at their job but, more importantly because they were the abundant cheap labour that capitalist ship owners needed. They have been replaced today by Filipinos and Indians- also good at their jobs and cheap to hire. Caymanians were nothing special, just the right, desperate for work employees of the moment -willing to do anything and go anywhere because there was NOTHING in Cayman.

    • anonymous says:

      You forgot to add the fact that almost all were non unionised and they themselves were also expats in different countries.Sending money home each month and waiting for that bulk carrier pension to come down from Canada.

      Finally buying a piece of land where they can sit, watch and complain about furriners taking Caymanian jobs and sending their money home, whilst working for less than a Caymanian would as there are no unions.

    • Pink Parrot says:

      We would get on so much better if we connected with our inner seamen.  I know I am so much happier when I feel that I have a little seamen inside me.

  23. If it quacks like a duck... says:

    Reply to Sat, 01/11/2014 – 14:27:  A few words of advice.  One, don't take everything too literally…  For example, if I say "Hit the road Jack", don't go out there and beat the road.  It won't do you any good.  Second,  I'm familiar with the make-up of the RCIPS as well as the foods that they eat.  Thank you nonetheless.  Third, my post is not more warped nor more biased than the original poster's – it is its anthisesis.  I posted it for effect, for reaction.  There are some minor truths and major exaggerations in both our posts, and though the truth may lie somewhere in the middle, it is far more complex than what the original poster and I described. 

  24. Anonymous says:

    The writer forgot to include the era when the natives of these emerald isles were encouraged to sell off their white sand which had suddenly turned gold. Coincidentally, at that time, the primary purveyor of real estate services on that Gold Coast (SMB) was the elected self-styled "leader" of the country, whose colleagues in EXCO (now called Cabinet) were primary purveyors of the related legal and insurance services, respectively. Also omitted was how that same leader built his political career on a warped nationalism of blaming foreigners for every ill of the time (few that they were, in comparison to today) and promoting the entitlement mentality that being Caymanian was enough to ensure a successful future for oneself and family. Simultaneously, the education system was being hijacked from the professionals by the politicians and was forced to move in a direction which discouraged vocational studies (which were present in the school system then) in favour of "neck-tie" jobs because Caymanians were "special" and were all entitled to such employment. Nevermind those who could not qualify, they would simply be given a job per political favour.  

    Atila also forgot to mention that that era introduced political interference in the public service, cronyism and favours to hire and fire, lack of accountability and ethics in the public service and indeed gambling by high-level public servants to the detriment of the public purse. Yes, this all happened commencing with the 1976-84 Government which drew its greatest support from those who were blinded by their instant riches and gratification as a result of the "Gold Coast  sell-off" and its resulting development  – and the short-term view that tourism was being developed by leaps and bounds. Yes, the development occurred but at what price? Where are Caymanians in today's Cayman?  

    The political colleagues who assisted this agenda and direction are retired millionaires and the architect got a statue and National Hero status. No wonder our biggest celebration is piracy!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Unemployment is at an all-time high?  Is there any evidence of that?  The most recent Labour Force Survey is a year old and unemployment was slightly down on the previous year.  

    I keep hearing we have high unemployment but what is this claim based on?

  26. Anonymous says:

    The Caymanian waitstaff of 40 years ago were mostly ignorant, bossy and rude. Even then they thought service was beneath them and they were doing you a favor to bring the food.

  27. Anonymous says:

    sad day for cns…. when this drivel is put up as a viewpoint……

    • Anonymous says:

      That is what is great about CNS!  My local newspaper would not print something if they did not agree with the person's viewpoint where CNS will print viewpoints whether they agree or not and isn't that what a "viewpoint" should be about….someone's view? We all do not have to agree on it. We can read it, comment on it or completely ignore it.  Love CNS!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I can only assume form the name chosen by the writer that this was written as satire to mock the xenophobic racism prevalent in certain parts of the community.  Sadly some people will read it as a genuine expression of belief.

  29. Anonymous says:

    This article is sad because it probably reflects someone's genuine sentiment. Instead of accepting any responsibility the writer wants to blame expats – the Emperors command the top jobs. Although i'd like to try some fluffypussy why no mention of the Caymanian Kings of Business with their hardware stores, duty free stores, fast food joints and supermarkets full of Philipino workers? The blame for the country's current state of affairs falls squarely on the shoulders of the politicans that ran this place in the 80's and 90's. During those golden years the government had significant revenues, how much of that was saved? Right now you have a compulsive gambler incapable of telling the truth and there are some that would like to blame that on a UK conspiracy and use it as a springboard for independence. God help this place, denial will not solve anything – a public education system that works would.

  30. Anonymous says:

    The author eloquently describes the grand delusion shared by many Caymanians that they are somehow both naturally superior to, and worse off than, their millions of neighbours in Jamaica, Haiti, DR, Bahamas, Barbados,Trinidad etc and that the obvious differences in wealth and living standards are entirely unrelated to the differences in historical immigration policy.

    The reality is that Cayman is, for all its imperfections and injustices, still the only jewel in the Caribbean crown.  And that its success is a direct result of the economic activity brought here and generated here by the capital, expertise and hard work of the many foreigners that have made their home here permanently or temporarily.  Yes, those foreigners have benefited from a system your forebears were kind enough, and smart enough, to allow them to help create.  And yes they were assisted by the hard work of many Caymanians.

    But for Caymanians to believe that the great wealth the expat lawyers and accountants (or developers or hoteliers for that matter) have generated in the Islands has either been stolen from their pockets or not shared sufficiently with them is equal parts greed and ignorance.

    Were it not for the hard work and expertise of others, and the good sense (not generosity because it cost them nothing and benefited them greatly) of a few real statesman back in the day, poor Caymanians would be destitute and dying instead of scraping by on handouts from the government and various charities; the middle class would be a sliver of itself; and rich Caymanians would be much less rich at best.  

    The author is peddling an odious canard that Caymanians cannot succeed in Cayman no matter how hard they study or work.  Let us hope no young Caymanians take this author at his or her word, give up and marginalise themselves.  Or worse, rise up against the imaginary oppressor, scare away the very real corporate benefactors upon whom $600m+ of government revenue depends, and so destroy the economy out of spite and envy, much as has happened in Bermuda.

    We can only hope young Caymanians are smart enough to ignore the barriers erected by the imagination of this author (somehow overcome by the large number of very successful Caymanians), devote themselves to their work and their studies and prove to the author that in this world anyone can succeed if they work hard enough, no matter what their nationality or background.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello 14:56 what are you doing here how come you could not suceed in your own contry. Please leave Cayman today and apply these same lessons to your people in yopur homeland.

      • Anonymous says:

        Easy money, less work, no competition.  Fantastic.

      • Anonymous says:

        A lot of us are here because it is not cold and at the end of the day the Queen rules

        We dont need anything from your little island there is nothing naturally here We come here because we can

        You and your kind is what causes this place to be a third world island

        • Anonymous says:

          Then you are here for something.  You are here because of the weather and the Queen rules. 

          Do tell what is naturally available to you back home in the uk? It is also home for me but as you say I too am here for the weather and the queen.

          • Anonymous says:

            Haggis, Neeps and Tatties.


            Deep Fried Mars Bars.

            Decent Driving Standards.


            A 1st Class Public Tranport System.

            Neighbours, Home&Away ad HollyOaks.

            And lastly……………

            Daylight Savings.

    • Any says:

      Wow I wish you had put your name to this.. I am so glad and inspired by this opinion. After 10 years of investing in The Cayman Islands and its people I am DONE.

      Dont laugh! I have only ever employed LOCALS.. The unemploment just got longer..

  31. Anonymous says:

    As a UK citizen who had been a permanent resident here for some 35 years I can agree with much of this.

    On the other hand, when I came here there were so many mosquitoes that you could be carried away. Fresh meat came in once a week and just 8,000Caymanians lived here, along with 2,000 ex-pats.

    Want to buy a new car? There was just ONE available on the island. otherwise please put your name down for the next shipment.

    It took 4 months to get a phone line installed and TV consisted of renting recorded VHS copies of each week's edition of USA soaps.

    Much of the problems lie at the feet of parents who do not demand their children work hard at school.

    I have said before that a tourist could spend their entire vacation here without meeting a single Caymanian, except at Immigration. But jobs are available and pay decent wages in the restaurant and hotel industry. But it seems that Caymanians don't apply for them.

    Same with SCUBA diving. Poor wages here, but foreigners seem happy to accept them.

    And sadly it takes a good education and experience to run a hedge fund or bank.

    • Anonymous says:

      I enjoyed reading your viewpoint. It was interesting, but I do have to agree with other posters in that if young people wanted to be employed as bartenders or hotel staff all they would have to do was apply. I believe that those types of jobs are "below them" and they would rather be unemployed than working in the hospitality field. 


  32. Anonymous says:

    Narrow_minded bollocks.

  33. Veritaser says:

    A bit cloying in its rose tinted historical construct but there are definitely kernels of truth.

    However, in the downward salary/cheaper foreign labour tourism worker model Cayman is similar to many advanced and developed countries where there exist large alternative industry employment options. In our case, the financial industry and accompanying government admin sector created a large local middle and professional/administrative class and Caymanians lost interest in gratuity based hourly wage work.

    It will take a serious vocational training push and a couple generations to get Caymanians back to tending bar and waiting tables.


  34. Anonymous says:


  35. If it quacks like a duck... says:

    Wow, what absolute nonesense and drivel.  Save your fairy tales for the youngest of children. 

    Your little boats may have been good little wooden dinghies, but not a U-boat, destroyer or aircraft carrier they make.  I doubt very much that the Nazis came to defeat because of your little boat builders – same for King Kong, T-Rex and Lex Luthor.  The "canning industry" that you built was miniscule and the fact that "Royalty" may have eaten your turtles is just a rumour.  When I was younger, I passed gas in the vicinity of the Pope.  I later heard a rumour that he asked one of his cardinals what that wonderful smell was.  In the end, you may be right, because that's why we now have the expression "Turtle and Chips" – or maybe that's not the expression after all.

    Your local population no longer wants to work in the hotel industry, because somehow that is beneath them; so let's not try to blame "whitey", "blacky", or the damn "furreiners" for your disinterest in an industry where every local person on this island could work.  Starting at a lower position and working your way up model of operation seems to hold no interest among many of your compatriots.  Your government is complicit in this and other industries, as they have become so dependent on work permit fees that they are addicted to cheap money like a hooker on crack.  Be upset with your government for prostituting itself to the lowest bidder.  As for the financial industry, ninety-nine per cent of your operation does not understand it and cannot work in it.  Consequently you allow a bunch of bigger crooks to use your island to wash filthy money into filthier money.

    You spoiled your children and you spoiled yourselves.  Just because it "was" your land, the world didn't owe you anything.  You felt entitled and passed on that "lazy" attitude to your own children.  Once again, your government was complicit in this affair as well.  They told you that you were special, they lied to you about "Caymanians first", they sold everything down the river and behind your backs.  And you did the same, because with this quick money you could buy yourselves little trinkets of little value.  The bigger and shinier the trinket, the more you liked it, even though cheap glitter is just that, cheap.  You and your government built the system and allowed for these conditions, and now you cry that the system is somehow unfair. 

    Your elected government (elected by you) are a bunch of crooks.  They have enriched themselves at your expense in the past, and continue to do so in the present.  Their underdeveloped reasoning skills are often overwhelemed by their overinflated egos.  Far from being honourable and/or heroes, you give them the highest accolades and kiss their behinds.  You run to them at the slightest sign of trouble, hoping for a quick shortcut and solution.  No wonder they feel like they own you.

    Your friendly local police man is eating donuts in his vehicle.  He is no longer friendly since having put on 300 lbs.  In fact, he's a bit grumpy about having to sort out all the trouble caused by your local wanna-be gangbangers impregnating wanna-be-gangbangers mamas.  He liked his old job, eating donuts in his vehicle, much better.


    • Anonymous says:

      06:57Your post is so warped and biased that one has to assume that you inhaled too much of your own gas. It is quite obvious from your comments that you know absolutely nothing about the local police service.First of all the "local" service is not local at all but comprised almost entirely of British officers and a few Jamaicans Doughnut eating cops are certainly not a Caribbean thing, I guess you got that idea from watching US television.

      • Anonymous says:

        It's no warped, it's dead on accurate. That is the sad thing about 6:57's post.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent commentary!!!!  Much better reading compared to the article posted.

    • Anonymous says:

      It sounds like you are describing London or New York

  36. jack sloper says:

    Where's the beef?

    It's good to see an intelligent article dealing with the state of Cayman[unfortunately anonymous] but where's the beef?

    Cayman's "heritage" is changing all the time over time just like other places albeit at a faster pace.It is becoming a different people as others arrive and get assimilated inevitably into the society and the blood stream as the economy grows.It is what capitalism does even when regulated..

    Problemsand disquiet arise when this process happens so fast:when the new identity remembers the old one so clearly because of this speed .The viewpoint article illustrates this.

    Is this a problem requiring drastic action?Not if you stand back and view critically the historical processes and immigration movements that have created international makeup since history beganand not blame them as the sole cause of current social maladies in the Cayman Islands.

    Revolution is mentioned.Maybe, but really it is evolution that is happening and in many real material senses Cayman has not done too badly at that.

    Turn back the clock?Impossible.Better to try to stop the clock.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Cayman's "heritage" is changing all the time.."  Sorry but this inaccurate.  Heritage is recorded history.  It does not change.  On the other hand, culture is ever-changing. These two words have distinctly different meanings and, therefore, not to be used interchangeable. 

      • jack sloper says:

        "Heritage " has a number of meanings[see Wikipedia]I was using it to mean "kinship" which does change over time.The quotation marks were meant to indicate this lack of precision.

        Incidentally and to continue the pedantry ,"interchangeable" is incorrect usage.

        Who are you?See me after class!

        • Anonymous says:

          Sometimes "heritage" meansnothing to do with the normally meaning of the word, such as "heritage tomatoes" and "Caymanian heritage".

        • Anonymous says:

          Jack, you have been away too long. "Heritage" nowadays is a sacrosanct word evoking seamen, "tatch" palm, quadrilles, kitchen bands and scratchy sightly out of tune fiddle music, no foreigners, no crime, women with long dresses and buns on their heads going to church repeatedly etc. Don't you remember?

          • Anonymous says:

            19:36.Of course this is your  definition of heritage based on your hateful,xenophobic view of things Caymanian.

          • Anonymous says:

            19:36.Your disrespect for and hatred of Caymanians is appalling ,considering that you are her making a living for your family ,while at the same time you treat us like dirt.

            • Anonymous says:

              So what untruths did the poster say that made you respond like this? I am a Caymanian who went through the government school system here and this is what we got all the time on "heritage day" along with local food and storytelling by old ladies that we found embarrassingly unfunny.

              • Anonymous says:

                It was the obvious mockery.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Feeble answer bobo. What did he/she say that was not in fact what we portray as our culture/heritage-even in our schools. We young people think most of what you old timers go on and on about as heritage is totally boring and irrelevant to us. Sorry, but accept it and move on.

          • jack sloper says:

            Ah yes l remember it well.I remember the early 70's in Cayman  more clearly   than last Thursday!

            Yes there  were  some artificial attempts to instill some historical relevance which left some of us slightly bemused  and vaguely irritated-a bit like when I see my fellow Welsh ladies in those bloody hats.

            For the rest it was a magic best of times.I am not going to trot out the usual cliches.Goldsmith put it best when he wrote:

            "Ill fares the land,to hastening ills a prey,

            Where wealth accumulates ,and men decay."

            The Deserted Village.

            See alsoTony Judt:Ill fares the land.



      • Anonymous says:

        15:24, I beg to differ, at GT's Heritgae Day today, wich is our capital, there had Domino's Pizza and Wok'n'Roll included in the Food Festival on Cardinal Avenue as vendors.

        Whe did they become part of our heritage?

  37. UHUHUHTake the land owner to court says:


  38. Anonymous says:

    Nice story, and somewhat true. But what also happened, you neglected to mention because only the islanders were allowed a vote, the voters mistakenly supported politicians who were more than willing to blame all the island's problems on "foreigners". This served two purposes diverting attention away from their failures and allowing them to remain in comfortable positions of power while accepting bribes on the side from the ones they said they were protecting the islanders from. Many islanders have still not figured this out.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Do as the emperor wishes or you are doomed years ago you were forced to survive on the dirt of the land and the menace of the sea.

    and things were pretty good .

    eventually your hard work caught the attention of the emperor and he frowned on the daily toils

    endured by those .

    He offered his kingdom of goods on the condition of you must do as told

    After the islanders became fat and lazy from the good life.

    they felt entitled to what the emperor gave them and felt it was their hard work that that made the emperor powerful.

    Eventually the emperor gave up his island paradise for the islanders were all self serving lazy liars and the emperor had enough.

    Soon the people realised that it was not  there smarts or there money. it was all the emperors.

    Soon the natives ended up fighting amongs themselves stealing robbing hurting.

    all the while thinking they were hurting the emperor,

    The emperor shook his head he realised its too  hard to take the monkey out of the jungle

    The emperor went about his merry life forgetting those whom were so ungrateful to him

    • Dreadlock Holmes says:

      Don't like the tone of your comment at all. Anymore than the tone of the viewpoint. You are both part of problem.

    • Anonyanmous says:

      Guess what the Emperor is naked and has no clothes….. the quicker he leaves the better as most honest people won't have to look upon his bare a$$ and 2 inches and pretend he is clothes in the finest silk and has 20" when they know better.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Just don't think it's the Moses there now for he's only for the Emperors.  

  41. Anonymous says:

    Sad but true story!

  42. Anonymous says:

    100% wrong. Not one correct statemnt. Vry concerning.

    • Anonymous says:

      14:51.If you really believe what you posted, then you are a "Johnny -come lately" ( recent arrival) who has no knowledge of what happened before your arrival,but chose to comment anyway. Most Caymanians are aware of the truth contained in the article,and even if everything mentioned is supported by them,they will agree with the general  intent  of the writer.Next time before you comment out of turn,take the time to research your subject,maybe ask an older Caymanian (if you associate with any).

  43. Anonymous says:

    Maybe I'll make up a story, call it a cute name, penned by a funny name and pretend it is a real life happening.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Now that's a funny fairy tale.      A BS story about why the lovely islanders don't work in the service industry (hotels/bars/restaurants).

  45. Anonymous says:

    Well written, Attila the Hun, well written. Only time will tell how we as a people will ideal with the coming revolution. Trust me it's closer than we think.

  46. Unison says:

    "Wow! Where can these troubled emerald islands be? Could they possibly be the Cayman Islands?"  To answer your question:  No, its the World…  The whole world is shaping into the image of the beast [sorry to sound apocalyptic, but look what is happening in the world today]!  Note that a "revolution" of enforcing laws, violence, or relying on politicians are not going to create that change in the world that will benefit the poor, unemployed, and the needy. Why?  Because my friend, the same ones who are the revolutionary will have to do cruel things to take power away from the Emperor, and when that happens they too become oppressive and you have a continuation of the same bloody cycle [eg. Castro's revolution against Democratic Baptista in Cuba – one oppressor to the next]. You have to see beyond the physical reality and understand that the "Emporer" is really "a spirit" that can not be conquored by human ingeniuty. A human being can never change his clothes multiple times at once! He is a spirit that lies in the heart of many people succombed by greed or some selfish ambition, and have them turned completely against God, humankind and the natural order of things.!

    The only SOLUTION my dear friend, is the changing [repentance] of people's hearts. the world wants you to think that you must fight and conquor, but you are only creating more division and making matters worse for all. The only real and effective method against a demon is – Constant non-violent protest and delivering a message of salvation, peace, love, and justice. Legislation will not fix people's hearts. Great leaders knew this, Buddha knew this, Ghandi knew this, Martin Luther King knew this, hence they their focue was in grassroot one-to-one, delivering a message.

    When Jesus walked the lands of Israel he was asked to become a king and legislate laws to deliver the people from the unjust Romans. What did Jesus say, do, and think?  Satan took him up on a mountain and shew him the entire world and demanded Jesus bow down to him and worship him. He was promised will the kingdoms and riches of the world, and what did Jesus do?  Read his biography – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Instead Jesus delivered a message of fairness, truth, equity, and justice … and that my friend is how he become a true revolutionary person!  You fight evil with good. 


  47. Anonymous says:

    Bit of an obvious story really, happens everywhere.  'Emerald' islands?

  48. Anonymous says:

    All too true! And who could blame the youth (even the not too young) from rebelling?

    Soon come! Because I have no hope the powers that be will effect any meaningful positive change anytime soon….not without the aforementioned rebellion.

    Just look around the world….very few in power will do the right thing….without an uprising. And uprising don't happen until nearly all hope is gone.

  49. Anonymous says:

    What a load of old crap. Emerald Isles – surprised they look emerald to you through your rose tinted glasses.

    There are 1001 words in your post (was it an essay?) – if you were true to yourself you could have written it in three 'WE ARE ENTITLED'.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Given your extreme right wing views perhapsthe moniker "Genghis Khan" or "J M le Pen" might be more appropriate.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Pure racism.  Pathetic rabble rounsing.  A total disgrace.