Alden: Bush is a destabilizing force

| 28/05/2015 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alden McLaughlin, Cayman Islands Premier, in the Legislative Assembly

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin said the opposition leader possessed a magnetic ability to “attract scandals” and described McKeeva Bush as a destabilizing force on most of the governments he had served in during his more than 30 years in politics. As McLaughlin wound up the week-long budget debate Thursday, ahead of a unanimous vote, he rejected Bush’s claims that the PPM administration was doing nothing different and compared the stability of this government with the chaos of the previous UDP regime.

Relating to the significant criticisms that Bush had hurled at McLaughlin during the opposition response to the budget presentation, the premier said that he found it troubling how Bush’s recollection of his time as the country’s leader between 2009-12 was so “off track”.

He said that Bush had lost the last election because he had betrayed the country and because of his wanton disregard for process, as well as the budget chaos. McLaughlin said it was time to reject personality politics and self-aggrandizement — something Bush had not yet done.

He said that during his debate the opposition leader had said “when I was the government …” when he chose to take credit for the current administration’s efforts. “I will leave others to deduce if that is self-aggrandizement,” the premier said, recalling that when Bush was premier he had effectively made himself minister of everything.

The premier listed the achievements of the PPM-led government and focused especially on the stability that he said it had brought, which was no small thing. He reviewed Bush’s life in politics and pointed to the contrasting instability that the now opposition leader had brought to the administrations he was a part of, from the First Cayman Bank scandal that caused his resignation in the 1996-2000 government, the coup in 2001 that saw Bush oust Kurt Tibbetts as leader, to the infamous no confidence vote in 2012 after Bush was arrested.

McLaughlin revisited the budget chaos throughout the UDP’s last administration and the battle Bush had with the UK over his refusal to follow the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility and his attempts not to implement it until he was threatened by the FCO.

In contrast, he said, the current government had presented the UK with a solid spending plan when they came to office and had stuck to it. The premier maintained that they had presented solid budgets with surpluses since coming to office. He said the PPM team had put the economy on a solid footing, restored confidence, turned public finances around and were beginning to roll back the taxes imposed by the UDP.

Earlier in the afternoon Finance Minister Marco Archer had said that the UDP administration increased the tax burden by $100 million.

The premier spoke about having finally managed to renegotiate the controversial Dart third amendment to the NRA deal and the special economic zone law, as he said they were both badly negotiated by the UDP. However, McLaughlin said that his government had carried on UDP policies where they were right and well executed, such as Health City Cayman Islands, which the PPM, he said, had always supported anyway.

But the country could not risk having the UDP in office again, he said, pointing to Bush’s disregard for proper process and public finances.

He described his government as a team and said he was not trying to be minister of everything and had capable, experienced people in the right positions who were taking the country forward. This government, the premier said, was not thinking about just this term but the next as well because he hoped to see the projects they had initiated come to fruition in the years ahead.

Following what appeared to be a unanimous vote, with no audible ‘nos’ heard in the chamber and no division called, the premier adjourned the Legislative Assembly to pave the way for Finance Committee.

The scrutiny of the line-item spending, which will be chaired by the finance minister, is scheduled to begin tomorrow at 10am. The proceedings will be broadcast live on government’s CIGTV channel and radio listeners can catch up on the Legislative Assembly budget meeting coverage each evening on Radio Cayman.

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Category: Economy, Government Finance, Politics

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Bush is a destabilizing Mass in politics.

    Force = Mass x Acceleration.

    Once we stop giving him acceleration the force will fall to zero.

  2. CaymansList says:

    Personally I think it’s time they both retire.

    They are to interested in each other to be interested in Cayman..

    They could however make a ton of money in the boxing ring. Maybe a celebrity fight for charity and then party to celebrate both their retirements..I’d be first in line for a ticket, but I think I’d put my money on Bush, Alden has a slimmer waistline and smooth black hair but I think Bush would have more heart , not go down and take the fight to Alden. Alden on the other hand would probably just threaten to sue if hit in the face or just try to make it seem like he’s better than Bush by bashing his reputation and foot movement.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Have another drink 2:27

  4. Anonymous says:


    Let me give you a head’s up on something you may not know.

    One of Tempura investigators are now working at the C.I. Government Legal Department.

    Also, can you enquire from your sources and give us readers an idea how much Jeff Webb was earning as FIFA vice president and the head of CONCACAF ? We know there are lot’s of perks that go with this job but his salary is an important read. I read somewhere that Sepp Blatter is making about $6 million a year.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Like two children fighting in the sand box

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is center stage in the international media pressure cooker on Webb’s FIFA/CONCACAF scandal and Alden is dodging the issue by engaging Bush on his sleeping in LA and UK conspiracy BS?!? We need a leader that would know his immediate concern, and the highest priority for the territory in this hour, is to instruct CIFA to remove Webb!!! It should be pretty easy call to make at this point, and should have probably happened a few days ago. Cayman’s universal problem seems to be that it is led by stubborn self-aggrandising morons, keeping poor counsel, that make bad choices for themselves and for the reputation of our people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why on earth should Webb step down from CIFA when Bush did not step down as Premier when charged???

      • Sammi blue says:

        Exactly. If Webb is guilty it should come out in Court bearing in mind that unlike the past Premier he does not have the ability to fill up the jury with his cronies. If he is guilty it would again prove the point that dishonesty does not really pay off in the long run. I hope and pray that Webb did not do what they said he did but time will tell. I don’t know whether or not he should be kicked out of CIFA, but I do believe that he should step down, just like how I thought the Past Premier would have done one honorably act and step down while he was being charges and waiting on his trial. Also this is definitely out of the Present Premier hands- he is in the same waiting boat with the rest of us. I would also like to remind him and his followers that he is not the Premier, he had his chance and blew it so all of you in his circle please remind him gently that he was not chosen two years ago.

      • Anonymous says:

        Uhm no. Nobody should be asking at this point. Directors should have convened already on this. This isn’t a theoretical thing that may or may not have transpired. There is a 150 page indictment approved by a Grand Jury. There are wires, and custom swimming pools that were built in the shape of Grand Cayman. At this point it is not a question of whether or not he is going to jail, it is “for how long”. There should be no hesitation by CIFA and a full and complete denouncement should be made ASAP. The fact that this has not happened yet is internationally embarrassing and extremely worrying.

        • SSM345 says:

          Spot on 2:09, when the FBI and IRS come knocking with a 164 page Indictment, you better start praying you getting your own cell, because they don’t do that unless they are 99.9% correct in their assertions.

          Cayman’s silence on this is telling, there are a lot more involved, hence the silence.

      • Napoleon says:

        When one man IS the party or organisation then you have a problem……..

    • Sharkey says:

      He’s not to show any guilt in this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, and Bush would like us to go independent so he and his cronies can get a clean shot at the treasury.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m neither PPM nor UDP but I agree that Bush has been a (persistent) destabilizing force and stability is a prerequisite for investors’ confidence and comity among its citizens. Also, he thinks that he is the government and the government is him; thus, making him a dictator or in business parlance a micro-manager. Why this uneducated idiot won’t just go quietly and retire to Vegas on his government pension is beyond logics?

  9. Anonymous says:

    They cannot point to any, Archer and Alden just happen to have landed on a boat that was being carried in the right direction by the tide, all they’ve managed to do is not steer it off course because England was still holding the rudder.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, we do it ourselves by electing these same clowns over and over and over again and expecting a different result. It’s like FIFA in many ways.

    • H. Gunzaless says:

      Well said my friend. If the UK was controlling the direction of the boat the country would be a banana republic by now under PPM who destroyed it financially during their previous administration.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The only way to stabilize Mac is to put Kurt directly opposite on the other end. For example, if they were both fishing on the same dinghy. Alden just don’t carry enough weight for the job.

  11. Sharkey says:

    It would be nice to read about some achievements that the Government made , but every time I read anything about Government it’s these two going after each other like boys . This is no way for politicians to behave .

    • to be honest i think this is the last of our parents – post war- babyboom kind of politics – it is old fashioned in its personality obsession and dependence on ultra localism.

      our new world needs to hear from leaders who are future focused and are looking for the next global change where we as a tiny island state can fill a need that falls between what giants can negotiate for themselves. our strength IS our size, it IS our ability to adapt fast – if we forget that then we become like the dinosaurs that represent us.

      Caymanians please remember that we currently live at the largesse of our friendly neighbour to the north – but let us not tie our future only to their prosperity – their are new, interesting and strange potential lovers we can choose. like ourgreat founding fathers lets seek them out and use them for the benefit of our people

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