Viewpoint: New hope? No chance.

| 21/08/2015 | 34 Comments
Cayman News Service101 writes:For the past two or three political terms, just before the elections, we hear talk about a very popular ‘what if’. What if we could secure the election of a few younger/more progressive legislators in the LA? That might change the way things work. After all, these potential new persons have watched on the sidelines for years and opined on what needs to be done differently: how Cayman needs to move on; how we need to get out of the Stone Age on numerous matters.

And what if these guys were educated, maybe even travelling a bit farther than Miami, Jamaica and Cuba to gain a better understanding of the world and how Cayman fits in. What if they were the type of young (and if not so, then at least progressive) leaders that could give the next generation a better Cayman Islands?

This last election several of these persons ‘sacrificed’ everything, some of them even giving up lucrative professional careers to serve us, the people. They won a seat to the most important body in the land. It’s been more than two years since those initial days of hope and well wishes.

And they have disappointed us.
 
For all the talk about this existing government having lots of smart/progressive people, we have seen very little in terms of Cayman moving forward on many key issues. We have certainly not got much help from Winston Connolly, Joey Hew, Alva Suckoo, Roy McTaggart, Tara Rivers and the sole opposition newbie, Bernie Bush. Marco Archer is spared for the moment from this brand of criticism because he appears to be working hard to get things done in a proactive manner.
 
Mr Panton has not achieved half the success of Mr Archer but by going against the ideas of a man who was likely key to his election in Bodden Town, he has recently displayed the type of courage and principle that we all thought would never be seen in the LA again, where political dynamics tend to supersede the interests of the people. If Mr Panton could display such courage and conviction toward other areas, there may well be hope.
 
Before the defense starts on this gang, let’s get one thing quickly out of the way.
 
Thank you for rescuing us from a government that brought instability, lacked statesmanship and worked out of rooms filled with allegations of corruption. It’s great to have those distractions out of the way. That’s why the people voted for change. For you, actually.
 
But now what?
 
It seems we were expecting too much from these newly elected individuals. Perhaps we should have seen this coming. Maybe we should have guessed that they would be mostly spineless, that they would be so awestruck to be in the company of other ‘honourables’ that they would forget, not just momentarily but permanently, that they are here to create policies that improve the lives of all citizens of this country.
 
But their worst crime may not be the failure to actually devise policies. Each day these newbies are faced with dozens of opportunities in the LA and in the public domain to speak up about the challenges that ordinary citizens in this country are experiencing. They have had ample chances to suggest solutions, even if they cannot themselves affect the change. And in this area most of them have also failed miserably, instead succumbing to the dynamics of their political circles.
 
They do have one excuse in their ‘special answer box’ that we should never accept. They often tell us privately that its not as easy as it looks, that while ‘they’ are willing to make change, it’s those other more influential ones that are getting in the way of progress — you know, the ‘dinosaurs’.
 
Really?
 
Step up. Take a stance on something. Call out your political colleagues privately and, if need be, publicly as well. Get some research done and propose more than one private member’s motion per year on something worthwhile to our lives. And if you are a cabinet minister, do something. Don’t sit by with that pathetic look on your face when a cabinet minister or other MLA says or does something outrageously stupid. That smug look of fatigue and ‘boy, you don’t know what its like up here in the ivory tower’ look you give after having a ‘whole day of back to back meetings’ does not impress us. We want to see results.
 
Do what you were elected to do. Represent us, not what makes you politically comfortable. You each make between $10k and $15k per month. Do your job.
 
If you can do that over the next 12 to 18 months, maybe we will have sufficient hope left in us to elect a few next generation leaders again. It’s very unlikely that you will be included in that group but at least you would have done something useful.
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Comments (34)

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  1. Ninja says:

    Called out perfectly. Watch now for a bunch of useless private members motions as they try to tick the box!

    • whauasay says:

      yep reminds of folio’s organ donor contributions. and didn’t someone try to bring a motion about the chickens in GT?

  2. DRIFTWOOD CAYMANIANISH says:

    Interesting commentary but there seems reluctantance to hold your friends in office to the same standard. Let’s face it the old guard are an embarrassment to a modern left of center minded Cayman. There is a leadership void especially from the current Premier Alden McLaughlin who appears to live in a bubble detached from us mortals and the issues impacting Caymanians. The time for McKeeva Bush is well past its sell by date. He is undeserving of a leadership role in any government and arch rival Kurt Tibbetts should do us all a favor follow his heart and go back to farming and cooking beef as he has achieved even less this term in the role as the elder statesman amongst the new Progressives. It appears the group is run by Moses Kirkonnell who has demonstrated his jaundiced views and poor management of the GT port project. Apparently using the position of Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism to benefit his interests seems to be his primary objective to date and not an of fence under the Anti-Corruption Laws of the Cayman Islands.

    Of the newbies none have distinguished themselves; in fact they have frequently demonstrated a seasoned arrogance and paranoia that one could expect from a veteran politician particularly Tara Rivers. The duo of Roy McTaggart Winston Connolly deceived many into thinking they could be objective and independent critical thinkers. It was difficult enough to fully grasp the C4C as a party that wasn’t a party but their candidates have been nothing short of a disaster and might as well formally join the Progressives for survival in 2017. Talking about the Progressive newbies does anyone really think that Progressive freshmen class of Osbourne Bodden, Alva Suckoo, Joey Hew and Wayne Panton deserve another term in office? The answer is no! What have they done to deserve this honor beyond offending half of the population with mistimed rants that are at best xenophobic and at worst pure ignorance. The one bright spot I guess is they have proven themselves as required coat tail riders making up numbers to aid the party to secure a majority. The irony of it is that the Progressives are ultimately reliant on Speaker Juliana O’Connor-Connolly to give her new party ten seats in total to form government. Politics does really make for strange bed fellows.

    • 2017please says:

      yes i agree I think you are saying they are all terrible. but i am especially disappointed at the ones we expected to help change things. I don’t expect that from the old boys who should all just retire in 2017!

  3. Anonymous says:

    We will all know better next time. They won’t have a second chance with me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s not in the governments interest to change anything, because the current situation works quite well for “them”.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a more aggressive generation behind us and I think the government will be forced to change soon.

  5. The Country With No Plan, says:

    Thank You Viewpoint 101. I agree and thank you for taking the time to share. To the bloggers, please also take some time and for the moment forget about yourself and think about your children and grandchildren before you comment.

    Before I begin, let me say, we GET what we vote for. Anthony Eden, Eugene Ebanks and Julianna O’Connor should walk away gracefully. They have served. We thank you. But we need you to step down now, in the interest of a better Cayman. If you truly love this Country, above yourself – do the right thing. You don’t need the money and you have nothing more to bring to the table. Walk away gracefully.

    For the news-bees. Bernie Bush should do what he does best – work with the youth in sports “island wide” – but he is not now, or no time soon, parliamentary material.

    As for C4C, I actually think Tara and Winston are doing a good to fair job.
    As for Roy McTaggart – be honest, be truthful – MLA is not your thing. Don’t run again. You are not made for this business and you DONT need the money. Step out and work with ANY Government to help. But this not your forte and you don’t need the money.

    Joey Hew – laws to remove vendors who trying to earn an income and longer prison sentences? Seriously! You have potential but no vision. Go spend a weekend in G/Town or W/Bay and visit the “places and homes” where people get shot. Die. Have no water or lights. You will need a sea bath after that. You not ready yet, but you have potential.

    As for McKeeva – he needs to resign after the next election and after he has groomed another person to take over. He has been in power too long. It’s not heathy for a democracy to have anyone in power for as long as he, Anthony Eden, Eugene Ebanks, Kurt Tibbetts and Julianna O’Connor been in power. If you love Cayman- resign gracefully.

    To us Voters, don’t give up. But remember, we get the Government we vote for. It’s really in our hands. You cannot continue to vote by Party, then complain when you get what you voted for. Think about your children and grandchildren and not you.

    It’s a long blog, but I really hope we spend more time reading, researching, reviewing the Government Budget, visit some families, etc., who are honest and hardworking but suffering, and stop the non-sensical hatred and malicious comments. You should be too old and mature for that.

    I close with – forget about you. What about your children and grandchildren after you have left?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry guy but how do you arrive at the conclusion that Winston and Tara are doing ok? Seriously? Don’t get me started on those 2. When it comes to expecting more and feeling let down these 2 take the cake easily.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with your comment on Tara (who has been utterly useless except for ensuring along with alden that all caymanians have ditch digging jobs… apology she was was one of my two votes in WB) but I actually thought Winston was doing pretty good. He does speak up sometimes and would probably speak out more if he wasn’t surrounded by ineffective dinosaurs. Am I wrong?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac needs to go now.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only thing I can see that would be worse than MAc is this new group with Johan Moxam and Austin Harris I keep hearing about. You feel let down now just hope that crew doesn’t gain traction.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m now wondering….shouldn’t the PPM (Peoples “Progressive” Movement) change it’s name to…er…PRM (Peoples Regressive Movement?) Especially as it’s “leader” the premier has said nothing on the most important recent issues.

  7. Anonymous says:

    spot on 101. its always promises and then even more promises from the so called new and upcoming. the fact that many of them were actual professionals that could bring something to the table and didn’t do anything for the past 2 years makes this worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      They campaigned as professionals or experienced business people who were not typical politicians. And surprise surprise look at how little they did so far. Donald trump is using same strategy in U.S. I hope it doesn’t work for their sake.

  8. Anonymous says:

    One has to wonder whether the smarter young ones that got elected are using the enhanced smarts for the benefit of the people or just being smarter at making their various deals so that the rooms that they are dealing from do not yet have the allegations of corruption. I have heard some snippets about the deals for the landfill, and the port and the airport, and surprise surprise the Dart deal that was so heavily criticized is still going forward as is the Ironwood deal ad the beach bay hotel deal. Doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference in the deals so far.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well said. We desperately need a different generation of leaders. Soon come.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well said and articulated in a manner that even the common man can understand. Another thing is that the rules and practices of the LA should be updated and modernized. As it is members don’t do any real work. That’s why we should not allow another seat to be added and have term limits.

    • Anonymous says:

      These so called new politicians are pathetic and need to grow a pair. They’re basically stooges at worse, pawns at best.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Excellent viewpoint. But I despair of change. Many years ago, Mr Benson, a decent man I believe, boasted after an election victory: “to the victors go the spoils”. That was then an unhealthy attitude but it still prevails today. Not enough is made of “let us improve the common lot of all people in Cayman, citizens, residents and visitors and remove the discriminatory measures that affect so many”. On top of that, even the “bright young” people we elect seem to feel they must be slaves to the village mentality of representing their districts first and the country an often distant second. And many of these voters are what they refer to themselves as “Christians” but are in reality repeaters of often contradictory vicious biblical texts -Anthony Eden’s “Holy Bible evidence” – which ISIS could agree with. They want certain things and attitudes in Cayman never to change, even when the rest of the world, which Cayman depends on for its existence, has moved on from beliefs that seem repugnant in the 21st century. A significant number of vociferous Caymanians blame “outside influences” or “foreign nationals” for the ills of modern Cayman when the truth is clearly much more nuanced than that “it’s all your fault” attitude. There is a long way to go before we grow up as a country but recent events could -repeat, could – mark a turning point. Is Cayman’s future with Anthony Eden’s “Holy Bible evidence” version which to many seems the correct way forward but to others seems a swivel eyed, pessimistic, disturbing and disturbed path backwards to nowhere that any decent people would like to be? Or is Cayman’s future with Wayne Panton’s heartfelt, caring, compassionate, tolerant and inclusive version, a Cayman society which identifies with societies elsewhere in the world which recognize the absolute necessity to respect the human rights of all people. Would be political leaders need to stand up and clearly demonstrate what their core beliefs and principles are -as Mr Eden has and also Mr Panton. Then we can make a choice. But if we get it wrong……………………

  12. Anonymous says:

    Pretty much spot on. There are still too many self interests and friends. When you become an MLA you have to rise above that and do whats right, not what your friends or lodge members want you to do. And if those are blackmailing you, name them and shame them mercilessly, for otherwise you will never be free to do what is right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have faith. Soon the older guys Wil be gone and won’t have any influence over the new politicians. Things will change maybe even too much when that happens watch out for that.

  13. Cass says:

    EXCELLENT article. Thank you. Please know that what is needed is decent people who will take a pay-cut firstly, then address the MAJOR issues plaguing the country on a whole after which they can then start with the more minor issues. But, in saying that people need to understand the amount of red-tape created now by all the previous and current administrations. They leave SO much mess behind to clean-up. It will take all the right people at LEAST 8 years to CLEAN-up the mess THEN get started. We are literally looking at 15-20 years of HARD WORK needed BEFORE we see major positive change!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well I guess everybody needs a hero. Wayne has become your hero because he has come out in defense of the GLBT group. The others have come out in defense of the sanctity of marriage, the Bible and our God and Redemer. The vocal majority of a dozen or GLBT or so who continuously repeat themselves over and over are no match for the thousands of bible believing God fearing residents so we will elect who we want. You and your GLBT group will not have any control over that. The majority of us are not posting over and over but our mark will be seen and heard over the entire island when the time comes.

    • Anonymous says:

      It will take a lifetime to clean up the mess of the Nation Building Slush Fund. Any more Casino bills on government credit card? Hello! Isn’t that Christianity? Is that the XXXXXXX that you all are crying out for?
      Give those who are in the hot seat a fair chance to do what they were put there to do.

      • Anon says:

        The bunch of you really do not know what you want . You have been screaming over the years about you need politicians who will vote their conscience and not just toe the party line. That has happened over and over within this administration. Certain individuals have consistently voted and brought motions contrary to what the majority of the government wanted. Anthony has been in politics for a long time and knows the ins and out but Al as a newbie has held his own over the past two years as has Joey, Winston, Tara, You know there are two polarities going on here, public opinion and personal conviction and as far as I can see Anthony and Al have always taken the hard road of personal conviction. Some of you complainers will never be satisfied but until you can stand for election and win and get in the hot seat the most you can do is spout hot air. Nothing pleases you- what are you doing to help the country? They are none of you out there who can serve the the country any better and from the names I hear popping up out there who will be trying to get into the fray I still think that the PPM is best choice.

        • 2015 says:

          Oh my….you are stuck in a time warp. Just because we are not runnning fir offuce does not mean we dont need to hold these jokers accountable. They asked for the job so they need to do it.

        • Anonymous says:

          “the most you can do is spout hot air. ”

          That’s exactly all our politicians do, perpetually. So on the basis of what you say, we are well qualified!

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