Connolly sticking with government

| 07/01/2016 | 56 Comments
Cayman News Service

Winston Connolly, George Town MLA (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS): The only remaining independent member of the government backbench has confirmed that he plans to remain in his seat for the foreseeable future and will not be crossing the floor of the Legislative Assembly anytime soon. With the departure of Anthony Eden and Alva Suckoo over the last few weeks from the ruling PPM, speculation had mounted that Winston Connolly would follow his former government colleagues to the opposition benches.

However, the George Town member, who was elected on the C4C ticket alongside Tara Rivers and Roy McTaggart, told CNS that he would remain on the government benches, despite the obvious differences of opinion between the novice member and the premier, in particular over the issue of how to best assist the advancement of Caymanians.

While Connolly has no plans to sign up with the Progressives as his former C4C colleague McTaggart did last month, he isn’t ready to jump from the government ship. Connolly said he would continue to support the government in whatever he believes is in the best interests of these islands.

“I believe I have consistently shown that when I agree with them, I can stand up to external criticism of the media and others and vote with them, and when I don’t agree, I can also stand up to internal and external criticism of my peers, the media and others and call out what I see wrong or give an alternative view,” Connolly told CNS Wednesday.

“This is what I believe the people who elected me as an independent want and a role that I take very seriously. My primary questions are always: Is it good for Cayman? And is it good for Caymanians? What I won’t and haven’t done is oppose for the sake of showing my independence,” he stated.

Connolly added that he had no plans to attack the premier outside the House just because he was attacked on the floor during the recent debate on opportunities and advancement for professionals and entrepreneurs in the offshore sector.

“What good would that do?” Connolly asked. “We have to come together as legislators with what little time is left and push for policies which benefit the citizens and residents of the Cayman Islands. It is my aim to air the topics that I campaigned on and to fight for them in spite of the odds and numbers against me.”

The difference in opinion expressed by the premier following the presentation of Connolly’s private members motion made it clear that the party leader was not impressed with the position the backbencher took about the issues that Caymanians face. Alden McLaughlin said he was “scared” by anti-foreign and anti-business comments made by Connolly and others during the debate.

But Connolly said he would still be able to work with the government front bench, regardless of policy differences. He said that the premier, Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton and McTaggart had critiqued the motion and gave their views, which he said he had responded to in his closing remarks.

“I responded to the criticism and corrected some of their statements,” he said. “When I concluded, the motion was unanimously approved by all those present in the House, including Minister Panton and Councillor McTaggart and I thank them for their support.”

He said that was sufficient proof that the substance of the motion was accurate and that there was an acknowledgement of those issues as well as promises to review the loopholes and fix them.

“I was very satisfied with the outcome of my debate and the debate of others in the House who added their contributions to this motion of paramount importance,” Connolly said, adding that he would be looking for an update during the next meeting on the status of the review and all of the motions he has brought or supported that have been accepted.

Although the formal start of the election campaign is still 15 months away, the impending historical change to the election landscape for the 2017 campaign is likely to begin many months before. Connolly said that he would be weighing his options closer to the date.

“To do so now without knowing who is or will be running is very premature,” he said. “What I do know is that I will remain an independent as promised when campaigning, as I always try to be a man of my word, no matter the personal consequences.”

The new landscape may see candidates emerge early before they have declared which constituency they will battle for and which party, group or alliance they will run with, which they might not do until much closer to Nomination Day, when they are more aware of who they will be going up against.

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Comments (56)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am unclear as to why men – especially men in Cayman – join the Masonic Lodge if not for the benefits of the “brotherhood”. Not the so-called “benefits” purpoted by members that it “makes better men”, but the benefits of relationships based on nepotism and whatever that brings. There are some Lodge members I know locally who are the epitome of sleaze – always have been and always will. So I’m sure it has nothing to do with “shaping better men” or else that principle has repeated failed miserably with members like those. But Lodge members are known to expound the benefits of “protection” and “brotherhood”, and in our small society it is quite evident that protection and support of brothers (and “associates”), at whatever cost, is obvious.

    In my opinion, anyone who chooses or needs to belong to any organization for the “protection” it offers clearly has moral failures and challenges, and knowingly use Machiavellian means to achieve their ends. Why else would they need to feel “protected” by association with an organization which acknowledges that loyalty to brotherhood is their primary principle.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone looked at what the past voter preferences were in the new single member districts? Seems like it will make a big difference which district a particular person runs in because the old big districts could have areas that voted very differently than the overall district and that might be a larger voice in a small district. In other places it is a big deal which voters get included in which district boundaries.

  3. Anonymous says:

    District Grand Lodge of Cayman 8153’s motto is “together with enough favours for each other we can rise above our individual mediocrity”. Winston was the Grand Wizard for a while until someone hopped further than he could while wearing a goat’s head. Backwards.

  4. Anonymous says:

    All it will take for Winston Conolly to “stick” with Government as an Independent is a promise of a Cabinet post if PPM wins in 2017. By now that promise has already been made. Roy McTaggart’s switch ensured his Cabinet seat. Now let’s see if PPM can win!

    BTW, to poster’s comments – PPM Cabinet and Councillors are all Lodge puppets!

    • Anonymous says:

      Honest plus educated =PPM.

      • Anonymous says:

        While these qualities probably do disqualify you from the UDP they are not required to participate at the highest levels of the PPM.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Progressive led coalition is far from perfect but any alternative to it will be worse as it is unfortunate that there has to be a government as it would be anarchy without. Mr. McTaggart is amply qualified and experience to hold a Cabinet position and same applies to Mr. Conolly.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Another one term politician…Somebody is pulling strings here.. Winston is playing both sides to his advantage, unfortunately most people will see through that..If you are sitting with the PPM you are the PPM..Look at Roy..Mr. “Party System is wrong” before he got elected and then joined the PPM like it was better than sliced bread…Same thing with Winston, he just doesn’t want to have all the flack Roy got..

    Winston, if you lie down with dogs, you get with fleas…and I see you “itchin” and “scratchin” already…

    Not all of you can run in GT South..unemployment is not your “achilles heal” ..better find a safe place to run..

  6. Anonymous says:

    That is why you “EMPLOYERS” have to stop advertising for Caymanians with status, ( status holders ) P R, etc. and just say Caymanian. You are encouraging ( adding fuel to the flame ) the divide as the add implies there is a difference.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just say anyone who does not need a permit. As long as you do not need it permit it does not matter whether you are Caymanian born, Caymanian bred, Married to a Caymanian, residency with the right to work etc. If you do not need a permit then you are entitled to work without going through Immigration so ONLY THOSE WHO DO NOT NEED A PERMIT NEED APPLY. How hard is that

      • Anonymous says:

        That is part of the problem you happily embrace all the goodies including the Passport that come with status, PR, etc. but do not want to be called Caymanian.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wendy or CNS, Can you please can you investigate if Winston and Alden are a part of a lodge and if so, is it the same one?

    • 33rd Degree Master Carpenter says:

      Alden McLaughlin
      Moses Kirkonnell
      Wayne Panton
      Joey Hew
      Roy McTaggart
      Winston Connolly

      all are brothers in the District Grand Lodge of Cayman 8153. As Mason’s let there be no doubt the primary interests they all serve.

      • #staytuned says:

        Roy is NOT part of the 8153 Lodge. He was invited to join but declined. He does however have a brother that is part of that Lodge. Winston is part of 3 or 4 different lodges. He was also “grand master” in 2009 for the 8153 Lodge. I’m so glad this is coming to light. Let’s not forget the POLICE and JUDGES that are also a part of the lodge(s).

      • Anonymous says:

        So you’re saying that Winston is part and parcel of the great sell out, just that he didn’t get his share of the money train, and high paid jobs.

      • Anonymous says:

        As for elections 2017, all the above names is finish, especially the high and mighty Alden McLaughlin, who rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, and Ausy, spelt his name wrong, but who cares, they will be on the streets soon. Enjoy your time in Fellas, Free Mason’s and your judges, who is apart of the lodge as well won’t save you. You have turned your souls over to the devil when you join this stuff, and there is no turning back, I was asked myself to join, but after knowing what the lodge is all about, forget it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lodge runs this country. Major decisions are made by the members who protect brothers at all costs

      • Anonymous says:

        Men in funny hats and aprons who, if asked, must shun loyalty to their families and country in the name of The Craft. I don’t believe a lot of masons are that dogmatic though. Over 300 yrs. Freemasonry has failed to evolve so you don’t find intellectuals, visionaries and scientists anymore – lots of cops and firemen though. I think a lot of them just want to keep their insider status for sweet business deals, dress silly, and get away from women. Kinda gay, really…

      • Anonymous says:

        07/01: 4:43, 7:04, 7:42 – Please tell the public why being a part of the Lodge is being portrayed as a negative or undesirable thing? Why does it warrant the need for someone to “investigate”? Are we demonising or vilifying these politicians based on the possibility of their association with the Lodge? To my knowledge, the Lodge is a very honourable organisation to be a part of. This sounds like fear-of-the-unknown type of prejudice to me. It is also very similar to the way Republicans try to vilify Democrats in the US, by sending out all kinds of propaganda which portrays Democrats as being aligned “with the devil,” meanwhile US Democratic principles and policies are much closer to Christianity any day!

        On that note, can somebody please tell the United Democratic Party (UDP) that there is nothing Democratic about them, and they are Cayman’s version of US Republicans?

        • Anonymous says:

          I find your comment appalling. The evidence is there for everyone to see that 95-100 percent of those appointed in key positions are all lodge brothers. People are not that stupid to believe that it is merely coincidence that this is happening. So you need to shout your mouth because you are clearly one of them or connected through family ties or some other means.

    • Anonymous says:

      In the UK judges, police and government officers have to declare publicly if they are Lodge men and women.
      the reason why is obvious.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Winston, are you apart of a lodge? I’m a voter and I want to know.

  9. Anonymous says:

    A Man, of Honour and Integrity. Keep doing the right thing Winston, and sleep well at night. You have earned that privilege.

    • Anonymous says:

      He has earned it huh? Clearly you don’t know the man behind the mask… But stay tuned!

  10. Anonymous says:

    You are so right about this. Ask him how many FOI requests he has done about this.

  11. Sid says:

    Sorry Winston, are you talking about the benefit of all Caymanians, or are you excluding “new Caymanians” again? Winston, I thought you were better than to indulge in this divisive nonsense.

    • Crock O'Shite says:

      It is you, Sir, who are spewing the “divisive nonsense” with your reference to “new Caymanians”. Either you are or you are not a Caymanian.

      • Sid says:

        You are misunderstanding my comment, it was Winston who referred to “new Caymanians” in his LA speech, I am criticizing him for this as it is not what I would expect from him and of course there should be no difference between us, that is my point.

        • Crock O'Shite says:

          Then I apologise profusely for misunderstanding. I agree there should be no difference between us. Some are fortunate to have been born here. Others, fortunate to have been able to become Caymanian over time. Either way, they can all vote.

          • WaYaSay says:

            All Caymanians are Caymanians and have the same rights in the Cayman Islands.

            It matters not if you are 6 generation Caymanian, like myself, or newly made Caymanian by Cabinet status grant last week. We are all the same legally with the same rights under the Law.

            Let us ALL live, and work together for the betterment of our Cayman Islands.

            • Sid says:

              I completely agree, 100%.

            • Anonymous says:

              All persons whether born here or naturalized Caymanians may have the same rights under law but many of those who are naturalized retain loyalty and citizenship in their country of origin and many do not even bother to embrace Caymanian way of life and have condescending attitudes towards multi-generational Caymanians.

              • Anonymous says:

                Was a fan until he started on about the laws been for true Caymanians and his very personal and specific concerns about promotion within only law firms. His true colors started to show then.

                • Anonymous says:

                  I do not recall him referring only to Law firms, but rather using them as an example. But do tell, is there an issue in some of those businesses, and if so, should a politician not raise it?

                • Anonymous says:

                  A single law firm was fined in excess of CI$100K for a breach of the immigration law last year, and you do not think politicians should be asking questions?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sid, you should listen to what the man actually said, and in the context in which he said it, before jumping to conclusions.

      Perhaps I can help you. Let us say there is a business in Cayman that has said to immigration it is training and promoting Caymanians. It gets work permits granted on the basis of that submission. It has an expatriate President. They work hard and are a terrific person. They are granted PR and then become Caymanian. That is good. They are then as Caymanian as any other, and I am sure that Winston would agree.

      Now, the business (not the Caymanian) turns to immigration and says, look, we have made a Caymanian President of our business. This emphasizes our commitment to the Caymanian people. Can we please have a work permit for x number of expatriates in consequence?

      Now you tell me. Should the business be rewarded for having a Caymanian President in the same way as if it had helped train a Caymanian who achieved the required standards and was then promoted to President?

      Do you understand the distinction?

      • Sid says:

        I did hear what he said. he was clearly trying to create a difference, legal or otherwise, between ‘generational’ Caymanians, for want of a better expression, and more recently qualified Caymanian Status holders. This is unacceptable. If you are Caymanian then you are Caymanian, there can be no legal distinction based on how long your family has been here. This is very dangerous talk and something I would not expect from a man like Winston.

      • Anonymous says:

        Christ, I thought the whole point of getting senior employees with status was that you had to hire fewer deadweights lower down.

  12. Anonymous says:

    He should enjoy it whilst he can. Don’t see him returning to any seat in the LA!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bad move Winston. They do not respect you

  14. Anonymous says:

    You are to be commended Mr. Winston Connolly for your honourable character and fortitude, and your loyalty to the Caymanian people and its Government. Excellent work these last several years, and may you and your family have a blessed and prosperous 2016!

  15. Smoke 'em if ya got' em says:

    Now this is a man of Real integrity! Absolutely refreshing to read his comments and forward thinking. Well done, sir. Well done.

    You are now my #1 vote come election time. Stay your course and hold your head up high. You’re doing good, my friend.

    “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things” – Winston Churchill

    • Anonymous says:

      Omov in your area – Winston Connolly vs PPM candidate…. I bet my last dollar you vote for PPM candidate.

      • Smoke 'em if ya got' em says:

        Then you’ll be truly broke and money free. But I would give you back your dollar, rather then have you go up the Sound and holla.

    • Anonymous says:

      “you are my #1 vote come election time”………. That’s great, at least you wont vote for a PPM candidate, remember its omov time… Good bye PPM.

    • Anonymous says:

      Integrity and Winston Conolly in the same sentence cannot be right. Winston is for himself and that big ego and most of all public perception and image of himself. He is so afraid of his public image being tarnished. And of course you are so right that he is waiting for the private contracts with recycling etc. that he can hook up.

      • Anonymous says:

        Winston is a puppet for the Masonic lodge

        • Anonymous says:

          To see educated people, using power in the wrong way, totally making a mess of our country is sad. Making the wrong choices in life to gain power sad, selling their soul to Devil by joining the freemason lodge is sad, that is our politicians. As for the younger politician who is trying to fit in with the, so called big boy’s lodges open your eyes, if not too late. As for the high and mighty politicians who are using the lodge for the benefit of themselves, especially with head judges, and police involvement as well is sad. Our representatives have taking power to the wrong level and totally forgetting that we the people have the control not them. But they will understand soon, that the people eyes are wide open and watching every step they all make. The devil isn’t stronger than God, and for those who believe in God, no man can harm us. I will never forget these words said by the high and almighty you know who, stated not even God himself can come down and change his mind from building, the unnecessary schools we have. Sad to see our kids cannot get jobs, after completing their education. As for our deputy governor, he is so tied up with his position of power, just taking orders from the bigger authorities, and totally lost control in whatever is going on within our country. Our selected people, who we as the people, have given them the opportunity, to represent our country, but instead, they let position take total control of their heads. These are our home People, who is totally forgetting where they came from, and fighting against their own. They will start coming out of there holes now, because election is coming up, so I think you will have the opportunity to shake their hands in person soon, if you didn’t during the three years gone by.

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