Alden calls out deserting MLAs

| 13/06/2016 | 52 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin

(CNS): The premier has criticised the former government MLAs who crossed the floor at the beginning of this year for trying to distance themselves from his government’s policies, saying they were all part of the discussions that created the Progressive administration’s agenda. Alden McLaughlin said he was “disappointed” by the things the MLAs had said in their budget debates when just five months ago they were all part of the government but were “now acting as though they had nothing to do with it”.

As he wound up the debate on the policy statement, the budget address and the throne speech Friday, the PPM leader aimed his criticisms at Alva Suckoo and Winston Connolly, in particular, saying little about Anthony Eden, a founding member of the PPM.

McLaughlin said he understood that it was conviction that led the veteran MLA to sit in opposition. Eden departed the government after the premier announced his decision to address the immigration law and the issues relating to legal same-sex spouses.

While Suckoo, who quit the PPM at the end of last year, had indicated that not wishing to support gay rights was one of the reasons why he crossed the floor, he had also stated that he was not happy with the government. However, Connolly said in the wake of his desertion from the government benches that he did not feel he had the support for his ideas and believed he was in a better position to pressure government and agitate from the opposition benches.

However, the premier pointed out how unlikely that was given that being in government gave MLAs a far better chance of making change and getting things done than being in opposition.

McLaughlin warned him not to take voters for fools as he asked rhetorically how either of the novice MLAs could stand on the government side of the house for over two and a half years, sit in caucus, play a part in the decision-making and policy formation, stand in for ministers, sit on government committees and articulate their apparent pride being in government, only to depart, for whatever reason, and then criticise all that they had been a part of.

McLaughlin said that Suckoo and Connolly must have left government because they believe it is to their political advantage. However, he took aim at their criticisms of the 2016/17 budget, noting that they had not said last year that government did not know how to do a budget or didn’t care about the people. But “having swum the short distance” to the other side, he said, they had suddenly “bathed over there in something that turned them into pessimists”.

The premier warned that they would have a hard sell convincing the voting public that they were in a better place to help their people from the opposition rather than the government benches. “You had ten supporters; now you are part of a divided dysfunctional opposition.”

Echoing comments made by the minister of education in her contribution that “leaders don’t quit”, he said very little could be achieved working alone unless politicians were willing to make very significant compromises.

McLaughlin said the MLAs who quit could have done much better influencing government on its own bench. He acknowledged that not every member of a government could get all of their individual wants addressed in any administration but said that staying in government would have given them a much better chance of making a difference.

“What are they going to say about why they should be reelected?” the premier asked, saying that if they could not get things done as part of a coalition government, how could they possibly do it now in opposition.

“I leave them to their own devices,” he said.

He was particularly critical of Connolly, who had accused government of not having a plan and using pixie dust. He said that Connolly, who will also be competing for a seat at the next election in one of the George Town districts, as will the premier, had put himself in a difficult position by being so critical of what he was very much a part of just a few short months ago.

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (52)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is it silly season?

  2. Anonymous says:

    When you have no record to stand on, you have to find someone or something to blame. Last time Alden got nothing done, he said he ran out of time. This time around, he’s got the “deserters” to blame. Alden, time for you & Mac to get out of the way of progress in this country. Your political philosophy is exactly the same – “what’s in it for ME”. It is time now to get something for the rest of US. Kudos to Winston & Al for seeing the light and for having the moral courage to walk away from an administration of excuses.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Our island and its politics continue to evolve.
    Now we have two figurehead positions, Governor and Premier.
    Dart Enterprises has stepped in to ‘get things done’. And they do it well, better than any other entity on island. My, how times are a changin.

  4. Anon says:

    Sorry Alden,
    But you sound like the love child of Kanye West and Donald Trump. I.e. no logic, no accountability, and puff, puff puff.

  5. John says:

    Lol that’s typical teamwork, I see it everyday in my workplace too, when the music stops everyone sit the move then sit then……. I’m behind u but I can’t vote

  6. Anonymous says:

    Remember what you ALL had 4 years ago and it was not good for our Islands. We do not need McKeeva and his CDP Croonies back in leadership in the house. He is the root cause of what our people are going through in these Islands now and its not Alden and the Progressives. It the domino effect. McKeeva needs to get out of the house, step aside, like Kurt and give some younger person a chance to run these Islands. I rather have Alden and the Progressives anytime for that stability factor and good governance than that disruptive force from West Bay. He is too ignorant to run a decent, stable country.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Legitimate criticism of one administration does not mean you automatically support the other.

      This is the problem with politics and political parties.

      They are not interested in anything but what they call “support”. Support means either financial support or total allegiance, or both.

      The UDP (or whatever they are now called) and their leader are a dismal bunch. No sane person would ever want them back in power. But that does not mean the PPM must automatically the only alternative.

      It is not good when casting your vote requires you to hold your nose.

      We need more and better choices. We also need a nationwide vote so that we don’t have localised pockets of a few hundred voters putting idiots in the LA.

      • Anonymous says:

        @9.29pm If you have to hold your nose to keep out a bad smell the first thing you check is yourself. Just saying .


        @9.29pm well said. The problem is the political cults that have developed over the last decade and the benefits rewarded to supporters for willful blindness. There is no objectivity and little concern for what is best for the majority. The formula is the parties placate the loyalists who cannot see that they are reflections of other side. It’s only corruption and abuse of office when the other side do it. Shame to see the demise of a beautiful country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely the best of two evils…wish there was an alternative between ‘what can I get out of it’ and ‘how little can I do’

    • Anonymous says:

      You are absolutely correct, however, the next generation of politicians must be able to work TOGETHER for the good of the country, rather than spending time trying to throw each other under the bus.

    • Trolling says:

      PPM PR machine in full deflection and attack mode if anybody says anything critical of his Lordship. LOL

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is unfortunate that Mr. McLaughlin will not get re-elected because of his failure to do what is required to protect worker’s from unethical and unscrupulous business owners and managers. His government has not been so bad as it relates to international matters and her has done a lot of work on the relationship with the UK and the management of government finances.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Alden really is his own worst enemy, in my opinion. A pity because he has abilities, for sure, and has done a good job in many respects, but something keeps undoing him and because of this I would hesitate to vote for him (never the other guy!). Does he take any advice from anyone? And does he admit to any shortcomings or is it always “somebody else’s fault”…..always? (All this ranting reminds me of the movie “Downfall”!) If he were to admit some personal failings I’d probably reconsider my position vote-wise. Just my two cents worth!

  9. Just Sayin' says:

    They all look like they enjoy a desert, or two.

  10. Anonymous says:

    How and why does our Speaker justify the utilization of the house’s time and energy to let the Premier (or any elected MLA) indulge in petty horn blowing during the rarely convened house sessions…again and again. She allows these windbagging personal vendettas to fill the air instead of advancing the many more pressing issues that actually concern the voters that pay the assembled schemers, egotists, and dummies warming those seats. What a waste of time and money.

    • Anonymous says:

      11.10 Perhaps you should simply have said exactly what it is that you wanted to hear , but if you follow LA proceedings on a regular basis then you would know that horn blowing by Government members, or criticism by non Government members is what happens at Budget Debate time.

  11. Jennie Redt says:

    Well said, Mr. Premier. There are many of us out here who see how well you represent Cayman both locally and abroad. Being a politician is never easy and is definitely a job for the more mature and calm minds. Being a leader is even more difficult but you should understand that there are very many of us out here who support you fully and will continue to pray that you continue to lead this country despite the difficulty of the task. Every now and again we should all step back and look at what we are doing in light of the many countries big and small, developed and developing, and see what they are doing.
    Continue to make us proud, Mr. Premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s an operation available that can help you with this condition, friend. It’s a quick detachment, and nothing at all scary.

  12. Rev. Jim says:

    You can see the ideology on display here.

    The “party” is ALL. Correction. MY party. You are nothing without ME and MY party.

    You SHALL drink MY Koolaid. Or else.

  13. Sharkey says:

    Time for a new game boys , cause even to the youngest child on the Island has them figured out .

  14. What a crock says:

    Alden better start worrying about his own seat and focus less on Alva and Winston. They are secure next election and he is not! I wonder why he never attacked Anthony Eden? Cowardly comments from the Premier of flip-flop

    • Anonymous says:

      It is plain to see why Suckoo and Conolly jump ship. Alden has always been and will always be a two faced person. Mr. Eden gave him much more grief than those two but he is always sucking up to him. However Mr. Eden has no use for him. Also he does not realise that he has two or three in his group that want to leave but I guess they are waiting to see what happens at the next election. Just look at him a bundle of fear and anxiety, jumping from one mindset to another. Someone so fidgety cannot lead – he needs to be more grounded than that.

  15. Anonymous says:

    There is a lot of disappointment in Cayman. None more than in the current government well done, you have proven that you are no better than UDP and you have lost my vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      9.39am Speak for yourself Mr UDP.. There are many of us who prefer the thoughtful and deliberate style of the current Administration.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not disputing that, and I never proclaimed that I was speaking for anyone else. I find it amusing that you managed to process my comment and manipulate it to your own opinion and present it as fact, and that I was a UDP supporter. Quite remarkable really. I said they had lost MY vote which is MY democratic right.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Can you all please set your childish, selfish and ignorant behavior aside and do what you have been elected to do, which is to represent US and get the country back on track?

    People are hurting and suffering, society and environment are deteriorating at a rapid pace.

    Please!!!! Get your heads out of your backside and get one with it………

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said, sir/madam.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hear Hear, Alden you are sooo busy patting yourself on the back (for doing so very little) that these petty rants show how true it is that career politicians should ALL retire and let the young educated MLAs make a difference. Sorry, but the people actually SEE Alva and Winston at community meetings and DOING SOMETHING about our concerns- in turn, you hide behind your party and again waste our time and money. Shame on all you career cronies for your greed and hunger for power. It is you, the Macs and all the old guard that should go.

        • Anonymous says:

          at 11.43am Seriously .Your answer to our problems is to replace “old” guys with “young” guys. Really? How about them having good education, well rounded life experiences, and a healthy dose of common sense.

          • Anonymous says:

            Pardon me if I am mistaken, but the younger breed of politicians we see emerging have all of those attributes, in particular the last one, which the exiting lot are woefully lacking in.

  17. Anonymous says:

    All I ever hear now is “…..blah blah blah….ignore laws for sake of work permit revenues….blah blah blah”

    • Anonymous says:

      7.51am You sound as if you have been brainwashed and programmed to hear what you have posted ; on the other hand might just be a case of too much ear wax.

  18. Anonymous says:

    What the Premier fail to realise is that neither Conolly or Suckoo might be in the opposition seats next time around. He might also not be elected next time.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Politricks makes for strange bedfellows. And the morning after is always worse.

  20. Anonymous says:

    It seems to takes a certain type of personality to want to become a politician. It seems like you have to be somewhat of a narcissist and you have to be completely void of any actual ethical standards.

    • Annie says:

      It is well known that serial killers and politicians have very simular traits. Not all politicians are serial killers…not to malign serial killers, as few have stooped to level of politicians.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Alden in his element : complaining!

  22. Anonymous says:

    If Alden was a good leader they would not have left the PPM

  23. Anonymous says:

    Winston Connolly 4 Premier

  24. Church Lady says:

    Hmmmmmm. Could the “deserters” be……..TREASONOUS???!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Well said – neither will be getting my “X” in GT under the OMOV system.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Jeez, Alden sounds kinda desperate. This “one man one vote” deal that he fought so hard against is clearly weighing heavily on his mind, perhaps?

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