Speaker reads riot act to MLAs and media

| 01/11/2017 | 57 Comments
Cayman News Service

Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush, 1 November 2017

(CNS): McKeeva Bush, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, spent more than 25 minutes delivering a statement to the parliament Wednesday, warning members to follow the House rules and making it clear he would be clamping down on infringements. Bush also indicated that the media should not be reporting “scandalous” comments that might be made by members on or off mic, as he stamped his authority on the relatively new parliament and targeted the press. Bush pressed home the message that members could be suspended if they disobeyed the rules and warned them about making irrelevant or repetitious contributions during the debate. 

Before the budget debate began, the speaker said that the LA’s Standing Orders protect the right of members to debate but the rules must be strictly followed and he warned that no one would be allowed to accuse or insult fellow members. He warned them about using certain words that had the power to hurt others, especially in a small community, and that they should not abuse their parliamentary privilege to insult people outside the House. He demanded decency and truth from members.

He warned the media not to report gossip that emerged in debates and that the press should not carry “the scandalous words that fall from members’ mouths”, as it would spread the scandal. Bush said that if members behaved badly or spoke irresponsibly, especially about those who could not defend themselves, the media should not report it. He did not indicate how his office would enforce that but seemed to imply that publications should not be surprised if they sued.

In addition to declaring that he was not allowing Hansard transcripts before they were edited to be used by the court for any cases, which he did not specify, he also took aim at the Public Accounts Committee and implied it has gone beyond its remit. Bush said the committee should stick to examining whether government agencies were delivering value for money and should not be discussing recruitment issues, as he indicated he would be enforcing rules surrounding committees as well as the parliamentary proceedings.

CNS has requested a copy of the speaker’s statement, which will be posted as soon as it arrives

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Category: Politics

Comments (57)

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  1. Diogenes says:

    My theory for Mac’s stern warning towards the press, he’s still a little peeved about the way they treated him after his summer casino fiasco.
    I guess he thinks there is such a thing as bad press.

    Maybe the full front page spread that all of the media used wasn’t flattering.

    Poor soul,
    Diogenes

  2. Veritas says:

    Is it true that there’s a one armed bandit behind the Speaker’s Chair?.

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  3. Diogenes says:

    If anyone is wondering how Mac could follow through on his threats to the press (or warnings if you want to be polite) the Speaker has the say on whom is allowed into the LA which includes MLAs (if they are being disorderly, disruptive or disrespectful), guests in the public galleries and the all important (and relevant in this instance) Press gallery which he can, if he so chooses completely empty on a whim. Without oversight and for basically any reason he chooses he can effectively end live reporting of LA meetings and Committees meetings. (similar to the limited on camera press briefings in the Trump Adminstration’s WH due to widespread ridicule and mockery of Sean Spicer’s and now Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ incompetence and complicated relationships with the truth)

    If Mac chooses to he can basically force news outlets and publications to resort to having to watch government livestreams and the videos posted on the government youtube channel (which go up hours after the events have occurred) in order to gather information and collect quotes which would at least slow down the reporting process by a day (along with pissing off the news community).

    It could be scandalous but then again what are they going to do remove him from the speakership? The man is the “Teflon Don” of Caymanian politics, a corruption charge and trial doesn’t end his career (or harm his chance of reelection in the slightest) why would banning reporters do anything? If you actually think they even have a choice in letting him run the show then read my comment to Anonymous 02/11/2017 at 10:20 A.M.should be somewhere below in the comments (assuming it has been posted by CNS prior to this comment)

    Diogenes

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  4. Zombie Jesus says:

    Least we forget the outrageous tirades that Mr Bush use to go when he was a member.

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  5. West bay Premier says:

    I really think that the wig he’s wearing these days has really grown into his head . Is he really saying that there’s no longer Freedom of speech .
    We all should tell Mr Bush that he need to watch his own mouth .

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I have been telling allayu that Big Mac is running the show. The Premier should be ashamed of what he has done. What a legacy to leave behind. What a wimp!! Oh I forgot I cannot write anything scandalous. While I am here I am also asking someone to please drop of a stress squeeze ball to the LA for Austin. Got so tired of seeing him pick up his phone which was about four inches from his left; hand and gaze at it. Got so distracting I had to turn it off

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  7. Anonymous says:

    “Anonymous says:
    01/11/2017 at 2:40 pm
    ‘the press should not report scandalous words made in the house’….
    just another day in wonderland……”

    Im glad you picked up on tjis. If the words in the LA were not SCANDALOUS to begin with, the press would not report scandalous things.

    Why is it ok for MLAs to say such scandalous things and hide behind parliamentary priviledge?

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    • I fully agree with 8:17 re hiding behind Parliamentary Priviledge.That should be changed by the House.Funny to see and hear the comments by our new Speaker tho as I well remember the days he was many times reprimanded by the various Speakers over the years but he seems to be doing a reasonably good job.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is better to just ignore C.I.G

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  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s why he is called the “Big Mac”. Ezzard is a runaway train and it is sad to see him dragging Chris Saunders down his xenophobic destructive path, glad to see Mac drape him and put him in his place.

    I was laughing my head of yesterday “member please take your seat!” Only thing missing was “shut up!!!”

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am thankfull for the work MLA Miller is doing. Under his leadership the PAC is doing fantastic work and for the first time it is functioning as a PAC should do. Examining how how taxpayers money is expended is very important. Mac please let MLA Miller do his good work in PAC.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Do you see what I see?
    Truth is an offence
    Your silence for your confidence

    Do you hear what I hear?
    Doors are slamming shut
    Limit your imagination, keep you where they must

    Do you feel what I feel?
    Bittering distress
    Who decides what you express?

    Do you take what I take?
    Endurance is the word
    Moving back instead of forward seems to me absurd

    Doesn’t matter what you see
    Or into it what you read
    You can do it your own way
    If it’s done just how I say

    Independence limited
    Freedom of choice
    Choice is made for you, my friend
    Freedom of speech
    Speech is words that they will bend
    Freedom with their exception

    Do you trust what I trust?
    Me, myself and I
    Penetrate the smoke screen, I see through the selfish lie

    Do you know what I know?
    Your money and your wealth
    Your silence just to hear yourself

    Do you want what I want?
    Desire not a thing
    I hunger after independence, lengthen freedom’s ring

    Doesn’t matter what you see
    Or into it what you read
    You can do it your own way
    If it’s done just how I say

    Independence limited
    Freedom of choice
    Choice is made for you, my friend
    Freedom of speech
    Speech is words that they will bend
    Freedom no longer frees you
    Doesn’t matter what you see
    Or into it what you read
    You can do it your own way
    If it’s done just how I say

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Ah…those in glass houses and positions of power. Takes one to know one

  12. Anonymous says:

    I guess CS isn’t getting the last laugh now.

  13. MCCARRON MCLAUGHLIN says:

    Wow McKeeva laying down the gauntlet and legislating morality from the speaker’s chair, I must be in the twilight zone. God help us all McKeeva is the moral authority for the Cayman Islands.

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    • Diogenes says:

      Isn’t the same God you are asking to help us, the same God that put him in that position?
      I know you aren’t being literal with your request, but it is food for thought.

      Diogenes

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Soooo..don’t do like I do

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  15. BELONGER says:

    All politicians need to set an example both in and out of the LA – before they attempt to chastise the media or anyone else about their conduct.

    The words “Scandalous behavior in the Cayman Islands” would most likely have some connection to the Hon Speaker of the House.

    One just needs to do a Wikipedia search on W. McKeeva Bush and read.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    So Handsard will no longer be an accurate record of proceedings and parliamentary privilege is being undermined?

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  17. SSM345 says:

    You cannot make this sh*t up. Mac taking the absolute piss as usual.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    All this from a man who needs a law past so he can declare himself “Honorable”. Better to just ignore him.

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    • Chris Johnson says:

      All he did for an OBE was to do nothing of consequence for our country. His behavior before and since has been appalling and his conduct is a disgrace . He cannot string two words together to explain anything. Moreover his debating skills are zero. Just why is he in the LA?

      Non Illegitimae Carborundum

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  19. Anonymous says:

    This has got to be a joke. Dig up all the articles about government transparency, accountability blah blah blah…. then the Speaker of the House says don’t report anything we talk about that may be unsavory. This country is doomed.

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  20. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    “Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”

    It’s really just Another Day in Absurdistan

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  21. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva is now Alden’s protector as Speaker of the House demonstrating very little objectivity. It will be fun to watch for as long as it lasts.

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  22. Dawayaget says:

    It is a valid point if a MLA use or utter anything that is not the truth about an individual they have Parliamentary priviledge under the house, but if the press repeats it, It becomes libel because the press does not have Parliamentary priviledge and does not have the defence of the truth.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nonsense. If the press repeats something said under protection of parliamentary privilege, their report is priveleged too.

      Defamation 101.

      • Diogenes says:

        More of an unspoken consensus than a set-in-stone law or right but yes for the most part reporting on privileged monologues (or dialogues in the case of committees like the PAC) is generally held to the same standards as the original statements or conversations although exceptions can be made if I am not mistaken.

        Diogenes

  23. Anonymous says:

    In other words “print what we want you to print or we will sue you!”. Sounds like trying to control the free press to me… Outrageous…

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  24. Diogenes says:

    Mac is flexing the muscles of his new position, don’t forget Mac this isn’t a Casino or the Roman Empire, you may have a fancy wig but you aren’t a despot, the autocracy can stay in WBW

    Don’t forget the same members of the LA that made you Speaker can unmake you with one quick vote.

    Diogenes

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    • Anonymous says:

      Mac, should remember, he was removed by the members from his position of Premier in 2012, and as a member of Cabinet in 1998. It would be a terrible legacy to also be removed as the speaker.

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      • Anonymous says:

        8.25, terrible? It would be brilliant if he is removed.

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      • Diogenes says:

        2012 was due to corruption allegations and an internal party coup, but I am not familiar with the 1998 event.

        But remember if they have to resort to removing Mckeeva by vote from the Speakership he and his political cronies will likely cause no end of trouble for the government.
        If Mac and his two side pieces decide to up and leave the government benches, all hell will literally break loose and materialize in the Legislative Assembly chambers. That would cause the the current 13-6 member count to go to 10-9 which would mean that the opposition would be one member away from declaring themselves the government and “overthrowing” (for lack of a better word) Alden and his PPM lapdogs. It also means that the government would lose one of it’s councilors (because the speaker role would be empty and the opposition would refuse to fill it) and the vote in the LA would effectively be split 9-9 (with the speaker casting the tie breaking vote). That puts the government in a weak position and they would be hard pressed to justify their proposals against such a large opposition.

        Alden knows what position he is in, that is why he is going along with this little “National Unity” charade. For now Mckeeva has more power and political capital than most people realize, he is the “Kingmaker” in this scenario he gets to decide who is on top and he gets to pull himself (and his sidemen) up as high as they want, because everyone needs him and no one wants to oppose him and his 3 votes. He might be the Speaker of the House but I guarantee you behind the scenes he is either directly or indirectly (through one of his two minions) running the show or putting up a good fight at the very least.

        This political kingdom could crumble within minutes, all depending on what side of the bed Mac wakes up in before he sits on his metaphorical “throne”

        Diogenes

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      • Messenjah says:

        Trifecta!!! Mac you won!

        Premier laughing and thinking he is a political genius

  25. Unison says:

    I have learnt over the years that if you want your free speech or press protected, you better respect and protect the free speech or press of others. What goes around comes around ? Opinions may come your way and you don’t like them – you may find them irrational, offensive, immoral, and contrary to the way you think. You may see your opponents as bigots. You may be a liberal and find a conservative very offensive; or, vice versa.

    But … because of your bruised ego, fears and beliefs that you stand forever in the right, you end up missing “golden opportunities” to create a following – to teach, correct, and inform others of ideas and truth. This is how we mature in a democracy. If it’s good for one, it’s good for all.

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    • Diogenes says:

      You really preaching about learning from debates with persons of opposing viewpoints, you of all people?
      Please don’t even bother, thanks
      Diogenes

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      • Anonymous says:

        So true, can’t count the number of times Unison has spewed hateful, rhetoric while using religion as a shield, Diogenes tends to make pretty good points

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  26. Anonymous says:

    so what happened to that defamation lawsuit alden had against him??

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  27. Anonymous says:

    har har har…politics….such a joke filled with jokers???

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  28. Big Mac & Casino Waitress with Fries says:

    Did the rest of the LA keep a straight face while he was spouting out his crap.

    Get rid of that fool now, wasted pay cheque for all of us.

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  29. Anon says:

    Thanks Mr. Speaker for the timely reminder. Hope the decorum of the house and members do not deteriorate further.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    With no Standards in Public Life criteria, even the Speaker can go on tirades about redacting transparency and barring elected members.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    unreal!…..
    any comment ms governor?

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    • Diogenes says:

      She is enjoying the last bumps on this political “roller coaster” without making a peep and is looking forward to a return to polite high society of Honourable Gentlemen and Ladies in the Motherland. She is gonna sit this one out, she said her PPM approved piece and has returned to her beachfront estate to relax in comfort while being waited on and having her any and every need met.

      Why stir the pot when the food is already cooked and on your plate?

      Diogenes

  32. Anonymous says:

    ‘the press should not report scandalous words made in the house’….
    just another day in wonderland……

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  33. anonymous says:

    So did Big Mac basically say “take a look at my career in the House and don’t repeat any of that crap”?

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  34. Veritas says:

    If ever there was a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is it!.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Pot meet Kettle, Kettle meet pot. Jeez, from the mouth of one of the most offensive politicos on the planet…trying to censor the press for doing their job to keep the politicians honest…that has to go straight to the human rights council. He has no right to do that, as there is something called freedom of speech. If people in their positions cannot control themselves, they should not be there at all, and the press is the only way that we as the public can identify these idiots. Looks like he has taken a leaf out of Trumps book, and that is dangerous for democracy. I can even imagine him saying “fake news” when we all know, that whatever the press prints about Mac, it is more than likely to be true, and he has the courts to revert to if it is not. To CNS and the other press, please don’t give in to this hideous bullying. Please fight your corner, you will win, even if it has to go to the Privy Counsel.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You spoiled your entire statement by referring to another country’s government of which you are not even on point about.
      Keep it to our country here. Do not confuse the issue. We have enough of our own problems with our politicos.
      KEEP ON POINT

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      • Anonymous says:

        4.47, that’s my opinion. You have expressed yours. At present we are free to do so. If Mac and Trump have their way neither the press nor us will have the ability to do so. As somebody famous once said, I might not agree with your opinion, but I will defend to my last breath your right to express that opinion.

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