Premier told FCO what he wanted in a governor

| 25/10/2018 | 77 Comments
Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick, Cayman News Service

Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s farewell, with Speaker McKeeva Bush and Premier Alden McLaughlin

(CNS): As the relationship between London and the Cayman Islands continues to be delicately balanced, the premier has said that he “offered advice” to the FCO about what he wanted in a governor before Martyn Roper was selected, and had held up Helen Kilpatrick as an example. In a statement released by his office on Wednesday, ahead of the arrival of the new UK representative next Monday, Premier Alden McLaughlin said he had written to the overseas territories minister, Lord Ahmad, offering advice on the qualities needed in a governor, which he was said to have taken on board.

The premier wrote that the new governor “should have a good knowledge of, and preferably experience of working with overseas territories”.

The relationship between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Cayman Islands Government has been shaky since the UK Parliament voted an amendment that will lead to the imposition of a beneficial ownership register on British Overseas Territories.

In light of this, the premier said the next governor “will need to have an appreciation for the separate roles of the elected government and the governor’s office and to be able to hit the ground running”.

According to the release from his office, the premier also suggested that the experiences of former governor Helen Kilpatrick be taken on board by the FCO as part of the recruitment process for the new governor.

“This would, I believe, go a long way to giving us confidence that the process would give us someone who understands and respects the role of the premier and the government whilst also appreciating that Caymanians understand full well how to grow and keep our Islands safe and prosperous,” the premier stated in his letter to Lord Ahmad.

“I thank Lord Ahmad for the opportunity to provide advice on the qualities needed in the incoming governor. I am also grateful that, in speaking with Mr Roper, he indicated he has had conversations with former Governor Kilpatrick with regards to her role and experiences when she served as governor of the Islands,” McLaughlin said.

The premier said he had spoken with Roper via video conference yesterday and had a positive conversation.

“I anticipate that Mr Roper and I will quickly build a cordial and productive working relationship. I am pleased to have heard directly from Mr Roper his eagerness about working in the Cayman Islands and to also have him provide first-hand information on his background and experience working with other overseas territories.”

McLaughlin also applauded Acting Governor Franz Manderson for his work in taking up the role in the absence of a UK-appointed governor. “I look forward to continuing to work with him as deputy governor and with Mr Roper as our new governor,” he said.

Manderson has acted in the job since June, when previous governor Anwar Choudhury was called back to London in the wake of bullying complaints from his household and office staff after only three months in post. The FCO has given no details about the inquiry that followed, merely stating that once the investigation was complete, Choudhury had been re-posted to London and would not be returning to Cayman.

Roper’s appointment was announced last week but it is not clear how long the career diplomat will remain in the Cayman Islands, as a full competitive recruitment process is understood to be ongoing for the position.

Meanwhile, officials have confirmed that the Swearing in Ceremony for the new governor will take place at the Legislative Assembly on Monday, 29 October, between 2pm and 6pm.

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Comments (77)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We would like a Governor that turns up and opens events please. Not one that looks into local governance and endemic corruption. And all the Lodge members think the same too.

    • Arthur Rank says:

      Quite right, we don’t want him spending time on endemic corruption, he wouldn’t have time for other stuff like holding receptions!

  2. Anonymous says:

    ‘Premier told FCO what he wanted in a governor’. this headline show the extent of the Premier’s grey matter

  3. Anonymous says:

    What cheek! The Governor is there to meet the requirements and needs of the UK not the requirements and need of a territory.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Alden has now exposed himself to be one of the persons who worked to get rid of Governor Choudhury the best governor we had in decsdes.

    However in his short time here, like Dan Dougay he set a high standard to which future governors will be judged.

    Alden you was jealous of Governor Choudhury because unlike you he could communicate with the people, he displayed empathy for the suffering you have brought on Caymanians.

    Now this new governor will be a “nothingairan” governor, just as you ordered!

    God bless Governor Choudhury and his family.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The public talk is that the premier held up Helen Kilpatrick as a excellent governor because she were always on his side. The public talk is the best time were the 2017 monkey wrench.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully he enjoys a drink too.

  7. Anonymous says:

    FCO – Welcome to Good Governor home of the good governor would you like to try our new Standards in Public Life Law (2014) today?

    Aldin – Ahh sure Lord Ahmed, I’ll eat it later and I’d also like 1 Governor, extra tea parties, side order of “yes sir of course Mr. Alden, large “whatever Mac says is right” and… umm.. yeah easy on the free will and no “hold accountability”

    FCO – Yes Sir, would you like to add an order of “forced transparency” with that today?

    Aldin – umm… No thanks, trying to cut back.

  8. Sound Frank says:

    If you analyse the comments below, what most posters on here really seem to be saying is that they want to be governed by a LEADER from the UK appointed by the UK govt., because their own leader and government is too pathetic / corrupt / stupid / arrogant.

    You don’t know it, and no-one will admit it, but Cayman really wants colonial rule.

    I wonder: If all MLAs were taken from office and replaced by ten good civil servants out of Westminster, how well managed would Cayman be, how much better off would we all be?

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be the difference like night and day. 10 good civil servants out to do their job and only their job and not supporting their own businesses and side interests? 10 who would actually have our best interest in mind or at least more so than the current CIG? ANY DAY!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand what you are saying but I think you are ignoring another interpretation of the sentiments on here. It is more likely in my view that what people want is Caymanians who are not pathetic/corrupt/stupid/arrogant. The problem is too many of its voters still have those unwanted qualities to deserve or ask for better politicians. The truly capable individuals, any one of whom would make a great Premier, end up on the most important public boards like the five commissions instead because those are ways to contribute while maintaining respectability. So I do not think colonial rule is the means to the end Caymanians actually want. It is too high a price to pay. The main emotion is self-hatred that the leaders we have are the best we’re somehow able to get into office although we know we could do so much better, and this is where people express it.

      • Anonymous says:

        No I got the other interpretation quite fine, it’s just as you said, is finding Caymanians to govern us that don’t have those 4 characteristics. Colonial rule is not a means to an end, we both agree on that but until those Caymanians who do not have any of those 4 characteristics step forward to lead us, the choice is left to the current batch of fraggles in fraggle rock or Colonial rule and so far all the fraggles have been doing is singing and dancing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I truly hope that Governor Roper comes here and beats the bee hive with a bat.

  10. Ron Ebanks says:

    I wish that the Citizens of the Islands would all wake up and STOP making the government believe that everything that they are doing is RIGHT .. Remember that every human in the world are suject to make a mistake , and some do it all their life . Remember that if you are valuable in the VOTING BOX , you should also be valuable outside .

  11. Two Cents says:

    That picture says it all – the Head Honcho, his Lil Prince and their Facilitator.
    Alden had Lazy Helen eating out of his hand from the time he got rid of the Lincoln with less than 40K miles and gave her a brand new Jaguar to be chauffeured around in to her socialite activities.
    Choudhury was quickly mashing up his playhouse and worst of all expecting him to answer basic questions. He wasn’t used to that kind of thing. The word is that Cabinet with Lazy Helen was over in less than an hour because everything was yes, yes, yes.
    There is only one cure to this mess – Alden and McKeeva must never hold elected office again.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Two Cents , that comment is a $100. Not 2¢ .

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Two Cents , you missed doing a little more swamp cleaning in the last sentence . But after all the comment is $100. Not 2¢ .

    • Anonymous says:

      Cabinet was over that quickly because everything had been agreed in Caucus. It prevented debates between ministers taking place in front of officials and greatly sped up the making of decisions and subsequent action. The Governor is not a member of Cabinet, just there to chair the meeting and report on the handling of special responsibilities. If you think the meetings should be an opportunity for the Governor to interrogate the elected government or second-guess its decisions in its areas of responsibility you don’t understand our Constitution.

      • Two Cents says:

        Okay. I see four sections in the Constitution which deal with the Cabinet – sections 44-47. Section 44. (3) states “The Cabinet shall have responsibility for the formulation of policy, including directing the implementation of such policy . .”
        But since you understand it better than me, pray I beg thee do tell me where I can find the word Caucus in the Constitution.
        Don’t disappear and leave me ignorant now.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s just Westminster government, Premier & Ministers can’t keep the government in office without the numbers so they have to involve backbenchers in policy decisions. Both this government and the last were technically coalitions, which makes forming a consensus ahead of time even more important. The alternative is to facilitate the UK’s divide and conquer tactics by having the arguments in front of them. Not to mention, there is a divide between political and non-political activity and the Governor, Deputy Governor, Cabinet Secretary etc. have better things to do than listen to Ministers argue. The Constitution can say which body decides policy but it cannot control how the members of that body form the opinions upon which they will later act. We would need thought and speech police for that.

          • Two Cents says:

            Thanks for acknowledging that the Constitution makes no mention of Caucus. I’m sure that if it did, you would have slammed me to with it.
            So I take it from your response that what the Lil Prince had going with Lazy Helen and wants to continue to have is an arrangement where “The Caucus shall have responsibility for the formulation of policy, including directing the implementation of such policy . .” and “The Cabinet shall rubberstamp whatever the Caucus decides . .”. Running that kind of scheme doesn’t need a traditional Governor; you need a Facilitator which is what Lazy Helen was. Choudhury was no doubt mashing it up and insisting that things run according to the Constitution.
            It also explains why in his statements about changes to the Constitution the Lil Prince hasn’t been expounding any ideas of getting the Dep. Governor and AG out of Cabinet. He likes the arrangement where they are part of Cabinet and are seen by the public and the civil service to be involved in formulation of policy; he just doesn’t want them to be actually involved in it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh that’s so true, the rest of the stooges just do as they are told and that’s it. There is only room for two big fat cats in that room!

  12. Anonymous says:

    what a nerve! Alden is so full of himself with his big ego! Can’t wait till his term is up.

    • Anonymous says:

      In his comment regarding wanting a governor that “had an appreciation of the separate roles of the elected government and the governor’s office…” Alden gave us an important insight into Choudhury’s demise: Choudhury was clearly perceived as stepping on Alden’s sensitive toes.

      Despite Alden’s protestations, I am even more convinced that Choudhury’s unfortunate and swift recall was the result of an overt or tacit conspiracy between the governor’s office and the Premier.

  13. Say it like it is says:

    I think Mr Roper would have been far better off being posted to North Korea, then he wouldn’t have to shake hands with Alden and McKeeva

  14. Anonymous says:

    His advice would amount to zero as this guy is a China expert. Anyone else see why he’s London’s choice when the cruise ship dock is looming?

    • Anonymous says:

      6.34pm No.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well then you are clearly an idiot.
        Helen was the numbers gal after McKeevas car crash.
        Choudhury was the security guy for border protection.
        Roper is the China guy for the cruise ship dock debacle.
        Easy really.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope he has been briefed on CHEC and their special local friends.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree and I am sure he has. Any bets on how long he’s going to be around before some mysterious accusation is made against him? $25 on 4 months.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not that long if he opens his mouth!

          • Anonymous says:

            I hope he opens his mouth, two governors in a row leaving Cayman for strange and sudden issues will start looking suspicious. I sincerely hope Mr. Roper has been specifically sent here to shake things up and based on his previous postings I am getting that vibe. Good luck to you Sir, I hope you come in guns blazing because there are sights being set on you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Briefed, hell they will probably take him to dinner!

    • Anonymous says:

      Will not change a d#$%@ thing as CHEC & Decco/Dart already have things in the bag/envelope.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oh give me a break Mr Premier. Are you so pretentious to believe they even noted what you want? Remember you are there to serve the people not yourself and cronies. Please excuse me while I go and stick my fingers down my throat.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mostly rubbish comments by people who read a few headlines and listen to a few speeches and form illogical conclusions. Poor fools have no idea what really goes on and what it takes to run a country that is the eny of world.

  17. Anonymous says:

    …the amount of times he mentioned Helen Kilpatrick (Governor), I am unable see professionalism in his plea.

  18. Anonymous says:

    In case there was any lingering doubt as to who sent our last Governor home…I hope we get the opposite – someone who will kick ass, force transparency, protect the crown’s environment, uphold civil rights, initiate high level investigations, and make the much-needed corruption arrests or lifetime bans from politics.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Alden as the Premier can’t get the schools finished lower the costs of living or garbage collected but advises the FCO on the appointment of the new governor ROFLOL classic stuff

  20. Anonymous says:

    And I bet Lord Ahmad took a quick look at the ‘advice’ and recycled it. Simple fact of life – despite all the smiles, kind words and handshakes the FCO doesn’t give a toss what we want.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If you can’t read between the lines, the type of Governor the MLAs and specifically the power hungry legislators of the Islands want (Alden and Mckeeva)
    Is a Governor who speaks when spoken to, smiles and nods and makes the occasional public appearance
    A governor who let’s the civil service remain bloated, over-sized, overpaid and incompetent
    All while they sit in their ivory tower, like the autocrats they are selling the islands to the highest bidder and collecting a tidy full time salary for part time work

    I have a sneaking suspicion that those folks were directly involved in the removal of the former Governor seeing as whatever he is alleged to have done is not so egregious that he lost his job within the FCO, he was simply withdrawn

    It is clearer with every passing day, this Administration wants nothing more that to have their cake and eat it too
    These supposed constitutional amendments are nothing more than thinly veiled power grabs to ensure that any Governor that comes here is complacent to the status quo, that the UK has no say in economic and social policy along with regulations and standards.

    They day we let the likes of Alden and Mckeeva have full unbridled executive and legislative power over these islands will be the end

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark

  22. Anonymous says:

    Oh that picture sums it all up for sure. All those two want is another do nothing yes person as the governor so they can run rip shod over the country. Warning to any new governor’s; open your mouth like Governor Choudhury and you will get what her got!

    What a shame.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s pass a shame. Gov Choudhury wasn’t going to be a yes man that was evident.

      • Anonymous says:

        was Choudhury here long enough to know whether he was a yes or no man?

        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe you should have read (if you didn’t), his interview with the Compass and you would know as well. A few recommendations he made has been implemented e.g. Immigration opening at 7:30 instead of having persons waste time standing outside for an hour, this is just one that comes to mind.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Kilpatrick, seriously? She was very poor on that Trillion Dollar Islands BBC/Guardian drivel.

  24. Anonymous says:

    do-nothing alden wants a do-nothing governor. surprise surprise

  25. Anonymous says:

    Yea, some one that they can push around & bully!

  26. Richard Arch says:

    I hope that Mr. Roper is more “Administrative” than all previous Commissioners/Administratots/Governors. It is time. Long, long past time.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Light embraces light, but even darkness is suspicious of itself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Take a physics class, the moral interpretation of electromagnetic waves is a bit overspun, especially among the virtue-signaling-I-am-holier-than-thou crowd, at some point, your metaphor breaks down.

  28. Anonymous says:

    As a Caymanian, I had a situation that was resolved by the Governor, when the deputy governor didn’t want to act. So yes please, more Governors like Governor Kilpatrick.

    • Anonymous says:

      How you all going thumbs down something that happened? Crabs.

      • anon says:

        Actually, it’s not. Just because someone did something in YOUR favour, doesnt mean that person was good for the country. It’s people like you, why many do not say anything that suggest critical thinking.

  29. Anonymous says:

    did the Premier hold up Helen Kilpatrick as who not to send? So much semantics it is almost impossible to draw a clear conclusion. I believe what he meant was ” please do not send another Kilpatrick, at least I hope that is what he meant. The comment about having experience in working with overseas territories kind of phased out a Kilpatrick look alike.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I can see it now…

    Dear FCO,

    Please send us a governor who won’t interfere with the day to day corruption of our islands. Please send someone like Kilpatrick who is willing to stick their heads in the sand or a daiquiri on the beach and stay out of our business.

    Many thanks,


  31. Anonymous says:

    So he wants a tea party giving governor?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Helen Kilpatrick as an example???? Really now!! Did he really say that out loud? Pls say it isn’t so!! Smdh. So should I understand from the Premier’s ‘example’ for a Governor that he wanted someone who did absolutely NOTHING for these Islands (or the Caymanian people), except take pictures with the elite???

    We needed someone like Gov Choudhury, who was willing and able to clean up the mess within the Civil Service and who was down to earth, at least that’s what he protrayed during his short stay here

    • Anonymous says:

      don’t forget when you are cleaning up mess with one group of people, you are making mess for another group !

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