Premier dismisses FAC report on non-local rights

| 22/02/2019 | 98 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin at the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Lunch, Feb 2019

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has made it clear that he does not consider the report from the UK’s Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee on the British Overseas Territories as very significant because it does not represent the current British government’s policies. But he said that if the UK implemented the recommendations of the cross-party committee report regarding citizenship rights, which would allow non-Caymanians to stand for office, he would “lead the charge for independence”. The premier said the report’s suggestions represented “neo-colonialism” at its worst over issues long ago devolved.

Following his speech at the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Lunch on Thursday, the premier discussed the report briefly in a conversation with Chamber CEO Wil Pineau, in which he described the recommendation that legally-resident British Overseas Territory and UK citizens should be able to vote and stand for elections as “shameful and shameless”.

While he was keen to stress that the committee was not government, he said that if the people on the committee were ever to hold office, the Cayman Islands would need to be concerned.

The report is the result of a review by the FAC, which is chaired by a Conservative member of the House of Commons. It examines the relationship between the British government and its territories, exploring issues about what they want from the UK and vice-versa.

Not unexpectedly, in addition to dealing with the technical aspects of managing the relationship, Britain’s liabilities and the territories’ needs, the report delved into controversial areas as well.

It recommended the imposition of beneficial ownership registers by 2020 not 2023, a timeline for the marriage equality rights across territories like Cayman that have not yet implemented legislation, and questioned the limitations on the democratic rights of non-status holders or belongers in many BOTs.

But McLaughlin said voting matters in the overseas territories had been devolved a long time ago and the report showed a lack of regard for the constitutional relationship and the autonomy that jurisdictions like Cayman now have and are seeking to increase. He said that if the British government pressed the issue that non-Caymanians should be able to stand for government, it would be a breaking point in the relationship.

“If I am still around at that time, I would lead the charge for independence. I think that would be what pushed us over the line,” McLaughlin said.

But he also dismissed the findings, given that they were made by a parliamentary committee rather than the UK Cabinet and this is not the Conservative government’s policy, and also because the current constitutional talks that Cayman is engaged in with the UK demonstrate that the British government is not seeking such a move.

He did take aim at the members, however, and implied that a future government that included such individuals would give Cayman something to worry about.

However, the committee is a cross-bench group chaired by Tom Tugendhat, a Conservative backbencher who was elected to office in May 2015. Other Conservatives on the committee include Andrew Rosindell who recently visited in the Cayman Islands on a fact-finding trip, Bob Seely, Royston Smith and Priti Patel.

See the full report in the CNS Library

See the recommendation regarding voting rights here, scroll down to #14

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (98)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In my experience in Africa as a child, locust swarms tend to come and go. Also, they do stink a lot, so it is usually pretty damn good riddance.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve got to hand it to Alden on this one. He’s right!

  3. Anonymous says:

    So he wants to jeopardize our entire well being as a nation all because of his intolerance toward what i’ll call common sense these days.

  4. Sharkey says:

    Storm in a teacup, calm down everyone, this will all be negotiated and ultimately, we will get what we want…making unfounded threats is irrational and stupid, it will achieve absolutely nothing but heartbreak, pain and division.
    Instead of creating a vehicle for hatred and racism, lets all enjoy the peace and friendship that these islands have become known for and find a way that enables us all to be content, after all, we are all dependent on each other and that common bond is what has made Cayman such a success, why destroy it all over the right to vote for expats? many of whom really don’t give a dam if they can vote or not! (and lets be honest, half the eligible population can’t be bothered to turn out to cast their votes in an election anyway)

  5. Member says:

    @1:37 – At least, if we go forward with Independence, we will show Theresa May we know how to negotiate, and not mimic their No Deal Brexit!

    Their independence from the EU will not be like ours from them!

    Trust me. We have our contacts and we will side with powerful forces, and our economy will boom. Our banking industry will not be subject to disclosing people’s private accounts to satisfy special interest. Even the Queen of England will continue banking here!

    THE ONLY FEAR CAYMANIANS SHOULD HAVE ARE CORRUPT POLITICIANS BOTH LOCALLY and UK ONES. There are alot of foreignors in Cayman too, even spies that don’t mean us well ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear, want some ketchup with that chip on your shoulder? Historically it has been proven I think many times that CIG (not just this one, pick any previous one last 15 years) could not negotiate their way to a piss up in a brewery. Powerful forces? Right-the same corrupt ones you refer too. Oh and who is going to defend you or rescue your asses should Castro or Maduro decide they need a little diversion from home problems? I suspect you are a troll. In fact, I know you are, as this is pure unbelievable, uneducated drivel designed to stir the pot.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What the FAC were they thinking?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think we’ve got a couple of these boxes checked, don’t we?

    Cayman Islands Penal Code (2017 Revision):
    §46. Any person who compasses, imagines, invents, devises or intends any act, matter or theory the compassing, imagining, inventing, devising or intending whereof is treason by the law of England for the time being in force, and expresses, utters or declares such compassing, imagining, inventing, devising or intending by publishing any printing or writing or by any overt act, or does any act which, if done in England, would be deemed to be treason according to the law of England for the time being in force, commits treason and is liable to imprisonment for life.

    §49. A person who forms an intention to effect any of the following purposes, that is to say –
    (a) to depose the Sovereign from the style, honour and royal name of the Crown of the United Kingdom, or of any other of Her dominions or countries;
    …and manifests such intention by any overt act, or by publishing any printing or writing, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

  8. Anonymous says:

    cayman democracy is a joke…. half the population have no voting rights or representation.
    and then to deny electoral eligibility to cayman’s brightest citizens is pure lunacy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    typical caymankind ignorance and hypocrisy from alden.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The U.K. has how many types of British Citizenship again – yet they want to reduce ours to one type!!!!

    People it’s the final straw now, they are now about to harm us. They can’t manage Brexit, so how can they be reasonably expected to plan and direct us. We need to set a date now for political independence (10-15 years away) and engage a specialist project team minus Eric Bush to plan for this eventuality. By so doing, none of the current crop of politicians will in all likelihood be around, and we will have our house in order. Meetings should immediately begin with the UN Deconolisation committee for guidance and assistance.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Arf….Push on with independence and watch the island empty. All the finance institutions will be on the first plane to Bermuda and Canada and Cayman will become a backwater. Albeit with a lovely dock.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you even read what he said? It doesn’t sound like it.

    • CB says:

      Fear mongering to keep us in their control.

      No one is calling for an IRRESPONSIBLE independence! This is not like your NO DEAL.Brexit !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      11:21am- To Bermuda you are a joker, they do not even like each other!!! The business people that visit there return straight to the hotel at the end of the working day.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s complete BS 8.15, I had many a good evening with colleagues or competitors in Bermuda. Their government is broke so for sure they will find a way to get all those work permit fees and licence revenues in. Your experience I suspect is based on you being a completely miserable B’stard who no one wants to go out with. Johny No Mates is your name.

        • Anonymous says:

          10:03 – Read your own reply. had many a good evening –. Ask yourself why you are not there any longer, thought so. Was with friends the other evening here in good old Cayman, they are afraid to go out when they are there because of the r—al p…..ms. Your Mates must be very self centered to hang out wi5h y-u, a bitter old F–t.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s be honest- not one of the politicians or parties has the guts to run on an independence ticket. Not one. Caymanians know- for all the moaning- the benefits its financial industry obtains from the UK connection, Fact.
      Cayman gives UK nothing and yet feels entitled. Cake and eat it too scenario.
      UK would love to offload Cayman and all the Caribbean OTs- just that the ITs haven’t the guts to go on their own.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Cayman gives the UK nothing”. Really?

        How blind are you? The UK will continue to milk Cayman and its other OTs until its had its fill. Then let go. We ought to prepare for independence, as it IS inevitable.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t the UK government control all BOT’s now? If they say jump do we not say how high? If they want something do we have a choice other then independence? Can’t wait till Dart buys some washing machines and plywood so he can be premier???

  13. Anonymous says:

    Extending the franchise is the best means of controlling endemic corruption. Alden has tried to silence journalists telling the truth about local corruption.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comments betray your ignorance mate. Some of those same journalists are themselves guilty of the same things they accuse the government of. They want insider info, sweetheart deals, power of influence. And when they don’t get their way, they jump on a plane and go on an anti-Cayman diatribe.

      Smells like corruption to me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Th disgraceful hypocrisy here is that he has no problem with Caymanians getting full UK passports for nothing and more importantly legal Caymanians having acquired that nationality via status are deliberately prevented from running for office here if they don’t have a direct legacy Caymanian family connection ! It’s blatant discrimination and completely undemocratic. He supports and the present constitution enshrines this two standard of ‘Caymanian’. It’s appalling.The basis of democracy is being able to vote for whomever you like but that isn’t the case if you are prevented from running for office yourself.

    • anonymous says:

      8.32pm it is evident from the comments that most Caymanians do not realise what getting a British passport means. It is like any other E.U. passport you become a citizen with all the rights of any other passport holder.That does not apply here, status does not allow you to stand for election meaning that a large proportion of people living here permanently have no representation in the L.A.
      Arden needs to address this problem if he thinks these islands are a democracy. Clearly they are not.

      • Anonymous says:

        How do you know that most comments on CNS are from Caymanians, especially when more than 50% of residents are not from here.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Independace? Cayman would never survive unless Dart takes over and his own currency with his picture on the bills. If we accept the FCO treaty and with the gay rights, then income tax should also be part of the plans. Let’s see if Dart will stick around then.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Aldart shouldn’t have given away record numbers of PR’s…some of those are bound to be more competent and honest then him.

  17. Anonymous says:

    5 18….forget it….. You do not want independence!!! Look at Jamaica and Bahamas! Problems with adopting the socialist habits of dysfunctional neighbor, Cuba.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jamaica and Bahamas are lessons we can learn from, but there are other great examples just look north to the USA, and how India has developed after the British.

      • Anonymous says:

        Alden and Mac are hardly substitutes for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

      • Anonymous says:

        India has the worst corruption and human rights record of any country in the world, you really setting that up as an example of success…?
        America was blessed with massive immigration from educated Europeans, who were allowed to VOTE in a country with massive natural resources.

      • fff says:

        Are you seriously comparing Cayman to India and the USA?

        • Anonymous says:

          The point being made is that the Brits don’t have a stellar track record wherever they have been.

      • Anonymous says:

        I do like a good curry

    • Douglas says:

      You do realize there’s a difference between socialism and communism?

  18. Anonymous says:

    We should prepare for independence now because we never know what is around the corner. If we are not prepared we will end up like so many other countries

    • Anonymous says:

      Every time anyone mentions independence, investors are spooked and business is lost. Remember it was independence in the Bahamas that made Cayman the financial center that we all take for granted.
      Capital is a coward and will fly at the touch of a button leaving us in the hands of ambitious politicians who will be ruled by the Darts.

      • Anonymous says:

        Our Premier along with the Dart Corporation will make sure we are a strong independent nation. Plus we will have CHEC here along with the Chinese military who will give us protection and stability. Praise to Mr. Alden; please run for 4 more years!

  19. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion our best option is to continue the path of being an autonomous and self-governing British Overseas Territory (BOT) including the right to our own self-determination. Apparently one of the justifications being used by the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) for eliminating “belongership” (in our case being or becoming a Caymanian) is because the UK Parliament granted full UK citizenship to BOT citizens. In that case I am in favour of informing the FAC that if they and their allies convince the UK Government to force the issue then we are prepared to hold a referendum on giving up the automatic right to UK citizenship. Please note that Caymanians did not have an automatic right to full UK citizenship prior to 21 May 2002. While not a silver bullet (other measures should be taken concurrently) to satisfactorily resolve this issue, it would send a very strong signal that we put a high value on our self-governance and give some in the UK (perhaps enough) further pause for thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correction, we were all British Subjects prior to the 1981 British Nationality Act.
      Then we became British Dependent Territories Citizens (although we got FAC all from them) and the latest designation has been British Overseas Territories Citizens(BOTC).
      Then when Hong Kong left, they gave us British Citizenship again.
      This is becoming a farce and too much pork for trupence now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bottom line is that you got something for nothing. Never one ounce of gratitude. Just typical self entitlement. All this despite constantly criticizing the UK and openly despising it.
        Total hypocrisy.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The fact remains that any Caymanian of the required age, regardless of how they obtained that designation, should be allowed to offer themselves for elected office.
    If a person has resided among us for the time it takes to qualify for Caymanian citizenship, and done the other required things, then it should be recognized that they call our country home and have the same interests in its success.

    • Anonymous says:

      With you right up until the cabinet grants. That changed everything.

      • Anonymous says:

        I could not say it better. CIG is selling status. Can you imagine if DART could run for Government?

        • Anonymous says:

          Well; 6:38, I gotta tell you I think he would be better than some we have up in there…Bernie? Dwayne? Eugene? Kenneth? Austin? I mean, face it, we got some real zeros supposed to be representing us. The onliest thing you could say in their favor is that they are born Caymanians but that’s about all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Amen! Some of the Cabinet grants were not even living here. They became overnight Caymanians and probably don’t even know the words to the National song

      • Anonymous says:

        God, I miss the days when if someone was granted status you could be confident they were a good person, only wishing the best for these Islands and their people, and contributing to our success.

      • Anonymous says:

        And guess who is to blame (again) for that.

        • Anonymous says:

          If people with status are allowed to vote, just guess which nationality will have the biggest representation (thanks Mac). So much so,that even Dart won’t want to live here.

      • Anonymous says:

        As the original poster, I agree with you. That is why that act by the then cabinet (Mac & co.) was so stupid. Thankfully the next cabinet/government closed that loophole – max number & grants have to be approved by the entire LA.
        However, that is done. Most of them would have no hope. We still should look to allow any Caymanian citizen have the right to TRY for elected office.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely, preventing any legal Caymanian from being able to stand for parliament is totally discriminatory and vile. Total Cayman double stands as usual.

    • Anonymous says:

      why do have 2 classes of Caymanians? Those who can run for office and those who cannot.

      • Anonymous says:

        How many classes the Brits have? Much more than two

        • Anonymous says:

          Classic whataboutery. If you are a UK citizen, you can vote and run for office in the UK, regardless of where you were born (and how many other nationalities you have). So can Irish Republic citizens, for that matter. And all Commonwealth citizens who have resided in the UK for more than a year. All EU citizens can (at the moment, but not for much longer, unfortunately) also vote and stand for office in UK local elections, but not at national level.

          So yes, we have more classes of people who are allowed to vote in, and run for office in, UK elections, many of whom are not even British

      • Anonymous says:

        Because Alden insisted on it being in the constitution. Seems who could not handle the competition in case Caymanians wanted to vote for someone who may have been born to non Caymanian parents.

  21. ?’s UP says:

    ppm bloggers about to take a page out of the kirkbots play book to defend their puppet Premier. The thumb wars are about to begin ? ?

  22. August Town Man Dem! says:

    Dearest FAC could you please give us back the money we spent on Tempura$$$$$$ then we will consider allowing you to vote!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone else happen to note when the article was published on the appointment of our new governor that his portfolio included experience with decolonization? Maybe it was coincedental but it certainly caught my eye, perhaps because Ive been paranoid about this happening from years ago.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Typical arrogance from a man who lives in his own bubble and refuses to acknowledge his role in anything as a Cabinet Minister or Premier of the Cayman Island.

  25. ppm Distress Signal says:

    Didn’t Premier Alden and PPM claim one key achievement was to re-establish a positive working relationship with the FCO and maintain open dialogue?

    After reading the report and the recommendations for Cayman I think it’s fair to give them a grade F. The proof is now in writing for all to see.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm…that is not an FCO Report so you should not draw any conclusions about our relationship with the FCO based on it.

    • Anonymous says:

      3:41 PM is correct. The report is from the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) made up of 11 UK MP’s from various UK political parties. Just like the CI Legislative Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is separate from CIG so is the FAC separate from the UK Government though the Hon Premier is correct in that there is a risk to the Cayman Islands should those MP’s be in a position to set future UK Government policy.

  26. Anonymous says:

    On each topic, CIG, like everyone else, was asked for a written response. Unlike everyone else, and more like a petulant child, he ignored these requests and failed to deliver FAC responses. This is a recurring complaint we keep hearing about this regime, from a wide range of real-world agencies with supervisory, or policy-shaping influence over our future.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Selective Reporting CNS. Inform the public that Chris Bryant, captain underpants and promoter of a firmly anti OT policy is one of the Labour stars of this FAC

    CNS: We very clearly noted that this is a cross-party committee. Here are all the members for those who are interested: Priti Patel, Chris Bryant, Andrew Rosindell, Ann Clwyd, Bob Seely, Mike Gapes, Royston Smith, Stephen Gethins and Ian Murray, in addition to the chairman.

    The point of listing the Conservative members was to highlight the fact that while they are not actually part of the current Tory government, as the premier noted, they are strong supporters of it and are not obscure back-benchers. Chris Bryant would have to wait for a Labour government to have any actual influence over it.

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