BOTs unite over ‘modern colonialism’ threat

| 27/06/2019 | 98 Comments
Cayman News Service
BVI Premier Andrew Fahie

(CNS): The leaders of the British Overseas Territories presented a united front at the close of the pre-JMC meeting in the Cayman Islands on Wednesday against what they all see as the creeping neo-colonialism of the UK. While the leaders and representatives of the territories outlined different concerns about their individual relationships with and the actions of the UK, they all agreed that they needed to collaborate and stand togother to prevent the British government from interfering with the territories’ rights to self determination.

Speaking at a press briefing following the Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting, which was hosted by Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin and held at the Kimpton resort on Grand Cayman, several of the leaders raised their concern about what they saw as “modern colonialism via the back door”, as described by Gibraltar’s commerce minister, Albert Isola.

Montserrat Premier Donaldson Romeo outlined how important it was for all of the territories to stick together when it comes to their negotiations and issues with the UK because it did not matter whether a specific threat impacted all or just one of the territories.

He said it was important that they all stand united as every territory would face one challenge or another from the UK at some time. By way of example, he said that although Montserrat was not directly affected by the imposition of public beneficial ownership registers, it would still stand by the other territories that were, because next time it would be something impacting his territory.

Teslyn Barkman MLA, who was representing the Falkland Islands, spoke passionately about how Brexit and a no-deal departure by the UK could totally destroy the economy of her country because it sells the bulk of its annual squid catch to the European Union. While that may not be an issue impacting any of the Caribbean territories, all of them have some issue that will be at risk with a no-deal Brexit, or if the UK is not bearing them in mind when it makes a future trade deal with the EU.

She, too, pointed to the importance of unity among the territories in the face of the Brexit uncertainty and the instability it has created. But she said she was pleased with how much more solid the territories now are.

All of the leaders raised concerns about the findings of the Foreign Affairs Committee report, which has stirred up enormous controversy in all of the territories, especially its recommendation that all British citizens in the territories should be able to vote and run for office, as well as the issue of same-sex marriage.

The current Conservative government rejected most of the report. However, the concern now is that, given the political instability and uncertainty surrounding British politics, members of that committee could be leaders in any new UK government that could emerge over the next few months.

Bermuda Premier David Burt said he was concerned about the poor level of engagement from the UK over the FAC and a “dangerous development”, where Westminster was thinking that it could still dictate policy, even in autonomous and devolved areas, to the territories.

The leaders were all worried about the impact, in what is supposed to be a modern evolved relationship, of the UK talking at and not with the territories, and the general feeling is that the British government had to appreciate the territories’ leaders are all elected and represent their people.

The newest leader at the table, British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Fahie said that the UK should not back the territories into a corner over the issues that step on their rights to self-determination. “We are in this together and the overseas territories have to have a unified voice going forward on these topics,” he added.

The leaders stressed the importance of their collaboration when meeting and negotiating with the UK. And they credited Premier Alden McLaughlin with triggering the closer cooperation between them all over the last two years, after his work to bring the territories together in the wake of the 2017 hurricanes to support the worst hit islands and pressure the UK to assist.

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Category: Politics

Comments (98)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We seem to have made politics our god. There is no need for this.
    Here is a simple constitution.
    Respect the country that you are in.
    Treat the environment with the respect that she deserves.
    Stop lying to make money.
    Apologize to your wife when you say or do stupid things.
    Listen to your children.
    Be kind to each other.
    Make sweet love to your partner.
    Appreciate that every human being is unique.
    Ask God to help you overcome your failings.

  2. Anonymous says:

    we need to break the ald-mac monopoly bext elections…but probably wont politicians….cant you all see.. most caymanians buying and building on brac…looking peace….the way cayman used to and should be … if britain hadnt stepped in and cap the borrowings..mthey would have bankrupt the country..mand we would be ones paying for it???? fellow caymanians you all listening?????

  3. Anonymous says:

    you right…as natives we have no options….i probably marry my long time american girlfriend….but who wants to leave their country? at last resort…hide out in caves in brac….can you immagine politicians in charge of judiciary and police??? lord help us….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Stupid windbags, the lot of them. Not a thought about the consequences, or even the extreme irony, of their position.

    Telling the UK to be less “neo colonialist” (sounds good, means nothing) is like a child telling its parent to be less neo parental. And is equally childlike.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree. With the US starting to kick out all the illegal aliens, many from the Caribbean. , they should become independent to claim all their lost but precious citizens that left for the US.

    Those deported illegals will need someplace to live when the wall goes up, and churches or liberals cannot provide funding for caravans or sanctuary cities to illegal foreigners in the US. With the anchor baby concept about to be thrown out, its looks like they will have to get in line like everybody else.

    By the way, how much does Cayman export in real goods per year, that might affect their dollar…but history says Caymanians are tough, and they will happily go back to silver thatch rope tying and cow-dung mosquito repellent.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If there is a ‘threat’ of colonialism then it can easily be removed by going independent. No one is forcing any territory to have a ‘master’. The real question should be why the OT’s are not going independent? Perhaps each OT should have a referendum and then either put up or shut up.

    • Anonymous says:

      smack on!

    • Smart Caymanian says:

      No, no, no. The UN has maintained its list of non self-governing territories since 1946. It has been international law and the UK position for most of the 20th century as well that any colonised people have the right to self-determination. That includes the right to remain a territory, and we will do so for as long as we like. It also includes the right to move towards independence as slowly as we like, which we will also do. Your comment ignores the fact that colonial setups, for generations if not centuries, deprive people of the opportunity to learn how to be entirely responsible for themselves. That is the horrible legacy that takes so long to undo. That is why the UK is still sending hurricane aid to former colonies 50 years later. I don’t buy your ignorance of this reality one bit.

      • Anonymous says:

        You aren’t a colonized people. No one was here. You are the colonizers.

        • Anonymous says:

          Cayman self-governed under the most technical of UK sovereignty for 200 years. All we did was write to the Governor of Jamaica for his authority to appoint additional magistrates a few times. It wasn’t until the 1890s that some minor spat amongst those magistrates caused the UK to appoint a commissioner overseen by the Governor and since then our capacity to self-govern has been steadily eroded by UK direct investment and implementation of the governance and revenue-raising structures it thought made most sense for us. We were robbed off the opportunity to figure ourselves out for ourselves, that’s the point. As with any other country administered by another at some point in its history. The rest went through their bloody revolutions or never developed or what have you and what have you and came out one way or the other. We don’t appreciate being given a cake and told if you eat it we own you and we can force things on you when it comes from a baker who knows we can’t make the cake ourselves because it never let us learn. At the same time we are expected not to eat it or if we do, not to complain. Tell me who you really think gets the raw end of this deal exactly considering we don’t cost a penny

  7. Anonymous says:

    Independence? Oh my aching sides. Last ex-pat to leave please turn off the lights.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hang on, let me get this straight. This week the premier and other head of BOTs signed a declaration of intent with the UK on RFA Mounts Bay, on the very same ship that was a complete life saver for some of the BOTs after hurricanes Irma and Maria. This declaration was to strengthen support and cooperation for disasters like these. In the same token the same BOTs are claiming modern colonialism. Seriously ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cake and eat it, please. And you can add to the dependency issues security for the Falklands and Gibraltar, the ability to get a UK passport, reliance on the judicial system for Cayman, BVI and Bermuda, and implicit sovereign debt guarantees for all the BOTs. But we want that and not have to comply with UK values on issues like citizenship or gay rights, or comply with international treaties and commitments the UK has made.

  9. Anonymous says:

    As Anguilla is now becoming an ultra exclusive resort by natural disaster/default, so too is Cayman becoming an economic Oligarchy. Ie. Falling under a small group of people who have control of the country.
    Prosperity vs. Poverty…two extremes will exist.

  10. Not sure if you remember... but we agreed to the last constitution,,, knowing full well its contents says:

    Hilarious watching these “leaders” decry the very systems and institutions they put into place

    Not sure if the collective consciousness remembers but the UK never forced us to stay with them when Jamaica went independent we had the option to go too

    We decided to stay, they gave us a constitution and recognized our relationship and left us alone for 60 years
    We went back and forth periodically whining and moaning about one thing or another and constantly asking for changes to the relationship

    It was only 10 years ago that we got this “modernized constitution” that was supposed to be up to date and was negotiated by many of the same people still involved in politics today

    They put the constitution to the people and we accepted it now come to find out they are unhappy with the powers they agreed to give the UK, not even 10 years later

    The PPM should be the laughingstock of this country, complaining that the UK is using provisions of the constitution unfairly or overreaching that they themselves told everyone was a good balance just 10 years ago

    We signed the dotted line and now we are trying to back out of the deal

    We agreed to all of this
    at at the first instance of utility of the provisions of the 2009 Constitution we are crying wolf

    The UK ought to just throw us to the wolves
    The UK isn’t the bad guy in this scenario, we signed over the deed and then got cold feet at the cliff edge and are now demanding more

    • Anonymous says:

      I can think of one former well off politician who was in a leadership position for years who preached against us gaining one iota of self determination. We should have at least been given Bermuda’s constitution over the many years he was there, but no, he was too busy denying their were gangs in schools and claiming he knew best.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden is not “we”. He, and this Unity Cabinet really need to stop pretending they were given authority to speak for all of Cayman at last election. They were not!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Imagine an independent Prime Minister McKeeva Bush with total control of the police — and the military he would no doubt soon create as an employment vehicle. One imagines Cayman declaring war on Belize within a year of independence. Or maybe a civil war pitting Grand Cayman against Cayman Brac. Scary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac would not declare war on Belize, they are clients of WMB consulting.

      • Anonymous says:

        Isn’t CHEC also a client of WMB consulting?

      • Anonymous says:

        Pathetic post scaremongering people again. Mac is on his way out, a blind man can see it. There are other competent people available who can run the country.
        And BTW they are Caymanian. Give us some credit for building in the first place what you have found and are enjoying.

        • Anonymous says:

          Happily do that as soon as you identify the native Caymanians responsible for building the current economy. Not talking about merchant seaman remittance wages but the tourism and financial services sector. Oh dear – they all seem to be imports, rights? Even Sir Vassel – a disgrace he is not a national hero – was a paper Caymanian. Cayman today is based on the success of combining the strengths of its multi generational talent and that of incomers. Both sides that decry the role of the other are missing the point. You don’t get to have a GDP greater than the US without utilising the skills and expertise of immigrants as well. Expats that deny that Caymanians have any role and Caymanians that view the incomers as leaching off their glorious achievement are both sadly deluded. .

    • Mac for President says:

      Nonsense 3.27pm, the first item on his agenda would be to install slot machines and ATM’s in every public place, having legalised gambling.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s a shame their brain cells can’t unite.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The sky is falling!

  14. Again, no public statement from any of those OT leaders showing their public support for the removal of a hurtful wrongful piece of discrimination (in the British Nationality Act 1981) impacting ONLY our BOT men, fathers, and their offspring. Highlighted in the FAC report as well as the Joint Committee on Human Rights report, but due to the noise over other “hot button” issues, it is drowned out or ignored.

    It is about the continued denial of citizenship by descent rights for illegitimate children (now adults) of BOT fathers. This discrimination DOES NOT apply to BOT Mothers and their illegitimate children. At the local level, the bias was removed in local laws, but, the only bit left to amend is the British Nationality Act 1981, which controls the overall nationality citizenship matters in the UK & Territories. It can only be changed/legislated from the UK parliament with the support of local Territories leaders & Governors.

    In 2014, these same rights were given retrospectively to Children born out of wedlock to mainland UK Fathers. British Overseas Territories Fathers were intentionally left out, due there being “no time to consult” the territories in the process. Really?

    BOT Families: Fathers & their illegitimate Children, demand to be treated with respect and placed on an equal footing. BOT leaders should stop ignoring us or sweeping us under the carpet.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What a complete waste of money this little gathering of ‘blowhards’ is. Gibraltar – independent – what a laugh! Spain would eat you up and completely destroy the little ‘Rock’ within a matter of a few months. The BOT’s want to be part of a club but do not want to play by its rules. That’s absolutely fine; you can either join another one or go independent: Its really simple.

    I love living in Cayman but its politicians are a joke and all consumed by their own self-importance!

  16. Anonymous says:

    When the Cayman Islands become independent, I am leaving! God save the Queen and God save the UK and their ability to monitor and keep the Caymans one of the most sustainable islands in the Caribbean. It would take about one year for local governance, without these controls from the UK, to drain the coffers dry! They are doing a pretty good job of it now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman was made when the Bahamas went independent. Let’s not forget the flight of capital and investors that will follow independence leaving unemployment , massive downturn in the economy and self serving politicians unfettered by any oversight.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nope, you were clearly not here when “Cayman was made”. We were made on the backs of our seamen. We had little national or personal debt back then, so Bahamas “ flight of capital and investors” only made us worse off by accelerating rapid change that we cannot seem to slow down. Our change should have been more slowly, with priority being placed on the intellectual development of our people. I can tell you that a certain trust company played the same game from 40yrs ago others are playing now. They promised training for Caymanians they recruited if they could get work permits for their people coming from Bahamas.

        You should be looking at the Bahamas now, and yes they understood there had to be a little pain before gain. They are in control of their country, their people are educated, and they have a moderate level of development.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I see a the cake eaters giving you the thumbs down. They are very afraid to cut the cord but fearless when is comes to actually belly aching about it🙄

  18. Anonymous says:

    Territories need to know their place. And if they do not like it, go independent. UK national interest is more important than territorial interests.

    • Anonymous says:

      After BREXIT Scotland and Northern Ireland are gone. The UK will be gone too.

      • Anonymous says:

        The UK is England. The rest are baggage.

        • Anonymous says:

          The baggage of Scotland and Northern Ireland will go after BREXIT and Scotland will take their oil and gas with them too. Let those dogs in England freeze and start digging up coal again.

          Scotland and Northern Ireland now have more trade with the EU than England so the loser will be England when tariffs go on all their imports.

          Economic fools Boris Johnson and his gang of Little Englanders.

          • Anonymous says:

            Approx 80% Of the population of NI owe their livelihoods, either directly or indirectly, to the English taxpayer and regaining control over the c. 75% of the North Sea oilfields that lie in Scottish waters will be a poor exchange for the loss of the Barnet formula payments. If you think Brexit is bloody, then just wait for the break-up of the Union. England will end up far better off. ROI and Scotland, not so much

            • Anonymous says:

              You obviously have absolutely no idea how much the UK Treasury takes in every year in taxes from the North Sea oil fields. With a population of only 5 million, Scotland will easily be able to go it alone without England and as a member of the EU.

            • Anonymous says:

              Scotland and Northern Ireland want open borders to Europe while Boris Johnson and the Little Englanders want to shut them tight to satisfy their nationalist followers.

              That is the reason why the UK will soon be finished.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Being a British Overseas Territory has been a daily political reality for hundreds of years, and is not a threat, or even new. It’s actually the glue that keeps the lights on in many of these tiny outposts, allows them to borrow money at preferential rates, rescues them from volcanic eruptions, hurricane aftermath, and quells invasions by foreign adversaries. There is a serious mental disconnect if these leaders are actually forgetting everything in the plus column, just because they still hold an irrational fear/repulsion of someone else’s private bedroom life. That’s not a threat, that’s just being an idiot.

  20. Johnny Rotten says:

    The pair they had shrivelled and fell off long ago. Selling yourself out and fronting like you’re a real country only to be played by mega capitalists tends to do that!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Gibraltar: Mozambique here bruddas!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Aldart is doing everything he can to appease the UK including introducing legislation devestating to Cayman financial services and not reciprocated by most financial centers including our tax dodging, money laundering competition to the north..MAGA. The only time Cayman has taken a stand was against LGBT rights which may just mean there are some significant sexual self-identification problems with many in government.

  23. Anonymous says:

    yawn….what a bunch of waffle…the uk saved cayman from bankruptcy in recent times by making cayman get approval for thier budgets…

    • Anonymous says:

      And the U.K. will save Cayman again when they block CHEC, the arm of the Communist Party Of China, from doing a deal with the CIG.

      Thank God we are a colony as our leaders would sell us down the road to financial ruin.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh they will? I’ll be grateful for that and look forward to seeing that. Because the weakened UK can really afford to piss off the Chinese right now. Right.

  24. Anonymous says:

    i am a native . and if cayman go independent i leaving!!!! look at other countries in carribbean as an example…they (politicians) want untimate control…i love having britain as watchdog and keep them in line….full stop!😇😊

  25. Anonymous says:

    Tired of hearing this crap. Put it to the vote and go independent.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Self inflated sense of importance and power.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Gibraltar should be given their freedom now and they will be economically destroyed overnight by Spain as a result of BREXIT. If it was not for London, Gibraltar would have be subsumed by Spain long ago.

    I would ask the Gibraltar Minister, What In 2019, is in the British interest to want to keep Gibraltar as a colony? When BREXIT occurs you will have total freedom and good luck with Madrid. Your independence will be over. Welcome to Spain.

    What absolute political nonsense Minister Isola.

    BREXIT will be the end of the UK as Scotland, Northern Ireland and the colonies will all go their own way as London will no longer be interested, or will be able to afford, their distant colonies.

    • Anonymous says:

      London does not, and never has, paid for its colonies. Get that in your super thick skull.

      • Anonymous says:

        Depends on the colony.

        • Anonymous says:

          The only ones they pay for are the ones they have calculated to have enough other value to justify. It is all self-interest.

      • Skull and very CrossBones says:

        10.08am Hurling personal insults in typical Caymanian style. You seem a bit short on history, who built the airport and our first roads, in the early years the UK paid for a lot of infrastructure here. Who paid for the Cadastral survey which vested title in almost all the land in our islands in Caymanians?.
        In any event who said London paid for it’s colonies, please read before you make a fool of yourself.

        • Anonymous says:

          What you talking about numbnut @ 2:25pm?

          Get the facts FFF.

          Hurling insults, racist remarks and false/misleading information only makes you sound like Trump and Boris!

          • Anonymous says:

            Not you, though. You sound perfectly rational and kind.

          • Skull and very CrossBones says:

            2.58pm 1. I gave the facts, explain what you find false and misleading as what I said happened, happened. 2. I did not hurl insults unlike you and your fellow Caymanian 3. Trump and Boris cannot compare with your own politicians.

          • Jotnar says:

            Get the facts? Yet you don’t offer any to contradict him and just throw a insult and accuse him of false news without any evidence of your own – you sound a lot more like Trump than 2:25.

            • Status holder since 1972 says:

              Thank you Jotnar. I have lived here for 50 years and truly appreciate the opportunities that Cayman has given me and my family. Unfortunately there will always be extremists here and in the UK.

      • Jotnar says:

        255 British servicemen paid the ultimate price for one of the BOTs.

      • Anonymous says:

        So 10:08 also with a thick skull. Who paid to defend the Falklands against the Argentinians? Who paid to evacuate Montserrat people to England when the volcano blew? Who paid for the hurricane relief and rebuilding effort in BVI and Anguilla after the devastating hurricane?

        No it was not the tooth fairy.

        Time to open up your skull and take in some knowledge.

        Your ignorance knows no bounds.

        • Anonymous says:

          Who didn’t pay to help us after Ivan, because we didn’t need it? No, it was not the tooth fairy. Those OT leaders may be talking about all OTs but we are in Cayman.

    • Tony says:

      What freedom are you talking about? we are already free and if you are so scared of brexit go and live in any EU country I am sure you would be welcomed. BTW we are not a colony and me thinks you are a spick fascist asshole.

      • Anonymous says:

        So Tony, if the Cayman Islands is not a colony what is it? Oh OK, an Overseas Territory, which is another way of saying a colony. The Little Englanders will rule again like a hundred years ago after BREXIT. Scotland and Northern Ireland will join the EU after BREXIT. Their political leadership has made that clear.

        The UK’s days as a political entity is about to end, with the greatest Little Englander of all, Boris Johnson, about to rule.

        You Tony, will soon have your full freedom and be a happy Little Englander in Cayman. Wishing you a lot of luck.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry to say it is only Mother in London that will save us from the disaster of CHEC and the $300 million hole our leaders are about to get us in. Sadly, we have not grown up yet.

  29. Anonymous says:

    @ 7:21
    “…rebel against good governance…”??

    They should follow the UK’s exemplary example of good governance.

    – Whodatis


    • Anonymous says:

      Does anyone really know what good governance really is?

      • Anonymous says:

        It starts with a willingness to make truthful, current, and basic public conflict disclosures, changing laws that allow double-dipping, keeping financial records, following a transparent procurement process, honestly answering questions instead of spinning everything into some alt-reality fantasy…for starters.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sounds like the UK needs to get started too. Parliamentary expenses scandals, cash for honours, manipulating proportional representation referendum, outright lying in EU referendum, ideological austerity budgets, well-known theatrics of the House and its committees with its well-practised customs of ministers and civil servants showing up to give non-answers…should I continue?

    • Anonymous says:

      May not be an exemplary example or even a particularly good one, but compared to what is happening here with the government forcing through the port, falling over backwards to offer “concessions” to any developer and now landing the ground for a single man to do basically anything he wants on the island think emulating even a mediocre example of governance would be a major improvement.

    • Anonymous says:


  30. Sink or swim says:

    Give them and Cayman independence now! High time they all fend for themselves anyway.

  31. Jotnar says:

    We want self determination. But we also want UK government sovereign guarantee on our borrowing. And the reputational protection for our judicial systems and the financial service industry built on them. And access to UK citizenship for our people. And even the obligation to assist after a hurricane. But we don’t want to follow UK policies when they don’t suit us. Sounds fair. If the BOTs ent self determination there is a really easy solution called independence, which the UK has always said it’s open to. But we want the cake and to eat it too. FFS it’s really easy – don’t like the UK dictating to us on cross border issues like gay rights, open registers and governance – grow a pair and become independent.

    • Anonymous says:

      So well said Jotnar. We want our cake and to eat it too. That is it in a nutshell.

      • Anonymous says:

        Only sensible to want to eat the cake, now isn’t it? – Why do people always find it strange when other people want what’s best for themselves?

    • Anonymous says:

      So you want to leave home, but your parents must still pay your rent, car expenses, entertainment and travel (don’t tell me I can’t go to Vegas) as well as pay off your overdraft cos you can’t bother get a job.
      Sounds a good arrangement Jotnar, I’m sure Britain will sign up to that.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Do leaders that rebel against good governance truly represent the people, or just select portions, themselves, and cronies? We really wonder.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t answer that because I have never seen any good governance.

      • Anonymous says:

        How about obeying the ConstitutionOrder 2009, and enacting the much-diluted Standards in Public Life Law 2014 (updated 2016)? That would probably be a good opening start. The “lawmakers” themselves removed the part everyone is still complaining about…3 years ago!! That they won’t enact it now, ie. criminalizing nondisclosure, tells you everything you need to know about the LA right now (both sides of the aisle).

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