Deputy speaker resigns on principle

| 27/02/2020 | 97 Comments
Cayman News Service
MLA Bernie Bush

(CNS): Following news that the speaker of the Legislative Assembly is taking a “leave of absence” in light of his alleged assault of a woman last weekend, MLA Bernie Bush has announced his resignation as deputy speaker with immediate effect. While the premier apparently approves of the speaker’s temporary leave, Bush’s statement reflected the outrage of the community, expressed in CNS comments and on social media, that the speaker is getting off lightly.

The West Bay MLA said he could not “in good conscience… step up to fill a role that has been tainted by the weakness of the Unity Government”, which was taking the “politically expedient course of action” rather than “the morally right”.

Bush stated, “I started my political service on the premise that my principles will not be for sale or rent and remaining in the post as deputy speaker, in view of the current circumstances, would very much go against my core values.”

Although the government has still not issued an official announcement on the matter, McKeeva Bush has said he is taking a “leave of absence” rather than offer his resignation, despite the severity of the situation, the police investigation into the assault at a bar early Saturday morning, and the public pressure for the government to take appropriate action.

As deputy speaker, Bernie Bush was the obvious replacement as speaker. However, his resignation means that the government must look elsewhere.

Bernie Bush has gone further than other elected members in expressing his emotions on the matter, saying it left him “in an untenable situation when considering the severity and seriousness of this incident and the implications of Mr McKeeva Bush’s planned leave”.

He added, “Like many of you, this issue has prompted many conversations, not only within my personal circle and with constituents, but also with the leader of the opposition and some of my other colleagues as well. I am encouraged by the many people who refuse to stay silent and refuse to compromise their principles. More and more people are choosing to do the hard but right thing, instead of going along trying to justify the easy wrong.”

Noting that he is “first and foremost… a husband, a father of two wonderful daughters, and a grandfather to two very precious granddaughters”, he said, “I was raised to respect the role of women, not only in our homes but in our society as well.”

He added, “I cannot condone violence against anyone and as an elected leader, I certainly expect to be held to a higher, not lower, standard of conduct.”

Wishing McKeeva Bush well as he seeks “the help he needs”, Bernie Bush stated, “But with great powers come great responsibilities, and as a representative of the people I must always strive to lead by example.” 

He urged the community to pray not only for the victim but also “the many other victims who have the unfortunate experience of dealing with violence. I also ask that you also pray for the many perpetrators of violence so that they may turn from the errors of their ways and find the peace that they need. As a community, we are making strides in standing up for what is right.”

See full release in the CNS Library

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Category: Politics

Comments (97)

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  1. The watcher says:

    The Cayman electorate gets the politicians it deserves. For too long now have people accepted the trinkets, driveways, mortgage payoffs for family votes and whored themselves for PR.
    My view is that the people who accept, acquiesce and take the silver for silence, stay put.
    UK, we don’t want direct interference, in fact, cut the navel strings and cast adrift.
    All those that could be shocked, appear to have left and found more constructive and less instructional paths.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He was hired to serve….now he speaks of the “Chair” being tarnished….the islands are tarnished….he should step up to the plate and serve his country….COWARD.

    • Anonymous says:

      Biggest act of COWARDICE I ever saw for a so called political representative.

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you forgotten how some of your ‘leaders’ were hiding behind their mommies skirts after the Ivan?

  3. SSM345 says:

    All these people bashing Bernie from resigning are just pissed off brain washed Mac supporters. Donkeys would be polite. Absolutely nothing inbetween there ears other than remembering the date for their next hand out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let’s talk about the fact that, a week later, two thirds of our LA still view Speaker Bush as the most dignified member for the job. Reshuffling a loaded deck, this politically/morally/ethically corrupted, is not going to get us where we need to go. Long overdue that we realize how broken the governance apparatus is. It’s on full display right now.

  5. JusticeInCayman says:

    Caymanians are STRANGE. You aren’t coming forward to give your service to our beautiful islands, however, when someone does, they are criticised and disrespected for whatever decision they make.

    Stop criticising, cursing, pulling down people and saying nasty things and come forward to serve. Maybe you are tainted as well. Or just chatter.. Some don’t even vote.

    Anyway this is much more than just female abuse. It’s also inherent WORKPLACE abuse as well. The Labour Law is weak in supporting Caymanians as well as Work Permit holders. There is racism, sexism, nationality-ism, overwork, oppression and many other workplace issues people are AFRAID to report. They know they will be victimized, passed over or worse loose their job.

    Why? Because the BIG businesses and bosses are sometimes protected by Labour Office, court and club friends.

    Human Rights is a waste as they are also afraid to loose their jobs. Even the Gov try to tread light (we know how that can go).

    Their needs to be JUSTICE and TRANSPARENCY across the board, without any club allegiance.

    ALL the self acquired mandates by the powerful to control, has to be revoked by the ORDINARY PEOPLE. (That would avoid having nature do it).

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why are our “heroes” always a day (week) late and a dollar short? They all need to be banished with Constitutional changes: higher standards of duty, better education criteria, clean police records, and wider Caymanian eligibility definition. We should all want transparency, fairness, and accountability when it comes to OUR money. Gov’t ministries, and national instruments like CIFA, CIMA (and many others) should have been cleaned up years ago. Status quo will never change, unless the flaws in Constitution and Elections Law are amended. Reshuffling the same people doesn’t get us where we need to go.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry 9.35 we are not going to allow expats to hold elected office. You want us to believe you would be better than the locals ; then we look at the USA, UK and Canada and know that your wrong. Those of you advocating ( not agitating i hope) for direct rule, forget it.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you get the beam out of your eye and read the comment you will se the poster advocates for a clean police record and wider CAYMANIAN eligibility- doesn’t mention expats or direct rule. Opening eligibility to Caymanians who travel, those with dual nationality and second generation ( let alone new citizens, who by definition have been here for 15 years), and eliminating those that have records for criminal offences involving sentences of less than 12 months doesn’t seem that radical a step – although there is no shortage of the current MLA class who wouldn’t like the increased competition.

      • Anonymous says:

        To which, we again wonder, how does having a Caymanian Granny prevent dishonest actors from running their own private show behind a thick velvet curtain? Caymanians are Caymanians, or should be, regardless of where they started off. Anyone who has served and contributed to these islands we love for over 15-20 years can drink from my flask any time. Shouldn’t we, at the very least, aspire to have lawmakers able to read the material policy they are tasked with enacting? Shouldn’t we expect them to be reasonable, logical, seeking and accepting of advice, arriving to work having done their homework, and prepared for the responsibilities they are entrusted with? For starters? Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t understand how having a granny helps this performance equation.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please spare us your dated “we aren’t going to allow” language. You may not like it, but there are already thousands of registered Caymanian voters of educated expat origin that are tired of the corruption and unaccountability, and will have their rightful say – and these islands will be better for it.

  7. anonymoose says:

    Alden, you need to get Wayne Panton back on side. A more decent man would be hard to find in this beautiful but utterly corrupt and inept place. If he was to take the job the Cayman islands would be a better place. Come on – get with it and stop prevaricating now.

    • Anonymous says:

      But that would put a spoke in the wheel of Aldens cost relationships with environmentally hostile developers and cruise lines. You make the mistake of thinking that as Premier he is capable of putting the nation first. How do you think Mac got the job in the first place? Because Alden thought it would be in the best interest of the country. LOL.

    • A Concerned Expat says:

      I wish Cayman had more upstanding, exemplary individuals like Mr. Panton. He represents the essence of old time Caymanian righteousness and who’s values our elected members should be emulating. We need more vested men and women within the ranks of our electorate to take back power from our current corrupt leaders.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a whoose….….INCOMPETENT….don’t be fooled by Bernie…a shame and disgrace to Legislative Assembly….if people accept his excuse, then please don’t say anything else about the rest..( An ex Bernie supporter)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Bernie could not do the job and had to resign. Nice to have the title but can’t do the work.

  10. Anonymous says:

    alden, whogene, arden,mac, austin, jon-jon, ju-ju, eden,ezzard, moses….
    this place is one bad joke.
    bring in direct rule asap.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This will be the 2nd time Mac has done something to cause a minority government situation to arise and put us dangerously close to the UK taking over control and still there will be those who want to work with him and ride his coattails and prop him up for Premier. Even as the Speaker the man can’t stay out of trouble. He has a death touch I wouldn’t join him to play a game of cricket much less run for politics.

    • Anonymous says:

      The UK should take control. Our so called leaders have no clue.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wish they would too. Things would be so much better for everyone if they did.

        • Anonymous says:

          Only a racist would consider such an option as superior. The UK is filled with bad behavior. Their last Speaker was hounded for years by bullying and harassment allegations and his gamesmanship cost the british public and economy months of unnecessary Brexit delays.

          They can barely rule themselves…they can hardly teach us any ‘lessons’.

          • Say it like it is says:

            11.02pm and how many times did he get blind drunk and beat up a poor defenceless woman?.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and bring and set up UK Equal Opportunities Commission so that individuals, Expats and Caymanians, men and women, have somewhere to go to report workplace abuse and harassment, verbal and/or physical, in the safety of knowing they will be heard, listened to in total privacy. And appropriate action taken without recrimination (how to get rid of the recrimination here?). Far too much abuse happening in the workplace for it to continue and be ignored any further!

  12. Fair and Balanced says:

    Let’s be honest here: Bernie resigned from role of Deputy Speaker because he didn’t want his lack of knowledge to be exposed if he was ever called to be Speaker. It is that plain, simple and true.

    Bernie’s stance does not have anything to do with principles because, if he believed in principle, why did he run with McKeeva in the first place?

    Bernie opposed strongly when he first showed an interest in politics, he ran and ran on his own but couldn’t get a seat.

    He chose McKeeva or Mckeeva chose him and, Bernie finally got a seat.
    Anybody really think Bernie didn’t know McKeeva was tainted when he ran with him to get a seat?

    This is about being a coward and covering up lack of knowledge with a so called principled excuse.

    Bernie, like they know about McKeeva, sensible people know this is a coward excuse and they don’t believe this made-up story.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Hon. Bernie is a man of integrity. His actions in the house are genuine and honest. He can think for himself and is not an extension cord.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Having been elected on the coattails of KeKe, if Bernie had any principles, he’d resign as an MLA

  15. Anonymous says:

    #JOEYWHO is not a leader and cannot be trusted to do the right things.
    In 2021 he has to go!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bravo sir! Irrespective of anything, Bernie has positioned himself firmly on the side of the victim and other victims of violence and abuse. It is a matter of right and wrong and so far those on the side of right are disturbingly few.
    Stand up to violence against women!

  17. Anonymous says:

    He resigned for one reason, he has not got the ability to do the job. He is incompetent and would rather stay in the background causing problems

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct 5:50. A failed civil servant and a failed businessman, at least he is smart enough to know he could not sit up there and be Speaker.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if he genuinely resigned out of principle or he’s thrown the toys out the pram because McKeeva hasn’t been given the boot and he won’t get the job permanently.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cut down the only one who stands on principle, You must be a Mckeeva man. Or are you only interested in saying bad things about good people?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hey Roy, Tara, Joey. We can’t hear you. Man/Woman up. Or you can kiss your political careers goodbye.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tara is a waste of time and an embarrassment as a leader she has to go! She is a female Alden.

    • Anonymous says:

      Roy is spineless and blindly follows whatever Alden commands. He is a disappointment

    • Anonymous says:

      It has already been a week. Too late to take any of these calculating eels seriously. By Saturday morning 2/3 of LA should have already convened to remove Speaker Bush. They are all full of shit chiming in a week later. What new info are they going on?!?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Resigned- because he could not do the job of speaker-

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously you don’t know the man. Idiat!

    • Anonymous says:

      At least he’s man enough to do the right thing, if he thought it was beyond his ability. The others are in there for the money, not a clue of what they’re doing.

    • SSM345 says:

      So John-Johns next with your logic right? Pray tell what “job” he has done or is doing? At least Bernie knows he cant do it and has removed himself. 90% of the MLAs cant do their job yet everyone praises them to the highest of highs. THis Govt couldnt organize a piss up in a brewery but they sure do make some serious kool-aid.

  21. Anon says:

    If Bush gets his way in the L.A. it has to be because he has smut on the others. Our only hope now is to rely on the Commissioner of Police and the Governor, both of whom are at arms length as they are not Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 4.58pm It does not have to be because of smut. Maybe they are waiting for the legal process to play out and are not prepared to act as judge, jury, and executioner, like so many on here. God help us if people like you are ever in power.

      • Say it like it is says:

        4.58pm Don’t worry I will never be in power 1. because I am only a Cayman status holder, and 2. because as I’m honest I have integrity.

  22. Anon says:

    We want Kurt Tibbetts as he is an educated man, excellent speaker and will be a good person for this position.

  23. Say it like it is. says:

    Well done Bernie, you are standing up for the people you represent which is what MLA’s are elected for, not to represent themselves and kowtow to those politicians with the most influence, who with the exception of Ezzard, should all be ashamed of themselves.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Good, Alden will have to appoint one of his clueless backbenchers to fill the role, I hope it is Barbara so she can finally find her long lost voice

    • Fair and Balanced says:

      I’m not an Alden fan but, i must correct nonsense: he does not have to appoint “one of his clueless backbenchers to fill the role”.

      The Government can chose someone outside the House to be Speaker.
      Do you remember that Mrs Mary Lawrence was a Speaker?

      She certainly wasn’t a backbencher in the House.

      So, know what you’re talking about before starting to write.

      I’d be very happy to see Mr Kurt Tibbetts as Speaker.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard for Deputy Speaker. Yea Yea.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Bernie must be the only MLA with Balls! The rest of them are jokes …

  26. Anonymous says:

    Actions speak volumes.
    Talk is cheap.

    Nice to see Bernie take a stand and take action.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Good move Bernie. Don’t be a pawn.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry not really getting the point’re resigning position as the appointment is only temporary? And why was it you didn’t speak out before?

  29. Vote of No Confidence says:

    I encourage every voter to call or e-mail their Elected Representative asking him/her to vote Yes to a Vote of No Confidence on M. Bush; per the Constitution, the Parliament can appoint an outsider as Speaker and this man has embarrassed the House and these islands too many times.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Well done Bernie for not being a sell out!!!

    • TTT says:

      Why was it ok then to join a unity government, which gave the ppm its majority govt when more than one member of the unity govt had been previously accused of violence against women. Why is this worse, and why is it now against your principles Mr Bernie. I believe they are all wrong and you should not have joined any of them. It’s all politicks. Even the rascals have an agenda, they want Mac out because he has power not because they really stand for anything moral. As a legislator, your first priority should be the law, and changing it to better the people. Your job is not to morally judge but to legislate.

    • Elvis says:

      At last a correct stand Mr B Bush

  31. Anonymous says:

    Good for you Bernie!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Bravo! Finally some courage, integrity and morality being shown by someone in the LA! I didn’t think I would live to see the day.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Now I hope every other MLA follows suit! It’s time for a COMPLETELY new government.

  34. Anonymous says:

    YES!!!!!!!! Bernie you have my support 24/7 365!! Thank you, Thank you!!! Now let’s put some fire on the woman beater!!

  35. Anonymous says:


    Principle my ass, purely politics.

    • Anonymous says:

      Still, better than any other MLA with the exception of Ezzard.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ahmen, and he now realises that he is not cut out for the role of Deputy Speaker and could not command the respect of the House of Parliament due to his sheer incompetence. A good extension cord my @$$!!!!

    • Good for him says:

      Regardless. He has the —-s to resign.

      • Anonymous says:

        Resign from what exactly – a role that he never had to undertake once ?
        Now he has been given a chance to show some leadership for once and he rejects the opportunity to use that b!& @ssmout of his. You all take people for fool too much.

        • Anonymous says:

          Feel the Bern!

        • Anonymous says:

          Resign from a token title he was given in order to ensure the formation of the current Government. Before he fell out with Mac.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes. Politics. As Acting Speaker he will have to be neutral and not give his political views. Not a good thing in the year before elections.

      • Anonymous says:

        To 3.52 He’s a deserter not a hero. Knew his limitations and quit before he was xposed as incapable of doing the job.

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