Ezzard addresses Mac’s admission of mental health issues

| 25/02/2020 | 144 Comments
Cayman News Service
Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush in the Legislative Assembly, January 2020

(CNS): Ezzard Miller, the representative for North Side and former opposition leader, is the first, and so far only, member of the Legislative Assembly to publicly comment on the alleged assault on a woman by House Speaker McKeeva Bush last weekend. Calling for his resignation or, if necessary, his enforced removal, Miller expressed serious concern about Bush’s subsequent apology, in which he admits to having significant physical and mental health problems.

Miller noted that the apology “details serious medical concerns”, and quoted the speaker’s admission that these required “long-term professional help” and the need to “cease any use of alcohol”.

Maintaining that these admissions raised “even greater disquiet” than the alleged assault itself, he called on the health minister, Dwayne Seymour, and the Unity Government to ensure that Bush “gets the rehabilitative treatment he says he needs, in the most suitable institution available”.

He noted, “This is a matter of urgency, particularly as the medical conditions detailed in the apology do raise questions about the speaker’s physical and mental ability to continue to serve in his present national position.”

In addition to Bush’s admitted physical and mental states, Miller also pointed to “his ability to sustain the confidence, trust and respect essential to his role” as speaker, and how the incident threatened “continuing reputational damage to the Cayman Islands locally and internationally”.

Miller said that we should not rush to judgement concerning the assault while the matter is under investigation, but said it was in the best interest of both Bush and the people of the Cayman Islands that he resigns from the role of speaker forthwith “or that the necessary action be taken to remove him from office”.

No other MLA has made any comment on the situation, even though it has outraged many in the community, a point noted by concerned citizen, businessman and activist Johann Moxam, who has slammed the inaction and silence by all the other members of the LA, especially government members.

Noting the need for an investigation of the matter and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law, he said that “the silence from the government and all the elected members currently demonstrates they have no clue what leadership looks like or what is expected from public officials and senior government officials in those positions”.

He continued, “Perhaps it is the many secrets and quid pro quos which exist within the current administration that prevents them from doing the right thing and understanding the responsibility that comes with leadership.”

Moxam speculated on the “political reality and fallout” for the Cabinet doing “the right thing” and removing Bush as speaker and as a member of the Government of National Unity. He pointed out that in order to stay in power, they cannot afford to lose the support of Bush and his longtime West Bay political sidekick, MLA Eugene Ebanks, which would be the inevitable result.

But Moxam stated that the loyalty of the premier, deputy premier and all other Cabinet members “must be to what is in the best interests of Cayman, not their political party”. And he said there must be one standard of accountability for everyone, including all politicians and public officials in the Cayman Islands.

“Their collective silence makes them complicit and effectively condones the behaviour. It should not be this hard for our leaders to do the right thing,” Moxam said.

Meanwhile, Linda Clark has written a rough template letter that she offers to people wanting to write to their MLA about the incident urging action. See below

Template for letter to MLA and/or Governor Roper

Ezzard Miller statement on incident involving McKeeva Bush, 25 Feb 2020

Statement by McKeeva Bush, 24 Feb 2020

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Category: Health, Mental Health, Politics

Comments (144)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Honest, intelligent and ethical persons, of which there are many eligible Caymanians, are not prevented from running from public office but why would they tarnish their names and reputations to join the corrupt system? They cannot change anything with a minority; they would have to have a clear majority across all voting constituencies to make any form of impact.

    No one who would be suitable is interested! So we’ll continue swapping black dog for monkey every four years!

    • Anonymous says:

      They can only tarnish their names and reputations if they engage in or support corruption. The “system” can’t change unless good people put themselves forward to provide the leadership and direction that is required. Intelligent people would understand what is required to bring about the desired outcomes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s been said 1000 times for a decade or more: Honest, intelligent candidates aren’t allowed to run. We need Constitutional changes to (a) raise the bar of acceptable conduct and qualification – repelling current greaseballs (b) increasing personal and professional accountability. What’s broken extends far and wide from the name tags we keep seeing. That won’t change unless voters change it. Reshuffling a broken stacked deck doesn’t fix it.

    • Anonymous says:

      How are honest, intelligent candidates being prevented from putting themselves forward and making their case to the electorate?

      • Anonymous says:

        They aren’t prevented from trying, but Winston tried it, and look what happened to him. The career politicians created a hostile environment for him. If he tried to influence policy of the government he was in, he was ignored. Since he was in the government and the government decides everything in caucus as a group, he couldn’t pursue any initiatives of his own. When he left the government, he couldn’t get anything done because he wasn’t in government. So he left after one term with no accomplishments, thus discouraging anyone else like him from ever trying again. That may not be a ban on running and campaigning, but it operates as one if you know what the result will be down the line and you like the life and the reputation you have now. He lost probably 80% of his income for 4 years for all that trouble – who wants to be next? As long as enough constituencies keep voting their favourite dinosaurs in, they will co-operate with each other to keep the game dirty and dishonourable, marginalising any principled persons who manage to get elected and effectively forcing them for the sake of their reputations and sanity to go back to the private sector. They make the whole game muddy so only other pigs, who they can ‘wuk wit’, enjoy it and want to do it. Any non-pigs who get in quickly want out. There’s also the problem of these same dinosaurs raising future dinosaurs out of backbenchers, councillors and new ministers, so that there is always a healthy supply of dinosaur-pigs heavily invested in the status quo that elevated them, and ready to raise the next generation. This is why there needs to be a true clean sweep, not a replacement of the university-educated dinosaur-pigs we have now with other dinosaur-pigs brandishing the label ‘independent’ when really we know they are also part of the merchant class, part of the Lodge, part of the heavy-drinking, domino-slapping, come-see-my-farm group of ‘Big Men doing Big Tings’ – in other words part of the problem. We need a MAJORITY of honest, intelligent candidates – perhaps thoroughbred horses. Cayman did not build its early success with self-interested, overpaid, accountability-proof professional politicians. It was built by the most educated, most dedicated public-spirited people we had. They got paid almost nothing, created and executed a vision of Cayman (that has now been badly warped almost beyond all recognition – how did “Caymanian Protection” work out?), and they retired as heroes. We will not survive in this modern world with the type of politician we have now. If voters can’t see who to encourage to run and who to vote for so that we have a better and a secure future, something else has to be done to achieve that outcome for all of us.

        • Anonymous says:

          While I accept that politics is not for the meek, it sounds like you are searching for excuses instead of taking responsibility for the changes that you want to see implemented.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You couldn’t make it up, could you. Every time some miscreant behaves contrary to the law or to expected standards, they cry “mental health issues”, as if to create sympathy for the offender, and perhaps avoid criticism, censure or jail. Worse still is the creation in social media of supporting comments for the offender, and absolutely nothing for the innocent assault victim. Even if the law does not require the Speaker’s removal, or sitting MLAs decline to oust him, he should do what’s honourable. Resign immediately. Any prolonging of the Speaker’s position in the house will confirm his own complete lack of personal integrity, and the integrity of the House (assuming politicians had any in the first place).

    McK had been a great representative for his West Bay district. But his time as a politician has come, and sadly, gone too. Go now.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the Donald Trump strategy. “ I am the victim”. And it works as so many people fall for it although it is mistake after mistake after mistake. Always self induced mistakes. The “ I am a victim strategy” works in Cayman too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Employers have a legal duty of care to protect their employees from undue harm and physical injury in the workplace.

    While police is conducting criminal investigation, the victim should seek Compensation for being assaulted at work. She was attacked while on the job!

    Mr.Bush is not poor, leave him penniless.

    If she is an expat, even better, forget your fear, forget working and living here, there are better places.
    Have your country attorney to file civil suit on your behalf. Don’t settle outside the court unless you adequately compensated. The establishment must have some sort of workcomp or equivalent insurance.
    Claim workers’ comp benefits and file a lawsuit against the employer to seek additional compensation.

    Cayman has Labor Law. Report the attack in writing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The premier, deputy premier and all of the other politicians that support the current government have clearly demonstrated their lack of basic leadership skills. Additionally, it is clear that a number of our elected representatives are struggling with severe mental health issues and need help to reevaluate their ability to continue to provide competent representation. A process also needs to be put in place to continually assess the mental health of our politicians, our senior police officers and other senior civil servants. Any individual deemed to be struggling with mental health issues should be provided with the support they need to manage their condition.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a guy, but I am so saddened by the fact that the 3 female MLA’s have said nothing. A total lack of leadership for both women and Caymanian society.

      ZERO female leadership. The 3 of them should be put out to political pasture.

  6. Anonymous says:

    For clarification for some posters:

    When it comes to reporting on a court case, journalists must stick to the “facts” of the case or they will be held in contempt of court. (It is true this is not yet in court but it very well could eventually be).

    Right now it is a fact that Bush said he was mentally ill. That makes it fair to comment on that aspect of this case. That is what is meant that that is a “fact”. It is sort of a legal perspective.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Finally someone says it. Bush is not fit for his duty’s, either he’s an alcoholic with mental health issues who needs to step down and seek treatment, or he a liar and piece of human garbage who’s repeated offenses should have him removed.

    Time to see where Alden and his cronies faith truly lies, if they refuse to remove Bush then it’s clear they are not fit to serve and we need a general election.

  8. Anonymous says:

    WE NEED A GENERAL ELECTION NOW. This Government, the Speaker and the MLAs are not fit for purpose.


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