Tourism spent $3.5M on cruise port in 2019

| 04/08/2020 | 73 Comments
Cayman News Service
Stran Bodden

(CNS): The tourism ministry spent almost CI$3.5 million of public money on the now abandoned cruise berthing project last year, according to the chief officer. Stran Bodden told Finance Committee the cash was spent on promoting the project and professional services. Meanwhile, the private sector consortium selected to build the controversial dock said this week that they respected everything that had happened to the project over the last few months.

“We respect all the legal and political decisions based on the future of the project and wish nothing but the best for residents of the country,” the Verdant Isle Port Partners consortium stated in its first comments since the premier made it clear that the dock was no longer part of this administration’s agenda.

Following the legal challenge by the Cruise Port Referendum campaign and the impact of the COVID-19 healthcare crisis, the project has been shelved.

Premier Alden McLaughlin has also said that his government will not hold a referendum on the subject now, despite the successful and verified petition that triggered the fight for a public vote.

McLaughlin’s position is that because the project that government was working on is now a “dead duck”, no referendum is required, since any future George Town project led by a new administration would be different.

In addition to the money spent by the Department of Tourism, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson revealed in this recent legislative sitting that the government had reallocated another $1.32 million to the Elections Office budget to hold the referendum. While the office had spent CI$220,000 on prepping for the vote, he did not say what happened to the balance.

Meanwhile, as legislators began reviewing the 2019 supplementary appropriations bill last Wednesday, Bodden said the tourism ministry had spent $3.4 million on the ill-fated project. A total of CI$327,000 of public cash had been spent on promoting the cruise berthing facility throughout 2019, he said, and over $3.4 million on various professional services.

Bodden revealed that consultants KPMG were paid CI$1.29 million for their part in the design and other processes, while some CI$2 million was paid out in commercial legal fees. These fees were separate from those spent by the Attorney General’s Chambers fighting the legal challenge by the CPR campaign and the subsequent appeal, which will fall into the 2020 budget.

In their first public comment since the premier confirmed there would be no vote and no project, VIPP issued a formal statement through its PR firm here, Tower Marketing, saying that they were “appreciative of the opportunity to participate” in the tender for the pier.

“We thank the Cayman Islands Government and the residents of the Cayman Islands for their hospitality and support throughout the process. The four members of the VIPP alliance, Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group, Orion Marine Group, and McAlpine Ltd, look forward to continuing their relationship with the Cayman Islands. We respect all the legal and political decisions based on the future of the project and wish nothing but the best for residents of the country,” they said.


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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (73)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Did everybody see Beirut? We could have the same problem. The 2 terminal stations. We need someone like Mr. Adams to tell us where should we move it too? If you really think about it, if that blew up it would be bigger than Beirut. Mr. Adams I implore you to think cause most of your family live in the area where they are. How about the schools? From Triple C to High School? If all the swampland in the Central Mangrove were developed 200 feet from the North Sound we wouldn’t be taking anything away from the sea or the coral. I will tell you why and I want you to contact MRCU to make sure. As you move away from the North Sound to travel south east or anywhere there is wetland (Central Mangrove), what do you feel? Now as you walk in that wetland you can bend down and taste that water. It’s a little brackish but in some places it get fresh during a lot of rainfall (may thru Nov.) If you don’t want to make that call to MRCU, you can hear a small airplane flying by trying to kill an insect that is born in that swampland that is nowhere near the sea.
    Now I remember Ivan and I drove everywhere water touches land to see how it affected Grand Cayman. Cause I remember when people talk about stuff they got from people who teach without examples and pictures. So going with a more scientific attitude I decided to observe with my own 2 eyes and touch with 2 hands and smell with my nose.
    From South Sound where the sea came in at around 9 feet high was told to me by residents of South Sound, trees were all knocked down (Mariners Cove was pushed into the middle of the street so it took time to see the west). The Australian pine tree, the one that is not native of Grand Cayman. Funny tho, haven’t heard anybody saving the swampland trying to get rid of it . It grows like a weed. Driving Through Bodden Town didn’t really see large hunks of coral like Eden Rock or Devil’s Grotto anywhere on the beach we saw smaller coral rocks bigger than gravel but smaller than a basketball. Lots of sand everywhere.
    Stopped by Chester Watler place and saw extensive damage by the sea. But lo and behold across the street from his place on a high hill of sand. There was a lone cottage near 100 years old untouched by the worse hurricane of the century. On the beach Mr. Adams, on the beach? Why? Because older people like me remember when all the beaches around the island use to be 8-25 feet higher. When Cayman came out of its shell everyone made money selling sand. So they moved the sand from the beaches and made it level with the roads. Even after they made a law against it. People who didn’t sell it yet stole it until they couldn’t steal it no more.
    So still driving further through swampland everyone told us the SEA came through at around 8 feet and knocked down most of the trees. So you could see from South to North through the swamp.
    So in Conclusion: Swampland 200 feet away from the sea does not interfere with the corals or the sea.
    Mr. Adams I feel I have to remind you years before we talked about any cruise ship docking facilities 2 members of your family were the first dive resorts in South Sound to do business with the Cruise lines. One of the companies was still doing business and helped CPR with a donation. But what I wanted to remind you both companies had hotels that was not doing well. They did well because of new business with the Cruise lines. Fortunately for them they got enough new business they became a “hit”. Meet the locals, play domino, fun, jokes etc, etc. So they really didn’t need them anymore because as we say when that happens “we’ve arrived!!
    But what about the rest of us? Shouldn’t we be given the same chance? The population is going down at this time. Work permits are leaving businesses losing customers. Will the same BS be used to maintain the minimum wages? What new industries will your generation push for the future of young people? Will your friends accept $6 per hour and come to your place of business? Let’s cross this nonsense out, money moves mountains, we need to fine solutions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I read the first few sentences of this comment and decided it would be a waste of time reading more.

  2. Anonymous says:

    2:38 pm – “UK taxpayers provide most of the funding for Overseas Territories”!!?? What are you smoking or what decade are you living in??

    If you genuinely believe that, please stand corrected – it is false! If you’re “fantasizing” – it’s a myth and if you’re just plain lying – go get a life. Troublemaker! You really believe that shit?! If hat were true British MP’s and their constituents would be “crying us down” daily! Bad enough that many think we’re nothing but “tax havens” – ignoring that many of their wealthy persons and corps legally stash money here for tax avoidance.

    Either way you’re wrong, wrong, wrong!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I want a refund on my tax money. Please and thanks.

    Government should give us all a direct deposit for stupidity.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget Joey Who said all negotiations with land developers were going to be in private due to “commercial sensitivity”.
    This is how the dock deal was done too.
    Thank God CPR helped save the marine environment. Who is going to save the mangroves?

  5. Johann Moxam says:

    This project will be brought back into the national discussion after the 2021 elections have been settled.
    If the current PPM led coalition government of National UNITY gain the majority they will attempt to go full steam ahead with the project claiming to have a mandate due to the election results without public consultation or conducting a national referendum.

    However, as concerned citizens we must be ready to assist the CPR group and lend our support and voices to the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance.

    To be clear this or any future government will have to deal with the issue of conducting the People-Initiated Referendum before they can commit to any cruise berthing facility project. Despite claims from the Premier, this matter cannot be ignored or dismissed because the Premier or members of the UNITY government do not like the outcome. The voice of the people must be heard.

    This government or any future government cannot ignore the People-Initiated Referendum process as per s. 70 of the Constitution 2009 that was successfully triggered after over 25% of registered voters signed the petition and it was verified by the Elections Office. This has been confirmed to be a matter of “National Importance” as per s.69 of the Cayman Islands Constitutional Order 2009.

    CPR is still alive and will continue its efforts.

    CPR remain focused on having achieved the main objectives of the Judicial Review process, which were to prevent CIG getting an unfair advantage in the referendum by:

    (a) conducting it on a date shortly before Christmas, which would actively reduce voter turnout, something that is particularly grave where failure to vote acts as a vote in favour of the government position, and

    (b) using biased wording in the question to encourage a vote in favour of the government position.

    We hope that, having been faced with a formidable challenge this time round, when the referendum eventually takes place, the Cayman Islands Government will not make the same mistakes it made last time, such as:

    (1) providing the public with inaccurate information, using public funds, which was nothing short of propaganda; and

    (2) completely dominating the information people heard about the project by spending millions of dollars of public money on campaigning while the anti-port lobby struggled to get information out to the people at anywhere near the same level due to financial constraints.

    CPR showed that the people do have a voice and will challenge decisions that lack transparency and accountability. The power rests in the people.

    #STAYWOKE🇰🇾

    Best regards

    Johann Moxam

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t understand why CPR ever thought it would be a good thing to retain a crooked alliance of cabinet ministers to serve out the balance of their terms, as if that were a foregone right, especially now as the pocket-lining accelerates into presumed retirements. That logic has never squared with being “woke”. The governor has the authority to disband the LA at any time, on voter request, amend governance framework, and then call elections for a future, and much more transparent and restrained government. Why don’t we do that? Or is there some thought that we should wait for more headlines and capital bleed?!?

    • Anonymous says:

      We are now at over 1700 people who need a lot more than CI$1000 per month to maintain their rent or mortgage payment. When I talked about over 6000 people would be impacted by this decision everyone for CPR claimed it was nonsense. Please pray tell Caymanian people who mostly make up 2 parents and 2 kids couldn’t hit that figure?
      How many from your group has hired a Caymanian who were part of cruise ship workers, owners who lost their careers, businesses? Remember these people have to be a Caymanian to get this stipend. What do you think we going to do to make what we lost? When minimum is at $6 per hour? At any cost you all will have to pay for all the contributions that NAU not has to give that group of people. But those people will not be buying or spending time at your establishments. Tourism will come back but it will be different. Those of us who think the same, will look for politicians who will close down the amount of work permit holders so that the minimum wage goes up to a livable wage. $15 per hour sounds about right to me.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Could have been worse, imagine hundreds of millions hang round our necks stranded in a mired port project with COVID-19 knocking at our doorstep.
    Diminishing returns from a critically wounded cruise industry. They don’t want to admit it yet but the jewellery and tourist shops of yesteryear will soon fold in the wake of this pandemic. How would we ever begin pay back or realise any benefit from this thankfully dead boondoggle project?

    • Anonymous says:

      This, on its own, is substantially bad. How does a govt defend spending millions supporting and promoting a private bidding consortium of Fortune 500 companies against its own people?!? It’s corruption. The bad actors need to stripped of titles and banned from politics – at a minimum.

    • Anonymous says:

      Signet jewelry company in the USA is closing 3000 stores of various brands they own. Its not just the pandemic, people are losing interest in high end jewelry. It’s even more ridiculous for the public to spend 100s of millions on a port for both the failing cruise industry and the failing duty free jewelry business. Cayman should take this time to get out of cruse industry altogether. It’s a net drain on the economy and the environment. Our small island resources and efforts would be better spend on overnight tourism, financial services and things like the CEC/special economic zone.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why does DOT need legal advice doesn’t CIG have a whole legal department?

    • Anonymous says:

      When you don’t like what you’re being told the private sector as DOT to get another consultant.
      – Didn’t like the CIG EIA? Get DoT to pay for another one. (It said the same thing.)
      – Didn’t like what Legal Dept. were telling them? Ask a more expensive lawyer. (Who said the same thing.)

      Hopefully PAC asked the same question you did.

    • Anonymous says:

      …QCs and an Attorney General…trouble is, they are almost always intentionally wrong!

    • Anonymous says:

      They obviously didn’t like the advice

  8. Anonymous says:

    Bottom soon drop out of t he bucket….

  9. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how much of that money was spent on trying to rig the local online polls.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the opportunity…..
    Oh yeah and the cash…..

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t understand the criticism here. The Government followed the procurement law which requires business cases and independent legal advice all of which cost money. The government has now reported the cost of the project which if allowed to proceed would be providing a huge stimulus to our economy right now.

      Will CPR tell us how much they spend and where the money came from. We can’t eat coral.

      • Anonymous says:

        CPR used donations. CIG used tax payers dolla.

      • Anonymous says:

        No other Govt. agency gets ‘independent legal advice’ on their business cases. (Unless the rest of us have been breaking the Law.)

        And they were paying to revise the original business case because they found themselves in the part of it which said ‘docks not value for money’. (Even based on the numbers which the footnotes noted were simply guesses and not based on hard data because CIG didn’t want to pay to collect actual data to base an informed decision on.) While ignoring the parts of the reports which said ‘you can get more tourism benefit for your money by improving GT and other aspects of the tourism product, which you’ll have to do anyway if you want to maximise the value of the tourists you do get, dock or no dock.’

        Honestly, if the rest of us handled business cases the way they did they’d send us back to redo the training.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So consultants (incl Roy’s buddies at KPMG) and MLA’s win…Caymanians lose.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Typical public sector logic – ‘It’s not our money and there’s plenty more where it came from!’

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of the funding available to CIG isn’t provided locally. It’s provided by the British tax payer. Most of the cash the govt includes in its budget comes from the UK and is sent to the over seas territories.

      • Anonymous says:

        What are you smoking?! Nothing here is paid for by the U.K. – except the army uniforms.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s try to get it right:

        The UK, as Territorial parent, does serve as implicit financial backstop to the Cayman Islands, extending their preferential AA loan-credit rating, and thereby providing an umbrella of superior lending terms than those suffered by other regional neighbours. There is no commercial risk spread/arbitrage opportunity to the UK buying/holding our public debt.

        The UK has allowed the Cayman Islands a COVID-19 related £500mln line of credit in excess of the loans maximums defined by statute.

        They paid for half of one helicopter last year, around USD$6mln, under condition that the hardware and personal be used in humanitarian and hurricane relief roles in neighbouring commonwealth territories/countries at our expense.

        The 2020 UK Budget (or any year) allocates <£100mln to FCO, and has no direct subsidies detailed to UK Territories.

        This year's Darwin Plus Initiative triples previous years programmes to £10 million per year to support the conservation of the UK Overseas Territories’ unique and globally significant biodiversity and help protect and enhance their natural environments.

        2020 UK Budget:
        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/budget-2020-documents/budget-2020

        Historic Darwin Dispersals:
        https://www.darwininitiative.org.uk/project/funding-scheme/darwin-plus/

        • Anonymous says:

          I think Darwin has passed us by, we have a lot of species in Cayman that should have gone extinct.

  13. Anonymous says:

    …. and Stran Bodden gets to be the mouthpiece?! Where’s Moses now?!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why was an accounting firm paid KYD$1.29mln to design (!) a Port for Verdant Isle, a private bidder?!? Wtf?

    • Anonymous says:

      And how much more has Appleby been paid – as legal counsel?

      • Anonymous says:

        At least Appleby is actually a law firm. KPMG aren’t layout architects, design lab, or architectural firm – they are bean counters for Pete’s sake.

  15. Anonymous says:

    PP M and the Unity Government must go! Vote the ALL OUT! That money could have been used towards elderly healthcare, education, social programs, unemployment, etc. They just don’t care about our people!

    • Anonymous says:

      Voters must petition our governor to dissolve this government, and call elections NOW, while holding most of current LA in contempt, and initiating reviews of current regime actors and associates. They must be tethered to their actions and held to account. No more turning the page and erasing past transgressions with chronic Caymanian amnesia. They have to answer to this corruption, even if we have to hold them by the scruff of the neck to do so. Up to the Governor to do this, unpleasant as it is.

      • Anonymous says:

        And who shall we elect? Please don’t respond with “someone who will…” or “someone who wont”.

        Actual names – who do we replace them all with?

        • Anonymous says:

          This UNITY government should not have been allowed to form in the first place, and from all of what we’ve seen, it should not be allowed to continue its schedule of redacted self-approved plundering into unmolested expiration.

          For starters, if I were the Governor I might immediately revoke the singularly antigay CMA non-profit status, as a hate group, and allow a genuine do-good organization to form in its place, if there is any interest in that. Then amend the Elections Law to remove the artificially-limiting “grandparent” provision, and allow any Caymanian an opportunity to run for service as an elected representative for like-minded Caymanians wanting to vote for them. May the best Caymanian candidates win. Allow all Caymanians, ghost Caymanians, and PR Rights holders, the equal opportunity to have a say in their vested future. Remove the party-affiliation requirement for candidates. Reduce the number of electoral districts and overhead to seven or maybe even five. Stagger District elections and hold them separately from the Territorial Leader selection by voters. Recalibrate the eligibility criteria to those without ANY criminal-conflict records (in any country), esp physical battery charges, I’d expand that to DUIs, maybe add a baseline high school diploma certificate, and eliminate observation of paid “honorary” degrees and titles. Revoke the “Honorable for life” titles, airline perks, and front-of-the-line passes for LA members and family. Remove the obnoxious double-dipped comp enjoyed by simultaneous pension and salary drawers. Expand SIPL conflict disclosures law and oversight, rolling to continuous updating, and extending to all immediate relatives (as it was initially written). Stiffen penalties for lying and non-disclosure. Incentivize oppressed whistle-blowers. Disband semi-autonomous Boards like PLA. Find a new AG. Remove all private Cabinet negotiations and debate/consultation-avoidance lawmaking mechanisms. Fully publish all past unredacted agreements and terms negotiated in secret and begin investigations and prosecutions. Find the missing money. Commission a larger HM prison study to house the crooks. Allow official Opposition to do their paid function as check and balance, and shadow acting Cabinet/government. Bring back debate to the LA. Set a higher bar for Speaker of the House. Full disclosures of use of public funds, overseen by an External NGO Audit Committee applying a zero-cost-budget approach where departments must earn and justify their social purpose. Appropriate sufficient funds for expansion of staffing and resources for functional Ombudsman, ACC, and SIPL offices, so the theft that happens now, cannot continue to extend and penalize future generations. Probably more.

          Then maybe call elections for 6 months hence, with concurrent functional district council nominations, and allow public to compare the list of who wants to serve, versus who used to play. Hold a series of proper cross-candidate televised debates each focused on a specific range of major administration topics (ie. not party manifestos, senior home, and church indoctrinations) with questions submitted and aggregated from the public and a proper independent debate moderators from the local press. Reduce campaign spending threshold, and prevent presiding regime from using any public funds towards re-election. Level the playing field.

      • Noname says:

        Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t those powers available to the governor in case of Force Majeure (which I would reluctantly admit are kind of everyday business as usual given the quality of some of the presently elected officials , some of whom wouldn’t pass of as fully self conscious ) Any news ( I know I should say ramblings ) from he whom saved the Jews from the iron rule of the Pharaoh ? I jest , I jest but what else can we do in the face of such void but dare and laugh to shield our minds from the fear it inspires ?

  16. JTB says:

    You spelled ‘wasted’ wrong

  17. Anonymous says:

    What a terrible waste. I have no words for the incredible incompetence of the CIG.

    Remember when time to VOTE!

    • Jonathan Adam says:

      For how long will these things be termed as incompetence when it is anything but? We all know what this was and is. It was and is not nor will it be incompetence. One can feel free to make whatever inference may wish to therein, if one has one’s eyes even remotely open to a burgeoning reality at hand. What has been done, has been done with an exceedingly acute competence. Capiche?

      • Anonymous says:

        Please start the petition to governor to dissolve government and LA, initiate investigations of all actors, and call elections for 6-8 months time. Voters control the standard of administration that governs them. If it’s unacceptable – lobby those who have the authority to change it, and don’t delay in that!

        • Jonathan Adam says:

          In case you failed to noticed, in case you failed to see, here I am imploring on bended knee; Really? Do you need me to tell you, as it pertains specifically to the present day construct, that the Crown, FCO et al are quite unfortunately a part of the problem?!? No, you do not or at least you should not. The reality is that there are members of our overall population who do not even have Permanent Residency, purchased and/or otherwise, who have far more sway over decision making processes than even large swathes of the electorate collectively combined. The reality is that the voters do not ‘control the standard of administration which governs them’. Such things are, in all reality and quite literally, possessed by the private sector and/or lobbyist vehicles of anonymously procured and/or received ‘financial backing’ and/or ‘sway’ which allows, in the most inequitable of scenarios and/or equations, a thus far unmitigated prostitution of what is an already woefully inadequate system of democratic fallacies. All of this is set into place and/or into play long before any election day and/or it’s ‘festivities’ of some supposedly altruistic orgy of philanthropic largesse. Thusly, as it pertains to the present day construct, it would make more sense for one to approach the duppy of Hitler via the services of a Ouija board seance and ask him to help one contend with the issue of anti-Semitism. Regardless of the subverted derision which the most heinously unworthy of elected officials receive behind closed doors, the reality is that said individuals serve a purpose and that purpose is not derived from anything of altruistic intent for the Cayman Islands in the long run. That being said, maybe the electorate does deserve the chance of voting for one who is willing to look at these realities head on, and one who is dumb enough to tackle these realities in the absence of a paid for influence at the hands of said powers that be. Does anyone want Don Quixote as a running mate? The reality is that in order to affect real and lasting sustainable and beneficial change in the right direction there can be no other way, and it is painfully evident that anything else is just a game of ‘keeping up appearances’ at the ultimate expense of all and sundry and the continuance of an egregiously unacceptable status quo. Therein, one among myriad examples, lays the irony of those who yammered from behind an editor’s desk about an obvious institutionalized corruption all the while conveniently ignoring the fact that they themselves were and are the promulgators and benefactors of such. I wholeheartedly take on board the validity of the necessity, and I agree, but I do not have the luxury of ignoring what are burgeoning and destructive realities and hindrances to good governance and/or beneficial administration for and of the Cayman Islands in it’s collective totality. I, being as idiotically idealistic and miraculously in possession of some minuscule level of hope as I am, hereby offer myself to his Excellency for respectful yet forthright and unhindered discussion and/or debate in said regard if it is deemed as something which may be considered of any cognitive worth and/or constructive by said powers that be. One thing is for sure; None of these things can continue into perpetuity if the point of diminishing return is to be taken into full and due consideration, and that applies to all parties concerned. Rocks, hard places and long drops beneath.

          • Anonymous says:

            A one paragraph ramble that I stopped reading before the end.
            Please, try to write without trying to impress us with your vocabulary.
            Short, meaningful sentences have a greater impact on the reader.

            • Jonathan Adam says:

              My apologies for having trodden upon your quite obviously inhibited attention span, ability to comprehend the English language and/or lack of willingness to consult a dictionary. Have a nice day precious.

  18. Anonymous says:

    How much are they spending on their bio button attempt to kill us and our economy?

    • Anonymous says:

      A small section Trumbach Drive is now narrower than before. The Planning Department should to look into this where a hedge is now encroaching on the public road.

    • Jonathan Adam says:

      Just exactly who is ‘us’ and just exactly what is ‘our’s’ anymore pray tell? The pandemic has been just another tool for commercial interests to be purposefully, and hidden in plain sight behind a veil of smoke and mirrors, given an illegitimately derived consideration and/or sway over decision making processes which have been once again placed over and above the interests and/or well being of the Cayman Islands, her people and it’s future.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The ministers family owned businesses should reimburse that money.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Lucky they didn’t spend the whole $300 Million.

    What a mess!

    • Anonymous says:

      There was never $200mln.

    • Anonymous says:

      What $300mln? There was never more than a drop of money funded into the disposable shell company Verdant Isle – legally distinct from the presumed (and never publicly confirmed) equity partners. Did it even have an operational bank account?!? It was all a mirage – proven by the fact that DOT was actually billing basic design and PR campaign to the public purse. It’s brazen corruption, not even with the sense to be discreet about it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    And all the time the National Conservation Council has to beg for a pittance hidden within the DoE budget.

    • Anonymous says:

      CPR what have you to say about this. The Government has been transparent with its funding, when will you do the same? We would have Caymanians working on the piers today…but nooo coral was more important.

      • Jonathan Adam says:

        Whilst I will allow the leadership, rank and file of CPR to answer your question which, bathed in a rancid presence of disingenuous fallacy, is not a question which I am privy to the answer of nor is it within my remit to respond to. I can and will say this to you; If you are as inherently disingenuous as the blackguard who in times past has been known to utter such asinine phrases as ‘you cannot eat mangrove steak and turtle grass salad’, then that overwhelmingly insipid stench of idiocy tainted with self serving and socipathic greed is your very own well fitted cap to wear. If you are so ignorant as to actually believe that either the labour involved, or the implementation of, the CBF was and/or is for the benefit of the Cayman Islands and her people then I pity you. Yet still, I will no longer be held responsible for the pathetic ignorance of others who inhabit the ranks of those for whom the proverbial statement was designed for, which is; ‘There are none so blind as those who refuse to see’. Methinks that you are one or the other, dear Sir and/or Madam, or maybe a mixture of both. Whichever it is, you and those like you are a definitive millstone around the neck of this place, it’s people and it’s collective future. If you are really so overtly stupid, which I hope not for your sake, that you cannot comprehend the quantified and inherent value of that which is left of our coral reef systems, then your words are as full of excrement as the pile of goat’s manure which I presently have decomposing, yet not nearly as useful. Whilst it is true that, in my humble yet vociferous opinion, those of CPR’s leadership have now defecated upon the concept of real participatory democracy as it pertains to other issues of national importance as it does not fit into their perceived notion of a hypothetical outcome, I for one stand with them wholeheartedly on this one issue. You have my stated solidarity in that the funding of all lobbies, political candidates, special interest groups, monopolistic and pseudo Imperialist entities and others et al has to be made explicitly transparent to all and sundry as a matter of course if any semblance of a workable, equitable, legitimate and/or sustainable equation is to ever be realized. I am, however, aware that there is no altruistic intent in your statement above, far from it. Further comment, and most probably any at all, will and has been akin to one playing chess with a pigeon. You are not alone in that regard, and it is to the detriment of the hope for a workable and/or equitable system of a much needed, real and binding equation of participatory democracy which has now been effectively thrown asunder by the very ones who have spoken up for it when it suited there purposes on this one issue. They should be ashamed of themselves, and so should you. You both share a level of outright hypocrisy which is not only unsavoury but is also extremely destructive. TEAR DOWN THE WALLS OF SECRECY. Let the chips fall where they may.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except you wouldn’t have Caymanians working on the piers, would you now. First, there would be no money to build it – the cruise ship companies are scrambling to borrow money to meet their running costs – and second, even if construction did go ahead there would probably be as many Caymanians engaged on that project as there are working for the Ritz.

        • Anonymous says:

          So true…all those “don’t worry about your jobs” promises from the old old old Holiday Inn, paved over by time, a CIG-RBS-McKeeva bailout, several condos in kind, and a vulture heir takeover. Round and round we go until we finally, one day, decide to do something and change the standards and mechanisms of governance.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Crooks.

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