Autonomy will keep OTs in UK family

| 07/12/2020 | 60 Comments
Speaker McKeeva Bush, Premier Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell (left) unveil the plaque in Parliament

(CNS): The more autonomy the British government gives to its overseas territories, the more likely they are to remain in the UK family, Premier Alden McLaughlin said Friday in his address marking the state opening of the new Parliament. If the UK wants to keep the territories over the long term, it must “loosen the apron strings”, he said as he marked the recent changes to the Constitution and indicated that there would be more to come in future.

McLaughlin repeated his belief that Cayman’s independence was inevitable but not anytime soon because the country’s best interests in the immediate future are served by staying as a part of the United Kingdom. But he said the local government must be allowed to take greater responsibility for decisions that affect our people.

“If the UK wishes to avoid driving the territories to choose independence, particularly before they are ready, then it must allow the OT’s greater autonomy over our destinies,” he said. “This includes the ability for the territories to make our own mistakes and to learn from them. The UK must not feel that it is bound to intervene every time it believes that a territory has made or is making a mistake.”

As he welcomed the changes in the latest amendments to Cayman’s fundamental law, the 2009 Constitution, he outlined some of the key points and noted changes that had not been made and the ones he would like to see in the future.

He again lamented losing the opportunity to remove section 81 after the governor used it recently over the same-sex partnerships row.

“I still believe the retention of section 81, allowing the governor to legislate directly in areas of the governor’s special responsibilities, is one such provision that needs to be abolished,” he said, but noted that Britain, having recently used this power, had made it clear that now was not the time to remove this section.

The premier said the Constitution still retains some other provisions that “could most charitably be described as anachronistic”, and he hoped that in future the premier would chair Cabinet.

“I believe fervently that the Cayman Islands Cabinet must come to be chaired by the premier,” he said, given that the recent constitutional amendment spells out the fact that the local Cabinet has autonomous responsibility for domestic policy. “As such, it is a real anomaly, and indeed a contradiction in terms, that the UK-appointed governor still presides over Cabinet – a Cabinet of which the governor is not a member and in which he or she has no vote,” McLaughlin stated.

Hoping a future premier will convince the UK to correct the situation, he said when that days comes, there will be other changes to be made.

“Ours is a living Constitution, not a dusty parchment,” the premier said. “It will continue to evolve as our nation continues to grow. Neither we nor the United Kingdom should be afraid to make further necessary changes.”

However, McLaughlin did acknowledge that politicians in the territories must accept that with greater autonomy comes “greater responsibility and the need for the courage to make difficult, and at times unpopular, decisions. Decisions we make must have the maximum respect for the rule of law,” he added.

Parliament will be prorogued just over three months from now, paving the way for the May 2021 General Election, when, regardless of the political winners, McLaughlin will no longer be premier. He therefore did not give the usual strategic policy statement for the year ahead in response to the throne speech. Government’s budget is already in place until the end of 2021, though there may be changes to that spending plan in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the last few months of this administration government will be aiming to deliver on previous policy statements and campaign pledges that have not been fulfilled, such as the stalled landfill project and the George Town revitalization project.

See the full address on the government website here.

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Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As we are talking about competent leadership can we say.., Brexit.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Overwatch would suggest the persons being watched would be steered from making known mistakes. Learning from our mistakes; no, let’s get the best from consultation and leadership. Stay strong Cayman, with the UK we are connected, and so is the UK.

  3. Anonymous says:

    well that’s about 75% of politicians!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Where will the finances come from to support this new independent, autonomous entity we have just created?

    Asking for a friend.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Be patient… what comes after this can be interesting…eligibility for foreign candidates…could be the best thing yet. Look at it Caymanians…we have Pablo Escobar sidekick (blondie), drug dealers, convicts, molesters, wife/women beaters, corrupt politicians…the first Brit that is allowed to campaign, has my vote.


    • Anonymous says:

      So the only qualification for someone to get your vote is for them to be from the UK?

      That’s pretty weak and smacks of racism.

      If you want UK representation go and live there. You can choose between right wing nut jobs or communists. Boris’ clowns or Jeremy’s anti-Semitic crew.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Premier is delusional, what makes him think the U.K. wants to keep it’s colonies?.Now that we have a soon to be convicted serial drunkard and woman beater as Speaker of our “Parliament”, supported it seems by all our new M.P.s, bar one, they will be only too pleased to rid themselves of this insult to the British Parliamentary system.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The UK in general doesn’t care whether you stay or go. A few care about the convenient financial services, but the rest just want to avoid excessive embarrassment. You ate making it hard for those ones.

    • Anonymous says:

      11.41 Independence will wipe out the financial industry, like it did when the Bahamas went independent.
      Money trusts British oversight, without that you are just taking a risk with the Despot du jour.

    • Anonymous says:

      And yet you never see people saying ‘get rid of ’em!’on comments on UK newspaper articles about OTs. Why? Because we don’t cost anything, and we’re here for them to come holiday in and work tax-free. As long as both parties behave properly, the relationship is a win-win. And McKeeva Bush is not in the UK papers causing the man on the Clapham omnibus any consternation whatsoever.

  8. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is this picture just turns my to go to the bathroom now…ugh!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    “greater responsibility and the need for the courage to make difficult, and at times unpopular, decisions. Decisions we make must have the maximum respect for the rule of law,” – what, like keeping the Speaker of the House in office after pleading guilty to a homophobic assault on a woman? Yeah, that’s the way to reassure the UK that we have the political maturity to govern our own affairs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “If the UK wants to keep its territories over the long term….”. Why the eff would Britain want to keep its territories? It gets absolutely zero out of them except embarrassment on the world stage.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your absence of knowledge of the value of the CDs and OTs to the UK is baffling.

      Please comment on the things that you may just understand and stay away from international affairs.

      Trust me, these things are far beyond your ability to comprehend.

      In your defence though, my mamma always said that “it takes all types”.

      • Anonymous says:

        So, erm, 5:34, instead of just being “baffled” by your own arrogance, over reliant on your mama’s cliched advice and pouring vituperative scorn on the poster you are replying to, why not offer him/her and the rest of us a reasonably succinct explanation of the value of CDs and OTs to the UK. You never know, it might not be “beyond (our) ability to comprehend”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would you think you are qualified to tell everyone else what the UK wants? Is it because you believe yourself to be less ignorant than those all around you around you?

  11. "loosen the apron strings"? says:

    The PM says the UK must “loosen the apron strings”. Why? So that Cayman can show what outrageous BIGOTS its leaders are, like with half the assembly in the recent uproar over fairness to gays? Get real. Without the UK making the occasional demand, Cayman would be stuck in the dark ages. Bravo to the UK for showing Cayman who’s boss.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Having Bush in that photo is a national disgrace.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The more autonomy Alden gives Mac, the more likely Mac is to keep Alden’s secrets under wraps.

    • Anonymous says:

      Neither of them are in charge. 25% of Voters can ask the governor to dissolve the govt. or either’s authority, long before elections.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you don’t think Mac is completely in charge of Cayman I want some of whatever you’re smoking cos its some good tish!

  14. JTB says:

    Hey Alden, one of those ‘mistakes’ was sitting in the Speaker’s Chair.

    As long as that continues, I am not listening.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course the real problem is that he is not a mistake. He has been repeatedly elected, he has been appointed to his high office, and our elected parliament shows no sign of concern or remedy for that. I have seen streetwalkers with more integrity than our elected officials.

  15. Sucka Free Cayman says:

    Scumbag Incorporated! Autonomy from Caymanians you mean, Look its the UK and the 3 Stooges that run this place Hear yee hear yee.

  16. Anonymous says:

    “including the ability to make and learn from mistakes”

    Yea like keeping some of unna up in deh for a good 2 decades plus. As a young adult Caymanian I’m tired of the closed mindedness that comes with these conservative fossils.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely disgusted to see Mckeewa in that picture, and I’m sure he doesn’t care. If he honored the house he would’ve resigned long time

    • Anonymous says:

      Mack is a smart man, the voters are the stupid ones . And who don’t agree then they are one of them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mac is smart?! Conniving and devious maybe. Idiot.

      • Anonymous says:

        Smart? maybe slimy, slick and manipulative. Definitely not intelligent!

      • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

        McKeeva is a very smart politician. He has managed to collect so many political IOU’s that he has made himself an untouchable. Everyone in Parliament is afraid to say a bad word about him. One might not like him but that takes political skill.

        He has also made himself electable for life in West Bay.

  18. Catcha Fire says:

    The picture says a thousands words neither one can breathe and accusation against another. We are all guilty of one sin or another. However they all have one thing in common which binds them together all HAVE SOLD OUT CAYMAN!!!for their OWN benefit.

  19. Zizzla Caylongee says:

    Go Through McKeewwa ! Solid as a Rock dey cant stop us Now!

  20. Anonymous says:

    The Governor is ultimately the adjudicator of good governance for the Queen, with support of the FCO. That is why we pay to them to oversee us. If there is a governance mistake underway, deliberate or not, at the hand of the formed or elected Government of the the Cayman Islands, he or she is obliged by the Queen and with the support of the FCO, to point that out, encourage change, and/or intervene through Orders in Counsel if through stupidity or obstinance, there’s finally no other option. It’s not really the Premier’s or Speaker’s call at that point. They don’t have to agree or even like it, but they must accept it as a Territorial administration, or risk an unscheduled beach landing exercise by the Morant Bay. That’s the deal.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the UK family feels they would be better off without these children who have difficulty with general and fiscal integrity and relations with women. No need to send these ugly cousins off to the colonies….just let them go full autonomous and end the never ending embarrassment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Any political talk of going fully autonomous is incredibly irresponsible, and de-stabilizing, especially since such autonomy would be at the absolute discretion of the UK parent, not the cantankerous child (that still don’t want homosexuals to have any civil rights). Alden and Bush do have the consent of Caymanian voters and stakeholders to speak of cavalier ambitions, or make misguided subordinate threats, or aspirations to defy UNHR and ECHR. Any serious talk would also involve acute revaluations of all risks, and investments, including substantial ever-expanding portfolio of governmental debt, currently being serviced at preferential terms and a AA+ credit rating, all thanks to mother. Since these guys can’t operate under fiscal prudence even when its easiest to do so, don’t expect them to do so when it gets harder. The consequence of going independent, and forfeiting UK backstop, would almost certainly lead us down a road towards direct taxation and/or default.

      • I suspect you are right ! Cayman will be facing a major derating and inflation à la Jamaica 2.0 the moment that happens .

        The moment Cayman goes independent the KYD will go the way of the JMD since there will not be a peg to the USD . The level of debt and its cost would rise dramatically .

        Now the real question would be wether if our local political elite is too blinded by their own importance and greed to see that coming and clean up their act before that happens , but I wouldn’t be too optimistic given how little they seem to care about their electorate whom they disrespect more with each passing day by their actions.

        I can’t help but to feel empathy towards their voters who couldn’t suspect the extent of their nefarious train of thoughts and plans.

        We have indeed reached the point of disfranchisement where is the serious talk cannot be avoided any longer.

        • Anonymous says:

          Why would the CI$ not be pegged to the US$. Care to explain?

          Scare tactics..

          • Hubert says:

            Why not just use the U.S. dollar when independence comes. As 95% of all of our trade is with the U.S. and the majority of our tourists are American it makes so much sense. Though not good for the Canadian Banks such as Royal Bank and Scotiabank.

      • Anonymous says:

        And why pray tell should the UK give a damn? We don’t pay taxes, we provide them with zip in trade, all we seem to do is cause embarrassment on the international stage and when they try and remedy it because the world thinks they are the parent and we are the child, we throw a tantrum. Be careful what you ask for Alden.

    • Hubert says:

      After BREXIT next year, and all the economic problems related to it in the UK I would not be surprised if London and the Queen showed us the door. They really don’t need all the nonsense they get from us. I do not envy the job the Governor has as he is in a no win situation with the Caymanian public no matter what he does.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Alden. I do not remember voting for you or the PPM running on a platform indicating you would either:

    1. Get into bed with Mac; or
    2. Accelerate down a road towards independence.

    You have betrayed this voter in both respects. I imagine many others are similarly alarmed. Anyone running for office in May should make their position clear on both accounts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please people don’t vote for people that beat women or had ever beat women and Don’t VOTE for Convicted Drug pushers, the child that they ruin maybe yours, and don’t vote for people with lots shady deals things in their closets, please think , think before you vote in May next year

  23. Anonymous says:

    I will take direct rule from the British government over our own any day!

    • Anonymous says:

      1;06 pm, if u talk to the people in T & C, about what happened when U K took them over with direct rule. You Would Change Your Mind about U K direct rule.

      • Miami Dave says:

        2:07, No you wouldn’t. When the UK came into T & C they cleaned up some of the nepotism and rampant corruption that had taken over those islands. Suspect you are one of those feeding at the CIG public trough so of course you would not want direct rule.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman has its own POS yes, but the UK is no friend of ours.

  24. MI6 in Paradise says:

    Governor’s office must get involved now and remove Bush as Speaker and let the Premier know his own poor judgement and mismanagement is unacceptable and an embarrassment to the FCO

  25. Anonymous says:

    A national disgrace by all involved and condone the madness

  26. 7th Generation Caymanian says:

    Cayman’s House of Parliament is full of clowns, women beaters, bisexuals, adulterers, drug takers, failed businessmen, narcissists, hypocrites, fake Christians, powerful sinners and corrupt cowards that have no shame. All controlled by the same big businesses and their overlord McKeeva Bush who should be forced to resign as Speaker. This country has officially become a banana republic.

    • Anon says:

      The government is populated by people? Wow, who knew. I don’t know about yours, but my bible says “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God”. My impression is that leaders usually reflect the character of the people whom they govern.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Direct rule is now the only option.

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