Protestors angered by MPs’ inaction against speaker

| 15/12/2020 | 60 Comments
Cayman News Service
Protestors showed their disdain for MPs over their silence

(CNS): As Speaker McKeeva Bush presided over proceedings inside Parliament on Friday, protesters outside called on him to resign, even though they were sure he would not “do the right thing”. The activists said it was clear that Bush would not leave voluntarily, despite pleading guilty to a violent attack on a female bar manager. But they were equally disappointed by the rest of Cayman’s politicians, who have the power to remove him but have failed to do so.

Bush pleaded guilty on 3 December to two counts of assault and disorderly conduct in relation to a drunken attack on Livia Kwong in February at a bar on Seven Mile Beach. He is now awaiting sentence, which is likely to be delivered in January.

Despite the violent and unethical behaviour of the speaker, who also sent his victim an expletive laden and abusive message after the event, all of which was revealed in court, the veteran politician has refused to leave his prestigious post.

With the notable exception of Ezzard Miller (NS), the members of Parliament, who all voted to confirm the premier’s nomination of Bush as speaker at the start of this coalition government, have remained largely silent. Early efforts to hold a no-confidence debate were thwarted by Kenneth Bryan (GTC), and ever since he was arrested and charged, MPs have dodged talking about the case on the grounds that it was before the courts.

But collectively the members do have the power to remove Bush. Because this was a summary case, regardless of whether he was convicted or not, they were perfectly at liberty to remove him from the speaker’s chair.

Eden Hurlston, one of several men who joined the protest on Friday, said that he could not stand by and allow a message to be sent to young men in Cayman that it was OK to engage in violence against women, and if you have a powerful position, you get to keep it.

“Abuse of power and abuse of people is wrong,” he said. “This is wrong and he needs to step down… and the parliamentarians that are enabling this need to speak up and get him out of that seat.”

Hurlston said he did not know why they seemed so reluctant to speak out and suspected there were political motivations in their silence, but whatever it is, “it is unacceptable. It is simply unacceptable that only one member is speaking out. He needs to be removed.”

Carolina Ferreira, a long time advocate for abuse victims, explained why she was at the demonstration, even though it was unlikely that Bush would step down as a result. She said she was concerned about the public apathy in Cayman. “We have tremendous power to change things and it is time to claim it back,” she added, noting that nothing would change unless people get involved in the fight.

Michael Myles, who will be running for office in the 2021 General Election in Prospect, said he was at the protest because he was representing all the women in his family and every woman who could have been and have been victims of domestic violence.

“The rules should not be different for parliamentarians,” he said, as he accused the 17 members who have remained silent of doing so for their own political expedience. “I am ashamed,” he said. “We voted these people in who are hiding behind politics.”

Myles said it was wrong, and given how long Bush has been a representative, he must recognise that it was time to step down. He also made a commitment that if he is elected to office, he will be willing to sacrifice power to do the right thing.

As car horns blasted in support and the protestors chanted, “Do the right thing!” Taura Ebanks, the organiser of the demonstration, said she was pleased with the turnout because the aim was about to let MPs know that they are accountable to the people.

“If we elect you in, you are always accountable to the people,” she said, noting that these types of cases are not uncommon in Cayman. As for those not accused in this case or any other, their silence made them complicit in allowing violence against women to continue. She said the protest was not the last because the campaign to end violence against women and the lack of accountability would continue.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    We need more protests. The only way to change things is to keep the pressure up…or somehow show a connection between Bush’s lack of conscience with the endangerment of the fishermen’s fish market rights at the beach downtown…then there would be swift action! smh while kmt

  2. Da-wa-u-get says:

    Let’s assume for a moment that the young lady that was physically and verbally assaulted by the “Honorable Speaker” was a Caymanian with a Father and perhaps a couple of Brothers. Let’s also assume that the Male members of that Family took matters in their own hand and gave the “Honorable Speaker” a beating he would not be able to forget, I am willing to bet that all the MP’s would have a lot to say!

    • Anonymous says:

      Doubtful as what you described has already happened to one of them yet it did not make public news nor deter him from “misbehaving”. Simply left the island on a “work trip” until the bruises faded. Its shocking how so many people on this island know about these offenses and yet they are never “aired”. Just a normal part of secrecy and corruption thats allowing these “leaders” to become more and more invincible each day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if Bush was allowed to host his secretive analog-notice UDP/CDP Annual West Bay Senior Citizen’s Christmas Giveaway Party last Sunday? It has usually been the second or third Sunday of December. Select Cabinet and UDP/CDP alumni are typically there to physically hand out bags of groceries and turkeys as direct political favours. Bush has been successfully hoodwinking the senior’s community for 40 years through this engrained political campaigning event which would be banned in many democratic countries, especially leading into an election. They are so comfortable doing this that even the Governor was allowed to attend last year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians can be bought for peanuts! ………………………………and
      turkeys and hams and TVs and fridges and booze, etc, etc, etc!

      • Anonymous says:

        Stop the generalizing. Name the Caymanians that can be bought. I am a 74 year old Caymanian and I have yet to accept anything from a politician. They rarely do what they’re supposed to do, but they can be pretty generous at election time. I’m not in line for their handouts.

  4. Anonymous says:

    On a related note, why is nothing being said about Mac shaking hands with a plane load of Colombians with a mask around his chin the other night?

  5. Do What is Right says:

    Time for you politicians to do what is right, and not what is politically expedient.

  6. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? says:

    We are the ones who vote these people in despite their shortcomings. We know who drives drunk; we know who beats women or grooms minors. We know who would sell their mother for a buck. All of the above adds up to lack of integrity and we still vote them into office. We place the fox in the hen house and hand them the key! Potential law breakers making the laws that govern us? Wake up, people! We need it to ourselves to elect people who demonstrate accountability and self-respect. If they are partial to back door dealings today or promise to do something and never do it, do we really think they will do better when they hold public office?! Let’s choose our representatives wisely.

    • Anonymous says:

      The paradox we keep glossing over is that we can’t “choose wisely” from the same deficient pool and expect any shift in paradigm, let alone new parties, or philosophy. We are once again too late to realize that the Elections Law, designed by many sitting members, is deeply flawed, and needed big edits from 2017-2021. We blew it. None of our self-interested con-artists, are going to walk any of their “marks”, through the issues and cross-party collusion that insulate them, and/or their proxies, from nuisance voter interference, keeping them perpetually installed at the levers doing what they want – and worse: now able to directly self-compensate!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Politicians don’t typically have the strongest moral and ethical foundations. They typically put themselves and their political benefits before everything else. Getting paid over 10K a month to do almost nothing is a great motivator to not rock the boat.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The ironic thing is if Austin was still on the radio he would be calling for Mckeeva’s head right now but sadly the former champion of the people sold out for a fat paycheck almost as bloated as he is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Austin was always looking for a big payday…he was really just envious of all the informal perks of being an mla.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Accept it people. A community payback order with 40 hours community service and MAYBE some course to address his ‘issues’. Forget anything that is likely to prevent him being a politician. The decision has already been made much higher up the tree. He knows where ALL the bodies are buried.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s really sad. There seems no way out after having knowingly elected criminals for so many years. So timely that I happened to see the below on FB:
      “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices”

  10. Anonymous says:

    personally I would like to see the headline ‘MP’s angered by their own inaction against speaker’ – offering the public some reassurance with acknowledgment of their own disappointment rather than the public having to assume the duty of guiding them to the understanding of the lack of fortitude, integrity and resolve which our MP’s are choosing to ignore or vastly missing

  11. Anonymous says:

    any comment mr governor….????…the person who is responsible for good governance here.
    time to take the protest to the governor.

    • Anonymous says:

      he is busy running for charities

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it a cultural thing to blame everything on the expat? It really might be the only thing you can do.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes it usual and customary. But when it comes to cleaning beaches and running charities that benefit Caymanians, expats are welcome.

        • Anonymous says:

          When they actually do these community preservation activities in true environmental concern instead of just for the coincidental PR points, then we can talk!

  12. Anonymous says:

    How about you sane voters go chat with your people who keep voting these people in?

    • Anonymous says:

      Im in West Bay South. Ive emailed Tara River’s office and told her to remove my husband and I from her mailing list as we wont be voting for her…note the emails only started a couple months ago. Previous to that, CRICKETS.

      Have messaged her personally and via her FB office site twice since April asking about this issue as well as the blocking of private beach accesses and ZERO responses to date. Unacceptable.

      Here in WBS, our choices are UDP, PPM and Tara who pretends to be independant but we now know how “versatile” she is.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What Mac did was unacceptable and criminal. Since it is before the courts, in is hoped that justice is served. We have a wonderful legal system and, it seems, that the judicial branch of branch of government is our top performer. Justice needs to be served.

    It doesn’t surprise me, however, that nothing is being done (or, at least, seem to be done). Remember, the PPM-lead Unity government need the numbers to control the majority.

    What would happen if the Premier caused Speaker to loose his position? Would Eugene Ebanks walk across the aisle, like Bernie Bus has already? If that happened, would others do the same (Juliana, Jon Kon, etc.? These are things that the government is thinking about, because (as history has shown) the Premier does not opposed to going on the offensives against MacKeeva Bush (when he’s ready). It’s all about the numbers (at least for the Premier), although it should really be about the people.

    I wonder why it appears that only Ezzard Miller will not leave this issue alone. Should others, who have privilege in parliament, not speak up? Certainly, elected officials need to not meddle with matters before the court, but they should also not let accountability of MP’s slip away.

    Unfortunately, much of what we are seeing is this: the Courts are the only branch of government that the people can count on and (if justice is to be served) the people can only rely on themselves (and their lawyers) to get redress. 🤦🏼

    It seems that many, many people realize this. Look at how active our courts have need over the last 3 1/2 years. This does not send a good message when the courts and the people are put into overdrive, because our lawmakers are failing miserably to do their job? Is the only justice that people can get from the courts? Whatever happens to an accountable democracy?

    It seems that too much is not brought to light and people fear speaking up. Then, if they do, they are still tarred and feathered. Should our leaders not recognize that they have responsibilities to the people? Change needs to come, and fast.

    The next election is right around the corner. If you have any doubts about integrity and accountability, then vote them out and keep them out. It’s about high time that some house cleaning is takes place. The same old, same old is going to be our downfall if we get too complacent.

    In a few words, respect women and don’t break the law. Then, you won’t be on the wrong side of the fence. Thanks to all, who stand up for what right, because too many with a voice are sitting down.

    When the elections in May 2021 come around, make sure not to vote for anyone that cannot be relied on. This vicious cycle of punishing those that MPs do not like and letting others face the music needs to end. I thought the law was blind, but if the public keeps electing MPs that turn a blind eye, then we need to get our heads examined.

    I pray that justice is served and that an accountable environment springs up. Their is too much injustice that occurs without redress. The people and the courts need to be the only ones that stand up for the people. If this self-help environment continues, it is concerning whether democracy can be sustained. Justice, we need justice!!’

  14. Anonymous says:

    They are busy with jailing a young couple who hurt no one. They could, potentially, but reality is-they didn’t. CIG, North Korea of the Caribbean, wasted no time to jail 18 year old American girl and her Caymanian BF. It was very easy to do, unlike dealing with McKeeva.

    • Anonymous says:

      They could, potentially, but reality is they didn’t. Like driving home totally plastered at 100 MPH? Because you didn’t hurt someone means society should just accept your behavior? Idiot.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re an idiot…we didn’t need to imprison an 18 year old girl…this was just knee jerk reaction to the the effin Canadians that got slap on wrist. Maximum fine would have been sufficient message.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whats the death rate of covid 19 ? 0.01%

    • Anonymous says:

      Your ignorance of Covid, Cayman, the Caribbean and North Korea is remarkable. American?

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Coral Beach night was a multi-interaction violent hate crime. It’s exactly the sort of crime that all the Bible brigade keep telling us “never happens” in Cayman. It’s not just McKeeva, not just his fellow Cabinet and backbenchers, it’s also all the churches and pastors on the island that support violent hate. Hypocrites one and all.

  16. Anonymoose says:

    This case is making the Cayman Islands look utterly ridiculous. In no other jurisdiction, especially a British OT, would this have been allowed to go this far. For him to plead guilty only after video footage caught him out is a disgrace. To hold the position of speaker of the house once he has plead guilty is disgraceful. Cayman has a superb legal system but this issue is making us look really weak. I hope that justice will be served in the end.

    • Moi says:

      Banana Reublic folks!

      • Anonymous says:

        Usually I would proudfully say something to the effect..”you don’t like it go home…blah blah” but you’re totally right…I am so embarrassed by my country right now. The questionable conflicted port deal they spent our money trying to ram down our throats and now this….with few exceptions look at this group of “honorable” pigs we’ve elected to lead our country.

  17. New Caymanian says:

    These current politicians in the house are cowards and not fit for purpose vote them all out!

  18. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva owns Alden and all his toy soldiers

  19. Res Ipsa Loquitur says:

    Alden McLauglin – NO SHAME
    Moses Kirkconnell – NO SHAME
    Roy McTaggart – NO SHAME
    Joey Hew – NO SHAME
    Juliana O’Connor-Connolly – NO SHAME
    Tara Rivers – NO SHAME
    Dwayne Seymour – NO SHAME
    Barbara Connolly – NO SHAME
    David Wight – NO SHAME
    Eugene Ebanks – NO SHAME
    Austin Harris – NO SHAME
    Arden McLean – NO SHAME
    Alva Suckoo – NO SHAME
    Chris Saunders – NO SHAME
    Anthony Eden – NO SHAME
    Bernie Bush – NO SHAME
    Kenneth Bryan – NO SHAME

    Their silence says everything about them individually and collectively as leaders of the country. The burying their head in the sand mentality is unacceptable. It is clear they are a large part of Cayman’s problem and must not be allowed to continue in any leadership role as they lack the qualities we need e.g. morals, ethics, decency, integrity and ability to do the right thing for Cayman.

    What more evidence is required after this latest mess to conclude they are unfit for public service?

    • Anonymous says:

      Vote every last one of those spineless fools OUT!

    • Noname says:

      I wonder what his eminence, the Ambassador of Absurdistan has to say about this bit .

      I am sure our dear governor just waits for the elections to come to pass , freeing him from the work and justifications to the FCO any call for Direct Rule would impose upon his tenure. A repeat of the situation that led to Direct Rule in Turks and Caicos is unlikely especially since the the general public will not likely re elect the present gallery of rogues!

      Direct rule would also impose a major recomposition of public service on island which might lead to more instability down the road.

      The “Local MPs” won’t be in office for very long now for many reasons, their refusal to get rid of the Speaker being only one of them, they are pretty much done way past overcooked , leaving some YouTube moments for generations to contemplate as a cautionary tale about lack of ethics in public life !

    • Anonymous says:

      A thousand times yes! Time to drain the pond. Great time for Caymanians to enter the political arena…not a lot being asked..really just any integrity at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Brand new fridges for Christmas with water and ice dispenser!
      It’s the season to be jolly!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I think it is time we elected a Myles into Parliament.

  21. Anonymous says:

    There must be some Code of Conduct in the Parliament… or is it just in the civil service?

  22. Anonymous says:

    The 17 MLA’s that are silent on this matter should be voted out of office in 2021. The lack of accountability and leadership after his guilty plea speaks volumes about each MLA that condones the behavior. It is clear they would rather continue with political expediency than doing the honorable thing as leaders and remove the Speaker from his position. After all they represent thousands of Caymanians who know that is behavior is unacceptable.

    • No one says:

      Might be hear say but heard that a few in there hit women so not much expected because it’s ‘normal’ sadly….

      • NoName says:

        Sadly ! Domestic violence still is an ongoing issue all over the Carribbean and our little island is no exception to this day , I truly wish it was otherwise !

        Hopefully this may come to change due to the kind efforts of charities to bring up awareness about the issue to law enforcement officers so that such behaviors become a memory from a distant past !

        • Anonymous says:

          I know what you’re saying but this wasn’t domestic violance..it was a brutal repeated physical assault against an employee trying to do their job.

        • Say it like it is says:

          1.17pm Most of it is men beating up their girlfriends or wives and by the way, it’s just as common in the U.K. I cannot for the life of me understand how these cowards and apologies for manhood can ever attack the weaker sex, I and most normal men could never conceive of such an act.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s be clear that voters can only vote their MLA in every four years. There is no voter mechanism to cast-out MLAs mid-game, unless they break one of our perennially flexible laws, with sufficient people noticing, and on-record as caring. That’s why these goons are all still sitting there. Many of them enjoying a George Costanza-esque fourth year of being paid handsomely to do nothing, having not consulted at all with their constituents during that time, or given much effort to shadowing the government, reading/debating bills/law changes, or breaking up the private caucus addictions.

      Despite four years, and the chaotic rejection of both PPM and UDP/CDP in May 2017, there has been no effective change to the Elections Law to dispose of the Party system, or introduce more palatable qualification thresholds, and/or expand the universe of eligible Caymanians beyond those with grandparent lineage (which evidently confers no trustworthiness or reliability standard).

      As a consequence, we may not collectively realize it, but we are already doomed and sleep-walking into seeing many of these same characters reshuffled and returned to resume their occupation of our house for another four years with similar or self-enhanced perks, performance/non-performance, and bias-privilege expectations.

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