External pressure helped forge Cabinet

| 26/04/2021 | 47 Comments
Cayman News Service
Members of the new PACT Government

(CNS): During the first working meeting of the new Parliament, Premier Wayne Panton described his Cabinet as being forged in steel after what they had been through over the previous week and the pressure they were put under by external forces. But they did not break, he said. Deputy Premier Chris Saunders, in his contribution to the debate on Friday, said the mettle of the new government was demonstrated in the week following the election. But while both men have now raised the issue of special interest groups exerting pressure on MPs during the post-election uncertainty, the names of these people and their proxies have still not been revealed.

Saunders said he was happy with what happened as it gave the country an opportunity to see what the new Cabinet was made of, after the special interests used fear to try to get them to break.

“It gave the country a first-hand view of the mettle that sits on this side,” said Saunders, as he described what he believed were the qualities of each of the newly elected government members. “All of the things that happened… created the government of today,” he said. “It gave the country the opportunity to see what this government was made of… I am glad the things worked our the way it did,” he added, pointing out that the members have already been severely tested.

“But the public and the world got a chance to see first hand the power of the special interest groups in this country,” he said, without saying who it was that put pressure on the Independents to support the PPM-Alliance rather than Panton.

In his own address, Panton also noted the challenges his team was put under by external forces. He said he was “proud of these fine Caymanians”, who were well aware of the challenges they now face, and noted the confidence he had in his team.

“They have shown immense courage and strength of character because what they have been through over the past week is how you forge steel. I didn’t get the calls; I wasn’t getting the pressure; but they did and it was incredible to me to watch the strength, in particular those that were newly elected,” he said. “They are a stand-up group of people and they will stand up for the people of our country.”

But like Saunders, Panton did not name the people who had tried to manipulate the new government’s make-up.

The premier referred back to his own speech to highlight where this government would be going and what its priorities would be. He acknowledged his former PPM colleagues on the opposition benches but made a particular point of describing the new opposition leader, Roy McTaggart, as a capable and decent man. McTaggart was the only member of the opposition who remained in the chamber throughout the adjournment debate.

Saunders said that he believed that Panton was going to be the best premier Cayman has ever had, and the members sitting on the government side would ensure that happened. He announced a new way of doing business, including stopping the train of overseas consultants to support government and using qualified and experienced home-grown Caymanian talent instead.

The new deputy premier said it was time to stop measuring the country’s success by GDP alone, and he signaled the issues that the PACT wanted to fix through a long-term strategic national plan, such as the failing pension regime and the marginalisation of qualified Caymanians.

Saunders said there were “a lot of hard decisions to be made” that can’t be tackled by four-year changing cycles. “This is serious business. Yesterday the Cabinet started its orientation process and we got an in-depth review, and the picture ain’t rosy. But the people already know that,” he said, as he urged the opposition benches to work with the new government to fix the many problems facing the country.

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Category: Politics

Comments (47)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yep – mostly looks like a forged Cabinet to me, although a couple may be the real deal

  2. Anonymous says:

    The title Hon should not be on people that’s not honorable, that should be earned, not just giving to people that was voted in by idiots

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let’s boil down all the political rhetoric…


    When you campaign against a woman-beater, then accept IT into your cabinet, then put IT in as speaker… Sorry, you have NO credibility with me.

    And yes, I use the term ‘IT’ on purpose. Cayman has nurtured/tolerated this abomination for many, many years. But IT was re-elected so the world can see with clarity the ethics of BOTH parties (those who protected IT before the election, and those who now protect IT again).

    Very sad.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is important for the public to know what business or corporate entities tried to interfere in our electoral process.

    • Anonymous says:

      But not for the Governor, who seems more interested in angry voters than the machinations of political “donors”.

  5. Gray Matter says:

    You all know they said when the independents get in things are going to change. 3 months from now you going to hear this is what we inherited and have to fix first before we can move forward. A year from now , they are getting expert advise. 2 years from now same o same o . 3 years from now , we need another term to do what we want as we are now on track.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You don’t have to think too hard who the special interest groups are…
    Only a hop skip and a jump away in Florida it’s easy to see, no different sadly to here.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Our forged Cabinet has a lot of work to do. I pray that they are up to it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Election gone. You Won. We heard the talk now you walk the walk. Be transparent with us.

    Exactly who put exactly what kind of pressure on which independents where and when. Provide all the specifics. After the say one thing do another disaster with Mac people are starting to doubt big time. Show them that you walk the walk Wayne.

  9. Anonymous says:

    OK then – that entire session was a waste of Parliamentary time – Sure hope that was not a taste of what is to come.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wait till the style of politics that has riddled a country to our southeast raises its ugly head here. Give it one year maximum.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The 12 buffoons can’t even agree on who gets what Ministry. They have had more than a week. How can they be expected to run a government?

  12. Candid says:

    First, we had “public examples” (reliable grapevines) of how candidates are often proxies for special interests up to millions of dollars. Second, I hope the government delivers on using local consultants. Foreign consultants are often agents of these same special interests but they (and governments which hire them) try to pass them off as mere technocrats giving neutral expert advice.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hear you, but please provide specifics on the public examples and reliable grapevines so that everyone can get on board. Which candidates are/were proxies for special interests and when and how much were they paid? How can we be sure that local consultants have not been bought by special interests. We need a list of those that have been bought.

    • Sell me down the road says:

      The expected outcomes are already decided upon prior to consultant reports. Overseas consultants are merely messengers to make it seem the process is above board and objective. They are already bought and paid for in most cases.

      • Anonymous says:

        I get the narrative but please provide evidence. We are supposed to be moving towards transparent evidence-based decision making rather than opaque backroom deals. If we wanted narratives without substance we could have skipped the election.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you assume ‘local consultants’ are also not bought off? You are naive.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What of those elected members who funded the campaigns of other “independents” though?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wayne stop whining and pointing fingers at the unknown.

    Not even to kids believe bogey-man or duppy stories these days.

    Either be Transparent and name the names or else just get on with it, will you.

  15. anon says:

    “Forged in steel” is one way of putting it, but I suspect money was the driving force.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Name and shame all private sector and special interests persons or groups that tried to buy members of PACT!
    That is how you demonstrate accountability.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bribing or seeking to bribe any MP is illegal.
    Are the RCIPS investigating these matters? If not, why not?

    • GTN voter says:

      Let’s get it right in 2025. GTN messed up Moxam is a honest person and far better qualified candidate than Hew who clearly works for special interests as their puppet.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Hew who clearly works for special interests as their puppet” – would somebody please provide some actual evidence to support these wild accusation – that goes for both sides in the past election – which is now over BTW. Politics can be rough but we should rise above childish name calling and unsubstantiated drivel if we want to improve this country.

        • EYES WIDE SHUT says:

          Perhaps the Auditor General should ask dart wellon imparato lund thompson ryan crighton wight bodden and all the others that got concessions or major favors from the minister that no one can explain which Mr. Hew stated are commercially sensitive that were ppm fully supported. Where is the audit general’s investigation and report?

        • Anonymous says:

          BTW election was over before it started.

        • Anonymous says:

          Optics are everything, but you either must be blind or one of his hangers on.

      • Anonymous says:

        Moxam has his own special interests.
        Perhaps not the same ones as Joey, but special interests nevertheless.

        • Johann Moxam says:

          Dear Anonymous @8.07pm

          I would invite to drop your cloak of anonymity and share details of my perceived special interests with facts. Nobody owns me nor am I beholden to any campaign financiers or donors.

          I can say confidently that you are not in my circle nor do I ever hide behind any labels etc. If you are interested in a sensible discussion based on facts please call me on 9260984 to set a meeting or coffee etc.

          However, if you deem my wanting to live in a country where accountability, transparency, good governance, safety + security and quality of life issues matter. Driven by government policies of our leaders that are crafted to insure the majority of our people are able to participate and thrive (where possible by being properly educated, trained, developed) in a positive economic and social structure that will provide opportunities for Caymanians and address the growing inequity of the the “have vs have nots” which must be addressed with sound policies that are sustainable and implemented by elected and non-elected leadership.

          I will accept that under those terms that is my agenda…I am guilty of all those wants or desires for all Caymanians in the Cayman Islands. Like most of our people.


          Johann Moxam

          • Anonymous says:

            Mr Moxam
            Did you advocate that ALL Caymanians have the right to run for office ? This would include those that have come here and received status with no generational connection or even family connection to Cayman. That would include people like Mr Dart wouldn’t it ? Yes or No please!

        • Anonymous says:

          Mr. Moxam is far more educated, humble and a honorable man than Mr. Hew.
          Mr. Moxam is grounded and honest to a fault which I find refreshing. Sadly, these are not qualities that can be used to describe Mr. Hew professionally or his political career.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Developers would do anything to get the same level of control they had in previous governments. I understand why Joey Hew and his colleagues have that sour look on their mugs. They cannot push the agenda nor can they afford to give back the donations from special interests.

    • Anonymous says:

      Election over – new posse in town – there is also another development story on CNS at the moment – lets see what PACT does in that regard and hold them accountable for what they do.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Don’t break ya arm patting yaself on the back. Roll up ya sleeve an get to work.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Members of Parliament have immunity when they speak in Parliament so there is no reason for the government side refer to these outside forces without naming them.

    If they exist and are threatening our democracy then name them. If it was just people wanting to speak to their political leaders then get used to it. If it is people telling you their views get used to it.

    This monster under the bed and scare the people with dupey stories in order to keep them fearful and compliant is going to get old very fast.

    Name these outside forces if they are real otherwise get on with doing what you promised. We waiting but only so much patience.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I am willing to bet that the one who describes himself as “Cayman’s most powerful UNELECTED politician”, is one of those mysterious entities. Go suck pon dat!

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