In recent times Roy Tatum has been expressing opinions that are not factual and I have come to expect this from him seeing that he is an officer of the PPM.
However, the problem the PPM and other detractors have is that they cannot today successfully overshadow the good I have done with innuendoes, half-truths and mischievousness set up in some aspects of the media.
He compliments you on your editorial, but as usual he is not representing the facts as they had occurred. He is simply being critical in order to enhance his own political agenda and that of his party. Let me set the record straight.
The West Bay cruise jetty was planned as a part of a Cruise Tourism Development for the future; and it was done to ensure the success of Boatswain’s Beach as a Premier Tourist attraction.
The piece of property that is referred to by Roy Tatum was purchased with the knowledge and agreement of the cruise industry, which recognised that this property was central to developing the West Bay cruise jetty and thus agreed to pay the amount that was requested by the owner. His government stopped it, thereby putting Boatswain’s Beach in jeopardy.
I believe that the people recognise the environment we had to operate in as a Government was one that no other administration had to.
However, let me add that it was our administration that faced the fallout of 9/11 (2001) and its negative impact on our tourism.
We were the ones who had to contend with a changed world due to terrorism and the SARS problem.
We faced the effects of two wars in the Middle East and the impact that had on the United States, which affected our economy, PLUS the financial problems and unemployment that his now leader said was a leftover from the 1996-2000 administration, which according to him, left a bankrupt country.
Also, we had to deal with the fallout from David Ballantyne and what was then called the spying operation on our financial industry, and the bugging of the chief justice’s telephone – all the fallout from that and the pressure put on to me by his colleagues.
Not to mention the current minister of education getting on national radio and saying that he went to see Ballantyne in his professional capacity.
We had to deal also with the OECD. That was left in my lap, to take on the political side of it – myself, the attorney general and the then financial secretary. We also had to tackle the EU Tax Savings Directive, and were successful.
And last but not least, ours was the task to deal with the havoc wreaked upon us by Hurricane Ivan, which caused $4 billion in damage to this country.
These are some of the major problems that our administration had to deal with, with no help from the PPM.
In November 2001 when we took over government, Kurt Tibbetts admitted that the government was broke. When the UDP left in May 2005 the country had close to $90 million in its accounts. This was prudent and responsible leadership and without crushing our people with taxes as is being done by the PPM. To any ‘banker’ with any real knowledge of good financial planning or viable fiscal policies, the above record would be seen as very successful, but not Mr. Tatum, I would not expect this from him!
In his rantings on my position on the 2004 Constitution he says that I have flip flopped against the PPM’s current position. Not so! I have never asked for the kind of power that the PPM is asking, for that will surely take us to independence. The PPM is grabbing power for itself. I sought in 2003/2004 to protect the country, and our people, and that is what I am doing today.
A constitution that takes away the governor’s powers and gives that power to the politician to control the police, the civil service, and bring the governor under judicial review for his management, would be nothing short of a mandate for independence. That is what Kurt Tibbetts said he would do, if people voted for it.
The UDP does not support any move toward independence. The people of these islands understand this fact and will not listen to people such as Roy Tatum who has done nothing for this country other than mislead the people with criticism on my record.
I can face anyone in this country about my record of service since being elected six times to the Legislative Assembly.
I very well understand, and it has been my philosophy, that at anytime when a project is proposed, no matter how good it sounds, the country must be able to afford it at that point in time. This philosophy applies to roads, or any other infrastructure development that people of this country will have to pay for. The people believed this in 1992, and I think when all the facts are given they will certainly understand it in 2009.
It is clear from my record that I have always been a person who views the development of infrastructure as integral to the continued success of these islands and made solid plans for the benefit of our people, and implemented these plans as time and funds permitted.
Mr. Tatum, I am glad that I am a born again Christian. I thank God that He so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son so that we can all have everlasting life.
For a better Cayman Islands,
W. McKeeva Bush
Leader of the Opposition