‘Come gather ’round people wherever you roam and admit that the waters around you have grown and accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you is worth savin’, then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone…for the times they are a changin.”
American songwriter and poet Bob Dylan wrote that verse more than 40 years ago, but it could apply to the Cayman of today in so many ways.
The first broadcast press conference held by the new government was enough to convince us.
We heard about the usual changes in government board posts and appointments that occur with any new administration. But there was an underpinning of greater changes to come, maybe greater than any the Cayman Islands have faced in recent history.
The new government spoke of, and has been speaking about, changes to Cayman’s current immigration regime. These changes are aimed at making things easier for certain sections of the business community, and government leaders suggested, would require the country to keep people here ‘who they don’t like.’
Right or wrong, this is quite different than the political rhetoric we’ve been hearing for the last several years.
The government talked about outdated planning laws and the need to make those more user-friendly.
There was a proposal, as previously reported in the Caymanian Compass, about a suspension of pension payments to help small business owners get through what could indeed be a long, slow summer.
Even Pirates Week, an institution in Cayman for decades, is apparently going to be changing its name and focus.
Overarching all were concerns about the economy and jobs. How many Caymanians will be affected? How many businesses will survive? Will we be OK?
Folks, we don’t know. But we do know this: we’re all going to get drenched in the coming months. Whether we sink or swim may indeed depend on our ability to change.
So, chin up Cayman. It’s go time. We all have to work together to meet the challenges coming in the foreseeable future.
At work, and at home, we’ll all have to be a bit more flexible, and maybe even stand shoulder-to-shoulder with people we ‘don’t like’ for the good of all.
The old ways aren’t working. We have to change.
We don’t believe the alternative, to sink like a stone, is acceptable to anyone who cares about this country.