Today’s Editorial October 16: 10 million bucks stop here

There are very few things our opposing legislators can agree on these days, but this week they actually did: that someone in the UK needs to answer for the Operation Tempura debacle and help repair the damage caused to Cayman’s international reputation.

It’s bad enough that Tempura and its mysterious and ongoing cousin, Operation Cealt, are going to cost the taxpayers of this country at least $10 million at a time when it can least afford it. But the investigation into possible high-level police corruption and misconduct in the judiciary have certainly damaged Cayman’s reputation, something that is vital for a financial centre that requires investors to have trust in the people and justice system with whom and which they are dealing.

The auditor general’s report made public earlier this week contends there were some management problems with the way the two UK Metropolitan Police investigations have taken place. But it seems the UK doesn’t want to accept culpability for any mis-management, instead falling back on a rather lame excuse that police operations are often unpredictable. Well, the weather is unpredictable, too, and if the National Weather Service one day forecast a thunder storm and then a hurricane hit, we’d be demanding answers from them as well.

What’s equally disquieting is the way Governor Stuart Jack is trying to distance himself from the whole mess. The press release issued this week under the title ‘Governor Notes AG’s Comments on Operations Tempura, Cealt’ includes statements made in the third-person, which seem to indicate the governor was an innocent bystander to the whole sordid affair with no power to do anything but watch.

If this is truly the case – and we have serious doubts – then November 6th, when the new constitution comes into effect giving the Cayman government more say over these kinds of internal affairs, cannot come soon enough.