Governor Stuart Jack leaves our Islands today after four years as the United Kingdom’s top representative here in the Cayman Islands.
Depending on with whom you speak, Mr. Jack will be remembered in different ways.
Some will think of him as the fearless crusader for good governance, who convened a commission of enquiry, a judicial tribunal and a two-year long investigation to ensure that police corruption was kept at bay.
For others, he will go down as the governor who carried on and expanded the acrimonious legacy of Eurobank, leading to division between the UK and Cayman.
As journalists, we are cursed with the ability to see things from both sides, or from many sides, as the case may be.
Certainly, most would agree that Governor Jack’s performance after Hurricane Paloma last year was exemplary. And few can argue that his attempts to stop alleged corruption were not robust, even if they may also have been misguided.
But the governor’s office during Mr. Jack’s tenure was not nearly as forthcoming as it should have been on matters of public interest, and frankly, the Caymanian people are being left with the distinct impression that Mr. Jack was the head of an occupation force – not a partner in nation-building.
There’s one thing we can say for sure about the out-going governor: he wasn’t boring! As far as journalists looking for a good story are concerned, Mr. Jack was absolutely golden.
But since we live here too, we hope the next governor, Duncan Taylor, might be a bit less, well, combative.
Considerable effort needs to be spent on rebuilding the good relationship that once existed between the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom, if we are to maintain that relationship going forward.
True, the governor is there to provide a crucial balancing function against elected leaders. But politics sometimes requires a velvet glove as well as the iron fist.