Editorial for September 29: Mickey Mouse discrimination

Since we’re on the topic of Freedom
of Information this week, we have to ask the question of our Premier: Just what
is the problem he has with Mr. Mickey Mouse? Really, to listen to Premier
McKeeva Bush speak about his vehement opposition to open records requests filed
by Mr. Mouse, one would think the fellow once had a horrible experience at Disney
World. Or perhaps he just favours Looney Tunes?

Then again, maybe Mr. Bush’s
problem is not Mr. Mickey Mouse himself, but the idea that anyone can come
along and make an open records request of his government without telling them
who they are.

But, frankly, we don’t understand
that either.

Regardless of the requester’s
identity, the decision to release or hide information – according to the FOI
Law – must be based on the request itself and the information sought; not on
who is asking for it, and not on to what use that information may be put.

Recognising this, let’s say Osama
Bin Laden wanted to make an open records request that might compromise the
security of these Islands. In that event, Bin Laden would not be able to access
such information based on the national security exemptions contained in the
law. What changes, then, if Bin Laden wanted to make that request under the guise
of Mickey Mouse? He still wouldn’t receive the information as long as the FOI
Law was enforced correctly. 

FOI is truly representative of a
sea change in Caymanian society. As far as open records requests are concerned,
it doesn’t matter what your position is, or who you’re related to…the ability
is there for all to ask.

Therefore, this aspect of anonymity
is, in our view, a bedrock tenet of Cayman’s Freedom of Information Law.

We hope the legislative review
committee doesn’t take two steps backward on open government by removing it,
leaving the FOI Law only for the “important” people in society. 

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  1. This attitude by Premiere McKeeva Bush should surprise no one; his track record speaks for itself over many years of public life.

    Those loud voices that convinced the public to vote for a new constitution, giving more powers to the local Caymanian Govt without the protection of an accompanying Bill of Rights did not have a crystal ball to know that the person they needed to protect themselves from would soon have power over them.

    Whether the Cayman Islands can continue to exist and progress as a democracy under him and his government is now a very troubling question.

    The people of the Cayman Islands needs to see where he is taking them and take steps to halt this regression.

    An open petition and appeal to the Governor against this new Police Law would be a good place to start.

    Editor’s note: This comment had to be editied for legal reasons. We would ask readers not to post defamatory comments about individuals.