Leaders must show respect, be example

Open letter to MLA Mr. Elio Solomon, Leader of the Opposition MLA Mr. Alden McLaughlin

It is with much regret and disappointment that I write to both of you relative to the much publicised disagreement that took place in the LA Building between the two of you in recent days.

This behaviour contradicts so many of the tenets that our society promotes and which are endorsed by all Government departments.

To stress this aspect, the Department of Tourism has been advertising with a “Cayman Kind” campaign, which calls for mutual respect, kindness and a show of friendliness toward others. The Police Force is in a daily struggle to assist people (and in particular young people) in understanding that disagreements/challenges should be handled in a more mature and respectful manner than through name calling and violence.

Our cosmopolitan society in general has consistently demonstrated a level of mutual respect between the different ethnic groups, colours and creeds, which, in turn, has assisted in creating a culture and an economy where we all co-exist happily, our visitors feel safe and the social atmosphere on this Island is peaceful and, therefore, better than most of our neighbours – enabling us all to reap the benefits of a successful economy.

It is with this background that I write to you to voice my concern and disappointment in the conduct both of you have displayed within the confines of what we all know is one of the highest institutions in our country. Whilst I mention above that this behaviour has been well-publicised, I myself was made aware of it by your colleagues and I have not followed it in any of the media because I have chosen to avoid the political spin.

That said, I feel compelled to write to state how strongly I feel that blunders of this nature should never take place between such prominent members (in particular)of our society, whether inside or outside of the LA building. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that they should never take place, period.

As professional politicians you are paid by society at large to represent the people of our country and their needs with your words and your minds (and thereby better their situations and lives) and not to waste time and public money on petty squabbles and demonstrations of physical strength.

If we look at the headlines over the last few weeks where we take the example of the shootings between young men and the deaths that have affected multiple families; if we take the example of our national football team showing a lack of discipline and not turning up for training; if we look at the necessary deployment of police officers to school campuses to handle unruly children then we see a number of glaring examples in recent days where a lack of personal self-discipline and better management of emotions and daily challenges is afflicting the youth of our society in particular. In this instance it behooves all of us to lead by example and, in particular, those in leadership positions.

Just as we have asked the young people involved in our “gangs” to put aside their differences, put down their weapons and seek to find some common ground so that our country can start to heal and our economy is not weakened by their actions, so I ask that our political leaders put aside their differences and focus on the present and future wellbeing of our society and ensure our economy is not weakened by these actions either. There are many social and economic actions that should be taken up by the creative and expansive minds of you two “brothers” in the House of the Legislative Assembly.

Personally I am convinced that the electorate elected 15 people that they felt were capable of managing all the issues that we face in our society and I encourage you all to take up those challenges in a proper manner befitting of people who have been given the honour to represent our society, and putting aside personal issues and party political divisions to achieve the best for all of our citizens.

Finally, the financial burden of a society that is becoming increasingly lacking in self-discipline has already taken its toll on the Government coffers and is starting to affect the economy at large. The onus is on all of us who have achieved a position in our society to ensure that we show the next generation what can be done when we work together within an environment of mutual respect to achieve a common goal.

Renard Moxam

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent letter Mr Moxam. You couldn’t have said it any better! If only the politicians would actually listen. We need more role models for our youth, not more hooligans. It’s an embarrassment and goes completely against everything that Cayman Kind stands for. They need to be made to sit down and watch the documentary that DOT made. Maybe they would learn something on how to behave at all times, and most especially in the House.

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  2. Renard, my friend…

    No one else could have said it quite like this…and few have more right to…and to be listened to and heeded.

    The truth be told…I grew up with Alden in Cub Scouts as the best of friends at that age; my grandfather and Elios’s grandmother are first cousins…but I wouldn’t belittle my time, responsibility or family name by even dreaming of giving either of them timely advice, much less something as important as my vote…

    Never send boys to do man’s job and if this sounds disrespectful, maybe it is…

    People must earn their respect and these two are neither old enough or have done anything, to earn mine.

    Thanks for chastising these two.

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  3. I must agree with Mr Moxam’s comments and wonder what happened to civility and maturity in the Legislative Assembly?
    To have a member of the law making body brought into court while in office and others in schoolyard type altercations is beyond belief.
    How can anyone use the term Honourable before their names without a trace of puzzlement?
    The true loss of respect comes from within through the behavior which shames the people of the country. Hosting a talk radio program does not adequately prepare someone for the interactive exchanges provided in the LA and someone who holds the position of leader of the opposition who cannot control themselves shows disrespect in the most vile form.

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