Although former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair probably knows virtually
nothing about the current challenges in the Cayman Islands, to listen to him
speak at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Wednesday one would think he was
quite aware of our difficulties.
This isn’t because he has been reading about us online, but because the
problems facing Cayman are very similar to the problems facing governments in
most Western countries.
Blair said that in a world that is rapidly changing, countries must
make fundamental changes with it, even though change was difficult for people –
and for leaders to implement. He said these changes are essential and that
without it government economies will develop long-term problems.
Here in the Cayman Islands, Premier McKeeva Bush has been saying for a
long time now that some fundamental changes are necessary to make Cayman’s
economy financially sustainable. He has been met with resistance and protest at
every turn as people in this country resist the necessary changes, clinging to
a misplaced hope that everything will return to the good old days of prosperity
and comfort as part of a magical cycle.
Just as that is not going to happen in places like Italy and Greece, or
even in the United States and the United Kingdom, it’s not going to happen here
without fundamental change.
Mr. Blair said that when he was confronted by someone protesting one of
his decisions or plans, he would ask them what their solution was. He said most
people, when hearing the protester’s alternative solutions, thought they would
only make matters worse. He concluded that those who shout loudest don’t
necessarily deserve to be heard most.
The very same could often be said in Cayman, where some people are
protesting any sort of change in world that requires change as an essential
part of any solution to our current challenges.
Mr. Blair said the Western world has to get its “mojo” back. The sooner
everyone here accepts that change is necessary, the sooner Cayman can regain
its lost mojo.