Premier has ‘no intention to resign’

Blasts FCO over investigation announcement

Editor’s note: The following is the full text of a statement released to the Caymanian Compass by Charles Glidden, the Press Secretary to Premier McKeeva Bush. 

“The Premier understands, by
way of a press release from the Commissioner of Police on the 21st April, that
there are three matters which allegedly concern him and which are being
investigated. Premier McKeeva Bush has received no formal notice of any police
investigation into his affairs.  

“The Premier is confident that
whatever these ‘so called’ allegations may be, they are baseless and that he
has done nothing illegal whatsoever. 

“The Premier, his Government colleagues, and his supporters
are of the opinion that the announcement of these investigations and their
timing were designed to coincide with the visit of the UK Minister and to cause
maximum embarrassment to the Premier and the people of the Cayman Islands. 

“It is obvious to the Premier
that the announcement is carefully intended to detract from the positive
relationship which the Premier has reestablished with the United Kingdom
government. The Premier views these allegations and the timing thereof as
politically motivated, and calculated to detract from the many efforts that the
government have been making to promote the success of the Cayman Islands and
its economy; to stimulate the economy of the Cayman Islands and to create jobs
for the many Caymanians whose businesses and personal lives and that of their
children have been badly affected by the financial slowdown and the policies of
the previous government. 

“The continual rumors of
investigations without any formal notice to the Premier, the possible involvement
of certain Civil Servants in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are
reminiscent of – and consistent with – the Operation Tempura fiasco and other
attempts over the years, such as the Brian Gibbs and the David Ballantyne
operation, (both of whom are now employed in the FCO) to destabilize and damage
the government of the Cayman Islands. It has not been forgotten that Operation
Tempura unjustifiably ruined reputations of respected Caymanians and others and
cost the people of the Cayman Islands in excess of ten million dollars. 

“The Premier has re-established
a very good working relationship with the new Coalition Government of the
United Kingdom, and appointed the well known and very respected Lord Blencathra
to assist Cayman in further enhancing its relationship with the UK Government,
as its Overseas Territory. It is now obvious to the Premier that there are
certain Civil Servants in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who do not share
the same views as the Premier and the United kingdom Government as expressed publically
by Minister Bellingham in his recent visit and who continue to apply the
policies of the former UK Labour Government with a view to destabilizing the
Cayman Islands.  

“Mr. Bellingham has asked the
Premier to continue to work closely with the Governor and he has given his
assurance that he has and will continue to do so, when it is in the best
interest of these Islands.  

“The Premier would like to
issue an immediate and comprehensive statement dealing with the innuendoes
suggested by the inappropriate statements issued by the Commissioner of Police.
However, the Premier has received legal advice that to avoid any excuse for a
further investigation the Premier must first obtain specific legal advice and
is doing so from United Kingdom Counsel in keeping with his usual adherence to
the principles of good governance and the “rule of law”. 

“When asked for comment,
Premier Bush said, “I have done nothing illegal, much to the disappointment of
the opposition and those that see themselves as the Premier, or as new
government Ministers. I therefore have no intention of resigning, and will
therefore hold the course of continuing my Governments efforts to restart the
economy, see our people’s businesses bounce back strong, and making money and
to reduce the unemployment in these islands. A key part of my job is to keep us
on the course of financial responsibility, and to take back full sovereignty
over all our financial affairs.   That is what I was elected to do and
what I will continue working towards.”  

6 COMMENTS

  1. Now the excuse is that there are rogue civil servants in the UK that are responsible for the Stan Thomas matter, and whatever other financial matter that is under investigation, and the importation of unlicensed explosives? The Premier should step down until these matters are fully resolved and he should fully cooperate to see that things are resolved quickly. This press release sounds like gibberish born of desperation. It may create about 30 seconds of breathing space while people scratch heads trying to make sense out of it, but that is about all.

  2. Whilst not wanting to get embroiled in the debate over whatever is, or is not, currently going on here I would thank Mr Glidden for raising the issue of Operation Tempura. I believe this is the first time for about three years that anyone involved in Cayman Islands politics has raised the issue.

    It is clear from the attempts being made to suppress and interfere with my own investigations into Operation Tempura that certain officials at the FCO know Tempura was a dangerously flawed investigation and that simply saying things like – lessons were learned – does not cut it anymore.

    The Aina report, which the Governor has decided to keep secret, investigated complaints against members of the judiciary and MLAs. The complainants were two disgruntled former employees of CIG who worked on Tempura, supported by an MP over here. Based on the context of certain official statements made last year those accused by them included the current Premier. What is odd is that original complaint, which was apparently based on confidential material obtained during the investigation, was compiled months (over a year in one case) after the two complainants had any official access to that material – but no one questioned that anomaly.

    What is even stranger is that the Governor, via Henry Bellingham, now has clearly documented proof that certain individuals made misleading declarations to the Auditor General in 2009 concerning the financing of the Tempura/Cealt but he has refused to act. In particular evidence shows that two large contracts were actually awarded by the Met in London not, as was declared during the audit, by CIG.

    There is also the mystery of what happened to a large amount of extremely sensitive documentation from the early stages of Tempura. RCIPS say the Met have it, the Met deny this. Again no one is trying to find out what happened.

    Even Henry Bellingham, a highly respected MP in the area where I live, is being dragged into this. He recently, presumably on advice from the FCO, declined a request for a meeting with me to discuss the whole matter. The grounds for the decision related to the possible prejudice of a totally unrelated FOI appeal hearing scheduled for 18 June in London. My guess is the FCO simply do not want me to talk to him.

    It’s time for some straight answers on this and a bit of the openness and transparency Duncan Taylor claims to support.

  3. While I can agree that this whole sad story is concerning, I am a believer in innocent until proven guilty. If the premier has done something wrong, it should be proven that he is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt and then he should pay the price to the fullest extent of the law. On the other hand it is highly obvious to me that that there are a lot of entities seeking to have him disgraced and removed from his seat which in my opinion is just so they can sit in it and they do not care if it will negatively affect the Cayman Islands a long as they get what they want, be it other Politian’s or the UK themselves. Politicians in the big seat are always under fire and it would be the same if it were a PPM premier, independent or bush himself, either would be hated by a certain part of the community. I agree with Bush on not opting to step down right away in light of these allegations and investigations, if all it took was an allegation or investigation to force a leader to step down, no one would last in that position because all someone would have to do is accuse him of something and they would be out. If he steps down or is forced out I can’t think of anyone suitable to take his place because they all sound the same to me, however I am sure there would be plenty of people looking to jump in. There’s less than a year before the next election so if certain people do not want him in charge they should take it to the polls and let the entire voting community make the call. Right now there are a lot of projects on the table that the current premier is responsible for although some are not popular and weather people like it or not some of it is highly needed for Cayman to recover and a huge shake up in government would most likely put a stop to or seriously delay most of these, which is something Cayman doesn’t need at this point. People say they want democracy for Cayman, OK then follow then rulebook of democracy. Mac was legally voted into office so start your campaign to get him voted out by the book and let the majority vote rule.

    I do think it is possible that he has some shady deals going on behind the scenes, but I think it’s equally possible that certain power seekers will do whatever it take to sour his name in order make themselves look better for the job.

    So my final opinion is that he should do his job until and if he is proven guilty and if he is then he should be made an example of, disgraced and punished to the full extent of the law for letting the people down.

  4. For all those people that think an accusation or investigation means a person is guilty before it is proven. I would really like to see if you feel the same way if you ever find yourself in that situation. Would you feel the same way if someone robbed a gas station that looked like you and you were arrested and accused of the crime. Or if something showed up missing from your place of work and you were accused of it, would you feel it was the right thing to do if you were fired without proof.

  5. NJ2Cay

    I hear what you’re saying but aren’t you trivialising the issue by your comparison, if even a little bit ?

    And, before I say anything more on the matter, may I hasten to voice the opinion that the Commissioner of Police, David Baines, also head of the Anti-Corruption Commission (or whatever else its called) is as much to blame as McKeeva Bush for any public and international damage to what is already a sordid and distasteful reputation that the Cayman Islands already possesses and is gaining more with every single incident that happens.

    Every person, be they Premiere or commoner, has the right to know what they are being accused of and investigated for, the right to a quick resolution of the matter and a public judgement or vindication of any accusations and this is more so in the case of important public figures.

    The longer that Baines and his RCIPS takes to report the findings of the first investigation into McKeeva Bush’s financial dealings in this ‘faxed invoice’, the less credibility any other investigation against him will carry…

    And the more legal redress McKeeva Bush will have in any court of law, at least in the United Kingdom and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

    David Baines needs to be very careful that he does not yet face McKeeva Bush in a court of law if he does not quickly bring to Cayman’s public, and the world, exactly what McKeeva Bush is being accused of and the exact stage of each investigation that is being allegedly conducted against him.

    This could easily be construed as an attempt to undermine and overthrow the elected government of the Cayman Islands, without the due process of proper legal proceedings, if these allegations and investigations are not immediately disclosed by the British authorities who are making them.

    I am no supporter of McKeeva Bush but even me, as a common citizen in Britian has more rights that he seems to right now; NO police officer in Britain could ever make undisclosed accusations against me in Britain without facing the consequences of a violation of my protected human rights under British and European law.

    If I were McKeeva Bush, I would already be seeking advice from my legal counsel and David Baines would certainly be hearing from my lawyers.

    It is David Baines that Cayman’s public need to be demanding answers from, not McKeeva Bush.

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