MLAs blasted UK, governor in 2009


Cayman Islands lawmakers Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean last week warned Premier McKeeva Bush not to risk the territory’s long-established relationship with the United Kingdom by attacking British-appointed Governor 
Duncan Taylor.  

Yet a review of Legislative Assembly Hansard from late 2009 indicated that both men used similar language to criticise former Governor Stuart Jack during a debate on a private member’s motion that considered taking legal action to recover costs from the 
infamous Operation Tempura investigation.  

In a letter sent to the Caymanian Compass by Mr. Bush on 26 April, 2012, Premier Bush gave numerous examples involving situations where he said he’d fought with the United Kingdom over issues involving Cayman. Mr. Bush said these political arguments over the years led to some hard feelings.  

“In the face of that kind of resistance to their dogma [referring to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office], my tenacity on behalf of my Islands … to the exploits of the FCO over the years – did I believe that the FCO liked me? I knew better and I was warned by friends in London that they did not and that they would try to ruin me.”  

In a separate statement made to the media last week, Mr. Bush wrote: “[Governor Taylor] has stealthily and insidiously undermined what I’ve been trying to do to get our economy off the ground and get jobs for people.”  

A joint statement released by Messrs Miller and McLean shortly after Mr. Bush’s comments noted that the premier “should not risk the long-established and mutually beneficial relationship that Cayman and the UK have enjoyed by his unwarranted accusations and attack on the UK’s representative. The difficulties that Mr. Bush finds himself in cannot be overcome by attempting to pit the Caymanian people against the UK’s representative.”  

During the 22 October, 2009, LA debate regarding Mr. Miller’s private member’s motion on the recovery of Operation Tempura costs, Mr. Miller questioned both the management ability of ex-Governor Jack and alluded to concerns he had about the UK’s intentions.  

According to the Hansard, Mr. Miller said: “I wrote a letter about 18 months ago to the media, which was published, where I said that if the governor’s management ability, as observed from the decisions and the effect of the decisions that he had been making, was that of any middle management-level civil servant, he would have been terminated for lack of performance. I have questioned some of his intents.”  

The debate records continue with Mr. Miller speaking: “As one looks over the history of the Cayman Islands, in particular the events post-Ivan and what we got and what we didn’t get, the kind of international criticism we received, it is beginning to become increasingly difficult for an optimist like me to continue to accept or believe that these events are just coincidental or perchance, and are not really a determined effort to destabilise and ruin the Cayman Islands. 

“The continued suggestion by the administering powers, the continuing reminder of what has happened in the Turks and Caicos Islands and, in my belief and opinion, the threat that they will do the same to us is disturbing to me.”  

From the same debate later on in the day, Mr. McLean is quoted in the Legislative Assembly Hansard: “And no one can prove to me that [Operation] Tempura has proven – now [Operation] Cealt, or whatever it is, is still going on. No one can tell me that Tempura has amounted to much more than spending $6.8 million out of the people’s money unnecessarily? And I should continue to support it? And then the governor comes out bashing me?”  

A bit later on Mr. McLean continued: “I am convinced … that every one of them is trying to destroy my country. It is my position … it is my opinion that every one of them is on some ulterior motive to take my country down. I will not allow them to do that! Not as long as I can stand on my two feet!”  

In Mr. Bush’s 26 April e-mail to the Compass, the premier stated, referring to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office: “I have now come to expect that anything will be done to me. Any, and every, excuse has been found by officials of the FCO not to support my efforts in rebuilding the economy. Never, ever giving me the benefit of the doubt. It is simple, they can’t rule me the way they wish and so they are prepared to try and ruin me, and my reputation. Announcements of investigations cause politicians to lose support. It’s part of the long history of the FCO in the Caribbean – if you can’t handle them, then ruin their reputation.” 

“It is simple, they can’t rule me the way they wish and so they are prepared to try and ruin me, and my reputation.” 


  1. The CayCompass can rest assured that those politicians who have changed their tune when it serves their purpose will ignore this article and its content, perhaps the voters will not.

  2. It is not surprising that so many politicians can be so anti-British. That’s why I am not a member of either the UDP or PPM.

    In my opinion so many of the politicians have blindly accepted the rhetoric of so many West Indian friends stuck in the past and carrying the anti-colonial ‘chip on their shoulder’.

    Yes, we should understand our history and I mean ‘OUR’ history which is slightly different from our Caribbean nations that have become independent. So take a good look at all the practices/ties/alliances that may have an impact on this country’s reputation and opportunities for locals……..and these politicians think it’s the UK to blame?? really??

    Look at your political party membership guys and then consider whether the subtle application of seditious ideas may be a ‘theme’. Then note sedition is a criminal offence and take care with use of words on many residents/citizens and blaming the UK for all issues.

  3. Well one thing that’s obvious is that the UK wouldn’t have to work very hard to sink the Good ship Cayman. All they need to do is divide the peoples loyalties and pit one politician against the other such as is being done by the whole party system. And Cayman will sink itself with them not having to lift a finger.

    United we stand divided we fall . And since Cayman is so divided, guess what’s next..

  4. Well, well, NJ2Cay

    At least one person can see the bigger game at play here…and this is by both parties and has been that way for many years now;none of this is really anything new.

    The incidents and scandals have been different, with different participants, over the years but the game remains the same.

    Local politicians playing the UK officials off against each other…and the UK officials playing the local politicians off against each other…all able to be done because of the ignorance of a majority of the local citizens/voters…and their submissive nature.

    Only those who believe, follow and act on everything they’re told, without seeing things through for themselves become vulnerable to these divisive tactics by the Caymanian politicians and UK govt. officials.

    Read through some of these comments again and see if this is not glaringly evident.

    The problem is, this time, all the advantage lies with the UK govt. officials.

    Cayman’s local politicians better watch out; they have dug a deep hole for themselves…

    In which the UK govt officials will find it easy to bury them, at their leisure.

  5. If there is one thing that is evident here…

    If things continue to be as politically unstable in Cayman, as they are now appearing to become…

    The government of the United Kingdom will have no choice but to suspend the 2009 Constitution…

    And enforce direct British rule again, in the Cayman Islands.

    Who knows, this might be better for the majority in Cayman than for things to continue to deteriorate they way they are now seeming to.

  6. NJ2Cay, Firery, although I don’t trust the FCO and suspect they are playing some kind of divide and conquer game here, it is worth remembering that I am the one who found this material on Hansard and first posted it here – and one thing you can safely put money on is that I do not work for the Governor, the FCO or any other UK organisation.

    But if politicians are dumb enough to put their feelings onto an easily-accessible record and then get themselves caught out criticising one of their opponents for saying pretty much exactly the same thing roughly two-and-a-half years I am not going to let it pass without comment.

  7. Sorry, that comment should read – roughly two-and-a-half years later.

    My proof-reading is not what it used to be.

    Editor’s note: Apparently, neither is ours.

  8. I still find it difficult to understand why the UK should wish to retain responsibility for Cayman, as there seems to be no net gain to the UK (indeed, the opposite), and all they get is abuse from our politicians. Don’t push too hard, guys, you may get what you (apparently) wish for…

  9. I think that it is incredible that the OMOV was not written into the 2009 Constitution and given all the Constitutional scholars we have on island it was never brought up and fixed. 3 years later it seems inconceivable that such a glaring oversight occurred.
    There are politicians who are clearly on record for independence so bashing the FCO as well as the UK is easy for them. In some of the other cases it is a red herring.

  10. Some it seem, would like to see trouble between the UK and Cayman. if they are not chasing Tempura to bring out the dirt they insinuate that the UK is out to get Cayman.

    Like a father and son, Cayman and the UK has a demanding relationship, The UK like a good parent allows Cayman to grow and with growing and learning mistakes are made. If politicians vents and rant because they are not allowed to run the ship aground that is too bad.

    As is, we paid for Tempura! Cayman may not have received good value for money for the Tempura investigation, but the UK is not out to get us. If what they did to protect the Falklands in 1982 is any example we are in good hands. So dig and hold on to as many straws as one may wish to hold on to, Tempura file is closed!.. This Caymanian like most don’t have a problem with the UK and the UK is doing every-thing right to point us in the right direction..

    It goes to reason that if you have been at the wheel as long as some of our leaders(Term Limit) they believe they can walk on water while profit mongers steer.

    The soon to be released (white-Paper) should plot us a course using modern best practices, so if the Captain has a bout of walking on water we can refer to the auto pilot.

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