Letter to the Editor
I am a Caymanian and I have never faltered in my belief that our nation is full of kind, loving and hardworking people. For the first time, however, I lost sight of that belief after attending your meeting on Wednesday night. I found myself leaving that meeting not with an understanding of why direct taxation is the best way forward for the Cayman Islands, as you had promised would be the case. Rather, I found myself exiting the auditorium with my head in my hands apologising to every expat I crossed for the way in which they were treated by my elected officials and your supporters.
During this meeting I watched in horror as an expat sitting next to me, who came only to listen and not speak, was threatened with physical violence by a supporter of this policy who was voicing her opinions over the PA system. My horror was exacerbated as those who oppose this policy were constantly interrupted and not given the same opportunity to have their voice heard. The nail in the coffin for me was when you yourself responded to the questions of a Caymanian woman not with an answer but with the words, “little girl you’ve had your turn, now give the microphone to someone else.”
For you to accuse the members of a peaceful Facebook group of being ill tempered and incapable of having a calm and measured discussion, then sit by the wayside as your supporters exhibit that very same behaviour before your eyes is outright disrespectful, never mind hypocritical.
I would like to point out something which may have gone unnoticed at Wednesday’s meeting. Not once did an expat stand and say, “I will not pay this tax,” or ask why they should have to pay taxes to support our country. Rather they offered alternatives, voiced concerns about the way in which we are governed and expressed genuine concern for the future of the Cayman Islands.
There was however one person who stood before you and dared to say that Caymanians should share, if not bear, the burden of our current financial woes. This person was not an expat as you may suspect; rather a young Caymanian. I stand beside my fellow countryman in that belief, although I disagree that direct taxation is the way forward. As was so rightfully stated, this is our mess and we should be the ones to clean it up.
That is truly the Caymanian spirit of which I have always been so proud.
Our forefathers built this country through hard work and dedication, and that is a quality that still exists in most Caymanians today. Never once have the Caymanian people looked to take the easy way out of a tough situation. This is something that you yourself have commended us for when referring to the way in which our country was rebuilt after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan.
Why then, I ask, does the current administration so adamantly put forth their hand and ask for other people to pay our debts?