If Mary Street could talk
Alden McLaughlin, leader of our parliamentary Opposition and the People’s Progressive Movement, has positioned himself as the main critic of the Premier W McKeeva Bush and his United Democratic Party’s performance over the last three-plus years. And although this honourable gentleman has been called upon by me and other members of the public to explain his vision for our future; he has not done so. Mr. McLaughlin is perhaps feeling that the Premier’s erratic and airborne management is reason enough for the PPM’s re-election in May 2013. And that he needs to do little more than to continue to blast anyone pressuring him by recalling the blind and reckless spending policies of the PPM between 2005 and 2009, which also helped to lead us to our present Waterloo.
I would like to tell Mr. Alden publicly that I did make mistakes while I was minister between 2001 and 2005 and that my mistakes have also added to the cementing of Cayman’s present difficulties, among which are the marginalisation and further ghettoisation of large numbers of Caymanians. But my fault during this period was not overspending; it was hoping I could provide for the housing needs of low income families without adding additional costs to government by choosing buildings materials and methods that were inexpensive but had not been tested and proven as fit for Cayman’s salty and hurricane proned atmosphere.
And I will say to Mr. McLaughlin again, that the Affordable Housing Scheme, which I started, did not during my tenure spend more that $12 million on the development of lower income communities. This is less money than the Premier has spent from his nation building funds in three years and far less than Mr. McLaughlin’s government wasted or the next government will waste in the lawsuit with Tom Jones International. If he who would be our next Premier can show that my statements are not factual then I ask that he educate me and the general public to the contrary, otherwise I will treat his continuing attempts to say otherwise as libellous and slanderous.
Politicians in this country must learn to tell the truth and stop misleading the public about the character, ability and accomplishments of their opponents in order to play political gamesmanship. However, I am not Mr. Alden’s opponent, since I am not in any election race with him or anybody else; perhaps one reason I can write and speak the truth and give the devil his due. So Alden needs to concentrate on his real political competitors and not Dr. Frank who will share his knowledge, love of truth and experiences, with his community at all times and not just at election time.
And, since I am on the topic of the Leader of our Opposition let me tell him that the challenges we are now experiencing as a country were not all the making of W McKeeva Bush and he should recall that it was his going to West Bay to friend up Big Mac in 2000, after the defeat of Mr. Truman Bodden, to form a government with Big Mac, rather than keeping his written agreement with me and others, that is first of all responsible for Big Mac ruling the political stage in the first place. Secondly, although Truman Bodden might not be standing for office in May next year, you know that many of our current social problems, i.e. youth marginalisation and alienation, are due to the educational policies of the Truman era. This was one reason you wanted to remove him in 2000 and take hold of the reins of power and the Ministry of Education but unfortunately your handlers had forgotten about Dr. Frank and that he might make a play for cabinet and be able to muster the political support to do so.
Remember Alden that it was after you had made your promise to the group in Prospect in November 2000, that your handlers convinced you to do all you could to keep me and Gilbert out of government; because admit it Alden, Gilbert, Roy and Dr. Frank were always the persons most feared by the rich establishment, not you. The wealthy members of our establishment knew that you would replace Truman physically not literally. They knew Alden; that you could be counted on to continue the same politics of national denial while encouraging our people to hide their heads in the sand so others could be brought in to replace them. Therefore, say what you must Alden about W McKeeva Bush, but remember it was you and Kurt that took him from the political desert the First Cayman National Bank scandal had left him in by making him deputy leader of Government Business in November 2000.
Thus the man you say got us to this challenging crossroad got his opportunity to become the most powerful man among us because of you. I only assisted in 2001 because of your betrayal at Prospect and for this I ask God and the nation for forgiveness. Because you must remember that from 1979, to my first election in 1996, I was branded and treated as a radical troublemaker with all sorts of personal issues; when in fact the only real issues I had, arose from my unwillingness to remain silent about the damages which were beginning to be done to Cayman and Caymanians, especially our young. So yes my hands may not be clean nor my heart pure Alden but I leave this up to Christ Almighty to proclaim, because I know that my Lord will turn to me and say: Dr. Frank your heart is dirty and your hands are not clean but you did not wait until the end to say to your people; I have a vision, I have a dream.