Editorial for 30 August: Blastgate overblown

The blow up over the illegal importation of explosives
seemingly ended in court Tuesday with Midland Acres being fined $1,300 and
having to forfeit a portion of the materials it imported without the necessary
permits.

If this punishment seems anti-climactic for a crime that
made out by some to be one step removed from a terrorist attack, we believe
it’s because the story was overblown.

Yes, Midland Acres’s managing director pleaded guilty to
importing a large shipment of explosive materials without the proper permit.
However, the magistrate for the case accepted that the explosives were being
imported for a legitimate, commercial use, that the defendant was contrite, and
that, with the exception of not having the proper permits, no other laws were
broken by the importation of the explosives.

More importantly, while the magistrate made it clear that
explosives are inherently dangerous and therefore there must be strict
adherence to the Explosives Law, he found there was no risk to public safety in
this particular instance.

So it goes in Cayman these days. Mountains are made out of
molehills when it comes to seemingly countless us-versus-them issues while some
of Cayman’s critical social problems – like the fact there are shockingly many
school children who don’t have basic school supplies or enough to eat – get
swept aside.

Certainly the media plays a role in what local issues people
react to and how they react. Each media outlet ultimately has to choose which
stories it covers, the news angle it takes for those stories and the prominence
of placement in its publications or website.

Here at Cayman Free Press, we understand the importance of
weighting the news in a responsible manner and not to match a particular
political or ideological bias.

By offering a fair and balanced approach to the news, we
hope that people stay informed about all the important issues and not just the
ones that divide.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. What about the head of the NRA who was let go shortly after? Is that not a story of importance? Compass has very little spine.

    Editor’s note: The person referenced in this comment has been contacted numerous times by our newspaper. He has refused to comment each time. There are other avenues of this story that the Compass is still pursuing, but that’s all we can say for now. The commenter has very few facts.

  2. The real issue was never explosives being imported, it could have been underwear for that matter, but the fact that it was explosives is what caused a series of events that revealed a cast of characters in a production that the Compass views as a farce whilst others think it is a tragedy.

    The question being raised is who are the beneficial owners of Midland Acres? If the Compass has researched this and have the information in hand to determine that it is of no significance then indeed the case is overblown.

    If the beneficial owners of Midland Acres cannot be identified, then people become suspicious and wonder if there is some quid pro quo involved in the deal between Midland Acres and Dart via the For Cayman Alliance.

    We can only hope that it is a farce, or to use your own words overblown. However, there is an element of tragedy when an individual loses his job in consequence of trying to do it to the best of his ability.

    Editor’s note: This comment had to be edited for legal reasons, but we assure the reader the newspaper is aware of all the issues they have raised.

  3. Blastgate was never about importing explosives. I think the reason it bothered us so much was not the actions of Mr. Prasad but rather the role our Premier played in the drama.

    Mr. Bush could legitimately have asked his civil service underlings to speed up their review and maintain due process. Instead he ordered the customs department to release the shipment before the proper reviews had taken place.

    I think most of us were just shocked that our Premier thought that he could re-write the rules on a whim.

  4. So it goes in Cayman these days. Mountains are made out of molehills when it comes to seemingly countless us-versus-them issues while some of Cayman’s critical social problems like the fact there are shockingly many school children who don’t have basic school supplies or enough to eat get swept aside.

    Is the Compass planning any stories on the shockingly many school children who don’t have the basic school supplies or enough to eat?

    If so, when can we expect to see them?

    Editor’s Note: We have carried several stories about this issue already over the past year and more will follow. Here’s just one: http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2011/12/06/Community-working-to-feed-hungry-school-children/

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