Allies have Mac’s back

MLA and former Premier McKeeva Bush has come under considerable political pressure, but retains support in his native West Bay, where many reserve judgement until a courtroom trial. 

Arrested on suspicion of theft, breach of trust, abuse of office and conflict of interest on 11 December, forced to step aside on 19 December, and replaced the same day by a breakaway faction of the United Democratic Party, Mr. Bush has steadfastly battled public opprobrium, maintained his innocence and questioned the motives of both the governor and the commissioner of police in the events. 

“I come from a policing background,” said Gillard McLaughlin, director of his own Shoreway Builders Ltd in West Bay. “It’s a trying time and I simply remain steadfast that a man is innocent until 
proven guilty. 

“It’s complex, and if you’re going to arrest the premier or the prime minister of a country, you cannot sit on it. You have to charge him within 48 hours. Would the government 
arrest the British prime minister or the US president like this? I remain in support of Mac,” Mr. McLaughlin said, using the former premier’s nickname. 

The 7am police raid in which Mr Bush was arrested and removed for questioning, followed by a daylong search of his home, left a sour taste in Graham Rankin’s mouth. 

“They had to come at 7 o’clock in the morning to search for books? They went through his entire life looking though drawers. Then they took him for more questioning the next day? I thought it was disrespectful,” said the former quarry worker of 28 years and now independent businessman. 

He was sceptical of accusations surrounding the explosives shipment involving Mr. Bush, saying Port Authority or National Roads Authority officials – responsible for importing the material – were seldom dockside to oversee shipments. 

“I guess the only thing we can do is wait for the police. They’ll have to charge him, and if they don’t, his lawyers are likely to go for a lawsuit,” Mr. Rankin said. 

“That is not something he would support, though. He works hard and people take advantage of his generosity. He’s a very kind and generous person and people like to do business with him because he gets 
things done,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Alice Mae Coe, West Bay community figure and among the leaders of the opposition to Mr. Bush’s move to close a portion of West Bay Road, said she regretted the difficulties embroiling Mr. Bush, but that “it would have been better and would have been more statesmanlike if he’d stepped aside and gotten out of the way until the investigation was over. 

“But it dragged on and on, and probably damaged him. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” she said, “and I am not rejoicing; I am really saddened that it had to come to this.” 

Ms Coe was nonetheless sceptical of the five breakaway MLAs that replaced Mr. Bush’s Cabinet, wondering about their announced “country first” motivation. 

“That is commendable, but why not before?” she asked. “Why not have put ‘country first’ all along – unless this is some kind of self-preservation. They’re going against the ex-premier, and it was a shame that it took three years.” 

Sarah Orrett, 46, former legal-office manager, said she has known Mr. Bush all her life and had been “a personal supporter of Mac for 20 years”. 

She conceded they had not always agreed on issues, “but Mac has been good to a lot of people. He has worked tirelessly for the county for many years.” 

Pointing to the lack of charges against Mr. Bush, Ms Orrett said “we have to look at the fact that this is all a suspicion — and you can’t condemn someone on a suspicion.” 

The accusations, she said, “are a little petty. I am not passing judgement on Mr. Bush until a court tries and convicts him. 

“He’s a very kind-hearted man and no one is going to take that away. I won’t let anyone take that away from him,” she said.  

Isaac Rankine, a West Bay telecommunications contractor, has known Mr. Bush, he said, “for 25 years. I used to talk to him on a number of different subjects. 

“A man is innocent until proven guilty. [Mr. Bush] is a good and decent person and I won’t stop supporting him just because he’s been arrested. It could’ve been anybody.” 

He declined to discuss the political events that unseated the former premier, saying that “it happened for whatever reasons. Mac decided what to do and I’m not going to debate that. He had his reasons and the others had theirs. 

“I can’t speak definitively because I don’t really know what happened, but I think a lot of politics were involved,” he said. 

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Unless the Governor and the Chief of the RCIPS are both fools, I sncerley doubt that the arrest was done on a whim. You dont arrest the head of government without somebody has the goods on him. This is not a fairy tale or a witchhunt. Theres too much egg to go on peoples faces if this is a farce.

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  2. Mr Bush, we your SUPPORTERS have your back! Anyone can be arrested, but one is also INNOCENT until proven guilty…you have not been charged or convicted.

    I pray that this is not power hunger individuals – politicians and the RCIPS looking to take a great leader down!!

    At Bubba…The Governor and the Chief Head of the RCIPS both need to pack their bags and return to their countries of birth, they honestly do not belong here.

    At Ms Coe in story above…you or any of those that you support could never ever be the man or Leader that William McKeeva Bush has been. Remember when God is for you no man can be against you.

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  3. Your right! the allegations, the lame investigations,the even lamer actions of the UNunited democratic party,are all pathetic and embarrassing to the Caymanian people. And it comes as no surprise that certain people are worried that his generoscity toward them have come to an end. However for all the many people who live and work here and call Cayman home and have payed for all the generosity, jet set vacations, court settlements, and incompetent bungling now want a Government who can do the actual work of Government. Auditable accounts, Government contracts by the rules, Government who works for their paycheck on island, keeps promises to all the people,and shows some class. He was a great leader for HIS people but sucked for everyone else. You can have him. The rest of us are tired of third world, uneducated charm.

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  4. What was the point of this article? To have a few of Bush’s diehard supporters (3 of whom are originally from EE for some reason)say what a nice man he is and that they still support him, and then have a single political opponent make the point that it would have been appropriate for him to have stepped down before this happened? I would expect them to have Mac’s back.

    I don’t think the presumption of innocence is at issue with respect to Bush’s removal. However, note that under our laws adverse inferences may be drawn from a failure to respond to police questioning as Bush said he did on the advice of his attorneys.

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  5. @ carpenter…you sound like you’re not Caymanian…He was a great leader for HIS people but sucked for everyone else. You can have him. The rest of us are tired of third world, uneducated charm.

    If we are third world and uneducated charm. I wonder where you are from? But I will say to you pack your bags and return to your country of birth but I know that that will never happen …LIFE IS TOO GOOD in this little Paradise Island called the Cayman Islands!!

    #justsaying

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  6. #justsaying @ Speaker… ANOTHER HATER!! You too sound like Cayman is where I live, but not my place of birth! I wonder where you are from? You too can can pack your bags and return to your country of birth!!

    I am a true born CAYMANIAN, and a West Bayer too and I don’t fall in your category of a cronie!! As for the Jamaicans they have stood by us, unlike some of your kind that put Caymanians down in the work place(s) on a daily basis…because you all never had LIFE so good!!

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  7. Anyone with common sense who was to the meeting that Mr Bush held in Town square could definately see he has the Majority of Cayman behind him. Cayman people love Mr Bush, and some foreign people do too. Those who do not care for him are those who cannot manipulate him to do things their way. Those who want status and cannot get it, Those who do not want him to raise fees but want him to tax Caymanians. We know who you are. But We Caymanians do not care how much you set up Mr Bush to be caught in a fish net we are standing beside him.

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  8. Hunter,Caymaniantothebone – you are wrong on all counts. ALL opinion polls on every single media show that the vast majority of the people of Cayman have had enough of Bush. The few hundred people that attended his meeting only proved my point: Caymanian cronies, Jamaicans together with some curious folk gawking at the spectacle. They do not represent Caymanians as a whole.

    Those who cling to him expect to derive some personal benefits from him being returned as premier.

    He has been a blight on the history of these Islands and is now trying to fuel hatred against the UK to steer us towards independence so that he will not be accountable to the UK. So reminiscent of Mike Misick.

    You both remind me of Jim Jones’ followers.

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  9. Caymanian to the bone

    You might wwant to do a bit of research to see who you really are and what a true Caymanian is. You might be surprised.

    I assume you are also an advocate that there should be different rights for those born in Cayman and those who take up citizenship.

    You are sad.

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  10. I find it amazing how many people disagree with comments like Mac is innocent until proven guilty. All I want to say is if they can do this to the leader of the Country without filing any actual charges imagine what can be done to each and everyone one of you. When people support stamping on the human rights of another they are also supporting the same treatment of themselves.

    I wonder if the same people would feel the same way if one of their family members or themselves were treated that same way.

    In my opinion with the election only around the corner where he would have most likely been voted out of office any way, the only reason to have done this now was to embarrass him and destroy his name. Weather he’s is guilty or not, these investigations has supposedly been going on for years and even after all this foolishness he still hasn’t been charged with a crime, that just seems fishy to me.

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  11. NJ2Cay – I haven’t seen anyone disagreeing with the statement that he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The point is that the presumption isn’t really relevant to whether he should have stepped down or been removed. In light of the seriousness of the offences for which he was being investigated Bush should have stepped down in the first instance and not have had to be arrested while in office. That is what happens elsewhere in the democratic world.

    In complex cases there is often a significant period between arrest and charge. That is when all the evidence obtained from the interview, search etc. is fully investigated and presented to DPP to determine whether charges should be brought. Nothing fishy about that.

    The elections were some 6 months away when he was arrested. That is a very long time to be in office in these circumstances especially where you are in a position to interfere with the investigation. In any event the timing of the elections and assumptions about whether he will be re-elected should have nothing to do with whether he should have been arrested which should depend solely on whether there is reason to suspect that an arrestable offence has been committed. I see no reason to speculate about political conspiracies.

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  12. Thanks Speaker, I always appreciate a clear well thought out non emotional explanation. What you mention does make sense. But I still can’t help but feel that everyone involved has their own agenda. Could be my paranoia from growing up in the New Jersey. I guess I do have a general lack of trust for Politicians and the Police Force..

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  13. To NJ2Cay,
    In response to your earlier message:

    I believe the Premier should have stepped aside while the allegations are investigated as the politicians do in many other democratic nations.
    However I have a larger concern with the general way we as individuals feel we should have more rights. By this, I observe in society how a persons individual rights can trump what is actually better for the overall group. I feel western society may be traveling too far down that road.

    For example, consider the recent massacre in Newtown CT. Is it possible that the individual rights of the shooter outweighed what is best for society and could be argued this may be the case with many people with severe mental illness. To be blunt, I ask should we not be incarcerating (asylums or a more modern version) adult people with mental illness, for the protection of the greater community?

    Further, with the right to bear arms, is it possible this amendment requires some changes after 200 years? Perhaps some limitations on the quantity and high powered nature of some of the arms. Again, it appears that the individuals rights seem to trump what is better for society… and I am not saying that there will be no further massacres, lets just not make it so easy for someone to access the high powered weaponry.

    I believe our justice system in general favours the individual far too often, and leaves the community (or larger group) who were impacted to bear a disproportionate burden of the crime and its effects.

    Those are my views.

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  14. Caymaniantothebone. I hope you really do not expect me to believe you. You are no more Caymanianto thebone than I am a Limie. Fake.
    Caymanianto thebone Please tell the people the truth why you hate the Premier so much. You have been barking up his tree for ages, and there is a reason. You did not get something that you wanted. For your information those who are against him are foreigners like yourself, or a few want to be foreigner not Caymanians.

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  15. Hunter and Caymaniantothebone.

    If either one of you were truly Caymanian, then I would have expected a little more respect coming out of your mouths when talking to others, especially when posing on an internet forum.
    Street talk doesn’t make for good arguments; just lessens your values and opinions in the eyes of others.
    Try to be better than the rest and speak out with well thought out constraint.
    Then your point will be made.

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  16. Dear ‘intl interests’,

    Individual rights vs. group rights:
    The rights contained in the Cayman Islands Constitutional Order 2009 were designed for protecting a natural person from the entity called the State (UK the local government); those rights are not for protecting one person/group, from another person/group. They are vertical rights.

    Why would someone ever want to protect themselves from the State? Good question and here is one of many examples: ‘This year will in down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.’ Adolf Hitler 1935. He went on to murder millions of people. Are governments dangerous? Yes! Should we ban them? No!

    Right to bear arms:
    The right to bear arms is a British concept, which those who were resident in the British colonies of America knew of from the English Bill of Rights 1688. Unfortunately, the elites still believes in a right to arms, just not for their remaining colonies.

    Newtown Massacre:
    People, who are arguing as you are, clearly don’t understand personal protection. You clearly don’t get that those who wish to commit crimes will always be able to get firearms for the commission of crimes. You cannot stop it, the UK cannot stop it; it cannot be done.

    So, the real questions are-
    1.Who and by what means should the Newtown school administrators have done to prevent such a sick or purely criminally minded person from murdering so many?
    2.What should the People require be done by the government with the mentally ill?

    People with mental illness should be more closely supervised and that is a discussion for the public to have and I will comment at that time.

    Regarding arms, if you believe that there is some type of control the world can place on the access to firearms to prevent the Newtown shooting from reoccurring, you’re fooling yourself and naively misleading the public. But for the purpose of this discussion, let us assume that the world could completely keep the mentally ill and criminals from getting access to firearms. So now someone shows up at another school with a two cutlasses and starts working on a classroom of twenty-five. Do you have any idea what the real question is going to be?

    Well, I’m glad you asked, because it will be, ‘who and by what means will the kids be kept safe from harm?’ This issues is not an RCIPS problem, it not a legislative problem, it is a physics problem. To put this in simple terms, if you are not near the classroom (seconds away) with some effective tool with which to stop such killer(s), many kids will be murdered.

    If you are now thinking about banning cutlasses, then you do not understand the importance of the real question. A printed copy of anti-crime legislation is not what you will be screaming for as a teacher

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  17. The small fish can’t see or count when it comes to their benefactor. First of all they hang out on the bottom feeding on the weak fish. They don’t know anything until that benefactor tells them what’s going on and what to do. That’s real sad when grown people that can’t think for them selves, become dependent on someone that is selling out our country for two cents on a dollar. (My opinion) Like the dock contract, the UK stopped him in his tracks. I believe that in most instances right wins out over wrong. I thank the Financial Crimes Unit for taking him down in the nick of time to save our bacon from people that can’t see the forest for the trees. They are uninformed and upset about him not getting breakfast before being hauled off at 7am. I am happy because they saved us from the breakfast being put on our credit card. God not only works in mysterious ways but he is merciful and good. Fret not thy self my brethren.

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