Fellow Caymanians and all residents, considering what is going on in the country and the fact that we must move forward, these are times to be conciliatory.
Since the governor went against my advice and decided to appoint a minority government, those serving the Cayman Islands in Cabinet must be given a chance just like any other government.
The responsibility for the appointment of government in this way solely rests with the governor, since he has already revoked my government, we can only hope for the best for those who have been left behind. However, this is just an interim government since elections will be held soon and the Legislative Assembly is to be dissolved within two months to pave way for general elections.
Those in government were members of the party. However, the party machinery belongs to all and I am subject to the same dictum.
We cannot allow a set of rules to operate as a choice; rules must be followed by everyone. Consequently, what the district councils of the United Democratic Party addressed by the party and the five members were purely out of my control. At the end of the day, I would like reconciliation and peace to be within all our hearts.
However, in my capacity as a Caymanian and an elected representative I will stand with my country, and support its government. The Cayman Islands needs a government that can remove it from the economic woes, and not to engage in endless political bickering. My record of accomplishments will speak for itself. We cannot expect every proposal to be defeated, just because the person who sponsored it had a different political orientation than you, me or the next representative.
We must live to see a Cayman Islands where everyone wins, and not a winner take all Cayman Islands.
To the governor, the United Kingdom should seek to unite the country and not to divide it along loyalist lines.
The law should be followed by all, but you should not be a partisan referee, who is always ready to pounce when the ball is on one side, and turning a blind eye against the infringements of the other team or in your own infringements wherever they are found.
Coming to where we have reached, I may not have expected to be stabbed from behind by the friends I have lived to trust, trained and nurtured.
Since I knew I would not last forever, I wanted to have another team of youthful experience people come forward since change must be managed.
However, those who I have helped the most politically have hurt me most. In spite of this, the Cayman Islands is bigger than the person of McKeeva Bush and hence we must now move on. My friends, I was not a Cub Scout leader, Boys Brigade leader and Sunday school teacher for nothing; I, too, was taught and learned the ways of doing good by teachers of good repute.
As a country we must learn to forgive and forget. This way we are going to minimise the divisions in the country and have one united Cayman. The party system ought to continue for organisation of government in our present constitutional system, but anyone elected, party or otherwise, is to be recognised and should work together and in accordance with the constitution.
The country must have a shift from vengeance and vindictive politics by all, including the media and the chamber of commerce. We must go beyond parochial politics; we have to look beyond our petty differences. I will say that I bear no grudge to the minority government or anyone else.
In the New Year, we must change the way we do business here, we must embrace one another and encourage democratic space.
This way everyone will not feel left out of the country’s affairs. That’s why I wanted a different kind of constitution in 2009. That’s why I didn’t support this constitution. It is full of divisiveness and room for people who only think bad of others – to divide and conquer.
So for the five cabinet ministers I wish them the best as they carry out the business of government for the Cayman Islands.
Now we look to the future. The Islands need investment and I will always work to encourage the right type of investments. Give investors a chance to help us, and Caymanian business an opportunity to participate and be successful.
We must ensure that our people are safe on the street, in their homes, in their place of business from crime. This is job of the police. Our youth and young professionals must be given opportunities to make a life. That is why we work hard to bring investment here. There is much more to be said, that we look to the New Year with hope. It is an unknown future, but there is a lot that has been put in place to make us a better place in the future. Billions of dollars of investment are in place for the next 10 years.
There would be challenges to the financial industry, but we have a very modern regulatory system, government budget has been set on the right trajectory and the government under British instructions who has control of our budget, had to increase certain fees. This will prove hard for the finance industry – my policy is seek to decrease it where we can.
Now, finally, the New Year is here. We must pray to God to guide us, to sustain us and give us the generosity to help others who are worse off than ourselves.
As to what we should do next, I am reminded of the late King George our present Queen’s father who said, “said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way’.”
I wish for all a more healthy year.