It’s time for our leaders to get off the sidelines

In sports, coaches are forbidden to leave the sidelines to enter the fray, despite their years of accumulated wisdom. Ultimately, it must be the players who determine the outcome of the game.

Politics in Cayman, however, is a totally different game where our “best and brightest,” if you will, cannot (or at least, should not) remain above and aloof from our rough-and-tumble political discourse.

We speak specifically of the recently released Ernst & Young report which, if implemented broadly, would radically restructure how public services are delivered in these islands. The end result would be a tectonic shift between the current public sector – 6,000 strong – and the private sector, which would take on many of the responsibilities currently being carried out by government workers.

What the leaders of Cayman’s private industries should be doing is loosening neckties and throwing off waistcoats and wigs – engaging passionately and publicly in what truly must become a national debate. Issues of this importance must not remain the domain of anonymous bloggers and radio talk show callers.

And yet, most in Cayman’s business community, where the brightest and best-educated among us reside, have maintained a stoical silence, their opinions and wisdom whispered in each other’s ears but rarely shared with the country as a whole.

This will not do.

Cayman’s elected leader, Premier Alden McLaughlin, needs all the support he can get, and as loud as he can get it. The premier has courageously taken on considerable political risk by requisitioning the EY report and, presumably, supporting many, if not most, of its findings.

Even more so, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, one of our most highly regarded leaders, understands the necessity of reducing the size and cost of government, and he needs to know he’s not alone on this mission.

But where, pray tell, are our special interest groups? Aside from the Chamber of Commerce, no professional organization has taken a strong, principled stance on the EY report, be it for or against.

As this Editorial Board asked last week, where are the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants, Cayman Islands Law Society, Cayman Islands Directors Association, Caymanian Bar Society, Insurance Managers Association of Cayman, and Cayman Finance, for starters? What about groups representing tourism, hospitality, and development? Or how about the Coalition For Cayman?

More importantly, where are the voices of prominent individuals within our community? While it is imperative for business organizations to act as collectives for the common concerns of their members, such groups are, after all, merely sets of anonymizing institutions.

The Compass, led by publisher David R. Legge, is more than willing to open up the pages of this newspaper (and the electronic pages of as an open forum for public conversations demanded by this all-important topic. In recent weeks, we have published constructive commentary from well-known citizens such as Bo Miller, John McLean, Truman Bodden, Linford Pierson and Elita Soto, as well as from many in our online community.

As pleased as we have been with their contributions, Cayman needs more of the same – much more – and from many more people.


  1. The quietness from the private sector is deafening. Considering the government and chamber are insisting the private sectors take on redundant CS, I would like to hear their views on this and the rest of the EY report.

  2. Everybody knows that the private sector is not in a position to take on the people that would be made redundant if the EY recommendations were to be implemented. Why do we continue to fool ourselves about this basic fact?

    The only good thing that might come out of this is that it might be the spark that makes Caymanians come off of the sidelines and take back what is rightfully theirs. I guarantee you that if a significant number of people are left unemployed and unable to provide for their children that is exactly what will happen.

  3. Mack, can you provide any examples of what these things that rightfully belong to Caymanians and should be taken back ? I am assuming you are referring to things that were stolen are taken away dishonestly.

  4. I am constantly hearing people say things like we need to take back what was stolen from us or what was rightfully ours, yet whenever I ask for examples there’s never an answer. Hey I am trying to understand the plight of the Caymanian people in regards to the things that were taken from them, so it would be great help if anyone could explain what some of these things are. Was is Land, Was it rights, was it money ? Just what was it that was so unjustly taken from the Caymanian people ?

    Anyone ?

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