Mr. Bush's Motion: Extremely serious, potentially sensational

The charges that led to the collapse of the government of former Premier McKeeva Bush, and of which he was subsequently acquitted at trial, were serious. The allegations that Mr. Bush is now levying against officials in the U.K. and Cayman Islands are far more serious.

In a private members’ motion filed Tuesday with the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Bush asserts that he has in his possession “irrefutable documentary evidence” of a triumviral conspiracy — involving U.K.-appointed officials, rival Cayman politicians and Cayman civil servants — to overthrow his democratically elected local government, in violation of rights protected by the constitution, the United Nations Charter and European Union regulations.

Specifically, Mr. Bush alleges that from 2011-2012, while he was under investigation in various criminal probes (eventually resulting in charges related to alleged credit card misuse), meetings were held and communications exchanged to discuss his removal as premier and the possible composition of an “interim government.” Mr. Bush says his evidence consists of written correspondence between then-Governor Duncan Taylor, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office and local officials.

While Mr. Bush has long maintained — before, during and after his arrest, trial and acquittal — that he was the target of a concerted, wrongfully motivated effort by British authorities, his new private members’ motion is an explosive elaboration on the earlier courthouse revelation of emails, from Governor Taylor to an official named “Tony,” that criminal charges against Mr. Bush would call for a “quiet bottle of bubbly” and engender “a huge sigh of relief across the Cayman Islands, including a loud one from this office.”

When asked Tuesday for a comment, now-Premier Alden McLaughlin quipped, “I think the Leader of the Opposition has finally taken leave of his senses.”

Off-the-cuff though it may have been (and, therefore, somewhat understandable), Premier McLaughlin’s response appears overly cavalier and not equal to the gravity of what is being alleged — especially since much of what Mr. Bush is claiming has already been demonstrated as veracious (and persuasive) in court before judge and jury.

By submitting the motion, and requesting an independent inquiry into the circumstances of his removal as premier, Mr. Bush is attempting to situate the debate in Cayman’s version of the Roman Colosseum: the Legislative Assembly, where, for elected members engaging in political blood sport, there are few rules and only one referee — House Speaker Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.

Readers will recall that Ms. O’Connor-Connolly succeeded Mr. Bush as premier in the interim 2013 government (before she pledged allegiance to the Progressives government after the election). Her ability to remain neutral and objective in moderating what promises to be an extremely contentious floor debate on Mr. Bush’s motion presents an apparent concern.

It is important to note that lawmakers enjoy two unique powers in the Legislative Assembly, “parliamentary privilege” and the ability to “table” documents. Those privileges will enable Mr. Bush — and Mr. McLaughlin, and any other member of the Assembly — to assert, allege or even scream about anything they want with legal impunity.

By tabling documents, such as evidentiary emails, they also have the ability to make public immediately almost any piece of information they so choose — without the oversight of a judge ruling on its relevance or admissibility.

Of one thing we are certain: If this motion makes it to the floor of the Legislative Assembly, which it certainly should, it will be political theater of the highest measure with a local and international audience.

The Compass has already reserved its seat — in the front row.


  1. When these allegations were made, and also when MR Bush kept telling the people of Cayman that it was a witch Hunt against him, my decision was not to listen to Marl Road rumor neither did I want to hear anything in person from Mr Bush. What I wanted and what I did was to listen to the evidence for myself.
    After doing this, right up to the final day of evidence, I could not believe that a basket full of Caymanians went on a daring Expedition Mission, with such grievous intent to do such harm to one of their own; and worse of all to embark on this mission with others whom they know do not like them. My dear, how mean spirited some of us were; and worse of all is when a cow gives you a pail of milk to turn round and kick it down.

  2. I think this is great idea and I am really glad that Mr. Bush did not just let it go. I don’t believe he would be doing this unless he was sure he had a case. During the saga of the trial as well as during the election season and while he was premier. Bush took a lot of verbal abuse from Alden and handled it like a statesmen and I respect that he doesn’t handle his role as the opposition the same way Alden did by opposing everything he put on the table and waging a campaign of personal attacks on Bush’s character and integrity.
    The statement that Alden made about him losing his mind echo his style of personal attacks against Bush during his campaign and time as the opposition. Other comments simply sound like threats from someone who may be a little worried. I’d like to see Alden fully support this inquiry as he should, after all if his hands are clean he has nothing to worry about, and if they nothing to this then all it will do is put the last nail in Bush’s political career. On the other hand if there is substance to Mr. Bush’s accusations and certain people acted inappropriately and actually conspired to bring the government down then it needs to come out.
    I for one can believe that it is possible and would like to know the whole truth even if it shows that Mr Bush was wrong.

  3. Was there a conspiracy? I doubt it.
    Were there people pleased to see him out of power, of course, and were some of them in "positions of power"? You bet!
    My point is that whatever their feelings on the his removal, his removal from power was actually the right thing to happen.
    Why? Because what he did was not appropriate for one in his position. It wasnt even in the doubtful area. Yes, the court decided it wasnt criminal, but is that really the measure we have for our leaders? Is that the measure they should judge their own actions by? The case seemed to be decided on the basis that CIG cards were issued without any rulings on their use, so he couldnt have known it was wrong to fund a gambling session. Really? Would any right thinking person believe that it was proper use even if ultimately the money was repaid?
    So if his judgement was of that sort, then I am happy that he is no longer in charge.
    If that was the only doubtful area then it would be enough to convince me, but it is his judgement in other areas of public money that I would be more concerned. Remember those deals that he did without proper process, the distinctly doubtful Chinese dock builders, the Cohen deals for raising CIG funds. Both done well outside the public eye without proper process and at great cost to the finances. Maybe there is nothing there to be concerned at, but I instinctively dont want CIG funds to be dealt with in that way, so was there a conspiracy, i dont know, but am I glad Bush is not in control of public money, yes!