“I’m going to probably be in front with them in leading the revolution … They’re not going to be leading it against me, I’m going to be with them. The Bahamas made their adjustment in the ‘70s, you know. They made it early enough that they had no bloodshed. We don’t have too many moons here to make the adjustment locally and put Caymanians back in charge.”
– North Side MLA Ezzard Miller
A half-century of careful toil – assaulted, if not extinguished, in a single, careless, reckless breath.
For decades, the people of the Cayman Islands have labored together to construct a country blessed with the most meager of raw materials – sunlight, seawater, sweat and sand. Thanks to our forebears’ vision, Cayman has made the improbable ascent from a subsistence-oriented turtling enclave to an international hub for finance and premier magnet for upscale tourism, where residents enjoy some of the highest standards of living anywhere in the world.
The “secret” to the “Cayman Miracle” is not a secret at all. It is, in fact, a concoction of fundamental human aspirations, essential elements that have long defined Caymanian society, namely: safety, security and stability.
Throughout Cayman’s “modern” era, our leaders in the public and private sectors have spent many millions of dollars promoting and projecting those ideas – which, fortunately, are reality in our islands. On that foundation, our country has built two world-class industries and has created a high-powered economic engine that is envied around the globe.
The fact that, in Cayman, you can walk the streets free of fear for your person; that you can run your business in the knowledge that your proceeds will remain yours; that you can settle yourself and your family here for life without risking violent social upheaval – those qualities are what set Cayman apart from our competitors. That includes the Bahamas of the 1970s which Mr. Miller extolled so highly in his cavalier address to the Legislative Assembly. Many here remember, and many more are aware of, what happened back then when the Bahamas, in Mr. Miller’s words, “made their adjustment” – their banking industry fled, much of it to Cayman. Almost instantly, they became poor, and we became rich.
Indeed, the recent history of Cayman has been a 50-year case study in just how wrong Mr. Miller’s “revolutionary” ideas are. Financial markets are very sensitive to third-world despots who employ language similar to what Mr. Miller used in the House. (His remarks, by the way, were televised.)
Many here may ask why anyone should take Mr. Miller’s allusions to “revolution” and “bloodshed” seriously. (“Oh, that’s just Ezzard being Ezzard,” they might say.)
But while we know Mr. Miller (and the fact that he was voted into office on the strength of 326 ballots), the international media do not. Reporters from the Associated Press, Financial Times and Wall Street Journal may, out of ignorance and objectivity, be inclined to treat Mr. Miller with the same regard they might bestow upon Sir Vassel Johnson or Premier Alden McLaughlin.
Mr. Miller’s irresponsible talk of revolution and bloodshed merits universal censure and condemnation.
It now becomes the duty of our leaders to make certain the rest of the world knows exactly how far from the mainstream Mr. Miller has strayed, and how out-of-touch his comments are with the reality prevailing in Cayman.
Mr. Miller often declares how much he loves Cayman. If this is love, what does hate look like?
Despite any fantasies Mr. Miller may have to the contrary, Cayman has become, and remains, a model of safety, security and stability for all who live, visit and invest here – independent of birth, nationality or immigration status.