Ezzard Miller: In his own words

The first casualty of North Side MLA Ezzard Miller’s oratorical “revolution” is Mr. Miller’s reputation as a credible leader in the Cayman Islands.

The counteroffensive to Mr. Miller’s initial salvo has been overwhelming, arriving in the form of near-universal condemnation by Cayman’s political and business establishment of his remarks, which referenced “bloodshed” if Cayman immigration policies are not changed to the further benefit of Caymanians.

Now on the defensive, Mr. Miller rushed to the friendly confines of talk radio, where he attempted to deploy the oldest and most predictable strategy in the playbook of any politician who suddenly finds himself entrapped in his own words or behavior: deflect, deny and obfuscate.

That must not be allowed to happen. Mr. Miller has claimed that the Compass’s reporting was inaccurate and took his quotes out of context. That direction offers no avenue of escape for Mr. Miller. We have double-checked the audio of Mr. Miller’s speech in the Legislative Assembly, confirming the accuracy of our original reporting.

For the record, here’s exactly what Mr. Miller said:

“Madam Speaker, I’ve said on the floor of this assembly several times, revolutions are not caused in countries by poor disadvantaged people. They are the people that are used. It is them kind of unemployed, education people that are going to cause the revolution in this country. We have two options being presented to us on a daily basis throughout this country. People are asking for a Martin Luther King to come out and get us a part of the pie that we used to have, get it back for us.

“There are others who are asking with a Malcolm X attitude. ‘We want a part, we must have a part and if we can’t get a part we’re going to destroy it.’ The latter is becoming far more popular than the former because the young people, the families they have tried everything in the former of trying to negotiate to be a part of.”

“One commodity in a capitalist market, free society, that has no value is qualified Caymanian labor. Why? Because we allow the route of the work permits.”

“We need to do something about it urgently. I believe one way of doing that is allowing them to be able to see what’s available.”

“I going to probably be in front with them in leading the revolution. They’re not going to be leading it against me, I going to be with them. Because it has to come. Madam Speaker, 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. We had an opportunity in December when we passed the new business licensing law. Never changed nothing.”

“If we don’t do it soon, we not going to do it without bloodshed. Because people are getting fed up.”

In regard to the broader context of Mr. Miller’s remarks, that is entirely irrelevant. Why Mr. Miller said what he did is a separate matter from what he actually said. Suggesting amendments to immigration policy to promote the employment of Caymanians (something the Editorial Board of the Compass might agree with) is a far cry from his remarks warning of possible “revolution” and “bloodshed.”

On yesterday’s Rooster talk radio show, Mr. Miller issued another chilling statement:

“All I have to say to the Compass and the Editor is that they have been warned.”

Mr. Miller has yet to repudiate, disavow or apologize for his reckless remarks on the floor of the House. It now falls to more responsible voices in the Cayman Islands to do so – if not on his behalf, then on behalf of the good reputation of the Cayman Islands.


  1. Sometimes in these days I wish I had somewhere to escape to from Cayman, because unless sensible Caymanians are prepared to approach what is going on in this country, everything is just a cause to shake your head in disgust. The people of Cayman from the days of Christopher Columbus discovery, relinquished all rights they had, to the outside man, some even never wanted to be free from slavery. My thoughts are, after living here most of my life, is that the fight has been over from the day we wanted to live like the Joneses. So are we so totally blind, and both deaf and dumb not to realize that we have no fight in anything anymore. Live and let live because nothing is going to be achieved, it is done too late.

  2. Well, mr Editor, I have a little more sympathy with Mr Miller than I had when I read your last comment on this subject
    Yes, he has been rather stupid in his use of words, which are emotive to say the least.
    Nevertheless, your original report seemed to suggest that he was foretelling bloodshed and revolution. Seen in the context of the whole statement, it is far less than that, and is simply stupid choice of words. Your excited and overstated comment is what would cause outside concern.
    So the message to him is, get real and don’t use these inflammatory words, and to you, be careful how you report them!

  3. Cayman’s political and business establishment (they essentially are one in the same) leaves a lot to be desired so their opinion on this matter is of little value to most Caymanians. What is more important are the views and opinions of Caymanians themselves.

    At the end of the day what can’t be denied and what many people within the political and business establishment refuse to admit is that there is widespread discrimination against Caymanians and that even the most qualified of Caymanians are being denied a chance to earn a living by the same political and business establishment that are now outraged at what Mr. Miller is saying.

  4. I have commented previously about the problems at the lower end of the job market.

    What about higher paid jobs? Are Caymanians, young or old, truly excluded from good paying jobs in favor of foreigners?

    And if so then why?

    Common sense would dictate that if a business could find, for example, an experienced accountant locally for, say, $30 per hour, they would not want to pay a foreigner the same $30 per hour plus work permit fees of perhaps an extra $10 per hour.

    Unless that accountant was already in the job perhaps and familiar with the bookkeeping system used. Or perhaps was willing to work many hours of unpaid overtime.

    Or perhaps that job required a special skill set. For example fluency in Chinese to enable interaction with the customers of that business.

    Caymanians used to work on the high seas around the world competing successfully with other nationals for that job.

    Why then should they have a problem competing with other nationals in their own country?

  5. I usually don’t have Ezzards back but in this I this he just put his foot in his mouth and everyone does that every now and then so I don’t think anything other that that about what Ezzard said. When you have a big mouth you foot will surely end up in it on the regular.

    As for a revolution with bloodshed, unfortunately if something like that was to kick off it would be mostly Caymanian blood that’s shed in the end and nothing will have been accomplished accept UK Direct Rule or Martial Law

    One other question: I may have the wrong information but what was the population of Cayman when it was discovered by Christopher Columbus ? And were they forced into slavery or brought to Cayman as slaves?

  6. Just looking at the two most recent stories involving northside, things might fall into place…

    In Mr Millers constituency it takes a mere 294 voters to elect him at present (586 registered voters).

    (I wonder what Mr Millers LA salary is, when divided by the number of constituents?)

    His last ”opposition” was of course Joey Ebanks, leaving his election a ”fait accompli”

    Clearly if the two constituencies were merged, then yes Mr Miller could be considering the issues of Caymanian unemployment, from a first person perspective in 2017…

    Might give the story some context…

  7. Mr. Boland — can you please provide some specific examples of what you say can’t be denied, which is that Caymanians are being discriminated against and even qualified Caymanians are denied a chance to earn a living? You make statements like this as if they are fact, but my own experience tells me that they are not true.

    Mr. Linton makes the very obvious point as to why your discrimination argument doesn’t make sense. Companies actually save money by employing Caymanians. Work permits are not cheap, and assuming the quality of work between a qualified Caymanian and a qualified Expat are the same, businesses would always prefer to hire the Caymanian to save money. they are businesses — they are all about making money, and that matters above all else to them. they are not going to pay $10,000 or more for a work permit just because they want to discriminate against Caymanians.

    Of course, the key assumption in what I say above is that the quality of work between a qualified Caymanian and a qualified Expat are the same. I personally know many Caymanians who are hard workers who do an excellent job at what they do. But by the same token, I know some Caymanians who are not as diligent and not as hard working in performing their jobs. Of course, that’s true of Expats as well — I know plenty of Expats who are not good employees and who don’t work as hard as some of their Caymanian counterparts.

    All things being equal, an employer should hire a Caymanian (and they should want to, as it saves them money), but all things are not always equal, and if they feel there are no qualified Caymanians and they want to hire an Expat, they have to pay the work permit fees to hire them. Again, that’s a business decision, not discrimination.

  8. Many persons may not know much of the Cayman History, however I can only give it the same way I got it from my ancestors, some who lived well over a hundred years. I was told that when Christopher Columbus discovered Cayman, there were Arawak Indians here. There were evidence of things they left behind. These Indians came from Central America Honduras. They came especially only to fish and turtle and only stayed for a short while before leaving. These people were in no position to construct buildings, so they got their catch and would leave and return doing same until Christopher Columbus arrived and they never came back. So really and truly if these men had stayed they would have been the persons to claim right to the Cayman Islands.
    We may believe what we choose about the first structure Pedro St James Castle and many forts throughout the Islands; however to those persons who did not have the opportunity see the original ruins in late 50”s and 60”s they would not say that the work was English Construction. It very well resembled Spanish designed constructions as seen through out the Eastern and Western Caribbean. African slaves broke and carried rocks to built these castles and Forts under the supervision of the Spaniards and English. The Spaniards eventually left after the English staked claim. The slaves that were in Cayman Islands were brought here by the English as their house slaves. Who was first here and who staked a claim I believe is irrelevant now because as I see it everybody wants to claim. I do not understand why I am not reading all the nonsense like what is taking place here in other news papers. I have lived in many countries, but I have never one day yet written in any of their news papers or got on their talk shows to disrespect the people. I accepted that I was a foreigner in their country, I respected and obeyed their laws and rules. I never one day told the Immigration that I was not going home when my time was up. I left and came back. Not all person who come here are alike, however my concern is that bad habits should be left at their port of embarkation we have enough of our own to deal with.

  9. @Steven White:

    I do appreciate your feedback.

    What Mr. Linton does not understand is that this has nothing to do with companies wanting to save money and everything to do with providing work for friends, family, and fellow countrymen. The money that would be saved by using Caymanian workers is (for many) a small price to pay for these companies to be able to help out their friends.

    I am happy to hear that you have no knowledge of any discrimination against locals and I truly wish that I could say the same. I can’t speak more specifically about some of these issues because I don’t want the innocent Caymanians involved to be further marginalized but if the people in authority would just take the information that I have provided and do there own investigation they would be able to confirm that what I am saying is correct.

    Take for example a company that hires an expat on the basis that the expat will only be in the company for one or two years max as there is a qualified Caymanian that just needs some time to gain company specific knowledge in order to take on an available position. If that same company then is responsible for securing a 20 year mortgage for that same expat worker that will (according to them) only be here for a maximum of two years that should be a red flag for the Immigration Department.

    Did you see the article yesterday where our leader indicated that he is aware that the business staffing plans are not working? There is a reason for this. It is because the local business community (and our elected MLAs) don”t want them to work and have no interest in the upward mobility of Caymanians.