EDITORIAL – PM Theresa May: There’s a new lady in charge

From the Cayman Islands to the United Kingdom, we extend a hearty congratulations to new U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who emerged as head of the ruling Conservative Party following a frenzied — but brief — period of political maneuvering after the U.K.’s Brexit vote three weeks ago.

In news reports detailing her three-decade ascension from local councillor, to Member of Parliament, to U.K. Home Secretary and now to prime minister, Ms. May is consistently described using adjectives that are music to our ears: “tough,” “no-nonsense” even “Thatcher-esque.”

The last descriptor is, of course, an allusion to the U.K.’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, who for her strength in conviction and demeanor was dubbed (by the Soviets, no less) as the “Iron Lady.”

It’s not fair to expect Ms. May, the U.K.’s second female prime minister, to be Ms. Thatcher’s equal in that regard, but we are hopeful that Ms. May will remain true to her conservative political principles and — perhaps more importantly in the short term — will provide the calm, robust and decisive leadership the U.K. desperately needs following the departures and resignations of prominent elected officials in multiple parties.

As the U.K. starts to free itself from the entanglements of the European Union and sets out to chart its own course in the wider world, Prime Minister May will be judged according to the strength and steadiness she exhibits at the helm of our Mother Country’s government.

Leading a post-Brexit Britain will be no easy task — and, apparently, it seemed to be a too formidable one for several of Prime Minister May’s colleagues in Westminster, including former Prime Minister David Cameron and former London Mayor Boris Johnson.

But, knowing her background, her record while in office and her political beliefs, we trust that Prime Minister May is especially well-equipped to handle any adversarial situation and to rise to meet her moment in history.

On a different, but related topic closer to our home in the Caribbean, our jurisdiction has been graced with the presence of a new important official of our own — Auditor General Sue Winspear, who is the first woman to hold that position in Cayman.

Welcome to Cayman, Ms. Winspear.

We’re sure you’ll find our islands to be picturesque, our people to be welcoming and your job to be most interesting — but also, oftentimes thankless … particularly when you begin to receive critiques of your office’s work from local elected members and senior civil servants who may not appreciate their books being cracked open for public viewing.

In short, in order to be effective in her new job, Auditor General Winspear will need to channel qualities from Ms. May and Ms. Thatcher — see the above references to “tough” and “no-nonsense.” Her two most indispensable assets will be a calculator and spinal integrity.

Cayman has been fortunate to have had a series of diligent and dedicated auditors general, and the office is staffed with a group of extremely competent professionals.

Auditor General Winspear appears to have all the skills, experiences and qualifications necessary to perform this significant role. We wish her nothing but success, and we offer her our full support in her pursuit of transparency and accountability within Cayman’s public service.