READ OUT LOUD!
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The People vs the PPM
The Premier Alden McLaughlin and the PPM has proven skillful at doing nothing to change the political and socio-economic status quo that fundamentally puts the poor Caymanian family and young people in this country at a severe disadvantage.
His politics is one that enriches wealthy expat professionals and big business, while ignoring the poor and disenfranchised Caymanian people. His Unity Government has displayed a disheartening inability to provide economic programs and services to Cayman’s poor and neediest families. Further, they have shown an appalling lack of compassion and empathy towards their fellow Caymanians.
Like a spider spinning its web, for seven years the PPM has spun a web of broken promises, propaganda and failed policies to suck Caymanians in a vicious cycle of economic disenfranchisement and dependency. Caught in this web of deception and broken promises are young Caymanians, who have lost interest in politics and the future. The silent majority, including civil servants and private sector workers, who can’t speak out because of the threat of losing their jobs, and retirees who can’t survive on their pensions, live each day in despair for their futures. For unemployed Caymanians, the road ahead is even more horrific.
Yet there is no grand vision, and no compressive plan that points to a commitment from the Premier and his government to shift the balance of economic and social power, to create a more equitable Cayman and to provide opportunities that will give young people something to aspire to, and something to work for.
Can a country effectively develop without a vision and a plan? That is exactly what this government has been doing. After seven years of governance, the PPM has failed to produce a national plan that regulates our growth and development. The PPM seems to be inspired by Lewis Carroll’s book “Alice in Wonderland”, in which he wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there”.
Instead of a strategic Nation-building Plan, what do we get from the Premier? We get an announcement (October 4, 2020) that he is appointing the Finance Minister Roy McTaggart to succeed him as premier. Why were the Deputy Premier and other senior PPM members bypassed for this appointment? This appointment appears to be nothing more than a “caretaker appointing” designed to satisfy the status quo until the premier can legally return to the post. While the premier maneuvers to keep his hand on the levers of power behind the scenes, every Caymanian voter must ask himself/herself the question: In seven years, what has the PPM government specifically delivered to better the lives of poor and suffering Caymanians?
Voters now have an opportunity to assess the PPM’s record over the past seven years and make a better choice for their future and that of their children in May 2021. I further argue that Cayman voters must consider the issues and evidence of the PPM’s actions and inactions in the context of international convention, that places responsibility on the government to protect the people and their property. As well as government’s responsibilities under the Cayman Islands Constitution and related laws.
I respectfully submit that this government has failed the people on so many counts that it is tantamount to a dereliction of duty.
In two terms PPM have failed to:
- Propose a viable and affordable plan to construct a new cruise and cargo port
- Provide full employment for Caymanians
- Provide a first-class education and technical training for Caymanians
- Reduce regulations and red tape for small businesses
- Lower the cost of living and improve the quality of life for Caymanians
- Reform the health insurance market
- Appoint District Advisory Councils
- Provide adequate affordable housing
During a global pandemic when the people are focus on their health and just staying alive; the PPM and its Unity government are engaged in questionable behavior. For example, the Premier and the Unity government refusal to hold the Speaker of the House accountable after he was convicted of egregious assault against a woman. How can we expect our young men to respect women when our politicians can abuse women and get away with it? Drunken politicians engaged in the abuse of women, who not held accountable, undermines our democratic institutions, as well as our parliamentary standards and values.
They have shown a severe lack of moral character to lead the country and to set an example for those that would follow in their political footsteps. We are reminded, politicians are not above the law.
We know about the enormous increase in benefits that the PPM Unity government gave to MPs. What else have they done while the people are fighting the pandemic? One day they improve their parliamentary status by awarding themselves title of MPs, the next day they “raided the treasury” and awarded themselves an enormous increase in financial benefits. The world is watching as the PPM drag the Cayman Islands reputation through the mud. The Premier has shown that he more interested in retaining his own position at the head of this government, rather than doing what’s in the interest of good governance and the people. It is time for the people to condemn the PPM Unity government and remove them from office in the next elections.
It is time for the people to step up to the plate and help themselves by voting for a different kind of political party. I suggest one based on participatory democracy. In this type of party politics, the people oversee the political process not the politicians.
Finally, I submit that the PPM government does not merit a third term. Cayman deserves better than more of the same from the PPM Unity government. The people must find the PPM government guilty of dereliction of duty under our constitution and unfit to govern and remove them from office in May 2021 elections. I rest my case.
Gilbert Connolly EMBA
Gilbert is a retired Cayman Islands senior civil servant.
The views, opinions and thoughts expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or thoughts of any organization, group or individual.