December 7, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Government must act to stop a Port Berthing Referendum

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I can only say the government have themselves to blame for the referendum petition that is circulating by the ‘increasing’ number of opponents to the new cruise ship berthing facility.

I say ‘increasing’ because this would seem to be the case as most of Cayman’s media has been saying.

With the opposition, who had been quiet on the proposals, now coming out against the cruise piers in George Town harbour, mainly because they have been kept in the dark, the government did nothing to appease them.

They first floated the idea of a referendum but Speaker of the House, McKeeva Bush would not agree to have it tabled.

It is no good Minister of Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell, saying government have been transparent. Over the last four months they have not.

We know nothing about how the tendering process is advancing, as no tender documents, plans or redesigns have been published and the talks appear to be continuing behind closed doors.

There are now unconfirmed reports that the notorious, and blacklisted by The World Bank, China Harbour Engineering Company, are now back in the running as one of the last three remaining bidders.

The silence on what is going on is deafening but it is nothing to what will happen if the government continues with this. There will be an almighty explosion and the Government will have a referendum around their necks or even worse, marches by angry people the likes of this country has not seen.

There are enough ‘hot heads’ already stirring up the discontent and with the backing of some of the media outlets. With only one side talking at the moment the opponents of the cruise ship berthing plans are having a media field day.

It’s all very well telling us that the negotiations are delicate and there is a need for silence, we want to know why.

We also want it spelt out why we have to have the cruise ship berthing facility as proposed. Yes, it has been done before, but it was so long ago, even I have forgotten.

There is no doubt in my mind if we lose the cruise ship business it will be damning for our tourism industry with its many off shoots.

There is also no doubt in my mind that the dangers to our financial industry executed by the United Kingdom has not gone away. Most of the UK’s Members of Parliament couldn’t care less about their overseas territories (OT’s) and would be pleased to see the back of them.

Being in favour of the OT’s will not win them any votes.

So, if we lose a large part of our financial industry together with the cruise ships, we will be in serious trouble.

I am against a cruise ship referendum, because it could turn out like Brexit. Fake news even with nothing to back it up, is still news that is believed.

Stop the silence now Government!!!

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