December 3, 2020

The Editor Speaks: McLean is now outraged and Miller calls time

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Colin WilsonwebOur two Independent Members of the Legislative Assembly, Arden McLean from East End and Ezzard Miller from North Side are still not happy.

After their annoyance with the Progressives (PPM) government and in particular the Premier, Alden McLaughlin, for inviting Coalition for Cayman (C4C) member Tara Rivers to the cabinet and appointing ex-premier, McKeeva Bush, to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), they refused to be nominated to serve on that committee. They both said they had been nominated once before and been rejected. Their pride had been hurt and that was that.

Even during a debate that was supposed to have been on the four appropriation bills tabled by Finance Minister Marco Archer, McLean was still “outraged”.

He said McLaughlin was using the parliamentary forum to put the blame on the opposition when it had been the government that started ‘games’ after the election. The premier had rejected his efforts to try and ensure the United Democratic Party could never rise again and Bush should have been “cast out into the political wilderness.”

McLaughlin, even though he said he would “continue with the principle of the out-stretched hand to colleagues”, made the mistake of implying McLean was being ‘selfish’. He accused the independent members of sitting on talk shows and slagging government but not doing anything.

McLean was clearly outraged.

“Selfishness? He doesn’t understand the meaning of the word,” he thundered “You accuse me of something that didn’t happen and when you say I am selfish, you can’t expect me to sit back as though someone sutured my tongue to top of my mouth!”

“I spent over ten years with him as a member of a party. You’d think he would pick up the phone and call,” he added still referring to the (PAC) appointments and McLaughlin having ignored him.

It is obvious to everyone that there is now a deep rift between the premier and McLean. In a previous PPM government McLean had been a minister in charge of roads and in my opinion the best Minister of Communications, Works and Infrastructure we had ever had. If you travel all points of the compass on Grand Cayman there is still evidence of that. One of the founding members of the PPM he could even have become their leader but lost to McLaughlin fairly easily. I was very sorrowful when he left the party citing he didn’t think the leader was strong enough to stand up to Bush.

“I am not here to cow-tow to anybody,” he retorted to McLaughlin.

Miller, a stickler now for parliamentary procedures since being on the backbench, was quick to point out that the appropriation bills did not meet the constitutional requirement of 21 days notice. He, too, took a dig at McLaughlin saying how the new premier had joined him many times complaining about the same thing when he was in opposition. He said he did not want the new government to go down the same road the UDP government had driven during their tenure in office.

Because these bills were unconstitutional he was reluctant to take part in the clearing up exercise.

McLaughlin answered this saying he had tried very hard to comply with the rules but it had been impossible for the finance staff to have prepared the bills any quicker. Even though he had not met the 21 day notice period all members of the Legislative Assembly had had the bills for a week. “This is considerably longer than you had enjoyed during the UDP administration for most of their proposed legislation,” he said. “I believe in order, principle and procedure and we will do everything to operate within the rules but we are asking for indulgence on this occasion because of the situation.”

So if we were expecting and praying for a house that would be largely unified and all about getting on with the country’s business free from childish and pointless bickering sadly this does not seem to be the case.

I am ashamed to have to say the debate on the appropriation bills took second place to what appeared to be personal grudges.

And this has happened so soon.

God help us all.

 

 

 

 

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