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The Editor Speaks: Sorry. We all make mistakes

To admit you made a mistake and to say ‘sorry’ is actually a very hard thing to do.

When you are the premier of a country and to have do this it is even harder.

People in power who make a mistake seldom admit it. They have the power, or so they think, to say “The Hell with it!”

Some even believe it is a sign of weakness to say ‘sorry, I was wrong’.

Therefore, it is very wrong, I believe, to put Premier Alden McLaughlin in the stocks and throw rotten tomatoes, cabbages, etc. at him.

Yes, McLaughlin, should have known better and I was one of many who were very surprised at what he said on the Rooster Radio Talk Show ‘Crosstalk’ when he was asked by the host Woody Da Costa to comment on what an investigating police officer has said on oath during an ongoing trial. And not just any trial – The Hassan Syed case.

It is an absolute ‘No’ ‘No’ to comment on a case in progress. It is OK to report the facts but to make comments that may prejudice the events is asking for big trouble. Whilst McLaughlin has taken much of the big stick the man who caused the whole thing has largely got off Scott free from the verbal tirade on social media. Da Costa is now an experienced media personality and must have known he was taking a huge chance and dancing on hot coals by even asking the questions to McLaughlin.

I once got a warning for calling a criminal in one of my Editorials a ‘scum bag’ when he was on trial and my Editorial was read out in Court by the lawyer defending him. My offence was very minor compared to McLaughlin’s that resulted in a Gag Order being sent round to all of Cayman’s Media. Not only couldn’t we report anything that McLaughlin said on the Radio we couldn’t mention that a Gag order had been served on us.

After the Syed case reached its conclusion and he was found ‘Guilty’ on all 12 charges the Gag Order was lifted and the trial judge, Justice Phillip St John-Stevens, ordered a special contempt hearing.

Rooster Radio Station that belongs to Hurley’s Entertainment had their Crosstalk host Da Costa and Owner Randy Merren in the Court to hear the scolding from the judge. McLaughlin was not there as he was in Legislative Assembly having another hard time but was represented by his lawyer who said his client “apologised unreservedly” and his comments were “ill judged”. The excuse he gave was “he had become the story” in the middle of a “virulent election campaign”, and felt he had to defend himself.

McLaughlin’s comments certainly were “ill judged” as it took three days before the case could continue. It was very fortunate none of the jurors knew anything about the Rooster Show, the comments, either at the time or afterwards.

However, I’m sure this will be raised again by Syed’s lawyers in an Appeal. McLaughlin is a lawyer himself and this whole affair has made it even more surprising he took the bait.

The pressure of being the premier of a country with an election right around the corner, previous party members turning their coats, nonsense of unidentified persons following LA members around in order to find “dirt” on them becoming a matter of National Importance and involving the hard working officers from the RCIPS, all clouded the premier’s judgement.

It can happen to all of us when under great pressure.

McLaughlin has apologised, said ‘sorry’ and that should be enough. We all make mistakes.


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