iLocal News Archives

The Editor speaks: We had a wonderful merry and blessed Christmas

Colin WilsonWe had a wonderful merry and blessed Christmas [Joan and I]

We had tumultuous events happening around this time twelve months ago (it should certainly start a lot quieter in 2014).

We had a minority government in place when 2013 commenced after the United Democratic Party (UDP) were removed from office after the no confidence vote and the majority of their MLA’s leaving the ship.

We had the UDP leader and former premier, McKeeva Bush, charged with Anti Corruption Law offences, that had been downgraded from previous allegations of theft.

We had for the first time a lady premier, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who had been Deputy Premier, and now leader of the newly formed People’s National Alliance.

We had the Alliance doing badly in the May elections with O’Connor-Connolly being the only member re-elected.

We had her then joining the new ruling party The Progressives (PPM) and became Speaker of the House.

We had the leader of the PPM, Alden McLaughlin, becoming premier with Moses Kirconnell deputy premier.

We had a first lady governor of the Cayman Islands with the arrival of Helen Kilpatrick, who was a former director and acting permanent secretary in the United Kingdom’s Home Office.

We had our own form of Big Brother watching over and spying on us when it was revealed government had instructed the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) “to provide drafting instructions for a new set of regulations under the ICTA Law which will mandate the provision by licensees of legal interception facilities to the RCIPS (Royal Cayman Islands Police Service)”.

We had three prisoners escape from Northward just after the arrival of a new prison director who was going to make drastic changes for the better after a damaging report from a UK Prison Inspectorate.

We had all three prisoners recaptured, albeit one being on the run for nearly three months.

We had a challenge to the election of Tara Rivers, the West Bay and Minister of Education.

We had the Chief Justice, Anthony Smellie, rule in favour of Ms Rivers that stipulated his decision was final and could not be challenged.

We had his decision challenged.

We had the challenge dismissed without being heard by the Appeal Court.

We had part of the West Bay Road closed despite former MLA’s saying they would have it reopened if they got re-elected.

We had them re-elected but the part of the West Bay Road is still closed although an appeal to it being closed was brought by three ladies of West Bay and was heard by a judge who has yet to give his decision.

We had Dart Cayman build us an excellent extension to the Esterley Tibbetts Highway that has speeded up the traffic into and from West Bay in exchange for the road closure and other land swaps. These include the rebuilding of the old Mariott Courtyard Hotel and improving the recreational facilities to the Public Beach making it a safer place for children to play.

We had demonstrations against Dart Cayman doing this. (All because of the 4,000 feet of West Bay Road being part of the land swaps.)

We had government sign the USA and the UK’s versions of FATCA – the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – that gives US and UK automatic exchange of financial information so citizens of both countries can’t hide their wealth and avoid paying their rightful taxes.

We had the inaugural Under-15 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) tournament staged here in August with our own Cayman team almost making it to the semi-finals with just one loss. One of our players, Leighton Thomas Jr. was the tournament’s top goal scorer (11 goals).

We had sadly an escalating crime wave with armed robberies carrying on almost ad nauseam that included three within 24 hours last October.

We had two armed robberies at the same place, Welly’s Cool Spot at the beginning and the end of December.

We had another armed robbery at a George Town bar only yesterday (29) that included three of the customers there also being robbed.

We had the police doing a crackdown on drivers for 181 (to date) traffic violations over the Christmas period that has been extended into the New Year. 32 of the 181 violations were for driving under the influence of alcohol. Others included failing to wear seat belts.

We had the armed robbers smiling at this use of the police time. (Now if the police had been actually waiting outside the bars …..)

We had me wondering what has happened to the behaviour of the drivers who passed my almost 80 year old wife and publisher of iNews Cayman, Joan Wilson, without stopping to assist her? She had fallen onto the pavement outside KFC on the West Bay Road and was on her hands and knees struggling to get up. It took a very kind young woman who had driven into the KFC parking lot to come to her aid and help her up. Even now a week later she is still suffering from a swollen ankle, bruises on both legs, feet and even between her toes plus chest pains.

We had me thanking God she did not break any bones.

However, we HAVE both of us wishing all our readers and your families and friends a very happy and prosperous New Year.


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