December 1, 2020

The Editor Speaks: When a week is a year

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With a General Election a long way off – 14 months to go before nomination day even – it seems to me far to soon to write the United Democratic Party (UDP) and its leader, Hon. McKeeva Bush off. A week is like a year in politics! One good piece of news is all it takes and everything changes. The UDP is in the driving seat and they are in the best position to see it happens.

If the economy picks up in the USA and there are signs that it is happening (again!), we could feel the knock-on effect here. Tourists not only return but they spend money. Banks start to lend again and businesses start to spring up. Who gets the kudos even if it is undeserved? The government of the day. The UDP. And, at present, there is no effective opposition. Where is it? Does it even exist?

This doesn’t mean the opposition, the People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) is out of the picture. They have had to regroup under a new leader, Hon. Alden McLaughlin. A well educated man, an extremely nice man when you meet him in the street. Courteous. He has been around the political scene a long while. It was said he virtually ran the party under its former leader Kurt Tibbetts. Kurt was popular. He was one of US. By us I mean the people. We all liked Kurt. Even people who didn’t vote for him. He was and still is a nice person. Alden? He comes over as a bit ‘cold.’

Kurt was well as Joan would say – “Cuddly.” Like a “teddy bear”.

And Mr. Bush? Even with a similar physique one could never describe McKeeva as ‘cuddly.’ A bear? Yes. And very wily one. Mr. Bush has had his dark moments when he looked down and out but he has always rebounded back and become even stronger. He learns from his mistakes. He is also lucky and you do need luck to be a politician.

The majority opinion of the public at this moment is the present UDP Government is as popular as a root canal. They are not trusted and their proposals are looked at with much suspicion.

However, the PPM, are about as effective as a string of cotton trying to pull a bus – even an empty one! They say “no”. They are there to side with every anti government proposal group and ready to call and support a march. They have not publically come up with any alternative proposals of their own to help the economy. Even the lone voice of independent member, Ezzard Miller, is heard louder than their collective voice and the party seems to unite behind him. They do not seem to lead. They did, however, organise a ‘no confidence vote’ on Mr. Bush in the Legislative Assembly, a move that was doomed from the start, but perhaps they weren’t good at arithmetic. All it did was to show the outside world that perhaps the Cayman Islands is not a good place to invest!

People don’t seem to learn from history. Three years ago we had many independents running in the election and small groups of people running under a ‘name’. The same thing is being shouted loud and clear as I write this. How many blogs do you read saying a two party system is not good for Cayman? And what happened in 2009? Only one independent candidate won and he is a well known politician. He has even been a minister. I can boldly make this New Year’s Prediction: If lots of independent run and/or new national teams emerge, there can be only one winner – the UDP.

If people want to rid themselves of the present government they have to vote for the PPM. And if the PPM want to get your vote they have to provide some cohesive opposition with alternative proposals. Alden must lead. He should actually watch McKeeva and dare I say this – COPY – him? Yes. Whatever one might think of Mr. Bush he LEADS!!

2012 Heralds in a new beginning. It’s a new start. Nothing is lost until it really is. And there is still nearly 60 years to go before the next election. A week really is a year in politics.


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