Bush's tirade condemned
(CNS): The opposition leader described the premier’s attack on the governor as a “wicked attempt at distraction” from the three police investigations surrounding him, which he has failed to explain to the people of the Cayman Islands. Members of the opposition and the independent member were quick to condemn the attack by Premier McKeeva Bush on Governor Duncan Taylor and called on the country’s leader to explain the infamous Stan Thomas letter as well as his involvement in the dynamite shipment. Alden McLaughlin said that raising the issue of independence and the relationship with the UK was merely a “red herring” raised in an effort to change the public discussion about the premier and the police probes.
Following a statement released by the premier on Friday evening, in which he launched an attack on Duncan Taylor and took his conspiracy theories to a new level, the opposition warned that Bush was setting the Cayman Islands up for a repeat of what happened in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“Mr Bush as Premier should not risk the long-established and mutually beneficially relationship that Cayman and the UK have enjoyed by his unwarranted accusations and attack on the UK's representative,” Ezzard Miller and Arden Mclean warned in a joint statement. “We are extremely concerned that Mr Bush's approach draws eerie similarities to what happened in the Turks & Caicos Islands, which led to the suspension of their constitution, the removal of their elected government and multiple persons being charged with corruption and other abuses of power.”
McLaughlin said Bush must explain the Stan Thomas letter and detail the service provided to Thomas whilst he was leader of government business and what his involvement was in the recent shipment of unlicensed explosives. Condemning the outrageous comments Bush made about the governor, the opposition leader said the premier had to step aside and cooperate with the investigations until they were concluded one way or another.
“I deplore the disgraceful and vindictive attack on the governor,” he said. “It is a truly wicked attempt at distraction and to create a red herring by raising the issue of independence by questioning if the UK is serving us well. He is seeking to distract the focus of public discussion rather than doing what he ought to do, which is to explain the Stan Thomas letter.”
McLaughlin repeated his position that it was untenable for the premier to remain in office given the circumstances as he was attracting further negative international media attention with his comments, risking the reputation of the Cayman Islands.
Miller and McLean agreed and said Bush’s statement was a misguided attempt to deflect attention from the position he was in as the subject of three police investigations.
“It is not Mr Taylor's signature that is on a demand letter to Stan Thomas. It is Mr Bush's. It is not Mr Taylor who is allegedly caught up in an illegal attempt to import explosives into the Cayman Islands. It is Mr Bush,” they said.
“The difficulties that Mr Bush finds himself in cannot be overcome by attempting to pit the Caymanian people against the UK's representative. The solution can only be achieved if Mr Bush would proffer explanations and evidence that are satisfactory to the police so that the investigations can be concluded.”
Despite the pressure on Bush to step aside until the investigations concluded, he has refused to do so and described the investigations as baseless and a conspiracy between the governor, the police commissioner and FCO bureaucrats. In his extraordinary statement on Friday, Bush accused the governor of doing nothing to help the Cayman Islands and “stealthily and insidiously” undermining his attempts to improve the local economy.
Once again Bush failed to illuminate the people about the letter he sent to Thomas demanding $350,000 for a service which remains unexplained and denied importing dynamite.
“I have not done anything illegal to cause a probe into what is termed financial irregularities and I have not imported or caused to be imported any explosive material,” the premier stated Friday.
As Bush’s political colleagues in the UDP continue to stand behind their leader and support his continuation in office, the proposed lack of confidence motion filed by the opposition is doomed to failure even if it reaches the floor of the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, when legislators meet for the first time since Police Commissioner David Baines revealed that the premier was the subject of three different police investigations.
The opposition is holding a public meeting this evening in Savannah in an effort to encourage people on to the streets outside the parliament on Wednesday to increase the pressure on Bush to step aside.
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