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November 02, 2007


MB Ebanks

Gordon Barlow’s weekly “column” in is a misnomer. It is not actually a journalistic column; there is no proper research or investigation or analysis of facts to support the commentary. Instead, it is a public outlet for his personal rhetoric, under the guise of journalism.

And so, Barlow writes in his 'column' of 1 August 2008 that appointing a Caymanian as head of the Monetary Authority is a retrograde move, more specifically because the Caymanian has replaced an expatriate for the post. Barlow asserts that the Caymanian is not as qualified for the position and openly suggests that the appointment was another corrupt political move because the new chairman is also related to government minister, Hon. Alden McLaughlin.

This writing has been, by far, the most revealing example of Mr. Barlow’s racist views.

Being Caymanian is not a prerequisite or qualification for any position, but Mr. Barlow goes too far to suggest that being Caymanian should be viewed as a ‘handicap’ of some kind. To suggest that being Caymanian relegates a person to being inferior is highly disrespectful and totally out of order!

While attempting to sound intellectual or appear legitimate in his writing, Mr. Barlow is either unable to or unwilling to undertake any meaningful research on a matter before offering public comment.

Fact: the Monetary Authority has existed and performed very well for the past 11 years, including through more difficult times than now, before Mr. Tim Ridley was its chairman.

Fact: the longest serving chairman of the Monetary Authority have been Caymanians. Hon. George McCarthy; Hon. Thomas Jefferson. Michael Austin was succeeded by Mr. Ridley, who did a good job. However, it is a nonsense to state that Caymanians are not up to the task and the success of the previous Caymanian chairmen has proven that beyond any doubt. Mr. Ridley himself gained much of his knowledge under the guidance of his Caymanian predecessors, especially the Hon. George McCarthy.

Fact: Cayman’s main competitors in the offshore financial world, namely Bermuda, Jersey, BVI, Bahamas, Isle of Man – appoint their own people as chairman of the regulatory authorities.

Caymanians are just as capable of leading our regulatory authority and have proven that already.

Fact: Cayman’s small population means that most people are related, directly or indirectly. Logically, many high-level government officials and public servants are related, including MLAs in the two opposing political parties. There is no sinister or corrupt motive here; it is just the nature of things given our small population. However, the new chairman is legitimately qualified and experienced for the post.

Fact: ‘Racism’ is prejudice or discrimination based on the belief that race is the primary factor to determine human traits and abilities. Racism includes the belief that genetic or inherited differences produce the inherent superiority or inferiority of one race over another. In this case, Barlow asserts other, presumably whites, are superior to Caymanians, who are mostly black.

Fact: Caymanians are a proud, talented people, hard-working God-fearing and honest. From such a tiny pool of 17,000 people, we Caymanians have accomplished as much as or more than nations 5 times our size. We excel academically, in business, sports and the arts, on an international scale. We are Olympians, engineers, master mariners, models and acclaimed film producers, marine biologists, professional athletes and pathologists. We are trained and educated at ivy-league universities everywhere the world.

It is ironic that Mr. Barlow enjoyed Cayman so much that he decided he preferred to live here - rather than his birthplace, or any other spot on Earth.

More ironically, Mr. Barlow’s perceived credibility comes from his previous appointment to the Human Rights Committee in 2005 by the Hon. Alden McLaughlin - one of the same Caymanians whom Barlow now criticizes for cronyism, hypocrisy and small-mindedness. However, it now seems that Mr. Barlow is hardly a ringing endorsement for that Minister’s judgment of character.

Barlow’s brief tenure on the HRC was an unmitigated disaster. Insiders say that Barlow used his position as member of the HRC to gain public attention for himself, by making sensational and false accusations against the HRC. Barlow then got a weekly “column” in a newspaper, as a supposed human rights pundit. However, Barlow has no qualifications and is quite unsuited for such a role, as he has no experience or education working in human rights, and therefore tends to be an agitator in order to get attention.

Further, in 2001, the Net News published a series of editorials and articles taking Gordon Barlow to task for the very same misguided, anti-Caymanian rhetoric that it now publishes in its newspaper.

However, Mr. Barlow is obviously no more enlightened now than when he publicly compared Cayman to Nazi Germany in 2001 for not allowing expatriates to vote in general elections.

Mr. Barlow needs to undergo racial sensitivity training to address his deep-seeded dislike of Caymanians. In the meantime, a genuine apology should be issued to the people of Cayman, who welcomed him here and have given him numerous chances to become a productive member of their society. Even now, when given a public platform, the newspaper space is not used constructively to give balanced or informed commentary on social issues; instead, Barlow again offers nothing except unhelpful, racist ranting.

However, Mr. Barlow and any others who share your racist views against Caymanians should consider themselves on notice - we are not going to tolerate your disrespectful, racist attacks against Caymanians any longer. You are out of order and we have had quite enough abuse from you.

Its high time you caught a flight!

I'm sure there more than enough social ills and problems that you can bitch about in your native Australia is there not?

Perhaps they will be more receptive to your unsolicited advice - but we do not want to hear anymore of your claptrap!


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