Say what you want about Cayman’s tourism product, but the slumping product is merely a symptom of a deeper seated problem – stupidity.
This week’s ruling party of Stupidville? The immigration department.
Now I couldn’t possibly care less about a woman’s concert at the Lions Centre, but the fact that several performers were not allowed to perform because their permits were not issued is an utterly ridiculous notion.
How can Cayman possibly be expected to expand and broaden its reach in the regional tourism industry if it can’t even take care of business here at home? Is a one-time performer that much of a threat to Caymanian society that we have to burden promoters with the added annoyance and expense of a work permit for a performer visiting Cayman for a show that will last, at best, no more than a few hours?
The answer to both questions is “no.”
Cayman has big aspirations and small minds. We want to be the biggest and the best for the entire world, but we’re too ignorant to do that which is necessary to provide a little bit of entertainment to our own residents without bringing down the wrath of God in order to prove a point – which is precisely what the immigration department did at the Lions Centre.
It’s ridiculous. Sending officers to make sure performers don’t perform. You guys are idiots.
Let’s look at another scenario with a much greater potential impact on residents.
If you’re a tourist, show up at Andy’s Car Rental and rent a car. You’ll fill the forms out, pay for a temporary driver license and be out the door in ten minutes. You’ll have the car for your entire stay. You’ll drive in a land you may or may not be familiar with on the side of the road you may or may not be familiar with. You’ll be a much higher physical and emotional risk to more people on the Island than any performer will ever be, yet obtaining a license to drive a car for a week is easier, cheaper, and less cumbersome than obtaining a permit to sing on a stage for one night.
This has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve heard. It’s okay to rent a car, buy gas, possibly endanger others and add to congestion on the Island – but for God’s sake DON’T PERFORM for our residents even if part of the proceeds from the performance go toward supporting local charities or - heaven forbid - entertaining residents who don't have enough disposable income to leave the Island for holiday.
How about another scenario.
A doctor arrives on the Island as a tourist. He or she goes to the beach. Another beachgoer has a heart attack and the doctor performs CPR, while other beachgoers help get the man to the hospital. The doctor does not have a license to practice here in Cayman… do we arrest and fine the doctor for doing work for which he is trained while in Cayman?
“C’mon Rufus,” you say. “We’re not talking about saving lives here, we’re talking about entertainment.”
We’re talking about someone showing up to perform; a task that, dare I say, doesn’t even compare to any sort of “work” done by our make-believe doctor and more than likely won’t result in anyone dying.
The government and the boards, departments, individuals, etc… in charge of issuing permits to visiting performers are nothing more than a bunch of idiots dedicated to the process and not the result. A process that could be – and should be – no more or less difficult than obtaining a temporary driver license, but isn’t.
News flash to the immigration department: People arrive on this Island every day to “work” and they do not have work permits. Attorneys, accountants, fund mangers, home office consultants, etc… arrive daily and attend to business in George Town without work rights – where is the immigration department then?
Franz, my friend… you and the immigration department have got to pull your heads out of your arses. Fight the battles worth fighting. More important - fight the battles that need to be fought such as streamlining internal procedures, finding over-stayers and working with other departments to ensure we all have health insurance and pensions.
I mean for Pete’s sake Franz – it’s a freaking concert. These people aren’t coming here to launder money, or set-up shell corporations for some dubious off-shore financial scheme, or steal jobs from Caymanians… they’re coming here to sing a song.
Other jurisdictions are about to blow Cayman away as far as ease of access, variety of tourism product, environmental diversity, and price; and here we are worried that a few singers that no one has ever heard of are posing a threat to the cherished “Caymanian way of life.” Bravo Franz…bravo.
Until Cayman can see its own hand in front of its own face any vision it has for the future will remain cloaked in the shadow of its own myopic stupidity.