Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rolling Over (Cayman's expats)

How intriguing it is, that some of our not-in-power politicians have declared that the Rollover Policy has “served its purpose” and can be put back on the shelf for a while. What purpose did it serve, exactly? Well, it was a successful ethnic-cleansing exercise, that’s for sure.

A couple of thousand domestic servants and labourers were sent back to Jamaica despite having established domicile in Cayman. Some domiciled immigrants from other countries were also deported to their original homes - even some white people. Yes! Their removals provided handy cover for getting rid of lots of unskilled and unmoneyed black Jamaicans. Anti-Jamaican sentiment is the driving force behind most of our immigration “reforms”, isn’t it?

Most ethnic-cleansing exercises replace settled immigrants with newcomers, often transient migrants. Was that part of the purpose of Cayman’s Rollover? Presumably so. Quiet, law-abiding individuals and families with years or decades of residence in their established homes were replaced by persons of unknown quality. Most of the latter were good people too, but not all.

Immigration is always a risk. Every village and town in the world of our size can confirm Cayman’s experience with newcomers. The sensible thing to do with them is to encourage them to settle - to put down roots and think of themselves as belongers. The worst thing a host community can do is erect barriers to integration - to keep reminding them how unsuitable they are to hold any stake in the community’s future. “This is NOT your home, you bastards. Don’t even think about it.”

Presumably, the PPM Team is hoping that its Party’s anti-immigrant reputation will be forgotten by immigrant voters in the next elections. And maybe it will be - who knows? Somebody posted on the CNS website the other week, “A lepper [sic] doesn’t change his spots.” But there is a first time for everything. Maybe the PPM “lepper” can indeed change its spots. We shall see.

Its leaders have a wonderful chance to improve its image among immigrants (if they want to) by taking a stand in favour of the latest United Nations human-rights Convention. The ILO Convention on Domestic Workers was adopted on 16th June (two weeks ago), and of course it has great relevance for Cayman. Its contents are the stuff of nightmares for householders who exploit their migrant helpers - and for the politicians who support that exploitation.

The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation (Article 3) - BOO! Fair terms of employment (Article 6) - COMMUNISM! No exemption from overtime rules (Article 10) - HOWL! The same protection as other workers (Article 14) - SAVE US, JESUS!

Mind you, our authorities take no notice of any other human-rights Conventions, so why should this one be favoured? Our new Human Rights Commission is already too cowed by the politicians to even bring this new Convention to the public’s notice. Good God! How pathetic is that?

However, hypocrisy is the backbone of our local politics. Will somebody from the new-image PPM cross fingers behind his back and say something positive about the new Convention? Maybe welcome the remote possibility that migrant helpers will actually come under the full protection of the Labour Law one day? Come on, one of you chaps! Be a devil.