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Cayman blogs stir interest


By Alan Markoff,

Thursday 16th February, 2006   Posted: 15:50 CIT   (20:50 GMT)

Two anonymously authored Internet weblogs –known popularly as blogs for short – dealing with Cayman and written by resident expatriates are creating interest and stirring some controversy because of their content.

One of blogs, called Cayman Cop, is written by a British police officer with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service who calls himself Cayman Bobby, while the other blog is called Cayman Islands Blog Man, and is written by someone who calls himself Rufus T. McGilicutty.

A weblog is similar to a journal that is frequently updated on an Internet website and intended for general public consumption. The public is able to respond to the posts, either by name or anonymously.

The Cayman Cop blog mixes humour and general interest posts with commentary about the RCIPS and the Cayman Islands. The blog started in October, and had its 100th posting from the author this week.

The author states in his website header that the comments on the site are only his opinions and do not represent the official line of the RCIPS.

“I will inform the reader of current ongoing crime trends and will try to explain how it feels to be an expatriate cop on the Caribbean streets. I will take the reader behind the scenes of everyday island policing by enlightening them with real stories and firsthand experiences.”

Some of the posts are very critical of the RCIPS or individual officers.

The recent non–renewal of contracts of two high–profile RCIPS officers generated posts both for and against the actions on the blog.

The RCIP, however, does not approve of the blog.

“This site is one of multiple examples around the world, which exists to criticize the way organizations are managed and operated,” the RCIP said in a written response to questions from the Caymanian Compass. “It is highly unfortunate that this individual has seen fit to operate this site about the RCIPS.

“The essence of blog culture is to be able to make anonymous comments, many of them cynical and destructive which may be considered libellous and are highly derogatory to colleagues, fellow employees and to the institution itself.”

The RCIPS said it was monitoring the blog site

“Some concerns raised on [the blog] have already been brought to our attention by genuine colleagues who wish to work with us to make things better, and we are currently working to improve some of these issues,” the RCIP statement said. “Some can be addressed quite quickly, others take much longer. We will continue to address genuine concerns until we reach a resolution.”

Commissioner of Police Stuart Kernohan finds the blog insulting.

“This so–called blog is clearly an insult to the Cayman Islands Police Service,” he said.

“This is an open site where anyone from around the world can make comments under the veil of secrecy.

“It is impossible to determine the genuine from the malicious information. It is highly unfortunate that we appear to have an individual amongst us who does not have the interests of the RCIP or indeed of the Cayman Islands at heart.”

“The contents and information placed on this site are enough to warrant an investigation,” Mr. Kernohan said. “I am unable to comment further at this stage on the remit, content or likely outcome.”

The Cayman Blog Man site generally uses satire – through fake news stories – to make commentary on a variety of topics including the protests to the gay cruise, government policies, the hunger striker and other items in the real news.

“I am giving cowards, hacks, humorists, cynics, sycophants and everyone else who thinks they have something even remotely intelligent or entertaining to say (but are too chicken to put their real names to it, like I am, for fear of the CI government kicking them off the island for being original) a forum to do just that.”

The Cayman Islands Blog Man site started 31 January 2006.

“Who knows when freedom of speech and expression will be the norm and not the exception in the Cayman Islands? Until then, we’ll have a bit of fun,” the author said in his first post.

The blog author warns readers about the veracity of the site’s contents.

“Please be aware that this site is not intended to represent itself as a factual news site,” he says in the rules of posting. “Quite the opposite; most everything on this site is fake, although certain factual references can and will be made.”

Radio talk show host Sandra Catron was the target of one of Blog Man’s satirical posts recently but does not take offence.

“I thought it was really funny,” she said. “It was humorous and he has an interesting style of writing.”

Ms Catron said the Blog Man was even invited by email to be on her talk show.

“He said he would consider it, but he’s really keen to protect his identity,” she said.

Ms Catron likes the Blog Man’s satirical approach.

“Everyone is fair game,” she said. “He doesn’t leave anyone out.”

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