Prime Minister Stuart’s Quandary Unravelled

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart

In addressing the question of whether it is better to be loved or feared, Machiavelli writes, “The answer is that one would like to be both the one and the other; but because it is difficult to combine them, it is far safer to be feared than loved if you cannot be both.” As Machiavelli asserts, commitments made in peace are not always kept in adversity; however, commitments made in fear are kept out of fear. Yet, a prince must ensure that he is not feared to the point of hatred, which is very possible – Niccolò Machiavelli

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart finds himself in a quandary as a result the widely publicised letter incident. It is a fact some members of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) felt it important enough to seek an audience with the Prime Minister. Whether all of them agreed to sign ‘The Letter’ is irrelevant at this stage in light of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s interview with Editor in Chief of the NATION newspaper Kaymar Jordan.

Since the revelation that some DLP members are concerned with  Stuart’s leadership and the length of his coat tails with a general election looming the political chatter has gotten noisier. The current reality for the government is that having to manage in the harsh economic environment would have made being re-elected a difficult undertaking. The imbroglio caused by ‘The Letter’ has easily shifted the advantage to the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) its own perceived leadership issues not withstanding.  Why the disaffected group would have entertained thoughts of communicating with the Prime Minister in the form of a letter remains unfathomable at this stage. Some say it is as a result of political ignorance and naiveté. Others believe the plot is a sinister effort to reorder the political structure of the DLP.

The debate will continue why Minister Sinckler made the decision to give the NATION a reveal-all interview. It is obvious from the Prime Minister’s few public remarks about the incident that he would not have approved the interview. Sinckler could not be so naive to believe that his tête-à-tête with NATION newspaper Kaymar Jordan given the weighty nature of his revelations would have killed the controversy for the DLP. He must have known or even been advised that his position within the hierarchy of the DLP would become tenuous at best. His admission in the NATION interview that he would never put forward his name just over one year of doing so since the death of David Thompson is instructive. A politician never says never. Why then has Sinckler signalled that he will never put his name in any hat to vie for the Prime Minister’s job? The answer probably is explained by a comment posted on a related blog.  If this is the case Barbadians have witnessed the sudden fall of a young politician of whom much was expected.

‘The Letter’ has created a headache for the Prime Minister. His options are limited. He can’t do nothing. Whatever he does must positively feed public perception that he is in charge of his men. The question is: will it be enough to sway the voter? Bear in mind many voters are currently siting on the fence for one reason or the other. One of those reasons which should concern not only the political parties but Barbadians themselves is a growing cynicism of politicians.

Sinckler indicated in the interview he sees no reason why the Prime Minister should fire him.  If Sinckler in his naiveté expects to continue his role, in a business as usual mode in the cabinet of Barbados, then the only conclusion to be drawn is that he is forcing Stuart’s hand to fire him.

Recommendation – send Sinckler to the Ministry of Transport, drop Boyce from the cabinet, Estwick to Finance and divvy up Estwick’s portfolio to Lowe, Kellman and Benn.

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212 responses to “Prime Minister Stuart’s Quandary Unravelled

  1. true to form,

    I tend to agree with you but in light of the PM’s own words…………….”if there was indeed an attempt to derail my government, it clearly had not worked and certain consequences will have to follow. If one understands history at all, if a coup is attempted and it succeeds, the person against whom the coup was aimed usually pays for it with his neck. If the coup fails, the plotters and those who were trying to execute it pay for it with their necks”.

    If he was not serious, he would hardly have made that statement as he did not have to say anything. But who knows with this PM, I guess we have to wait for him to speak. Do you know that part of the plot was to get him to step aside and accept the post of GG? A Dem friend of mine told me that the PM is more suited to be a GG than a PM. WOW!!!!

  2. I@ Appoll 13
    I would not have such juiy information. Stuart for GG Not old enough not distinguished enough , not white enough .not bright enough, not DLP enough. not popular. He would not conspire or plot with any one to give the BLP a seat.but then again all things are possible Think on these things

  3. We put a lot of pressure on the judiciary and the political system in Barbados to step up to the plate.

    We also do the same to the media.

    Here is a story in the Barbados Today which caught the eye:

    http://news.barbadostoday.bb/barticlenew.php?ptitle=Upturn&article=13063&pdate=2011-08-31

    Bear in mind CLICO Mortgage Company was bought over by the BPWCC and it was a profit making entity under CLICO management.

    Spin!

  4. christmas, i see nothing thought provoking about sir roy’s analysis when having advised mr stuart to do nothing if he were in mr stuart’s shoes did admit that when faced with similar discontent in the union he offered the malcontents the door or else.

  5. up to now J the ministers have not demonstrated they are capable of handling the little work they have to do; you must be out of your mind suggesting that you place more of the affairs of state in ther ncompetent hands.God bless the public service systemof the past 300 years,

  6. david, a rumour is a rumour. why should it be incumbent on the PM to dispel or respond to a rumour. if the rumour tutrns out to be a fact then perhaps he might be cornered into responding but otherwise, there is no reason. commentators put all kinds of unfounded stories on this forumwhich when challenged are unable to or choose not to defend. do these fables merit a response from the persons to whom they are directed?

  7. @balance

    Nature they say abhors a vacuum.

    A rumour in Barbados left unchecked in this particular scenario can have serious political implications.

    You need to understand the culture to appreciate it.

  8. Caswell;
    You said “Once I saw a rat being cornered by a dog, with no avenue for escape the rat attacked, biting the dog on its nose in the process. The dog fled.”

    But Rats are typically aggressive and acculturated to react that way in that situation. Is FS?

  9. David,
    “Bear in mind CLICO Mortgage Company was bought over by the BPWCC and it was a profit making entity under CLICO management.
    Spin!”

    I read this and had to smile. Hope that they are repaying the money the late king gave them out of our NIS funds!!!

  10. If the St.Lucian general elections had the Eager11 writing FS, the Jamaican elections will have the entire team demanding answers or else. It also seems a change to a youger leader is not the answer either. The youth that the DLP is looking to get to vote, will play their football but how many will go to the polls unless they are given money and the
    dlp cash cow is dead. It seems they don’t even know where to turn to now.

  11. Scout,

    Agreed. You have never spoken truer words! This was my same thought last night as I listened to the results. So Peter Wickham’s theory has been proven wrong.

    I now understand that there were 13 plotters, the latest name is George Hutson. The Dems are in panic mode!!!!

  12. PM still in a quandary and Still playing the fool
    Still not loving the people

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