New Cabinet and Senate Suprises

Okay. Okay. Um. We have a new Cabinet and Senate as reported on the radio and at the RG.

Okay. I’m a little suprised at the changes here. The main ones that have me suprised is:

Thaao Dill appointed to the Senate. I know Thaao and quite like him, but I am quite suprised at this development. I am assuming he will be leaving Hott, or at least have a much more diminished role there as a result. I knew Davida Morriss was planning on leaving for a Masters, so I am not suprised she has not been reappointed. I feel that Thaao’s appointment is mainly to appeal to the youth, much as Davida’s role was in practice. Thaao is very smart and very articulate, so he will be fine in the Senate, but I really didn’t think he was interested in going into formal politics like this.

I am very suprised at the loss of Neletha Butterfield, Dennis Lister, Micheal Scott and Wayne Perenchief as Ministers. While I had some concerns about one or two, as a whole they were very competent and some were excellent, and their loss is, well, quite suprising.

Phil Perenchief is out of the Senate as well. I was not suprised he lost the Attorney General position, as I had heard some rumblings recently, but I thought he would remain in the Senate at least.

I am very very suprised at both the appointment of El James to the Ministry of the Environment and the twinning of this Ministry with Sport. The MoE should be its own Ministry, especially with the environmental proposals contained in the 2007 Platform and strategically to really reduce the emergence of a more political environmental movement external to the Party it would have just made sense to really focus on this area. I cannot comment any further on this at the moment.

I am glad that the Party has apparently taken the good idea put forward in the UBP Platform of forming a Ministry of Economic Development, which is twinned with the Ministry of Finance.

I am suprised that Derrick Burgess has been moved from Labour. That was a natural fit for him as an ex-leader of the BIU, and especially with the mess/friction between the BIU and Works and Engineering from the ProActive-Berkley issue, this move was suprising.

I am confident in the competency of Lt. Col. Burch as a Labour Minister, but though it would make more sense to keep him solely in charge of Home Affairs and Housing, which is, with the housing crisis, important enough to warrant its own Ministry. While Col. Burch is competent, there may be some concern about how effective he will be dealing with Labour issues with his military background bringing to me displeasing comparisons with Trotsky’s ‘militarisation of labour’ ideas, but more so whether his alleged arrogance might add friction to labour issues. I say alleged, as in my encounters with him he has been mostly good-humored, but I have heard enough to wonder of their validity.

Education deserves its own Ministry and not to be paired off with Telecoms and Ecommerce which in the growing age of information could justify its own ministry as well. I feel the idea is to increase the relationship between education and training our new generations with technology, but still, with the long road ahead in solving our education problems, didn’t it justify having a more focused single ministryship.

I had thought Patrice Minors might return to Health. There are clouds over Nelson Bascome, but he himself of course is perfectly competent as a Minister, but I would have thought for the timebeing it was necessary to retire him to the backbench. I thought Micheal Scott might also become Health Minister.

I welcome the return of Kim Wilson to the Senate, and think the position of Attorney General is a good fit for her. I am suprised at the twinning of that with jnr Minister of Finance though.

From a feminist point of view, the new Cabinet and Senate has regressed. The only two females of prominence now are Paula Cox and Kim Wilson. There is the potential that this will reignite the internal fractures of the Party that allegedly exist and led to the fall of Lois Browne-Evans and Jennifer Smith.

I am glad to hear that Walton Brown has been appointed to the Senate as I think he brings an excellent perspective to discourse.

I am worried that power has been more concentrated rather than dissolved, and there may be questions raised as to whether the new balance of power is more conservative than before, at least in social areas.

As I’ve said, I am suprised, and these developments may raise some questions that could have been avoided, and also open the Party up to unneccessary criticism rather than constructive criticism. Perhaps I’m wrong. I hope so.

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8 thoughts on “New Cabinet and Senate Suprises

  1. I think you may have missed the mark on the Thaao Dill appointment to the Senate. Remember the controversy about Mr. Dill and HOTT 107.5 breaking broadcast regulations by pumping the PLP? Now that he is a senator, Thaao Dill is free to pump away without breaking the law.

  2. Listening to Hott as I grogily got ready for work, it appears Andrew that you are right. Thaao has indicated he plans to continue in his role at Hott. I was aware of the fact that you speak of – that he would be free to do so, etc. – when I wrote last night, but thought he would decide to reduce, not necessarily end, his role at Hott. Thaao will be an excellent Senator, I have no doubt of that. It is suprising though that no failed candidates had this honour over hime (yes, I know Wayne Caines is there, but what I mean is other candidates). I would have thought there were some obvious choices there. Again, I affirm that Thaao will be a good Senator, I just found the appointment suprising. Of course it will increase criticism of Hott and a perception of a ‘reward and patronage’ mode of operation, and this could have been avoided, with his being appointed later, and not so soon to controversy.

  3. Jonathan,

    Education does have its own Ministry. Sports and Recreation was separated from it and given to El James, along with Environment. Terry Lister is Energy, Telecommunications and E-Commerce.
    I also was disappointed in the removal of Neletha Butterfield especially.

  4. Yes, you are right. I totally misread the article on that point and retract my statements accordingly.

    I am also hearing that Ms. Minors was offered a position and decided not to take it for the timebeing.

  5. I had been puzzled all day at comments that the Premier had dissolved the Ministry of Justice and largely assumed the powers of that former ministry into his own, under Cabinet. I had been able to confirm that this was actually true, but I have now found the confirmation in the RG and through personal communications.

    I’m a bit puzzled by this action. For one, it leaves the Attorney General with quite alot less to do other than provide legal advice to the Government/Cabinet. It will also inevitably add fuel to the fire of anti-PLP fanatics who are convinced the Premier is attempting a creeping velevet dictatorship. It is important not to be to reactionary and alarmist, but it is necessary to consider the full implications of this move.

    From what I understand the Premier is only assuming administrative control over the judiciary as under the existing constitution true power over the Judiciary remains with the Governor – which is another matter altogether. However, it is true that with administrative control the Premier can greatly influence the staffing and other factors of the justice system, and this move will have to watched carefully.

    Puzzling.

  6. Yes, I too am puzzled, not to say a bit worried about the Premier’s dissolving of the Ministry of Justice and largely assuming them into his own office.

    Being highly cynical and and weary of anything any state may try and pass over its citizens, I doubt this move was with the motive of streamlining government. We have seen it happen all to often through all times in history and many states, that a democratically elected movement because the very antithesis of openness and democracy. I for one will be watching this, who know maybe I am just to mistrustful of government (I have no real reason to trust government for that matter) and am seeing ghosts where there is only shadows. Time will tell how this develops and what measured response, if any is required, to stem a sinking into authoritarianism.

    As for the other Cabinet positions, can’t say I am surprised. I see that the yes man Dale Butler has managed to find himself in yet another Cabinet position. And that the Col. Burch is also in on the game, though I do have reservations about him being Minister of Labour.

    I think the most worrying, and also the most unthought out appointment is the twining of the environmental ministry with another one. With the environmental crisis coming to a head within the next several years, I think the PLP risks radicalizing the Bermudian environmentalists. Combined with the rumblings of the UBP dissolving and the fact that I am aware of work being done right now (it may even be finished) to launch a Green Party of Bermuda, Brown is gambling of inadvertently creating a more political environmental movement. Given that I think the ’07 platform was very lacking in the environmental section, I can’t say I blame them, and even will lend them my public support, all the more power to them!

  7. Well, it appears that the Ministry of Justice has been reformed, so I’m assuming Senator Kim Wilson is now part of the Cabinet, which brings the number of women represented there to two out of I think eleven. Not good, but definitely better than it was. The whole rationale being given for the Ministry of Justice issue seems, well, odd, all the same.

  8. Yes, I would agree that the given reasons for what was done are a little odd to say the least, regardless it is a situation I plan to keep my eye on a little bit longer.

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