I am a little surprised at the new Cabinet appointees.
I am not at all surprised at Michael Scott being reappointed as a Minister, and the Energy Minister at that. He’s got experience as a Minister already and his previous role as Telecommunications Minister, though different, will aid him in his new post.
Nor am I surprised that Walter Roban was given a formal portfolio, especially as he was already a Minister without Portfolio (albeit for just a short time). He’s a dedicated worker and he’ll put a lot of effort into his new position. What I am surprised about is that he was given the Ministry of Health. I had expected Neletha Butterfield to be moved from Culture/Social Rehab to Education, and Mr. Roban being given Culture/Social Rehab.
I wasn’t even surprised at a Senator being given a Cabinet position, although I didn’t expect it to be Ms. Wilson, the Attorney General. I would have expected Walton Brown to be a good choice. Having said that, I understand only two Senators can sit in Cabinet as per the Bermudian Constitution, and Senator Burch and Senator Wilson already sit in Cabinet (I believe the Attorney General is a Cabinet position?).
All the same, these appointments do seem to reinforce the perception that Dr. Brown’s support amongst the PLP MPs is incredibly weak – especially when one notes that apparently the late Nelson Bascome, who was tragically taken from us this morning, was supposed to take on the Education Ministry in addition to his Health Ministry (so Michael Scott would have been the only other Minister appointed).
Particularly worrying is the continual crisis of our education system – these disruptions and doubling up of the Attorney General and Education Ministry, are not exactly helpful. Of note also is the fact that the new Education Minister is only a temporary appointment. Which means further disruption in a few months time. Whether the new Education Minister will be doubled up with another, or will be the victor of the unfortunately imminent by-election, is another question altogether. Myself, I get the impression that Dr. Brown will hope for things to quiet down over the summer recess and initiate a Cabinet shuffle in advance of the Fall Annual Delegates Convention.