Jet Gate Continues…
As I wrote earlier this week, the fall-out from Jet Gate is not yet done, and the resignation of now disgraced former Premier Cannonier was simply the beginning.
Today we have seen Mark Pettingill resign from Cabinet where he served as the Attorney General, and his replacement by Trevor Moniz (who until today was the Minister of Health).
I’m not surprised by this move at all.
Mr Pettingill was under fire for questionable decisions long before the full Jet Gate revelations were fully known (and in many ways are still not fully known).
In addition to some questionable advice he seems to have given to the Premier (notably on Jet Gate itself, and apparent willful ignorance of the Ministerial Code of Conduct…), questions have been raised about possible interference with the DPP, along with his general judgement in terms of rhetoric (he particularly alienated some Christians, for example).
After the revelations about Jet Gate became clearer, the two most tenuous positions were those of the Premier and the AG – Minister Crockwell is, of course, quite tainted, although he’s been steadily (and I think calculatingly) trying to extricate himself from the scandal.
I think there will still be calls for Minister Crockwell to go, hence my slightly cheeky title for this post (taking a cue from the RG’s headline the other day).
And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if tomorrow we see a No Confidence motion laid by the Opposition.
I don’t think the Opposition has the numbers for a No Confidence motion to carry, but I do think they could likely win a motion of censure – a form of sanction – on Minister Crockwell.
I doubt I’m the only one who saw this resignation coming – and I do think that this is a continued fall-out from Jet Gate.
Indeed, I see his move to join Clarien bank as part of his exit strategy as he himself saw the inevitable writing on the wall.
The Ministry of Health
The OBA Government is definitely unstable right now.
One particular concern, and one that may be overlooked with all the focus on Jet Gate, is that the Ministry of Health has now seen three Ministers in less than 18 months, having first had Patricia Pamplin-Gordon, then Trevor Moniz (as of early December, 2013) and now Jeanne Atherden.
The Ministry of Health is one of our most important and largest ministries – and one of increasing importance as our population ages. I am concerned that all this instability in this important ministry can’t but help.
We’re still waiting for a full explanation as to why the OBA suspended the National Health Plan (NHP) and when we can expect to see it restarted or altered.
I understand the NHP was suspended pending a review related to the new hospital, but I’m not fully sure about that, nor am I clear as to why that should prevent other aspects of the NHP being implemented.
Hopefully the incoming Minister will provide some stability and clarity to this important ministry and the NHP itself.