Prime Minister – Dr. Denzil Douglas
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St.Kitts – Nevis
February 08, 2010
After an entire week missing in action Prime Minister Douglas re ““ emerged from his African escapade to be a part of the swearing inn ceremony for his newest Cabinet. Already under a cloud of criticism from his disappearing act which he has yet to explain to the residents of the Federation and about which the nation learned third hand from the Vincentian Prime Minister through the BBC; Prime Minister Douglas sought to change the subject by piggybacking on the historic Independence cabinet of Dr. the Rt. Hon. Sir Kennedy Simmonds. There were few surprises in the announcement of portfolios although there were some noteworthy elements in the ceremony. The large number of empty stands stood in sharp contrast to the packed audiences at the free concerts in the lead up to the poll and highlighted the fact that most of Labour’s voters have already returned to their homes overseas. Warner Park on Sunday 7th had more than enough room for the small cadre of diehard stalwarts and the hundreds of school children who had no choice in whether to be there.
Astute observers could not help but notice that there is no love lost between Prime Minister Douglas and the most senior Ministers in the Cabinet, namely Dr. Harris and Mr. Condor. It will certainly cause some discussion that the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Condor, alledgedly cannot travel freely to the United States but the most interesting aspect of the portfolio announcements is the breath taking attempt by Prime Minister Douglas to exert ever increasing control of not just his Cabinet but also the individual lives of thousands of Kittitians and Nevisians. With just two exceptions, Messrs Harris and Condor, the entire Cabinet is firmly under his dictatorial thumb.
The tentative Representatives of constituencies #2 and 4 owe their entire political careers to this point directly to the patronage of Dr. Douglas and in the unlikely event that they survive the election petitions will be completely beholden to him. The same is true of Ministers Skerritt and Carty who, as appointed Ministers, have no other base for their position but the patronage of the Prime Minister. In the case of the Ministry of National Security, Dr. Douglas has created the post of special advisor and appointed Dr. Norgen Wilson who will certainly then have power to rival Minister Condor. Then there is the post of Attorney General which is held by perhaps the most independent Cabinet member, NRP MP Patrice Nisbett but political observers and the entire electorate knows full well that Dr. Douglas will not tolerate independence in his Cabinet.
When we consider that Prime Minister Douglas has taken for himself the newly created portfolio of human resource management as well as sustainable development it becomes clearer just how much he intends to extend his reach across the Federation. Sustainable Development certainly replaces the conspicuously missing Lands portfolio and will see the kinds of deals that got a former President of the Bar Association in legal trouble and saw the Federation lose hundreds of millions at La Valle greens and make deals with fraudsters like Mr. Stanford multiply under the control of Dr. Douglas. Every public sector job seeker or young person needing a scholarship to study will find themselves under the direct scrutiny of the Prime Minister. To make matters worse this will extend to our halcyon sister isle as well as Dr. Douglas did not incorporate the NRP led NIA just to make a show of Federal brotherhood.
“We are slouching towards a one party state,” said MP Shawn Richards. ” It is clear that the intention of Prime Minister Douglas is to make himself ruler for life. He all but admitted that Lindsay Grant will win his seat when he bought himself the insurance of an extra MP on the government benches in AG Nisbett. Fortunately for the Federation the Court will once again stop him in his tracks. He will need more than just that one extra seat,” MP Richards Continued
The 9 member Labour party Cabinet was sworn in in front of a few scores of persons and it was quite interesting that in the only official photo released of the new cabinet the Deputy Prime Minister seems most unconcerned with the Photo-Op and the demoted Dr. Timothy Harris was quite conspicuous with his blue ties which was in stark contrast to his colleagues who all whore red ties.