Archive | July, 2010

Barbados Prime Minister Unwell

21 Jul

PM David Thompson

Illness is a very sensitive subject and Barbadians are caught in no-man’s land on the subject of the ill-health of the current Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable David Thompson. To the best of our knowledge there has been no other Prime Minister that has had to take “sick leave”. It is clear that a protocol needs to be established for the future.

The current protocol seems to be that the Prime Minister need not disclose the severity or the nature of his illness to anyone. In many other jurisdictions this would not be tolerated, not because people are “malicious” but that the illness of the Prime Minister can have an impact on governance. It could lead to a certain degree of uncertainty. The only legitimate response seems to be prayer. Some Barbadians have expressed the strong view that the Prime Minister’s health is his business.

Take for example, this call for a budget. If the Prime Minister is to be back at his desk should the Acting Prime Minister seek to put a Budget in place? Yes we know that Prime Minister Thompson seems to have granted Acting Prime Minister Stuart the power to do all manner of things (It is doubtful whether this is legitimate); but this could be a matter than in the view of the Mr. Stuart could very well await his return.

Prime Minister Thompson’s projections of returning in two months have not put a stop to the speculation as to who might take over the leadership of the Democratic Labour Party. There are no clear choices except Mr. Stuart by default. Some would argue that this leads to a certain degree of uncertainty in the Government.

We know that in the United States that the Public would insist on their right to know as we saw during their last election campaign. The USA however is not the best example for many things. Their politics is often akin to an extreme sport.

There is always a view that the Public has the right to know on smaller matters. Does the Public have the right to know on this most important matter?