We on the margin have watched with a degree of amusement at first Prime Minister David Thompson’s “House cleaning” followed by Former Prime Minister Arthur’s war path speech. Having listened to them both I can only come to the conclusion that our prime ministers both present and past are playing “mock sport” with us.
Let’s accept a few realities here…
1. Consultants are an accepted part of governance in the Caribbean, always have been and more than likely always will be. When running something as complex as a government, it is understandable that policymakers (whatever party they may belong to) may want to have independant advice to help them shape policy or to advise them politically, to write speeches etc.
2. Let’s also accept the fact that each policy maker is going to want to select their own consultants or advisors. Hence you cannot equate persons who fill this role with public servants. Like the directors of statutory boards etc. They SHOULD resign when the administration changes. It is not victimisation for the incoming administration to say that they want to take someone else’s advice.
So here we have PM Thompson, equating hiring consultants with squandermania, just to have to turn around and defend his appointment of “political advisor” Hartley Henry as being somehow different.
We also have former PM Arthur talking about going “on the warpath” over these people being dismissed. (They should have tendered their resignations already)
While we have serious concerns about Mr. Arthur saying that he “helped out” one of his speech writers who had lost his previous employment, we also recognise that Mr. Henry is unlikely ever to file consultant report that will be filed in the government filing system. The advice given by consultants at this level is more than likely to be held in the PM’s personal files and also likely to leave the office with the individual when he demits office.
So when you cut through all of the sound and fury that has surrounded this issue, there really isn’t that much substance here. Just politicians playing “holier than thou” and mekking mock sport as they play to the gallery.