The Mottley Shuffle
ˌCabinet reˈshuffle noun – a change in the members of the British Cabinet, decided by the prime minister, in which some members are given different jobs, some members lose their jobs, and new members are brought in.Longman
The Mottley cabinet reshuffle has generated tanta debate in the country. This is not surprising given her decision to appoint a 26 strong Cabinet supported by a bevy of parliamentary secretaries and consultants said to be the largest anywhere in the world per thousand of population.
Civic minded citizens appreciate the importance of a vibrant opposition within the parliamentary setup AND The Third Estate. Unfortunately the culture of local parliamentary politics has not morphed to a level of maturity to witness routine voting that challenges the front bench. Members of parliament – like puppets on a string – happily discharge parliamentary duties by parroting the positions of the front benchers. How refreshing it would be in the current configuration of the Lower House to have backbenchers voting and contributing based on conscience. Wishful thinking from the blogmaster because Prime Minister Mottley removed that possibility by selecting 26 ministers that she recently reduced to 24.
What informs the decision by a prime minister to reshuffle a cabinet is left to speculation. All the opinions expressed as to Mottley’s motive for the changes to her cabinet remain just that, opinions. That is unless she sees good reason to disclose her reasons to the public and how would we know she is not being politically diplomatic given the nature of the blood sport?
At a glance the reshuffle leaves the blogmaster to speculate about a few things supported by a little research.
Prime Minister Mottley for the moment regards Ministers Jerome Walcott, Dale Marshall, Santia Bradshaw and Jeffery Bostic, Cynthia Forde and possibly Ronald Toppin as the nucleus of her Cabinet. It is important as leader for stability be maintained in the Cabinet room and by extension the government.
The reshuffle was possibly to accommodate Lisa Cummins and Ian Gooding-Edghill who demonstrated competence and high work effort. The inclusion of the two is meant to infuse Cabinet with greater energy to match that of prime minister Mottley at a challenging period of the countries existence. There is the speculation Cummins is also being given the opportunity to raise her national profile with an eye to 2023.
The government has not yet implemented Integrity in Public Life (Bill) although the law was passed recently. It has to be operationalized. The devil is always in the detail (execution). By shuffling ministers around it serves to upset relationships, destabilized fledgling power structures that may have taken root after two years. Until the integrity in public life apparatus is implemented the prime minister has the option given the large MP pool to use the reshuffle option in the toolbox to suppress corrupt behaviour.
In June when the large cabinet was selected the prime minister would have based her decision for the most part on potential. After two years she is in a position to match potential with performance. It is an opportunity for Prime Minster Mottley to FIRE a couple ministers under the cloak of a reshuffle. If Trevor Prescod wants to make a fuss about a prime minister exercising the prerogative to relieve him of his ministry the blogmaster sees the upside, a more active bank bench which is integral to adversarial politics in the system we try to practicee. Some of us maybe encouraged to tune in to debates in the Lower House.
Those ministers who escaped the reshuffle should not feel they operate in a safe zone. Mottley is aware her large cabinet will be a platform issue in the upcoming general election. She will have to do another assessment before she rings the bell to determine if she can defend the position that she needed a large Cabinet to get a difficult job done. If the answer is no, she will jettison a few more.
The 64k question for the BU intelligentsia- which bucket does Prescod, Payne, Hinkson or Moe fit? Bear in mind it is speculative because with the exception of a couple BU commenters, we do not live in the head of Mia Mottley.