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A bit out of left field, if you ask me

I am trying to maintain composure and not be overly critical. I certainly do not want to be polarised in any of my observations and criticisms, appearing just to be against everything the Government does; perchance there is higher wisdom at work. But it is hard to sit still and say nothing about things that appear odd or a bit out of line.

I’m speaking here at the appointment of Jason Hayward as the minister responsible for economic development. I don’t speak to be disparaging of him personally, or to suggest he is inadequate for the job. It could be he has natural talents and proves to have the insight to pull out the blockages that are stopping the economy from moving forward.

Everything I have ever heard him say in the public domain generally has its context within unionism and is often antithetical to business. However, since his initial appointment as the labour minister, he has learnt the other side of being once an advocate for labour whose role is now reversed to become a manager. Maybe that was his equivalent of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, where he has now seen the light and can walk with two chapters of experience.

This paper was speculating over names whom they have associated with accountancy management and finance; I bet none of them would have guessed, as a long shot, Jason Hayward. Again, not to suggest he is incapable — just that he does not come across as possessing the persona or acumen for business development.

Former premier Alex Scott, on hearing of the resignation of the finance minister, said there is a depth of talent in the ranks of the Progressive Labour Party. So one can presume, as in cricket terms, there is still plenty of late-order recognised batsmen or, as they say, lumber on the bench.

The average observer is going to say, though, that this appointment is more about trust and the all-important party ingredient of loyalty, and that during tough times the Premier above all needs to have a trusted individual by his side when navigating this precarious economic challenge.

No room for battles in the top office — one mind, one voice may be the thought.

Jason was essentially handmade by the Premier, who stepped over the branch choice to give him a reasonably assured seat in the House after the death of Walton Brown and sponsored a rapid rise within the ranks of Cabinet.

No need to talk about democracy, decentralisation or the rights of constituencies and branches; we have what we have in substance and style, and there seems to be continued support for it. Whatever decisions made will stand unless the rumblings in and around Parliament become too noisy such as in the case of Rolfe Commissiong and Curtis Richardson. The Covid realities have only hardened positions, particularly with government workers and politicians, who value their jobs and positions now more than ever.

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

There will be no display of valour; after all, times have changed. The MPs were elected to perform a political role as representatives for their constituents and country, but it has become a job/career/livelihood and the global pandemic has only magnified the chasm between safeguarding one’s livelihood and one’s role as a public servant.

Gone are the Socratic rules and prerequisite ethics for leadership. No such thing here as “seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you”. Rather, it has become make sure you get paid by the kingdom first and wait for the rest to be added.

Without thoughts of valour, the next thing down the line of our humanity is to give encouragement and have hope that our leaders are inspired to see the broader picture and become guided by that inspiration.

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Published March 09, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated March 09, 2022 at 7:38 am)

A bit out of left field, if you ask me

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