The appointment of former Premier Craig Cannonier as Minister for Public Works throws up a mixed bag of scenarios, none of which are without risk to the Premier himself.
The police investigation into the so-called <a href="“>Jetgate affair is still on-going. If Cannonier again gets embroiled in that while still a Minister, it will plunge the Cabinet/Government into more controversy and will call into question the Premier’s decision making.
Cannonier’s appointment to the front bench makes him, again, a sitting target for the Opposition and I doubt they will miss the opportunity to cast barbs in his direction once the House resume next month, thus allowing the controversy to again gather pace and to again undermine the OBA and the Premier’s position.
The appointment of Cannonier smacks of a desperate move: was there really no-one else with a clean record, as it were, who could be promoted from the back benches?
It seems that the Premier does not have a lot of confidence in his backbenchers if he promotes a fallen Premier and someone with so much recent history that has proved so detrimental to the Party.
Overall, I think the Premier had no choice but to appoint the people he did in the mini-Cabinet shuffle – he will know he will lose the PR battle on this and he will have been primed to expect the PLP response. He will be hoping that the controversy dies down quickly.
The problem is, it is a risky strategy that does not inspire confidence and which smacks of desperation.
On another note, I am pleased that Education is now the sole responsibility of one Minister – albeit the third in two years under the OBA and about the 16th (?) overall since 1998.
We are told the move is to allow Grant Gibbons time to devote to the America’s Cup, but is it also a tacit admission that it was the wrong decision to put Education in with Economic Development in the first place?