We know more about Castro’s illness than about Prime Minister Thompson’s health

Video about PM Thompson at the DLP Conference was very odd – most eerily so

by David G. Brooks

The promise of details of the diagnosis went from 2 weeks to 3 and then 4 … nothing materialised. Speculation, after all of this waiting started to be rampant, unfortunate but not unnatural when no material information is forth-coming.

Two (2) months sick leave has now turned into 3 months and that seems to have been extended yet again, and still no word – Bajans (and others) are waiting patiently but how long will that last?

I understand the PM and his family’s right to privacy but when you enter public life there is some aspects of that personal privacy that you give up – one may not like that but it is a fact of life, especially a political life and more so as a leader of a country.

There have been other world leaders that have some illness when in office and at least some measure of ‘real’ information was given to the public. Our situation here is reminiscent of Castro’s ordeal in Cuba and I would even venture to say that we probably heard more about him than we have of our own Prime Minister at this stage. I hope for the best but the lack of some information is probably beginning to wear thin on most of us.

I also find it very odd, and most eerily so, that a video presentation of the life of David Thompson was shown at the DPL Conference last weekend!

Didn’t anyone else wonder about this as well?

Submitted by David G. Brooks as a comment on our July 3, 2010 article What Prime Minister Thompson’s illness means for Barbados


Filed under Barbados, Health, Politics

22 responses to “We know more about Castro’s illness than about Prime Minister Thompson’s health

  1. The power of a one party state

    Like Castro and Kim Jong-il, leaders are not chosen because its all about continuation of the party in power and keeping attached to the state umbilical cord. Resignation is not in order.

    Silence allows negotiations and juggling for control and passover of power behind the scenes. Power is couched in politeness and reverence for the esteemed leader not the power of those who like and voted for him.

    The PM is quite sick and we will be told when the party is ready.

  2. David G. Brooks

    Oh thanks, BFP, for putting my contribution ‘up-front’ so. I note you mention that this as a comment on our July 3, 2010 article, yet brought to fore-front as a new thread, but I doubt most will see that or realise it.

    Anyway, for the record I repeat … I respect the privacy of the PM and his family, and will continue to pray for his recovery.

    Furthermore, he is in my age group and I went to UWI at the same time as he did yet we’ve never met, and so it is sobering when one starts losing a few contemporaries and/or see them going through a severe illnesses.

    I made the comment about the potential parallel with Castro’s illness because I thought, and maybe naively so, that in our democracy (versus Castro’s dictatorship) we should expect a bit more openness, like we have seen with other world leaders.

    This said, it does beg the question as to the politics involved and the potential leadership issues that the DPL have and probably have had even before winning the elections in 2008, but keep tightly wrapped up.

    In fact, when Hartley Henry was going on and on and on about the potential BLP leadership issue earlier this year, it does not take a political scientist to realise that he was probably trying to ward off attention from this issue within the DPL and now one can see the pieces of the puzzle clearly coming together.

    For David Thompson, the person and his family, I hope I am wrong, but as PM and leader of the DLP I think this could back-fire if it was found out that the country was mislead. Yet I suspect the sympathy aspect is being played out (behind the scenes) with the hope it will bring dividends down the road.

    As always, time will tell.

  3. David G. Brooks

    Oh well, you put me up as the seemingly initiator of the subject thread and then you moderate my comments.

  4. Nicksti

    In my mind it is one of two options:

    Option One: It is a rare illness and Dr. House is working to find out the solution.

    Option Two: It is a terminal illness or the prognosis is usually grim.

    If his condition was known or not life-threatening then I think we would have heard by now. I find myself thinking back to the late John Compton and trying to remember what was the timeline when the public found out about his illness.

    Whichever the case is, I wish for a recovery to full health for our Prime Minister.

  5. David G. Brooks

    Dr. House ? Am I missing something?

    Either way, I am an open book kind of person, any perception of “too much” secrecy, as opposed to normal privacy, is not good and I don’t think that I am alone is saying that it smacks of political agenda.

    Which then begs the question, which comes first the country or the party – I seem to recall the DLP has a similar issue (not through illness) back in the early 1990’s.

  6. BFP

    Hi David,

    BFP does not “moderate” your comments, the computer does that based on a list of “questionable” words, IPs and phrases not under our control, but placed there by WordPress. We also have a list of our own questionable or suspect words that we have established (like the word ‘kill’ because of all the threats against us). When we come home or wake up or sober up, we “free” your comments.

    We believe in freedom so we FREE your words when the bad old spam list grabs them!

    We appreciate that you took the time to write your thoughts, and for the record we agree that it is time for Prime Minister Thompson to be more open. Mr. Thompson can do what he likes, but our Prime Minister should respond to the growing questions and national uncertainty that his prolonged illness is causing. It’s just time.

  7. HOW DARE YOU!!!









  8. Passing

    When a PM dies in office in Barbados, who decides on the next PM?

    Is it the party, or does the Governor General make the selection?

  9. John

    August 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm
    When a PM dies in office in Barbados, who decides on the next PM?

    Is it the party, or does the Governor General make the selection?

    I think it is the sitting MP’s, probably from the party in power, but could not swear.

    The choice of PM is then communicated to the GG, Her Majesty’s representative.

    I think the GG may have power to accept or reject but don’t know.

    Harold St. John (BLP) and Erskine Sandiford (DLP) both became PM’s after the incumbent passed away suddenly so there is a history if anyone can remember.

    The subsequent elections were lost (BLP), 1986, and won (DLP), 1991.

  10. David G. Brooks

    Party, of course, or rather a select few within the party – the power brokers as they are called – but I think the decision(s) has already been made, they don’t want a repeat of 1986 again which ultimately lead to forming of the NDP.

    BTW, the Governor General (as the Queen’s representative) does not decide these things, he or she has to do what they are told – didn’t you know that? Even if we went to a Republic style like Trinidad, the President would have to do the same. It would only be a change of name – GG to Pres.

  11. 205

    No wonder I don’t spend much time here… LOL

  12. David G. Brooks

    John, that’s the nice way or procedural way of how it is done, but there is a LOT more internal politics involved.

    205, I haven’t spent much time here either but seemed to inadvertently got caught in this particular web, … I mean thread, but I think I’ll stay quite for now.


  13. Bajan Observer

    So I understand that DLP has already prepared a video with David Thompson life? If true that sounds fishy….

  14. The Pious one

    The Hon. PM David Thompson will be returning to Barbados on 1st September 2010 at 1:45 pm from the USA on American Airlines. Barbadians are invited to to turn up at GAIA in their thousands to welcome the return of ” King David”.

    Free Shuttle service will be available from Weymouth and Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium.

    T-shirts declaring….: “Our beloved Leader returns…” will be available for sale for Bds$ 2.00 .

    See you all there to witness this nostalgic event.

  15. Mobert

    August 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm When a PM dies in office in Barbados, who decides on the next PM?

    Is it the party, or does the Governor General make the selection?

    Sitting MP’s decide who of their grouping will be chosen to lead them, this name is then given to the GG.

    But, allegedly in a past case, the decision was made by kingmaker Cameron Tudor, in the absence of a couple of the MP’s and despite the wishes of Barrow.


  16. ??

    The PM is chosen by the members of the parlimentary group which holds the majority in the House.

  17. Ozzie Moore II

    What’s the fuss? Didn’t Senator The Rev. Dr. Durant assure us that the PM will be healed? Oh, ye of little faith! If anything happens to the PM now Durant got some ‘splaining’ to do.

  18. The Watcher

    The PMs’ health is HIS business. It is PRIVATE in any language.
    We like too much hear-say and gossip!
    When and if he is ready to tell us what he feels we need to know regarding his health, then he will, and in his time. He has appointed the Deputy PM to carry on with the business of running the country in his absense. That is what he is Constitutionally required to do!
    Go to work and make the country productive!

  19. TheNickster

    People lets get real, to put this bluntly, whether Thompson is around or not makes little difference to the corrupted system around here. We as a nation do not decide who the prime minister is, we never had that ability, that is an internal mechanism. If you are concerned about Thompson the individual, fine, as for concern as to the fate of the government there are mechanisms in place to deal with these things.

    @ The Watcher. the PM’s health became our business when he took office. The people who put him in power have the right to know if he is on death’s door or not.

    Overall it’s just another episode of the political soap opera, all sympathy to the PM’s family and all, but this isn’t going to really change things for regular Barbadians, cost of living still high, treasury still has to be repaid and life grinds on for the rest of us, what difference does it make who the mouthpiece is. Think it matters if a B or D party is in power, same script different cast.

  20. 233

    Mia Mottley said in passing tonight, as she plastered Michael Lashley withtelling political blows that she understands P.M Hon David Thompson, returned to Barbados tonight around 8.00 p.m.

  21. Tell me Why

    Note to the radio station states that Freundel Stuart will be returned to his substantial post as Attorney General with effect from September 1. What will happen to Hon Adriel Brathwaithe? Just wondering!

  22. Gigi

    The comparison with Castro is one I find interesting. In fact I wonder whether the PM’s medical team might wish to consult Castro’s medics, given Castro’s improved health.