Is David Thompson really back on the job?
The second largest* mass murder in our country’s modern history has produced not one word of condolence or concern from Prime Minister David Thompson. Not so much as a press release, let alone a personal appearance.
And that is not the David Thompson we all know.
In light of this, citizens are naturally questioning if the Prime Minister is fit enough to return to his duties after returning a week ago from two months of medical treatment in the USA.
On September 4, 2010 Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General Freundel Stuart issued a statement extending condolences to the families and friends of the six murder victims. The Deputy PM also expressed confidence in the police and commented on the “embarrassment” that in the 21st century Barbados still has commercial buildings with only one exit.
Stuart appeared at the fire scene the next morning and generally assumed the public leadership role.
In all of this, Prime Minister David Thompson was not seen or heard when many believe it would be appropriate for the PM to speak. We all realise he’s been quite ill, but there is a feeling that the good ship Barbados is drifting at the moment without a Captain on the bridge. Sure, the rest of the officers and crew are running things, but it’s just not the same.
Prime Minister Thompson must be unable to appear in public – or he would have by now.
The concern over the PM’s lack of appearance is not really about this horrible crime.
We know that David Thompson’s heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims. Of course he cares and grieves with the rest of us. The David Thompson we know would want to show some leadership and compassion in all the circumstances. Normally, he would have appeared by now – but that means that he is unable to appear.
And THAT, my friends, is the problem that the citizens are concerned about.
One of our readers, David Brooks, commented…
September 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm
“BTW, I sorry, but I can’t help but ask … still no direct word from or sight of the PM, especially even after this?
I could understand if Stuart was still Acting PM, but … ???”
Later, Brooks further commented…
“From an Operational point of view it is the AG who would be addressing the Nation – making the initial comments, calling for claim, etc. in conjunction with the Commissioner of Police, Fire Chief and so forth – which he did, so no problem there.
Same as Mia Mottley as AG did when we had the Prison Fire, which she did well enough in my opinion that did not warrant the PM of the day (Owen Arthur) to step in, and the same in the Arch Cot tragedy when AG Marshall was at the forth-front (but I do recall seeing Owen around too). But if you have competent Ministers (Lieutenants) then don’t undermine their position.
However, I feel that as head of the Government of the people of Barbados, he should since he has officially taken back over as PM address the nation from the angle of offering sympathy and to give assurances and that sort of thing. Of course he would back up and support his AG and operational branches.
If he had returned and NOT taken back over as PM as yet, then I would NOT ask these questions and/or make these statements. Of course, notwithstanding this heinous crime and resultant tragedy, it is still very odd that he has not been able to address the nation since his return AND resuming office as PM.
I do not think that the fact that he is back physically on the island means that he HAS to take back up over the mantle of PM if he could still be on sick leave.”
*Largest Mass Murder in modern Barbados history
The worst mass murder in our modern history was on October 6, 1976, when anti-Castro terrorists murdered seventy-three people by blowing up Cubana Flight 455 off Barbados.
Declassified letters and reports (like one from FBI Director Clarence M. Kelley to Henry Kissenger) show that the United States Government knew of the plot beforehand and not only that: they knew exactly who was involved almost four months before the bombing.
You can read our previous articles about Cubana Flight 455…