Daily Archives: May 20, 2012

Is Owen Arthur healthy enough to be Prime Minister?

Last minute cancellation of public appearance sparks more health talk

Owen Arthur’s last minute cancellation of a weekend speaking engagement in Dominica has the rumour mill working overtime. The official reason for the cancellation as provided by the Dominica Labour Party is that Arthur “cancelled at the last minute for personal reasons.”

Some speculate that Arthur bowed out because Dominica’s Democratic Freedom Party put pressure on him, but many don’t buy that because it’s not like Arthur to misjudge the politics that badly – and it’s not like Arthur to let himself be pushed around and embarrassed. No Sir. The Owen Arthur we know would not be deterred by the DFP objection and would probably view it as a challenge to be met head-on. It’s not like Arthur to agree to a speaking engagement without considering the politics, and once committed it is not like Owen Arthur to then run from a public appearance because somebody objects.

Missing in action: the Owen Arthur spark!

For most observers, once you put aside a political causes for Arthur cancelling, the immediate thought is his health.

It is true that Arthur hasn’t been looking well at all in the last year. He seems dramatically smaller, slower and older – and this happened in a relatively short period of time. He stoops and sometime walks with a cane when only two years ago he would rocket up steps two at a time – drunk or sober. Now he shuffles about without the spark that defined his personality and physical appearances in public for three decades. You’ll have a difficult time finding a recent photo of the Opposition leader, because for some reason the local media prefers to use file photos from two years ago.

The physical also impacts one’s outlook on life and capacity for work: and Arthur has been missing in action more often than not at Parliament and party functions. His total failure to lead the BLP charge during the recent Employment Rights Bill is an indication that something is seriously wrong either with Owen Arthur’s political judgment or his health.

Once again, he’s just not the Owen Arthur that we know, or thought we knew. What happened? Could it be… Continue reading

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