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Daniel’s Letter – The Fallout

The FalloutAntigua St John's - Inside Politics has spent some time mulling the infamous letter penned by Health Minister Wilmoth Daniel, and its ramifications for both the governing United Progressive Party (UPP) and the politics of Antigua & Barbuda in general.

Since the letter was published, I have been approached by many people seeking my analysis of the situation and just how I believe the matter will play out.

My assessment has been consistent throughout; Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer cannot fire Daniel, irrespective of how angry the letter - and the fact that it has been made public - makes him. This, in my view, would precipitate a series of events that I suspect would led to the demise of the UPP government and even, perhaps, marshal in early elections.



For Spencer to fire Daniel because he called for an inquiry into an affair that many people in the society view as questionable, would send a signal that a government that came to office on the backs of promises of good governance and transparency in all its endeavours is itself behaving contrary to its much-hyped mantra of "what is wrong will be made right".

Secondly, Spencer’s thin parliamentary majority – UPP –  9, ALP – 7, and the BPM – 1, doesn’t allow for much political manoeuvring, especially when there are other restive members on your side about whom you are not absolutely sure.

Inside Politics was able to take a seat at the first Cabinet meeting following the issuing of the letter. It turned out to be a roundtable discussion on the issue.

Prime Minister Spencer said he was very hurt by the letter, and that in his view, if someone does not want to be a part of the government, then they can leave. “I am not going to have an investigation. An inquiry can hurt our government. I will not be having an inquiry,” he declared.

Other ministers were asked to voice their opinions one by one. Hilson "Brother B" Baptiste said he did not see the need for an inquiry, and he felt that if Daniel had an issue, then he should have discussed it in Cabinet among his colleagues instead of penning a letter that eventually reached the public. He said he was feeling unwell, and he left the meeting.

Perhaps the most vociferous defense of the government came from Education Minister Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, who felt that Daniel should leave the party. She urged the prime minister to fire him. In an off-hand remark, she even referred to the Hadeeds as "greedy".

John Maginley wanted not just this letter retracted, but also the one that spoke of a Cabinet minister attempting to bribe Daniel.

Harold Lovell was unusually reticent when his turn came to speak. He said that he felt all the questions relating to the power plant had been answered, and that he did not see the need for an inquiry.

The attorney general was absent from the meeting.

Perhaps the most sober reflection came from the man who spoke last, Dr Errol Cort. He opined that the PM and his Cabinet ought to be mindful that expelling Daniel from the group could spell dire consequences. He even volunteered to mediate between Spencer and Daniel, as he saw the ongoing feud as driving a chasm in the party and the government.

At that, Spencer appeared to have stepped away from the edge, and in his wrap-up, adopted a more conciliatory tone by agreeing to Dr Cort’s offer of mediation. Spencer also told his UPP executive about Dr Cort’s offer, and his acceptance of the move. Through it all, Daniel stood stoically listening to his colleagues.

Several weeks have elapsed since the letter was delivered to Spencer. It seems as though the combatants have reach a stalemate. The UPP government, with the support of its party executive, is resolute that there will be no inquiry in the Wadadli Power Plant affair.

Daniel has very little option left but to leave the government as a matter of principle if an inquiry is not held. Anything short of this would render him a toothless tiger, and he would be recorded in the annals of history as such. It is clear that he and the other members of Cabinet no longer share the same philosophy and principles, and can no longer co-exist.

As the fallout continues, one thing has become crystal clear; the public humiliation of Daniel by his former colleagues is now in full swing. Inside Politics has learnt that some members of the Cabinet have been heard gloating that Spencer has "put manners" on Daniel. This policy has also been put into effect by the radio programme "for hire".

What are the options available to the former deputy prime minister? Remaining in the Cabinet without it instituting an independent inquiry into the WPP matter would make him a laughing stock within the society. He also can forget appearing on a UPP ticket anytime soon.



However, irrespective of his deep desire to publicly "manners" Daniel, PM Spencer too has very few options available to him. Already, the majority of people in the society, UPP supporters included, firmly believe that Antigua & Barbuda did not get full value for money in the purchase of the power plant.

If he fires Daniel without holding an inquiry, then that would be interpreted as the action of someone with something to hide.

Secondly, with talk of a vote of no-confidence in the air, this provides fertile grounds for all kinds of late-night discussions that could give such a move traction. Spencer cannot and will not gamble with fate.

His best options therefore are to ride out the current storm and hope that Daniel doesn’t have any more surprises up his sleeve. He also has to hope that the suggestion that Antiguans & Barbudans have short memories holds true in this case, and that the WPP issue fades fast from their collective memories.

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21 Comments In This Article   

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RE: Daniel’s Letter – The Fallout

#21 Audrey Taylor » 2012-04-27 16:52

I dont think Daniel is so noble, before his election to office a man of limited means working for his living , how do you explain in sudden wealth and substance. He is a rat abandoning his sinking ship to save his own ass..ets
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Audrey Taylor

RE: Daniel’s Letter – The Fallout

#20 Audrey Taylor » 2012-04-27 16:32

Maclean Emmanuel ?really have we not seen the results of clueless politicla stooges running our country , do we really want more of the same. Even the informed and intelligent have proven them self to be unfit and improper in holding public office. It is time to choose our candidates wisely. We need intelligent well informed and morally credible leaders . God help us :-x
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Audrey Taylor

...PREDICTION...

#19 Jumbee Picknee » 2012-04-27 13:24

The writting is on the wall. A well placed agent of the ANANSI SECRET SERVICE (A.S.S.) have indicated to me, that while she was on surveillance, tactically placed in the afro of Minister Quinn, she overheard that, Min Daniel has been given the boot internally and Mac Emanuel will be running in St. Phillips South....
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Jumbee Picknee

...make that move....

#18 Jumbee Picknee » 2012-04-27 13:13

Gaston the time is right. Make that move from ALP/AT&LU to INDEPENDENT. The political climate in our Nation is ripe and ready for it.
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Jumbee Picknee

Truer words have not been spoken

#17 STEVE » 2012-04-27 00:19

"This policy has also been put into effect by the radio programme "for hire". I LOVE IT. COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF.
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STEVE

Daniel is the People's only Hope

#16 The Liberator » 2012-04-26 21:28

As many are hoping an wishing for a new mandate to this present government, Daniel is the most important and valuable person at this time. He is the only one that if he breaks party line ca cause the country to go back to the poll and may the chits fall where they do. But his political future will be over that is for sure. I do not believe he will in the short time have a place in the Labour Party administration. perhaps overtime. And he may not survive the UPP supporters of his constituancy. But he has a choice to make, wich side of history he will be at. The man who caused the fall of the UPP administration or the wimp who did not had the couriage to put his action where his mounth was. I pray he does the right and just thing
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The Liberator

RE: Daniel’s Letter – The Fallout

#15 Fred » 2012-04-26 18:27

Daniel will crawl right back into the UPP's Den. Mark my words.
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Fred

Shaolin

#14 Mumba » 2012-04-26 13:59

The people of Antigua and Barbuda will side with Daniel for putting country before party!

They will reject PM BS for putting his buddy David before Party and Country!
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Mumba

RE: Daniel's Letter - The Fallout

#13 SlyThatGuy » 2012-04-26 13:57

Prime minister Spencer and members of his Cabinet shouldn't have to worry about whether or not to fire Wilmoth Daniel,because Daniel,before this time,knew that he would have to quit if his demands were not met. If he wasn't ready to depart,he would have seriously reconsidered before deciding to write this type of public letter to the prime minister.I mean,after Daniel stated that Spencer's style of governing is causing Daniel many sleepless nights,how would it look if he decides to keep on working with Spencer? Additionally,I'm curious to know what the prime minister meant by "an inquiry can hurt our government"? Is that an admission of guilt or is he trying to tell us that an inquiry will certainly reveal china's allegedly immoral deeds,in which manner Antigua & Barbuda will lose its financial support from China?
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SlyThatGuy

RE: Daniel’s Letter – The Fallout

#12 Truth Be Told » 2012-04-26 12:07

Jacquie Quinn - well I never knew ah so Jacquie "tan" for real. She is demanding that Daniel be fired? wow! She should not be talking.

Hilson Baptiste - I agree with Antiguan Woman. This is not an inquiry into a seasoned-rice cooking contest, so "Broddah B" should mute himself.

John Maginley - You want the letter retracted huh? How about you retract yourself from the position u currently hold carz u nar do jack squat!

Justin Simon - being himself. nuff said.
Harold Lovell - unusually quiet huh? I wonder why? Still waters run deep dem tell me.

What an uncomfortable Cabinet meeting that must've been. For Daniel to be in the same room with all others who see him as a "traitor"
Again, it takes GUTS to be in the position that Daniel is currently in.
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Truth Be Told

R baptiste

#11 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-04-26 11:39

What benefits are we seeing from the new chinese plants? I would think you do not reside here,so i will answer for you. ZITS,NONE, how do that translate into putting our interest first? Had our interest been first,the new plant would cost us less to operate,therby translating in some savings for apua,and in turn the public. We may be seeing in colors according to you,but sad to say you seem not to be seeing at all,the scales on your eyes are getting quite thick,i suggest you have them removed,before you go totally blind.
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN

RE: Daniel’s Letter – The Fallout

#10 R. Baptiste » 2012-04-26 11:22

It is unfortunate that people who are blinded by red or blue cannot see beyond their wee little noses. Daniel, like Robin Yearwood is not concerned about the welfare of Antiguans & Barbudians. Daniel is concerned that his buddies; the xadxexs are not milking Antiguans and Barbudians for every penny they can, and that is no different than what Robin Yearwood did to us when he renewed the contracts with APC.
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R. Baptiste

RE: Daniel’s Letter – The Fallout

#9 Concern Antiguan » 2012-04-26 11:05

Corts is a diplomatic thinker who the has pm interest at heart. Great caution to the pm.
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Concern Antiguan

INFAMOUS!- NO!

#8 RAWLSTON POMPEY » 2012-04-26 10:51

It may not be said that Minister Daniel's writing of a letter amounted to "...INFAMY" (paragraph 1). This word connotes "...evil, vile and ambominable."

Instead, he may be credited for displaying testicular fortitude in demanding "...ACCOUNTABILITY" from his Cabinet colleagues on a matter of grave national importance, public and media interest.
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RAWLSTON POMPEY

RE: Daniel’s Letter – The Fallout

#7 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-04-26 10:46

The PM may be thought to have thought Daniel a lesson,it is now time that we the people teach him(BS) a lesson.We should have massive protests,even it means blocking the raods that leads to their offices,they should not be alowed to continue their jobs,which we hired them and are paying them to do,until we get some accountability from them.It is not enough to sit back and allow them to act as though its business as usual, and people will forget,are we that stupid,this cannot allow to be continued,if so what next?
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN

RE: Daniel’s Letter – The Fallout

#6 ANTIGUAN WOMAN » 2012-04-26 10:41

Firstly,the Pm accepting that an investigation would hurt his Govt,gives rise to reasoning that he knows what negatives will come out from the inquiry.(assuming that all this is true) Second, Hilson Baptiste do not possess the intellectual capacity to determine whether an inquiry is necessary or not, we,re not dealing with restaurant equipment here.As to Jackie Quinn,she has allowed arrogance to raise her to an extent,where she no longer sees reality,she must be seeing the #1 infront of the 9,so firing would not dent a hole with 18 left,she must be delusional and living in 2004 when they had a demanding lead.John Maginley,is such a non -entity that even he speaks no one really hears,its like blowing in the wind,he makes no sense, Retracting the letters will not erase it from the publics mind,which BTW wants an investigation also,neither have we forgotton about the bribery that was swept under the carpet.As to Dr Cort,the chasm has already been driven, even a show is put on inorder to hold the party together that will not appease us the public, it will only make it worse and show Daniel as one with no credibility.
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN

Everton

#5 tenman » 2012-04-26 10:28

Everton, thanks. We need persons like you to help us understand the mindset of the ruling class. I see like Chelton, you too have the ability to "hide in the bushes" This much needed ability has been missing for too long and may have helped from keeping us from being in the current ditch.

..
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tenman

good job

#4 country before party » 2012-04-26 10:09

what daniel did was good he show the country once again that he is for the ppl of antigua and barbuda... grate JOB contiune to represent the people of antigua and barbuda and if that mean talking against his party do it.
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country before party

The Truth Shall Set You Free

#3 Truth Be Told » 2012-04-26 09:57

Thirdly, I have something to say to you MP Wilmoth Daniel. Perhaps you are feeling uneasy about the ostracism from fellow Cabinet members. Please continue to hold your ground. Politicians seem to think that they will always be "in style" but one day the sun will set on their careers. "What kind of legacy will I leave?" is a question that all should ponder. So don't worry too much about the short-term effects of your recent decisions. Focus on the bigger picture - the future of Antigua/Barbuda. Stand firm, be resolute, be courageous - this is what the people elected you to do. When it comes to politics, TALK IS CHEAP but YOU have followed through. Thanks 4 keeping your conscience clear MP Daniel
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Truth Be Told

The Truth Shall Set You Free

#2 Truth Be Told » 2012-04-26 09:56

First of all, what MP Daniel did took GUTS. Not many people possess the intrepidity to "go against the majority" so to speak. It is even harder when the majority are/were friends & colleagues. For this, I must say that I admire Daniel for his stance.

Secondly, I believe that Daniel is putting COUNTRY b4 party and even if he runs independently, the people of St. Phillip's South would re-elect him based hugely on his actions of demanding transparency from the gov't.
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Truth Be Told

more more more

#1 ex supporter » 2012-04-26 09:26

I really hope that Daniel has more surprises up his sleeve for them all. :P
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ex supporter

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