The 10 Best Performing Members Of The Government… And The 10 Worst!
- March 4, 2023
In a recent survey carried out by Images and Profiles, as the Foundation for this article, our researchers found that many of the respondents could not clearly identify half of the Cabinet and or MPs, and those who could give most a poor and or failing grade.
This we found disturbing as the Ministers and Or MPs that they were able to identify, were “professional-politicians”, who had been around for ages, and so had recognizable names. And even so, this worked against the long-serving incumbents, and with that recognition, came the retort, ‘all dem must go home goh siddung now’.
Our Survey was not a Scientific one but was done in a casual and informal manner, designed to elicit the most honest, even off-the-cuff responses, to arrive at a truer picture of the pulse of the people, instead of one, where the questions were loaded, to produce a specific set of responses.
For this article, we have edited the responses to reflect the predominant opinions/sentiments, as were shared with our team, not only for accuracy and brevity but also for entertainment, as we hope to entertain as we inform.
Ten Best Performers:
1. Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke: Might be walking on tenderhooks right now but he Is being lauded for his quiet determination in reordering the financial service sectors; his role in spearheading the Civil-Service Modernization drive; shaking up the operational structures of the BOJ, and for his thrust in leading transformational change, that they hope will lead to spurring change in the Jamaican economy, change that will create a growth trajectory that will then benefit the people at the bottom of the Totem-pole, who are still waiting on the Prosperity.Coach, to roll into town…
2. Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett: Adjudged the Best Performing Minister, In The Andrew Holness, Led Three-year-old Administration. Record tourism stopovers; Moves to create a pension package for Tourism and Hospitality workers have catapulted the St James MP to the forefront of industry, watchers, and players’ consciousness.
3. Justice Minister Delroy Chuck: MP Delroy Chuck is not one of the Glamour-Boys of the administration, and that might be due to the fact that his PR Budget, is obviously not used to promote himself, but his Ministry. A closer examination of Chucks’ stewardship of the Justice Ministry, however, will reveal a policy of modernization and an overall overhauling of the Ministry that has resulted in better service delivery in our Courts and the attendant offerings of the Justice Ministry.
4. Minister Of Technology Daryl Vaz: Assigned to the Ministry of Technology, Vaz is generally regarded as one of the Most Powerful Men In the Cabinet and Government, seemingly able to override bureaucratic red tape that hamstrings productivity and creates a humbug for investors, Vaz has displayed an acumen and political savvy that has earned him the respect of many in the Private Sector, who see him as one who can actually get things done!
5. Senator Aubyn Hill: Minister of Job Creation And Industry: Is regarded as a “Trying Minister”. While most regard his Portfolio assignment as a nebulous one. respondents were nonetheless prepared to cut the Minister some slack, in the hope that he will do a meaningful job, in his new portfolio.
6. Minister Pearnell Charles Jr. Considered a rising star, Charles Junior, earned his stripes as Junior Minister in the Ministry Of National Security, regarded by many as one of the most difficult ministries, in today’s environment. He has earned the admiration of a number of International Partners and Support Groupings who worked with him at the National Security Ministry and see in him, a reliable partner, with a grasp of the issues confronting the country. As The Relatively New Minister Of Agriculture, His stocks are not as high, as some in the industry think he has succumbed to the lure of Special Interest groupings to the detriment of the Farmers and Agriculture in General.
7. Senator Matthew Samuda: Senator Matthew Samuda, considered amiable and competent, is the Junior Minister with responsibility for Water. Many think this Junior Ministerial post is a waste of good talent. He is commended for being atop of his Portfolio responsibilities, earned rave reviews for being an “Excellent Communicator”; and when called upon, proves to be a SME of rear intelligence. He is so highly thought of within and outside of the rank of Government, he is being touted as a possible Ministerial replacement for the dismal showing of the current Minister Of National Security. Pundits say, elevating the Senator would be a Game-Changer and the Country needs the respite his promotion would bring.
8. MP James Robertson: Regarded as the most competent member of the JLP, not to be included in the Cabinet or at a Leadership Level of the Administration. Considered an astute political power player and sometimes King-Maker, Robertson’s absence from the Cabinet, confounds many as they see this as due to American meddling and they contend that America, does not have the moral authority to meddle, nor do they have the historical suasion, as his supporters contend, they should bring him up on charges, or butt out rather than placing him under a cloud of innuendo, from which he cannot emerge…
9. Peter Bunting: The JLP’s Secret weapon against the PNP. Started his anti-PNP campaign against Portia Simpson-Miller and Intensified the same during the Rast-Portland By-Election, and continued destabilising the Party, Particularly Dr. Peter Phillips’s campaign to lead the Country. as he sought to frustrate PNP voters and questioned the electability of Dr. Phillips, in the hope elevating himself to the PNP Presidency and thereafter propel himself to the Prime Ministership…But Rhoda Happened and He’s been desperately trying to find a path back to the Good graces of the PNP, since, But to be clear, the JLP owe him its 2020 General Election Victory.
10 MP Juliet Holness: Regarded by many both inside and out, of the administration as one of the most underutilized assets of her husband’s administration, Juliet Holness is thought of as competent; highly regarded as a political tactician; and is seen as shrewd, possessing the right ‘killer’ instincts, to make her an effective Minister.
Worst Performing Members Of The Government:
1. Prime Minister Andrew Holness: Has been accused of a gross dereliction of duty by all those who responded to our informal survey. Some have even described the Prime Minister as the greatest disappointment of their lifetime, simply stating that not only did he fail to live up to expectations, but also stated that his tenure has been underwhelming, showcasing one major disappointment after another. Some sight his lack of the promised oversight of his Ministers and failure to hold them accountable as their chief grouse. Others cite the absence of clearly defined goals and or governing philosophy. while some question his moral compass… All in all, the Prime Minister Is given a failing grade across the Board, but more importantly when it comes to the JLP supporters’ assessment of their Party Leader, They are more vehement in their denunciation of his leadership than all other groups. In fact, soo deep is the sense of disappointment, that many card-carrying generational members of the JLP are publicly stating, they will not be voting in the Next General Elections, if ever again.
2. Health and Wellness Minister Dr. Chris Tufton: Observers say he was given a basket to carry water, as he lacks the budgetary support and support structures to make a dent in the woes dodging the Health and Wellness Sectors. But they contend he spends too much time and resources on self-promotion instead of trying to right the wrongs that bedevil the Ministry. While some give him a passing mark for his handling of the Covid Pandemic; others are not so kind with his handling of the refurbishing of the Cornwall Regional Hospital and its ongoing budget overruns…
3. Minister Of National Security Dr. Horace Chang: He has been dubbed by some as the Minister Of National Insecurity, as since assuming the Security Portfolio, the goodly Doctor, has brought nothing new to the table to stem the runway murders and general lawlessness across the country, with the biggest disappointment being to date, Dr. Chang, or the Prime Minister, is yet to present the country with an Anti-Crime Strategy, despite having promised one nearly 8 years ago. The fact that the minister has written off two official high-end vehicles in crashes has not endeared him to many.
4. Karl Samuda: Just can’t seem to get anything right…There was that disastrous stint as “Acting Education Minister”, A role in which he was woefully incompetent, Not to mention him being A70-Plus Year Old “Youth Minister”, Really? Not only were Observers not impressed by the septuagenarian being the Minister Of Youth, but some were also downright aghast at how little grasp he seems to have of the Education Portfolio, with some pointing out that his Press-Conferences were embarrassing, as he appeared not to be in command of pertinent information and has the look of a Deer Caught in the Headlights, when questioned or has to go off-script. Then There was the Grass-Affaire Whilst he Was the Agriculture Minister…
Now He is the Minister of Labour and he continues to make a mickle out of the Muck, as there was that issue with Farmer Workers being allegedly abused by their employers abroad, Something he summarily dismissed off the cuff. and then there is the issue of the Employment Status of Security Guards, where he’s dubbed Missing In Action. Many, even colleagues, thinks he should go or be made to go out to pasture.
5. Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith: Makes for an interesting case study, as she like her father, former Senator Anthony Johnson, is serving as the Country’s Foreign Minister. Whereas Her Father distinguished himself as the Country’s Top Diplomat and went on to earn the Unofficial Ranking Of Elder Stateman, Mrs. Johnson-Smith, has taken a different path. First, there was the monumental blunder at the outbreak of the Covid Pandemic, where she was Foreign Minister instead of seeking to bring Jamaican nationals Who were Stranded abroad or on the High-seas, effectively abandoned the Citizens to their own devices; This scenario was played-out again when Russia invaded Ukraine, disrupting the lives of many Jamaicans living and studying in Ukraine at the time.
And as if to compound her litany of international screw-ups, there was that ill-fated challenge for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General. Granted, it is a posh and comfy post and all. if she had the votes to attain her goal. but with members of the commonwealth seeing her as the proxy candidate of the now disgraced former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the writing was on the wall from early that indeed that post was a no-go for her as it would disrupt the unwritten protocols governing how Gen Secs are selected-Appointed to that post.
Sadly for her and Jamaica, her high-profile loss on the world stage, despite a massive PR campaign and charm offensive, and the Millions spent in pursuit of that post, played out on the world stage, causing many to question her reason for challenging an incumbent, after her Government had earlier given the assurance that no such challenge would be mounted.
While she still enjoys the confidence of her boss, Prime Minister Holness, she has lost face in the International arena and it may well take another multi-million dollar international campaign to recapture that lost sheen.
6. Transport Minister Audley Shaw: Fared way better as Minister of Finance than he is now doing as Minister of Transport. The fact that he seemed to have lost his booming voice, and is growing ‘Hard-of-Hearing’ is not helping. Generally regarded as a Decent human, and a Good Member of Parliament, many now concede that he has passed his “Used-by” date and his continued presence in the Cabinet will only lead to an embarrassment of richness as they claim he is losing his ability to lead effectively.
Described by one Political/Public Commentator as living proof of the concept of the ‘Peter Principle’, Montaque’s only success to date in the Andrew Holness 3-Year-Old administration has been to demonstrate how inept he is. From his stint at the Security Ministry; and now the Transport Ministry, his trademark buffoonery and cheap-slapstick comedic approach to Governance has put his incompetence on blast and is regarded as a major embarrassment to the JLP.
7. Marlene Malahoo-Forte: So dismal has been the comely AGs, performance, that it appears, that even she, has been questioning her efficacy and role. Probably the laughingstock, of the entire Legal Fraternity, Certainly the Butt of many jokes of her colleagues in the JLP. The Minister of the newly minted Ministry of Constitutional Affairs seems to be waging an internecine war on the Jamaican Constitution and the rights of the people, to accommodate political solutions for systemic problems compounded by the closeness of Elected officials to “Violence-Producers” or as Jamaicans Identify them: “Criminals.
Given A Tailor-Made Ministry to fit her supposed skill set, she has been effective in highlighting her limitations. Causing her to be subjected to many derisive verbal caricatures and permutations… The that she shows up has earned her the sympathy vote. But when it comes to policy and grasp of her portfolio, she gets the thumbs-down grading from both her supporters and detractors, with some in the party openly advocating that she be replaced, before the next General Elections.
8. Commissioner Antony Anderson: Completely out of his depth, as Crime Fighter in Chief. Since being appointed, Murders have been spiralling out of control; and the Police have been losing some of its more senior officers, who complain of the lack of leadership. And the Rank and File Members are leaving in Droves Too, for greener pastures as fewer and fewer of them see rising to the Top as an option. Simply put, the Major General has been a dismal Police Commissioner, who dithers while the country cowers..And the Force itself wants change at the Top, with many calling for DCP Fitz Bailey to be Made Commissioner, and Major General be, retired, in the Public’s Interest, to restore the confidence of the Rank and File members of the JCF, provide the organization with leadership and a Commissioner who at least knows how to fight crime.
9. Education Minister Fayval Williams: Some say it’s the nasal draw, coupled with the quasi-American accent. Others say it’s her total disconnect and insouciance to the charge she has been given. With Industry players and insiders bemoan the absence of a clear-cut plan for the way forward to pull the Education Ministry out of the spiral of decay, it has become. Sources close to The Education Ministry said they expected her to have had the plan to distance the Ministry from the Ruel Reid tenure, with clearly identifiable goals to achieve this and a reset of the Ministry’s curriculum and educational agenda, to shake off the Euro-centric Educational model and focus to a more inclusive broad-based curriculum to engender greater understanding of our place in the world, our connectivity to include a Global perspective and not the continuing perpetuation of a system that does little more than equip its charges for menial tasks in the global workforce, with the few exceptions. They say the reports of the many teacher-student and student-on-student fracas breaking out all over the national school community is evidence of the chronic absence of Leadership at the helm of the Ministry.
10. Minister Babsy Grange: Considered by many a “Plodder”, and an underachiever by others as they contend that her Ministry, has the capacity with astute leadership to emerge as a game-Changer. As Culture and Our History are potent transformative factors going underutilized. Many cringe at the current state of Spanish Town, as instead of it being a showpiece, a heritage site, and a Potential Cultural and historic center, it is now a run-down ramshackle of its former glory days as the nation’s First Capital. With no discernible or articulated transformative vision, to harness and or harvest the Tourism Goldmine that the Old Capital represents. This they say is represented all across the Country where Historic landmarks are rundown, ignored, and or are allowed to suffer decay, decimation, and die in obscurity. Another example cited was the ongoing controversy surrounding the Image used officially as Paul Bogle, but now widely disputed to be that of an American national. And added to that is the absence of the Paul Bogle Statue, from Morant Bay Square and Court House, for several years now.