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What shall issue from Dr Estwick?

O dear, what can the matter be?

Dear, dear, what can the matter be?

O dear, what can the matter be?

Dr Estwick wanna clear the air.

(With apologies and respect to the original

traditional lyricists.)

We will hardly hear Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick singing the

praises of his Government any time soon. Or, should we? Well, certainly not,

if Dr Estwick’s bosom buddy Taan Abed has the remotest thing to do with it.

Mr Abed is on record as revealing that Dr Estwick has been under

pressure, presumably from his Cabinet peers, and has been shunted on

proposals and projects he has recommended or sought to implement.

If this is truly so, Dr Estwick has been cultivating an extraordinary supply

and measure of patience and tolerance, which would normally be beyond his

natural capacity to contain, and for which we should give him due adulation,

and the Freundel Stuart administration, some token of obeisance –– and

maybe the Ministry of Finance along with it.

But the goodly Minister of Agriculture has ostensibly reached breaking

point, and it may take colossal pacifying, immense mending of fences, and a

humongous amount of Stuart grandiloquence and elocution to steer him from

his current trajectory of stomach emptying.

And we all know there is a certain chutzpah with which Dr Estwick

can spew.

We may reasonably assume that the ebullient St Philip West Member of

Parliament is not happy with the way his Government colleagues are handling

the country’s economic challenges, since he wishes so passionately to give

publicly his own take on the way forward.

“It would be a dereliction of my duty as a Barbadian,” he argues, “not

to outline to Barbadians my perspective, as a minister and as a citizen of

this country, on why the Barbados economy is having its macroeconomic

challenges; whether or not our present path is the right one or the wrong

one; and what is the path I think should be pursued.

“I can no longer sit silent when this debate is raging on, and when the

outcome of any action may seriously undermine the stability

of this country . . . .

“I was a man before I got into politics and I [will] stay one if I am out of it.

But I am going to do what I have to do, honestly and diligently, in the interest

of Barbados, and in the interest of my children, and grandchildren to come,”

Dr Estwick declared, adding that “this is not the time to be pig-headed or . . .

[to] close off options”.

So who are the obstinate and bullheaded in the Cabinet of Barbados?

Who are the stiff-necked that would spurn “innovation”? Who are the

intractable that would stymie “creativity”? Who are the dense that would

toss aside these options Dr Estwick insists ought to be “evaluated clinically

and surgically in the interest of Barbados”? Who?

If the St Philip West MP is not cajoled to recant, we could know

in a matter of days. And if confidant Taan Abed does indeed have his dream

come true, Dr Estwick will be addressing us from the other side. Or could it

come spectacularly from one of Mia Mottley’s People’s Assemblies?

These imageries are surely closer to reality than the bandied about

scenario of catching a black cat in the dark of night in a blackened room!

Dr Estwick’s fulmination, as some observers would refer to his most recent

declaration, is not to be dismissed.

That the minister has blown up publicly twice before, having reservations

about the said Government he has been serving in, ought not be used to

diminish his new manifestation.

Twice before, it may be strongly argued, it was about status, placement

and ego. This time around, the Member of Parliament has argued it is about

country! He will do what he must “honestly and diligently, in the interest of

Barbados, and in the interest of my children, and grandchildren to come”.

Who really is to say that Dr Estwick is not much like the old English

farmer and journalist William Cobbett, who from a very early age had

“imbibed the opinion that it was every man’s duty to do all that lay in his

power to leave his country as good as he had found it” –– or even better.

The next few days should tell.

Oh dear, what will the matter be?

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