Estwick: I’m hanging by a string

Outspoken Government Minister Dr David Estwick says he is barely “hanging by a string”, having recently tendered his letter of resignation as chairman of the Infrastructural Committee of Cabinet.

However, he said Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has been refusing to accept his decision, and has even torn up his recent letter in which he had formally indicated his decision to quit.

In an exclusive interview with Barbados TODAY this week in which he reflected on the year now ending, Dr Estwick lamented that the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was not the same party he joined.

In terms of Cabinet, Dr Estwick, who has recently been at odds with the Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler on a restructuring plan for the sugar industry, also complained that his role as chairman of the Infrastructural Committee was being seriously undermined by ministers who have been making public pronouncements about projects coming on stream “next week or next month” without his prior knowledge.

A frustrated Dr Estwick says he was prepared to quit the committee once and for all. He has also not ruled out the possibility of quitting the Government and crossing the floor.

Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick.
Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick.

“I am supposed to be the Chairman of the Infrastructural Committee of the Cabinet. Note the language I am using. As far as I know, from way back when such a committee was established under former Prime Minister David Thompson, that committee was tasked with determining projects, prioritizing projects, having oversight of projects; and therefore managing those projects with the private sector or the public sector to completion,” the former Minister of Economic Affairs pointed out.

“Sometimes I have to sit and appreciate whether or not I am in a position to carry out that task. There are times when I am not too sure I want to stay as chairman of the Infrastructural Committee of Cabinet, because I feel as though I am spinning top in mud,” he told Barbados TODAY.

The embattled Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resources Management was at pains to suggest that the committee was being bypassed and projects introduced which should first go to the committee.

“There are times when I am being told of projects starting “tomorrow” or “next month” in the media and I am supposed to be Chairman of the Infrastructural Committee of Cabinet. So when I have to say that is not the way you do it, some will say ‘he is not a team player’.

“But I stand for process and procedure in doing it the right way,” the Minister of Agriculture insisted.

He said he has already put the Prime Minister on notice of his intention to step down, if this situation became chronic.

“And if I have to stand up on that I will stand up on that. I said to the Prime Minister, ‘if the time comes that I believe that I am ineffective because the process around me is not working, I will resign. And as I am sitting here with you today, I am telling you that is what I will do,” Estwick insisted.

He said the social conditions under which he joined the DLP had changed dramatically.

“When I came into politics, I was a medical doctor with a medical office practising medicine for about four, five years down in Wildey in Franklin House. So in other words, I came into politics with an already mixed moral compass and a fixed design socially as to how I am going to use the God-given skills that I have to advance the lives of people,” he explained.

He noted that other people before him would have had to make those choices and he made his with regards to his political future.

“And it is those types of underlying characteristics or value structures that help me to determine the direction that I am going,” he added.

Looking ahead to 2015, he suggested that economic growth will depend on project implementation.

“I don’t know who the implementer will be, because the responsibiity is supposed to be under a committee that I have responsibiity for. But I am not confident right now that the priortizing and the determination of the various projects is my task,” he told Barbados TODAY.

16 Responses to Estwick: I’m hanging by a string

  1. Ramon Maynard
    Ramon Maynard December 20, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Too much talking #lawd. Action please, walk the walk now. Doing the same thing and getting the same results…try something new.

  2. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley December 20, 2014 at 1:50 am

    This is yet another one of his barks with no bite-sick and tired of all of DEM and how they all use these tactics to distract the reality of how this country is down in a hole by their incompetent management-Bajans don’t be distracted with his rubbish again-Barbados was given a further downgrade from Standard and Poor’s, here is where we must pay attention to what is coming our way in 2015-the year has not begun, but already looking like a repeat of 2014. If Estwick serious, he would stop talking and start walking

  3. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley December 20, 2014 at 1:52 am

    I believed he is being used by the rest of DEM to distract the public from the real issues.

  4. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley December 20, 2014 at 1:53 am

    He is no child, his pension is set, why is he still talking if he is so disgruntled? Stuppssee.

  5. John Nicholls
    John Nicholls December 20, 2014 at 3:04 am

    See the P R strategy at work once again …..S&P downgrade announced. Up steps this minister with his usual threats to AGAIN deflect attention away from more bad news,which incidentally comes right on the heels of the other P R exercise conducted by the MOF on Tuesday. Based on todays report I must conclude that this Ministerial Statement was made simply to get ahead of this downgrade in the news cycle. I am sure they knew it was coming. As I said more P R.

  6. Tony Webster December 20, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Yep, Doc, I agree wid de evidence of my eyes, ears, and what’s left of me brain: that’s an awful, big, red and shiny- and very painful- boil…right on your butt. No doubt about it, it’s a real …well…pain in the butt. Question is… do you have the guts…to pick up the scalpel…and fix it? Or are you gonna lance it…wid your mout?

  7. arther lashley December 20, 2014 at 7:37 am

    I Read :

    The definition of true Insanity is to continue doing the same thing and expect a DIFFERENT result.

  8. arther lashley December 20, 2014 at 7:41 am

    “already mixed moral compass ”


    NO wonder the PM tore up your pages of “literature”.

  9. Anita D December 20, 2014 at 10:28 am

    We tired of hearing the long talk. Just do it and stop telling me about what you might do. I have lost all respect for the Minister of Agriculture.

  10. daneale December 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Don’t care however bad things may seem,he will never join the BLP, just like former PM,he too proud to cross the floor and become another Mascoll.

  11. Alex Alleyne December 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Politics will be Politics. The same kind of persons get into the game in order to “get rich-quick” and never care about the Country. Economic Power , Political power , no one held one without qiuckly gaining the other.

  12. Hance Williams December 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Wow, at the comments, you guys give Dr. Estwick such a hard time and he indeed is a great minister he tries to succeed at his targets, he sets them and he works towards achievement. Hes been in politics for years with a great track record, but Barbadians are the ones who use him as a distraction, when a lot of the things he says are true and hes merely trying to revitalize Barbados. Do we know the IMF agreed that agriculture is the way out and not tourism yet we turn our backs on a great member of our community trying to help. Shameful.

  13. ASTUTE December 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I think ‘already mixed moral compass’ was a typo and that it probably should read ‘already fixed moral compass’.

  14. Maxine Baker December 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Are the majority of the comments above posted by “bred and born” Barbadians? Why is the spirit of aggression so loud in these comments? Is thakt they way to do? A clear indication as to why our young people solve issues in a war-like fashion. Aggression seems to have become the hallmark of the day in Barbados. “Fireworks” cannot be the answer simply because things have not gone the way they were supposed to have gone in terms of Dr Estwick’s matter. LET US SIT AND REASON – ARE WE ALL NOT SPARKS OF THE DIVINE ESSENCE? WE MUST COME TO THE POINT WHEREIN WE SEE THAT IT IS A GOOD THING WHEN WE RESPECT EACH OTHER, IRRESPECTIVE OF POLITICAL, SOCIO-ECONOMIC OR RELIGIOUS ORIENTATION.


  15. Winslow Brome December 21, 2014 at 9:04 am

    way to go Estwick ,action now or never

  16. harold December 22, 2014 at 7:23 am

    As a child I always hear action speaks louder then words Mr Minister and its true we need action and not words sorry if you are as serious as you sound you would be saying you have retired with effect due to the foolishnesses of my parliament working team


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