28 Apr 2008

'Watch your contents'

If there is any question then, of a challenge to his leadership, well, "if anybody in the PNM wishes to challenge the leadership, they are free to do so"

But they had better watch out, as the late Morris Marshall discovered.

"Mr Marshall," says Manning, "had this tendency to wish to challenge the leader from time to time, for whatever reason, and you could do that.

"That's fine. But you know, leaders are not fools. Leaders take note. If there was any difficulty in our relationship, it was because I was not prepared to stomach too much of that.

"You see, you can challenge my view. That's fine, but if ever you challenge my authority, I have a problem with that."

A quote from an interview with Pa-trick 12 years ago. As Sprangalang use to say, Rowley shoulda watch he contents.

"Leading a political party and a government is a tricky business," he says, and it "calls for methods of handling that are not orthodox.

"And, therefore, the assessment that the average person will make of that leadership may not be the same assessment of political scientists who may understand it a little better."

He offers an example of running a government.

"A minister of government is not in a trade union. There's no trade union. How is the prime minister to maintain discipline in a government? You have no grievance procedure.

"He cannot suspend a minister; he cannot cut a minister's pay. And therefore, the only sanction that he has is an ultimate sanction; that is, he can dismiss him.

"But you can't be dismissing ministers for every little thing, so that in between there, each prime minister has to define the mechanisms by which he will maintain discipline in his own government…

"I think that when assessing a prime minister, one ought to take that factor into consideration."