Why was Honourable Claude Hogan fired by Montserrat’s Premier Romeo from his Administration?
Premier Romeo on Monday, September 18th, 2017, issued a less than 100 words statement, that offered no explanation whatsoever as to why himself, his Deputy Hon Delmaude Ryan, and select members of his PDM caucus, all consulted and conspired to sack the Minster.
Here at MNI Alive Media, we have the facts, but Romeo cannot publicly use those same reasons that his Deputy privately charged against Minister Hogan, or else he would be faced with tough questions under judicial review.
Firstly, how do you fire a Minister for exercising their constitutional right, and elected privilege to speak up for the people’s representation?
Secondly, the notion that Hon Hogan said that Premier Romeo cannot lead him cannot pass judicial review conclusively, for there is no public record that can be retrieved and produced as evidence that those words were ever actually said.
So why did Hon Claude Hogan get fired, and why was Hon Paul Lewis also in the line to be fired by Premier Romeo and his caucus?
During the last election of 2014 on Montserrat, a member of the now infamous People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) caucus often stood on the political platform and declared; "One man has five jobs, but five men cannot find one job!"
It was a rallying cry to the masses that a new day was around the corner, and the man to lead Montserrat to this new day was the man who would eventually become Premier, in Donaldson Romeo.
It was Romeo, and the PDM caucus members who often chaired these political rallies, who informed the people of Montserrat that jobs-on-the-ready were there to be rolled out once Romeo was elected as Premier.
These lofty ideas of the dawn of a new day under Premier Romeo were also often sang sweetly on the platform by caucus-men Johnny and Brother Julian. The recorded evidence exists of their many speeches on the platform during the 2014 elections.
Sadly, no jobs-on-the-ready ever came for the people who voted on this promise. .
It was another caucus man, it is believed, who pushed even further on to the Premier, the idea of first call on British aid. That ideology was always doomed to fail, and has indeed shown to be an abject failure. Despite Romeo’s best intentions and sweetest words to the ears of the British, no blank cheque has been delivered for the people of Montserrat to date. Perhaps he could have gotten the other caucus man Johnny to sell it for him to the British.
Then another caucus man, who carries the pet name of a "Bird", allegedly wanted to see the back of Reuben T Meade, for the PLM jubilee days were being dreamt of in their minds; and Reuben and his boys were having too grand a time at the dinner table. It was time for them to be shifted out so the jubilee days could return for the caucus men and their chosen few.
Premier Romeo being embraced by a supporter in 2014 who believed in his promise of delivery
Three years in, what has Premier Romeo’s leadership delivered for Montserrat? What can Montserratians point to and say that yes, these three years has shown a marked improvement with Romeo at the helm?
For the past two years at least, I often wondered, and asked who was it that was advising the Premier? I asked several persons whom I wondered if it might have been them, and they swore denial towards this charge.
Over these past months however, and more obviously over this past week, we have seen squarely who is in charge of the Government business on Montserrat; and it is not the Premier of Montserrat, Donaldson Romeo.
Romeo it now turns out, has all along been the Manchurian Candidate; placed in a position of discomfort and depth that he has no desire to be in. The real controllers of Romeo are his PDM caucus boys, who promised Montserrat much, but have delivered less for the people of Montserrat.
They, along with Premier Romeo and Hon Delmaude Ryan engineered the firing of Honourable Claude Hogan.
But what the Montserrat public does not know is that Romeo was also being pushed to also sack Honourable Paul Lewis. It was to be a double firing that the PDM inside gang wished to enact, with their aim being one objective only - that objective being to remove any and all threats to the " Dear Leader", Premier Romeo. Also, they wished to ensure that they, as select members of the PDM caucus would remain in ultimate control of Romeo, and by extension of Montserrat. Hon Ryan allegedly wanted to see the back of Hogan, so she can become Premier incase Romeo gave it in, or she herself rose to challenge him. Hogan and Lewis are both ahead of her in that queue, which did not please her much at all.
It is now clear more than ever, that one of the reasons why Romeo has been so indecisive in leadership, and has not shown the capabilities to make decisions, is because he has been hijacked by a clique membership of the PDM Party caucus.
We have a scenario where these caucus members who claim to love Montserrat so badly, yet having been in control of Romeo for the past 3 years, they have not pushed him to deliver a single programme for the private sector on Montserrat. Yet most of these men are businessmen.
Can it be said that these caucus men who are the defacto government of Montserrat, have been holding up the elected Ministers from truly helping the private sector of Montserrat grow and expand? Are these the men who have been behind the scenes, aided and abetted by the weak and indecisive leadership of Romeo and his sidekick Ryan - are they the very ones who have helped to stagnate the economy of Montserrat these five years?
We know of DFID, and what they have not done. But has DFID been holding out on delivery because they realise that the leadership of Montserrat is in fact presently weak and lacking in direction, and controlled by a shadow government?
The PDM caucus have not pushed their Manchurian Candidate to deliver anything for the people of Montserrat in these past three years, but instead created a situation where they fired one Minister for speaking up for the people who elected him; with consideration to also fire Honourable Paul Lewis, whose popularity Romeo secretly loathes, and both him and the caucus feel threatened by.
Romeo, we understand, craves the level of adoration afforded to former Leaders of Montserrat.
But the Premier must know that if he wishes to be loved like the late John Alfred Osborne, respected like Reuben T Meade; lauded as a Heavy Roller like David S Brandt; championed as a change-maker like William Bramble - then the Premier should have been delivering for the people.
Some will say Romeo is trying; but if after three years of trying and not a single capital project being delivered for the people, then a re-assessment of his leadership is required.
You do not destroy a 7-2 mandate gifted to you by the people; delivered nothing back to the people in return, after 3 years, then expect the people to still love you as "Dear Leader".
The democratic process affords for an inspection of leadership during the course of a 4 or 5-year term of a government being in office. If that leadership is found wanting repeatedly, then there are constitutionally available mechanisms to check that leader.
"One man has five jobs and five men cannot get one job!" Stated the caucus members on the platform in 2014.
That may have truly been so. But three years in, what do we have today? Rudderless leadership and a dictatorial caucus ruining hope on Montserrat.