FOREIGN MINISTER ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

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The Foreign Minister Darren Henfield said in his address to the House during the Budget Debate that he was proud to know that he was following in the footsteps of some great former foreign ministers. He listed them as Sir Lynden Pindling, Sir Clement Maynard, Brent Symonette and Dame Janet Bostwick. He said he passed their photos on the wall each day as he went to work or left.  \He left out his immediate predecessor Senator Fred Mitchell whose work and establishment he inherited but you know how politics goes. Even though the man’s career was helped up through the defence force by his predecessor, he didn’t have the grace to say  so. But we digress because he also left out the late Sir Charles Carter.  Problem with his man is that he is simply lost it appears on issues of foreign affairs except for the perks of  the job. He will of course end up with his picture on the wall and we hope sooner rather than later, but the question will be: what the hell did he do and minister? In another context, he is holding a lecture on zoom for the foreign minister’s training division.  Foreign Service officers are to hear on that day: A Day In The Life Of A Foreign Minister.  This will no doubt be an interesting exercise in explaining how you manage to twiddle your thumbs and do nothing all day. The Foreign Ministry has become a dumping ground for FNM sinecures. A relative of the minister is reportedly to be sent to Canada, while foreign service officers are waiting to be posted. Up in Brussels, the Ambassador pursued a full page ad advertising jobs.  The Human Resources Department sent out a public letters rebuking her and  saying that the ad was withdrawn and she had to learn proper procedures.  That didn’t stop her from writing two days after the rebuke an op ed piece in the press saying that she wanted new staff.  The morale is at an all-time low.  The Foreign Service Orders meticulously left in place by his predecessor have been abandoned  and yet the minister is boasting that one  day he wants to be on the wall among the luminaries like Sir Lynden Pindling. The wall obviously needs a space to fill.  Senator Fred Mitchell used to call Dame Janet Bostwick when she was there: the somnambulant foreign minister.  In Darren Henfield, it is clear we  have one again.