by Whitfield Mason
The People’s Labour Party is holding its convention this weekend against the background of fissures in the ruling Team Unity coalition of which the PLP is the weakest member.
The leadership of Timothy Harris in the almost seven years he has been in power has not been in such crisis; his style, and methods under been under more scrutiny and his intentions, openly questioned.
There are indeed growing signs that Prime Minister Harris has resigned himself to a quickly emerging political reality – he is not likely to last the entire term.
From the looks of things, he may be pushed, or else be moved before he is further cornered.
He is in real danger of ending up as a failed leader – if he does not find a way to adequately maneuver from maybe the biggest personal crisis of his political career.
Publicly he has embarked in a good game for now.
The Prime Minister has embarked on a virtual show and tell in the last few weeks since his two other leaders in the Unity partnership exposed so glaringly the crevasses – much more that cracks now.
Prime Minister Harris is largely a student of Denzil Douglas, the opposition leader and his former boss of so many years – but he has largely mis-read the political reality in which he eventually emerged as a leader.
Douglas was a maximum leader in a single party, where he held all the sway and virtually all the influence.
Douglas’ style of his way or the highway is obviously not suited to a coalition arrangement where consensus must be sought at every term – and the concerns and feelings of the partners must always be considered.
Harris has overplayed his hands – and unless he resigns as Prime Minister (which is unlikely) to save the coalition, he will fight the next poll as “the other Labour Party.”
The news from Harris’ camp is that he is busy trying to build a PLP base in every constituency for now.
He needs all the time he gets – even considering we are told, proroguing parliament – and ruling virtually by degree as long as the constituency allows him.
That however will be difficult to do though, especially if his main partnership partners hold out and boycott his cabinet meeting.
The strategists close to Harris said he is raising enough funds to play a divide and rule game – targeting Eugene Hamilton and the defeated Patches Liburd — whom it is believed he considers the two weakest links from the PAM camp.
Liburd has for months not caused with the PAM team. He was not even a factor in the last convention.
There is growing dissatisfaction with Hamilton in his constituency – with some complaining about his growing coziness to the Harris camp.
It is widely expected that Hamilton will be the lone major Team Unity senior member outside of the PLP that will turn up at Harris’ convention on the weekend.
He has been handed a personal invitation – something the other leaders of PAM have not been afforded.
While Hamilton is aware of this, he has told some close advisers that he intends to attend.
“He does not care who else is there or not there,” a close confidant told us.
Hamilton was the least scathing about the state of Team Unity of all the major speakers at PAM’s recent party convention.
“At this stage ‘Gene is a PAM in name only,” one member of the constituency council in Cayon said this week.
Hamilton has gone at length to argue that he has been a lifelong member of PAM, and that he still believes in its principles.
But PAM activists have long soured on how Hamilton has used his position as Minister of Housing to “starve” some of their own.
The Minister, at the recent PAM convention, defended his performance as Housing Minister and of how the houses have been allocated.
His PAM colleagues have made it known to him, it has been reported, that they have been less than satisfied, especially with the way Jonel Powell has received virtually no assistance.
As far as Harris is concerned – the people close to the action say – be believes that Hamilton provide his only major lifeline in an attempt to divide and rule hat until now is a growing united force of PAM and CCM against his style of leadership.