In another few hours it looks to be ‘bye, bye Dr DeLisle Worrell’, with political scientist Dr George Belle foreseeing only one outcome to the bitter court battle between the Central Bank Governor and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler.
Had Sinckler been allowed to have his way on February 13, the Governor would have been gone by now, except that Worrell, through his attorney Gregory Nicholls, has so far managed to block all attempts to have him dismissed and in the process securing not one but two court injunctions against the Government.
However, with the second one due to be dispensed with by High Court Judge Randall Worrell Thursday, Belle cautioned that even if Worrell were to win his case, there was simply no turning back for the embattled Governor, who in the face of recent economic pressure, has been fighting to protect his professional reputation.
“At this stage of the game everything now is politics,” warned Belle, explaining that while the Governor may have been inclined in the past to support the Government’s policies, even if he, intellectually, might not have agreed with them, this was no longer the case.
“The Governor is really saying that I have supported you for so long and I know that the game is up in a year at the most and I want to go out being able to say that I critiqued the policies and especially in relation to the printing of money and on that basis, that should give me some political legitimacy in the future,” Belle stated.
He further linked the Governor’s troubles to the recent unravelling of the Barbados economy, suggesting that Worrell was no longer deemed useful by Sinckler, who, acting on behalf of Government and the ruling party, would have initially “wished to have a sufficient intellect technician supporting their policies to give them a certain amount of credibility”.
However, “once the thing has now crashed to the extent that it has, which is to say that the Governor is now saying, ‘I am no longer going to go along because I am thinking about my legacy’, well then the [relationship] starts to unravel,” Belle added.
He therefore fully expects the court to grant Sinckler his wish to see the back of the Governor, if only on the grounds that “it cannot force Worrell back on an employer”.
However, Belle fully expects Worrell to get whatever compensation is due to him in keeping with the terms of his contract.
He also made a comparison between the Governor’s case and that of former Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin, who was essentially ousted back in 2013 and forced into early retirement at age 63, amid a strained relationship with the governing Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
“I think that is one way in which it can go – that they will have to pay him out, but he would be told, ‘you can’t go back to work’ and therefore you fill the post for the time being with an acting Governor.
“That acting Governor now has to be close enough to the party or to the Government’s policy to say that he will cooperate with what they need, whether it is the printing of money or whatever else and they have until the election or when the Government falls,” Belle added.
However, with the clock ticking down to a general election within the next year, the political scientist stoutly dismissed calls by critics for Minister of Finance to step down on the grounds that Sinckler has been carrying out the instructions of the Freundel Stuart-led Cabinet.
“If you said that Sinckler was told that the policies were not going to work and he was insisting on them going forward and there is some conflict in the Cabinet in relation to his persistence, then you could say he could have been [fired] two years ago. But clearly the Cabinet and the Prime Minister, who ultimately would have to fire him, went along with Chris Sinckler. So you cannot put the blame on Chris Sinckler now and say to get rid of Chris Sinckler. It is not Chris Sinckler’s fault that the policies have failed, it is the entire Government’s fault. It is the entire Cabinet’s fault and ultimately it is the Prime Minister’s fault. These are the people that will have to go and the only way that such can happen is if you call a general election,” Belle warned.
However, given the Governor’s admission that policies have failed to the extent that he is no longer willing to cooperate, the political scientist said the DLP’s back was against the wall.
“This is almost like a statement telling the rest of the population the policies are not going to work, so that, in this way, the Government would find it extremely difficult to come to the electorate, since it was seemingly overwhelmed by failures and the country was desperately in need of a new vision,” Belle contended.