Rule this one out

Following up on the cabinet shuffle of last week, and my speculation as what it all could mean, the one thing that I think can now be safely ruled out is a Terry Lister leadership challenge.

After listening to Mr. Lister being interviewed on the Friday evening news shows, he gave as equivocal an "I'm not running for Premier" denial as you'll get. The rationale was that he was tired of 8 years in Cabinet and needed to step back, which could of course be the case, although the rumour mill has settled on another explanation that I won't touch and is nothing to do with politics. But you can't claim exhaustion and then 3 weeks later challenge the party leader.

I imagine Mr. Lister has been preparing for this for some time, but wanted to wait until his increased cabinet salary (and hence pension) was implemented, before stepping down. Always the accountant.

That doesn't mean that Premier Scott is off the hook however. The appointment of former BIU President as Minister of Labour, right before Labour Day, suggests he isn't sure of his footing and needs to shore up the labour base of the party and has abandoned appealing to the centre.

Also a few people had mentioned to me that the only union speaker at the Labour Day festivities yesterday was Bermuda Industrial Union President Chris Furbert, which probably confirms that the rift between the BIU and other unions isn't resolved. The stage was apparently packed with PLP representatives to make up for the other unionists' absence.

And I've also been told that PLP politicians and PLP executive stayed very late and worked the crowd very deliberately...election style.

Couple that with their political consultant's arrival on the island (which I was looking for confirmation of in my Election Fever post of 16 May, 2006) and we could be headed into some interesting times.

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