Today’s surprise resignation was possibly the biggest shock of the current administration.
Ok, perhaps that’s a bit strong after the scandal in the Department of Health that led to the resignation of Minister Anderson.
Oh, and the ultra vires loans to the Sefton Group from the Department of Economic Development that led to the resignation of Minister Shimmin.
At least these resignations were to some extent forseeable. The current Council of Ministers has never really been commited to open and transparant government – dodging questions in Tynwald, making deals behind closed doors and being more concerned with the “ends” than the “means” have never filled me with much confidence.
With so much going on out of the public eye it was really only a matter of time before something came out of the woodwork and a strong and dedicated backbench (led by LibVan in both instances) would force some accountability.
But the resignation of a CoMin insider – the “Enforcer” – someone who has been regularly in the headlines (and the firing line) pushing Government policy, who spearheaded the “Big Debate”, the Chief Minister’s right hand man, is unexpected to say the least.
To announce this resignation now, the day before the Budget is to be announced, is poorly timed – or is it?
Along with the timing, the manner in which Mr Robertshaw describes Government as “dysfunctional” and “inadequate”, could be seen as a deliberate attempt to distance himself from his role in the current administration’s dysfunction and it’s inadequacies. He has been a key player over the last four years, and I don’t think this sudden change of heart should give Mr Robertshaw a get out of jail free card away from his past mistakes.
And who is to replace Mr Robertshaw? The same John Shimmin who was forced, only eight months ago, to resign after being caught handing out public money without the legal power to do so.