There was about a two-year period when Loretta Butler-Turner was a name mentioned perhaps, in this country, more than any other, with the exception of the then sitting prime minister. Indeed, only Prime Minister Perry Christie was more of a conversation item than Butler-Turner.
As Deputy Leader of the Free National Movement, she had vanquished noted male figure (Desmond Bannister) during that first election of party officers after former Leader and Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham resigned, unwilling to go on as the chief party officer once the FNM lost the general elections in 2012.
Butler-turner was a huge polarizing figure. She demanded respect. Her eloquence and command gave her almost equal prominence to her leader, Dr. Minnis. In 2014 she challenged him for the first time for the leadership. She lost in that November mini-convention and could have continued as deputy and today would have been deputy prime minister and deputy leader.
However, she insisted on challenging Dr. Minnis, to the point of unseating him as the Official Opposition Leader in the House of Assembly. Unfortunately for her, Dr. Minnis maintained his strong base of support in the FNM and remained easily the party leader.
The fall of Butler-Turner and her colleagues is now history.
She admitted during an exclusive interview with The Freeport News (today’s front-page lead) that she is on the outside of the national political scene. She has started to open up more though and as is her style, Butler-Turner pulls no punches.
In today’s article, she accuses the prime minister of not taking “good advice.” Butler-Turner is not the first to express this view.
Interestingly enough, her voice being heard again, adds excitement to politics in the country. She does not sound bitter at all. In fact, it appears she now accepts the results of her actions. She misjudged the scenario within the FNM and the country. The party was her political foundation. It was a platform from which she became quite popular and respected.
If she had stayed in place, bided her time, it is likely she would have upstaged Dr. Minnis in any event. Butler-Turner has greater political appeal, but the strong-headed approach failed and caused her to be relegated to the political wilderness.
Clearly though, even with no political clout whatsoever, the name Loretta Butler-Turner draws one’s attention.
Let’s see where this current course takes her.
Can she rise from the political ashes?