Leader of the BLP Mia Mottley (l) Former Leader of the BLP Owen Arthur (r)
At a time Barbadians are crying out for leadership the official Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has pursued a strategy to retreat into political obscurity. In the same way many believe the government is responsible for rolling out policies that are heavily influenced by the dictates of international lending and credit rating agencies so too the behaviour of the BLP is being dictated by a high level of factionalism.
In is not uncommon for political parties while in opposition to engage in internal squabbling. Unfortunately this is an aged old process which serves as a crucible for the best of the best to emerge. Our democracy was tested in the Thompson versus Mascoll years and history seems destine to be repeated with the Mottley versus Arthur saga now playing out.
Mia Mottley has had to suffer the ignominy of being rejected by parliamentary colleagues. We all remember the so named Gang of 5 who anticipated an easy win at the polls with Thompson’s death imminent and in the Prior Park Accord recalled Arthur to keep out Mottley. What cursory study reveals is that there is an influential element in the BLP who come hell or high water will fight against Mottley becoming prime minister of Barbados. What makes a mockery of our party system is the political gimmicks which an unsuspecting electorate must endure as narrow and selfish interest play out within political parties. The irony is that Arthur has suffered two devastating defeats and yet the message is still not clear to the Arthur faction.
Submitted by Political Commentator
Trevor Prescod – BLP M.P.
It seems as if Trevor Precod is hell bent on reducing further – if that is really possible – his already less than impressive political career. At a time when Prescod as the oldest Member of Parliament both on the BLP and DLP benches should be focusing on creating some kind of achievements record, no matter how thin in content, he has caused the public to give another and harder look at how he has been operating.
First of all, it is now patently clear that Trevor “Bum Best” Prescod has an in-built sense of inferiority that compels him to adopt servile positions to persons he considers his intellectual and or social superior. We well remember how he has hero-worshipped Don Blackman to the point where he has imitated Blackman’s style and subject of speaking to the point where Prescod unnecessarily uses big words and long and confusing sentences, full of abandoned socialist jargon, when pontificating on obscure and out-dated topics of little concern to the public. All in an effort to sound like Don Blackman reincarnated, even though Prescod’s alter ego has long ago become a discredited political maverick.
People are now sure that untrustworthy as Don Blackman has become, he would nevertheless find revolting the fact that Prescod has now switched the object of his lap dog tendencies from one who paraded himself as a champion of the “masses” from Licorish Village and the Ivy and elsewhere, to the descendant of the “classes” from Sandy Lane and other areas of residence for Barbados’ social elite.
Submitted by William Skinner
“Mia Motley is being politically slaughtered by Owen Arthur because he is teaching her the age old truth”
As we continue to grapple with the floundering of the Democratic Labour Party and the blundering of the Barbados Labour Party, the collision of hypocrisy with reality stares us in the face. The inescapable truths are now haunting the apologists and desperate assortment of political henchmen and women, who never put Barbados before George or Roebuck Streets.
Mia Motley is being politically slaughtered by Owen Arthur because he is teaching her the age old truth: you cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hound. Arthur is bitter because he is confronting the harsh reality that his so-called economic management has in reality left the country no better off than he found it. He did not transform the society; he merely managed it competently and that is no great legacy to leave. Transformation is what both Grantley Adams and Errol Barrow achieved. Arthur will never and can never be seriously elevated to such heights. To put it mildly: Arthur became a ruthless self centered politician and conned the unsuspecting into believing that there was something called inclusion when in fact we all know it was nothing more than seduction and the opportunistic machinations of a frustrated group of young DLP politicians , who just did not want David Thompson to become Prime Minister of Barbados. He also easily seduced most of the rising talent that had emerged from within the ranks of the National Democratic Party.
Having squandered the chance to reclaim the government in 2013, Arthur on the night of the election made it known that he honestly believed that his chance for a second bite at the pie of power was sabotaged from within the ranks of his own party.
Barbados is going through one of the messiest political maelstroms in living memory, if not in our post-war experience. It is now on an economic life-support machine. The DLP government is running around like a headless chicken, with its leader Freundel Stuart, arguably the worst premier/prime minister in our history struck dumb and unable to address the nation and incapable of sacking Chris Sinckler, the equally bad minister of finance. And at a time when the BLP Opposition, under its new leader, Mia Mottley, should be mercilessly hammering the government, the party is imploding in one of the most vicious and bitter internecine wars any political party in Barbados has ever seen.
In terms of damage, it is worse than the walk-out by Errol Barrow and his Young Turks to form the DLP, or of Richie Haynes and his supporters from the DLP to form the National Democratic Party. But I believe all these are symptoms of historic change. As most people will understand, history is not linear; it ebbs and flows, is volatile and calm, it can erupt like a volcano and be as reassuring as a moonlit night. The problem with adversarial politics is that it brings out the nasty side of people, the premium is to show the opponent is incapable, rather than to show that one on the contrary is more than capable. It is a feature of our hostile discursive culture, rubbishing opposing ideas, asking the adversary to justify his/her views, rather than putting forward positive alternatives and justifying one’s own recommendations. It is not unknown for opponents to resort to foul-mouthed, vulgar abuse as part of the process.
Submitted by Pachamama
Will Clyde Mascoll take the spoils?
The Nation Newspaper today carries the essential components of an internal party memorandum from Owen Seymour Arthur (OSA) to Kerrie Symmonds. A memo which is reported to have expressed a ‘lack of confidence’ in Mia Amor Mottley (MAM) as leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), the official opposition, in the Parliament of Barbados. This comes after last fortnight’s revelations that the same OSA had called a significant policy initiative by MAM as a ‘gimmick’. Indeed, these are amongst the most sever blows that have ever been delivered to any political leader in the history of Barbadian politics. Maybe in the history of Christendom.
Arthur’s animus towards Mottley is now clearly too deep for this party to present any semblance of a united front against a weakened Democratic Labour Party (DLP), far less play a larger role in helping the country to navigate the presently deep and widening economic circumstances. These public disclosures are indeed the tip of the iceberg of the deeply negative personal relationship between Arthur and Mottley that have built up over several years. Arthur has also expressed disappointment about the circumstances which led to Mottley’s most recent elevation to the leadership of the BLP, as happened after the elections.
George C. Brathwaite
At the 2007 Annual Delegate’s Conference of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), the then Leader of the Opposition, David Thompson, began his featured speech by invoking a few disclaimers. It was revealed that there were groups within civil society actively speaking out against several perceived ills. Freedom of expression prevailed in Barbados under the political sacrosanct of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) that was being led by the economically acclaimed and intellectually gifted Owen Arthur, in spite of mounting and troublesome criticisms against the government.
David Thompson, in his address, said then that the situation in Barbados had reached a stage wherein there were pronounced “signs of frustration and despair.” Thompson goaded the public into thinking that it was inconceivable why the BLP had become “so indifferent and disconnected from the people it was elected to serve.” Thompson’s utterances were glazed in flowery language and buttered with a mischief to exploit weaknesses which appeared in the seemingly invincible Arthur-led team. The DLP, through its leader, promised to “imbue new hope and optimism” into Barbadians because Barbados was on a “slippery slope of division,” and it had become infested by “stagnation and malfeasance in public administration.” One wonders how necessary was this charade at the end of 2007 when now compared with those things have been evidenced this year at the end of 2013?
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Submitted by Pachamama
Dipper: Tom boy dem Bajans, specially the party loyalists, still treating we like gods, Tommy boy
Tom: You know dey had some people who woulda kill for me
Dipper: you aint got to tell me
Tom: up to now a few a dem aint think we dead, or that the Dems kill me, or that the Dems kill you, or that we progeny would be like we. Yeah, the yardies awaiting a second coming of the Tom and/or the Dipper – a savior
Dipper: some of Dem yardies still tink I dead in mysterious circumstances. Something to do wid the political machinations of Cammie or a cabinet reshuffle
Tom: Dipper yuh know we were edicated over in away bout politics, gouvement and law but yuh never expect this type of yardie worshipfulness. It was surprising to see how easily it was to mass indoctrinate so much people
Dipper: Goebells was right that was easy as Sunday morning. We still so puwful up dey that there can be nobody like we, even now.
Submitted by Napolean Bonaparte
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister
Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition
Minister of Finance Chris Sincklerr
Heads of Government : Stuart, Arthur, Mottley, Sinckler
Minister of Finance : C. Mascoll
Attorney General : K. Symmonds
Minister of Tourism : D. Inniss
Minister International Business: D. Marshall
Minister of Transport: M. Lashley
Minister of Culture: T. Prescod
Minister of Education: G. Payne
Minister of Labour :David Estwick
Minister of Health : R. Jones
Minister Housing Land: R. Sealy
Minister Agriculture: R. Toppin
Ministries to reduced eleven. Salaries of Ministers reduced by 25 %. Permanent Secretaries salaries reduced by 15%.
Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Owen Arthur, Former Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley Leader of the Opposition, Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
Fellow Barbadians, let me say how pleased I am, that our recently held general election was incident free and fair. Let me congratulate all the candidates for maintaining the democratic process and thanks to all those hard working citizens, who ensured that the highest standards of conduct prevailed.
Let me specially congratulate our main opposition, the Barbados Labour Party, on its success although the party of which I currently have the honor of leading, the Democratic Labour Party was victorious on this occasion. As you know, the result was very close and while the Democratic Labour Party was returned to office, the voters clearly showed that they are looking to both parties to solve our problems. In other words, while we are buoyed by the victory, we realize that these are challenging times and both parties have put the health of our economy, as their main priority.
Mia Mottley, Opposition Leader
Less than one year after the last general election and the sense in the BU household is that the country continues to be gripped in election mode. This is despite the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) having won the general election albeit by a narrow margin of two seats. The inability of the Stuart led government to bring Barbadians together and get on with improving the lot of the country has been a bane to many. To some the narrow result confirmed the disgust which the electorate has with the two main political parties.
Here is the flipside. BU is not convinced by the alternative proposals which were championed by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) during the last general election campaign. There was the privatization argument which backfired, however, the thrust of the BLP’s offering is centred on maintaining a service economy read tourism and international business. Not to forget the promise of a more aggressive offshore oil exploration program. The BLP faithful appear not to accept that the world has changed post-2008. Barbados ‘leveraged’ a global economic boom where there was easy money to be borrowed from capital markets. A significant percentage of the billions left in foreign reserves by the BLP represented borrowings which will have to be repaid. The adage that one has to earn your way in the world means that a borrowing strategy was not sustainable.
The BU gang has been harping for years that the Barbados downward spiral can be tracked to a lack of leadership. In case the BLP hacks have forgotten, the economic indicators started to flag during Owen Arthur’s third term. There is evidence that Arthur and the BLP struggled with the economic conditions which had become harsher.