The government and DLP supporters are pleased for the distraction the Maria Agard disagreement with her political party offers. […]While there is possibly a majority view by Barbadians everywhere that the mauling of the affairs of the country is the worse we have experienced in the post Independence history by a government,
a politically fatigued citizenry appears eager to be distracted by the political class yet again. Political conflict is nothing new in our system of government and in the same way the DLP, on the surface it seems, appears to have recovered from the Thompson vs Mascoll episode so too will the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
Of greater concern to the citizenry should be a governance system that is failing. The current state sees an inability of the citizenry to hold elected politicians accountable, demand transparency read Cahill deal, facilitate policy direction to stoke innovation and creativity, increase national productivity, insightful use of physical resources, align the private and public sectors to breed global competitiveness… Law and order have been enduring characteristics of our small island and have defined our way of life as Bajans – now gone like the wind.
Mia Mottley should recall the period when the gang of 5 deselected her as Opposition leader. She struck a tone that endeared her to Barbadians everywhere. She was particularly strong on the need for governance strengthening. We should be concerned that Maria Agard is being railroaded out of her safe seat because she dares to veer from the party line. It is not the first time members of a political party have expressed differences with the party line. In the USA the party Whips have their hands full to build consensus on many issues to support party positions. The fact that we have political parties demanding sheepish adherence to party positions and allow for zero space to entertain different positions – shaped by conscience for example – is where national debate should be the focus. If change is required to how political organizations are structured and ‘new blood’ is encourage to infuse the political parties with ideas why should the establishment not disengage from predictable behaviour and resist gang banging members who hold different positions.
The BU household has observed the interventions from the traditional players concerning Agard and her altercation with the BLP. Whether it is Wickham, George Bell, traditional media it all appears to be so orchestrated and disingenuous to those who are close to the issues. Take David Ellis and his position on air yesterday. How does one place so much faith in the workings of the executive of a constituency in Barbados? If Agard is prepared to challenge the influence less than a 1000 partisans bring to the table in order to defend principle issues why should the political party – represented by Mottley who was a proponent for change of the BLP constitution not so long ago – not discomfort itself to accommodate those who canvass for said change?
It is obvious to ALL there is conflict between Agard and Mottley. Those who follow local politics are aware of the dissent which has been fermenting from the time Agard by dint of hard work won the nomination from Bishop. Herbie and his establishment gang have never forgotten Agard the upstart. Didn’t the great Arthur have to ask Herbie to backoff in 2011 when she kicked Bishop’s ass? It appears Mia does not have the same long coat tail of Arthur to command order in that constituency and his heavily dependant on Jerome Walcott. It is payback time. It is clear Agard is seen as a trouble tree whose political head should be lopped of. And the BLP machinery is well on course to achieving that objective. It is the nature of politics, Machiavellian politics. Barbadians should not be so blind to not probe more deeply what is at play here. What has Agard done to deserve political assassination you ask? From where BU sits we see a young, bright female who is prepared to defend her positions even if it means butting heads with colleagues and or sacrificing her political career. How many sitting MPs are prepared to do the same? Mia Mottley as leader should be able to meet with Agard and negotiate a compromise position with the disaffected parties. The idea of killing an ant with a hammer, encouraging the infighting by siding with factions within the party is immature and gives insight to Mottely’s unwillingness to depart from the old way of practicing party politics in Barbados. Imagine Agard sitting in a Cabinet and or Parliamentary Group meeting giving her willingness to veer from the party line. How refreshing that would be to force decisions closer to the interest of the people!
BU will deal with Peter Wickham on another occasion. He has used his several platforms to spew perspectives on the Agard issue which are nothing more than he being disingenuous.
It is time Barbadians, educated Bajans, speak out about the injustice being meted out to the few who dare to challenge the establishment. To those who are lobbying for Agard cross the floor, where is the precedent that it will act as a catalyst for change? Have we seen it with Symmonds, Mascoll, Lashley, Prescod et al? Those who are members of the BLP need to step up and support the good lady. Even if she suffered a few indiscretions – as accused by the party – the point is she appears to be a committed a BLP supporter.
A good place to begin for Mottley is to recollect her position of a few years ago when she called for a overhaul of the BLP Constitution and was ignored. Agard and Mottley are probably not that far apart on the issues IF Mottley was genuine in her earlier positions.