Submitted by David Comissiong, President, Clement Payne Movement
It does not surprise me that Owen Arthur has chosen to join forces with the Freundel Stuart Administration. The sad truth is that Owen Arthur, Freundel Stuart, Chris Sinckler, Ronald Jones, Donville Inniss and all the other members of this dismal DLP Administration really do belong together.
The vast majority of Barbadians are convinced– and rightly so– that the current DLP Governmental Administration is easily the worst political administration that Barbados has had since the attainment of universal adult suffrage in 1951. But we must remember that our national woes did not start with the coming to power of the DLP in 2008!
The truth is that in Owen Arthur’s last 5 year term in government he plunged this country into a crisis of economic, social and cultural decline — a crisis that led the Barbadian people to massively reject him and his Administration in the 2008 General Elections.
The sad truth is that the DLP Administrations of David Thompson and Freundel Stuart have really been a continuation of that last disastrous Owen Arthur Administration !
Where, for example, Owen Arthur started the process of privatizing our country’s one and only indigenous and state owned bank— the Barbados National Bank (BNB)– the DLP Administration completed the process of selling off our bank to Trinidadian capitalists.
In addition, where Owen Arthur presided over an economically and socially cancerous process of conferring outrageously privileged governmental contracts on a small group of elite businessmen— such as the ridiculous contract that was granted to Mr Bizzy Williams’ Ionics Freshwater Ltd— the Stuart Administration has exacerbated this economic and social cancer with the outrageously privileged contracts that they have conferred on companies associated with Mark Maloney and his cohorts.
So Owen Arthur, Freundel Stuart and Chris Sinckler really belong together. They all share in common the belief that our Barbadian state-owned assets must be sold off to elite private sector capitalists; that our free education must be dismantled; that our people must be made to pay for public health services; and that the foreign investor rather than native Barbadians must constitute the lynch-pin of our national economic development strategy.
But as much as Owen Arthur is determined to hurt Ms Mia Mottley and his former political party, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), Mr Arthur has actually done Ms Mottley and the BLP an enormous favour by his linking of arms with the current DLP Administration!
You see, with Mr Arthur throwing in his lot with the DLP, it would now become extremely clear to every single BLP member that there is no “going back to Owen”! Thus whatever lingering divisions or doubts there might have existed in the BLP over the “Owen Arthur issue” should now be completely put to rest.
The political history of Barbados tells us that the BLP have always been at their best when they organized themselves around the concept of a “Great Combination” of leaders and statesmen rather than when they opted for the opposite ploy of adopting a “Going with Owen” maximum leader dominating the party, its image and its policy. The BLP therefore now has a golden opportunity to get back to the best of its tradition!
The fundamental reality however is that an extremely interesting and ideologically meaningful political battle is shaping up in Barbados.
We have now had a consolidation of the right wing, anti-social democracy, pro-privatization, pro- local and foreign elite forces in the form of the Owen Arthur, Freundel Stuart, Chris Sinckler, Ronald Jones, Donville Inniss political axis.
And I am confident that there will be — on the other side — a similar consolidation of the patriotic, people centred, mixed economy, social democratic forces, in order to take on these advocates of political, economic and social backwardness..
It looks like we are now in for some real politics that will provide Barbadians with real and meaningful choices on the preferred way ahead!