Owen Arthur’s Opportunism
by “Name Withheld” (NO WONDER!)
September may be the month to remember but October will always be, ‘the month very few will ever forget,’ especially if you are talking about October 2010. From great leadership, Barbadians saw politics fall to its lowest. But last October would have started painfully for some and nicely for others.
Take Mia Mottley for example!
I kid you not, when I say that as a new, energetic and visionary Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley had already given two remarkable speeches, one at the BLP’ Annual Conferences, held in 2008 and the other speech at its Conference in 2009. Those remarkable presentations captured the imagination of the people: they were new; fresh, inspiring and innovative. By 2009, the BLP was having public meetings and community meetings, which were very well attended, and it was obvious why DLP supporters were beginning to get worried.
By September 29th 2010, when she gave a well-reasoned presentation at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and outlined a new path and a new development model for Barbados, some might have felt that she had to be removed then because their time was running out. And, with the health of our Comrade Leader, David – deteriorating rapidly, ‘the politics of opportunism’ kicked-in and Barbadians say the worst of Bajan politics, as the “Gang of 5” made their secret plot public and they made ‘a raw and opportunistic grab’ for power.
“I have seen political parties and leaders operate and I can say that as Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley flew the flag and genuinely offered to help and to work with the new; relatively inexperienced Government, in the national interest.”
That was a new politics and something Barbadians had not seen before. What I can also say for her is that Mia Mottley did not wait until the people expressed concern about an issue to jump-on-it. It was often Mia Mottley who sounded the alarm on issues, like: the Government’s petroleum policy, its Immigration Policy; Clico, the economy, NHC and the government’s housing policy.
Up until October 18th, 2010 when she was ousted as Opposition Leader, it was almost left single-handedly to Mia Mottley to defend the BLP’s record and stewardship for the 14 years previous. It was David Thompson’s Parliament and those BLP Parliamentarians (who only gain mock-courage after his death) simply ran from the House like mock-men, whenever David was there, while others among them, turned-up but remained silent in “David’s House.”
October is therefore the month many will never forget because it was like licking honey from the edge of a new razor! Mia celebrated a birthday on October 1st. Our leader’s health deteriorated rapidly during October. Mia Mottley asked the country to pray for Prime Minister Thompson. But while many were praying, a few others were meeting and “preying” with an entirely different agenda: power.
By October 18th, 2010 and with it clear that PM Thompson was dying – Mia Mottley was hastily removed as Opposition Leader, by the very people who Mr. Thompson had kept under control since 2008. These were the very people who hardly went to Parliament or went but said absolutely nothing. Then there was Tropical Storm Tomas and the shocking news that our leader: Prime Minister Thompson had died.
October and in particular – October 2010 – will always be a month that Barbadians will never forget. Our Prime Minister died and even now – under the guise and mock-concern for the Economy, the BLP is still trying to benefit from his untimely death. October is the month when Barbadians usually see the very worst of the “politics of opportunism,” and the upcoming BLP annual conference and war games, is unlikely to be any exception.