Mia Mottley withdraws from BLP Chairman race
“Yes, Mia is justifiably outraged at the abuse of democracy and the disregard for the BLP Constitution – but her outrage is selective and selfish. Where was her outrage when her BLP government habitually ignored the rule of law?”
This October 18th marks the first year since power-hungry opportunists ousted Mia Mottley as Leader of the Opposition. Owen Arthur and his wild boys thought they had driven a political stake through the enemy’s heart, but then four months ago Mottley announced she would run for the position of BLP Chairman.
That sent Owen Arthur’s gang crazy. Not to mention that an independent poll found the vast majority of BLP members wanted Mia Mottley as leader over Arthur. In a one person / one vote contest Owen Arthur would be given his walking papers. What was Arthur to do?
For Arthur and his wild boys, the decision was simple: they would just illegally change the rules before the upcoming BLP Conference.
It didn’t matter that the BLP Constitution prohibits the declaration of new rules until the membership ratifies the changes. It didn’t matter that none of the general membership knew about the changes until they were a done deal. Welcome to Barbados – where rules and laws are mere tools to be wielded or ignored by those in power.
Any Bajan knows that when rules or the law stands in the way of those who have power, they do what they want anyway. That is part of the reality on this island. Rule of Law is a stranger in this country and that is the truth.
Mia Mottley is no stranger to ignoring, bending or changing the rules
In her current circumstances Mia is crying victim and warning about the abuse of democracy. She is correct, of course, but how soon she has forgotten that when she was the Attorney General with the full power of a majority government, the BLP changed the Barbados Constitution at the drop of a hat with zero public discussion. Mottley chooses not to remember that her government expropriated private lands with wild abandon and often never paid for those lands. That’s called theft – but not when you are in power.
And when some of those expropriated lands ended up in the hands of government ministers or their family members and friends – Mottley didn’t see anything wrong with that at the time.
Yes, Mia is justifiably outraged at the abuse of democracy and the disregard for the BLP Constitution – but her outrage is selective and selfish. Where was her outrage when her BLP government habitually ignored the rule of law?
Press Release by Mia Mottley, MP
On May 22rd this year, I announced my intention to contest the post of Chairman of the Barbados Labour Party. I made it clear that I was running on a platform to secure for every member of our Party the right that all Members of Parliament enjoy – to participate and vote at our Annual Conference, our highest decision-making body.
In 1951, the Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams fought for and won the right for every adult Barbadian to vote. On this 60th anniversary of that momentous victory for Barbadian democracy it is only fitting that his Party, our Party, should enhance our own internal democracy by ensuring that every member has the right to vote. Indeed, this is consistent with section 11 of the BLP Constitution, which states as follows:-
“The purpose of this Constitution is to provide for procedures and practices which are democratic and efficient to the end that all Barbados Labour Party members may participate meaningfully and effectively in the deliberations and activities of the party.”
Last Thursday, I received an email from the General Secretary and also a communication from the Secretary of my Constituency Branch regarding new Standing Orders for the Annual Party Conference issued by the National Council. Neither of the two communications indicated when the National Council ratified these Standing Orders.
While the National Council has the power to propose Standing Orders to the Annual Conference and any Special Conference, it does not have the power to ratify them in advance of the Conference. It is appalling that it has acted in this manner. In so doing it has reduced the rights of women and young people in the Party by forcing them to now choose if they want to be members of a Branch or the Women’s League or Young Socialists respectively. Continue reading