Daily Archives: March 11, 2008

Who Is In Charge Of The Barbados Labour Party?

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Former Prime Minister Not Fading Away As Mottley Hoped – Owen Arthur Giving Public Lecture Tonight

It is normal for political parties to go through some turmoil after losing power as different people and groups try to take their shot at leadership. Usually the defeated leader will resign and start looking at travel brochures, an “interim” leader will be appointed and when things settle down a leadership convention will be called where a new leader will be selected and receive the full “public” backing of the party.

Sometimes the “interim” leader will be seeking the permanent position, but often the interim leader will announce that they will not be seeking permanent leadership. This is the smart move as it frees the party to go through the public process of selecting a new leader without being seen to be rejecting or weakening the current “interim” leader. It also allows the party to give the appearance of having a clean break with the past administration. Even if some of the old guard are brought back into leadership they become part of the “rebirth” of the party.

One thing that NEVER happens publicly though, is for the old leader to attempt to retain influence and power in the party – once again we mean publicly. Such activity is usually the kiss of death to a party’s public image and credibility. You also NEVER see the old leader still trying to maintain a high public profile – especially as the just-defeated party struggles to regroup.

How Many “Co-Leaders” Can A Party Have? Welcome To The BLP!

As we reported in our March 3, 2008 article Owen Arthur Thinks It Still Means Something When He Speaks, the former Prime Minister recently attended at the Nation Newspaper and declared that he is now “back on the warpath”. Of course the newspaper jumped on board and Arthur received far more prominent media coverage and exposure than was given to BLP Opposition Leader Mia Mottley during the time period.

It appears that Arthur was not content with the damage he did to Mia Mottley during the election when he summarily crowned Clyde Mascoll as “co-leader”.

Now we see that Owen Arthur has a major presentation set for tonight at Cave Hill Campus where, we suppose, he will be putting forth the BLP position (or is that Arthur’s position?) on Caribbean-Euro relations.

And where is Mia Mottley, the so-called “leader” (or is that “co-leader”) of the Barbados Labour Party? Maybe she’ll attend Arthur’s speech and learn what her party’s policy is on the issue!

Thanks to Ian Bourne at Bajan Reporter for posting about Owen Arthur’s lecture tonight. You can find the details at Ian’s blog (link here)

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The Chair-Throwing Slug-Fest That Saw Mia Mottley “Chosen” As BLP Leader

We all heard or read the rumours of the purported punch-up that resulted in Mia Mottley being somehow “declared” Leader of the Opposition. In our opinion, whatever happened set back the BLP about a year or more and left the party with a lame-duck leader. Couple that with a former Primer Minister who doesn’t want to give up the spotlight and you can see why Mia is going to have trouble presenting herself as a credible leader to re-build the BLP.

The BLP is going to need a leadership convention sooner or later, but by that time Mia Mottley will probably have been stabbed in the back a dozen times or more.

Like we said, the smart thing for both the BLP and Mottley would have been to go with an interim leader who is not interested in a permanent position. That would have been the smart move.

Instead, according to Wishing in Vain and a number of other sources, the following is how the BLP “selected” Mia Mottley as party leader.

This story has been around the net, emails and the rum shops enough that the BLP would do well to address it.

But hey… when a small group of elites “select” the party leader in secret behind a closed door, people talk. Amazing that even after being thoroughly smashed in the election, the BLP still didn’t know that transparency gives credibility to process.

So here is what folks have heard about how the BLP “selected” Mia Mottley as their leader…

Wishing in Vain

Well, well,well what am I hearing today that all is not well within the Opposition camp it was reported to me today that they met on Friday evening at Roebuck Street to select a Leader of the Opposition and George Payne nominated Dale Marshall as Leader and he was supported by Hammy Lashley, Rawle Eastmond, Owing Arthur and Glyne Clarke, this brought the place into an uproar with both of mottley’s parents exploded into heated scenes with mottleys mother being loud and most abusive to Owing and those who supported the Payne / Marshall combination, reports reaching me state the mottley’s were not willing in any way to accept this position for their daughter and responded with loud abuse and vile words.

They were reported to have fought like cats and dogs (Roebuck Street seems to be fighting venue of choice here recently the second fight to have broken out there in as many weeks) to the point that the meeting was abandoned and a new meeting called for yesterday, during the period much discussion took place and mottley’s mother finally had her way and the mottley’s clan and will to control the purse strings of this island will be attached but will have to wait a number of years before they get to do so…

Even in Opposition the BLP are fighting thank god they are not in office!!!!

What a sad day we have reached when in pursuit of power and wealth they resort to this kind of display in the publics eye.

Jan 20, 1:48 PM

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Barbados DLP Government Abandons Blog After Achieving Power

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With Major Election Promises Being Broken So Soon – The DLP Government Stopped Talking With Citizens On The Party Blog

On January 20, 2006 Barbados Free Press asked Where Is The Barbados DLP Website? and said that the DLP website had been “under construction” for so long that it seemed obvious that the DLP leadership had no concept of the power of the internet.

It took over a year, but by March of 2007 the DLP had both an updated website and an active blog. As the anticipated election came closer, the DLP embraced the internet fully and hired a team of internet and communication specialists to exploit the medium as best as they could to support the campaign.

Ordinary DLP supporters – and some who were probably paid – battled it out in the comments sections of various Barbados blogs. The DLP supporters used their Blog to call upon the BLP government to be transparent, to have integrity. Indeed, the DLP Blog taunted the government to be open and to answer the citizens. When the BLP’s Dr. Duguid, Liz Thompson and Lynette Eastmond stopped commenting on the blogs, the DLP laughed at them and called them too frightened to talk with citizens in an open forum like the blogs.

But it looks like all those DLP calls for transparency and openness by government were phony. They haven’t posted anything on the DLP Blog since January 13, 2008.

Where are the DLP calls for transparency now? Where is the “new dawn” of government that is not afraid to communicate with citizens in an open forum?

Barbados citizens feel as if we are waking up in the morning to find the DLP asking us, “What’s your name again, sweetheart?”

You can click on the photo or here to see if the DLP has bothered to write anything new on the party blog.

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Guy Hewitt: “Leadership With Integrity Is The Missing Link…”

Integrity in Public Life is a critical component of our future development

I want to support the commitment made by the Government to implement laws and practices that will contribute to increased integrity, transparency and accountability in the politics and administration of Barbados. Such action will not only serve to maintain public confidence, but also protect the many decent public officials who may be otherwise affected by any perception of corruption or dishonesty in public life.

As a minister of religion, I willingly endorse any platform which advocates for an ethical and spiritual renewal for our society. This is especially important in a situation which I consider to be one of deepening moral disorientation, due to both external and internal factors, in the social, economic and political life of our country.

Stephen Carter, in his book Integrity, speaks of the demands of integrity in ordinary human beings. He sums up these demands as a threefold lifelong commitment to reflect deeply on what is true, act on what we have discerned to be right and stand up publicly for justice. While a challenge, I recommend such a philosophy to all.

I would like to suggest that there is one attribute which is desirable for all of us but in my opinion critical in any ethical politics, which is humility. Some may think this is being idealistic: a politician humble? But by humble I mean more than being modest. By humble I mean being driven by something more than ego, more than power. I am talking about a humility which is portrayed by a respect for people, by a caring about common life, and by recognising that all of us have something to contribute.

Leadership with integrity is the missing link in the governance arrangements in many modern democracies. I anticipate that the articulated commitment by our Government to integrity if realised will contribute to improving our governance.

However, the point needs to be made that the infusion of integrity in public life is more than just legislation. At the end of the day, integrity and public service is not so much about pieces of paper as it is a moral stance and judgment call in the heart of anyone who enjoys a position of public trust. Ultimately, integrity is rooted in the practice that “if it feels wrong, it probably is”. The challenge however is to translate these values into concrete action.

I would like to further suggest that any effort to strengthen our democracy should also include the following considerations:

– A review of the regulations on donations to politicians and political parties in order to address the public concern of alleged vote buying and undeclared contributions to politicians. The public should be confident that these practices where they existed will be a thing of the past.

– The development of guidelines for the press and media regarding coverage of general elections to address concerns of political bias. These guidelines should aim to achieve a balance between parties, between candidates and in the reporting of public opinion. While partisanship is the right of all, it should be declared where it exists in a media house or any other public interest group.

– The need to review the restriction of the right to vote among CARICOM Skilled Nationals which would otherwise be accorded to them as Commonwealth Citizens.

Through an increase in consciousness among our politicians, I hope we will see a shift in the nature of political leadership away from simply “the art of the possible”. In time, it is my hope that we would see an awareness among our leaders that their responsibility is not only to the state and its citizens but also to their conscience, to an ethical value system and ultimately to God.

May God continue to bless this fair land.

Guy Hewitt

Guy Hewitt is a minister of religion and social development specialist. He can be contacted on <guyhewitt@gmail.com>

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Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption