Owen Arthur clearly indicates he’d take the BLP leadership again

We at Barbados Free Press spent our lunch listening once again to a recording of yesterday’s interview with former Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

One thing is clear: Owen Arthur will return to lead the Barbados Labour Party for the next election if he is asked to do so by a unified BLP. The ex-PM says that pretty well straight out.

“A unified BLP” is the key concept in Arthur’s interview, but the only way that will happen is if Mia Mottley pulls the ejection handles – which she must be thinking about considering all those knives sticking out of her back after Monday’s meeting of the BLP Members of Parliament.

Here’s the quote from Owen Arthur…

“I have no interest whatsoever in being involved in dividing the Barbados Labour Party.

I will have no interest whatsoever of wanting to re-emerge as leader in a divided party. My only interest is wanting to serve if they, if I still think that I have something to contribute to the people of Barbados. And that is my only interest in being in public life at this time.”

…from Owen Arthur’s interview by David Ellis on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 on Voice of Barbados Radio.

What do you think, folks? We say that Arthur is taking great pains to leave the door wide open while trying not to look like he is fomenting rebellion against Mottley.


Filed under Barbados, Politics

28 responses to “Owen Arthur clearly indicates he’d take the BLP leadership again

  1. Checkit-out

    Hi BFP

    Thanks for pointing out the quotes above. They clearly state what Owen’s real objectives are.

    I now wonder if Owen, in his attempt at lobbying the BLP parliamentary group to refuse to make a quick decision, realized that the votes were not in his favour.

    He was right since Mia Mottley decisively won that vote 6-2 (getting 75% of the vote).

    His next step was the press conference to apply the coup de grace instead of observing the consequences of the vote for a while.

    It will be interesting to see developments over the next few days.

    Was Owen’s press statement another miscalculation? Will the majority of the parliamentary group stick with Mia or will they abandon her? Will someone else come forward? Is Owen as popular in the parliamentary group as he seems to believe?

  2. Thewhiterabbit

    Yawn. David Thompson:Clyde Mascoll = Owen Arthur:Mia Mottley. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt.

  3. ninemikemike


  4. BFP

    checkitout…. you forget Owen Arthur’s vote that puts Mia’s vote at 6-3.

    But as so many folks point out, it doesn’t matter what the BLP say if the public won’t have Mia as PM, and we think they won’t.

  5. Avatar Girl

    Reverse Psychology!

    A lovely stroke of genius, that! Let anybody who is happy & merry & gay deal with it! LOL!

  6. Wishing In Vain


    Message for Wishing in Vain from BFP Editor Robert…

    We told you to behave yourself, but it seems that you just can’t do that.

    One more sexual innuendo and we’ll ban you again. Intelligent political comment is ok. Garbage is not.

    Get it?

  7. pathetic, dirty and corrupt

    What a sorry backstabbing, power hungry bunch –the lot of them.

    “Life would be so much easier if we didn’t have to deal with men and women who make promises they have no intention of keeping.”

    I agree with BFP!

    Vote Independent

  8. gadfly

    I take note with some sadness that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur seems to have joined forces with the Religious Right of Barbados. During his recent Press Conference he encouraged Opposition Leader Mia Mottley to rid herself of any demons she may possess if she expects to assume the role of Prime Minister of Barbados. What a sad display on national television. He is into demonology now. A short quotation from the French philosopher Voltaire should suffice to unmasked the local Bible thumping pastors who at this time of our history seek to confuse the minds of the lonely and emotionally distressed working class Barbadians. Voltaire said: “The first divine was the first rogue who met the first fool.” Small wonder that with unemployment on the rise we now have an increase in apostles and evangelists with Phds. Couples are now heading churches and seeing them as their private fiefdom to be passed on to their children. Arthur is now cleverly appealing to these Bible thumping pastors to pass judgement on an intelligent, law-abiding citizen. However, Miss Mottley will survive the blitz.

  9. Checkit-out

    BFP, re your 9:34 comment

    Owen wasn’t there and Mia most likely voted for herself. Therefore there were 5 sitting BLP parliamentarians who voted for her against 2 who voted against her. That is a swamping!! There were 2.5 times more BLP parliamentarians who voted for her than were against her. Forget the HH spin that seeks to show that the 2 against were more than the 5 for her.

    All of them would have been fully aware of the situation and, contrary to Owen’s feeling that he retained his popularity, the majority of them preferred her to him. That should give some indication that the matter might not pan out exactly in the way that Owen thinks it will.

    Re. Owen’s popularity amongst his BLP colleagues, It is quite possible that he is less popular than MIA and the vote was a referendum of sorts on his popularity as the parliamentary group would know that it is likely that he wants to come back. I don’t think that he endeared himself to many of them. In fact, as a public servant about 10 years ago I have seen one Minister practically in tears after a tongue lashing by Owen in the presence of other cabinet ministers as well as relatively junior public servants at a meeting of a cabinet sub-committee. Many of the current BLP MPs feared and respected him as he apparently used his power over them effectively. I suspect that few really liked him and at this juncture he now has no hold over them.

    Mia Mottley’s intellect and fighting spirit, imho, is on par with Owen’s. I suspect she will not easily run from this fight. But who knows how politicians will react?

    There should be some interesting days ahead.

  10. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @BFP, Mr. Arthur was not present at the meeting and did not vote. You don’t want to start counting votes that were not cast. BLP Chairman, George Payne, clarified the vote as being 7-1: 7 of 8 MPs present voted for Miss Mottley, and 1 abstained, with 1 MP absent (see Nation p4A, Oct. 28).

  11. errol borrow

    ITS ALL A LOAD A RUBBISH. what on earth is owen going to do that he couldnt or shouldnt have done when he was in power….

  12. errol borrow

    Barbados needs someone who genuinely has her interests an those of her residents at heart instead of the recent line of pocket lining sweet talking good 4nuffin piggies .

  13. Hants

    @ Wishing In Vain

    Stop being so lazy.

    You are “sharp” enough to get your message across without using language that will get you banned.

    Owen Arthur gave a clinical example of character assasination without using language that could get him in legal trouble.

    Everybody in Barbados will be talking about the possible “sexual orientation” and most will not even discuss the politics of leadership.

    Stay focused WIV. You help to keep this blog interesting.

  14. Wishing In Vain

    Hants go read my post on BU there was nothing said that was any worse that many on here have said, I write it they delete it, not a problem but honestly the last post contained nothing radical or terrible.

    Now had I posted the below mine would have not lasted 5 mins by the best stopwatch.

    While Mottley’s sexual preference may be an issue I think this pales into comparison to other baggage that she is carrying. Anyone heard TCs calypso Who is Kim? Unfortunately for Mottley there is a lot of biting controversy surrounding her life.

  15. Hants

    WIV this is the way it is.

    BFP is like de Advocate.
    BU is like a combination of de Nation an Heat.

    Anyway you shouldn’t bother about MIA because Owing After engrained the perception of her in the minds of every person who heard what he said.

    Owing also destroyed the image of the BLP as a united party and has shown them to be a dysfunctional coalition of the “elites” and the “masses”.

    Let us leave MIA to recover from Arthur’s devastating attack. Arthur was more effective than Mia’s political enemies in the DLP.

    Owing “de assassin” After.

  16. Hants

    The Owen Arthur press conference is on the CBC Barbados website.

  17. Hants

    “HER MAJESTY’S PRISONS (HMP) DODDS can withstand winds of a Category 5 hurricane, says architect Bob Stegmueller.”

    This means that if a hurricane hit Barbados, the safest place to be is in prison. lol

  18. Checkit-out

    BFP, Living in Barbados

    I had’nt seen the corrected vote tally by George Payne when I made my comments last night but those figures entirely change the picture.

    A 7-0 vote means that there was solid support for Ms Mottley’s leadership despite the last ditch efforts by Owen Arthur to postpone the vote. It also means that the main Owen support in that group had decided that it was in their best interests and the best interest of the party to give full public support to Ms Mottley.

    The attempts to portray the group as being at odds with one another and disorganized is therefore at great variance with the facts.

    Owen’s press conference, after the fact of the vote can therefore be seen as what many people perceived it to be, quixotic, spiteful and likely counter productive.

    I think the BLP parliamentary group, by apparently publicly ingnoring it at this time is probably adopting the right strategy.

  19. Hants

    @ Checkit-out

    The Parlimentary group voted for MIA because it was the politically safe thing to do.
    It was MIA who called for the vote of confidence not Owen.

    None of them or anyone else expected Owen to call a press conference and attack MIA in the manner he did.

    The problem for the BLP is that after singing the praises of their illustrious leader for 14 years, they cannot now demonise him.

    They are the ones who preached to the people of Barbados what a great man Owen is.
    Remember the “Father of First world Barbados” according to Sylly G aka RoyalRumble.

    Well if Owen say Mia is, we can believe that Mia is.

    Now be careful WIV. Learn from the master.

  20. Hants

    oh shoot. uh mussee mek a mistake. Uh getting moderate.
    Thought I was careful BFP but it seems I have transgressed.

  21. Charlie G.

    Someone in an earler thread stated that the BLP wasted no time in disposing of Mr. Arthur after the election loss.

    That is brilliant observation. Most (if not all) the recent leaders in the Caribbean who lost govt. became Opposition leaders. Not so with Arhtur -they wasted no time in booting him out!

    There must be something deep here.

    For sure, Arthur must be a bitter man!

  22. Charlie G.

    Who says that it doesn’t matter if a person is a homo/lesbo in becoming a leader.

    The only persons who could believe that propagandising doctrine is a closet homo, striving to legitimise this plainly, filthy life style.


    Come! Rise up! ye homos….i’m waiting for yuh!

  23. Wishing In Vain

    Public Bashing Act 1

    The recent tongue lashing by Owen Arthur of the Opposition leader will go down in political history as one of the quickest and finest dressing down of a leader. In the space of ten minutes, the former BLP leader reminded Barbados of his fire and brimstone political nature. Owen shredded Mia’s political past in that one press conference. He opened up his war chest as he eloquently “unmek de woman in public.” The recent public display of political tribalism must be worrying to the past leaders of the Barbados Labour Party, as the untold stories make their rounds.

    Mia has been wounded by the comments coming from Arthur but she is getting little assistance from her Chairman, in this respect. The chairman, George Payne in his address last week was all mouth, as he called for members to rally behind Mottley. “We have an elected political –an undisputed leader. We are rallying behind our leader.” Where is George Payne when Mia needs him most? It is clear that Mia has been set up to fail by her parliamentary colleagues. The secret meetings that are been held to spur on the war of words taking place between Mia and Owen will soon come to light.

    Owen’s admission that there is a challenge of leadership in his party is probably the most insightful comment coming from the interview. His assessment of her leadership capacity has been known by many for years. The fact that her former boss has now taken issue with it is somewhat puzzling. It was Owen that promoted her to deputy Prime Minister, despite these glaring short comings. What exactly was Owen seeking to achieve as Prime Minister when he made his move?

    We warned Mia about the mad rush to popularize herself by hoisting candidates on the party structure. The body of support in any political party will come from the membership. The show of support for Arthur at the last annual conference should be a lesson to Mia that she needs to change her strategy. Mia must tell Barbadians, the contrasting response she got compared to Owen’s. The rank and file members of Barbados Labour Party love Owen Arthur not Mia Mottley.

    The “come Tuesday, this issue must be resolved and we must go forward” statement was a knee jerk reaction to a problem, according to Arthur, that does not exist. Arthur’s reading of the situation would have further endeared his adoring fans in the Party even more. Arthur knows what he is up against and has picked his cherries very careful. He knows how George Payne behaved on Sunday and how the man of the cloth attempted to stir up some support for his good friend Mia. They had all the political weapons cocked for poor Owen last Sunday.

    It came to us as no surprise what occurred on Sunday October 25 2009, a day that is now referred to as ‘Red Sunday.’ A day, when political blood was spilled on the floor of the Barbados Community College gymnasium. The desire not to see politics as a blood sport is one which Arthur spoke very strongly about. It is clear that those words have come back to haunt him. The past week shall be remembered by all, as an occasion when the glue that kept the BLP together became the agent that split the political atoms. The jury is still out on where is Elizabeth Thompson in all of this is and one final question, who is the political Brutus that roams the corridors of Roebuck Street?

  24. Hants

    A lot of people voted for BLP candidates because they had confidence in Owen Arthur’s leadership and the fact that he was “one uh we”.

    This has created a huge problem for Mia and the BLP.

    They should have treated Owen with the respect a 3 term 14 year leader deserves. Instead they tried to kick him out of the way.

    Bad mistake MIA.

  25. gadfly

    The local media and the DLP are anxiously awaiting a shouting match between Mia Mottley and former Prime Minister, Owen Arthur. However, Miss Mottley is demonstrating political savvy by her refusal to be drawn into such a public brawl. She is concentrating on issues which affect the average Barbadian such as unemployment, the high cost of living and the people’s inability to service their debts because of the introduction of inept policies by the government. Are Barbadians aware that several honest citizens are being hounded down by baliffs for unpaid debts. What do these people care about what Miss Mottley “symbolises. ” As far as I am aware she has never broken any of the laws of the land. He who is without sin cast the first stone. Everyday there are reports in the media of members of the clergy being hauled before the courts for breaches of the law, yet churches are bursting at the seams. Why do we always seem to want to crush our most talented. Besides being a brilliant lady, she is also a caring person. Many ordinary Barbadians can attest to this aspect of her personality. It is not where you were born, but how you see your fellow man. A great political thinker once said: “A person’s ideas about society are rooted in his/her conception of man.” Mottley sees everyone as a child of God who should realise their full potential on earth. This qualifies her to be the next Prime Minister of Barbados.

  26. Charlie G.

    “…Mia’s political savy…:”
    What savy? I forgot:
    1. Calling a closed door election among 7 MP’s
    instead of going to the floor of the Party
    2. Being in high ” election gear” with an inept,
    unnecessary political comedy aired on VOB –
    (Presenter: “we must remove
    theDLP, “NOW!”) How? By coup-de-etat?
    Totally out of place at this time.
    3. Selecting of candidates way in advance of “the
    ringing of the bell”
    4. The putting to pasture of “Arthurites (I wonder
    whats going to happen to Mascoll?)
    5. A consuming pasion (detracting from her real
    task of political leader) to show “who’s in
    charge” But really, who is in charge”
    6. An inibility to show depths in her presentation
    on the economic and socials ills of this
    country, and how she and the BLP
    would correct them; instead of the cheap rum
    shop-overused dribble: ” the DLP are doing
    nothing”. “We left a solid economy”
    7. More….and more…..and more……yawn!

  27. gadfly

    It is totally unchristian to speak ill of someone because they spent most of their adolescent and adult years in one of Barbados’ up-scale residential areas. I am told Miss Mottley was born in Tudor Bridge, a working class district.
    Miss Mottley never asked to be born to a prominent attorney-at -law or to be the grand-daughter of a Mayor of Bridgetown. It was just an accident of birth. So give the lady a chance to prove herself.
    Show me a man born of a woman who enjoys being poor, destitute and ostracised. The calypsonian, the Mighty Shadow, put it succinctly when he said: Poverty is hell. Must she drink water out of the gutter to prove that she is “one of we”?
    Perhaps, Mis Mottley would not be speaking out of turn if she were to cite Oliver Cromwell’s advice to the Long Parliament as former Prime Minister, Owen Arthur seeks to re-assert himself after annointing her a mere 22 months ago.
    Cromwell is reported to have said: ” You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”
    As one of my friends said in his inimitable style: “Arthur never wanted to assist in removing the lumps out of the cou cou immediately following his crushing defeat in the January 2009 general elections, but now that the cou cou is mellow, he wants to be chief cook and bottle washer.” Give me a break. The mantle of leadership must be passed on to a younger generation.

  28. gadfly

    I return with some reluctance to this topic after reading George Griffith’s response to a letter penned by one Michael Ward which was carried in the Daily Nation of November 9, 2009.
    It is worthy of note that he has joined Nation political correspondent, Albert Brandford, in suggesting that ” the current economic conditions have conspired to raise the stakes of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur whose training and performance as Minister of Finance stand in stark contrast to the weaknesses of the David Thompson administration with respect to economic management.” In other words, Barbados once again needs Arthur “more than ever”.
    However, I would like to present the argument that Barbados’ most successful Ministers of Finance to date, namely, the Right Excellent, Errol Barrow and Arthur were fortunate to be in the right place, at the right time. Tom Adams and the current holder of that office, David Thompson were not that fortunate.
    Barrow was fortunate to be the Minister of Finance when the Western World was in the process of rebuilding following the devastation of World War 11 and there was a shortage of labour in England, while Arthur occupied that office when Wall Street “investors” were practising “Casino Capitalism” and the world was awash with ill-gotten gains. Unavoidedly, some of this money found its way into the Caribbean region and contributed to the economic boom Barabdos enjoyed during the “roaring 1990s”.
    Much has been said about Arthur’s expertise in this very inprecise discipline, but this writer subscribes to the view held by former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey, who said in his autobioghraphy: “Economics is a branch of social psychology which makes the absurb assumption that you can understand how people behave when they are making, buying and selling things, without studying the society in which they live, and all the other ways in which they spend their time.” He also complained that during his tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer he never got any accurate statistics on the economy.
    Sponsors and friends of Arthur would be well advised to heed the wisdom of the distinguished economist, John Galbraith, who is reported to have said: ” Were it possible for anyone to know with precision and certainty what was going to happen to wages, interest rates, commodity prices, the performance of different firms and industries and the prices of stocks and bonds, the one so blessed would not give or sell his information to others, instead he would use it himself and in a world of uncertainty his monopoly of certain would be supremely profitable.”
    Griffith in his anxiety to have the ear of a Prime Minister again, now presents the argument that Arthur needs to be recalled to save Barbados from the economic turmoil in which it is trapped. However, thinking Barbadians know that this is a figment of Griffith’s imagination. Thompson told Barbadians that he had the answers during the recently concluded general elections, but Barbadians have learned to their horror that tiny Barbados can do very little to disentangle itself from an economic system that has been in place for centuries.
    Under these circumstances, this writer believes that the youthful, scholarly and energetic Mia Mottley should be given an opportunity to make her contribution to national development without having to look over her shoulders. It must be recalled that Arthur gave her his blessings on the night of his party’s crushing defeat in the 2008 general elections.