Low-class, No-class: Owen Arthur makes distasteful “tribute” to David Thompson, upsets widow.

“Someone should let Mr. Arthur know or explain to him what a tribute is.”

… from a note written by Mrs. Mara Thompson to the Clerk of Parliament.

It was the first sitting of Parliament since the death and funeral of former Prime Minister David Thompson. His widow, Mrs. Mara Thompson, and her three children were invited to the session to hear tributes about their lost husband and father – delivered by his fellow parliamentarians in the place that he loved.

And what does low-class, no-class Owen Arthur do?

Instead of finding something nice to say about the recently departed, Owen Arthur delivers a rambling, insulting diatribe that upsets the widow and destroys the purpose and mood of the special session.

Thanks to Mr. Arthur for reminding us of all the times in the past that we’ve excused his inappropriate comments and behaviour. If anything, he’s getting worse.

Further Reading

Barbados Today (Check the archive for the 9/11/2010 edition)

Barbados Today: Comments upset widow

Barbados Today: Not my friend


Filed under Barbados, Politics

51 responses to “Low-class, No-class: Owen Arthur makes distasteful “tribute” to David Thompson, upsets widow.

  1. I and I

    He continues to dig his political sepulcher.

  2. Owen Arthur has all the finesse of a flu-ridden orangutan inside a Swarovski boutique, having stated my feelings on a former supervisor at CBC on their demise – I learned my lesson on the hypocritical nature of Bajans with Death, they are a mortuarily obsessive lot.

    But this is far different, OSA did this with the widow and daughters present? Was he drunk? Or drunk with the thrill of being Opposition Leader at any cost?

    I make no aspersions, only an inquiry as to what would possess someone to make such a catastrophically inappropriate comment?

  3. BFP

    Ian! I’m surprised at you!

    Owen? Drunk?

    Then again… it was after 8am, wasn’t it?

  4. Politically Tired

    No respect here, this was no tribute but a political speech. Owen’s shot himself in the foot again & to make a speech like this in front of David Thompson’s family is appalling.

  5. browngal

    ‘Low class’ is right.

  6. repugnant

    He smells power and we smell the liquor.

  7. Amazed

    Well i’ve always heard you dont look in a pig’s ear for pearls. This is the same man who says to Mia she must clean up her image and does this, and to add insult to injury comes and bring back a wife beater to impose on bajans. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

  8. John

    Please apologise to the orangutan … poor defenceless creature doesn’t need to be brought into all of this.

  9. Tealc

    Seriously? Did anybody actually read what he said? Without the rose colored glasses based on the fact that he is a criminal? Not everything a criminal does is criminal.

    He and David didnt pitch marbles, the speech was akin to the kind of speech that would be given by Lex Luthor at Supermans funeral or Obama at GWBs funeral. It showed respect for the only version of David that he had close knowledge of. The version of worth political opponent that kicked his rump royally.

    Would you have preferred empty platitudes and made up emotion? It was a genuine speech about the political prowess of David and for an ego maniac like Owen to admit the greatness of his long time nemesis says something.

    I didn’t see any pot shots or underhanded comments. Basically he said “He was the leader on the opposite side so we didnt socialise but in the political arena he was a great man”.

    BFP is really putting some spin on these stories lately. Cliverton get a new table tennis racket? This is almost as bad as the Hoyos Immigration Tragedy of 2010.

  10. Jamican Ash

    I was really suprised to hear what was said in light of the ocassion. I don’t know if there was political wisdom in it , a poltical plan in it – or otherwise?? But mother is right – if you have nothing good to say … say nothing at all

  11. John

    I read the comments.There is no issue here.He simply said that Thompson was adventurous in his youth and said things that maturing years later taught him otherwise.Did you see the current P.M’s comments? Not much difference.
    The fact is he spoke the truth something that is usually absent when we hear people speaking of the dearly departed.

  12. 740

    so true john, every time someone has departed this life u always here how good they were ,all de man said was how he saw and related to the late pm.All of theses people who loved de Thompson so bad where were u in 94 and 99 but u claim u did love Thompy so bad stupesss….

  13. bajandave

    Platform behaviour has no place in Parliament…I guess some people never learn, do they?

  14. woi

    he seems significantly more qualified than mia motley now, eh?

  15. TJ

    What will be said about Owen when he dies after all the good speeches are gone? I am sure plenty ….

  16. Rhea

    Why are ya’ll so stupid and blind…everything must offend you..OSA pointed out a truth that we don’t want to accept…David was a young politician with amazing potential and the DLP used his innocence to hide their crimes behind…they knew he was to young to bear any blame so they thrust party leadership on him when he lacked maturity…..end of story….I notice that cause he dead ya can’t tell de truth…but ya’ll could get in hey and cuss and insult de living with no remorse.

  17. Anonymouse Not By Choice

    People, people, people..there is a time and place for everything and the memorial/tribute service to the late David Thompson was NOT the time and place for Owing Arthur to vent his spleen. I hate long posts but the words to this song lifted directly from the Bible says it all:

    To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

    A time to be born, a time to die
    A time to plant, a time to reap
    A time to kill, a time to heal
    A time to laugh, a time to weep

    To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

    A time to build up,a time to break down
    A time to dance, a time to mourn
    A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

    To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

    A time of love, a time of hate
    A time of war, a time of peace
    A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

    To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

    A time to gain, a time to lose
    A time to rend, a time to sew
    A time for love, a time for hate
    A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

    At a time when friends, family and even enemies meet to speak of someone’s contributions after they they have left this life there should be a “state of grace”.
    Grace: a disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy or clemency.
    Owing, you have no broughtupcey.

  18. Ping Pong

    What were the offending comments? Please give a verbatim report. None of the comments attributed to Owen Arthur as carried in the Advocate, the Nation or Barbados Today were derogatory or offensive to the memory of Mr Thompson, in my opinion. However, there may have been comments not reported in the press that were not so laudatory of Mr Thompson.

  19. Rhea

    In life as in death a man should be able to stand by his actions.

  20. typical bfp

    i am not an owen supporter but i read his speach verbatim today and i fail to get bfp’s point. typical sort of sensationalist headline from them with a story filled with holes. they have learnt well from the right wing media they so love to emulate and quote.

    owen did not launch into some drunken diatribe. he simply traced his relationship with the late pm within the context of their political rivalry.

    what i find ironic is that the same bfp who attacked the late pm repeatedly suddenly becomes so defensive of his memory. isnt it hypocritical to attack the ex-pm and his government’s policies but as soon as he dies act as if he was a different person?

    i understand though that mrs. thompson who is obviously still distraught at the loss of her husband would have preferred something more glowing.

    as for philosopher queen who called the late pm’s wife a “foreign heffa”, you are one repulsive individual.

  21. Politically Tired

    Philosopher Queen
    I hope you re read your post & are totally ashamed of yourself.

  22. Johnny Postle

    The man is a rabbit. His timing is an obvious plot on his part and one I believe will back fire on him. To describe OSA as a low life is not enough injury to the insult he bestowed the late Prime Minister in the prescence of his family. Owen Arthur is downright jack ass whose shite knows no bounds. And to think he said he turning a new leaf.

  23. BFP

    Editor’s Notice

    Comments left under the following names have been removed by the editor for astroturfing and very bad manners. All the comments came from the same person, who should have their mouth washed out with soap.

    Philosopher Queen

    Raquel Gilkes

    Paula Richards


  24. LOLOLOL!!! 😀 BFP? I knew of RG (her real name) & PR, but Theo & PQ were knew to me, she is a Hares&Hounds kinda chick…

    She was oh so Mia when MAM was in the West Wing, but now Owen uncorks himself, so now – all of a sudden, ahem – she feels OSA gonna pull a Hubert Ingraham and hit a redux… If he’s wrong on his new bid, then she gonna be SLAPPED with Barbados’ small-island reality of Payback one time from many quarters!

    As for her accusation on my agenda? If ’twere left to me, there’d be a new cadre of Independents if no real 3rd party would stand (PEP and SOMASS? Please sit? As for NDP, they left the building every since), as it is Mia is by far a better choice if her BCCI speech is a true manifesto for her to follow through on?

  25. Oy, Warden? What we have here is a Spam Filter, again…

  26. (UD, ref.) Sounds like a heffa get back in? Also sounds like a death threat to me…

  27. BFP

    Hi Ian,

    Yup, sounds like a threat of violence to us too… so gone.

  28. Laughing

    Oh I got the impression that a lot more was said in the House than was reported. Didnt hear it myself but the people telling me so tend to be very reliable…..

  29. Politically Tired

    BFP thanks for removing those posts, I hope none of David Thompsons family saw them. Amazing how cruel some people are.

  30. BFP

    Hi Politically Tired,

    We do our best to keep the evil and sick from using our blog, but sometimes things stay up for hours before we find them or someone alerts us. I think we got to the really bad one within 10 minutes of it being posted so we satisfied about that response.

    Not to worry though: Mara is far stronger and dignified than to be upset by some anonymous trash. I think that Arthur really hurt her though. His kind of talk was so unexpected for a former PM. We’re still aghast at his comments.

  31. Rhea

    Yes…. Ian Bourne because your comments were so tasteful and well reasoned ….you should be the arbiter of good taste…..oh please

  32. lawrence

    Be aware Owen Arthur Please do the B.L.P and us the People of St,John a favor.Please save your party it’s money by staying out of the upcoming bye election. It would be the best you ever did.

  33. Well i dont see why you are all so surprise at his remarks my mum who also ram a rum shop has always said a drunken man speaks a sober mind ,
    now where did he gain his education and his degrees or where they bought on the open market ?

  34. John

    Lawrence you should be aware that of the 8,000 or so voters in St John slightly less than half did not vote.Check the numbers polled by the contesting candidates.There are people in St John who have a right to hear what the other side has to say and offer.The DLP supporters do not own St John much as you would like to think.Even in the USA where there are obvious strong hold for the two parties the other side represents.

  35. John

    November 10, 2010 at 4:02 pm
    I read the comments.There is no issue here.He simply said that Thompson was adventurous in his youth and said things that maturing years later taught him otherwise.Did you see the current P.M’s comments? Not much difference.
    The fact is he spoke the truth something that is usually absent when we hear people speaking of the dearly departed.


    November 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm
    Lawrence you should be aware that of the 8,000 or so voters in St John slightly less than half did not vote.Check the numbers polled by the contesting candidates.There are people in St John who have a right to hear what the other side has to say and offer.The DLP supporters do not own St John much as you would like to think.Even in the USA where there are obvious strong hold for the two parties the other side represents.
    Different John!!!!

    This John doesn’t read much any politician has to write or say.

  36. John

    … and I still think apologies are owed to the poor orangutan.

  37. Well he should keep his mouth close , if he did not find the need to mention it while he was a live why now ,the old people use to say head aint mek for hat alone !!

  38. Ping Pong

    Good people of the BFP,

    could you please provide a brief report on the offending comments made by Owen Arthur? I am yet to read in any of the daily press reports any derogatory remarks made about either Mr Thompson or Mrs Thompson. Given the furor on the blogs I do believe it cannot be too difficult to report the actual offending comments. Thanks for your assistance.

  39. JOHN BOY

    I hate this blog

  40. Slap Happy

    The sensitivity button to perceived offenses is turned up too high.

    They were not friends and probably not even acquaintances; just colleagues with opposing views who happened to work in the same building. Would you rather he had lied or BSed for the sake of being polite.

    Don’t confused not being close with being disrespectful.

  41. weeks

    Owen’s behaviour is of no surprise, does a leopard change its spots.

    As for bringing back a wife beater………………..we all know what Owen thinks of women. He has no respect for himself, so why would he have any respect for women.

    Bajans , Please pay attention.

    Remember our Belated PM and lets support Families First and all of us work hard at building a better nation, by making the ciorrect choices!

  42. David G. Brooks

    I saw nothing wrong with what he said and actually thought it was quite fitting, considering their past history, but I guess when you out for somebody you will find fault with anything. True, true, true.

    You all should go out in the field and hear what ordinary Bajans are saying concerning all the unnecessary pomp, time and money get wasted on the 13 days of mourning, funeral and what legacy did he leave, etc. I was in a shop last Thursday and some men in there was hot pun it, including a St. John man that jump and say that he didn’t do nothing for St. John, not did Barrow he added too.

    Not my words, I only reporting what I heard, and there are some things that I heard then too (that I know about from before and some surprising) that I cannot repeat here either – if I did BFP would ban me (again).

    As someone said to David Ellis on Brace Tacks a couple days ago “… when you’re alive, you’re a devil, but when you dead, you are a saint, goodbye Mr Ellis.” Poor Ellis was speechless. LOL.

    Really, what is all this doing for us – get back over to the Met. Office, no-Radar issue on Tomas that really matters or are we going to wait until next year (again).

    LowDown let go pun dem in de Nation today.

  43. David G. Brooks

    Does anyone remember that Tom Adams died in office at 53 … only 5 years difference in age (53-48), I am the same age as Thompson – about two months younger – I recall Tom’s age well because he was a few weeks younger than my Dad (who is thankfully still alive), who was a few weeks younger that Bree St. John, all born in 1931. Tom was PM for much longer and from a much younger age, but yes, that is ancient history so we forget, as usual. I don’t.

  44. David G. Brooks

    BTW, before anyone want to get and pounce on me, here is what I posted on Facebook last Wednesday minutes after David Thompson burial …

    “I am normally rather stoic regarding death in general – having faith, as the Christian I ‘try’ to be, that death is a transition and only affects the mortal body – but grave-side scenes usually move me emotional, especially when it is someone young or my age as in the case of David Thompson …though we never met, I remember him from UWI Cave Hill days … may he R.I.P. and my heart goes out to his family, especially his parents – as the saying goes “No parent should have to bury their child” regardless of age. As a parent I live with fear every day but pray that it will not be my lot, however always remembering that “God’s will be done”.

    I still stand by those words but lets move on now … Met. Office, lack of Radar, proper warning for Tomas, etc.

  45. Sentinel

    In response to comments made by a Fran, on Barbados Underground, I have posted the following:
    (I am dealing with decency, integrity and honesty.)

    Fran, I am in total agreement with your comments.
    “It is outrageous that today in our society, where there is much advocacy against domestic abuse that a domestic abuser can be appointed to the highest office in our land.”
    Again, I ask, what “legacy” will some of our politicians leave behind?
    While we are at it, please note the plan for the Conference:- Owen Arthur (St. Peter) Opposition Leader, George Owen Arthur Walton Payne (St. Andrew) for Chairman, Peter Phillips (St. Lucy) for Secretary, Dale Marshall (St. Joseph) GOAWP’s deputy, Kerrie the recycled Senator (St. James Central)……. the NORTHERN ALLIANCE FOR POLITICAL DESTRUCTION (NAPD) is making its move in the BLP.


    Next step, the “parliament” will be moved to Prior Park .. home at GOAWP and close to Owen and Kerrie.

    ” What message do we send to our children when we seek to instill in them, that resolution to conflict is in dialogue rather than violence, and then we have an opposition leader appointing one such as this to the halls of our Senate?”(Fran) IN ADDITION, A PARTY CHAIRMAN ALLOWING FRAUD AND DECEPTION TO BE USED AGAINST HIS BOYHOOD BUDDIES FOR POLITICAL GAIN?
    “Does the sense of decency and respect no longer hold any place in our society?” (Fran)

    I challenge anyone to prove me wrong that GOAWP’s hand is not controlling the strings of the POPPIT Show planned for the BLP Conference. It is time for the decent, honest supporters to bring a stability back to their party`

  46. Under-Disguise

    I do not approve of Ian Bourne’s comments about the Right HONOURABLE OWEN SEYMOUR ARTHUR.

    I think that Mr. Bourne’s comments are very distasteful and that Mr. Bourne should show some respect to the former Prime Minister of Barbados who might become Prime Minister. Man respect is due to everyone/

    I am offended by Mr. Bourne’s comment (2nd poster ) above and I believe those comments should be withdrawn.

  47. rohan fredericks

    There was nothing in Owen Arthur’s speech that was derisive or abusive. He spoke about the deceased as a political opponent, not a friend. Gosh people always want to bash when someone speak the truth.

  48. David G. Brooks

    As I said already, when you out for somebody you will find fault with anything they say or do.

    Also, it is a well known fact that people tend to judge others by their own standards – liars tend to think everyone else tells lies too; cheaters think everyone else cheats; nice people tend to think everyone else are nice; and so it goes.

    I am certainly not guiltless of this malady but I ‘try’ to be fair.

  49. observer

    what is all the fuss about? David Thompson is gone may he rip……i have no confidence in those he left behind to run/ruin this country…..economic activity has come to a halt since his death ask the merchants and let them tell us mara and his girld will be ok for LIFE….we are here suffering and every day i am hearing about a legacy and a bunch of crap. Thompson had no legacy, what has he done of note in the two years since he was appointed…..nothing!!! free bus rides for school children which the transport board cannot afford…i recently paid my utility bills and every office i visited was a wide cross section of Barbadian society standing in line with their services disconnected…..others putting payment plans in place…..things in this country are extremely hard and we seem not to care or are scared to talk about it…..businessmen are calling for a budget…..Thompson promised to address the cost of living….the cost of living….the cost of living what has he done…..nothing…..gas stations/supermarkets are telling you no chqs unless they are pre-approved we cannot even put gas in our vehicles or eat and yet we are talking about owen’s tribute??? people please wake and if any thing let us do as David asked and come together and address the issues….i tired of the lotta long talk and no action….just look around and see the stress levels on people’s faces as they traverse to work and are caught in the traffic on the abc h/way….how many people do you see smiling and talking? married women are having affairs so as to make end meets….husbands are going to the massage parlors to relieve stress and we talking about a tribute…..David’s family will be more than OK people….what about yours?

  50. Roger rabbit

    I thought Owen was really kind to him he has done nothing for Barbados and many people have been relieved by his death. He was part of the clique that sucked Clico and left his family rich whilst poor people suffer.