Owen Arthur won the battle, but did he lose the war?

Strange times at the Barbados Labour Party

“New Opposition Leader Owen S. Arthur keeps telling his countrymen there must be healing in his Party, and so far he’s done little to create regeneration, if anything he’s continuing amputations on a patient that’s a haemophiliac while the Blood Bank is seeking donations. Bit of a sad analogy when one considers the Party’s colour. The way things are going, there may be a new colour by the time 2011 rolls in.”

Ian Bourne has some outstanding observations in his latest Bajan Reporter article: Barbados Labour Party’s Annual General Conference: The Strange Case of Freundel Jekyll & Owen Hyde.


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

5 responses to “Owen Arthur won the battle, but did he lose the war?

  1. Politics

    I like that sliced head resting on the bloodied hand with the olive branch stuck in the mouth.

    Yes, it is a time for “healing”

  2. BFP Cliverton Not Signed In


    I forgot to credit the cartoon to our newest artist “Not Me”, who reworked one of Shona’s earlier efforts.

    Thanks “Not Me” !!!

  3. 72AGC-OSALP

    The theme was: ‘Charting a New Direction,’ but the 72nd Conference of the Barbados Labour Party ended in anarchy. The general feeling of the delegates who attended was that it was the worst and most disorganized Conference in the party’s 72 year history. Resolutions submitted to the party were not communicated to delegates and naturally the Conference found that horrifying.
    The lame excuse of the printer not working was advanced so too the excuse that Branches had submitted Resolutions late. The Conference might have believed that froth until it was explained that the same Resolutions alleged to have been submitted by Branches to party headquarters, late – were actually sent to an Attorney on last Friday for vetting. By then the room was in an uproar.

    All I can say is that under its present leadership, there is disquiet in the hive while a clear message of “bullying, arrogance and defiance” is being send by the Barbados Labour Party, even after being told by the electorate two and half years ago, that it needed to change and repackage itself.

    “To the share horror of most, the divided BLP is now behaving as though it feels that the people of Barbados are either stupid or have short memories because it is again being led and dominated by the same people who the electorate expressed concern about in 2008. “

    The Resolution that was derailed yesterday is evidence that the BLP is not motivated to change on it own and is resisting any attempt at such from within. Therefore, in the interest of democracy, and given this scenario which the people of Barbados finds unacceptable, it now falls on the electorate to “force change within that organization.“

    This is easy, since it is clear that the BLP is split into two faction, albeit that one half of the BLP seems united 100% behind Mia Mottley, who clearly has an agenda for change, which is consistent with the instructions given by the electorate in 2008. Mia Mottley had advanced a slate of clean and competent candidates but it is left to be seen if they will now “B-selected.”

    If the BLP Conference shows one thing, it is that Mia Mottley appears to be the sole catalyst for change and healing within that organisation. That fact obviously has not escaped a frail and tired looking Owen Arthur, who said publicly that the BLP and Barbados needs Mia Mottley. Surely Arthur is aware that such a statement, serves as a vote of no-confidence in the four who recently made him leader. Still, the point remains that to-date, Mia Mottley has outlined the only credible plan or vision of a new politics and development path for Barbados.

    It was not difficult to see that Mia Mottley was the highpoint of the Conference over the three days it was held. This is highly unusual because Owen Arthur was expected to have been the main event. Unfortunately, his speech was flat and offered no hope to Barbadians. A number of delegates who attended were overheard saying that it was ‘warm over cold soup’ and they heard it before. Ironically, the part of Arthur’s speech that was boisterously applauded was when he said that Barbados and the BLP needs Mia Mottley.

    There can be no denying that under Mia Mottley’s dynamic and progressive leadership, the BLP was a political institution that was united and served as a beacon of hope for Barbadians on both side of the political divide. It is also obvious that Mia Mottley has a clear plan for the continued transforming of this country, and was already utilizing he best Barbadian talent and innovation in the national interest.

    It is therefore sad that such a laudable cause has been derailed and despite a Conference theme of: ‘Charting a New Direction,’ the BLP’s slide continues with Grantley Adam’s Party now on a Fast Free Fall From relevance and stability to Crisis.

    This is something that would have been unfathomable four months ago, much less two years ago, when Mia Mottley was taking on a Prime Minister Thompson, then in his element.

    Today, while ‘the-gang-of-five’ is quick to talk about their right to choose and the will of the majority, they seem oblivious to the fact that they are resisting all and any attempt for greater transparency, accountability, democracy and good governance within the BLP, having derailed the introduction of a system of: “one-man-one-vote,” as proposed by four Branches of the party who want change. The lords of the BLP seem determined to suppress all and any opposition as well as to place a gag order on any and all dissenting views.

    Owen Arthur spoke about discipline within the party and using the internal systems to settle concerns and disputes, yet on the very day that Parliament was meeting, he called a media conference at the UWI to cuss Mia Mottley.
    And so what was witnessed at the 72nd BLP Conference is the fortification of maguffy policies and the emergence of dictatorial politics within the party that Grantley Adam’s formed.

    No one expected that the BLP would ever seek to suppress the views of the “MAJORITY” of its total membership or slam the door shut on a system of one-man-one-vote, as Grantley Adams – the founding father of that party – had intended for the country. This is usually the case in societies where the rulers feel that the populace are stupid and are incapable of making wise decision.

    And so, this 72nd Conference was an insult to the legacy of the Rt. Excellent Sir Grantley Adams and shows a BLP under its present leadership – ‘charting a new direction’ away from Grantley Adam’s vision.
    Rarely has a political institution fallen so far from grace and as fast as the divided Barbados Labour Party. And while its slide is intensifying daily with the ousting of Mia Mottley as Political Leader and Leader of the Opposition, the arrival of this ugly moment is still a staggering blow, particularly for women and anyone who loves and respects our National Hero – The Rt. Excellent Grantley Adams.

    Delegates literally left the BLP conference in tears, depressed and deflated that their party had denied them the right to have a say in the formulation of the rules and the governance procedures of the party. Under its new leadership, it is not about service but power and dominance and being the lord and masters of the people.

    The ousting of Mia Mottley has therefore triggered a slow and painful process and the implosion of the BLP. The seriousness Mia Mottley brought to national debate and to addressing social and economic issues, has vanished as the old boys club, once more lords over the people as their masters.

  4. Politics

    @72 AGC (or whatever it is)

    Mia, is that you?

  5. Leaders

    When in Opposition the DLP were castigated for airing their dirty linen and for its internal commotion.

    What we are seeing here is something far worse; and it all has to do with being in Opposition.

    This scenario being outplayed shows that the BLP are not different in leadership ability. Opposition politics is hard, when everyone wants to be the leader.