“You do not have to be a rocket-scientist to realise that Mia Mottley seems to be trying to stamp-out corruption within the BLP but that decision has placed her squarely on a collision course with the old-boys club and the very persons who are responsible for the corruption.”
Can “One man, one vote” stamp-out BLP corruption?
As an independent observer, I think Sunday Sun Columnist Albert Brandford might have got it all wrong this week (see his column: Sunday Sun, June 5, 2011). I now clearly understand why Social Media has ruled Traditional Media, obsolete. Social Media, for the most part, is being driven by young people: a new generation, who have found an innovative way to communicate, which seems to have given them the freedom of expression, they are comfortable with. This is a new generation who are not willing to turn a-blind-eye towards corruption. Mia Mottley therefore seems aware that going into the next election, the BLP will have a major problem!
Talk what you like – Mia Mottley is, therefore, pure class, in that the woman seem to have a vision, while her reformist philosophy is also a commendable attempt to re-position the 72-year-old BLP, to win. How can you fault her for that? The point must not be lost that it was Mia Mottley (a then 28-year-old Minister of Education) who introduced technology into schools in Barbados.
Therefore, what is Mia Mottley’s reformist agenda all about? To find the answer, Albert Brandford would have to have asked himself: despite the alleged life threatening change in healthcare, despite the state of the economy – what is the one issue, which the DLP is likely to use against the BLP (with credibility) during the upcoming general election campaign? The answer would again have to be :corruption.” There has never been a time in its 72-year-old history when the BLP can be said to be as corrupt as it is now under its present leadership. This explains the clash between the new leadership of the BLP and the Stalwarts, who too are being ignored in their attempt to tell the BLP, pull back. Barbadians want competent governance but they equally want, honest government!
Many will willingly admit that the BLP was removed from office because of allegations of corruption and that it really did not help the BLP’s case when the late David Thompson was able to produce a cheque to emphasize his charge. Owen Arthur was seriously wounded long before the campaign started. In fact, from the night he was forced by Thompson to bring debate on the Budget, to an abrupt end, Arthur became a liability to the BLP.
Now in Opposition, it does not help the BLP’s image when in the very Nation newspaper, there are front page stories, with images of voter rigging and other forms of electoral fraud. It is hardly a pretty sight when people willingly admit that they never made any attempt to join the BLP but have received letters confirming their membership. Call it what you like, that is corruption. A year has since passed yet not a word from the leadership of the BLP.
Then there is the “Prior Park Accord,” or the deal which was worked out between Owen Arthur and George Payne, the man who has been fingered as being head of the BLP’s elaborate Ponzi scheme. It should make anybody nervous that if now in Opposition and Arthur is so willing to cut deals in his interest, think what will again happen during what he describes as his ‘second coming.’ The new generation finds this type of conduct, vulgar and offensive!
So an element of the BLP was corrupt in Government; it is also now corrupt in Opposition but wants the people of Barbados to vote for it so that what? It can continue its corrupt practice? Is that it? How could that be fair to the new clean candidates the BLP is running? This seems to be what Mia Mottley’s reforming philosophy is all about. It seems clear that her reformist agenda and crusade for change started with her putting new, fresh; clean candidates in place early.
You do not have to be a rocket-scientist to realise that Mia Mottley seems to be trying to stamp-out corruption within the BLP but that decision has placed her squarely on a collision course with the old-boys club and the very persons who are responsible for the corruption. It seems obvious that Mia Mottley had the option to close ranks and keep her mouth shut. That most certainly would have caused her to find favour and be popular among the corrupt element. That she opted to speak-out and finds herself sandwiched between Arthur/Payne and the gang of five – means that the only persons she can sensibly turn to in order to force change, is the rank-and-file, hence her: “one man one vote,” re-engineering agenda.
The issue seems quite simple to me: Mia Mottley is on a crusade to stamp-out corruption within the BLP but powerful people seem determine to put obstacles in her way, in their own interest. Are Barbadians going to wait until the next BLP Conference to appear surprise when they read that the BLP’s voters list has again been rigged? This cannot be solely a BLP issue because every year, the BLP receives $150,000 from the public purse to run its affairs. Don’t panic! Given my many years, I have never seen an easier DLP campaign on a silver platter. I kid you not!
Editor’s note: This article was received anonymously and is published with no changes to wording or formatting. One speeling mistake was corrected. 😉
The main headline and subtitles are created by Barbados Free Press. Photos supplied from BFP archives and The Bajan Reporter
We encourage our readers to visit The Nation to take in Albert Brandford’s article HOWEVER seeing as that paper regularly deletes past articles and modifies history, we’re going to reprint the article here. We wouldn’t have to do that if The Nation didn’t try to change history to suit whatever political agenda they currently favour. Besides – The Nation has stolen our writing without attribution in the past. At least we give them credit!
So visit the Nation to read the article please, but when it disappears, you’ll find it here…
Mia’s move not at the best time
BY ALBERT BRANDFORD | SUN, JUNE 05, 2011 – 12:00 AM
In the context of serious Opposition politics, the recent repeated call for a change to the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) constitution by former Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley seems, if not ill-conceived, then certainly ill-timed and loaded with self-interest.
Its reintroduction comes at a time when the Government is under its greatest pressure to date, with regard to its health care policy, a persistent recession and unassured leadership.
The stated issues relate to the timing of Mottley’s suggestion which seems chosen more in an attempt to refocus the Opposition moreso than to maintain the focus on the Government.
The Barbados Labour Party’s annual conference is far away (in political years!) and this issue certainly cannot be a priority for the membership or the public at this time.
As I understand it, the proposed change is intended to give ordinary members of the party the right to vote within the institution. As it stands now, the annual conference of the BLP is a delegates’ conference, and by the way, so too is the annual conference of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
It is through this mechanism that BLP leaders have been chosen in the past, including Mottley herself, without any pledge on her accession to reform the process then.
In theory, this suggests that each member at an annual delegates’ conference would be representing ten members from the branches.
Let us be clear: no politician wants change that goes against self-interest. So it must be concluded that Mottley expects to gain by having the ordinary members participate fully in the party’s decision-making, especially in its choice of leader. This view is confirmed by her statement: “I have the trust in you, the ordinary members of the BLP, to be able to make decisions in the interest of the party . . . .”
Indeed, she made it known that come October she would be seeking the chairmanship of the party, currently held by St Andrew MP George Payne, one of the so-called “Gang of Five” responsible for her ouster some months ago as Opposition Leader.
Her conceiving of such a move at this time is interesting and instructive because it is customary for the leadership of the two major political parties to fall into the hands of the political leaders on the approach of a general election.
In the context of her apparent desire to “heal” the BLP following the bruising battle with the Parliamentary Group, perhaps assuming the post of chairmanship demands that she meet with the new political leader Owen Arthur, since in her own words, “the only way I know to heal and build trust is when four eyes meet . . .”.
In another breath, Mottley said Barbados was crying out for leadership and her way to that leadership seems to be chairmanship of the BLP, first and foremost.
Now the chairmanship is derived from the membership which is currently not allowed to fully participate in the voting and therefore her proposed change to the constitution, if passed, would secure for her a wider mandate.
Given that Barbados needs leadership which on the current performance of the Government has to come from the Barbados Labour Party, unless perhaps the leadership of the DLP changes, it is only fitting that whoever leads the two major parties has the best chance of leading the country. The conception is that simple.
There is an irony, however, in Barbadian politics that has played itself out in the last five years in the two parties. In the DLP, the man who took the party into the 2003 general election lost the leadership around mid-term. In the BLP, the man who took the party into the 2008 general election returned to the leadership just after mid-term.
In each case, the political leadership is derived from within Parliament in accordance with the country’s constitution.
The ultimate post in political leadership rests squarely with the elected members of Parliament on both sides of the House with respect to the offices of Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
While it is possible to change a party’s constitution to allow for widespread participation of its members in determining the presidency or the chairmanship, it is virtually impossible in our current parliamentary democracy to secure such widespread participation in determining national leadership.
In the circumstances, Mottley’s proposed change to the BLP’s constitution must be seen more in the context of its timing than its ability to transform the party before the next general election.
In this sense, there has to be an element of self-interest, since the constitutional realities, especially at the national level, cannot be lost on the former attorney general.
Recently, Mottley said she was not in politics looking for friendships. This is a given, since politicians are not known to have genuine friendships with their colleagues.
So what is it then that gets politicians to focus? The answer is power. So what is power, you might ask?
The answer is that thing which allows the individual to have influence in the pursuit of self-interest. So what is ultimate power? The answer is being Prime Minister.
It was said by a very prominent local politician that all politicians who entered elective politics should have the ambition to become prime minister. While the observation may be somewhat exaggerated, there is no doubt that some politicians are in the game to satisfy that want – nothing less will suffice.
In the pursuit of such a want, it must be recognized that there is a collective want that exceeds that of any one individual; this collective want is formed by the loyal base of a party.
The major difference between the loyal base and that of the individual politician is that the former is prepared to suppress its self-interest once it senses an opportunity for victory.
The preferences of the loyal base would always reveal more than one potential leader but the desires of the loyal base would always see one political opponent.
It is in the context above that the recent comments of the former Opposition Leader seem, if not ill-conceived, then certainly ill-timed and loaded with self-interest.