If Owen Arthur cannot unify the BLP, how can he unify Barbados?

How can true love go so bad?

Owen Arthur attacks Mia Mottley at the BLP Conference

by Dave U. Random of Anonymous Road, B’town

If there is stability in the Barbados economy and in Barbados – at a time when there is rioting in Greece; other parts of Europe, in America and in the Middle East – it is because there is stability within the ruling Democratic Labour Party.  That has as much to do with the steady-hands of the present young Minister of Finance (in extremely difficult times) as it has to do with the confident innovative leadership-style of the present Prime Minister.

In contrast, the disunited Barbados Labour Party held its Annual Conference over the weekend (October 28-30) which (based on reports) ended with the BLP even more divided than before the Conference.  If under it present leadership and given the type of politics being practiced, they cannot manage their own affairs, how can they manage the affairs of Barbados?

“It would appear that at a meeting held at the Bay Primary School (prior to the Conference) Mia Mottley made the patriotic call for a Joint Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament to discuss the matter of Transfers and Subsidies. 

But Arthur shot down the idea. 

The reason is simple: if Sinckler gets its right, Arthur is no longer relevant.”

If you go in the supermarket, you are likely to run into someone still complaining to anyone who would listen that the atmosphere was like a funeral service in the Anglican Church and since pictures do not lie [Barbados Today Special Edition] it is mind-boggling how there could have been so many empty seats, when the delegates (who obviously stayed away in ‘loud-silent protest’) were all carefully handpicked, for a reason, leaving many to conclude that they agree with the approach taken by Mia Mottley and support her crusade to change course and the path that BLP is now on.  How can you fault people who believe that there is hope and that better is possible?  The article by Sir Roy Marshall published in the Sunday Sun of October 30th 2011 – under the caption: Strengthening Democracy [1] should be compulsory reading for all Barbadians.

If there is one thing about Barbadians, it is that they respect democracy and seriously resent seeing anybody get “unfair.”  Since everything about the BLP’s recent Conference was pre-determined, with there even being elections without voting – it was foreseeable that the only perceived excitement would have been the speech by Arthur, except that it is equally well known that he has a trademark way of repeating himself and forgetting that he said the same thing many times before.  And, judging from what I heard on VOB, Sunday was no different.

But there are a few things, which Owen Arthur said (based on newspaper reports) that can only be described as political comedy.  He made reference to a BNOC combined profit of $110 million and used that as the basis for his announcement that a future BLP government will give a $35 million ease on electricity bills.  This is pure smoke and mirrors because while he seems determined to continue his welfare politics of the past – he carefully side-stepped the real issue and that is that he left a massive BNOC debt of some $80 million, which still has to be paid.

Arthur alleges that the economy is in crisis and getting worst, yet made the announcement that on returning to government, he will ensure that persons earning $80,000 or less will pay income tax at 20%.  Does Barbados need more welfare typed Owen Arthur politics of the past or a new politics for the future?  This brings me to the main point I want to make.  Arthur said that he is in no contest with anyone for leadership.  But how could anyone in a modern Barbados, even contemplate following his model when his is the politics of the past and a style, which says that the leader must be feared?

Was it the apology of a man who (after a whole year) had nothing new or progressive to report?  After 14 years as leader of the BLP, and after wrestling power from Mia Mottley on October 18th 2010 and now in a recession where it sent home card-carrying BLP workers from its headquarters – it would seem that Owen Arthur told party members that the BLP is NOW functioning ‘better than ever.’ Unbelievable, because the BLP is divided and more so now, than any time in its history.  Then, as expected, Owen Arthur’s trademark attack on Mia Mottley came!

It would appear that at a meeting held at the Bay Primary School (prior to the Conference) she made the patriotic call for a Joint Select Committee of both Houses of Parliament to discuss the matter of Transfers and Subsidies.  But Arthur shot down the idea.  The reason is simple: if Sinckler gets its right, Arthur is no longer relevant.

It is in Owen Arthur’s personal interest for Sinckler and the DLP to get it wrong or to appear to the public to be getting it wrong on the economy.  Arthur wants no talk about unity or cooperation in the national interest because his thinking seem to be that there can be no Barbados without him.  It is that divisive and tribal approach Barbadians hate most about politics and wants to rid the country of. Now is the time for national unity and shared sacrifice but Arthur wants to rule by fear and favour, even in Opposition.

If he cannot unify the BLP, how can he unify Barbados?  How can the BLP be ready if there is such disunity, with the present leader attacking the past leader, every opportunity he gets?  In contrast, despite there being social unrest all over the globe, the Barbados economy and the the country is stable with the DLP, which is demonstrating that Barbados is a society and not just an economy.


Filed under Barbados, Politics

26 responses to “If Owen Arthur cannot unify the BLP, how can he unify Barbados?

  1. 33

    PATHETIC ARTICLE….YOUR BIAS GIVES YOU AWAY. The fact of the matter is that the Prime Minister is incompetent and so is the Minister Of Finance, with his magical projections of growth. Barbados will be lucky to see 0.2% this year. Your talking about disunity but what about Sinckler undermining Stuart?? Nothing to say about that……The DLP is out of here next election and I say good riddance.

  2. Commander

    I do not think there is anymore disunity in the BLP than there was before the conference to be honest. I had to laugh at the “patriotic” statement. Utter nonsense. The individual is yet to make any sensible statements or give any sort of plan regarding the economic crisis other than that anything done by the DLP is wrong. As opposition they need to sit down and come up with good ideas to offer an alternative to the government’s ones ……………. unless of course they agree.

    Why is it that when the person was opposition leader no such bright ideas came up???

    Why is it that when the late PM offered such meetings there were no takers?

    Pure politics and falsehood.

  3. The Watcher

    Owen can’t unify the BLP anymore than Israel can unify the Arab world into letting them takeover what the Arabs believe to be Arab lands.
    Owen, your time has passed.
    You missed the opportunity to be an “Elder Statesman” and move on from strength to strength in your political aspirations.Now you see what you believe is a perfect “comeback” and you are poised to attempt to take over the reigns of this country again. What happened? Do you see more national assets that you missed out on selling the first 14 years around? Did Barbados get more land or find oil sands in Greenland under the landfill?
    Dont waste your time. The electorate has changed, and are increasingly more analytical than they were in the last elections or elections past!
    Dont try that come-back stunt. You’ll get clobbered!

    BLP: Learn from the 14 years in the “Wilderness” which the current party had faced before coming to power. They are valuable lessons there to review.
    DLP: Remove the useless ministers and get some “go-doers” up in there with fresh, new, novel and even borderline radical ideas departing from the conventional political babble and must to get the country back on tract. Thats whats needed. Not more effort into the same trash-talk about failing efforts that are being re-visited in disguised form.
    ELECTORATE: Weild that pen, pencil or marker on election day and tell those who havent serviced or ever heard your calls to get packing!
    We may need a coalition government soon to get anything done around here!

  4. how stupid can you get

    Unify Barbados ? The country in disunity ? Bizarre comment or admission for those in power .

  5. John Smith

    Owen Arthur is the past lets leave him there he and the short me crutch Hats Payne gang “unfaired’ Mia and we not forgetting.

  6. tony

    The Dems are afraid. It shows all over their faces.Oween made it quite clear that he is not inconflict with anybody. He is the leader and any one who wants to lead will do so when he is gone. the strife is oer the battle will be won. The cursing , the vitriol, the inanity will be all in vain. The people of Barbados know Owen. I will tell the Dems get to know him for he will be around as PM again. This group is a failed bunch. Nothing can make them right. When you do not know what you are doing anything will do. Soon the Dems will be cursing Mia.

  7. Nowen Noway

    You all read Bourne’s site? Very funny with Flatulent Five – but he has searing points on Arthur! No Shadow Cabinet (can’t be with camp in shards); No Rescue Policy (just rehash of how Arthur raped Bim from 94 to 2008) and how the AGC was really honouring Arthur’s kiss-pooches… When Bell rings? It will be 16 to 14 only just in DEM’s favour

  8. Owen??? LBAR-H

    “Oween made it quite clear that he is not in conflict with anybody.”

    That says absolutely nothing.
    We all know a desperate politician will say whatever is necessary.

    Owen THRIVES on conflict, with himself,
    and with anyone who gets in his megalomaniac way/

    Owen is TOAST. Owen is HISTORY.
    Fourteen years of Going With Owen down the tubes…is not easily forgotten…

  9. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    I am amazed that they are still die hard supporters in favour of Owen Arthurs style of leadership. I mean the writing is on the wall with respect to him and the cronies that support him. Owen Arthur had his time and an opportunity to be one of Barbados best and fair leaders. All he has done is tarnish his reputation in scandal, corruption, tyranny, deceit and unfairness. There is a spotlight on Barbados with respect to allegations of corruption and lack of transparency and by-george if the international world continues to ‘shine the light on the spot’ at us the exposure is going to have alot of people running for cover.

  10. true to form

    I am amazed that even though we have an incompetent bunch of people who do not know what they are doing we still have people who would want Barbados to remain in this quagmire, I am amazed that a man with a record of fine and extraordinary achievement that we still have people who cannot give him his due. They beleive that cursing and foolishness is an excuse for competence and know-how. I am sorry for them. At this time we need Owen more than ever. Barbados needs Owen and I am glad that we can go to the best . We deserve it. Think on these things

  11. Seeker

    True to Form…

    I am amazed that you still have your head in the sand! Barbados is wobbly enough as is…we don’t need ostritches! Either both political parties get their act together, or we in REAL trouble!

    Think on that.

  12. 13990-32/A-6

    Barbados needs Owen like we need a hole in the head!

    WhoDRH wants to be receiving nasty abusive phone calls from the PM??
    Wunnuh done forget him when he drunk? -and used to call up ppl all hrs. of the night and cuss bad?
    Is THAT statesmanlike? The man’s a drunkard, fer Chrissake!
    I’m glad I packed de unbreakables!

    Barbados is in a quagmire
    partly due to global economic crash,
    and partly due to blp excesses in spending money it never had.

    NO-one is going to get us out of this quagmire, so y’all had best get accustomed to a difrnt lifestyle

  13. true to form

    I dont know where your head is but it is not on your body. Look at what we have now, incompetence personified.Running a country is about ability. It is about knowledge. It is about policies which will bring relief. The Barbadians know Arthur, they know this lot. the barbadians know success under Owen and prosperity for fourteen years. Owen did not begin on a perfect wicket. he had to build up reserves and reduce undemployment. For 14 years Barbados experienced growth of betwwen 3-4% each year. I know you did not receive a call but you are willing to spew tripe. Barbados is in a quagmire because of the global crash and the failed economic and fiscal policies of this goverment. The recession will not save the Dems. The world is out of recession. Only the Dems minds are in recession. Barbados is out of recession. The Minister of Finance reported growth of 0.2%. Let us thank him for that SPURT. We never had it so good. Think on these things

  14. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    @True to form

    You have to be one of the beneficiaries of the Owen band wagon or your head has to be buried some where else other than sand. The facts concerning the Arthur administration’s so called leadership is deep in controversy and corruption. Yet you still believe this man to be the great economic hope for Barbados financial debacle. I like to give credit where credit is due and honestly I credit him in the first years of his political career for improving Barbados Development Index. After that I score him as poor rakey, corrupt and arrogant. He and a number of others in his tribe has benefited significantly in the latter years.

    With respect to your comments concerning the current administration you are as stupid as you are ignorant. There is global economic crisis affecting the world. It is said that Greece will run out of money by mid- December. Jesus H Christ you want to tell me if Greece in such trouble waters with all their resources and backing good christ man Barbados with nothing is enjoying a certain degree of stability under the current turbulence that is being navigated by DLP administration that is said to be weak and not knowing what they are doing. They got to be doing something right if we have not sunk any deeper down the recession whirlpool.

    Barbadians are not as stupid as they use to be even though we got some die hard idiots like you that refuse to see what is obvious. What Barbados needs right now is not a stupid ignorant opposition like Owen Arthur and his bunch of idiots (Mia excluded). What Barbados needs is an all hands on deck approach to helping the island out of this crisis. Not bipartisan politics to increase the divide. We need all the help we can get and that means both parties coming together to solve the problem. Not party wars over who will win the next election and continue to put some free money in their pockets. Bull shit. Its time for a working together for the betterment of the country and its people and not for personal fame or rewards. This situation does not need politics it needs a unifying force to combat it.

  15. Newbie

    TRANSPARENCY, TRANSPARENCY, TRANSPARENCY, until it becomes a reality in Barbados any party in government will be viewed with suspicion in mind.

    Without a third alternative available in Barbados a coalition government may well be the best course for Barbados. We could then have the best of both parties working on behalf of the population. Every party has internal problems, some hide them better than others.There is no doubt that there is a lot of dead weight in both parties and also some persons of dubious reputations.

    @ true to form: Barbadians are not stupid but many are still mentally ruled by colonialism, scared of the power that the authorities can bring to bear on them for speaking out. Democracy means that YOU DO HAVE A RIGHT TO YOUR OPINION whether it goes against the HIERARCHY or not. Example of colonialism: We are independent but we have to ASK PERMISSION to hang a murderer on this island. Now Mr Cameron of (GREAT BRITAIN???) is telling us how to think about HOMOSEXUALITY. I have my own views and nothing will change that view.

    @ Dave U Random: The article does seem a little bias in favour of the DLP, please note that not everything was in a mess when the DLP came to power or it would have taken a lot longer to sort out, the economy in my view was fairly stable for the prior 14 years of BLP administration in spite of the borrowing. AMERICA BORROWS!!!

  16. Liberal

    What empty seats.The writter has the wrong conference or is relying on some picture taken during lunch break or late in the afternoon of the final day.I don’t need a picture,and my eyes aren’t decieving me yet.Good try though!

  17. 206


    How did all this Bajan anger over Cameron’s comment regarding British overseas aid and local laws regarding homosexuality get stirred up?
    His comments weren’t directed at Barbados. In fact, the British High Commission has confirmed there are NO bilateral programmes between Britain and Barbados i.e. there is no aid to lose, because we’re not getting any anyway. So his comments are utterly irrelevant. Useless Daily Nation looking for something to sh*t stir to sell papers and everybody jumping on board.


    Barbados doesn’t necessarily need a coaiition government. We could just as well stop this artificial division into Bees and Dees. They have the same ideology and policies on just about anything that matters. The MPs are all best of rum-drinking friends when they are not in the House. It is pure tribalism otherwise.

    The candidates should all stand as independents, then those elected vote for a Prime Minister amongst them, who then appoints his cabinet from the talent (or lack of) available. We are too small for all this Dee/ Bee crap.

  18. Clear Blue Yonder, huh? lol

    So glad to know that the world and Barbados is out of recession! Yaaaay!
    Where does this true-to-form guy LIVE?? In a blp cloud??

    Manufacturing is tanking, I haven’t worked a full week in months,
    the US economy will continue to sputter along until its housing crisis is solved (NOT happening in the immediate future)
    -and this guy thinks we’re out into the clear blue?

    hahaha -yeaahh you go ahead and vote back in Owen and Co.
    let them fool you with massaged figures!

    Oh life seeeemed so glorious under Owen.
    It was UP forever, cud never come down.
    What babes in the woods some Bajans are.

    Lies, Damed lies and blp statistics!

  19. true to form

    @Sunshine SunnyShine

    i am glad to get you where I want you. Your response shows that you cannot see things as they are. Someone has to benefit with some largess in order to put the facts. Facts are stubborn things and there are people who do not have to benefit in order to speak the truth. The truth my good man is that this bunchi s a group of incompetents with no credit to show. The global situation was but only one aspect of our turbulence.

    The backward fiscal policies of this government caused this country as much g00rief as ever. the Last BLP government left over 2.5 billion in reserves and with a Financial Services Sector in giood graces.What do you have today? A poor rakey government with no hope of getting things right. You grudgingly say you give Arthur credit for the first few years. When did this stop? The real successes of this Arthur regime was in the third term. In the first term he has to clean up the mess of the government of 24 % unemployment and only 6 weeks of imports..The effects of the IMF on this economy was was like an indelible stain.. So you can tell me when your admiration stopped..

    I want to repeat the recession has come to an end . Didn’t your hear? This economy showed a great SPURT of 0.3 %. Guyana has had a 5& growth rate.Let us deal with reality. The recession cannot help the Dems they will be condemned by it . They taxed Barbados in recession more than any Minister of Finance has ever taxed this country.. The Dems will have to explain that.. The truth is that when fools lke me meet simpletons like you we simply have to put the facts and then the venom and the illogic will come out , but that is the nature of such things. i do not have to put a case for Owen Arthur. the facts are there and like you you had an admiration for Owen there will be people who will have a continuing admiration for him and he wil be here again. This group has made Owen an imperative and a necessary expedient.

    You have excluded Mia from your spiel but Mia is a member of the BLP and has been one for the past 20 years so i dont how you would excluded Mia but you may know something I don’t know . I predict that it would not be too long before the Dems start cursing MIa again. the Dems have stepped on a broken reed when they tried to court Mia. but I think she is going nowhere and when the Dems realise this they will start back their most jaundiced attack on that good woman.. You are hoping against hope for any coalition with this group of misfits. They have said they do not want any help from the BLP and Mia naive as she is was hoping for good graces to prevail. Have you heard if they they said it was a good idea. I want to repeat Owen is bad news for the Dems and they fear Owen but the demonisation of Owen will only be seen as fear . Think on these things

  20. just want to know

    This page is all about electioneering. Whatever is said and done, come next election Owen Arthur will win, so all the smear campaign won’t stop the winning wagon of Owen Arthur.

  21. true to form

    An economy goes into recession when over a three year period that economy records negative growth, Over the period 2008-2010. this economy recorded negative growth. On 2011 there was growthof 0.3% provisionally with this growth being able ot go btween 1% or 2% depening on you want to believe. Think about the fiscal impositions and wonder if we could not do better. the recession was mainly a western world thing and we are in that world . No one said that the recession did not affect Barbados but the policies made the situation worse, but that’s the mature of political decision making.

  22. Newbie

    @ 206 Point accepted that there is no link between Barbados and Britain regarding aid but there is a definite link regarding capital punishment. At present Mr Cameron is referring to those countries that he holds leverage with in terms of aid given or offered. When he is done with those it will be the turn of small countries who rely on trading with Britain. I just find it offensive that he should try to bully others into his way of thinking regardless of the type of connection or the topic. Barbados holds a very strong stance on the subject and no doubt he will get around to us in due course. I apologise for the diversion from the initial subject.

    I do agree with you though that there really isn’t much difference between the parties and that a large number of their members are drinking buddies. Some voters don’t even know why they vote for one party or the other only that their family have done so for years, as you say tribalism.

  23. Prime Minister David Thompson Ensured Stability within the BLP

    There is a very good reason why in the upcoming general election, not only BLP members and supports but the entire country should say “a big thank you” to the late Prime Minister David Thompson: It was David Thompson who ensured stability within the BLP from 2008-2010.

    The facts are that there are now ‘false-tears’ about the economy, coming from Owen Arthur but no such concern was expressed by him, after his defeat in 2008. He did not wait around and even with a global financial crisis (which started in October 2008) he was travelling the region doing work for other Governments. Not what one would expect of a patriotic Barbadian, is it? That is your answer: Owen Arthur is about deals and Owen Arthur!

    The same people who he refers to as “wild boy” were running the country then! And all during that time, our late leader Mr. Thompson and the DLP – kept the economy, Barbados and the BLP stable. In contrast, Owen Arthur “only” went to Parliament to prevent the Speaker from declaring his seat vacant.

    It was only when our late leader Mr. Thompson took seriously ill, that Owen Arthur’s greed and his politics of “opportunism” went into over-drive. He and four others immediately hatched a treacherous plot (in the dead of the night) to destabilise our government and take-over our country. It is not about service to Barbados but about the “DEAL’” which Owen Arthur and four others, hatched ‘in the dead of the night,’ to take-over Barbados for themselves. Anybody who tries to stop them will be targeted as a threat to be persecuted and destroyed.

    Owen Arthur feels that this is his last chance to take over Barbados at any cost. He feels it will be a walk-in-the-park because, once the price is right anybody can be bought. He also feels that bajans like too much money and if you flash it in their face – they will fall for his gimmick.

    That is why through one corner of his mouth, Owen Arthur says that the economy is in “perilous crisis” but through the other corner – he is already promising the sky and the moon. He feels Bajans will fall for it: just promise them and because of greed, they will take the bait and he will achieve his plot to take-over the country.

    If anybody is making Barbados unstable by undermining everyone and everything, it is Owen Arthur. For him, it has nothing to do with Barbados! For Owen Arthur, it is about “revenge;” getting back at bajans; making good on his “Prior Park Accord” and taking over Barbados. It is plain for all to see that Owen Arthur is willing to cut deals for himself. But, what other “DEALS” will he cut (in his interest) if you allow him to take over Barbados?

    As his defense, he wants you to feel that you need saving; that he is the good guy and that people within the BLP are undermining him. This is why he is dangerous: he likes sympathy! But, isn’t it true that Owen Arthur is about Owen Arthur? Who else in this country ever put $75,000 intended as campaign contribution into their personal bank account? I am telling you that Owen Arthur is about Owen Arthur!

    Barbadians must say “NO” to secret deals made in the dead of the night. As patriotic Barbadians, we must wrap ourselves in the flag as encouraged by our former leader and practice “one love and unity” Let us keep our country stable and united and away from Owen Arthur and his gang of five. Future generations will thank us.

  24. Seeker

    @ True To Form, Just Want To Know & the other BLP yardfowls…

    I hope that “when” they win the election, they can pull Barbados out of the quagmire that the WORLD seems to be in right now. They haven’t been tested yet, really. They pulled out of the last election so DLP could “face the backlash!” Not the DLP are doing much good, either. They’re like a pack of chickens without heads running about, too! The only thing that is keeping Barbados running is the POULATION of Barbados.

    Six of one, half dozen of the next! They both have the same policies, but word it differently! We need a new party, with a breath of fresh air & transparency on the table, willing to put it all out there and AHDERE to the laws of Barbados, not change them as they see fit!

    And we are NOT out of the recession! The US dollar is in danger of caving in, and our currency with it! Pay attention to the WORLD news as well as our insular happenings here, please! (And by the WORLD, I don’t mean only US & UK…other countries are going down, too!)

    Keep looking at padded numbers and don’t look at the testimonies of REAL people on the street! Mathematics can be doctored, too. Just like English. 😉

  25. Seeker

    Oh, one (or a few) more thing(s).

    This growth “spurt” of 0.3 percent is countered by the fact that:

    Tourism is down.

    Violence is up.

    Cost Of Living is up…by more than it should be.

    Wages are frozen, if not down.

    And we can’t get a working hospital to save our lives!

    Meanwhile, back at the Parliament…(for both parties)

    Politicians are not using the taxpayers’ money effectively to benefit the taxpayers!

    So where is this growth “spurt” coming from? Four Seasons? Riiiight!

  26. true to form

    You have made my points so well for me . I was giving an economic explanation for a recession. But I know that emotionally and psychologically we are still in recession. My point was that once you have recorded growth however small you can say you are out of recession. This county is in a mess and the DLP cannot run jrom that. They cannot say it was only the recession that put us in this predicament. Some of this mess was self-induced and home driven.

    Let us examine these factors High taxation, poor human relationships with respect to drugs, and NIS checks, rushed repayment of the BNOC debts,Housing prices, central bank and BSS figures,many cabinet changes,Minister of Finance reversing himself on many things and many times.

    The word is confidence and trust. the government behaves as though it does not know what it is doing and too it does not know what to do, Stop the name calling when you come I will ignore the sobriquets and deal with the arguments. We wiil pick our sides and back them but these names will not suffice for all you are doing is spitting up in the air and it is falling right back in your face. I think we should engage on the way forward because we will have to make some hard decisions. One thing which this crisis has ensured is that no party will not be able to make grand promises. The wicket is both taking spin and pace and our present batsmen can play neither. We need a champion..Think on these things