Former Prime Minister Arthur with Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley – courtesy Nation Newspaper
The focus will continue to be on the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the coming days, weeks and months; for sure over the next 100 days. Barbadians have very high expectations that the DLP will preside over a government that will be more people centric. The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) fell into the perennial trap of becoming too lofty after a long stint in power. We do not begrudge the DLP their victory, but our citizenry must remain aware that our democracy will only be as strong as an effective opposition.
How quickly will the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) resolve the leadership issue which attracted attention through the just concluded political campaign. We don’t have to rehash the issues like “is mia ready for leadership?” or should we say, “are Barbadians ready for Mia as leader?” What about the Mascoll factor? Will he become a distant memory in the annals of our political history or will he survive his recent setback and rise from the political dust-bin like a colossus?
Historically, the BLP have been able to resolve leadership crises without significant fallout. Owen Arthur has first hand experience of the machinations required to resolve leadership issues within the BLP. Don’t forget that he was the beneficiary of a similar leadership struggle within the BLP when the late Bernard St.John unfortunately died in office. On election night Owen Arthur was non-committal about his future in politics. Reading his body language he seemed a tired man, but we can attribute this to a very intense political where he was the focal point of the issues. Some people feel that there is no one better than Arthur to lead the BLP given his experience as a member of the three blind mice – Simmons, Arthur and Forde.
The purpose of the article is not to become embroiled in the internal decision making of the BLP over who should be their Maximum Leader. We are confident that this is a party which will stand the test of time. We are aware that it is one of the oldest political parties in this part of the world. It did not achieve this longevity by making frivolous decisions which will make it vulnerable. Why are we concerned with what happens to the BLP you are wondering? We all witnessed what a weak DLP opposition a couple years ago almost did to our democracy. In fairness to the DLP they had to battle with the parallel issue of the politics of inclusion.
All Barbadians who were made to wonder whether our democracy would have withstood that period when the DLP almost imploded would not want a rerun anytime soon. It is this point which should be of interest to all Barbadians. It does seem that our stable democracy is bound to how smoothly the BLP will be able to agree to what its future leadership will be.
It therefore gives us great pleasure to learn that the leadership issue of the BLP has been handed over with speed to MIA MOTTLEY. Her appointment was announced today as the Leader of the Opposition.