Mia Mottley Warms To Social Media

Mia Mottley

Popular electronic outlets for citizens to air their views like call-in programmes and Internet blogs ought to have a “framework of accountability. That’s according to Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who called for support systems, including researchers and expert advice, for Parliament, failing which the unregulated new technologies could marginalise that institution.Nation Newspaper (7/19/06)

When Mia Mottley issued the above position several years ago it was interpreted by many as an intimidatory tactic  from a ‘powerful’ member of the government frontbench. A few years later to BU’s pleasant surprise Mia Mottley is reported to have made the following statement in a local newspaperformer Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, is suggesting that Barbadians use social media as an avenue to bring about change. She made the call during a social media seminar put on by Flying Fish Studios Inc. at the Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday….

Mia Mottley has been unusually mute in recent weeks after being sacked from the job as opposition leader. BU would have expected her to  issue a clear the air statement on the Marston Gibson matter to acknowledge whether she was consulted by late Prime Minister David Thompson as the law demands.  Her silence is an obvious sign she is playing a waiting game. BU believes Mottley is attempting to reinvent herself as the leader of the Barbados Labour Party in waiting.

One stark difference between Mottley’s dispensation as opposition leader and Arthur’s had been her willingness to use social media, including the blogs nome de plumes and all,  to communicate with people who feel more comfortable in the virtual world. What has made the social media an effective tool is the extent to which blogs have now integrated with Facebook and Twitter to form an effective tool to help shape agendas. At the press of a button on a computer keyboard tens of thousands of Barbadians can read a message if it goes ‘viral’. The Arthur camp seems happy to use the traditional approach. It was surprising to listen to BLP Jerome Walcott knocking the need to use non traditional approaches in the St. John by-election. Yes it was a slam dunk DLP Mara Thompson would have won the seat but there was the opportunity to communicate to a national audience with a general election constitutionally due very soon.

Mia Mottley’s appeal to Barbadians to use social media demonstrates she recognizes the power of this medium and she intends to leverage it to win support for her positions in the coming months. It is a smart move by her given the position she now finds herself, a far distant from when she was Deputy Prime Minister in 2006. Now she is happy to eat crow to satisfy political expediency.

The coming weeks will be very interesting for the Barbados Labour Party and Mia Mottley to see how they are able to mend fences to create the public perception of a united party going into a general election. Unlike the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) when they had the Thompson Mascoll feud, Mascoll became the ointment for the bruise when de decided to cross the floor.

0 thoughts on “Mia Mottley Warms To Social Media

  1. i admire Mia for her grace, charm and maturity in the midst of this ‘frakus’ with her elders

  2. Mia has made the jump from unpopular leader of the opposition to statesman/woman through her dignity and deportment lately. She has not come out against Owen Arthur, as he did against her; she has not crossed the floor like Mascoll. Instead she has simply remained aloof and done her job as an MP. She has given Owen Arthur the rope with which to hang himself. And she knows that the coup de grace will be delivered to Owen Arthur courtesy of the social media. She also knows that the BLP will need to find a leader, going forward, who has national recognition and stature, to pull it together to form a viable opposition and then, down the line, possibly government. And she has put herself right into the position to be that leader, with the help of the social media. Very smart move indeed, worthy of a future PM.

    It would be transparent, however, for Mia to state her role in the appointment of Marston Gibson. It is understandable that she does not want to rock the BLP boat and the untenable position of its lesser leaders (lesser than her, that is). However, there does come a time when the good of the country outweighs the loyalty to the party. That time is here. We see the courts in a terrible state, with judges being sued for failing to do their jobs and a backlog that is, frankly, terrifying. The time, indeed, is long past for the Marston Gibson to take up his post and start to correct the mess left by one D. Simmons. As the BLP was author of the mess, let Mia be seen to assist in its cleaning up.

  3. The sprat that the DLP leadership issued a couple of weeks ago, i.e. that they are ramping up their general election machinery, is VERY interesting.

    There are a number of questions that arise, such as..’if’ the next election is fairly soon, why was this not done in January, instead of the by-election.

    They thus wasted money for the by-election, or was that merely to test the water?

    They also spent their ‘sympathy voting’ in that by-election and now must go forward ‘as they are’, not the cleverest of moves, unless they had intended to go the full term.

    So, what has catalysed the change of heart???

    Only they know, but it is perlexing. Unless, of course PM Stuart is himself not sure on going forward in his role and thus, is preparing the way for the next leader?

  4. There seems to be some confusion whether the DLP session was about preparing for elections or not. It is unfortunate we the public continue to be distracted by a matter such as this one.

  5. There is no time frame for preparing for an election.

    The DLP started the preliminary preparation for an election that will come at the end of their full term in office.

    Trust me.

    uh wunda if de Egyptian revaloushun inspia MIA! All dem young peopl twittin an tweetin, facebookin an bloggin get rid uh muh barrack.

  6. Pingback: Barbados: politician pushes social media · Global Voices

  7. Pingback: Barbados: politician pushes social media @ Current Affairs

  8. Pingback: Le Ciel et La Terre | Revue de presse | Barbados: politician pushes social media

  9. Why don’t you post Mia’s 2006 statement in its entirety? Mia as a powerful politician was resolute in her views of the blogs and what they will do to parliament and other democratic institutions. Now as an out of power and out of favor politico she wants to be seen as an endorser of social media without accounting fully for her previous position. This can only be seen as a change of hearts, and as such I am not so quick to see this truth and honesty. I do agree with Amused opinions regarding the tussle between her and Owen and that she is trying to remake herself as a statesman — such has political currency beyond party —- and as she have said, she knows not what the future holds for her since “party” wasn’t had push her aside . This is predictable thus far, but she has to fully account for her position back then; the last paragraph of the Nationnews article does not do it for me. I can also easily sum up her new found love of social media as political in nature. I further agree with Amused, that Fourteen years of digital records on Owen, in the hands of a group of modern day Bajan sophists who are hostile to him, will make his already hard press 2013 election results almost impossible to be positive.

  10. owen arthur has had a proud record of service for barbados and should have bowed out gracefully. i commend ecclesiastes to him.there is a time–he can read it and neither he nor the blp would find themselves in the sorry mess they are in now. politics aside, with david thompson’s departure there cannot be four “politicians” across the caribbean that can measure up mia in terms of intellect and ability. the dlp should bite the bullet and court mia to provide some measure of competence to an incompetent bunch who are only existing thanks to the goodwill of barrows legacy and partisan public support. they should make the obnoxious short man a national hero for keeping their hopes of an unexpected second term alive.

  11. Pingback: Barbados: politician pushes social media | Daringsearch

  12. @Adrian. Greetings.

    Respectfully, I think the time is past when Mia is “trying” to remake herself as a statesman. I do sincerely believe that she “has” remade herself as a statesman. A very potent one. I agree that at some stage it would be nice if Mia explained her previous position on the social media. However, I suggest to you that our leaders ought to be flexible and that they ought to be willing to change their views if they perceive it is for the public good or that they were mistaken. Of course, I do not discount a healthy dose of political expediency here, but I would tend to give Mia the benefit of the doubt. I do not suggest that she is prime-ministerial material quite yet, but she is looking formidable and, after the next elections, a united BLP under her leadership could be a real opposition force to reckon with, instead of this convocation of tired, old has-beens – and that is good for Barbados. Democracies only really ever work if there is a strong opposition. It keeps the government on its toes. So, much as I would like Mia to explain certain former views, she, like the rest of us, lives and learns. At least, for the sake of a strong Barbados, I do sincerely hope that is the case.

  13. @Whosoever will
    There is nothing new under the sun.All the talk about Mia rising from unpopular to a stateswoman is a roll of shit!My mother used to say if you want to see who care bout ya play dead.As is with the tale of pulling the tail of a sleeping lion.In short Mia Mottley is no fool.She knows her turn will come and when it does she will be welcomed with open arms.Barbadians have short memories or should I say convenient memories. Mia is tough and knows percision.She is wise beyond her years and has past the worst.I well recall when the late Prime Minister David Thompson had his internal party trials.Did he not humble himself and return to take the helm of the Dems?
    There are times when we have to absent ourselves from the king’s table.It is called caution.There will always a watchman and footrunners.Enters Tarus Riley She’s Royal.
    Amidst all the fangle, dangle social media is always been the way to go.Blogging should be for every one but not for the faint hearted.One thing I would like Madam Mottley to encourage is that senior citizens blog their concerns. You would be surprised the feedback which the elders have to contribute!Peace!!!

  14. The challenge for Mia which she obviously realizes it that she will need pressure from outside the BLP party machinery to drive change. Both parties operate in the vice grip of the ‘elders’.

  15. A pile of jobby.Mia as staeswoman what!

    Mia’s reputation about what happens in her private life has tainted her for Good!You could run st lucia and miami and hide and buy land,but you can’t hide and wuk it.

    The few people who blog here and her cohorts like bajan panday, and the others will try to dismiss her lifestyle behaviour challenges.But privately – people in and out of the BLP are all disgusted with her behaviour and she is too addicted to it to change.

    I prefer Owen over her and believe me I also find owen’s behaviour disgusting,too spiteful and vindictive and liar-ed.
    Cest la vie.

  16. It has been said by some that Mia’s demise at the hands of the so called gang of 5 was as a result of a highly questionable act inside the party. If such is the case the public deserves to know, now.

    • @Adrian


      Here is the full article:


      Regulate call-in shows, says Mottley
      Published on: 7/19/06.


      POPULAR ELECTRONIC OUTLETS for citizens to air their views like call-in programmes and Internet blogs ought to have a "framework of accountability".

      That’s according to Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who called for support systems, including researchers and expert advice, for Parliament, failing which the unregulated new technologies could marginalise that institution.

      She was speaking on Monday at the opening of a week-long conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region at Hilton Barbados.

      Mottley hoped the work of the conference would lead to documentation and research that would allow individual parliaments to decide on the reform of the Westminster-type system.

      "For in the absence of that reform," she said, "entities such as the call-in programmes – which have no accountability to anyone and no modalities to be able to ensure that there is transparency, or that there is indeed informed discussion – will continue to predominate."

      She spoke too, of "blogs" – online postings of individuals’ views and comments to which surfers of the Internet can respond – which, because of the technology, could not be regulated.

      "[Blogs]will marginalise our existence as parliaments and will cause disrespect, not just for the rule of law, but for the institutions that are required to keep our societies safe," she said.

      The minister later told reporters her position was that radio stations and other entities should regulate themselves first, "and it is only in the absence of self-regulation that the state should play a role, because the culture of our people is one where because of our history we don’t like censorship".

      "But you cannot continue unless you have basic standards of accountability," she noted, "and so far, that has been driven only by the avoidance of libel and defamatory action as opposed to the requirement for informed criticism, and in the same way that parliaments need researchers, call-in programmes should have assistants who can do the research so that there can be informed debate."

      Mottley submitted that in this system of democracy which often has to respond to the existing culture, people would not respond well to denial of access or censorship.
      "But it therefore means that the obligations on the Press, in terms of ensuring that it has the systems in place to strengthen what they do and make them more accountable, are greater."

      All y’all lil black boys and gurls know wunna place when y’all talking about de well-to-do’s of our fair cuntry. Tek care. Wouldn’t it be interesting if something like this were enacted? Where would it end?

  17. @BU.David: “Here is the full article…

    Please correct me if I’m wrong here David, but was not this published (and argued) more that just short of five years ago?

    It’s a bit like auto-gratification, but without the euphoria….

    • @Chris

      Adrian asked for the article to be posted to give body to the discussion for those who maybe in the dark.

      It took nothing to accede to his request so what is your beef?

  18. At the end of the day, Mia will be reunited with the full BLPites but the DLP will have their problems just before elections are due unless P.M Stuart is bold enough to declare his hand now. Since Denis Lowe has returned to his office on 1st March, has thw other Denis been relieved of the post or are they two ministers of Drainage right now just draining the pockets of the taxpayers?

    • @The Scout

      How come you can make such bold predictions without laying the brickwork to support your position?

  19. All this talk about the “social media” reminds me about the promised “dot com” economic boom of some years ago. Anyone remember that much heralded “game changer” eductec?

  20. The gist of what Mottley said then remains relevant:
    POPULAR ELECTRONIC OUTLETS for citizens to air their views like call-in programmes and Internet blogs ought to have a “framework of accountability”.

  21. anthony
    Denis is back on the job from the beginning of the month, it appears he is holding on to what is his so that when the reshuffle starts he wouldn’t be out in the cold. Every turkey fighting for it’s own crow right now.

  22. wow normally they be a press release or 4th estate taking pics. so i guess he be there for Tuesday session in parliament. I wonder how kellman taking it

  23. Perhaps Mia has read some of our local social media and recognises that there is no real form of threat to the status quo coming from it. It may be a little hurtful in personal ways sometimes, but as they say ‘sticks and stones…..’ plus the libel laws are still around for anyone that gets too out of hand or close to MSMedia.

    The social media in Egypt worked to mobilise people to demonstrate, but not to formulate a new direction or balanced alternative. The divisions that exist in our minds do not easily go away simply because we communicate.

    Finding a way to cause the system of governance to accept change or evolution of management systems that are fair and just is one of the areas that can make a difference to many people.

    Most of us have some dis satisfaction with the way theings are managed on our behalf by the state and state employees, yet the system is not set up to accept rapid evolution to change these things. We still get to vote only every 5 years. In between that vote we have to take whatever licks and foolishness that comes from our administrations. We can talk about it all we want on the social media, but things remain the same.

    In so much as we do not even recognise that the government does not exist. We think it is an entity in itself. The government does not generate money, we, the people do. When a cabinet makes a decision to invest in something like Greenland and it wastes $30m, it is US that has to pay that money through all types of taxes. When Barack gets his $80m it is US that is paying him.

    We need to have more control over our joint investment called government and the social media can be used to awaken this awareness. Not through comments like these, as some people may not take the time to read all this but some headline contribution, that explores methods of changing governance systems to give more power to the people.

    I guess it comes back to education in most regards. If we are educated to maintain a certain role then we will find it extremely difficult, no matter if we are PHD or professor, to see the system any differently. As we start to ‘make it’ in life we get comfortable with our position.


  24. @David
    Don’t pay people like Chris nuh mind.

    No Statesman worth the title should leave themselves open to such a contradiction. This is not mere flexibility, nor change of hearts. This is downright opportunistic, and typical.
    In 2006 she had power and prestige and her opinions then were heavily steeped in such. In 2011 she has no power and no prestige and in true fashion her opinions are now an endorsement of the blogs. Which came first? Her lost of power and prestige? or her change of views about social media? Is social media a likely vehicle to her political resucitation? chuspe.

    She has to deal with the following…..
    “[Blogs] will marginalise our existence as parliaments and will cause disrespect, not just for the rule of law, but for the institutions that are required to keep our societies safe. Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley 2006


    “social media should be used as a democratic forum to evoke change. We have the perfect opportunity now to use that technology but marrying it to the essence of who we are as Bajans in …terms of our commitment to social justice and the other values that made us who we are over the centuries…” Out of Office and out of favour Mia Mottley 2011.

    WHO IS THIS WE MIA???? Social media does not need you or any politico to direct, instruct or encourage. This is grassroots and has grown without any help from the bajan politcal class.

    • @Adrian

      What would Mia have to do to convince you and others of like mind she has genuinely changed her mind from 2006?

  25. Regain her former title, power and prestige and utter her current position on social media. Nothing less than the blood stain nail prints will suffice. lol!

  26. to mash up and buy back; owen’s behaviour is no worse than the former primeminister. did he not tell lies about the imf, kola syrup etc ? did mr thompson not plot to remove mr mascoll from leader of the dlp? did mr thompson not say that the fishing dispute with trinidad could be solved down consett bay over a bowl of cold soup? did mr thompson not say that somebody would face the court for hardwood? and i could go on and on mash-up and shut -up but i suppose that is politics.we have a culture in barbados that allows dlp spokespersons to say anything without challenge ; not so with the blp and the moderators of the calling programmes are particularly guilty of this kind of deception but as mr estweick says time longer than twine. by the way, is mr kellman still ambassador to caricom or still minister of drainage

  27. @ ruth arnetta

    REF: Is Mr. kellman still ambassador to aricom or still minister of drainage! in these hard economic times he is lucky to be holding two post. Maybe if he was a Blp . OSA would see to it that he is Minister of NOTHING!

  28. well he never held both at the same time. :). Tomorrows parliament should be interesting one. Dr Lowe should be in attendance also.

  29. @ Adrian Hinds
    Mia don’t have to deal with the statement she made in 2006 about blogs just like she don’t have to deal with those who can’t seem to get past her sexual life. None of them have nothing to do with running the country! stepuse …………………

Leave a comment, join the discussion.