… They are attacking Gadaffi’s body i.e. his coterie of Generals, advisors; hangers on all the flotsam and jetsam that pilfered from the Libyan people… Tighten the noose slowly until … Closer to home Mia is using that strategy in politics against Arthur, she is not going after Owen but she is going after his “body” … GWP… Attack the body and the head will fall … – Sargeant
In less than a year Barbados has witnessed a chaotic political scene to describe it mildly. The death of a young prime minister and his wife voted as his replacement in St. John, Prime Minister Stuart’s taciturn demeanour and the perception in some quarters that he is not fully in control and last but not least the deselection of Mia Mottley by her parliamentary colleagues and the elevation of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur.
Speculation is rife about what what happened at Roebuck Street to spur the revolt which saw Mia Mottley being replaced by Owen Arthur. Again one might assume given George Payne’s surprise support to Owen Arthur that Mia messed up in a big way. This is Barbados and at some point one can expect to be fully informed about what many Barbadians regard as a ‘Brutus’ move by the 2010 Barbados Labour Party parliamentary group – with the exception of MPs Cynthia Forde and Rawle Eastmond – meted out to Mottley.
With a general election looming the two major political parties will want to resolve perceived leadership issues. The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) appears on the surface to be in better shape than the BLP but the adage a week is a long time in politics will give Prime Minister Stuart little comfort. The BLP’s internal challenges could potentially get messy if BU is reading the signals being sent in the public space correctly.
A few weeks ago Opposition Leader Owen Arthur made the declaration that he and Mia were in healing mode. What made the statement interesting at the time was the absence of Mia’s input from the communication, it was reported she was out of the island. BU was surprised at Mia’s response when she eventually commented claiming in essence ignorance to any peace pipe encounters with Arthur. Mia’s shot across the BLP bow last week about the need to reform the constitution of the party and her threat to challenge for the Chairmanship of the BLP at the next AGM to spearhead the effort if necessary has created a challenge for Arthur. Already party supporters are echoing disappointment by questioning her timing, others have suggested she had the chance as Chair of the party to move the reforms forward. In the coming days and weeks Arthur’s response to Mia’s recent salvo will be eagerly awaited. All may agree this matter if not managed well has the potential to divide the party.
At the heart of the matter for BU is the inference made by Owen Arthur back in January 2010 – in the Tyrone Barker Report – that Mia Mottley as Opposition Leader misused “the special trust fund the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) set up to meet the cost of elections”. As far as BU is aware Mottley has not responded publicly to the charge. Barbados needing to protect its reputation as a rumour mill there is talk about malfeasance making the rounds. It is a matter Mia should address head on at some point or could it be Arthur knows something which has not been landed in the public space to date?
The other issue which Mia Mottley must manage is the perception by some that there is an entitlement on her clan’s part to occupy Ilaro Court. No politician can be seen as perfect and whether such a perception is big enough to cause a drag on her aspiration to be the first female Prime Minister of Barbados is best left for the polls.
The question for the political pundits is whether the BLP significantly reduces its chance at the polls with a disaffected Mia Mottley in its fold. The easy answer is yes. BU is prepared to state at this stage that the BLP will not give itself the best chance to win the next general election unless the Arthur Mottley tussle is neutralized.