BU has to confess the politics on the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) side at the moment is puzzling. With just over a year to go to a constitutionally due general election the commonsense strategy for both parties is to agree to a competitive slate of candidates and settle any grievances between members – especially if they are prominent – have them resolved quickly.
The recent DLP general conference appears to have Jack and Jill lining up behind Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart. If there was plan to hatch a Chris Sinckler plan it seems to have been placed on the backburner for the moment. What is shaping up to be intriguing is unravelling on the BLP side.
We all recall how Mia Mottley was taken out by the so-called gang of five. It came as a surprise if for no other reason it required George Payne to throw his hat behind Arthur. All kinds of reasons have been floated why Mia Mottley lost the support of parliamentary colleagues – the fear of Mottleyism, concerns about how party funds were being spent, the profile of persons she had following her which crowed out the ‘regulars’, her lifestyle, and the list is long.
After a quick bloodletting Mia Motley seems to have come to terms with the role she intends to play in the party. She will play the waiting game. With a couple 60 something old MPs in Owen and George her only potential threat to regain the leadership of the BLP is from Dale Marshall, a no contest. All of her public statements have been delivered using a studied approach and her positions have taken a people-centric flavour, on some occasions at the expense of the party position.
What has muddied the issue in the past week is Arthur’s public cry that the BLP and Barbados need Clyde Mascoll. It will be interesting to observe how Arthur, who many still regard as a master tactician, will deliver Mascoll to the BLP and Barbados. If it were that simple!
During the last general election Arthur created tension in the party when he described Mascoll as a co-leader although he had previously endorsed Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley as his heir apparent. How will Mia, George and former schoolmate Dale Marshall cotton to the idea of Mascoll possibly entering the parliamentary group to bat at 2 or 3 in the batting order?
We know Duguid will not be standing for re-election and there is a question mark around the tired and sick looking Rawle Eastmond. Whatever happens the dynamics of the BLP parliamentary group is about to change. Again BU asks, how will Arthur deliver Mascoll to the House of Assembly?
To add to the intrigue there seems to be an attempt from the BLP party machinery to flex its muscle by supporting Jerome Walcott for the Chairmanship of the BLP, sending a clear message to Mia Mottley who has indicated her interest to contest the position. Todays press quotes Mia Mottley as being surprised at seeing press ads which by accident or design describe Walcott as the incoming Chairman.
What is clear is that Arthur will have to cut a deal with Mia and soon. He cannot continue to alienate her with a general election looming.