The name of the person who made the submission withheld on request, obviously a DLP supporter – BU
As we draw nearer to a General Election in Barbados, the focus will be directed more seriously on the party leader of the ruling DLP and that of the opposition BLP.
The reason for this is based on the fact that, in Barbados elections, the influence of the party leader has always been of paramount importance. In this regard therefore the recent record of Mr Owen Arthur as a member of Parliament must be placed under the microscope: has he demonstrated that he is a fit and proper person to lead this country at this crucial time in our history?
In examining this question, one is forced to take note of the fact that the recent debate on The Employment Rights Bill took place without contribution by Arthur, the leader of the opposition. This is of significance since it was the BLP Government under Mr Arthur that introduced the said Bill in Parliament in 2002; since that time it had been referred to a Select Committee of Parliament .
But Mr Arthur’s continued absence must be a cause for general concern; He has Not, since 15 January 2008 to the present spent more than a total of 10 hours in parliament. His presence has really been restricted to an exercise of “getting his name marked”.
Indeed Mr Arthur often leaves parliament before the chaplain whose function is merely to say the prayers at the start of the session. Against this background, Mr Arthur’s PHYSICAL FITNESS must be scrutinised. It is known that of late he has had to use a walking cane for support and he has complained of a back problem. Has this been a contributory factor since these problems often prevent one from sitting or standing for long periods?
In the current debate he delegated the job of leading the Opposition effort to Mottley and Marshall, in the Upper House, to Symmonds. Surprisingly Symmonds contribution was VERY supporting of government. The result is that both Mottley and Marshall’s contributions were exposed as being out of synch with that of Symmonds.
Recently Miss Mottley was given the surprising role of major spokesman in the Estimates Debate; Mr Arthur himself has often said that the debate of the Estimates is of much greater importance than the Budget Debate. When therefore he allowed Miss Mottley to play the lead role after presiding over her ignominious removal as party leader, we must therefore question the sincerity of this decision. The upcoming Budget Debate will put his physical fitness further to the test. One thing is certain: Miss Mottley must know when she is being used as a stop-gap to cover for her fierce enemy Owen Arthur .
Recently too , the BLP held its May day bus excursion and the published photo of a very tired looking Owen Arthur, uncomfortably reclined in a lounge chair and holding out his hand to a young family member, did not make for happy viewing .