Now that Minister of Agriculture David Estwick has been sworn in the political pundits will wait for The Estimates Debate to continue with the speculation. Unfortunately for the Stuart led government the slim 2-seat majority will continue to exert the weight of public scrutiny. Not sure if the public will ever achieve a comfort level in the current circumstances. This is a new political path for Barbados.
During all the post-general election debate the leadership transition from Arthur to Mottley – the heir apparent in the eyes of many – has avoided deeper discussion. This is the second bite of the cherry for Mottley since her removal by Payne, Marshall, Toppin, Clarke and Duguid – the so-called Gang of 5 – which paved the way for the return of Owen Arthur. The result of the 21 February 2012 is now history, it saw the defeat of Arthur and the BLP.
BU had hoped in the wake of all that has happened the disaffected members of the ‘Gang of 5” would have rallied behind Mottley, and in the process send a message to the world that old wounds were in an advanced state of healing. Unfortunately for Mottley the report of an 8 to 5 vote exposes a deep division within the BLP parliamentary group. And yes members of the group are entitled to vote conscience even though in the highest chamber of the land the idea of doing similarly is dispensed with.
It was interesting also the position taken by Arthur to absent himself from the process of selecting the opposition leader. As a BLP member of parliament his participation was demanded. Even more so because of what he is on record as saying about Mottley’s leadership in a UWI interview after his other general election defeat in 2008. Does anyone buy the explanation offered by Arthur that he did not want to be a drag on the discussion to select the new leader of the BLP? By this single act he wedged the dagger a little deeper than it was lodged in 2008. Here was the perfect opportunity for Arthur and Mottley to show that the party was ready to shatter all doubts about the leadership of the party. What is to stop those Barbadians from believing that there is some angst still being shown by Arthur, and co, at the prospect of Mottley leading the BLP? What is it Arthur and co are not telling the public by their vote?
To some it seems that there is a bloc within the BLP parliamentary group who have sworn a pact to do all in their power to pervert Mottley from the path of ever becoming prime minister of Barbados. If there is a compelling reason by those in the BLP concerning Mottley becoming prime minister, the time has come to take the public into its confidence? If they don’t it will become a protracted issue which will have to be addressed the next time a general election is called. Why force Mottley to have to carry the spectre cast by this matter like an albatross on her back for the next five years? And to intensify the distrust enter Kerri Symmonds stage left.
Owen Arthur cannot regard the last parliament as poorakey and this time around suggests that he intends to fully participate. The personnel is the same on the government side! His position reeks of hypocrisy. Perhaps the recent defeat has caused him to recant. We continue to navigate an interesting period in the political landscape of Barbados.
Mottley will have to demonstrate she has what it takes to lead the BLP into the next general election.