Bishop Joseph Atherley Saves the Day!

Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends [country]” (John 15:13) – Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

The unprecedented 30-0 victory by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) at the polls on 24 May 2018 created a Constitutional crisis UNTIL St. Michael West M.P. solved the problem by agreeing to be Leader of the Opposition.

Events to date confirm that the decimation of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) caught even the BLP leadership by surprise- tinkering with the Constitution – always a messy business – with a basket of pressing issues to confront from Day 1 is not what Prime Minister Mia Mottley has the appetite for at this time.

In the short term Atherley has made the sacrifice to cross the floor to assume the Leader of the Opposition role. His monthly salary will jump from 60K to 129K per annum but this is the smaller issue. He has averted the need for Mia to tangle with the issue of making deep amendments to the Constitution of Barbados at an early stage in her administration. Ask yourself, which member of parliament crosses the floor after one week of being elected without first declaring his grievances to his constituents and the wider public as a matter of courtesy?

Atherley’s decision to assume the Opposition role is obviously strategic. A ‘sympathetic’ leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly opens up a pathway for Prime Minister Mia Mottley to attack governance issues, more importantly it removes the nettlesome issue of making significant amendments to the Constitution at an early period in her tenure.

The blogmaster is pleased that the citizens of Barbados have a front row seat to observe the fragility of the democracy we practice exposed. It should be a learning opportunity we grasp with both hands. A past US President Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying that “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom”.  Now more than ever in our history if the democracy we practice is to work as envisaged by the framers of the Constitution, people and stakeholder participation will be critical. The level of apathy and disaffection by citizens is well documented on BU’s pages.

We need to participate in our government in ways we have not done up to now.  We hope Bishop Joseph will live up to the biblical meaning of his name.

325 comments

  • charles skeete

    Mr MILLER
    The relevant section in the constitution recognizes a GROUP

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ charles skeete June 9, 2018 6:11 PM

    OK Charlie, so you want to play the game of sticking to the letter of the Law?

    Why not complete the phrase and read it as referring to a “GROUP” of duly elected Members to the HOA?

    Where is your ‘Spirit’ of practicality and exigency for a functioning government and a sailing ship of State of which the Leader of the Opposition plays, ‘Constitutionally’, a most important role?

    The DLP as a political grouping has absolutely NO fingerprint or “Elected” presence in the new Parliament and hence cannot expect a seating at the senatorial table to assist in the arduous task of governmental oversight.

    You ought to reread the relevant section (Sec 74) in its entirety in order to help you expand your vista of appreciation of the wide ‘discretionary’ powers assigned to the GG in the appointment of a LoO.

    The issue which you to need to address after reading the relevant section (reproduced below) is whether any other duly elected member(s) objected to the GG’s judgment in appointing the Honourable Joseph Atherley in serving in the capacity of the Leader of the Opposition.

    Section 74:
    “(1) There shall be a Leader of the Opposition, who shall be appointed by the Governor-General by instrument under the Public Seal.

    (2) Whenever the Governor-General has occasion to appoint a Leader of the Opposition he shall appoint the member of the House of Assembly who, in his judgment, is best able to command the support of a majority of those members who do not support the Government, or if there is no such person, the member of that House who, in his judgment, commands the support of the largest single group of such members who are prepared to support one leader…”

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  • charles skeete

    What is your point Mills?
    Are you in agreement with Professor Welch and I that Bishop Atherlys appointment as Leader of the Opposition is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.
    It’s not a matter of semantics;
    it’s the Constitution we are debating Sir, the Supreme law of Barbados which trumps all other laws. If it can be trifled with,
    What next

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  • Steupssss

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  • Wayward Children usually suckers their teeth or stewpse their mouth when they have no answers to their shortcomings so stewpse all you want just make sure your false teeth remain intact
    the comments by Professor Welch and to some extent Jeff albeit inchoate does lend much credibility to my view
    and to the commentator who queried rightly the use of the word myopic
    may I explain that it was intended for those commentators who appeared to be focusing on the messenger rather than the content of the message.

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  • Are-we-there-yet

    Bishop Atherley earned his LoO salary and perks today. His speech was top class, expertly balancing on the rope joining his old allegiances to his new one as lone opposition in the House. I think he did a good job, especially where he directly and clearly pointed out the possible pitfalls of her current path to the PM.

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  • Well put “Are you there”
    Bishop Atherly’s presentation was quite good but pitfalls will of necessity arise given the present circumstances
    My petrol bill will go up by $476 a substantial sum for a pensioner like me but I am willing to juxtapose that sacrifice against the possibility of my daughter having the benefit of free tertiary education and the hope that overall the country would emerge gradually from its economic sewage

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  • Talking Loud Saying Nothing

    Quote of the day:

    “Barbadians want to know that somebody, some entity, some group, pay the price for getting us into this mess. If it is a question of bad policy, the electorate has spoken and dismissed the last administration. If it is a question of corruption, misdeeds and ill-doing, Barbadians want to know what the current administration is going to do about having someone pay the price for their pain.”

    Bishop Atherley

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  • Charles Skeete it is not only about what you might benefit .However not everyone has a child going to university and those who do not still have to foot the bill and why should they

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  • Talking loud.

    If Atherley wants to know how Barbados got into this dire situation
    Tell him to read the auditor generals report going as far back as 1992
    Being in opposition means doing full diligence and not squaking like a political yardfowl to get attention
    As a minister he can used his influence to get at the truth.

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  • “Quote of the day:

    “Barbadians want to know that somebody, some entity, some group, pay the price for getting us into this mess. If it is a question of bad policy, the electorate has spoken and dismissed the last administration. If it is a question of corruption, misdeeds and ill-doing, Barbadians want to know what the current administration is going to do about having someone pay the price for their pain.”

    Bishop Atherley”

    “Response of the day:
    As a man of God; Bishop Atherly ought to be in the forefront of tempering justice with mercy.
    ‘THOSE WHO LIVE BY THE SWORD SHALL DIE BY THE SWORD.’

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  • “Charles Skeete it is not only about what you might benefit .However not everyone has a child going to university and those who do not still have to foot the bill and why should they”

    Thanks for reminding me that the sacrifice i am willing to sustain is not for my benefit alone but the thousands of other students whose parents might not have been able to afford University education without the increase in taxes.

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  • Charles Skeete and the bible also speak of wolves in sheep clothing which mirrors Atherley actions after leaving the blp to become an opposition

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  • Charles and what about those who do not have children. Those of whom i speak who have no choice but to pull the wagon

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  • If we follow the “logic” in your argument, then “what about those who do not have children. Those of whom I speak who have no choice but to pull the wagon,” as it relates to them paying increased taxes to allow school children to:

    ……….travel free on Transport Board buses
    ……….access to health care
    ……….access to child care services
    ……….access subsidized school meals
    ……….access education at the primary and secondary level
    ……….access to the subsidized school book loan scheme

    And I can go further by mentioning people who do not own cars paying increased taxes for the maintenance of roads…

    ………or people with cars paying increased taxes to allow those without cars to travel on Transport Board buses at an unreasonable subsidized fare of $2…….

    ………or people who worked hard to save or borrow money to build homes…… having to pay increased taxes so that people who “lick out” their money can get a house from UDC or RDC…

    ………or people paying increased taxes so the poor could access Welfare services and grants….

    ………or people paying increased taxes to support the Home Care Program where Home Helpers take care of the elderly in cases where their relatives don’t……..or abandoned them at the QEH or the district hospital…

    ….….and people paying increased taxes so that those who refuse to pay taxes could continue enjoying benefits to which they have not contributed….

    I believe that those who could AFFORD to pay for tertiary level education SHOULD pay……we should “separate the apples from the oranges” through “means testing.”

    We are all Barbadians and should help each other.

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  • LOO Joseph Atherley called for a division in the wrap up of the budget debate earlier tonight.Was it to record that although he is supposed to be opposing the government he did a Deighton Mottley and voted in favoured of the budget he tried to critique?When Deighton was LOO in the early 60’s he famously replied to EWB’s budget by telling him and the House that as far as he was concerned Barrow can remain In power forever and his reply was over in less than 15 minutes.
    The acting PM George Payne hinted that Atherley’s speech was written for him.In th final alaysis the budget was approved in the House by a 28-0 margin two absentees being The PM and Dr Browne.

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  • Sir i wa addressing a point by which Skeete said he welcomed paying the tax because it was beneficial to his child education
    All would understand that taxes go to providing social services
    However i dare say that Education at a higher level cannot be consider as a social service by which govt have to pay free of cost
    Countries with large wealth mostly provide education at elementary or high school level after which students can acess govt funding by loans or parents who can afford pay out of expense pocket
    So your list of social services to which taxpayers monies are funded is true but is not a true reflection to what govt legally has to provide at free cost for individuals which does not have to include university education

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  • I mentioned: “I believe that those who could AFFORD to pay for tertiary level education SHOULD pay……we should “separate the apples from the oranges” through “MEANS TESTING.”

    My friend, it seems as though you read but do not understand….perhaps it’s because you are not prepared to view situations rationally….opting to push and holding fast to your political agenda, no matter how silly or unreasonable it is……or how WRONG you are.

    What annoys me with people like is if the DLP included reintroducing state funded UWI education in their 2018 manifesto…….

    ……..you would be in this forum presenting all types of reasons to JUSTIFY their decision.

    The point is that although an individual may come from an impecunious household, he/she should not be denied the opportunity to gain tertiary level education because they are poor. The state should look after the poor and vulnerable in the society.

    Remember your party’s mantra: “Barbados is more than an economy, it’s a society.”

    Rather than coming to forum to REPEATEDLY criticize the new BLP administration with the SAME arguments,…….what you need to do is give them TIME to work.

    BTW…..after 10 years of “disrespectful silence,” your DLP colleagues, namely the “Fabulous Four,” have now found their voices.

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  • Or should that be the “FANTASTIC FOUR?”

    Since Donville Inniss is leading the gang and has the ability to STRETCH himself into and out of situations, he could be justifiably called “MR. FANTASTIC” or “RUBBER MAN.”

    The four time loser Verla Depieza is the “INVISIBLE WOMAN.”

    His size and manner of behaviour, would identify David “Pit Bull” Estwick as “THE THING” or “ROCK MAN.” Heard him at the first DEMS meeting……. his rants and raves reminded me of “The Thing’s” favourite phrase……”IT’S CLOBBERING TIME.”

    Stephen Lashley’s characteristics suitably qualify him to be the “HUMAN TORCH.”

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  • I trust Doug de Dem at the hellum of CBC don’t ever be so drunk as to bring those outcasts DLP has beens into our living rooms.If you ever get so drunk as to do that,your donkey will be grass the very next day,mark my word.

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  • De Ole man is not like the Luminary Jeff Cumberbatch

    Nor am I like the Linguist Dr Pedro Welch but I would offer a third less wordy and mor visual perspective on Bishop Joseph Atherley’s “role”

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  • @Artax June 13, 2018 9:46 PM “Or should that be the “FANTASTIC FOUR?”

    Fantastic four what.???

    Stupse!!!

    They are the rump DLP

    Rump=a small or unimportant remnant of something originally larger.

    Rump=the hind part of…

    And I doan have to give nobody the defintion of hind part.

    Lolll!!!

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  • And, based on George Payne’s recent comments

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  • I unapologetically return to this topic daresay I surmise much to the disappointment of many
    Stewpse
    But if logic and reason is allowed to prevail
    Then the recent announcement by Bishop Atherly of his resignation from the Barbados Labour Party administration must lend credence to my view that Bishop Atherly’s appointment to the post of Leader of the Opposition was unconstitutional

    Like

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