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.

It’s Mia Mottley Again!

Mia Mottley,Leader of the Opposition

Mia Mottley, Leader of the Opposition casting her vote in the 2013 General Election – Photo credit: Nation Newspaper

Mia Mottley’s elevation to the position of Opposition Leader  was a predictable one for many. The fact that the decision to replace Arthur was made quickly is positive for the Barbados Labour party (BLP). Mottley will have five years to grow with her team in the eyes of the public. it is accepted that a robust contribution from the opposition bench is necessary to maintain the people’s business. An Opposition bench with an increased majority and a few new and young faces should make life interesting in the new parliament.

Many Barbadians believed the BLP made a mistake when it brought back Arthur to lead the party. BU is sure there was a good reason why a majority of the BLP parliamentary group sided with the decision. Whatever the reason BU hopes that Mia Mottley and the BLP have grown from the experience and set it behind them.

On behalf of the BU household we wish she and her team all the best.