Prime Minister Mia Mottley continued the recent trend of making controversial and contentious announcements. She revealed government’s recommendation to rename the University of the West Indies in recognition of the late prime minister Owen Arthur. To honour convention of parliament parliamentarians in the Lower House set aside yesterday to pay tributes to the late prime minister.
The blogmaster has no problem with recognizing Owen Arthur to recognize his contribution to Barbados and the region. The Vice Chancellor and her management team will decide if to accept the recommendation from the government of Barbados, who by the way is its biggest contributor to UWI’s finances.
There is a creeping feeling by the blogmaster Barbadians – as is our inclination – are being distracted by ‘political noise’ and the current dire state of the economy is being relegated. There are several national conversations on the go – recognition of same sex unions, push to be a republic next year, by-election in St. George North and the latest – proposed renaming of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. It does not help that the political opposition and media will be consumed by these events and there the masses.
Last week, Barbados lost one of its most illustrious sons, Owen Seymour Arthur, and all from his most ardent supporters to former political foes to academics to regional and international titans paid tribute to the indelible mark which he left upon this world.
Among his achievements now memorialized in tribute are his status as our longest-serving Prime Minister and also a masterful political tactician who institutionalized his ‘politics of inclusion’, by which he ensured his party’s high political fortune for many years due to the sheer breadth of talent and competent expertise unlocked not only within his party but also through that visionary political strategy. It is perhaps a most fitting homage to Mr Arthur’s economic brilliance that under his premiership, this country enjoyed its longest period of sustained economic growth. He also led a nation which consistently ranked in the upper echelons of the Human Development Index making it for a long spell, the most developed of developing nations.
One person recalled Shakespeare’s Cassius in saying that Mr Arthur bestrode this nation like a colossus.
But Mr Arthur was not tyrannical in the sense that Cassius conceived Caesar to be. Rather, his foremost philosophy aligned more closely with the rest of Cassius’ exhortation to Brutus – that the superiority of one over others is artificially contrived. Cassius asked Brutus on what basis was Caesar pedestalised above all men, when in truth he was like all other men. Mr Arthur often asked the people of Barbados and the wider Caribbean why should we say the names of larger nations more grandiosely than our own names, for on what basis are they inherently better than us?
Much has been made rightly of Arthur’s economic brilliance and political savvy, but in this writer’s view, one of his greatest contributions was his fervent belief in ourselves. In many ways therefore, Arthur’s life is bound up in ‘smallness’. A man of relatively ‘small’ stature, who came from the small, sleepy area of Rose Hill in rural St Peter, who rose to become Prime Minister of a small nation. But Mr Arthur’s mind was not small nor were the people he led. That is perhaps his greatest lesson to young people today.
We, young people, therefore, must fundamentally believe in ourselves and our own abilities, cognizant of the constraints of life, but equally undergirded by the importance of whatever it is we set about to do. For Mr Arthur, that meant being neither a deluded ideologue nor an unprincipled pragmatist, but rather balancing both principles and pragmatism. There were times when circumstance merited that he be seemingly intractable and resolute such as the opposition his government led to certain aspects of the US Shiprider Agreement. At other times, he understood the value of compromise and strategic retreat, such as the unfortunately abortive union with the OECS or republicanism, recognizing that in both instances the other parties simply were not ready.
Regardless of whichever point on the scale of pragmatism and principles Mr Arthur had to fall depending on the circumstance he remained committed to the ideal of building the best Barbados and playing the long game. His stance on various issues and his strategy illustrate to young people that great achievement, whether personal or for a wider cause, is not obtained in twenty overs in T20 cricket, but most often requires four innings.
Just as West Indians decades ago, delighted in the defeat of their former colonial master on the cricket field, Mr Arthur reminded his nation and the region of the feeling of standing up for oneself, when Windies cricket was waning and perhaps that feeling was also evanescing. With the aforementioned Shiprider Agreement, he won hard-fought for concessions from the Americans, an enviable feat for a relatively insignificant nation in the grand geopolitical scheme of life. To use religious allusion, he was the Rose Hill boy who stood up, slung his shot and won against the Goliath of the world.
The footprint which he leaves behind, therefore, is impressive and his service will stand as an aide-memoire to generations, present and future, of what is possible when life’s opportunities are grasped tightly with both hands, regardless of the circumstances of birth. When we remember Mr Arthur and his incredible footprint, let us reflect on the footprint which we can leave. He is gone, but we will not soon forget!
Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)
Former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur, Chairman of the Commonwealth Observer Mission
On Thursday Mr. Clairmont Mingo, the Returning officer of Election District 4 – Demerara/Mahaica, declared the much anticipated election results for his District. The results established that incumbent APNU+AFC coalition won the March 2, 2020 general elections. Earlier in the day the opposition PPP released a document with purported results showing a PPP victory, bearing inflated votes for that party in polling stations within Region/District 4. Upon closer examination, the document was dated February 29, 2020, an indication that it was generated in some form two days before the March 2, 2020 elections. When citizens began questioning the date of the document on social media, it was pulled and the date changed to March 5, 2020 and republished.
The declaration had been previously disrupted multiple times by a mob of PPP executives and other known street thugs who, armed with guns, under the cover of dark night stormed the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) District 4 office demanding access to GECOM’s computer equipment. Later in the day said individuals kicked down the door to the Chairman of the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM), Justice Claudette Singh. The presence of violated the Laws of Guyana Chapter 1:03 (91). CGID is appalled that the Guyana Police Force allowed this invasion of GECOM’s office to occur. Overseas observers have failed to condemn this hooliganism and lawlessness from the PPP. Some observers, including James Carter III from the Carter Center, appear to be coordinating with the PPP.
In response to the District 4 declaration, Mr. Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados, who is Chairman of the Commonwealth Observer Mission falsely stated that the “tabulation of the final election results has not yet been completed and verified according to the established procedures and relevant legal and statutory provisions.” Mr. Arthur is obviously uninformed of the laws of Guyana and the constitutional powers of GECOM. This statement is consistent with PPP talking point. CGID questions Mr. Arthur’s objectivity. He is a longtime associate of Bharrat Jagdeo who should never have been accredited by the Commonwealth.
Mr. Arthur and his team cannot dictate to GECOM or interfere with its work. He and his team are departing from an observer mission to intruding and interfering in Guyana’s electoral process in favor of the PPP. Guyana’s elections laws mandate a specific procedure for challenging actions and declarations of GECOM. That process does not entail complaints to and coercive missives from observers. It requires the filing of an elections petition in the court.
CGID notes that in 1997 the PPP government used the exact process to declare the elections results. In that election, then PPP hacks at GECOM secretly declared and certified the PPP winner, and secretly swore in Mrs. Janet Jagan as President. When a marshal of the Supreme Court attempted to serve Mrs. Jagan with an injunction from then Chief Justice Desiree Bernard, Mrs. Jagan threw the court order to the ground and proceeded to be sworn in. PPP leaders, including Bharrat Jagdeo, argued then that the courts cannot interfere with GECOM and its processes.
CGID therefore asks, if GECOM in 1997 could have declared results in favor of the PPP without a specific public verification procedure, what prevents GECOM from doing so in 2020? If the courts had no power to interfere in GECOM processes in 1997, why the PPP is seeking the intervention of the court in GECOM’s processes in 2020.
LIAT announces the appointment of a new Board of Directors and the election of the Right Honourable Professor Owen S. Arthur as the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Following the Company’s Annual General Meeting held in Antigua on Monday 16th December 2019, a new Board of Directors was elected, and the Right Honourable Professor Owen S. Arthur was nominated and elected as Chairman.
Professor Arthur currently serves as a Professor of Practice at the University of The West Indies. He has served the Caribbean as a learned Statesman including his work presiding over the Regional process to revise the Treaty of Chaguaramas to establish the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The new Board of Directors consists of:
Rt. Hon. Prof. Owen S. Arthur as chairman,
Mr. Michael Holder,
Mr. Mark Maloney,
Mr. Robert Riley,
Mrs. Juanita Thorington-Powlett,
Mr. Isaac Solomon,
Mrs. Carolyn Tonge,
Hon. Lennox Weston and
Hon. Sir Robin Yearwood.
The new Directors bring to the airline and regional transportation sector over 100 years of combined aviation experience. The Directors have demonstrated exceptional records of performance and service to the industry and to the region.
The new Chairman has been tasked by the new Board to undertake a special assignment to meet with regional Prime Ministers to discuss sustainability of the Airline. This assignment will be supported by other directors and the Management Team of the airline.
LIAT’s Shareholders, Management and Staff welcome our Directors to the LIAT and look forward to working together with the new Board to foster and strengthen regional transportation and integration.
Business as usual, folks, don’t go getting your hopes up.
“The new Directors bring to the airline and regional transportation sector over 100 years of combined aviation experience”. Derriere-lickers all, that just about sums up the shit-pot of garbage they are trying to fool us with again. 100 years of experience in their feckin DREAMS.
They had the opportunity to make a difference, and they just rolled on by. AGAIN.
PM Arthur I may be wrong but, based on the sentiments therein contained I am of the opinion that you might be disposed to support a Good Governance initiative for Barbados
Unlike many people in Barbados who have drunken “the coolaid” you are quite familiar with the actions being displayed and what such actions purport with regard to the country’s tenuous hold on democracy.
Since I never to “assume”I will ask you directly, if you feel the same way about Mia Mottley today, as you felt when you made that video above outside the House of Parliament?
I’d like to share a few thoughtsto support those remaining Barbadian patriots.
This is an excerpt of the Arsenal of Tools that our “Gideon’s Army” has Prime Minister Owen Arthur.It is part of the extensive matrix of campaigning tools we as Enablers of the Third Party Movement, wield.
Maybe you are of a mind, like I am, that these willy nilly constitutional changes, by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, presage the coming of things that are at variance with Good Governance and our island’s democratic principles.
If you are keen to engage might I suggest the following steps?
The first element is optional and is also a Symbolic Gesture.
Would you be so kind as to put a token Errol Barrow a US$25 on the www.gofundme.org/justiceforallbarbados campaign? It is not really the money that we are seeken kind sir, but the token of your solidarity and having the Father of Independence being submitted to the campaign by a son of the soil whom history will recall as the 2nd best Prime Minister after Barrow..
Am I asking too much of you under this chapeau of patriotism? I would go one step further and ask, if you do provide that token, could just add your name OR INITIALS to the donation?
That alone would be worth much more than a $1 million donation since it is a statement of courage in the face of the Despotism at our gates and what all our fellow bajans fear.
The second action deals with “Exposing Mottley!”
I think and you may agree, that it isimperative that the People of Barbados start to see the true nature of Mottley themselves. For the most part Bajans have bought into the Mottley lie and they need to see her as you depict her in the above video – a usurper and back biter ( though others purport that she is also a biter of other things, but I know nothing of these rumors.)
Might I suggest that you take a screen shot of that message you sent to Mia Mia Mottley (the one where you indicated your stance on the Imminent persons committee and her blatant disregard of the instructions you gave her? A screen shot of her response where she says “NOTED”
A post like that on Imgur and on Tshirts would certainly expose the nature of the person that is now changing the Constitution as she feels. Once that item is posted (Name it “Mia Mottley Ignored Instructions” and we will get it.
In brief the product you are looking at permits the Campaigner to(a) craft their specific message, (b) send it anywhere one desires and (c) effect a number of interactions with various audiences and recipients.
It is my hope that I can convey to you the seriousness that my small team has afforded this battle for what you called the Soul of Barbados.
Finally, there is one more thing. I want to “speak with you”
I will presume that you are onboard (smiles):
S1. Get a friend get you an anonymous SIM, by anonymous, i mean they buy it under a non related nameand you get it. It does not have to be a close friend. Distance yourself from the purchase of the SIM (even purchase one overseas and have it activated for the minimum time)
S2. Get a cheap iPhone
S3. Put the SIM in the phone
S4. Download and install an annual VPN Virtual Private Network service
launch the VPN and place the city in America. It will bypass any country restrictions.
Who are the common denominators in these matters of meetings set up to meet with Benedict Peters to secure campaign funding and so to the setting up of the meeting with Hugo Chavez to secure campaign funding that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur had the good patriotic sense to refuse to attend?
Well if you heard Owen Arthur’s press conference last week he confirmed that both Mottley and Hartley Henry were the persons who wanted him to visit Dominica to meet with Hugo Chavez to mortgage out our foreign policy for campaign funding which he bluntly refused to be part of and now this more recent confirmation by Benedict Peters lawyer Haynes that confirmed the meeting tòok place with Benedict Peters and Mottley, could campaign funding which most likely is common to both meetings, is this grab for campaign funding so vital that Mottley was prepared to sell out our island’s foreign policy for campaign funding ?
And we are still not sure what Benedict Peters was looking to secure in exchange for his Nigerian money but what ever it was he expected it came at a significant cost to him and nearly at a cost to we Barbadians.
We await a full explanation from Mottley on this and also on the Wire tapping and eavesdropping and a file named POLITICAL, as we await further information as to where she qualified as a Lawyer if she did indeed qualify as it is a known fact that she does not own a Legal Education Certificate therefore we need to know if she did the year of Pupiliage in the UK to become a Registered Barrister who qualified in the UK, we also await her response to the waiver of $ 87 mil tax giveaway to Barclays Bank and her half a million dollars waiver and tax give away to her father, we also await her response to the matter of Four Seasons.
According to the EFCC, an investigation that began in 2016 showed that Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former petroleum minister; Bernard Otti; Aiteo Energy Ltd; Northern Belt Oil and Gas Company Ltd and others were involved in conspiracy, stealing and money laundering amounting to $300 million.
Mr. Peters is the chairman of both companies, according to the EFCC.
I act for Mr. Benedict Peters, a Nigerian international businessman of the highest
repute. My client is a Christian and a major financier of the Gospel of Christ. He has
nothing to do with Islamic radicalism and actively combats Islamic terrorism globally. My
client is the Executive Vice Chairman of Aieto Group and complains that, on Sunday, 6
May 2018, at the launch of the Democratic Labour Party’s election campaign at the Netball Stadium, you defamed him to the assembled audience and persons watching the event on the Internet. My client has seen and heard your speech on the Internet and he is outraged by your allegations, insinuations and innuendos.
In particular, you alleged that my client met with “the leadership of the Barbados Labour Party at the Hilton Hotel” and the said leadership was seeking to get money from my client. You further suggested that my client was “funneling money into the Barbados elections just like the Russians were putting money in the American elections”. You categorically stated that “Nigerian money is trying to influence the outcome of the election” clearly suggesting that my client is the source of such money.
Most egregiously, you made references to Boko Haram, a notoriously renowned
Islamic terrorist organisation, and so interspersed references to my client by name as to suggest that he is involved with that organisation.
In their natural, ordinary and innuendo meanings, your words mean and were understood to mean that –
(a) my client is seeking improperly to influence the outcome of the 2018
(b) he is providing large sums of money to the Barbados Labour Party for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the said elections;
(c) he is associated with a terrorist organisation;
(d) he is a criminal or has criminal propensities and/or is associated with Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organisation that kidnaps school girls;
(e) he is anti-democracy and is prepared to use his money for the improper purpose of influencing the outcome of elections.
The words used by you are completely false, baseless and malicious. They constitute a serious and grave defamation of my client personally and professionally.
They have caused my client great hurt, distress and international embarrassment. My client has never contributed or offered to contribute money to the Barbados Labour
Party, its leader Ms. Mia Mottley or any political or other organisation in Barbados.
He instructs me that he met with Ms. Mottley while on a family vacation in
Barbados and the two discussed global affairs and investment opportunities in Barbados and the wider Caribbean. Furthermore, that since that meeting, back in September of 2016, he has not met with or had any contact with Ms. Mottley or any member of the
Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Indeed, he does not today have a phone number, email address nor other direct contact information for Ms. Mottley or any member of the leadership of the BLP, and, has definitely not contributed, in cash or kind, to the campaign of the BLP, neither before nor since that meeting in September 2016.
I call upon you on or before 15 May 2018, to withdraw and retract the defamatory statements and their imputations made by you and apologise to my client in terms to be
approved by me, for your defamation of him.
If you do not comply with the demands in the preceding paragraph, please be advised that my client will forthwith take such action against you as he may be advised including commencing proceedings in the High Court of Barbados for damages, an injunction and legal costs. In the meantime, my client reserves all
There is the saying politics makes for strange bedfellows. There is another that Barbadians have short memories.
The political machinations being played out in the build up to general election day on 24 May 2018 has become all so predictable. The accusations and counters, the tit for tat bombshells being lobbed across the political divide is how the nature of local politics must be characterized. Regrettably occurring at a time all economic and social indicators point to a chronic state of decline.
It is all very déjà vu isn’t it?
The political bombshell lobbed by the former Prime Minister Owen Arthur at Prime Minister in waiting Mia Mottley that she was complicit in a decision to waive fees on a transaction her father Elliot Mottley was party continues to choke the news channel. It is noteworthy Arthur was unable to confirm wrongdoing but went ahead James Comey style and released the information 9 days before the general election. Keen observers would not have been surprised that Arthur has emerged at this time after listening to Prime Minister Stuart et al leave the political gate open at the Carlisle Park meeting last weekend.
What is playing out was orchestrated between Arthur and the DLP.
It has become patently obvious Owen Arthur and members of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) have colluded to attack Mottley at a time when the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and its leader are at the most vulnerable. It has not escaped the blogmaster that Arthur’s press conference was facilitated by Barbados Today (BT) headed by Kaymar Jordan.
Here is the BT facilitated Owen Arthur press conference for those who missed it.
The BU family et al is invited to watch the following Owen Arthur presentation in parliament dated August 2011 to appreciate how strange bed fellows are formed. To suggest Arthur took a shellacking by those accepting his every word in 2018 speaks for itself.
Submitted by David Comissiong, Citizen of Barbados
Towards the end of November 2012 the Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam visited Barbados, and during the course of that visit Minister Farrakhan and his entourage had a meeting with then Opposition Leader, Owen Arthur, at the Opposition Leader’s office situate at Parliament building in Bridgetown. I, David Comissiong, attended that meeting as a guest of Minister Farrakhan.
During the course of that meeting Owen Arthur expressed the opinion that United States President Barack Obama had totally neglected the Caribbean region — had, in fact,done less for the Caribbean than even George Bush — and that it was Hugo Chavez and Venezuela that were making meaningful contributions to the Caribbean.
Owen Arthur also informed us that he had come to the conclusion that he had made a mistake by not having Barbados sign on to Venezuela’s Petro Caribe Energy Cooperation Agreement when he was Prime Minister of Barbados.
He went on to inform us that if his Barbados Labour Party (BLP) won the General Elections that were due in 2013 (and he became Prime Minister again) that he –Owen Seymour Arthur — would be taking Barbados into Petro Caribe.
In light of the foregoing, it is truly remarkable and bemusing to hear the same Owen Arthur now talking about signing on to Petro Caribe as being tantamount to “selling the foreign policy of Barbados”.
Furthermore, the Caribbean countries that signed on to the Petro Caribe Energy Cooperation Agreement were not doing Venezuela a favour. Rather, they were taking advantage of a very generous Venezuelan offer of deferment of payments on the purchase of energy supplies, as well as access to grants, concessionary loans, and social and economic development projects. Indeed countries such as Dominica, St Vincent and Haiti benefitted from literally dozens of developmental projects in the fields of agriculture, education, and the provision of energy-based infrastructure and facilities.
It should be noted that hardly a day passes in Venezuela without the right wing critics of Chavez lambasting Chavez for — in their words– “giving away” Venezuela’s precious resources to the Caribbean nations through the Petro Caribe Energy Cooperation Agreement !
Owen Arthur is therefore playing games with this issue — tawdry partisan political games — and should be ashamed of himself.
The fact is that as late as the end of November 2012 he was raring to sign on to Petro Caribe as a programme that was in the national interest of Barbados and did not need any further persuading on the matter !
Fortunately, there must have been a good twenty or so people in that meeting room in November 2012 — all of whom can verify the truth of what I say here.
Submitted by David Comissiong, Citizen of Barbados
The Right Honourable, Owen Arthur
The Right Honourable, Fruendel Stuart
Late David Thompson
In the Sunday Sun front page newspaper article of 11th February 2018 titled Not On My Watch, former Commissioner of Police, Darwin Dottin, publicly confirmed :-
(1) that there are “extra-regional third parties” who provide the Royal Barbados Police Force with the “capability” to tap the telephones of persons in Barbados; that these “extra-regional third parties” are given “authorisation” to work with the Royal Barbados Police Force; and that the tapping of the telephones of persons in Barbados with the assistance of these “extra-regional third parties” has been ongoing since the year 1991– a period of some 27 years;
(2) that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister David Thompson (deceased), and current Prime Minister Freundel Stuart all knew about this practice of the Royal Barbados Police Force collaborating with “extra-regional third parties” to tap the telephones of Barbadians;
(3) that “it was common practice for all Prime Ministers……. to give authorisation” for the Royal Barbados Police Force to collaborate with these “extra-regional third parties” in the tapping of telephones in Barbados; and
(4) that “all Opposition Leaders over the years had been informed” about the Royal Barbados Police Force’s use of wiretapping technology to tap the phones of Barbadians.
And so, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur could bluster and obfuscate as much as he likes about the Governor General being formally responsible for the efficient administration of the Police Force — sensible and conscious Barbadians are not buying his contention that he and other Barbadian Prime Ministers are not relevant to the issue of foreign entities collaborating with the Royal Barbados Police Force in tapping the telephones of Barbadians.
We are also not buying his pathetic effort to turn himself into a victim by claiming that “it has been represented in the public domain that my phones had been tapped also”.Nor are we interested in his irrelevant sob-story about Darwin Dottin being his best friend at primary school !
Perceptive Barbadians will have noted that in spite of all of his effusions and feverish protestations on the matter, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is yet to deny that foreign entities have been collaborating with the Royal Barbados Police Force in tapping telephones in Barbados.
As a citizen of Barbados I find it to be totally unacceptable that our Government and national Police Force could be joining together with foreign entities to tap the telephones of Barbadians without having established any legal authorisation in the Laws of Barbados for this practice; without establishing any protocols of oversight and accountability in relation to the carrying out of this activity; without in any way informing us–the Barbadian people — about any of this happening; and without providing us with even basic information about the identity of the mysterious foreign entities that are being permitted to invade the privacy of Barbadians.
Who — former Prime Minister Arthur and current Prime Minister Stuart — are these “extra-regional third parties” that are permitted to collaborate with the Royal Barbados Police Force in tapping telephones in our country ?
What are the protocols and regulations under which this practice has been taking place over the past 27 years ? Aren’t we — the citizens of Barbados — entitled to know the criteria by which a decision is made to tap the telephone of a Barbadian citizen? And who makes that decision?
Furthermore, what mechanism of oversight and accountability has been attached to this practice ?Indeed, is there ANY mechanism of oversight and accountability ?
When all is said and done,the reality is that you–Mr Owen Arthur– held the office of Prime Minister of this country for 14 of the 27 years during which this practice of telephone tapping was taking place. And you– Mr Stuart– have held the post of Prime Minister for some 8 of those 27 years.
Do not insult our intelligence with idle and evasive talk about the Governor General or insinuations about current Opposition Leader Mia Mottley! We need answers to the serious questions that surround this 27 year old practice of engaging with foreign entities to tap the telephones of Barbadians.
For many one of the enduring memories from the Owen Arthur Barbados Labour Party (BLP) tenure is the sale of the Barbados National Bank (BNB) to the Trinidad based Republic Bank Limited. Arthur continues to defend his decision by offering that the BNB was a loss making entity hamstrung by a high level of government bureaucracy and non performing loans. Further, he explains that local credit unions and locals spurned the opportunity to buy shares when offered.
Many will debate the pros and cons of Arthur’s decision to shed majority interest in the BNB till thy kingdom come. We live in a world where almost if not all decisions are greatly influenced by economic consideration. Such an approach does not allow the space for a people to craft a vision and identity based on symbols, traditions that include even the spiritual and other non economic factors. Through the eyes of the BU household the BNB was a symbol of the progress Barbados had made from transitioning the economy from agrarian. It represented how majority Black Barbadians were in control of a significant financial intuition on Broad Street. If one wants to be political with the argument, it exposed the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) philosophy of reordering the economic fundamentals of the economy to make Barbados competitive in a competitive global world. The ease with which Black politicians- Owen Arthur as lead -disposed of what BNB should give cause for Barbadians to pause. The decision by Arthur is analogous to the Stuart DLP government dismantling its philosophy to provide ‘free’ education as a pathway for future development and empower a small Black nation.
It was interesting to listen to former Prime Minister of St. Kitts Denzel Douglas explain a few of the strategies he presided over that have led to the transformation of the St. Kitts economy. He stated that the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank was important to the strategy of restructuring the debt because the government was able to intervene in the domestic financial market to align with the national interest. Given the current economic state of Barbados the government does not have the recourse of a local bank to borrow from an important best practice that was reportedly implemented successfully in St. Kitts and Nevis.
BU supports the view that a national bank is important to any nation to shore-up the sovereignty argument. One cannot be truly liberated as a people if the gateways to important arteries in the society are controlled by foreign interest. In the case of Barbados the banking sector is 100% controlled by foreign ownership. The food sector is 90 plus percent controlled by non Barbadian interest. The supply of electricity is controlled by foreign interest. In the three examples –the financial, food importation and distribution and power, a so called independent people have no control. We acknowledge that the Fair Trading Commission and government agencies were established to regulate the market in the interest of all stakeholders including the consumer .
The lengthy preamble is meant to introduce a recent development in Canada where the banks- locally owned -have agreed to pool resources in the interest of the country.
Canada’s biggest banks and insurance companies have launched a private-sector fund of up to $1 billion to provide long-term financing to burgeoning high-growth businesses, the firms announced Thursday. The Canadian Business Growth Fund will look to invest the full amount over 10 years, with an expected initial commitment of more than $500-million.
Submitted by David Comissiong, President, Clement Payne Movement
The Right Honourable, Owen Arthur
Chris Sinckler, former Minister of Finance
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart
Donville Inniss, Minister of Commerce
Ronald Jones, Minister of Education
It does not surprise me that Owen Arthur has chosen to join forces with the Freundel Stuart Administration. The sad truth is that Owen Arthur, Freundel Stuart, Chris Sinckler, Ronald Jones, Donville Inniss and all the other members of this dismal DLP Administration really do belong together.
The vast majority of Barbadians are convinced– and rightly so– that the current DLP Governmental Administration is easily the worst political administration that Barbados has had since the attainment of universal adult suffrage in 1951. But we must remember that our national woes did not start with the coming to power of the DLP in 2008!
The truth is that in Owen Arthur’s last 5 year term in government he plunged this country into a crisis of economic, social and cultural decline — a crisis that led the Barbadian people to massively reject him and his Administration in the 2008 General Elections.
The sad truth is that the DLP Administrations of David Thompson and Freundel Stuart have really been a continuation of that last disastrous Owen Arthur Administration !
Where, for example, Owen Arthur started the process of privatizing our country’s one and only indigenous and state owned bank— the Barbados National Bank (BNB)– the DLP Administration completed the process of selling off our bank to Trinidadian capitalists.
In addition, where Owen Arthur presided over an economically and socially cancerous process of conferring outrageously privileged governmental contracts on a small group of elite businessmen— such as the ridiculous contract that was granted to Mr Bizzy Williams’ Ionics Freshwater Ltd— the Stuart Administration has exacerbated this economic and social cancer with the outrageously privileged contracts that they have conferred on companies associated with Mark Maloney and his cohorts.
So Owen Arthur, Freundel Stuart and Chris Sinckler really belong together. They all share in common the belief that our Barbadian state-owned assets must be sold off to elite private sector capitalists; that our free education must be dismantled; that our people must be made to pay for public health services; and that the foreign investor rather than native Barbadians must constitute the lynch-pin of our national economic development strategy.
But as much as Owen Arthur is determined to hurt Ms Mia Mottley and his former political party, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), Mr Arthur has actually done Ms Mottley and the BLP an enormous favour by his linking of arms with the current DLP Administration!
You see, with Mr Arthur throwing in his lot with the DLP, it would now become extremely clear to every single BLP member that there is no “going back to Owen”! Thus whatever lingering divisions or doubts there might have existed in the BLP over the “Owen Arthur issue” should now be completely put to rest.
The political history of Barbados tells us that the BLP have always been at their best when they organized themselves around the concept of a “Great Combination” of leaders and statesmen rather than when they opted for the opposite ploy of adopting a “Going with Owen” maximum leader dominating the party, its image and its policy. The BLP therefore now has a golden opportunity to get back to the best of its tradition!
The fundamental reality however is that an extremely interesting and ideologically meaningful political battle is shaping up in Barbados.
We have now had a consolidation of the right wing, anti-social democracy, pro-privatization, pro- local and foreign elite forces in the form of the Owen Arthur, Freundel Stuart, Chris Sinckler, Ronald Jones, Donville Inniss political axis.
And I am confident that there will be — on the other side — a similar consolidation of the patriotic, people centred, mixed economy, social democratic forces, in order to take on these advocates of political, economic and social backwardness..
It looks like we are now in for some real politics that will provide Barbadians with real and meaningful choices on the preferred way ahead!
Leader of the BLP Mia Mottley (l) Former Leader of the BLP Owen Arthur (r)
If the DLP government has proven that it is good at anything, it has to be that it is good at playing political games, doing almost exclusively what is politically expedient, and that without a doubt, for them it will always be party first. The DLP is without a doubt the worst government of recent time, in terms of managing the economic and social affairs of the state and its people. Principally because its members seem to spend most of their time concentrating on ways in which to hold on to power, even though is is glaringly obvious, for the sake of power itself.
I have always had major respect for the economic prowess of former prime minister Owen Arthur. It is because of his abilities that I want to believe that the step he now takes is without the obvious malice that he holds for the leader of the opposition, and simply out of love for country. God and all the angels know that the DLP need the help, since they have proven for eight long and arduous years that they cannot get the job done. To be honest I really want to continue to see the former prime minister as a statesman and patriot of our fine nation.
But I will say this, the DLP is shameless, or as someone recently described them to me, desperate power parros, willing to do whatever to get a hit or in this case; to keep the last, dying end of the hit. In 2015 the Mia, who on seeing the economic and accompanying social devastation of the country; suggested that a Council of Eminent persons be convened. The idea seemed of course, that this bipartisan team would pool ideas designed to bring about much needed economic change.
Instead Mr Stuart in his usual, egotistical manner dismissed Owen as having no special insights and having no magic portion. AND Owen in fact declined Mia’s suggestion, a suggestion that on the eve of election in Barbados, when the bottom has all but fallen out the proverbial boat, when the task of turning around the country has become much more difficult, Owen has risen. I struggle with his decision because of the obvious politics at play, and because of my inherent love of country, which indeed compels me to want whatever is best for Barbados.
However to my mind, even if Owen is able to help the DLP to turn around the country, it has never been clearer that he nor the DLP is no longer what is best for the country. We have a situation where he, instead heeding Mia’s call to assist as a part of a task force, when it best could have helped the country, waited until it was politically expedient for him to join the DLP’s ranks. This once great man has fallen more than a few notches in my eyes. And … well there is no explanation needed to further convince that the DLP is dangerous for Barbados’ social, political, and economic landscape, they have at least done a good job of that on their own.
Those who would seek to write off former Prime Minister Owen Arthur are making a potentially grievous political mistake. Apparently, it is now customary in our society, to declare anyone above the age of 60 as a has been. This means that all those teachers, police, nurses and others including those in the private sector, are supposed to go home at 55 or 60 and grow lettuce or roses. I respectfully beg to differ. The truth is that, as far as I know, Arthur has no impediment that will affect his ability to be a very productive citizen for many years to come.
This author, 9/1/14
I do not sing in the choir of former Prime Minister, Owen Arthur and I remain convinced that the current Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, is in the middle of the ocean, in a moses with a hole. However, I support Arthur, who is displaying an act of statesmanship, by accepting the chairmanship of the Economic Advisory Council. This is a genuine example of the politics of inclusion because Arthur has not been asked to surrender his independent status and he has not joined the ruling Democratic Labour Party.
Arthur is as guilty for the current adversarial component of our politics as any other politician because in his prime as Prime Minister with a popularity that was about to surpass Errol Barrow’s, he squandered the opportunity by becoming very abrasive toward journalists and other citizens, and eventually suffered two successive electoral defeats thereby guaranteeing a plunge in his popularity. However, he remains popular especially among those who believe that he was a good manager of the economy. In my opinion, he should have done more with the expenditure he had at his disposal but others maintain that his management of the economy was stellar. Apart from his contribution as chair of the Advisory Council, if he could at the very least keep both BLP and DLP diehards a bit quiet, he would have contributed to a decrease in the polarization that now blunts every effort of progressive and enlightened public discourse about the state of our country.
He reminds me of a batsman, who “gives away his hand” and then sits in the pavilion and tells all the other batsmen how they should bat. I believe that that for a considerable period, of his time in office, he was afflicted by managerial cataracts but since leaving Llaro Court, his vision seems to have improved. We now expect this improved or corrected vision to benefit the administration and hopefully redound to a clearer vision for Sinckler and the country. Therefore no nationalistic citizen should oppose what is essentially a meeting of minds. We can only hope that Sinckler is not so blind that nobody can make him see. The last man who attempted to correct Sinckler’s vision, the previous Governor of The Central Bank, Dr. Delisle Worrell , got fired !
There are many astute political commentators, who are seeing Arthur’s acceptance of the offer as a blow to the current leader of the Opposition, Mia Motley. It is Mottley’s fault that Arthur’s shadow still hangs over her political ambition to be Prime Minister. She allowed Arthur to undermine her on two occasions and took a considerable amount of political body blows. Quite frankly, I am very impressed that she did not leave her party as Dr. Clyde Mascoll did when he believed that some powers had conspired to remove him from leadership of the DLP and return it to the late David Thompson. I believe that Mottley has gone through the hottest fire and is now of the finest political steel. If Arthur is still a thorn in her political side, I would have to conclude that my belief that she is the finest steel would have been wrong or premature.
In terms of the DLP , it is at best a psychological victory but I don’t think that this development will automatically rescue it from what many believe is certain defeat at the polls, at the next general election. The obvious winner here is Owen Arthur, because even as his parliamentary career comes to an end and having lost his last two elections, his relevance to our country remains intact. It proves that if he had been more aware of the pinnacle on which he once stood and had not allowed the trappings of power to blind him to what he could have achieved, the Democratic Labour Party would have still been in Opposition.
In a surprise decision by former prime minister Owen Arthur to accept the position as Chief Economic Advisor if offered by government, many are asking if the move is designed to undermine the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) with a general election looming. Clearly the government continues to struggle with the management of the economy and BU suspects the Arthur/Government collaboration is a Machiavellian attempt to achieve a win win position.