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Backing Stuart all the way

A member of the audience asks a question during the meeting.

Chris Sinckler has Freundel Stuart’s back.

The Minister of Finance made it clear last night that Prime Minister Stuart has his full support for the leadership of the ruling Democratic Labour Party. In fact, he told a meeting of the St. James South branch of the party that he stood “four square” befind the Prime Minister. This was after a scathing attack on Opposition Leader Owen Arthur.

“I am offended that supposedly sensible and intelligent people could be saying … ‘Oh, I don’t like Frundel Stuart, he’s too respectable, he’s too decent, he’s too controlled over himself’,” Sinckler said.

“But instead you want, apparently, some raggamuffin, some vagabond … to be your [prime minister]. I don’t understand it… You are telling me that a person who occupies the office of Prime Minister conceptually should not be a decent, hard-working, God-fearing Barbadian, but should be somebody who is ruthless, vindictive and abusive and use power to crush people.

“That is what you are telling me satisfies the criteria … to occupy the highest office in this land? If that is the case I can shut up shop and go home, because that does not comport with what I consider to be the best personality for the office…

“And therefore I make it bold tonight to say .. that I am standing four square behind Freundel Jerome Stuart… I make no apologies for saying that. I don’t have to go around pretending like some people hugging up this body…”

The finance minister then noted that for Barbadians in the next elections the choice was quite clear.

“The devastation of Miss [Mia] Mottley for the elevation of Owen Arthur back to office was a nasty piece of political work never seen in Barbados yet. In less then two years of being kicked out of office and into the wilderness … everything that he has done is about getting back in office,” Sinckler added.

“I am not about getting back in power. It does not mean that much to me, except that you want to be in office to help people, and that is what je Democratic Labour Party has tried to do in the last four years; I believe we have done it successfully; we have kept this economy stable; we have kept people employed; … and we have ensure that the social safety net is there for those who fall trough the cracks, whether it is Welfare, Urban or Rural, National Assistance Board …

“And we have done it in he most difficult of circumstances … and we have not given up on the people of Barbados.”

On the other hand, the St. Michael North West MP questioned the record of Arthur while he was Prime Minister, noting that while it was possible to identify the legacy of previous leaders like Errol Barrow and Tom Adams, no one could point to the identifying factors of an Arthur legacy.

“What on earth can we credit Owen Arthur with that we can say 40 years from now ‘This is what Owen Arthur, the great economist, did in 14 years as Prime Minister that had a transformative effect on the people of Barbados!’?”

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