Talk yuh talk, it can’t bother me.
That sums up Barbados Labour Party leader Owen Arthur’s response to statements about him being made on the platform of his opponents in the Democratic Labour Party.
A defiant Arthur made his feelings known last night as the BLP kicked off its general election campaign at the Bay Street Esplanade.
Saying “sometimes you have to be careful of what you wish for other people”, the St. Peter candidate referred to an individual who in the 2008 general election campaign compared him to a “cartoon of rancid milk” and said he had reached his expiration date. Arthur said that person was no longer around.
“And now I am hearing another person walking about saying that I am half dead. Well Freundel I am not going to abuse you, but there are two leaders in this campaign and it is not me who is fainting in public places and you have to put a little mint under my tongue to resurrect me,” Arthur said dismissively.
“And I say to you it does not matter to me what the Democratic Labour Party says about me. I came to public life … and the Democratic Labour Party was prepared to send Eric Sealy down to Trinidad to have a portrait of me drawn as a rasta because I lived in Jamaica.
“And then you heard that I am a drunkard although I lived long enough to see another person accompanied by my old friend the Old Brigand fall off the back of a truck at St. Philip Carnival.
“And you hear … I am a womanizer, that I have a weakness for sweetness, but that’s a good thing. But I say to you it is well with my soul — I know who I am. I am today that which I was yesterday and shall be tomorrow. I am living in the same house in which I came into public life in this country,” the former Prime Minister asserted.
Arthur urged his party’s 29 other candidates to observe the BLP’s own code of conduct and he assured Barbadians that “from these platforms you will hear a message of reality but you will also hear a message of hope”.
“This platform is for talking about the people’s business. We do not need anybody to tell us about any code of conduct, we know how to behave ourselves and from these platforms there shall be no personal vilification, there shall be no personal abuse,” he said. (SC)