Barbados’ values, not the economy, is what the current general election campaign and next week’s poll are about. And having rejected Barbados Labour Party leader Owen Arthur in 2008, Democratic Labour Party campaign manager Robert Morris said the former prime minister would have a hard time convincing the electorate he had something new to offer.
He addressed the issue this morning while speaking at a media briefing at the DLP’s headquarters.
Morris said the BLP continued to perpetuate what he considered a myth that the Arthur was an economics guru who had turned around a bad economy he inherited from a DLP administration.
“We are saying that in the period between 1994 and 1999 the Barbados Labour Party was able to cruise on the restructuring that was done by the Democratic Labour Party and of course to use the return of the eight per cent salary (cut) to fuel consumer spending in the economy,” he said.
“Barbados between 2000 and 2007 under the Barbados Labour Party was an economic disaster land, so that when the Democratic Labour Party came into office in 2008 it was not contesting only the international economic decline, but the wasteland that the Barbados Labour Party had created.
“I want you to remember that the Standard & Poor’s started to turn down their ratings under Owen Arthur. So he is the man talking about this country being a failed state, he is the person who started that … strategically Owen has not left a good record as a manager of our economy, … that is part of the propaganda.
“The 2008 election was a referendum on Arthur … how did he get back here? He got back here because he pushed away Mia, he didn’t improve, there was nothing new about him, but what he felt was that his government could not win under Mia so he had to force Mia aside, but he brings nothing new back to the table. He is the same Owen Arthur that was rejected and that really is the issue in this election,” he added.
Morris asked if Barbadians were going to “vote for a man who has been thrown out, categorically cast aside in 2008”.
“Leadership is about values, leadership is about integrity, it’s not about dollars. Don’t let anybody fool you about that, it’s not about putting money in people’s pocket. What we want in our country is a resurgence of values, we want the respect for our leadership and that has come under Freundel Jerome Stuart,” he said.
“The strategic issue is do you want a brand new second hand car leading the government of Barbados with all the dissension between him and his colleagues?”
The DLP spokesman also said no woman in Barbados should vote for Arthur and the BLP after the way Mia Mottley was removed as Leader of the Opposition.
“All of them should treat that as an act of revulsion and Miss Mottley’s career is ended, is dead through the act of her party leader, nobody else and he still has to tell Barbados what is so problematic with Miss Mottley that he had to take her down in that way,” he said.
“He has never explained that to Barbados. He owes us, when he goes on his manifesto launch to tell us why Miss Mottley could not lead, but if she could not lead why should she still be in Parliament then?” (SC)