Prime Minister Freundel Stuart tonight revealed to constituents of St. Andrew and St. James a note which he said was evidence that Leader of the Barbados Labour Party Owen Arthur is trying to destroy the political career of Mia Mottley.
Calling Arthur “one of the unhappiest men in Barbadian politics”, Stuart told a large gathering in Orange Hill, St. James how from the time late Prime Minister David Thompson announced his illness and that he was going for tests, the BLP and Arthur smelled blood in the water and began positioning themselves for a disruption of government.
“So he got in with some of his colleagues, Ronald Toppin and Glyne Clarke and Dale Marshall and George Payne. They put their consciences together and you know that in politics when people put their consciences together, the plural of conscience is conspiracy.
“They put their consciences together to oust Mia Mottley because they thought that if David passed from this life, the transition from him to a new leader was going to result in a lot of dislocation in the DLP; the country would call for stability and he would be a figure that they could bring back stability to Barbados.
“What he did not know was that from the week when David announced he was getting some tests done, I pulled the Cabinet together and warned them to be careful what they allowed to go through their ears, that our opponents would feel they were smelling blood and would try to create disgruntlement and disruption in the DLP, and they heeded my word and behaved maturely,” said the Prime Minister.
He said he had also witnessed how Mottley, after Arthur took the reigns of the party, had begun to distance herself from him, noting that Arthur then had to beg her to respond to the Budget laid by Chris Sinckler. When he, Stuart, had joked to Arthur about this development, he claimed Arthur had penned a note to him stating that just like Errol Barrow, the former prime minister did not have to be shadow minister for economic affairs.
The note, Stuart said, was one he had also kept, like the one in which Arthur tried to get rid of Mottley. This latter note, he remarked, was one written by Arthur in the House of Assembly.
“The note that concerned me was the note he wrote to me … [as] he began to feel pressured by the Barbados Labour Party and from the Mia Mottley wheel of that organisation. He came to Parliament one Tuesday morning and the little time he spent there was trying to talk to me. To be frank with you, I am not very good at reading lips and when he is speaking his lips move in such a way that it is very difficult to understand what he is saying…
“So when he was talking and I couldn’t understand because we were across from each other on the floor of the House. I said to him, ‘Look, I can’t understand what you are saying’, at which point he took out his pen, took up a piece of paper in front of him. A sheet of paper is put before every parliamentarian every Tuesday to make notes, and he wrote a note to me which he then called the marshal of the House to deliver to me across the House. It was only after I received this note that I realised what he was trying to tell me.
“The note said that I had sent a message to you by your good friend Hal Gollop …telling you that I am not going to interfere in your party’s affairs. I don’t know why he told me that because he cannot interfere in the Democratic Labour Party’s affairs, and that position stands.
“That is not the only message he has ever sent by Hal Gollop to me. When I first went in office he called Hal Gollop and asked Hal Gollop if he could use his good offices to bring the two of us together because I have never got close to him because I never thought much about him.
“He also said he knew how difficult it was to hold a party together and then he made the remarkable statement in that note, ‘You can help me by taking Mottley and any of yours you want to send to me I will take’. That is the kind of treachery of which he is capable,” said Stuart, as he issued instructions for the mentioned note to be brought up on a big screen in Orange Hill. (LB)