Not a clone

Symmonds not backing Mottley’s repeal of tax demand

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley is facing fresh dissent from within her own ranks.

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley

But the man who openly challenged her in public this weekend, St James Central MP Kerrie Symmonds, could be facing internal censure by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) over his public statements.

Opposition MP Kerrie Symmonds
Opposition MP Kerrie Symmonds

BLP General Secretary Jerome Walcott was very adamant today that a radio programme was not the place for raising  party concerns. He has therefore indicated that the party would have to deal with Symmonds’ conduct at the parliamentary group level.

“I am very concerned about the public statements made by Symmonds. If you are not going to speak at a political meeting, it is not a matter for discussion on a radio programme,” Walcott said today following Symmonds’ appearance on Sunday’s Down To Brass Tacks radio show in which he came out strongly against his leader’s stance that there must be a repeal of the controversial Municipal Solid Waste Tax.

Symmonds had indicated that he would have no part in last night’s BLP meeting at Carlisle car park in The City called to press the Government on the matter.

But even with the threat of censure hanging over his head, a defiant Symmonds made it clear today that he was not Mottley’s “clone” and that it was “not a one person show” within the BLP.

He described himself as an Opposition MP with “a valid view”, which was that the party’s opposition to the municipal levy was too narrow an issue to merit a call for Barbadians “to hit” the streets at this time.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY, the St James Central MP, who is also the Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly, further indicated that he was mulling over his participation in Thursday’s planned march on Government Headquarters to be led by Mottley in a show of Opposition disgust over the measure.

“I have not yet decided what I am going to do with respect to the march on Thursday.

“I have to rationalise that in my mind. I have already said publicly that I feel that the Barbados Labour Party has to be very clear about the point it is making to country, and in my view we have to be very cautious about heightening people’s level of expectation beyond where we are able to reach,” he said.

“I appreciate fully the enthusiasm about the lack of confidence with the Government. I share that competely because people are suffering.

“On this particular issue, however, there are some realities,” he stressed.

In explaining his position on the solid waste tax, he noted that the country now has a $1.5 billion deficit that had to be filled.

“Resources have to be found from somewhere. This tax was a bad tax, it has been adjusted. We do not yet even know the extent to which the adjustments are going to take. We have not yet seen the full extent of the ajustments that the Minister [of Finance] proposes. There are still some doubts about how far he is actually going. So I think it is wise that we reflect and pause a little bit so that we understand what it is we are up against,” he told Barbados TODAY.

“However, beyond that we also know that we are going to have to pass on to the consuming public, householders, the people out there, the tourism people, the industrial people and the agricultural sector, an element of the cost associated with the disposal of waste in this country,” Symmonds added.

The Opposition MP maintained that he did not want the people to begin to believe that the BLP could wave a magic wand and they would not have to pay anything.

“My real concern is that I would want to temper enthusiasm with a degree of caution and measured judgment. I am very worried about actions that are premature, actions that are overly hasty. I think that sometimes you can bring too heavy a hand down on something when really and truly you are not yourself in a position to do a lot better. My concern is that if we were in government two months from now, what would our solution be,” Symmonds said.

“I want the BLP to be very clear about its cause to the country. It cannot send mixed messages. If we are marching in protest of a bad administration that has run down and destroyed Barbados, then I am all for it. If we are marching along very narrow lines of a Municipal Solid Waste Tax that has been adjusted, and the extent of the adjusments we are not sure about then I have to say then there is wisdom in pausing and doing a little bit of reflection and analysis of not only where the government is at, but where we would likely be if we were in the government’s shoes in short order,” he added.

The development with Symmonds comes on the back of recent public disagreement between Mottley and her former leader Owen Arthur, who had stated back in December that he had lost all confidence in her leadership.

Political scientist Dr Tennyson Joseph is on record as saying that Mottley should step aside as a means of settling the internal power struggle while his former University of the West Indies colleague Dr George Belle said today Mottley’s ongoing problems were an indication of Arthur’s continuing appeal.

“Once that continues you will have the divide in the party and it weakens the party in relation to focus and unity. This is something that has been going on for some time,” Dr Belle said.


26 Responses to Not a clone

  1. Michael Browne
    Michael Browne July 22, 2014 at 12:45 am

    It is one step forward ,then two steps backward and tremble,hold yuh belly and tremble (MIA) its de breakdown in de BLP!!!

  2. Lynette Mayers
    Lynette Mayers July 22, 2014 at 1:41 am

    He seems to love crossing ……did it before, he could do it again…..Hmmmmmmm

  3. Lynette Mayers
    Lynette Mayers July 22, 2014 at 1:41 am

    He seems to love crossing ……did it before, he could do it again…..Hmmmmmmm

  4. NathAn Salcedo
    NathAn Salcedo July 22, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Michael Browne where were u when all those workers got sent home? Where was ur fb posting when moody and imf were here.. Where were u when all the land in the south coast Is literally being sold and investors leaving? People like you only care about the theatrics of politics and not the application of it for the well being of the country

  5. Suzanne Nurse
    Suzanne Nurse July 22, 2014 at 5:41 am

    Two politrickians from same party who disagree Ever. #yawn.

  6. Philip Matthews
    Philip Matthews July 22, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Such a stupid move

  7. Jackie Alleyne July 22, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Same old situation occurring. Instead of the players airing solutions and finding a way forward from the difference in opinions, it seems far better to shoot each other down and spend precious time going nowhere. Time could be better used on focussing on a resolution, updating legislation which is far behind other nations and realising that “we all have a part to play when things affect this country”.

  8. Highly Flavoured Kelalicia
    Highly Flavoured Kelalicia July 22, 2014 at 7:05 am

    You need to cross if you crossing.We can,t have ppl like you calling your self a politician and stabbing your own leader in the back.

  9. Francis McClean
    Francis McClean July 22, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Country first is evident here. I just wish that he had met with her and discuss the situation and come to an agreeable conclusion. She is the leader and must be respected. This internal posturing has got to stop. It is not a good look. The people are depending on them now more than ever given the situation in the country. Now….. I just wish some of the DLP politicians would have the balls to also disagree with their party when need be putting COUNTRY first. It is necessary sometimes. We are all in this. Rain in falling pon one man house.

  10. Cheryl Alleyne-Brooks
    Cheryl Alleyne-Brooks July 22, 2014 at 7:39 am

    That’s why wanna damn bajans can’t get no further what’s wrong with the man opinion and concerns for the country wanna dun pull down the country so now wanna would have to build it back the hard way as he said he is not a clone

  11. Olutoye Walrond July 22, 2014 at 7:46 am

    I am totally confused by all of this. How do organizations function these days. Don’t they meet and consider courses of action, agree to them and then go forward together?

    There is no guarantee that all decisions will be unanimous, but once the organisation has adopted a stance it is incumbent on all members to publicly stand behind it. Don’t Messrs Symmonds and Arthur not know this?
    Don’t they realize how badly all of this is reflecting on their party?

    I had reason to ask recently what more can be done for women’s equality in Barbados since I believe they have all but achieved that equality; well one thing which still eludes them is the respect given to male leaders. Ms. Mottley, in spite of her admirable leadership, is a victim of this.

    None of this would have happened were she a man.

  12. Margaret Lorde
    Margaret Lorde July 22, 2014 at 8:42 am


  13. Frederick E alleyne July 22, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Barbadians should take to the streets not because of Miss Mottley, Mr Symmonds or Mr Arthur but because we deserve better Governance and representation in this country. Taking to the streets should be message to both political parties that it is not business as usual. Yes the BLP must solve its issues and they must do this because in many areas our institutions have been found wanting. A message to all.

  14. Troy Devonish
    Troy Devonish July 22, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Oh sit down Mr. Symmonds! What an unfortunate distraction! Right now the hurt feelings of politicans is the least of our concerns we need a solution to this economic crisis NOW. The populace simply cannot endure much more.

  15. Kevin July 22, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Can the BLP as a party really trust Kerrie Symmonds? I mean he was a member of the DLP. Plus he sounded really chummy with Sinckler on that Brasstacks Sunday program talking about the same Municipal Tax.

  16. Sterlin Blackman
    Sterlin Blackman July 22, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I am tempted to say that Barbados is plagued with TWO useless parties. the DLP is strangely ‘united’ in evil and incompetence. the other, BLP is frustratingly divided over who to lead and how to go forward at a time that the country needs them most. Barbados is now between a rock and a hard place so people please GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAYER TO THE GOD OF HEAVEN TO SEND YOU A SAVIOR because there is no visible hope/ salvation in these self serving parties

  17. Todd Forde
    Todd Forde July 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Mr Francis you really think this is about party first? Could it be a lil opening that was spotted, for power, because in the same breath he said that tax is a good tax, but still saying if his party was in govt, the tax would probably stay, that can’t make sense. From what I can see we not ready.

  18. Todd Forde
    Todd Forde July 22, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Here you have a politician with years of experience, taking an issue that had the govt on the backfoot, and have now place his party on the backfoot, you go figure.

  19. Brimstone July 22, 2014 at 10:44 am

    The behavior of Arthur and Symmonds is totally unaccptable to Miss. Mottley, the BLP and all Barbadians. These issues should all be cleared up through in-house sessions, and not in the public domain. This carry the same parliamentary protocol as the disagreement by Estwick and the DLP. Arthur’s outright disrespect would never have occurred under Tom Adams or Henry Forde.

    Miss. Mottley needs to demand full censure of both individuals to the point of dismissal. She also needs to remove both from her team at election time. She also needs to stamp her authority on the group. COMMAND IS NEVER SHARED, neither in the military nor outside.

    With so many legal minds in Barbados, I want to challenge why no one has accumulated any evidence to substantiate Sinckler’s incompetence/manipulation of state funds, and file an injunction against him and als the PM. They pose a clear and present damger to the very existence of the nation and a convened Grand Jury would surely agree they have charges to answer to. I am sure the might of the lawyers associated with the BLP should prevail, since it would be decided on a preponderence of evidence, and not a unanimous verdict.

    We need to use our brains, the Constitution and electoral law to legally remove the incompetent group. It is time to close the talk, and begin the action. Talk has never accomplished anything in history, actions have changed the world time and time again.

    We are among the brightest and best people of the world, it is time to prove it. Finally, our Bajan Women need to have a chance in the Global Marketplace….. GIVE THEM WHAT THEY DESERVE…..They are better han most Americans in similar positions, the difference is that America has given their women a chance,,, we need to do it too.

    GOD Bless Barbados,,,,, we wre always better than the rest, and will continue to be the best we can be…

  20. Patrick Blackman July 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Thank God some in the BLP has seen the light, great kerie, you have made the right decision. I have said before that Mia is a clear and present danger to the people of Barbados and should be treated as such but I was dismissed by the likes of Olutoye as being “tin foill hat” but lets see how it plays now. Mia is way out to sea on this and just doesn’t have any leadership skills.. Great Kerrie long live…

  21. Verona Michael
    Verona Michael July 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    stupse @ kerrie symmonds!

  22. Prince Shepheard
    Prince Shepheard July 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Kerrie u are sowing the seeds of discord among the brotherhood

  23. David E Hall
    David E Hall July 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    We may all be clones Sir. It simply maybe in whose image.

  24. Wizzie Sealy-inniss
    Wizzie Sealy-inniss July 22, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    you are not a clone, but you are a poppet and you need to tell who ever holding the strings to let them go. It is interested that you said you are not a clone and not a clown . which one are you?

  25. De Real Political Intelligence July 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Mia Mottley needs too assert her leadership for Gods sake! Kerrie Symmonds needs to be censured. She’s the boss. She needs to act like one and do away with the pho top theatrics. Clean up that party and march with a unified team. Some there and some not will look mighty stupid. The march is ignorance anyway. Won’t achieve a darn thing except lots of photos!

  26. Rickie Nurse July 24, 2014 at 3:12 am

    A marathon can only be completed by taking the first step or stride. As long as the government realize that there is no opposition to what they are doing, people are only grumbling under their breath and muttering behind closed doors because they are afraid of repercussions if they are opened, this administration will continue on it’s merry way to further burden the people with undue hardship.
    Then to come and soft soak them with nonsense like give it a try and see what happen, or everyone got to get on board and help.

    If anyone can answer this simple question I will back off and be quiet. If a man jumps continuously on your foot and realizes what he’s doing , does not stop and you never scream or says anything, or even try to push him off, do you believe that he will stop just like that?

    Well that’s the position that we are in right now with this government and it’s policies.
    If we don’t show some kind of resentment and protest they will continue with what they have set out to accomplish and that is the ruin of a once prosperous and glorious country.
    Certainly, we aren’t prosperous anymore and definitely not glorious with this government at the helm.


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