Challenge to Arthur
Political scientist wants public statement from Owen
Political scientist Dr Tennyson Joseph has challenged former BLP leader Owen Arthur to publicly state what he finds so objectionable about Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley.
The political science lecturer at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies threw out the challenge in a Barbados TODAY interview.
“I think there is strong opposition to the Municipal Solid Waste Tax and that is where Arthur’s judgement comes into question. What I am hearing is not a genuine criticism of the march. What you are seeing is objection for its own sake and that is what I have been saying for a long time. He resigned from the Barbados Labour Party on what grounds? Unless he can give a valid and solid reason that can close the gap between action and the explanation for it, then Arthur appears to be objecting for its own sake,” he asserted.
The political scientist views Arthur’s resignation as part of the resolution of the leadership question in the party, stating “something had to give”.
He said it’s now up to Mottley to consolidate her position within the BLP.
“Mottley has prevailed insofar as that leadership issue is concerned. We are seeing for the first time the consolidation of Mottley’s leadership. Arthur’s resignation means that Mottley has freed herself of the burden of having a former Prime Minister peeping over her shoulders,” he said, pointing out that Mottley’s leadership hinged on the success of yesterdays march.
“Had the march failed then there would have been a sense that the opposition within the party was so strong that she was unable to get the traction that she should have had so in a sense she overcame that hurdle. She did not fail in staging the march. From the enemies quarters the expectation of a flop did not materialise. The objections became inconsequential. They were not enough to frustrate the success of the march. Owen’s isolation was demonstrated yesterday.
Also commenting on the matter, was pollster and political analyst Peter Wickham, who argued that Arthur’s isolation within the BLP was a “self-inflicted wound”, which could result in his “political end game”.
“He has built himself a situation where he is essentially the only member of the BLP side who is unwilling to stand in opposition to a tax that the vast majority of Barbadians seem to stand in opposition to,” Wickham pointed out.
“I found his justification of it, that he introduced a solid waste tax, a very peculiar position to take because I am challenged to understand the association between the environmental levy he imposed and the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, which is now being imposed. I think that it was a bit of political gymnastics to get to a stage where you are saying that [you] am unwilling to support the opposition to the solid waste tax because you supported the introduction of the environmental levy.”