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Think twice

Reverend says parliamentarians should stick with their parties

Outspoken Anglican cleric Reverend Charles Morris is calling on former Prime Minister Owen Arthur to return to the fold of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), while insisting that elected legislators should be prevented from breaking ranks in the middle of their terms to become Independent members of Parliament.

Rev Charles Morris

Rev Charles Morris

Suggesting that Arthur rethink the situation and throw his support behind the current BLP leadership, Morris told Barbados TODAY: “We all make mistakes, we all make decisions that we regret at some point so I would advise him to sit down and think this whole thing through again because it’s a kind of situation that baffles me.”

“We are not talking about an ordinary member, we are talking about a former prime minister, one of the most successful that we’ve had, if not the most, taking a stance like this. I believe that it will affect the Barbados Labour Party,” added Morris, a secondary school teacher who was recently censured as a public servant for saying at a BLP town hall meeting that the current Government is the worst this country has ever had.

The controversial priest said the “unfortunate” decision taken by Arthur to end his 43-year relationship with the BLP has highlighted shortcomings in the country’s system of governance and he is advising that political reform begin now.

“I do not believe that people should vote for a person and then that person up and leaves like that without consulting the people of the constituency. So you have just reduced my participation to an X. I do not believe the people of St Peter voted for an independent candidate . . . The people of St Peter voted for a member of the Barbados Labour Party and for that member to up and leave like that is unfair to the people of St Peter,” he said.

The clergyman made the comments on the heels of a meeting today with Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley.

While he did not state what that meeting was about, the Anglican priest was clear that he did not agree with the decision taken by Arthur last week.

“If he [Arthur] felt as strongly he should have resigned all together. I say that because in my judgement an action like that could very well destroy the legacy that he has put there. I have no doubt that he would have been the best Minister of Finance that we’ve ever had. This can have a negative impact on the legacy of his tenure,” he argued, adding that BLP parliamentarians need to come together and thrash out their issues.

“The question the BLP has to look for now is ‘what is the way forward? What are we going to do?’ You do not want to go into an election with issues hanging around. That leadership issue has been settled and they need to now look at the way forward.”

Reacting to the disclosure from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that the administration is willing to work with the former prime minister, the cleric pulled no punches.

“To me the Government is like a drowning man clutching at straws. Mr Arthur would have made a number of suggestions in Budget speeches and that kind of thing and these were rejected by the Government. I remember the Minister of Finance taking him to task in the House of Assembly. Explain to me how you want to work with him now? Something is wrong, something is wrong with the political process in Barbados.

“What is glaring to me is the level of political reform that we need.”

He added: “What’s going on in Barbados now is a mockery of intellectual development in the 21st century; it’s a mockery of democracy.”


21 Responses to Think twice

  1. Tito Browne
    Tito Browne July 30, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Religion and politics don’t mix

    • Dayo Popoola
      Dayo Popoola July 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Nothing wrong with Religion and politics, God is interested in the Affairs and the rulings of Nations…………….Religious people need to step up in righteousness and take their place in leadership so it could be well with the country.

      • Sanderson Rowe July 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        A la Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan et at?

  2. hoarse husbands July 30, 2014 at 12:50 am

    the man is as a clergyman, but he speaks in hypocritical tongues.. His timing is off, and he accuses Arthur of being wrong in one statement and then commits the same deed that he considers wrong.. if these are the leaders in the clergy that we are expected to follow, i can clearly see the decline in character,ethics and principles that we are experiencing is our society .. The greatest fear that the BLP has is that owen is not obligated to party any more.. therefore he is free to vote on principle. he clearly stated that was one of the main reasons for his decision. where was the clergy before the decision? he was silently backing and encouraging the attack against arthur. now that arthur has resigned from the party , he is calling for his seat/vote. arthur can run for reelection and win, regardless of party or no party affiliation. the preacher should tek off he red shirt and put on a frock..

  3. Lindsay Farmer
    Lindsay Farmer July 30, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Looking for another “five minutes” in the spotlight.
    Guess it worked.

  4. Kim Ramsay
    Kim Ramsay July 30, 2014 at 6:22 am

    I’m guessing he isn’t bothered one way or the other about his potential charges

    • Sanderson Rowe July 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      If he secures a seat in Parliament, his worries are over. Job security wise ,and financially. Then you can call him anything you like, just don’t call him late for his fat monthly pay cheque.

  5. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock July 30, 2014 at 6:39 am

    He’s right!

  6. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte July 30, 2014 at 6:47 am

    he seem scared but OSA is just one man, however there is something call the Constitution …. which speak about one’s right to association

  7. Angela Sandra Paul
    Angela Sandra Paul July 30, 2014 at 7:19 am

    “calling on former Prime Minister Owen Arthur to return to the fold of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP)’….lol. This why religion and politics shouldn’t mix. Stick to “saving souls” Rev. Morris.

    • Dayo Popoola
      Dayo Popoola July 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      don’t get yourself tie down with that believe or else ungodly leaders will be on the increase.

    • Alison Branch
      Alison Branch July 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Saving souls is a work of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ, Mr. Morris’ job is a teacher who has religious training, there is very little about his public mouthings that convinces one that he has a personal relationship with Jesus and is directed by the Holy Spirit.

      • Sanderson Rowe July 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm

        And thats exactly why the goodly Rev will make a good politician, because in the final analysis, they will both be used as Solid Fuel for the furnaces of Hell.

  8. Michael Parris
    Michael Parris July 30, 2014 at 8:08 am

    the man always talking foolishness. I don’t know why the media always think that what he says is news worthy. He still does not understand that the man has a right to leave the party if he so desires .. Just like he got a right talk foolishness everywhere he goes .

  9. jr smith July 30, 2014 at 8:56 am

    The preacher man , should stick to your praying. In barbados everyone who are place in charge of bajans ,treats them like fools, because they never think for themselves, always waiting.
    Go pay benny hinn another $300,000 to come and pray for the honarouble gentleman the ex priminster.
    Stop living in cloud cookoo land, politicians in all parts of the globe resign when they feel like, arthur isnt any different,
    The people of arthur’s constuantcy must now show how political minded there are and how strong the party connections are to choose some one locally to represent them, wether its, Labour or the Dems.

  10. Christopher Hill
    Christopher Hill July 30, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Owen is just a spoilt old man. Should have discussed his actions with his constituents then again that is only for election time. The BLP is a lot better off without him now Mia can truely craft the party and carry on to a win. Speaking of which Owen lost the last 2 elections. The mark of a man is knowing when to leave.

  11. Dayo Popoola
    Dayo Popoola July 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Exactly my Point, the people of St. Peter did not vote for an Independent candidate, that is a seat meant for the BLP and as such it has to be readdress.

  12. jr smith July 30, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Cant bajans think for themselves, are they that lost in religion , that they cant function without coting verses from the bible. for everything, even if they catching a bus,or paying a bill they must pray first.
    Thats why barbados is in a mess, they are all depending on god.

  13. Rickie Nurse July 30, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I am not a very religious person, but one thing that I know is God is interested in the affairs of a country and he always chose leaders that were religious and dedicated to him, e.g Moses.

    When God wanted to talk to Israel he did so through Moses, who was Moses? a sanctified High Priest, because only the high priest could go before the throne seat to petition God or hear what he had to say concerning the nation.

    Since God never changes, he always remain the same, he spoke to the priest then through them, what make it so different now in this age? There is nothing absolutely wrong with a practicing ordained priest being involved in parliamentary politics.

    The Church should have a say in the political landscape of a country, especially those which boast of being a democratic society, it can only be good for the country.

    Reverent Charles Morris should not back away or back down from wanting to be in active politics, by all means go for it, even if you are not the candidate for the St. Peter constituency .

  14. Tony Waterman July 30, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    @Tito Browne-would you like to tell that to “”BISHOP”” Desmond Tutu??? and if what you say is actually ::TRUE”” why are so many Persons in BARBADOS lashing the Church for not speaking out on ISSUES, are they all wrong then??? Clerics Practically ran Britain in the Old days (Thomas Beckett) was Murdered for being too Political. (Would some rid me of this meddlesome priest) Maybe Charles Morris could bring some Decorum to the House.

  15. rfj July 30, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    What does this have to do with the creator. This matter has absolutely nothing to do with the church.


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