Speak to the people!

Members of the Bees’ campaign team meeting at their Roebuck Street headquarters.
Members of the Bees’ campaign team meeting at their Roebuck Street

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party said tonight that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s announcement this evening of elections through a two paragraph Government Information Service release, was another demonstration of his lack of leadership and “aversion to speaking to his people”.

Commenting on behalf of the BLP, former deputy leader Mia Mottley also suggested that Stuart’s “disconnected” approach to dealing with such a national situation, should be a wake-up call for Barbadians to change the political leadership of the country in favour of an Owen Arthur administration.

“Even in the calling of an election, Prime Minister Stuart has defied all the odds in the issuance of a … Government Information Service press release,” Mottley declared.

“I really must confess, that I have never known a prime minister to call an election through a GIS release. That caught me absolutely by surprise, and if I was a Dem, I would be disheartened by that,” she added.

“There are not many things a prime minister has to do, but in the one power that only he and no one else on this earth can exercise, even that he has chosen to dodge by way of announcing it through a press release of a Government Information Service agency.

“Maybe he has gone back to sleep, but it is a matter that perhaps best symbolises why this country needs change now, because Barbados needs to have leadership that reinforces it and gives it confidence at those very difficult times of our lives, economically and by extension, socially.”

She argued that households were suffering, businesses were “literally on their knees” in terms of being able to draw down on any savings.

“And in a very real sense,” the veteran parliamentarian pointed out, “there is a mood over the country that is crying out for hope, and we intend in this election, as the leader (Owen Arthur) said … to give Barbadians reason to believe that just as previous generations had resilience to fight serious and awesome challenges, that we too in this generation can see our way out of this darkness into the light, by having the confidence and the courage to fight hard times, but to do so together.”

Mottley said, more than anything else, the failure of Prime Minister Stuart to speak to his people would come to be regarded as his major weakness in these difficult times.

With respect to the short length of the campaign, the BLP parliamentarian gave the assurance that her party was ready for it.

“Once people remain focussed on the fundamental issues and there is only one fundamental issue: ‘Do you believe that Prime Minister Stuart and the Democratic Labour Party Government, as constituted, can lead us out of these difficult economic and social times and restore us to a platform of growth, restore hope to households and similarly businesses to exist without having to wonder if they have to lay off people?” said Mottley.

The former party leader also said she hoped this campaign would not be a dirty one.

“I think we would be doing the people of Barbados a serious disservice,” she advised.

Mottley insisted that if politicians spent their time attacking people or thinking that it is entertaining for people, at the end of the day, all concerned would not have used the opportunity to speak to the masses in order to develop a national consensus as to how “we can work together to help us get out of this difficult situation”.

Tonight, the campaign management team was busy at party headquarters on Roebuck Street,†discussing strategies for the upcoming poll. The BLP has planned a mass rally for Saturday at Haggatt Hall, St. Michael starting at 6 p.m. Their campaign will be managed by Jimmy Serrao with William Duguid as his deputy. (EJ)†

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