‘Wrong timing, Owen!’

The divide in the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) couldn’t have come at a worse

time for the Opposition, political scientist Peter Wickham said today.

And the Opposition needs to set it’s damage control machinery in motion as a

matter of urgency.

The division in the BLP ranks came to light when the contents of a letter former Prime

Minister Owen Arthur wrote to Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly,

Kerrie Symmonds, was published in another section of the Press.

In that December 30, 2013 correspondence, Arthur criticized the leadership of Opposition

Leader Mia Mottley and took issue with her publicly nominating him as a member of an eminent

persons group which she proposed to help deal with the economic crisis facing the island.

Arthur, who stepped down as BLP leader after the party’s loss in last February’s general

election, said he told Mottley he belived such a body would be meaningless and he wanted

no part of it.

Speaking today via Skype from France, Wickham said Arthur’s timing was off and suggested

that he should apologize and “give the opportunity for his successor to grow and emerge

in the post and also for the opportunity for the BLP to be able to assert itself in the eyes

of Barbadians”.

“I think that it is unfortunate that Mr Arthur is creating an

environment of doubt and suspicion by these attacks on Mottley,”

he said, suggesting that “I think the people of Barbados are

looking to the BLP to offer some level of comfort and guidance in

terms of the turbulent issues we’re dealing with. The Democratic

Labour Party administration is an extremely delicately balanced

one and it is not an unlikely concept that it is a Government that

could collapse where the appropriate situation is in place”.

“The BLP has a perception problem it has to deal with. I don’t

know if Miss Mottley can deal with it any better than she is able

to deal with it now, but certainly the party needs to see it as a

priority for them to send a clear signal that it is united behind

Miss Mottley in every way, shape and form,” the political s

cientist added.

“I don’t know that the BLP machinery is really in a position to

deal with Mr Arthur the way it should, but certainly one would

think that it should be able to arrest this matter and to send a

clear signal to the people of Barbados that it is ready.”

What would be even better, he suggested, was if Arthur

would apologize “for any inconvenience he has caused”.

While he has given Arthur thumbs down for his criticism,

Wickham gave Mottley a thumbs up for her response. In a

prepared statement, the Opposition Leader declined to respond

to Arthur’s criticism about her suitability for BLP leadership.

Instead she insisted that she and the party would remain focused

in their fight for the people of Barbados.

Wickham said it was the correct strategy: “I think that this is the appropriate approach which

she needs to take to essentially try to get people’s minds back on the main issue and away from

the whole question of what is going on in the Barbados Labour Party, because in a time like this

you want people to remember what the real issue is –– which is essentially the 3,000 people

who are going home and the extent to which this does not represent a promise that was made

by the Democratic Labour Party.” dawneparris@barbadostoday.bb

4 Responses to ‘Wrong timing, Owen!’

  1. Princess Tiny Neferua
    Princess Tiny Neferua January 13, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Urgently needed..1 priest..1 bottle of holy water..

  2. Ryan Weekes
    Ryan Weekes January 13, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    now mia tried to use owen political capital against his wishes but he should apologize?barbadains looking for comfort in the BLP??when they offer a good and sensible way out of this instead of playing on the circumstances for political gain i see no comfort in them!!

  3. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder January 13, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I will stand behind Mia she’s the only minister that seem to stand for the honest of this Nation….

  4. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner January 13, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    BLP love fest over battle lines drawn,don’t need to go to Globe just read newspaper and watch tv.


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