A rant the Opposition could eschew

It is as clear as a bright Barbados noon that our former Prime Minister

Owen Arthur does not intend to be answerable to his party leader Mia Mottley

any time soon –– or ever. And becoming even more pellucid now is that what

many of us were led to believe was just pettifogging between the two Barbados

Labour Party stalwarts has in fact manifested itself as a cankerous disseverment

by Mr Arthur.

It didn’t take Miss Mottley’s proposing his name for an Eminent Persons

Group to rile Mr Arthur to such unfettered dudgeon that he would write

a six-page letter of complaint –– not to his leader –– but of his leader

to a person of lower rank in the Opposition’s chain of command.

Such is the contempt with which the former Leader of the Opposition holds

his successor. Obviously unsuccessful at being “careful not to be a source of

discord” within the Barbados Labour Party, Mr Arthur finally confirmed within

the said letter what many others suspected but couldn’t be sure of: that he had

“a fundamental disagreement with the course of action being pursued”

on some matters, to wit “the process by which Miss Mottley was elected

to lead our party”.

According to Mr Arthur in his letter to Leader of Opposition Business in

Parliament Kerrie Symmonds, he had proposed to the parliamentary group that

before selecting a leader they should convene a meeting “to air some of the

very difficult issues that were afflicting” the relationship between him and Miss

Mottley, so that those matters might be put to rest –– hopefully for good.

This meeting apparently never obtained, as there was no great appetite for

it beyond Mr Arthur’s. A gathering there was, but according to Mr Arthur,

“not to serve its intended purpose, but to select a leader in my absence”. That

leader was Mia Mottley.

Are we now to assume that had there been Mr Arthur’s requested

clear-the-air gathering, and a subsequent meeting for election of leader at

which Mr Arthur would have been present that Miss Mottley would not have

been Leader of the Opposition today?

Interestingly, Mr Kerrie Symmonds lets the Press know that Mr Arthur’s

letter of complaint “represents continued and unresolved problems” ––

presumably between Arthur and Mottley –– “which we as a mature political

party should long [have] fixed, addressed and resolved”. Clearly, in that order

there could be no practical resolution.

But Mr Symmonds thinks that the sooner the Barbados Labour Party

prioritizes doing so, the better it would be for Barbados. We doubt that. The

alleged discomfort in which Mr Arthur has subsumed himself is a sad distraction

from more pressing national bread and butter issues, to which he could have

made a more significant contribution towards a solution for Barbados, as

against the BLP, given his experience, expertise in economics, his flashes of

wisdom, and the charisma of a statesman that he keeps locked up

within himself.

At the risk of being deprecated or disesteemed by Mr Arthur, we are

publicly committing him to a more sober, stately and sensible approach to his

“fundamental” issues with his leader Miss Mottley, which his being a Member

of Parliament and a servant of the people, gives us every right and prerogative

to insist that he does.

Whatever were his failings and whatever are his current issues; whatever

pickle he has got himself into, there can be no denying that Owen Arthur was

one of our best Prime Ministers. And for this reason alone he has a bounden

duty as he rides out into the sunset to do so in the glory we would rather

remember for.

This we wish Mr Arthur would be prepared to do. It is only in this way

that he can truly and properly serve out his term as the parliamentary

representative for St Peter without “embroiling” himself “in undignified conflict”

within the Barbados Labour Party. It is only in this way he can assure us he will

not bring his party into disrepute.

And if indeed he cannot, or will not, subject himself to the leadership of Miss

Mottley, he ought then to do the obvious honourable thing and retire from this

awkward and incommodious circumstance before him. There are others who

evidently have little or no problem with Miss Mottley’s position or role.

For Miss Mottley’s part, her response to the would-be anarchy was

nothing short of statesmanlike. By omission she would not be drawn into

the contention about her leadership. She would not be sidetracked from her

core concern over the stability and sustainability of the embattled Barbados

economy, and the destiny of those who face joblessness in the next few weeks.

It is not to go unnoticed that Miss Mottley too apologized to Mr Arthur for

proposing him (against his will?) for membership of the Eminent Persons

Group, and that she expressed sorrow for offending him.

And, it struck us not of grandiloquence

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