Ms Mottley’s back against the wall?

Two recents statements by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart this past weekend are worthy of public record. The first was in reaction to Owen Arthur’s sudden resignation from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), and the next to the BLP Leader Mia Mottley’s “white march” last Thursday.

For Mr Stuart, Mr Arthur’s resignation from the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) after 43 years came as no surprise. Neither too, we must add, was Mr Stuart’s equally sudden recovery from the apathy that seems to beset him at times, keeping him mum on important national issues.

In an almost immediate response to Friday’s move by Mr Arthur, Mr Stuart, who has been noticeably absent from the recent debate on the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, as well as that to do with Moody’s latest negative report on Barbados’ economic performance, sought to make use of the bitter Arthur-Mottley split for all its worth politically.

In the full glare of the public, Mr Arthur called it quits last Friday, telling whoever would listen that his departure was not on account of old age, as some would have preferred him to say, but due the fact that, in his eyes, his beloved party, with which he had spent 43 years, had lost its way.

It was a big slap in face to Mottley and the BLP.

On this occasion, Mr Stuart didn’t even stop to clear his throat. Though still not fast enough to beat his media savvy Minister of Commerce to the microphone, Mr Stuart would follow closely behind in extending a hand of support to one of his greatest political foes –– Owen Arthur –– who though obviously pained and conflicted, would have seen the offer for what it was, and therefore has said enough this past weekend to indicate to Mr Stuart and indeed the entire DLP, thanks but no thanks, as he prepares to make his own “Independent” bed, so to speak.

But even if Mr Arthur was contemplating crossing the floor to join forces with the ruling DLP –– as incredible as that all seems –– we believe he would have been left with more than a second thought after hearing for himself the presentation of Mr Stuart’s offer, coloured as it was in his usual cunning and guile.

Citing a historical example of a sitting BLP Member of Parliament –– at the time representing what is now Mr Arthur’s constituency of St Peter –– resigning to cross the floor and join the then governing DLP led by Errol Barrow, a visible tickled Stuart suggested Mr Arthur was now free to follow the example of history.

“Sooner or later, Members of Parliament get to realize that the Barbados Labour Party is not the place to be . . . . If Mr Arthur has now got to the stage of this realization, I am glad for him . . . . I’m glad that he has seen the light; the light was there ever since,” the Prime Minister quipped.

In much the same way, Mr Stuart was dismissive of Ms Mottley’s march, pointing out that the Opposition Leader had managed to secure more votes in the last election that she was able to muster in terms of participation for last week’s demonstration.

But that thousands of Barbadians –– whether it be 3,000 or 5,000, as the Opposition and its publicists are claiming –– saw it fit to march in solidarity against the Government’s onerous tax, should be of concern to our dear Prime Minister.

Indeed, the total number of marchers cannot and should not be confused with the sum of concerns levelled over the controversial tax.

Instead of going the politically expedient route of pouring cold water on a demonstration that was meant to give public voice to those disadvantaged by the tax, we believe a more caring response was in order from our leader, who while he is at it, might even do Ms Mottley the courtesy of breaking with protocol on this occasion and walking over to his permanent secretary’s office for a read of her correspondence on the Solid Waste Tax.

It certainly does no one any good for the Prime Minister to persist with his public boast that he hasn’t even seen her letter as yet, while acknowledging that the letter from the Leader of the Opposition is in his reach.

With the country so delicately poised politically, Mr Stuart needs only to cast his mind back a little to recent problems in his own camp.

As they say a day in politics is a long time. Today Ms Mottley’s back may be against the wall, but tomorrow his may well be. Mr Stuart also knows only too well that today’s governing politicians will be tomorrow’s Opposition.


9 Responses to Ms Mottley’s back against the wall?

  1. Greitcha Smith
    Greitcha Smith July 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Well he would say that, wouldn’t he! lol

  2. Quincy B July 28, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Still not seeing how Ms Mottley’s back is against the wall. In fact I would say hers is the only back not against the wall in Barbados today. (no pun intended) Press on girl, when the people are behind you no one can stop you.

  3. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole July 28, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    The Prime Minster bold though. He had the gall to admit that he has not read that letter yet. He is not considering the plight of the people. Regardless of whoever the messenger was he should have read it and commented to the people. Heartless. Insensitive. Yet he could find the words to try to entice Mr Arthur to cross the floor.

  4. Dawn Franklin
    Dawn Franklin July 28, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    What wanna expect he from he got no class what so ever

  5. Tracy D.
    Tracy D. July 28, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Even if her back was against the wall which it isn’t it would still be better than hiding under a desk like he was when he looked out the office window to see about 3, 000 pissed off Bajans and one boss of a woman outside the door.

  6. Kris Lorde
    Kris Lorde July 28, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Tracy D. LMAOOOOOO Tracy don’t kill muh…plz, I at work lololol

  7. Lorna Deukett July 29, 2014 at 10:55 am

    The only wall Ms. Mottleys back is against is the wall of supporters that are backing her, from which she can only push forward. As for Mr. Arthurs pitiful cry for attention Sir you should know better. Last observation: Mr. Arthur, Ms. Mottleys choice to wear white was a marvelous choice, do you think that the Dems supporters would have donned RED shirts for this march? I walked next to a lady that was a Dem supporter all her voting life and she had a banner marked “Dem is a Solid Waste”. I think there is more trouble in your camp than you realize Mr. Stuart.

  8. Lorna Deukett July 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    the only wall Ms. Mottleys back is against is the wall of supporters there waiting to help push her forward. Mr. Arthurs attempts at discrediting Mia were petty and pathetic to say the least and Mr. Stuart’s less than cordial greeting and reception to Ms. Mottleys letter was just what we expected from him, low classed and pompous. Last point, Mr. Arthurs cry in the wilderness about the colour white for the walk instead of red. Do you Sir think that the only people on that walk were BLP supporters. White was the perfect neutral colour so that no one person could pinpoint the Dee’s from the Bee’s. I walked next to a die hard Dems Lady and she bore a placard stating “Dem is a solid waste. We know who our next Government goin B.

  9. Concerned Citizen July 31, 2014 at 10:57 am

    What should wake up the public is the fact that the current government, our “conveniently quiet” Prime Minister included, is so arrogant about all matters economic; “My way or the Highway” seems to be their mantra, even in the face of public comments from learned Economists who suggest that current Government policies are unsustainable and are leading us to near certain economic disaster. Ms. Mottley has had the guts to stand up and say that she is willing to assist, putting partisan Politics aside, in getting the country out of this death spiral that we seem to be in, yet the ruling Government have dismissed her at every turn as being nothing more than distracting background noise. She is not background noise, she is the noise of the voices of the people of this island who are fed up with the now apparently incapable government we elected, and who wish that they would heed our requests to STOP SPENDING MORE THAN THE COUNTRY EARNS. The arrogance of our Minister of Finance in stating that ‘we the people’ can march wherever and whenever we like, but he is not repealing the new Solid Waste (of time) Tax! How quickly a Politician forgets how he got his job in the first place… by appealing to ‘we the people’ with their plans to make our lives better so that ‘we the people’ will elect them and pay their salary. How can that vision be so quickly tossed by the wayside in favor of “My way or the Highway” ???? Did Mr Sinckler learn NOTHING from his raising of the VAT rate to 17.5% only to discover by his own public admission that the amount of money collected was not what was expected?

    “What to do… I know, implement ANOTHER tax… maybe that will work. Oops, no it didn’t… alright lets try a third tax, this is SURE to work because it is different… wait, is it different? Oh well who cares, we are doing it anyway because we are running out of money and are already out of new ideas… aaaarrrrgh! Why is everyone so angry with me! I know, let’s offer rebates to anyone who shouts at us loudly enough, that should keep them quiet for a little while… it worked with the Hotels, why shouldn’t it work with the Tax payers? Ok it worked for a few days… lets push the date back by 6 months to allow everyone to cool down and forget how much of a burden this tax is. Hopefully by that time most law abiding citizens will have already paid, and we will have the weight of their compliance to back us up… yeah.. THAT is how we will spin this. I mean… THAT is how Mr Stuart’s ‘Best Government in the History of the Island’ would like to present itself.”

    Sir Winston Churchill once said; “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” When individuals only have a fixed amount of money to spend each week, raising taxes is not going to change the income of the government… it is going to force people to spend less on other things, which in turn diminishes the profitability of tax-paying corporations. This is called a ‘zero sum game’ where the net result is always the same no matter what you add or subtract. However, increased taxation also encourages increased tax avoidance – which ultimately lessens the amount of tax that is collected outside of our zero sum game. An economy requires money to move through it in order for things to work properly… the faster the money moves, the more everyone has available to them to earn and then spend. If that money sits idle in bank accounts, no one loses… but also no one earns. When no one earns, no one spends… then none of the companies earn. So they also stop spending… there is no logical way to make this work in the governments favor where raising revenue is concerned.

    How can ordinary citizens such as myself understand these basic principles, but our elected government officials either don’t understand or choose to ignore them?


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