So bizarre

Wickham questions Govt approach to Arthur

Political scientist Peter Wickham has described as “bizarre” suggestions that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur could lead the Freundel Stuart administration’s economic advisory team, saying the announcement helped stroke the former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader’s ego.

Barbados TODAY reported last week – and Arthur confirmed – that the former Prime Minister had been approached to replace the retiring Sir Frank Alleyne as head of Government’s economic advisory council, which reviews and recommends policy positions for Cabinet approval.

Neither Stuart nor Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has confirmed the approach and Arthur has yet to say whether or not he will accept the offer.

Wickham told Barbados TODAY this was a “bizarre turn of events” but that he was not surprised that Arthur would consider the proposal.

Political scientist Peter Wickham
Political scientist Peter Wickham

“Certainly [he] would want to tell people that the offer has been made because it’s a tribute to his intellect and I also think it’s a tribute to his ego. But I’m appalled quite frankly that he would consider taking a post in a Government that he so bitterly criticized,” he said.

The political scientist reserved his “shock” for Stuart who he said had made it clear that he had no need for eminent persons and that the eminence of his ministers was sufficient.

He added that the offer was an admission from Stuart that “what he said at that time was in fact not correct” and that there was indeed a role for eminent persons beyond the reach of his cabinet and a need for Arthur “who he so bitterly criticized in the last election.”

This was in reference to the rejection by both Arthur and Stuart of a recommendation made by Opposition Leader Mia Mottley for the establishment of an eminent person group on the economy and that the St Peter MP be part of that group.

Wickham questioned why Arthur, having rejected Mottley’s proposal, now seemed amenable to the idea.

“I listened very carefully to the recording of what he said when that was proposed and he said that the idea was preposterous, I think those were the words that he used. He said that the executive has a role to play in terms of the management of the Government, and that he felt that getting involved at that level in an advisory capacity would be the Barbados Labour Party allowing the Democratic Labour Party to get off the hook.

“So my thing is that you’re now going against your own advice where you’re saying it would have been unwise, turned down the DLP offer but now he seems to be quite frankly willing,” Wickham said.

Arthur has indicated that he could use his expertise for the benefit of the country in the new role, but Wickham appeared unconvinced.

“I have no difficulty with national service and that’s the reason why I thought it was a good idea when Ms Mottley recommended it the first time. But clearly both himself and the Prime Minister were of the opinion that it was unwise, and my question is, what has happened now that has made this whole idea wise? Is it because Ms Mottley has not suggested it? Or is it because the two gentlemen have had an epiphany and they now feel that what they thought before was so unwise has now become wise?”

6 Responses to So bizarre

  1. st.Clair worrell November 11, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Dap… What a name to give to anyone …l guess that says it all.
    Can’t stand the truth so you attack…Stop being so personal and deal with the facts only then can you be taken seriously. Pap… would be a better name that is fitting because your comment is so soft and silly or one other is crack as in crack -head.

  2. SAM CLARKE November 12, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Why would it be so bizarre, Mr. Wickham? You tend to preach politics of immaturity. It is time for Barbados be bigger than the political parties, and choose people who are competent .
    There is nothing wrong, that after years of zero growth,that a person can change their mind. The country is in need of his expertise, and there is nothing wrong in anyone who loves Barbados, to put aside the politics of the day, and offer up his or herself to serve and to save our beloved Adsorb, Mr. Wickham.

    You are one, small minded, political scientist, that i have ever come across in all of my political science days.
    History is full of politicians, who have put aside the politics of the day to serve their countries, so Barbados is no different. I would like to hear what you have to say about the various Republicans, Democrats, Tories and Labour, who have served their countries in all sort of positions, while a different party was in power.
    So your spin, is just that. Political spin with another political agenda.

  3. dave November 12, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Peter has a right to express his views . All the best to Peter

  4. Don Morris November 13, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I agree with Peter 110%; words like being “patriotic” and “for the good of the country” sound real nice but the reality of the situation is that the Dems went the length and breadth of Barbados in the last two elections trying to convince Barbadians that it was Arthur’s policies which had Barbados in the economic doldrums. The late David Thompson even said Arthur’s political shelf-life had expired — in other words he no longer had any contribution to make. Even the same Frank Alleyne, who’s now saying Arthur is the better, or best choice to succeed him has been very vocal in his criticism of Arthur and the BLP administration. Now when you can so viciously attack a man, who has kept our national ship afloat for 14 years saying it was he, his party and his policies that caused our economic downfall, how in all honesty can you, having been the real wreckers of the economy, now seek to engage him in your hope to rebuild?
    Now for all intents and purposes, this move by the Dems, is not a “done deal”; according to the comments from both sides — but then again, according to the Dems, Cahill is not a “done deal” either. But if up to now it’s not a done deal, I’ve got a gut feeling that Arthur is going to say yes — but devotion to country — though it will be a significant part of the reason — won’t be his major reason; and I’m going to open a can of worms here: If Arthur accepts, and the Dems manage, through his expertise, to pull the country back economically, the possibility exists that the Dems may grab the reins of government again whenever the bell tolls having convinced the populace that THEY, not Arthur — sorry Owen, all the glory will belong to the Dems and NONE for you — were the ones responsible.
    And that would mean Mia Mottley would not get the opportunity to lead Barbados as its Prime Minister; so guess who would be “smiling from ear to ear”?

  5. dave November 14, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I totally agree with you Don Morris
    Also I remember Owen Arthur offering the post of Aids Czar to Branford Taitt and the people in the DLP kicked up a storm


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