Arthur warns BLP to stop airing its dirty laundry in public

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur reluctantly gave some political advice today to the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), which is currently embroiled in controversy.

Amid a bitter public standoff between Christ Church West Member of Parliament Dr Maria Agard and the party hierarchy,  Arthur, who last year resigned from the BLP which he led for more than 14 years and now sits as an independent MP, is telling the party to keep its internal business out of the public domain so that it does not become a subject of public discussion.

Labeling the standoff within the Christ Church West constituency branch a “political tragedy”, Arthur told reporters before going into the House of Assembly for today’s sitting that “there is both the appearance and the reality of a civil war in the Barbados Labour Party”.

Reluctant to comment on the issue which has resulted in MP Dr Maria Agard being summoned before the National Council on nine disciplinary charges, Arthur said now was the time for the BLP to demonstrate that it could manage its affairs and “offer the people of Barbados the reality and the appearance of a safe harbour and that is not what is happening.

“The responsibility of the leadership of the party at this time must be to take its affairs adversely out of the front pages as it is at present,”  the former BLP leader said.

Arthur noted this was not the first time that the Opposition party had faced turbulence within its camp. He pointed out that on one occasion in his almost 14 years at the helm of a BLP Government, certain members had stormed out of a Cabinet meeting and the public was unaware.

“ . . . Because it was not the public’s business, it was the Labour Party’s business,” he emphasized. “And believe me what is happening now is child’s play as compared to many of the things that had happened.”

The former Prime Minister expressed the view that with the matter now out in the public domain, there was no graceful way to solve the problem. He also knocked political pundits commenting on the standoff.

“This bringing out of the so-called big guns to help fight the fight is merely to allow the public to know that because of the rattle of musketry, that a war is going on, that the bringing out of the Comissiongs and the Wickhams, the Hoytes and all the others is merely to say that there is a fight and some people have been asked to fight on a side. So, take the matter out of the public domain, settle it quietly,” he said.

“I am saying that all those so-called social pundits and so on, the Labour Party would do well if they would leave the Labour Party business alone because all they are doing is perpetuating the concept that there is a civil war and nobody has no doubt on who has been brought out on what side.

“I don’t want to be talking about it. I am hurting the Barbados Labour Party by talking about it and that’s why they have to reach the stage where the public is not talking about their internal affairs. That’s the only solution to this.”

Pressed to comment on suggestions that the upheaval in Christ Church West was a result of the party making way for his return to the fold, Arthur said: “I don’t get involved with political buffoonery and again that is part of the foolishness that is happening.

“I have left the Barbados Labour Party, it is well with my soul. I am not even running in the next election so how could I go back, to what? And this is the kind of foolishness that is now titillating this . . .  Deal with the matter. They have to deal with it as comrades and colleagues, not as adversaries.”

He made it clear that the BLP needed to nip the situation quickly in order to prevent the public from discussing the matter and instead “talk about things that matter to the welfare of the country”.

“The Barbados democracy and the progress and the stability of the country require two strong vibrant institutions that project their own capabilities to manage their affairs and to manage the country’s affairs and that is what is not happening,” he said.


9 Responses to Buffoonery!

  1. carson Forde November 18, 2015 at 9:57 am

    You have well articulated the problem and hopefully the solution and as a lifelong supporter of the party I would advise those that are part of the problem to put their differences aside and unite the party . Barbados can no longer tolerate the sitting party that has economically strangle the economy bar nun. I was home in August and visited Bridgetown in the midst of what I anticipated would have been a busy day . Broad street the main street was so deserted that one had to assume that it was a holiday . The party must unite and return to power in the effort to return this country to the time when the economy was booming and it was this party that reflected the volatility of this great country

  2. Bernard Codrington. November 18, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Well said Mr. Arthur. This is the Arthur I like to hear.

  3. carson Forde November 18, 2015 at 10:13 am

    You have well articulated the problem within the party and hopefully the solution to end this divisive issue among some members that could have ramifications to the future success and leadership of the party. My entire family and including myself have supported the BLP party and it is sad to see the dissension that is within the party.The slitting party that is now in power has strangle the economy and our part must unite in the effort to lead and restore volatility back to Barbados.

  4. Don Morris November 18, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Agree with Mr. Arthur; however one important point to be made: reading this sounds as though THE BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY, collectively, brought this crap into the public’s domain when, in fact, it was Agard herself and a few other individuals. In an earlier comment, I asked what Agard had done cause up to then I had heard no “official” charge; however, in conversations with people close to the situation, I was told basically that Agard is not a “team player”. The person pointed out that she was involved in the constituency even in the days when the well-respected Sir Henry Forde was the MP for the constituency and when William Duguid was the representative; eventually she rose to become Branch president. So when she publicly declared that she has to report to no one, it is obvious that, having been promoted even higher — the status of Member of Parliament — that the “power” gone to she head! I was told also that she has refused to attend “zone” meetings to plan strategy for the Christ Church constituencies for the next General Election AND — this is official cause it was in the Press — she did not attend the Party’s Annual Conference. Now that is bear crap! How can a sitting MP refuse to attend the Party’s Annual Conference? It’s an insult to the constituents who voted for her. In my humble opinion if Agard has reached the stage where she feels she doesn’t have to “report” to anybody and that she doesn’t want to “play” with the rest of the team then she needs to totally remove herself from among them — do like Owen Arthur, resign from the party and become an Independent MP for the rest of the Parliamentary team. Finally, I believe the ones who are “advising” her — lawyers an all — don’t really have her interest at heart; they’ve got a BIGGER AGENDA!

  5. Don Morris November 18, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Correction to the previous post: Last line but one — should read “parliamentary term” not team.

  6. BOBO THE SAME CLOWN November 18, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    For someone that does not want to say too much,Arthur has surely had a mouthful . He should know that the BLP has always had a collection of bullies in their midst .Too many power hungry advocates in that party so dirty laundry will continue to be publicly aired for years to come since some of the main culprits are still around raising their ugly heads.

  7. Sue Donym November 18, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    “… so called big guns…. rattle of musketry..” Put down issued like a boss! Pretty much telling them that they got guttaperks and think they are marksmen. As you were!

  8. cecil p November 18, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    not to worry the BLP will fix all of there in house problems soon or later. sooner is better than later. they would find out it’s doing the party no good and u know what who want’s to back a party with all of these in house problems . the DLP is in the back ground having a good laugh @ these idiots they’er just hoping they keep it until ELECTION time

  9. Andrew Rudder November 19, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Well said Mr Arthur! If so be it withing the comrades! Then it’s as if we met at the Lodge of the Thistle and last night’s meeting was discussed at John O’s .


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