BLP to lead March 11 ‘disgust’ protest against Govt
Declaring that “enough is enough”, a militant-sounding Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Wednesday declared open warfare on the Freundel Stuart administration, saying it was disgusted with the administration’s handling of the economy.
Flanked by economic consultant Dr Clyde Mascoll and several of her parliamentary colleagues, BLP leader Mia Mottley told a press conference at the Opposition’s Parliament office that her party would turn up the heat on Government to force it out before the constitutional deadline for general elections next year.
It would begin with a “national march of disgust” on March 11 at which Barbadians are invited to register their dissatisfaction with the Stuart Government, and to make it clear they “cannot bear the weight of the indifference and the incompetence of Freundel Stuart and his Cabinet” for another year, Mottley said.
“The parliamentary Opposition will be leading a national march of disgust and rally . . . to protest the situation where Barbados finds itself 50 years after Independence,” a combative Mottley announced.
“We call upon all civic minded Barbadians to join with us in sending a message to Freundel Stuart and his Cabinet that their style of governance is not cute.”
Mottley led a blistering attack on the Prime Minister, accusing him of engaging in “absurd pretences” and displaying “indifference” and “incompetence”, as she declared that Stuart’s “trifling” approach to serious matters was “incontrovertible” proof he was “thoroughly unfit” to lead the country.
The Opposition Leader told reporters the BLP would not sit idly by and allow the “wholesale destruction” of Barbados, simply to allow the administration to “limp its way to the constitutionally-stipulated finish line”, while she stressed that this was not about finishing the five years given to a Government, but about stopping the rot and re-energizing Barbados for the sake of its people.
“The national march of disgust and rally thereafter . . . is but the first salvo by the Barbados Labour Party to let it be known that enough is enough,” Mottley vowed.
She tore into Stuart for jetting off to a political cocktail sip in New York at a time when the country was experiencing one of its worst economic challenges, and while his Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr Delisle Worrell were locked in a legal battle over the Governor’s possible termination.
“No previous leader of Barbados that I know would have absconded himself from a scenario where doubt hangs over the ability of the country to pay public servants in the next week,” she pointed out, a reference to Worrell’s disclosure earlier this month that the Central Bank was forced to print $50 million each month to pay public servants, even as he called for an end to the practice.
The BLP leader claimed that even under these circumstances, the Prime Minister had said in New York that he had not bothered to make the effort to insert himself into the row between the country’s top two monetary policymakers.
“It is preposterous for the leader of this country to say to the nation, from the sidelines of this political party event in New York, that he has not bestirred himself to get involved in the matter.
“It speaks to a Prime Minister entirely disconnected from, and unconcerned with, the affairs of state and presiding over a dysfunctional Government,” she said, adding that if Sinckler had not communicated with Stuart, then the minister ought to be fired.
On the other hand, she said “if, as I believe, he did discuss the matter with Stuart, the Prime Minister is plainly attempting to delude and deceive Barbadians by stating that he has not made himself privy to all that has been happening”.