Blame Mia

Arthur says Mottley is responsible for election defeat

Former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Owen Arthur has suggested that he was not the one who cost the Opposition the last election, instead pointing an accusing finger at the BLP’s current leadership.

Arthur said it was really his successor Mia Mottley who was responsible for making the vexed issue of privatization a campaign issue in 2013, an admission that this was the pivotal matter that led to an unexpected defeat.

“I have taken a bum rap. Many people felt that I cost the Barbados Labour Party the last election by putting privatization on the table,” he told Barbados TODAY in an interview this week in which he sought to set the record straight on the breakdown of his relationship with the parliamentary Opposition.

Arthur, an avid supporter of privatization, said while his focus during his time as this country’s Minister of Finance was on divesting those elements of the financial sector which he felt did not need to be in the hands of Government, the BLP was “stampeded” by Mottley in 2013, who he claimed went before Parliament without reference to her colleagues with an election position on the issue.

“We heard for the first time on the floor of the House that the Labour Party was going to sell the airport and the seaport and then we also heard that the Labour Party would have taken the Transport Board and the sanitation authority and either sold or given the trucks to the men to run.”

However, Arthur said, based on his previous discussions with former union boss Sir Roy Trotman, “this was never the position of the Barbados Labour Party”.

On the contrary, he said the BLP’s position was that “you have a Transport Board with a modest subsidy, but it had to transform its operations and finds a way to link with private transport”.

“As for [divestment of] the Sanitation Service Authority, that came out of left field as far as we were concerned and we were trapped with that . . .  Mia made it a people’s issue rather than a financial issue,” Arthur said, while suggesting that he had willingly taken the blame for her.

“If you want to blame me, blame me! My back is broad. But that is part of the history that men in the party and I continue to talk about. We were blindsided by that. But I don’t think I should have thrown Mia under the bus then, as I have not tried to throw Mia under the bus now,” he added.

As for the current approach needed to be taken with respect to divestment, the former Prime Minister said Barbados had to be “sensible” about privatization, as he reiterated his well-known position that “all [it] means is that you are getting things done in the public sector that can be done in the private sector.

“But what we have to do is to condition ourselves to the fact that the assets that are going to be sold are going to be here,” he added, while appealing for “all of the scare tactics” to stop, otherwise “the country is going to collapse around our ears”.

The former Prime Minister made it clear he did not believe in privatization of the Margaret Thatcher variety “which sets out just to destroy workers”, even while warning Government that there could be no running away from the issue, which goes against all that they had said during the last elections.

“The Government is committed to doing it, but the only reason they are not doing it is because they embarrassed themselves in the election campaign, having themselves said they are not going to privatize, sent an old lady called Ms Mapp, who is my friend, to curse me and say, ‘Owen Arthur is trying to take money out of my pocket,’” Arthur told Barbados TODAY.

However, he said based on his experience, privatization has worked in this country’s favour.

He pointed out that “the Democratic Labour Party privatized Heywoods before, the [Barbados] Labour Party privatized the two banks [Barbados National Bank and the Insurance Corporation of Barbados], the Democratic Labour Party is now privatizing the [Barbados National Terminal Company Limited], it has privatized part of the Gems of Barbados, so it can’t be if we are opposed to it; it is how best we can do it and that should be the discussion in Barbados”.

In the case of BNB, the former Minister of Finance repeated his oft stated position that it went from a loss-making bank to a profitable entity in which Government’s 20 per cent stake was worth more than its 100 per cent stake before its sale, “and rather than lose jobs, it now employs twice as much people”.

He also took a swipe at local trade unions for their stance on the matter, saying he was surprised to hear the Barbados Workers Union saying it was opposed to all forms of privatization.

“They were not when Mr Trotman and I sat down and we agreed that the Transport Board had to be concerned with its core business [and that] it had no business trying to run a mechanical workshop; that we would create a new entity called UCAL where the workers would own it. I decided to put money in it on the part of the Government and Mr Trotman was then very comfortable with privatizing part of the Transport Board,” Arthur recalled.

He also asked: “Didn’t the NUPW [National Union of Public Workers] also take over part of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados?

“So that when people are telling you that we are opposed to X but they are doing it, I regard that as a contaminated moral and intellectual environment,” he said.

42 Responses to Blame Mia

  1. Krystle Howell
    Krystle Howell March 1, 2017 at 10:37 pm


    • Peter March 2, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Kristie, I would love to hear what your sigh sounds like. Anyhow, to my point. Owen is using Mia as his scapegoat. He damn well knows that his arrogance and attitude cost him his standing. Maybe he cannot get over that right cross that landed on his face at that place in Roebuck Street back in 2008. Sigh Kristie, sigh. Lynette Eastmond will NOT win that St. Philip seat. Dr. David Estwick is far more politically educated and rightfully commands the support he receives. Owen knows this so he is positioning himself to lead washed – UPP. Another woman getting it from Owen. Lynette, join Mia, Mara, and Irene. They are not admitting it, which is to be expected, But the DLP is having serious internal friction. Certain politicians are sabotaging their governance to showcase themselves. Donville, both Lowe and Kellman, Estwick, Tax man Sinkler and even Richard the designated leader are warming up. They either call in, hold press conferences or making promises. Callender knows he is going nowhere so he, Gill and Agard, are just like Kellman, old rotting furniture. Lowe and Agard has to watch their medical condition and ask themselves if they will have what it takes to last another five or six years. Payne has plans for Marshall. That’s where the floor crossings will start. BIM and Solutions are bystanders. Mia girl, you stand firm. put forward your 30. Most people like you a lot. You are the only politician besides David Estwick who can deliver Barbados out of this mess. Owen ain’t got no shame. Going with DEM proves his low self esteem. He’ll have a few get dizzy and cuss out some body.

  2. Angela Griffith
    Angela Griffith March 1, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Owen you cause us to loose nor mia

  3. Paula Husbands
    Paula Husbands March 1, 2017 at 10:51 pm


  4. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea March 1, 2017 at 10:54 pm


  5. BaJan boy March 1, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Stupseeeeeee Owen needs to go home with some dignity and self respect so that others can respect the clown. He is trying too hard to be relevant at the age of almost 70 and seem not too far from being senile…Barbados does not belong to Owen Arthur..

    • Jennifer March 2, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      @Bajan boy – Well said, he is like a virus that cannot be killed. He is so redundant, let some new blood in.

  6. Kavj John
    Kavj John March 1, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Is this some kind of plot

  7. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore March 1, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I was in Queen’s Park in 2012 & heard PM Arthur with my own two ears putting forward what was (I think a 12 point plan) for the Barbadian economy. Chief among his proposals was a plan to privatize some state assets ( note the year, 2012 Annual conference). If she spoke about privatization on the floor of the house in 2013 it was only because you made it your signature policy during the conference. Furthermore, you presented a party to the electorate that was seen as fractured because of your naked grab for power (by ousting the leader of the opposition). One big long stupse.

  8. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan March 1, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Barbados Today did he actually say “I have taken a bomb rack” or is this just your reporter pretending to be so square as never to have heard the slang saying, to take a bum wrap, meaning to be unjustifiably or wrongfully blamed?

  9. Kamila Burrowes
    Kamila Burrowes March 1, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Wuhloss talk bout ah back biter lol

  10. KEITH MURPHY March 1, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Mr Arthur please forget the woman and deal with your legacy.What do you want people to say about you in the history of Barbados when we are all gone.You should remember what you said about the woman when you staged that coup.

  11. Lollipop March 1, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Owen stop licking your wounds and man up, the electorate “dun wid you” and no matter who you come with now we still “dun wid you”.

    You need to tell your boys club which meets on a weekly basis in the draft that you will do what you say you will do….baby sit, write on Economic matters, write a book and make up for the time you were busy being Prime Minister. This should be family time.

    Get lost, it is time.

  12. Puppa Weekes March 2, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Owen it is quite obvious what you are attempting, unfortunately the DLP has wounded too many persons that wouldn’t heal by election time.

    You are really determined to prevent the BLP from being elected but there is really no choice but to remove this highly incompetent party and an unqualified Prime Minister from office.

    The desire of the wounded persons will be greater than any spin and distortions that you could possibly attempt, the DLP is happy with this decision not because of economical concerns but because of a deep desire to retain this sweet intoxicatingly poorly used authority over the masses and all that can be gotten for self.

    But alas you are quite comfortable with being used once you have the opportunity to be an obstacle.

    Owen you are the opposite of Fruendell, he exposes himself by keeping silent and you my dear bitter gentleman exposes yourself by speaking.

  13. Sunshine Sunny Shine March 2, 2017 at 3:06 am

    As much as I cannot stomach Mia Mottley, you, Mr. Owen Arthur,. . . . You cannot redeem your sins don’t matter how hard you try to present yourself as a proverbial saviour. You think people foolish to believe that the axe you have sharpened for Mia is now dulled because your focus, now, is to help the DLP formulate a revitalization plan for a weak economy? All the knowledge you think you got surely showing you up as a real vindictive vagabond. Both you and Mia Mottley are no . . . good. Both of you have your personal agendas, which are set at self aggrandizement. As a result, many people suffer and will suffer because of the personal misplaced ideals that plays out in each so called style of politics.

  14. sticks and stones March 2, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Well Well this is going to get uglier ! What say yea Mia

  15. Alex Alleyne March 2, 2017 at 6:25 am


  16. chris hill March 2, 2017 at 7:17 am

    this is just what sincler was hoping for, start a rumbling between owen and mia again, just a lot of smoke to disguise from the real problem, that is the DLPs handling of the economy and social issues. stick with the problem at hand, owen has no party to lead, he just got forced back into the limelight and is running his mouth. Mia all the way. Owen stick with the panel and do something for your constituents.

  17. S Alleyne March 2, 2017 at 8:45 am

    I really thought he was above this.

  18. Joan Worrell March 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Owen, what have you gone and done to the BBBBB’s ? They all suffering from diarrhoea since you accepted the offer of trying to turn around the economy. They are calling you the worst things in the world . Never mind, you have their leading economic advisor (the joker) in your cards. Let them go into the gutter. According to one of their own, let them gather. When you ready, hit them with the 4 aces and the joker. That according to Google, is called ”Five of a kind” in poker and not a fellow can beat that hand.

  19. Aneta March 2, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Ms. Worrell u must be the fly on the wall. I hear the venom coming from you. Talk all yah like. Accuse all you like. Pull down all you like. Though I may not agree with the opposition I’m tired of dem blundering nincompoops that you treasure.

  20. Smiley March 2, 2017 at 10:57 am

    This is the way the people find out that the BLP want to privatize everything from Owen.I have no trust in any of the two parties.Sell everything that we hold dear .God only knows what will be left that is Barbadian owned .No pride No industry.Greedy Political Pimps

  21. Joan Worrell March 2, 2017 at 11:07 am

    @Aneta , my dear, there is nothing venomous about me in word, deed or thought.

    One of my Bible readings for the Lenten Season is Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

    I enjoy researching the history of the comments made by politicians in the past and comparing them with what they say now. Can I pull down Clyde Mascoll for what he said about Owen Arthur when he was Leader of the Democratic Labour Party? Can I pull down Owen for his responses to Mascoll back in 2003-2006? Can I pull down Dame Billy for calling Mascoll ‘Malik wid teet?. I treasure no man (mankind) except my dear loving husband of 48 years come November this year.

    • hcalndre March 2, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      @Joan Worrell, 48 years of marriage? I would like to hear his take on those 48 years. I have not heard a word from the BLP. Owen is the one trying hard to justify his relation with the enemy, (DLP) when he knows that only thing to do now is to pull the plug on the patient, DLP.

  22. Carson C Cadogan March 2, 2017 at 11:35 am

    A dream team is being put together just like what is at the BTA.

    • Peter March 2, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      Carson, You mean like your family there? You right though, all they do is dream Just listen to Richard. He pun de soap box preaching promises already. 14,000 jobs and he can’t even rais 20. You family got a pick so you cud talk through all yuh holes.

  23. Maureen Fielde March 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Puppa Weekes, I agree with you 100℅.

  24. Milli Watt March 2, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    WAIT! it was Mia who was pushing this all the time. All the time I was blaming Arthur but he wasn’t the elephant in the room. The Thatcher/Reagan Neo-liberal approach is truly SAVAGE. The devil you know ain’t the problem it is the DEVILl you don’t know.

  25. Milli Watt March 2, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    the BWU and NUPW also involved at the highest level…..never trusted that UNION crowd obviously for good reason. Mr. Arthur you need to sit down and tell ALL you know about this.

  26. lime juice March 2, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Owen is wicked old man and he is only interest in collecting a salary. there is nothing that owen can other than to sell out every damm thing that remain.

  27. lime juice March 2, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    I realise that Mia don’t ever answer Owen and she right.

  28. Carson C Cadogan March 2, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    If there is one thing that BLP members and supporters cant stand is the TRUTH.

    Feed them all type of lies and they love it.

  29. Big Brown March 2, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    I only have one question: Who is the quisling now?

    No politician, much less leader, received a greater drubbing from his own party than then Prime Minister, Erskine Sandiford. I have never heard Sir Lloyd speak out against any member of his Party, or the Party.

    I have seen other politicians leave parties and go on to win governments and they did not lambaste their former parties or colleagues.

    Owen Arthur should be treated with the derision he has earned. Ignore him Barbados. His true colors are blinding.

  30. KEITH MURPHY March 2, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Carson Cadogan you can start to prepare for a big loss.Those 3 votes will be erased and you man will loose by at least 350 votes.

    • Carson C Cadogan March 3, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Counting your chickens before they hatched as usual.

  31. KEITH MURPHY March 2, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    39 votes

  32. Carson C Cadogan March 3, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Cat piss and pepper in the Bees camp.

  33. Carson C Cadogan March 3, 2017 at 7:42 am

    “THE BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY is being warned against projecting the image that it can only win the next election if the economy collapsed around the ruling Democratic Labour Party.

    The advice came from its former leader, Owen Arthur, who three times led the party to victory at the polls”

  34. I in know too good March 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Chris already told the country that he will not be going to the IMF but that is the only advise that Owen has for the government. Owen is go to get fired before he start, cause Chris strong headed and like to have his way and that is why he fired Dr. Worrell .

  35. Nathaniel Samuels March 3, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Carson, how many times did Owen lead the BLP to defeat? While Owen had been a very good leader, he has also been a drawback to the BLP, his former party because of the caustic remarks he has made about Mia. A bitter man, unfortunately and he is now damaging his legacy.

  36. Loretta Griffith March 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    For the sake of country first, why can’t we deal with the issues and forget the ad hominem.
    This country has/have real serious problems and all we are doing is villifying.
    Tell me what we are going to do to solve all these ills. Instead of encouraging the politicians to offer the electorate false hopes and fooling the people by playing with their emotions, we should be asking ourselves if we like what we see when we look in the mirror.
    Let us stop compromising our integrity and speak the truth and be respected. No KA party affiliation.

  37. Loretta Griffith March 6, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Discussing a persons’ health negatively should not be condoned. Neither of us knows what can happen to us. So-call healthy today and seriously ill or crippled in a twinkling of an eye.
    Stop the negativity and lift someone up.
    All I hope and pray for is that this country will be given the right medicine so that corrective measures can be taken. COUNTRY FIRST.


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