Why, Owen?

Arthur decision to assist DEM is baffling, says Wickham

The decision to appoint former Prime Minister Owen Arthur as Government’s Chief Economic Advisor is an admission that the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is incompetent when it comes to handling the economy, says political scientist Peter Wickham.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY this afternoon, Wickham said the move defied logic, as it appeared destined to do more harm than good to the DLP’s political standing.

Pollster Peter Wickham (inset) says he is baffled by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s latest move to assist the ruling Democratic Labour Party.

In addition, the pollster said he was unable to determine how Arthur’s distinguished political career could be boosted by the possible alignment since it was difficult to anticipate the former prime minister’s political strategies.

“The logic eludes me, but having said that I don’t fully understand Owen Arthur as a politician and I can’t competently predict his moves because I really don’t know,” the Caribbean Development and Research Services pollster said.

Barbados TODAY first broke the story on Monday of the former Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader’s possible appointment as head of Government’s economic advisory team.

Yesterday, Arthur all but confirmed he would lead the restructured National Economic Council that will advise the Freundel Stuart administration on fiscal and economic matters.

“Yes, I can confirm that I have been approached by [Minister of Finance] Mr [Chris] Sinckler, [and] yes I can confirm that I told him that I would be willing to serve,” Arthur said.

However, Wickham contended that if the appointment becomes official, the DLP Government would be contradicting its longstanding claim that it had inherited an economic mess from the Arthur-led BLP, which lost the 2008 general election after 14 years in power.

“For them it doesn’t make sense because you appoint the person that you have just identified as being responsible for the economic situation the country is in as your Chief Economic Advisor. What could be the possible benefit in that?

“My sense is that the DLP sees this as an opportunity to use Arthur’s relationship with [BLP leader] Mia [Mottley] or lack thereof, to their political advantage. But to me the deeper issue is the things you have already said about Arthur’s policy and worthiness,” Wickham argued.

Arthur has stated that his decision to accept Sinckler’s offer was not influenced by his broken relationship with Mottley. Instead, he insisted it was his civic duty to help, especially in light of the fact that he had been travelling up and down this region for several months now dishing out economic advice in one form or another.

“I could not possibly be giving advice to other people and say no to a good and honest overture to me to give advice to the Government of Barbados,” the independent Member of Parliament for St Peter said.

However, Wickham was not convinced that the public would see the matter through the same lens as the former BLP leader, suggesting the Opposition party was better off remaining silent about this latest political development.

“If there were any Barbados Labour Party supporters who had delusions about his feelings about them and not wanting them to be back in office now, he has helped to confirm that this is his view. He has clearly decided that there is no longer any benefit to him nurturing a relationship between himself and the BLP and he has thrown his lot in with the DEMs and their efforts to make confusion.

“I think Miss Mottley is well advised to say nothing. The Barbados Labour Party has one of the most competent economic teams that a person can put together. They have Clyde Mascoll, a former Minister of Finance; they have Ryan Straughn, who is an economist, and Mia Mottley, who is a former Minister of Economic Development in what was the most successful administration in the last quarter century. So I don’t know that they need to worry too much about losing Owen Arthur,” he stressed.

When contacted this morning, Mottley refused to comment on Arthur’s pending appointment, while Mascoll, the BLP’s economic advisor, said he did not want to be drawn into the debate. Mascoll, a former leader of the DLP who crossed over to the BLP before losing the St Michael North-West seat to Sinckler, told Barbados TODAY that having “given up politics”, he was concentrating on his work.


22 Responses to Why, Owen?

  1. Zeus March 1, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    CADRES has now turned into a public relations company lololol

  2. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore March 1, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    For personal reasons best known to himself, Mr Arthur would dare to lend support to the fledgling DEMS. This gesture to Arthur has more to do with securing a political advantage than with a genuine desire to be advised on monetary or fiscal policy. The common sentiment among the populace is that it does not matter who the DEMS hire or fire, DEM gone.

  3. Joan Worrell March 1, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Mr. Wickum got be laughing out loud. This is what Arthur had to say in 2003 about Mascoll , the then Leader of the Opposition DLP quote
    “What would I do with Mascoll in my Cabinet? I am serious! What would I do with Clyde Mascoll in my Cabinet?”
    Mr Mascoll is a political stepney . . . that is the reality that everybody in Barbados is stating. There is no conviction in anything that Mr Mascoll says. He has not spoken in a serious way to a vision for Barbados ends quote.
    Mr. Wickum, you better left Owen alone, he has the trump card fuh all uh wunnuh. lol

  4. BaJan boy March 1, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Zeus you is real Dem not dumb cu€£. Arthur is a lonely destructive loser. He has a man still printing money an exercise he criticized and knows we can go nowhere unless he stops. All Chris and Freundel doing is using the old lonely reject to fumble through the next year and hope that his ignorance can help them to win an election. They care nothing about this country. The fact that they took back the 10% at this time tells you they don’t care and figure they will lose any way so leave comfortable and Owen has endorsed that simply because the opposition refused it.
    These men are exactly why our people have lost every bit of respect for them and young intelligent people don’t care about the system anymore.
    And by the way Peter the BLP also has Marsha Caddle a former consultant to CDB and top class economist along with Mascoll and Straughn. DEM needed one badly so they scrape up this dead one because he knew his attempts to get back in the BLP were turned down by even some of his so called friends simply because they think he is too destructive and his moves are sinister.
    Remember he also said Thompson will never become PM once he was alive and what happened. He seems to think he has the monopoly on Prime Ministership.

    • Sherlock Holmes. March 2, 2017 at 4:55 am

      As usual another Donkey Alert from Bajan Girl.@ Bajan Girl.

  5. Haskell Murray March 1, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Owen Arthur is a Barbadian first politician second,and he has the right to serve his country if and when needed.
    Mr Wickham I wish that you also would serve your country if called upon and forget BLP or DLP

    • Valerie knight March 2, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      I agree with Haskell Murray, why Mr Wickham has to see an ulterior motive to Owen Arthur’s appointment. No Minister in the ruling DLP is a qualified economist or even appear to have any idea, the only thing they good at is rhetoric and insulting comments about others, people get a grip don’t put the cart before the horse.

  6. BaJan boy March 1, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Wunnah vote idiots into office and then seek sympathy for them…bajans surely not as intelligent as we thought.

  7. Joey St
    Joey St March 1, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    This is a bad move for the Government unless there is some political motive behind it. Mr. Arthur only a few days ago advised the Government to go to the IMF which they said they have no intention of doing so why put him as chief adviser when they are not going to take his advise?

  8. Kamila Burrowes
    Kamila Burrowes March 1, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Politricks lol at its best murdah

  9. Joan Worrell March 1, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    @ Haskell Murray. I am 100 percent in agreement with you. When I was a little girl, I used to hear my brothers refer to Floyd Patterson as the best pound-for-pound counter puncher of that era. Similarly Owen is the best counter punch politician of this eral. He will handle Wickum in the fullness of time. I wish Owen will find comfort in the following statement made by Fidel Castro after he was criticized for having discussions with Bill Clinton. Quote ”Castro has suggested that he doesn’t care how he will be remembered. “I feel no fear about myself personally. Glory and my place in history do not worry me. All the glory in the world can fit into a kernel of corn,” he said, invoking the 19th-century Cuban patriot José Martí. “More people know about Napoleon because of the brandy than because of the battle at Austerlitz. We should be more concerned about the fate of ideas than the fate of men.” Ends quote.

  10. Zeus March 1, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Bajan boy are these the same unintelligent persons that kept the BLP in office for fourteen years that you speak of

  11. Sunshine Sunny Shine March 2, 2017 at 3:46 am

    oops sorry that should lawyers and not liars LMAO

  12. Sherlock Holmes. March 2, 2017 at 4:58 am

    This is just a spoiler alert from Wickham, wonder why he and others seem so afraid of Arthur?

    • hcalndre March 2, 2017 at 9:38 am

      @Sherlock Holmes, why should there be fear if Arthur goes with the Enemy. “The Enemy of my Enemy is my friend”. Owen said the DLP should go to the IMF. Owen say that the CB should stop printing money and many other suggestions and the Clueless inept DLP told Owen where to get off and now they begging Owen to come and help them quick because time is not on their side. What Owen should tell them to apologize in public to him one by one before he take the offer. Stand up and be a man and don`t ever be used by these people, DEMS.

  13. Airmaster March 2, 2017 at 8:19 am

    People don’t worry…. Arthur is very soon, the #2 fired victim of sinklet & his sinking ship.

  14. Andrew Simpson March 2, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Maybe some are finally convinced to take off their politician hats and dawn those humanitarian qualities so desperatately needed.

  15. seagul March 2, 2017 at 9:03 am

    If we continue to organize this society around protecting the privileges of people that are already rich, not prosecuting the privilege then ordinary people would and should revolt.
    This freedom in the Caribbean is the freedom to be taken advantage of by government-supported plantation type hotels and vulture business. This is the type of freedom that this cadres supports. The Caribbean Development and Research Service is just another Satellite in service for this wretched institution called the IMF. This same global parasite character which have brought so much misery and destruction to the common people of the third world. BT would be be better serve to refrain from lending existence to these washed up apologists-wickums….

  16. G Jemmott March 2, 2017 at 10:39 am

    There is nothing wrong with serving on a “Council” advising the Government of economic and fiscal issues, first and foremost he is a Barbadian and has the interest of the country at heart, if through his experience as a former Prime Minister he can lend assistance through his advice to the current administration there is nothing wrong with that. When he was the leader of the BLP he was the greatest thing since sliced bread, when he criticized Mia he was a trouble maker, now he is advising the DLP he is the devil. For the good of the country he is doing his part.

  17. Waiting March 2, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    If Mr. Arthur was the answer for everything he would not have lost the elections, not once but twice. Trust me, I agree with Wickham that this is simply a political move for everything done from now by the DEMs will be political…ELECTIONS. They are not going to hear anything different from Owen to what he has been telling them for years and they ignored it. Will be interesting to see their response now.

  18. hcalndre March 2, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    @seagul, I agree with the first part of your statement but to attack Cadres and the IMF. I don`t agree, when these politicans take the taxpayers money and do what ever they like and make sure they are set for life, is the IMF to give them money and say enjoy yourselves one more time.

  19. Adrian Hinds March 3, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Why is Peter Wickham concern about Arthur’s moves? In 2015 did he not tell bajans to ignore Owen Arthur? Take your own advice Wickham.



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