Pulling no punches
The painstaking boxing match is finally over. This bout was riddled with many undercuts, nasty forearms and numerous hits below the belt; the final knockout blow came last Friday with Chris Snicker taking away the trophy in the amateur boxing championships.
Since then, the pressure from the opposition and talk of devaluation forced the Minister of Finance to call a press conference on Monday to discuss the state of the economy.
During that interaction with the media, Sinckler was asked if former Prime Minster Owen Arthur would be heading up an economic advisory council that he had announced would be formed. He neither confirmed nor denied the noted economist’s involvement.
However, it was later confirmed by Arthur himself in an interview with Barbados TODAY.
Many of the readers were divided over Arthur’s latest move, with some blasting him for trying to remain relevant, while others looked at it from a more nationalistic point of view.
“Owen Seymour Arthur ought to be ashamed of himself. He is like the cow that gave a good bucket of milk and then kick it down. This is the same man when he was hungry the BLP fed him. He is so ungrateful it is laughable and also shameless. When Mia Mottley made the same suggestion four years ago, he got on a soap box and wanted an apology as he didn’t tell her to call his name.
The formation of this eminent persons’ body to help . . . Chris with the economy was a waste of time and it couldn’t work. Today it comes from an empty leader who dislikes him personally and we hear it is fine from those in the ‘how great thou art choir’.
“We see who the real visionary is, and we applaud her efforts of four years and concede that it is that same suggestion that the so-called geniuses are now trying to implement,” one reader wrote.
In a reply to that comment, another reader said: “The only hateful person right now is you. Although it pains me to see Arthur helping the DLP, it’s no longer a political agenda but rather a national emergency. Although, quite frankly, it may be purely political for the Dees, given they are doing this at the last hour so close to elections. They don’t have to like each other or agree with each other on everything to try to save the Barbados economy from the ditch it is currently in.”
This reader did not believe that this should be made a partisan party issue: “This country was built by the blood, sweat and tears of our fore parents, both Bee and Dee. We have been hearing that the country is on the brink of economic collapse and yet it still comes down to party? Are you all for real? We are at rock bottom, the ‘gravy done boil out’ – it is time for all hands on deck.”
“That is one way to look at it…Be selfish, ignore the country’s plight for the sake of ego. Arthur has been making his position clear on the economic position of Barbados and actively so. Here is an opportunity to put his thoughts and useful experience to work. Why not accept it as that? What Barbados needs now is to drop the labels and get to work saving ourselves.”
Political scientist Peter Wickham said 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.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY earlier this week, Wickham added his two cents on the pending appointment of Arthur.
“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.
Not to be backed into a corner, Arthur took some quick jabs of his own as he put the blame for the 2013 election loss squarely on the shoulders of Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.
He said Mottley 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. Arthur attributed the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) loss to her, saying the party was “stampeded” by Mottley in 2013, who he claimed went before Parliament without reference to her colleagues with an election position on the issue.
A party supporter blasted Arthur for his comments, saying: “I was in Queen’s Park in 2012 and 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.”
Many seemed very annoyed and “so over it” with the old Arthur and Mia boxing match.
One commenter asked Arthur to forget about the whole thing and focus on himself: “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?”
“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 . . . that you will do what you say you will do . . . . – babysit, write on economic matters, write a book, and make up for the time you were busy being Prime Minister. This should be family time,” another said.
Well, that’s the end of a fiery round one. Let’s see what round two holds!