Barbados’ 7th PM Freundel Stuart laughs – Barbados Opposition remain deadlocked on their Party’s constitution, would a REFERENDUM settle the impasse?

Ostensibly, the recent meeting in St Philip North at the Hilda Skeene Primary School was to pour lashes on Lashley, as in Michael the man at the centre of the NHC controversy as discovered by then-Opposition Leader Mia Mottley who called for his standing down from that Cabinet post in 2010… However, the sidebar was really the bone of contention – the fact Ms Mottley has dared to suggest the BLP’s constitution needs a drastic overhaul to make it 21st-Century compliant!

Since the removal of the subvention from BLP Elders, the meetings now take a Collection like Church and food which used to be free before now is bought like a Fish Fry in Oistins - there was even a draw for a Nail Treatment to encourage female attendance to the session!

The first speaker to touch on the matter was Kerrie Symmonds, using speech patterns and gestures which reminded me of Herr Schickelgruber at his most virulent during 1939 to 1945, he stated that the matter of delegates was purely internal housekeeping and no need for the average citizen to be dragged into… Heavens forbid, if one joins then the less they know the better for those who have the Status Quo as is, nicht wahr?

The West Coast candidate instead would have the entire Barbados Labour Party ignore Rawle Eastmond‘s discovery of voting discrepancies for last year’s Annual General Conference and instead set shoulders to ploughshares for grinding out Freundel & Co come 2013 when elections are constitutionally due – if there’s 18 months to when the Bell rings, then hadn’t unity be established way before either Party’s machinery ramps up?

Kerrie in his presentation indicated the First Caribbean International in providing NHC a loan demanded certain Conveyances which indicated Barbados' fiscal stability is not too highly thought of at this moment.

Symmonds also went through the classical definition of Prime Minister and Opposition Leader –  which are “enshrined” in the Constitution… But hang on, isn’t this the same BLP who wanted to make Barbados a Republic? If that were to actually reach fruition, uh, wouldn’t that mean a total revision of, gasp! THE CONSTITUTION? So it’s only if one has the stumps, bales, red leather and mallet that you decide how the play will unfold, if one disputes an Umpire’s decision then you are merely a nuisance? If the BLP’s constitution is so perfect, why does it still have 28 and not 30 constituencies listed?

Both Symmonds and Owen Arthur made reference to Barack Obama, as to why the Delegates policy must remain in effect. Let’s look at this carefully, Barbados has 320-THOUSAND people of which not even 10,000 make up the BLP as members… The population of the USA is 307-MILLION plus change just over half a million! Delegates for Democrats is 4,234 while in the Republicans there are 2,390 delegates, apart from that the United States have a series of Electoral Colleges as buffers when there are disputes (they were created in the early period after breaking away from England – no cells nor ‘Net then, just one if by land or two if by sea)…

Tyrone Lovell who is seeking to oust Denis Lowe from Ch Ch East, made some allegations which he challenged the Media to verify - one involving when Barbados finally gets a Chief Justice and the other concerning Kitchen Facilities for a Statutory board...

Just a darned cotton-pickin’ second there, I say, weren’t them USA peoples in a doozy back in 2000 and 2004? Didn’t the ballots for their then leader “Dubya” have issues with ‘chads‘ and same Electoral Colleges? Didn’t them there USA folk still trying to make sure the same junk don’t happen again? If they have been tinkering with how to choose their leaders internally and externally since 1776 then why not Barbados in 2011?

Arthur’s approach for ignoring the “ONE MAN, ONE VOTE” concept as espoused by Mia Mottley was clever in the sense he sought sympathy by appearing as though magnanimous and wishing for bygones to be bygones but he failed not only in when he cited a letter from Sir Hugh Springer but referring to how the Party Leadership is entwined with Barbados’s very own constitution as well… My contention where I previously mentioned comparing the BLP’s orders with the Republic remains as looming testimony to refute such a wafer-thin obstruction.

Seated 3rd from left (Roger Smith off camera), the former Barbadian leader relaxes before gathering steam for his impassioned plea to Party supporters at Hilda Skeene Primary, 29th May 2011

Mr Arthur sees the ongoing difference with himself and the MP for St Michael North East as deflecting vital energy away from diminishing the status of Michael Lashley for re-election in St Philip North. However, when a man seeks to deride a political opponent by repeatedly making poor taste remarks on the late David Thompson who is not around to refute nor confirm any aspersions cast on him by the MP for St Peter, one is left with a bitter taste in the mouth… Arthur once again made the horrifying comments how Thompson was “dragged from his Death-Bed” to turn the sod at Pickerings in St Lucy. Mr Arthur gave the strong impression how the former 6th leader of Barbados was not operating with the people in his mind, but to make as many deals as he could cut before he went…

Knowing while Bajans may be polarised politically, nevertheless they unite in the face of Death – and so, by his speaking ill of an erstwhile counterpart twice, almost in the space of 6 months, while he may score a political coup here or there yet many Bajans would be privately shocked at the depths to which an MP would denigrate another who cannot even respond and if it could happen there – are there other areas which need improvement?

The MP for St Peter also appeared to be buying into the DLP’s notion that the recession continues to be global and not just Barbados-oriented, was this a desperate attempt to dismiss many of Ms Mottley’s amazing and astute predictions? Considering the fact that both the UK & USA have since moved on from the Recession while Canada barely felt it, if ever (They were one of the few places with measures already in effect when the worst came along)? If Arthur is truly brave and confident of his stance with the Constitution of the Barbados Labour Party as is, then perhaps in the Zone Meeting scheduled for Sunday 5th June at the George Lamming Primary, he should come forward and suggest to Mia Mottley that there should be a REFERENDUM of the entire party to decide whether or not the Constitution needs revision and proceed from the next step forward?

Moderator Roger Smith was brief yet powerful in his stinging estimation of the current restrictions which now pertain to the Barbados Drug Service as it concerns Middle & Lower Income earners

It is very likely Arthur Holder and/or Trevor Prescod will have their own view as to if the BLP’s constitution needs altering; it is just as likely David Gill will also offer his view if their Constitution remains the same, come Sunday at the school named after one of Barbados’ leading scholars who advocated for change away from the Colonial system which still pervades the Caribbean all now…

When Mr Arthur was not busy casting aspersions on the late David Thompson or saying why Mia should just forget revising the BLP's constitution - also sought to make a call for the implementation of the regional Financial Services Bill and the requisite Commission to ensure its policies are enforced

But will any or all see the necessity to invite the ENTIRE BLP forward to have their say? If the Crusade is truly “ONE MAN, ONE VOTE” then what better way to emulate such a desire?

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