St Michael North East MP’s goal for the Barbados Labour Party is same goal as FIFA: Everyone has right to choose – Sporting Analysis from Henderson Bovell

You often hear about similarities between cricket and politics, but football!? FIFA has been around for some 108 years and the Barbados Labour Party for some 73. I therefore found it fascinating when, on CBC TV News Adrian Donavan hit, what sounds like a panic-chord and said that since Mr. Jack Warner has been around CONCACAF and Football for some 28 years and has so interwoven himself – that it would be impossible for regional Football, to now survive without him. Mind you, FIFA was in existence some 80 years before Warner came on the scene, but why does Donavan’s line sound so familiar?

It was not long ago in Barbados when a similar tune was being sung that only an Economist can manage Barbados and the Barbados economy and not just any Economist. Like Warner, who has been around and or leading regional Football for some 28 years, Arthur has been leading the BLP for 14 years. This is getting interesting!

Mr. Arthur spoke at Hilda Skeene last Sunday 29th May and pointed-out some realities about the voting system within the BLP. He produced a letter said to have been written to him in 1993, to support his view that (after 73 years of existence) systems and procedures within the BLP should remain “exactly” as they are and as put in place back then by Grantley Adams. But here is something to note: neither Sir Hugh nor Sir Grantley were interested in a Republic, they were interested in a Federation. But in 2005, the BLP drafted a new Constitution for this country to become a Republic.

On the other side of the globe and weeks before ‘the Labour Party Head’ spoke at Hilda Skeene, the President of FIFA was saying that if he is re-elected, he will bring change to that 108-year-old Organisation. Is it not significant that – days after Mr. Arthur spoke at Hilda Skeene, St. Philip, Barbados – about the BLP remaining as it is and has been for the past 73 years – the re-elected President of FIFA, sprung into action to change the image of his 108 year-old organization?

Mr. Arthur spoke at Hilda Skeene last Sunday, May 29th and pointed-out some realities about the voting system within the BLP. He produced a letter said to have been written to him in 1993, to support his view that (after 73 years of existence) systems and procedures within the BLP should remain “exactly” as they are and as put in place back then by Grantley Adams. But here is something to note: neither Sir Hugh nor Sir Grantley were interested in a Republic, they were interested in a Federation. But in 2005, the BLP drafted a new Constitution for this country to become a Republic.

Consistent with what Mia Mottley is proposing: “one man, one vote,” having won the bid to become President of FIFA, again, Mr. Sepp Blatter immediately introduced a reform, which he is reported to have said will: stamp-out corruption and promote democracy and transparency, where all 203 countries (which play the game of Football) will now have the right to vote: “one country, one vote,” much like Mia Mottley’s: “one man, one vote.” Is the FIFA President listening to Mia Mottley, from tiny Barbados? Are these and other events that are likely to come – a case of Mia’s stars beginning to align or a case of visionary leaders changing the image to ensure the future of their respective Organizations, well into the future?

Mia Mottley seems to have recognised the need to move swiftly to make the BLP relevant, responsive and attractive, especially going into the upcoming general election - in order to be appealing to a rapidly changing Barbados - where Traditional Media has already been replaced by Facebook and Social Media and where the Call-in-Programme is now more relevant to the ‘day-to-day lives’ of ordinary Barbadians than Parliament.

Mia’s bid to become Chairman of the Barbados Labour Party is coming at a time when Christine Lagarde, the French female Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry – is said to be tipped to become the next head of the IMF. Despite concern that French has held the post for some time, given the recent sex scandal, it is felt that a woman (and like Mia Mottley – one who is as competent as Lagarde is) being in charge at this time, would be good for the dented image of organisation. Oh what an amazing set of co-incidences!

After some 73-years of existence, and following a massive defeat at the polls in 2008 – where young and first-time voters gravitated to the BLP and following yet another recent humiliating by-election defeat (as a senior member of the party) Mia Mottley seems to have recognised the need to move swiftly to make the BLP relevant, responsive and attractive, especially going into the upcoming general election – in order to be appealing to a rapidly changing Barbados – where Traditional Media has already been replaced by Facebook and Social Media and where the Call-in-Programme is now more relevant to the ‘day-to-day lives’ of ordinary Barbadians than Parliament.

Mia’s “crusade” to put power back in the hands of the ordinary man and woman of the BLP, is identical to what has since been done at the 108-year-old FIFA, where each of the 203 members will now have the right of: “one country, one vote,” similar to her: “one man, one vote.”

However you look at it, in the past month, a set of remarkable coincidence have taken place and if many are also now using the word: “crusade,” then Mia Mottley has to be credited. It shows Mia Mottley’s tremendous influence, as well as the fact that her brand has credibility and appeal, even among those who feel comfortable with the politics and systems of generations past or of 73 years ago.

Before two Sundays ago, the word: “crusade” was not even mentioned around the BLP. Given these remarkable series of coincidences, those who gaze into night sky for answers – may be quick to point-out that the stars might be aligning for Mia Mottley.

Sepp Blatter immediately introduced a reform, which he is reported to have said will: stamp-out corruption and promote democracy and transparency, where all 203 countries (which play the game of Football) will now have the right to vote: “one country, one vote,” much like Mia Mottley’s: “one man, one vote.”

Politics can be brutal and damaging and often, being elected has absolutely nothing to do with a vision, a laudable crusade to implement progressive change (as being proposed by Mia Mottley and done by President Blatter) having brilliant ideas; a good track-record of community service; a passion to work hard or the effort one puts in or seems willing to make. In fact, the gold often goes to the least deserving contestant. The up-coming race for Chairman of the BLP, in which Mia Mottley has indicated an interest, should be extremely interesting.

Jack Warner may be left fighting a huge personal battle but FIFA (the 108-year-old_Organization) has dusted itself off and is moving forward. There is still an element of chance in life, which an individual can do little about, but the re-elected President has given FIFA a fresh start and has allowed it to take new guard, with his: “one country, one vote,” crusade. Again, Mia Mottley finds herself on the right side of the fence and public opinion and in the company of internationally recognised giants.

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