When Owen Arthur, George Payne, Dale Marshall and Jerome Walcott travelled to the Ermie Bourne Centre at Hillaby St. Andrew, on Sunday, August 28th 2011 for a meeting – they succeeded in doing three things. With the first anniversary approaching, they gave Barbadians another opportunity to see the chief architects of the plan, who ousted Mia Mottley as Barbados’ first female Leader of the Opposition, on October 18th 2010.
Secondly, Barbadians were reminded of the fiasco, where – after some 73 years of existence – and in a by-election held during a recession – the BLP lost its deposit. Why? And, since the BLP is now ‘shadow boxing’ – despite having more shovel-ready issues, than any other Opposition Party in the history of Barbados, those four deserve all the credit.
It was on Sunday night, June 5, 2011, at the George Lamming Primary School, when Owen Arthur launched the BLP general election campaign. Clearly, Barbadians have every right to feel that the BLP is not serious or ready, if a whole ninety-six days after a Political Leader launched a general election campaign – there is nothing! You can’t launch and then ninety-six days after, “nothing!” That is what you call: “a false start!” Usain Bolt now knows the consequence of such!
But, public meetings are another story! Owen Arthur will now be under tremendous pressure to ensure that he attracts more people, especially with Barbados much closer to a general election, than the thousands Mia Mottley attracted (when it would seem) she held public and community meeting to inform and educate Barbadians about Clico; the government’ immigration policy; the state of the economy, the government’s policy on housing as well as about other matters of urgent public importance.
What is the BLP’s cause now and what is its message? It simply cannot be that the BLP wants to form the Government! BLP members must not allow themselves to get “accidental false hope” deliberately. Even if the DLP was losing popularity, that would not result in an automatic electoral victory for the BLP.
With Arthur’s meetings apparently timed to clash with the football, where Mia Mottley is one of the organizers – Owen Arthur will have to attract more people than he was able to – in the St. John by-election, in which the BLP lost its deposit. But his most critical challenge will be to attract more people at his public meetings than Mia Mottley will be attracting at her football. There is also the issue of the female vote, which the BLP angered when it ousted Mia Mottley and viciously attacked Mara Thompson in St. John.
It is hilarious that the BLP would allege that Barbadians are suffering, as a result of DLP policies, yet its big idea to help people of Barbados cope, “now” – is to hold public meetings. At last Sunday’s meeting at Hillaby, an executive order was issued that BLP members must not speak to DLP Ministers or supporters, even if family. Now you understand why when Thompson’s health was declining, Mia Mottley was pressured to call upon him to resign. In contrast, a focused Mia Mottley is doing tangible things to put money in the people’s pockets, “now,” while stimulating the economy at the same time! And she is only: ‘a Member of Parliament.’
A prize for the best hair-do (at the upcoming football tournament) provides business for hairdressers, while a prize for the best-dressed-person attending matches, provide income for businesses. If only the BLP would stop ‘wrestling with its shadow’ and concentrate on putting people first, like Mia Mottley is doing! But that would call for a new politics; a new vision, and a new perspective, as well as for the BLP’s leadership (both political and administrative) to be focused!!!