No Hero’s Welcome For Owen Arthur: That Says a Lot (When Jerome X. & St Peter’s MP offer alternate prescriptions for Bajan panaceas)

There are numerous examples that when Generals secure victory for people, they can expect to hear loud applause from cheering crowds who often line the street to show their gratitude to their liberators. As an example, it is said that after a series of whirlwind victories, General Bonaparte led his victorious army into Milan on May 5, 1796. The Milanese greeted him as a heroic liberator, the general who freed them from the rule of the Austrian emperor Francis I. “People of Italy, the French army is here to break your chains,” Napoleon proclaimed, “our only quarrel is with the tyrants who have enslaved you.

The victorious Japanese Women’s Football Team returned home recently to a heroes’ welcome after winning the FIFA World Cup. In essence, with Barbadians said to be suffering because of DLP policies – that after a budget reply and not even the BLP base turns-up to greet the Leader of the Opposition – should cause the BLP to pause and take note.

"The Milanese greeted (Napoleon) as a heroic liberator, the general who freed them from the rule of the Austrian emperor Francis I." But his legendary height and certain Barbadian MP's are all they have in common!

Careful review of photos used in this item will show the below average numbers at the Milton Lynch Primary School at Lodge Road on Sunday, August 21, 2011 as disappointing, as would anyone who understands political strategy.

It was being advertised from as early as Friday that Owen Arthur was going to be speaking at that meeting, or did they really want anyone there since Facebook notices were vague? Those numbers were truly: “poor-rakey” – hardly portrays a party in election-mode or one which is building momentum or that is even able to excite its base.

Also surprising, was the fact that the meeting was held on the right side of the road in Christ Church East Central and not on the left side in Christ Church West Central (as would have been expected) especially since it was a Christ Church West Central Meeting. Had the meeting been held – say – at the Deighton Griffith School, the embarrassment would have been more severe. Even Dalton Tyrone Lovell at the same meeting, wondered why the session was not held in Oistins for all Barbadians to hear, what a true Opposition Leader would arrange…

More observations! That meeting was being held within days of the budget, which Owen Arthur labeled as: “A Nothing Budget.” If the BLP base agreed with him, it would be reasonable to expect that the small School Hall at Milton Lynch – would have been packed! The second point is that as the country gets closer to an election date, the BLP should be building momentum, especially with its own Conference less than two months away. That is clearly not happening. Arthur must be concerned, especially since he has promised BLP members and supporters a victory at the poll next election and has already placed the BLP in election-mode.

"Even Dalton Tyrone Lovell at the same meeting, wondered why the session was not held in Oistins for all Barbadians to hear, what a true Opposition Leader would arrange..." However, the rest of his presentation included a character assassination of the late David Thompson which Barbados needs right now like more Road Tax! If we are to handle issues then stop the tribalism for real...

It should also have occurred to someone that the meeting was being held in Christ Church (and after a budget) and at a time also – when the DLP was having its Conference. Christ Church has five constituencies – four of which are being represented by DLP Ministers. Somebody has to be responsible for organisation and mobilization within Christ Church! Whoever that person is, they must therefore accept this is a monumental failure on their part.

"It seems to me that had the BLP base agreed with him, it would be reasonable to expect that the small School Hall at Milton Lynch - would have been packed!"

But, if you did not attend the meeting, you did not miss anything. Furthermore, at a meeting where Owen Arthur ought to have been the main event, Dr. Jerome Walcott – the BLP’s candidate for Christ Church South, actually was. Dr. Walcott gave information on the QEH, which suggests that the Owen Arthur group of four in the House – were not well-researched or prepared for the budget because what he said, should have been read into the permanent record of Hansard and put to the country, during the 300 minutes of television air-time available to them. But, according to Arthur, healthcare is “spiraling out of control.” His idea of innovation is to cause the majority to pay. {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Arthur’s Master Plan to privatise healthcare

Essentially, Arthur seems to be ignoring the pain, which the people of Barbados are already feeling and which they believe, the DLP is causing them in healthcare. However, what Dr. Walcott said at the branch meeting at the Milton Lynch Primary – is interesting because his position on healthcare seems completely at variance with what his leader (Arthur) said in the budget, especially as it relates to Arthur encouraging the DLP to privatising healthcare to make everyone, except poor people, pay. Mind you, “poor” is defined in Barbados as: ‘anyone who works for less than $5,503 a year.’ Clearly, under an Owen Arthur led BLP, almost the entire country would have to pay for healthcare.
This approach causes one to ask, when is the BLP again going to engage in the serious politics of development? All this year and leading up to the recent budget – it was known that the DLP was under severe fire from the public – over its policy on healthcare and in particular – the fees introduced and what Barbadians are referring to as: “life threatening changes” made to the drug service. In the below clip from the meeting at Milton Lynch Primary, Dr. Walcott emphasises that point. {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Confusion – Dr. Walcott contradicts BLP’s healthcare policy

Clearly, no one was prepared for Owen Arthur’s shock, about causing Barbadians to pay or privatizing healthcare – no more than they were prepared to hear him again – alluding to selling land to pay bills or to settle the sugar industry’s $200m plus debt.

Is this lady running forward to deliver truth? That it's tiring and repetitive to hear the particular tracts over and over again, how Barbados will become a laughing stock as Guyana & Jamaica surge forward with their infrastructure? That Owen wants a Barbados his daughters can grow up in comfortably? So on & so fifth, ad nauseam? Like a drunkard singing one line of a song over and over again?

It is understandable why Arthur is under pressure: The chief reason he is now Leader of the Opposition is because it was felt by four other BLP Parliamentarians that they stand a better chance of winning their seats with him as leader. Not that the people of Barbados would be better off! He has already placed the DLP in election mode but does not hold the cards and that is the problem for him.

One can almost hear the wheels grinding as they try to analyse how attendance could be improved...

While its haste to form the government seem to be forcing errors (the announcement on privatizing healthcare being an example) at some point it must occur to “the BLP’s leadership in a hurry to form the Government” – that the broad mass of our country are not diplomats, or even law or economic professors but people inclined to doubt and uncertainty. Therefore, as soon as the lines become blurred between what the DLP has done and what the BLP promised to do – confusion is created between where DLP policy ends and BLP policy begins. If there is no clear distinction, then the people have no compelling evidence why they should change the Government.

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