Saturday, April 13, 2024

DLP COLUMN: Arthur and Mia at it . . . again

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You should allow me to begin by stating how very pleased I am to be able to share the same platform once again with Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham who until recently, like I do now, carried the title of Former Prime Minister. His presence fortifies my belief in the concept of the second coming.  – Owen S. Arthur.
The above quotation represents the current dilemma that confronts Opposition Leader Mia Mottley in the face of the recent Nation Poll results. The poll reinforced in our minds what Owen Arthur told the public in a candid interview some months ago when he raised concerns about the leadership of his boss.
He said back then that she had issues with the way “she presents herself and is perceived by the public”.
Although Arthur is yet to elaborate on what was meant by this statement, it is clear to us that Mia has failed to capture the imagination of the public as she flips from one political failure to the next.
The diluted and uncoordinated approach to the last Budget, for instance, along with picking fights with the wrong people at the wrong time has become the hallmark of an Opposition Leader going nowhere fast.
 The recent showing in the poll has pointed to the fact that the issue of leadership within the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is far from resolved, despite the local utterances from the former Prime Minister, as we have to now separate his “local” comments from his “regional” ones as he appears to speak with a proverbial forked tongue when he ventures offshore.
The 18 per cent of popular support garnered by the Opposition Leader which was not enough to place her ahead of her former boss (who garnered 22 per cent) spoke volumes about the public’s opinion of the new Opposition Leader. 
The recent charge by party chairman George Payne that he intends to seek office once again is the epitome of the convergence of interests at work. The interests at work on this occasion have aligned themselves against the boss lady.
Arthur’s recent presence at Payne’s meeting was a kiss and make-up meeting and Mia has now learned that the men of the north stick together through thick or thin. She assumed that with Payne and Arthur at war she would have slipped through.
Like us on this side, George Payne has also interpreted what the Nation Poll means for the future leadership of the party and he has already picked sides. The Nation Poll was conducted against the background of a hype of activity by the Opposition Leader on issues from which her former boss eventually sought to distance himself.
The Haggatt Hall fiasco that took place recently where she attempted to do a tell-all meeting was neutered by Arthur’s delivery after he indicated that the issue of housing was secondary to other matters.
Under Mia’s stewardship the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has been in limp mode and her members are beginning to feel it.
It is quite unfortunate that the battle for leadership in Roebuck Street has been using matters of public interest in the reckless manner as has occurred – Arthur’s obsession with the Pierhead project (by the way, Arthur should tell which Barbadian procurement guru in the last administration is associated with the company he claims to have been wronged) and, on the other side, Mia with her warped interpretation of the International Monetary Fund forecast.
We on this side will continue to keep watch as the Battle of Roebuck Street takes shape.

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