Owen Arthur has been advised to “see politics and leave it” after repeatedly failing to minimise the appeal of Mia Mottley.
Regional political strategist Hartley Henry deemed Arthur the 31st casualty of the May 24 General Election, saying the former Prime Minister suffered as humiliating a defeat as the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
Henry said a politician of many years’ experience like Arthur should have been able to decipher for himself that, like his efforts, the DLP campaign was a lost cause.
“[Yet] he jumped onto the tracks and tried to stop the train and was totally run over. That will go down to his eternal shame,” said Henry, remarking that this showed Arthur was out of touch with the Barbadian public.
“He has been put into retirement because there is really no weight to his words now. I am not sure what future role Owen Arthur can play . . . because he has lost his credibility. As an economist he will still have a little resonance in the country, but again how seriously can he be taken is another question because [in] some of his advice and positions . . . it was too much politics.
“If he can begin to act like the seasoned professional economist we knew him to be, then the country can do with another perspective. But as far as politics is concerned, Owen Arthur should see politics and leave it. Go off the stage; the curtains have been drawn for him,” he said.
It was Arthur who brought Henry on board the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to assist the party for the 2013 General Election.
Henry revealed that back in 2010, a mutual friend of his and Arthur’s brought them together in the hope of wrestling power from the DLP in the 2013 poll. After secretly meeting Henry for a while, Arthur got Mottley involved.
“Owen Arthur and I met Mia Mottley at her home, and Owen Arthur looked at me with Mia sitting across [from us] in her living room and said to me, ‘Hartley, I want you to make this lady the next Prime Minister of Barbados. She is the best person for the job. I am only going to hang around for a short while after the Labour Party [wins]’. . . I said to Owen, ‘Leave it to me, I will deliver for you.’” said Henry.
Henry said that thereafter he met with them strategically, and it was he who conceived the theme Tings Dread We Voting Red. However, that 2013 campaign went off track and the BLP lost by two seats. After that defeat and Arthur’s exit, he and Mottley started working more closely, and that relationship delivered the May 24 victory. (SP)