Opposition leader Owen Arthur said yesterday there was a “mission of propaganda” to make Barbadians feel good about the economy which had declined and not grown.
Speaking to hundreds of Barbados Labour Party members and supporters at the annual Heroes Day picnic on the Ermy Bourne Highway, Arthur said he had information of emergency meetings held in “recent weeks” with the Central Bank, the Department of Statistics and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
“The Department of Statistics now has information that will show that rather than there having been growth in Barbados in 2010. . . that the economy has declined . . . ,” Arthur said.
Arthur said Barbadians were being fed a diet of misinformation “causing you to feel that all is well and the economy is growing”.
He said the meetings were taking place, and that the Statistical Department was in fact telling the Government that the economy has declined, and that it was a serious matter “because the Government was beginning to believe its own propaganda”.
Arthur said he needed to hear when the Government would put things right with the people who had invested in CLICO.
Referring to the contributions made by the ten National Heroes, Arthur described Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as an “anti-hero”.
“I’m sure that all of you [who] heard Freundel Stuart speak would have had to come to the conclusion that it might have been better had he not spoken and left you to continue to wonder why he is silent, than to speak and to leave you to have no doubts as to what kind of person that he is,” Arthur said to loud approval from his supporters.
Arthur said Stuart was seemingly unable to speak on certain issues, and because heroes Sir Frank Walcott, Sir Grantley Adams and Sir Hugh Springer were part of the labour movement, he had to raise certain issues on their behalf.
He said the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) must be the heroes of the times by talking about the wrongs.