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DLP COLUMN: Arthur’s art of politics

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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The?Owen?Arthur-led opposition has sought to redefine public service. It came into Opposition with a mindset of driving fear into the hearts and minds of our voters by amplifying everything that is bad.
Members spend their time in Opposition wishing for a hail storm of gloom and doom. The political strategy of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is wrapped up in serving the needs of the particular individual and not Barbados.  
In this regard, we witnessed the internal dismantling of the Mia [Mottley] era with the political annihilation of anything that resembled a Mia decision. This aspect of party politics is extremely ugly.
This country, not so long ago, experienced the ugly in politics as ordinary citizens were attacked from the untouchable floor of Parliament. It was this, more than anything else, that defined the art of politics for the Barbados Labour Party.  
Arthur became the blood that flowed through the party’s veins. This very practice was repeated over and over in the three terms served by the BLP. The force with which it crushed ALL opposition was highly publicized and legitimized. Arthur does not deal well with Opposition politics – opposition from within and being in Opposition.
The current Republican campaign taking place in the United States mirrors the self-serving political rhetoric of the current Arthur-led Opposition. The Republicans, according to President Barack Obama, are the only people who rejoice at bad news. So does the Arthur-led Opposition. The Republicans all read from a script predicting America’s economic disaster.
Likewise, the agenda of BLP?members is not focused on improving the quality of life, but on constantly distorting the truth about life in this economic recession. They paint a picture [contrary to the data] of a Barbados on the brink of economic disaster and yet they want to be a part of it. In other words, Barbados can only be good with them behind the wheel.
In the most recent Lower House debate [27 March] on the bill to outfit the Geriatric Hospital with 40 beds to accommodate our elderly, the out-front leader Arthur was noticeably absent.
Arthur has earned a reputation for non-participation in matters of public interest. He invites himself to the debate that stirs public emotion even if it is at the risk of dislocating communities and families. Of course, debates of this nature would not stir enough emotion in Arthur as no one is placed under the political hammer of the Opposition.
In effect, what has developed in modern Barbadian politics is a culture of entitlement. There is a class of politicians who believe they were born to lead and govern this country and their will is to be done.
In this vein, what has been nurtured since 2008 is raw political character assassination without any thought to collated damage.
The BLP has created history by dehumanizing politics; it never speaks of people when referring to matters of national interest.
We recently heard Arthur identify the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as being in breach of the financial rules when, in fact, it is the team of Minister of Health Donville Inniss and Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner that is working assiduously to bring the backlog of unaudited financial statements up to date.
The most recent completed ones, 2005 and 2006, are now a matter of public record. Of course, Arthur was Minister of Finance then, but he neglected to inform the public of that small but truthful matter.
We on this side would want to distance ourselves from any notion that truth and standards in politics don’t matter. We are committed to pushing the people’s agenda despite the shrinking resources.
We thank the public for staying the course with us over the last four years as we continue to chart Pathways To Progress.  

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