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The Big Interview

rhondathompson, [email protected]

The Big Interview

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. . . I would think that they no longer fear him or respect him . . . . I would want to say that there is no member of a Cabinet that I led who would want to trespass so dangerously on discipline to make a statement like that in the public domain.
THE LEADER of the Opposition Owen Arthur’s interview was captioned as The BIG Interview by the local media. Arthur was in his element, seeking to convince the public that his return is in the best interest of Barbados. However, he is still grappling with his sour relationship with Mia that he has cultivated in the public’s mind. He has unravelled her leadership competencies through his public utterances.
The recent attempt by him to have her respond to the Estimates fell flat, and he knows that all too well. Phase Two is to have her further humiliated by responding to the upcoming Budget. Arthur’s tone in the interview demonstrated that he is thirsty to grab hold of power. Comments attributed to him suggest his style of leadership is one of driving fear into members of his Cabinet. He describes the office of Prime Minister as having “awesome authority”.
Arthur’s obsession with the office is well documented and his tenure as Prime Minister was authored with “do what it takes”. This mantra can be further reinforced by his comment: “I have no dispute with Mia Mottley . . . . I am not in any rivalry with anybody . . . . We . . . faced and fixed the Mia Mottley issue.”
His description of the matter as “The Mottley Issue” is extremely telling for an individual who is not in “any rivalry with anybody”. The unapologetic leader of the Barbados Labour Party has also taken issue with the Governor of the Central Bank because he gives his professional comments on the state of our economy. Arthur continues to cringe every occasion something positive is said about the state of affairs in this country.  
One wonders if the current Governor of the Central Bank was around during Arthur’s tenure, what his view would be on the indebtedness of the National Housing Corporation (NHC) to a contactor to the tune of $60 million. As a matter of fact, the Governor should be asked to comment on the drastic cost overruns of the highway which moved from a mere $40 million to a mind-boggling $117 million.
We on this side know that the Governor is monitoring the $30 million Dodds payment that is being sent packing every January for the next two decades from our taxpayers. Arthur must be fair to himself, firstly, as a person and, secondly, as a Barbadian.
As a party, we must always endeavour to educate the public about state accountability and not allow the truth to become a victim. Arthur’s desire to fraternize with power has caused him to lose sight of some truths.  The biggest truth which Arthur must realize is that his economic model has placed our country in a state of permanent catch-up.
Arthur never took the time to restructure our economy – despite urgings from the then opposition spokesman on economic matters Clyde Mascoll. He enjoyed a “land of milk and honey”.  
As a party, we will not allow the truth to become a victim in Arthur’s quest to keep the Mias from public life.
• Douglas Leopold Phillips is a pseudonym for the Democratic Labour Party.