DLP COLUMN: According to Clyde Mascoll
The Democratic Labour Party family and the entire country looked on in total amazement last weekend when Owen Arthur conferred the highest Barbados Labour Party (BLP) honour, the Grantley Adams Award, on none other than Clyde Mascoll who once served as a Leader of the Opposition of our great party. What a betrayal of the name of Grantley Adams!
It is no wonder that the vast majority of the rank and file of the BLP are hopping mad over this gross insult to their collective intelligence.
Here is a portion of Mascoll’s reply to Arthur’s 2004 Budget: “Mr Speaker, as I sat yesterday listening to the Right Honourable Member for St Peter, once again I became convinced that the Right Honourable Prime Minister does not have any clue as to where he wants to take this country Barbados.
The Right Honourable Prime Minister has no clear vision of the kind of Barbados that he wants to leave when he exists the political stage . . . . The Right Honourable Member for St Peter does not speak from a deeply-held philosophical position. His positions and policies reek of political opportunism and pragmatism. His blunderings and meanderings have been masked by excellent public relations machinery . . . .
“Mr Speaker, . . . He is an excellent and affable politician but as a manager, he is a monumental failure. He is reckless with spending the public’s purse and as a leader, he is a disappointment. Sir, with two of the biggest electoral mandates in our history, he has not moved us forward as a country. He has failed to inspire us as a people . . . .
“He has been afraid to take the tough decisions, which is the hallmark of great leaders . . . . He is afraid to offend his benefactors. Mr Speaker, Over the last ten years since the Right Honourable Member for St Peter became Minister of Finance, he has raised the national debt from $2.5 billion to $4.2 billion, an increase of $1.7 billion, which is approximately $1.1 billion in domestic borrowing and $600 million in foreign loans . . . .
“Mr Speaker, in addition to that magnitude of borrowed funds, this Minister, the Right Honourable Prime Minister, had an additional $900 million more in taxes in one fiscal year, than the last Democratic Labour Party Finance Minister.
Mr Speaker, that would have given the Minister, the Right Honourable Prime Minister, $3.5 billion more at his disposal, than the Democratic Labour Party would have had in 1994. Sir, the national debt is not just an amorphous figure that we conjure up. It is money that our children and grandchildren would have to repay . . . .
“Mr Speaker, the thing about it is that this Prime Minister is a catastrophic failure, when you look at the fact he had more resources than any other Prime Minister in the history of Barbados. The Prime Minister has, in fact, not made good use of the resources available to him and when you look at the social state in Barbados, the decline in the ability to get housing, the decline in the health care delivery, the educational system, the transportation system, you have only to conclude that this Government has wasted the resources of this administration.”
This is the same Clyde Mascoll that Owen now seeks to honour. What a shame. It is a political deception of the highest order. But the same way how Mascoll’s words were meant to warn the Barbadian voter in 2004, they remain true in again warning all voters today. Pay attention to the gospel according to Clyde. Thank you Clyde for unmasking the real Owen Arthur.
• Douglas Leopold Phillips is a pseudonym for the Democratic Labour Party.