THE AL GILKES COLUMN: Make my day, Owen
I TOO LOVE POLITICS and politicians, and the developments of the past week have made me love both even more.
By now every Bajan living at home or in the diaspora knows about the unexpected action that played itself out in Bridgetown on Thursday when former Prime Minister and former Leader of the Opposition Owen Seymour Arthur walked into the offices of the Barbados Labour Party on Roebuck Street and handed in his resignation from that institution after 43 years of membership and service.
What a shocker that was. Nobody saw it coming despite the fact that everybody knew that all has not been well with the soul of the party for quite some time now and that sooner or later something would have to give in order for the party to face the next general elections as a united force.
So that something did give on Thursday when Arthur gave the secretary his resignation letter in which he gave his reasons for his unprecedented actions and afterwards also gave members of the Press his reasons for not participating in the current Opposition Leader Mia Mottley-led march the previous day against the new and controversial municipal solid waste tax.
What made this out-of-the-blue development so politically love-worthy for me was the fact that probably before the secretary had finished being able to open the envelope in which it would have been delivered to determine what the contents of the letter it contained were about, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had awakened from his self-confessed slumbers to let Barbados know that he was willing to work with Arthur, the man who up until Wednesday night had been his political arch-enemy.
In case, amid the loudness of the noise generated by Arthur’s action, you were unable to hear or see the Prime Minister’s reaction, here is some of what he had to say, according to a report in yesterday’s SATURDAY SUN.
Among other things, he wished Arthur well and said, “He carries with him my very best wishes
and I think what he has to say in Barbados is still of considerable value.”
According to Stuart, a man like Arthur could not have been Prime Minister for 14 years and “not have accumulated precious wisdom and valuable experience”. He also lauded Arthur for his statesmanship approach to politics and added that “we (the ruling Democratic Labour Party which he leads) are prepared to work with him on those matters on which we agree for the betterment of Barbados”.
I love it.
But what I would really love to see now is Arthur, instead of assuming his intended role as an independent member of Parliament tied to neither Bees nor Dees, deciding instead to throw in his lot immediately with the latter.
More than that, what I would really love to hear is Stuart, in continuation of his recognition of Arthur’s accumulated precious wisdom and valuable experience, announcing that he was putting the necessary machinery in place to allow Arthur to assume leadership of the Democratic Labour Party in order take over his position and become Prime Minister of Barbados one more time. Wouldn’t you love to see such a thing? Hold muh, I going fall.
Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm. Email [email protected]