Barbados - King Arthur’s Fourth Coup-d’état and Widespread ‘Immorality’ take Centre Stage within a Deep Political-Economic Cri

Barbados - King Arthur’s Fourth Coup-d’état and Widespread ‘Immorality’ take Centre Stage within a Deep Political-Economic Crisis.

Former Bdos. P.M. Owen Arthur
by Pachamama

As a recidivist coup plotter within a political culture where displacing the leaderships within his party and the other partner in a hideous duopoly dance, Owen Seymour Arthur (OSA), may not be operating contrary to law but certainly his actions border on the immoral. An immorality that is widespread and infects the entire polity. In the nation newspaper of Monday, January 06, OSA is quoted with a determination that the policies of his political leader were a mere ‘gimmick’. Mia Amor Mottley (MAM), as leader of the opposition BLP, had earlier suggested some sort of eminent persons group should be set up to help government, at least, better understand their current problems. Indeed, she indicated that the recommendations of this group, as proposed, should guide national policy as her party, the BLP, would have been represented. She suggested OSA and some former agriculture minister of little merit. OSA was not to be beguiled but this Trojan horse. 

Certainly it was beyond our comprehension that after the scandalous removal of MAM, just before the last elections, that this same project could have had a place in Barbadian politics, let alone at its centre. We considered then that OSA was now perceived as having treated at least one woman badly and that the current objective reality would have precluded this scenario a second time around. Not so! So much so we were forced to contact a noted Caribbean political scientist to aid our understanding of this behavior at the centre of national politics. This renewed, open and vicious attack on MAM must be best located within the mind of the man who is known to have promised his erstwhile and closest advisers that he will never leave MAM in the leadership of the BLP. Most importantly, it seems informed by a deep sense of hatred (loathing) that could have been generated from the interference of Mia into the domestic affairs of Owen. 

At that time Mia had suggested that men were to be able to take horns, regardless from whence they came. These actions seemed to hurt Owen in his most sensitive region. Now, he speaks like a man who wants to work out a deeply personal matter within the politics of a party, a country, at the most inappropriate time. This level of unbridled viciousness is not well known in Barbadian politics, within parties and outside of an election period. Let alone aimed at a party leader. 

Our sources have reliably informed us that the Nation Newspaper, acting to save face for Mia, called Owen to  inquire  whether his public statement might have been wrongly calibrated. His apparent response was that he was correctly quoted. This represents the immorality of a newspaper that will only let us read what a significant political figure in Barbados has to say when once that person insist that he meant what he said. An immorality well established by its leading founder/member.     

Owen deepens his loathing for Mia by privately dressing up his determination in issues of class. He being the ‘poor’ boy and she with the money and social class pedigree. It is from that resource base that certain expenditure were to be made to support a number of DLP candidates in the last election. For Owen, this was one of the reasons for the lost the last elections. Others may include the lethargy and general un helpfulness  of Mia and the Mottley crew during those elections. 

The immorality in Barbadian politics is generalized to the wider culture. So whether we are talking about the relationship amongst men or those between women they represent powerful factors that are hardly measured in the polls by Wickham and others. But the culture of immorality extends to the economic sphere as well. In both cases these relationships are to be hidden from the general populace. Even when we suspect that certain central tendencies exist they are never represented in and of themselves. So the infliction of emotional pain on Owen by Mia, several years ago, may serve to avoid the best critical responses from the BLP; handed a life line to Sinckler on the very day he was scheduled to appear before the press in circumstances of a national economic meltdown; undermined Mia and depressurized Stuart as captain of a boat either leaking or adrift in a turbulent ocean. Until Owen could complete this fourth coup he seems well prepared to have the Sinckler/Stuart duo in charge of Barbados. For Owen it is to be anybody else but Mia. And as such, any attempt by her to run the government of Barbados from the opposition benches must of necessity be seen as a failure. 

But Stuart has his problems too. Like Mia, he has a team of people who are essentially Thompson’s people. Our sources tell us that there is a certain level of anxiety within the cabinet of the DLP. Indeed Stuart is not in a position to, for example, fire Sinckler even as a way of alleviating current pressures or buying time. He is not known to, himself, have any deep technical understanding about economics and therefore is at a certain disadvantage given the history of power in Barbados. Not that this makes him dissimilar to Sinckler.   

Arthur’s attempt to justify his characterization along bureaucratic lines makes this public denunciation of Mia no less visceral. It is however consistent with the most notable public behaviors of Arthur.  We speak about the crying in Parliament for porridge; the coup against a DLP of Sandiford; some aspects of his reign as prime minister; the instigation of the coup against Mascol as leader of the DLP; the removal of Mia the first time, and now this missive. 

What we have here is a country unable to respond to a deep and growing crisis and the emergence of a level of inbreeding that makes national problem solving impossible. When political parties have lost their abilities to manage themselves. When the culture of the coup becomes the only accepted mechanism to overthrow an establishment or to make political change. When all these political and personal shenanigans take place, largely, outside of the public’s eye. When issues of the heart continue to nibble away at the very fabric of the society as problematize by personal relationships that are yet to be generally acceptable to most Bajans, at least as measured by their public utterances.

Pachamama is a social commentator       

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