Opposition Leader Mia Mottley last night appealed to Government parliamentarians to speak out and act against what she perceives to be the continued mismanagement of the island’s economy.
At a Barbados Labour Party-organized People’s Assembly, Mottley, who had previously made a similar call to trade unions and the private sector, shifted her attention somewhat to members of the ruling party.
She told the crowd of supporters who gathered at the four-way junction of Quakers Road and Chadderton Road in Carrington’s Village that the 16 Members of Parliament, who make up the Government side of the House must be guided by what they think is right for the country.
“We need to recognize that when Errol Barrow had a problem with Grantley Adams, that Errol Barrow took a principled stand and went and formed a party,” said Mottley.
“I’m not telling you to come to us. If you want to, you can; if you do, you do; if you don’t, you don’t.”
Mottley also reminded the people of Carrington Village of the actions of a now deceased and former parliamentary representative, Dr Richie Haynes, who once came to disagreement with his own political party.
“He too took a principled stand. Said, ‘Enough is enough. I disagree with the policies of Erskine Sandiford’, and he left.”
In a comment that calls to mind political scientist George Belle’s recent statement on how the Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s Government could be made to fall if MPs defect, Mottley explained: “An Opposition under the law has few powers. If I felt that we could bring a no confidence motion tomorrow to get rid of this Government, it would be filed tomorrow. But you have 16 men and women who need to go and look in the mirror and look into Errol Barrow’s speech again about their mirror image.”
Switching to unions and the private sector, Mottley said: “I ask them tonight, where is your conscience?”
She had more questions: “Is this the only country that the private sector keeps quiet when businesses are closing and businesses are facing declining profits? Is this the only country where unions keep quiet when people are being sent home? Is the only country where the only voice that can be heard is the official Opposition?
“I don’t know when sense will prevail. I don’t know when courage will rise.”
Mottley, who has been speaking throughout the ten People’s Assemblies held across Barbados, stressed what she saw as a need for action by parliamentarians, unions and the private sector. Said she: “What we don’t have now is the luxury of academic discussion. What we have now is a patient that is bleeding and the patient is the country Barbados.”