Political activist David Comissiong has described the resignation of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur from the Barbados Labour Party as a good move for politics in Barbados.
Comissiong said the party can now remove itself from “the grip of a populist conservative ideology” and explore its more traditional pre-1960s roots of labourism and social democracy.
“There is a particular weakness with populace conservatism but that is what Mr Arthur was and that is what he represented then and that is what he represents now. There are people in this society who share those same views and there is nothing wrong with that. A country should have diverse politics and if people have different ideas about how a society is to be run it is helpful because then you offer clear options and clear choices to the electorate,” the president of the Clement Payne Movement told Barbados TODAY.
He later said in a statement to the media: “If, as I anticipate, Mr Arthur will now draw other individuals and social groups that subscribe to the populist conservative political philosophy this will lead to clearer ideological divisions and choices in the politics of Barbados and will deliver to Barbados a more mature, ideologically diverse politics.”
To support his point, the political activist said Arthur possessed an intrinsic confidence in the old traditional white economic elite, and was extremely willing to give them whatever they wanted and to depend on them to carry forward the country’s economic fortunes.
“At the same time, he sought to appeal to the middle class and mass base of the society by pursuing popular consumerist policies that put disposable income in the pockets of people and encouraged them to engage in consumer spending,” he said.
Comissiong added: “He wholeheartedly accepted the elite Euro-American neoliberal or globalization agenda and was in the forefront of opening up Barbados to the penetration of America and European Capitalist enterprises.”