Political activist Robert “Bobby” Clarke is not letting up on protests against the Freundel Stuart administration’s “poor economic management” and has accused former prime minister Owen Arthur of providing the Government with a “sideshow” while Barbadians suffer.
Clarke, who is seeking police permission for another march to protest the harsh economic conditions, said Arthur had put “self and power above the people of this country” when he decided to remain an Independent Member of Parliament after resigning from the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
“He has decided to stay on as an Independent Member of Parliament to find ways to attack [Mia] Mottley and give the members of Government a sideshow for them to laugh at while the economy declines,” the attorney-at-law said of Arthur who parted ways with the BLP last week after 43 years with the party.
While lauding last Thursday’s march organised by the opposition leader, Mottley, to protest the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, Clarke told Barbados TODAY that next weekend’s planned march would address wider issues.
He said it would be a demonstration against the poor management of the economy by the Democratic Labour Party administration.
“As the level of unemployment climbs, the economy declines. If the disposable income of Barbadians declines, correspondingly economic activity will decline,” Clarke said, as he charged that despite the decline, Government spokespersons were predicting economic growth by yearend and announcing multi-million-dollar investments by international companies.
He charged that over the past six years it has become crystal clear that the current administration lacks the economic skills to manage the local economy.
Giving his suggestions for the way forward, Clarke said Barbados could drastically cut its food import bill – currently estimated to be in the region of $900 million – by cultivating the thousands of acres of idle arable land.
He also suggested that the country’s fuel import bill could also be reduced if more emphasis is placed on the use of solar energy.
Clarke has invited Barbadians from all social and economic classes to join him in next Saturday’s march from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The route, if approved by police, will start from Independence Square and continue along the Charles Duncan O’neal Bridge, the Wharf Road, Cheapside, Fontabelle, Kensington New Road, Baxters Road, Tudor Street, Milk Market, Broad Street, back to the Charles Duncan O’neal Bridge and end at Independence Square.