Political scientist Peter Wickham says the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has reaped early dividends from the appointment of St Michael South East MP Santia Bradshaw as the Leader of Opposition Business in the House and he has given party leader Mia Mottley high marks for taking the decision.
“Her first act as Leader of Opposition Business was the matter relating to the Speaker [Michael Carrington] and I think that Ms Bradshaw has clearly done well and her position has been vindicated,” he said, referring to her efforts to have Carrington, an attorney-at-law, vacate his chair over a publicized legal dispute with a former client.
Wickham said Mottley’s decision to put Bradshaw in the position, replacing St James Central MP Kerrie Symmonds in a reshuffle of the shadow Cabinet, should be viewed as a positive step for the Opposition Leader who was repositioning the BLP and putting her own stamp on the party.
He also suggested that the post was no longer the right fit for Symmonds, whom he described as “creature” of former BLP leader Owen Arthur.
“I think that we are coming to a time now where the Leader of the Opposition has to start to flex her muscles, has to demonstrate a certain level of comfort within the post, and make her assignments based on her own decisions,” Wickham said.
“I think the fact that she has made a decisive move suggests she is coming into her own as Leader of the Opposition and she really believes it is time that she starts to play some serious political strokes and I think this was long overdue.”
The political scientist argued that Bradshaw was well suited for the role in the shadow Cabinet, adding that she provided a positive balance of the BLP’s past and future.
“I think those are the characteristics that Ms Mottley would want to look for. She bridges a divide between the old guard and also the new BLP, in a way that is unique because of her pedigree,” Wickham said of Bradshaw, the daughter of former politician Delisle Bradshaw.