Former Minister of Energy Elizabeth Thompson is pointing an accusing finger at her ex boss by implying that he was behind the island’s newest political party as a means to get at Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley.
Thompson, who served as Minister of Energy and Environment in the Owen Arthur-led BLP administration, Friday launched a broadside at Arthur and Lynette Eastmond, who yesterday launched the United Progressive Party (UPP), mere weeks after reportedly stating she was a member of the BLP and was not involved in any other political movement.
Eastmond, who contested and lost the last three general elections on a BLP ticket, was introduced as the chairman of the new party, something that Thompson did not allow to go unnoticed in a lengthy Facebook post.
“I found the fact that the person who led the interview was described as chairman and not party leader, most interesting,” she wrote.
“It will be interesting to see who they attract and what their platform is. This group [is] united by dislike of the leader of the BLP and sharing common bonds in their inability to win seats or nominations.”
The former minister led a stout defence of Mottley, with whom she served in the Arthur Cabinet, suggesting that the current BLP leader had survived Arthur’s every attempt to get rid of her.
Having failed, Thompson said it had become obvious from Arthur’s recent utterances that he had resorted to forming a party of disgruntled BLP politicians as his latest effort to humiliate Mottley.
“ OSA [Owen Seymour Arthur] did not manage to get rid of MAM [Mia Amor Mottley] by abusing her publicly; he did not accomplish it by not going to Parliament; he did not accomplish it by being silent on important national issues; he did not accomplish it by threatening to leave and then actually leaving the BLP.
“So when in recent weeks, almost coinciding with talk of the new party, he was again engaging in serious national discourse in a way that we know he is fully capable of doing . . . finally, he has revealed his latest hand, or should I say, his instrument. If this is the new game, then the UPP is the United Puppets Party . . . or the United Political Puppets.”
This notwithstanding, Thompson held out hope that Mottley and Arthur would put their differences aside and “unite for the sake of the country”.
She said they did not have to be friends, they “just have to work together for the greater cause of country and citizen”.
Otherwise, she said, the UPP would be an asset to the incumbent Democratic Labour Party, which is currently struggling to maintain Barbadians’ faith in its ability to govern.
“If I were FS [Freundel Stuart, the Prime Minister], even if I was contemplating an early election, I would sit back, give the UPP time to pull BLP supporters, give them time to raise finance and candidates, wait for the Old BLP and the New BLP to start cannibalizing each other and their leaders,” she said, even while insisting that the country needed “strong, visionary, competent people, united to take the country forward and utilizing skills, intellect and experience”.