The former head of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation Dr Leroy McClean has expressed disappointment with the leadership style of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
“If you are leading a country, you have to be visible, you have to be seen and heard,” McClean, an agriculturalist and a former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidte said on Sunday’s Starcom Network’s Down to Brass Tacks programme.
“The Prime Minister of this country has demonstrated in the last election a skill that he was capable of taking charge of that process and basically snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Everybody had given up [and was saying] that the Democratic Labour Party was going to lose the last election. He [Stuart] was able to bring it to the point where he was able to win.
“I said then the Prime Minister now has his own mandate, now we are going to see a different type of leadership. But I am not happy that a person with his ability has demonstrated the kind of leadership which is required because you have to be visible,” McCLean added.
He also addressed last week’s march by the trade union movement and sections of the Barbados private sector over the recent increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL).
Delivering the Astor B Watts lunchtime lecture at the DLP’s George Street, St Michael headquarters Friday, Member of Parliament for St Lucy Denis Kellman said the trade union movement in Barbados had no grounds for taking to the streets over the increase.
But McCLean said Stuart should put a gag order on Ministers and politicians and take leadership on this issue.
“What I would like to see happen, is that all of the Ministers and politicians keep their mouths shut where this matter is concerned. That is the first thing that I would like to see, and that they back off,” McCLean said.
“If you say that the Prime Minister’s Office is dealing with the matter as the Government arm of the Social Partnership, let them deal with it.”
Political Scientist Professor George Bell, who was also a guest on the programme, had a different point of view.
“We deal with a whole set of confusion; chaos is what is human and that is the human reality,” he said.
“What will happen is that the negotiations themselves are going to try to bring the temperature down and to try to get consensus. But they must be out there, in reality, people going in all kinds of directions. That is why we are in a situation where we want these negotiations.
“That is actually the reality, you have boiling water and you have bubbles all over the place, Kellman is a bubble, in other words,” Bell added.