She was fired from the previous Owen Arthur-led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Cabinet back in 1999, but with Mia Mottley currently at helm of the main Opposition, former Minister of Health Elizabeth Liz Thompson is not ruling out the possibility of a full political comeback.
However, with the BLP having already confirmed its full slate of 30 candidates for the next election that could be called any moment now by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Thompson, who is currently employed as an international consultant, said her immediate focus was on helping the BLP get back into Government.
“I am passionate about politics and I will always think of myself as a politician or a recovering politician. I remain sufficiently interested in politics that if the Labour Party asks me to help with the upcoming election campaign I would, and they have asked and I have said, ‘yes’,” she told Barbados TODAY in the tiny Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius where she delivered the keynote address at the sixth Statia Sustainability Conference.
However, in view of her decision to quit active politics back in 2010 after serving for over 12 years in various ministerial capacities, including health, housing and lands, physical development, energy and environment, Thompson did not dismiss the idea of making such a return, even though she pointed out that “we have not had an election that is won by the Barbados Labour Party [and] I have not been given any invitation to come back into the Government or any political role”.
Pressed by Barbados TODAY on the issue, Thompson, who currently lives between Barbados and the United States, said: “I deliberately did not choose to run [as a candidate this time around].
“I could have come home and contested a nomination if that was where my interest was, but political office, the kind of position you are talking about, is within the gift of a prime minister and no prime minister has offered me a gift . . . so I only see myself as somebody helping to secure a Labour Party victory because Barbados needs urgently a change of Government. That is my priority,” she stressed.
Without giving anything away in terms of the BLP’s strategy for the upcoming poll, constitutionally due by the middle of next year, Thompson said the party would be kicking its election campaign into high gear come January 2018.
“The Barbados Labour Party will fight a clean, vigorous campaign focused on the issues and our vision for taking the country forward, because we believe that we are the only party in Barbados at the moment with a very clear vision of what needs to be done and, critically, with the largest number of experienced candidates to get the job done and get it done quickly,” she said.
“There is no other [political] party in Barbados that can say that it has a slew of candidates who together worked successfully to turn the country around after 1994 and to bring it to where we did; only the Barbados Labour Party has that. So that is the kind of basis [on which] we are going to be asking people to vote,” she added.
Thompson, an attorney-at-law, also cried shame on the Freundel Stuart administration, saying the country was now “in a mess”.
“There isn’t any aspect of society, economy or environment that is being properly addressed or well-managed or on which there is any vision or which people feel any sense of hope or that the current Government has solutions or interest in finding solutions,” she said.
However, the ex-minister was reluctant to predict the outcome of the next election since she said Barbadians tended to vote on the basis of emotion and not rationality.
“I think people do want a change and you can feel it on the ground . . . [but] I don’t want to make any predictions,” she told Barbados TODAY, adding that “I would like to see a large and comfortable Barbados Labour Party majority Government, because that is what the country needs and that is what I am hoping for and praying for and what I will work towards”.