Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has compared Opposition Leader Mia Mottley to Nazi leader Adolph Hitler.
In a stinging attack on Mottley’s fitness to lead the country, Sinckler last night told Democratic Labour Party (DLP) supporters at a joint meeting of DLP branches in the Christ Church constituencies that Barbadians would rue the day they voted for the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), in very much the same way Germans would forever regret Hitler’s rise to power.
Sinckler told those gathered at Deighton Griffith Secondary School that when the Austrian born Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933 Europe was facing economic turmoil similar to the problems facing Barbados today.
This, he said, led to the rise of despotism in Germany, a lesson he encouraged the country to heed on voting day, due by the middle of the year.
“Hitler came around at a very difficult time for Europe and for Germany . . . .The people in Germany who elected Hitler some years after were caught saying, ‘oh my God, what have we done?’ The people who elected [United States president Donald] Trump, who believed that they must get a change at all cost are now huddled in their living rooms asking each other, ‘oh my God, what have we done?’” Sinckler said to cheers from the party faithful.
Hitler’s rise to power came at a time when millions were unemployed because of the Great Depression.
He had become popular after his release in prison in 1924 for a failed coup attempt, by delivering vitriolic speeches attacking the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, and promoting pan-Germanism and anti-semitism.
He assumed the title of fuehrer – leader and chancellor of the empire – in 1934, a position he held until his death in 1945.
During his reign as the country’s leader he introduced fascist policies, eugenic policies that targeted children with physical and developmental disabilities, later authorizing a euthanasia programme for disabled adults, and persecuted gays.
Hitler also started World War II and his Nazi party was responsible for the genocide of nearly six million Jews.
While Sinckler did not indicate that Mottley would be engaged in such atrocities, he also said little to suggest where the similarities between the two began and ended.
Instead, he said because of the level of education here, Barbadians ought not repeat the Germans’ mistakes.
“They say that Barbadians have one of the highest literacy rates in the world and I have always been told that with great power comes great responsibility. So I ask you tonight, do you want to be in the same position as the post-Hitler Germans, or do you want to continue to have a leader who has the moral, ethical and legal qualifications to be the Prime Minister of Barbados?” the Minister of Finance said, also hinting at the repeated accusations that the Opposition Leader did not hold a legal education certificate.
Sinckler also harked back to a 2013 lawsuit brought by Member of Parliament for St Andrew George Payne against his BLP colleague and first-time parliamentary representative for St James North Edmund Hinkson, saying it shed light on how those in the BLP camp viewed Mottley.
The suit was linked to an incident at the BLP’s Roebuck Street, St Michael headquarters on February 25, 2013, during which Payne was said to have accused Mottley of “treacherous and disloyal” conduct in the general election four days earlier, by aiding defeated DLP candidate Irene Sandiford-Garner in her campaign against Payne.
Sinckler contended that apart from what was said about the BLP leader by those she now leads, Mottley’s own behaviour during her political life disqualified her from ascending to the highest office in the land.
“Here we have in Barbados a person who from the words of her own colleagues in the Barbados Labour Party that this person is not equipped to assume the highest office in the land as Prime Minister of Barbados. Folks, this not the president of the Olympic Association or the chairman of some social club, this is the Office of Prime Minister. There are some who just come out of the woodwork and become Prime Minister but when you have two-and-a-half decades of a person, you cannot say you did not know who they are.
“You can’t say that you have not been told, but you don’t need to be told because you have powers of observation . . . .You have seen it – the bullying, the unleashing of people to conduct the nastiest campaign. You are seeing it with your own eyes,” Sinckler stressed.