It is often said that big minds discuss ideas and small minds personalities.
Which is why it was so disappointing for us to watch last Sunday’s official campaign launch by the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) as it descended into nothing more than a most vile and unbecoming attack on the leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Mia Mottley.
Yes, it is true that Ms Mottley is no saint and that evidently she can take her “licks”, but for the Freundel Stuart administration to spend six hours on someone who they would otherwise have us believe is the most unworthy of political opponents, without making any “bombshell” announcement of any sort to justify their voracious preoccupation, really amounted to a waste of precious campaigning time.
In fact, we are still waiting with bated breath for the promised unmasking of the ruthless, corrupt and villainous individual who we do not already know, and who should not be allowed to set foot into Ilaro Court or near the Treasury.
Without such, we believe that if anything Ms Mottley might have the DLP to thank at the end of this four week campaign for making her a martyr, who having already survived the most vicious of internal political throat slashings of modern times back in 2010, is now being made to suffer the same from her wily opponents, who themselves have much to answer for on the day of judgment, which has been set for May 24.
Yes, there was mention on Sunday of a secret meeting at the Hilton Barbados Resort with a “Boko Haram-type character” for which Ms Mottley must of necessity provide a credible explanation (it is simply not enough for her to say that she will not be distracted or that her back is broad).
During the DLP launch, there was also talk of Edutech, the Crab Hill Police Station fiasco and the Glendairy Prison fire as notable failings which would have all occurred under Ms Mottley’s ministerial watch more than a decade ago.
But what of the just ended decade of DLP rule? Should there not be an explanation of that as well before the incumbent party could be heard questioning anyone else’s suitability for leadership?
We think so!
In any case, if the DLP is to be successful in ‘unmasking’ Ms Mottley as they have so far failed to do, we would like to suggest that they would need to go a lot further that just releasing a lot of innuendo, without a shred of evidence.
The baseless insults by a Government which recently passed tough sexual harassment legislation and anti-domestic violence legislation and would have us condemn Ms Mottley for not participating in some of these debates would do well to uphold the very standards that they would have us live by.
For it is one thing to remind us of Ms Mottley’s failings and of her public crucifixion at high noon by her own BLP colleagues back in 2010, but it is quite another to get down in the gutter and wallow as Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett did, going on and on about Ms Mottley’s hair and her clothes and derogatorily, disparagingly and degradingly describing her as “musty”.
Unbecoming to say the very least!
Yes, we know full well that politics is not Sunday School and indeed that the type of practice we have in these parts seldom passes the threshold of a blood sport.
But we would have Mr Blackett in particular understand that the fight for re-election – particularly by one who holds the Social Care portfolio – must be for the heart and soul of the discerning voter, not such that it makes our bowels erupt.