Reverend Joseph Atherley, Verla Depeiza and Grenville Phillips II are simply not up to scratch to lead Barbados, Prime Minister Mia Mottley says.
In fact, the Prime Minister told hundreds of party faithful at Saturday’s BLP Annual Convention at Queen’s Park that only the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leadership was capable of taking the country back “to the promise land”.
In a scathing criticism of the People’s Development Party (PDP) leader Rev Atherley; Depeiza, the leader of the Democratic Labour Party and Phillips who leads Solutions Barbados, Mottley said none of them was capable of leading the country.
With a picture of the trio displayed on a large screen, Mottley said, “In looking at that picture you now better understand why I am as hard as I am on my Cabinet, why I am as hard as I am on the Parliament, why I am as unrelenting as I am on the Social Partnership, and above all else, why I will continue to be a hard taskmaster for this generation of BLP supporters.
“Because who would we be leaving Barbados too if we were to fail?” she questioned.
The Prime Minister was especially critical of Depeiza, who took over leadership of the DLP following that party’s embarrassing 30-0 defeat in the 2018 general elections.
Mottley described Depeiza as a “political waterlily” and a “political nightwatchman”.
“She is a political waterlily with no roots and just floating, floating, floating,” Mottley said, referencing various constituencies, which Depeiza had expressed an interest in contesting.
“But the problem is this, that all of us really know that we can put my phrase of a political waterlily aside and call her what she truly is; a political nightwatchman waiting for the real batsmen to come in and take over.
“The real problem is this; the real batsmen are peeping and hiding and they are peeping and hiding because there is a marshall in town with the evidence and they don’t know which one the evidence coming for,” she said.
Mottley also laughed about Depeiza’s decision to have former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as her advisor.
She described Depeiza as the “BLP’s greatest friend” and called for her to remain as the DLP’s leader.
The Prime Minister said she strongly believed Atherley resigned from the BLP and formed his own party because he was not given a ministry in her Cabinet.
However, she said if Atherley had formed the PDP to gain access to the $300 000 subvention, he had to wheel and come again.
“I can’t say, but I know it is my judgement and not nobody else’s, you can decide what you want to believe, but it is my judgement that Joe Atherley is where he is today because I did not offer him a position in the Cabinet of Barbados. He wants straight talk, so let us get to straight talk.
“But I go further, that there would be no PDP if there was not the belief on some people’s part in the precincts of Parliament that they could go and share in a subvention for political parties. And I want you to know and the rest of the country that when that subvention was first formulated, the rule for access to the subvention was that you must have had run in the last general election and fielded at least one third of the Cabinet in Parliament, so Joe, luck buss, and you got to wait and win some seats next time around,” Mottley said.
The Prime Minister said Phillips II was no serious contender to the throne as no one could remember how many votes he won in the last election, despite his belief that he had the best plan for the country.
“The electorate said it all last time, I don’t need to speak on Grenville. I can’t even remember which constituency Grenville ran in…anyone remembers how many votes he got?” Mottley asked to much laughter. (RB)