Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (right) chatting with several tourists during a reception at Hilton Barbados.

Barbados – A Top Destination Choice!

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (right) chatting with several tourists during a reception at Hilton Barbados.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (right) chatting with several tourists during a reception at Hilton Barbados.

Barbados is a destination of very high choice!

That was the message to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart from some visitors to the island, who got an opportunity to meet and interact with him for nearly two hours last evening at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

Mr. Stuart was appointed last year as the Champion of the National Tourism Host Programme (NTHP), and a number of activities involving him are expected to be rolled out in the coming months to give this island’s tourism product a further boost.

The Prime Minister said that during his interaction with the tourists, they attested to the fact that Barbadians were some of the most courteous and hospitable people in the world.

“I tried to emphasise that we as a Government, we as a people, have to make sure that Barbados is agreeable for our people first. Since we are going to be relying on a set or core values as part of the National Tourism Host Programme, values like empathy, courtesy, creativity, responsibility and passion, unless our people are comfortable, they cannot manifest these attributes. People will not be able to experience these attributes amongst our people if we don’t make Barbados an agreeable place for Barbadians first,” he explained.

Manager of the NTHP, Marsha Alleyne, said the tourists were eager to meet the Prime Minister and talk tourism with him. She added that guests from other hotels would also get an opportunity to interact with the NTHP Champion.

Take Heed, Mia

It has been over a year since we parted company as party colleagues. I thought it provided us with an opportune time to reflect on the progress we have made on our separate political journeys.

I must say M, I feel refreshed and invigorated since I have decided to move to the beat of my own drum. My health has improved somewhat, I am eating healthier and taking my medication and my outlook on life seems all the more optimistic.

The Old Boys club still engages me from time to time, seeking my views on certain matters going on within your circle. They always seem to seek out my company as you would have noticed when we meet at the house. But M, I try to stick to my words when I left and I try not to interfere or air my views on what is going on in your little circle publicly.

I hope you have accepted the reasons why I had to move on. I will reflect a little bit more on them later as I share my thoughts with you now. M, I did not like that you felt insecure and incapable of leading in my shadow. Your insecurity was glaringly obvious and it resulted in this rift which developed between us. You and others who were close to you made it seem that I was attacking, tearing down and not supporting your strategies as the new leader. This was one of the main reasons why I left so that you would have full reign to guide the organisation how you felt best.

You remember I said that I felt that the party had lost its way and its soul? That hurt me to the core M, and I could not stay around and watch it be destroyed while knowing that my efforts to turn it around were not welcomed.

I found that more and more the institution was moving away from its political grounding and philosophy. It seems that you were building your own fan club at the expense of the name and legacy of the institution.

Look M, over the year here are two recent mistakes which you have made which has caused the name of the institution to suffer. When the Transport Board workers went on that strike which disrupted students from getting to their exams, why did you go out there to protest with them? M, it made it seem that you would jump on any bandwagon to tear down this country at anyone’s expense. If the party legitimately felt aggrieved at what was going on at the Transport Board, you should have mounted a platform as the political leader among the members of the Party and call out the government for any potential wrong doing. That is what a political leader would do; so that the party and not you M would get the glory and the support of the people.

Now M, do you know that from the time you encouraged your parliamentary colleagues to march with the NUPW in their protest against the BIDC, that you placed all sorts of political undertones on what should really be an industrial relations matter? I don’t have to explain to you the mess that it caused and the country has not recovered from it yet. Again M, you caused the people to see the party as a villain and not a friend.

You see M, now that I have stepped aside, I hope that you would be the woman who would accept these mistakes as her own. You cannot blame me for the negative impact which the party has suffered as a result of these ill-advised political strategies.

M, you also did some things which I did not like. Many of which were revealed in the Barker Report. I want to assure you that the Barker report has been well circulated. Those close to you are well aware of its contents and it is a source of major discontent among them. You need to deal with this matter M! Come clean and put it behind you, otherwise you will always have a challenge in gaining their support, just as you lost mine.

I do know for a fact that many of your professional and party colleagues are not pleased with the fact that you seem to attract a certain level of privilege because of who you are. Many of them do not like the idea that the path selected for you always seem easier than the road the rest of us must trod. You need to distance yourself from that perception of being entitled and privileged if you want to secure the support of your colleagues and the people in general.

In closing M, I hope that you will take these words as constructive criticism. It may be hard for you to accept coming from me, but I mean well and I will always have the best interest of the party at heart. I am as always available to you for advice and guidance.

Your estranged mentor,