In May, Office of the Prime Minister Press Secretary Clint Watson said that Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis is in high demand globally due to his no-nonsense stance on climate change.
Watson’s response was due to the Progressive Liberal Party government coming under scrutiny for its frequent traveling abroad.
I am beginning to think that Davis is being tempted to emulate Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who received the 2021 Champion of Earth award for Policy Leadership by the United Nations Environment Programme for her “no-nonsense stance” on climate change.
But as an accomplished Queen’s Counsel and political leader, Davis should feel comfortable in his own skin.
I believe that the superstardom status given to Mottley by the international community is disproportionate, considering the size of Barbados and the amount of carbon dioxide her country emits.
In 2016, Worldmeter stated that Barbados emitted 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, which ranked the Caribbean nation at 160 out of 209 countries.
The Bahamas was ranked at 134 with 4.4 million tons. Yet despite this, the international media and leftist organizations such as the UN continue to treat Mottley like Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill and Ghandi.
One example of the excessive hype surrounding the prime minister of Barbados was her being recently honored by Time Magazine as one of its most influential people of 2022.
Time called her an icon in Barbados. Referencing her speech at COP26 in Glasgow, Climate Change News described her as a “fearless leader”.
A YouTube video of her speech was posted seven months ago and already has garnered 500,000 views.
There’s also a Global Citizen YouTube video of Mottley along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and renowned scientist/atheist Bill Nye discussing climate change. She is also featured on a Democracy Now YouTube video. Mottley was dubbed one of the world’s most powerful women in 2021 by Forbes.
In 2020, Mottley along with Uruguayan Cabinet Minister Azucena Arbeleche was nominated to serve as chairperson of the IMF Development Committee and the World Bank Group.
International media houses such as US News, Reuters, Bloomberg, ABC News, Al Jazeera, to list a few, covered Barbados’ January 19 general election, which was held about 16 months before it was constitutionally scheduled.
Mottley’s Barbados Labour Party (BPL) gained 78,720 or 69.03 percent of the votes from the 114,000-plus citizens who voted.
The BLP won 30 of the 30 seats in Parliament. Barbados has no official opposition.
Interestingly, less than 50 percent of registered voters voted, which suggests to this writer that Mottley is not as popular in Barbados as the international media would have us believe, despite her gaining 86 percent of the votes in her St. Michael North East constituency, which she has held since 1994.
The election was held about three months after Mottley transitioned Barbados from a Westminster parliamentary system to a republic.
Mottley is Barbados’ first female prime minister, leading her party to victory in 2018 over the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
Immediately following the 2018 election, Mottley sought assistance from the International Monetary Fund to help stabilize Barbados’ economy.
Mottley also has the distinction of being the first female leader of the BLP. The DLP attempted to emulate the BLP and Mottley by electing its first female leader in 2018, Verla De Peiza, who, following the January 19 election, resigned.
There’s no denying that Mottley has accomplished much in her political career in Barbados.
With a population of 287,000, I believe that the sheer amount of publicity she has received on the international stage is an overkill.
The misandristic, feminist, anti-Christian, leftist media fraternity has obviously anointed her as the poster child of the campaign against climate change in the Caribbean.
Mottley’s advantage in this regard is her gender and leftist politics. There is no more room on this stage for another Caribbean politician.
Davis should focus his attention on domestic issues and resist the temptation, if there is any, to compete with his CARICOM counterpart.
Davis must understand that when Bahamians head to the polls in 2026, climate change won’t be high on their agenda.
Mottley can get away with building her legacy on global warming because Bajans, unlike Bahamians, don’t change their government every election cycle.
For instance, the BLP under the late Owen Arthur was in government from 1994 to 2008.
Its successor, the DLP under David Thompson and Freundel Stuart, served from 2008 to 2018.
As mentioned already, Mottley is currently serving in her second consecutive term.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I’m imploring Davis to resist temptations to compete with the overhyped Mottley for international publicity on climate change.
– Kevin Evans