The temperature is rising in the St Michael East constituency where at least two candidates are seeking to carry flag for the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the next general election.
Community worker Rodney Grant has accused his prospective opponent for the nomination, Patrick Tannis, of engaging in “foolishness” and trying to sell “pipe dreams” to the people of the constituency.
Tannis has said he intended to cultivate several acres of land in the Pine Basin to feed residents of The Pine and to raise revenue by selling the excess.
However, Grant has said the plan did not make sense.
“Tannis’ agricultural project is unrealistic. If you look at it, the Pine Basin cannot have 21 acres or whatever he is speaking about that is available for cultivation. What do you mean? Are you going to run off Ras Iley who has a project there? Are you going to run off the Israel Lovell Foundation who has a project there also, and the other people who have projects in the Pine Basin?
“At the end of the day we cannot continue to sell people pipe dreams. When you take those projects into consideration you cannot have 21 acres of land left in the Pine Basin. If this is the type of politics you are willing to play at the level of a nomination, one can imagine the level of politics that will be played out at the national level,” he told Barbados TODAY in an interview.
Grant, who has worked in the community for nearly 40 years, made it clear that he was not prepared to buy votes by purchasing beverages and food items for constituents.
He described the practice as unfortunate, contending that it was short-term politics without substance or sustainability.
“We have to move away from this foolishness. I am being realistic and practical because if the people want you they will decide. I will continue to build on what I have started over the past 38 years. I am still making sure children get the education they need and offer support to people who want to set up their businesses,” Grant said.
He maintained that the Pinelands, once seen as a district populated by a high percentage of dysfunctional persons, had matured to the point where people felt comfortable investing and establishing businesses there.
The longstanding community worker argued that the constituency had realistic needs such as proper roads and housing for the youth and recalled that it was through a partnership with the National Housing Corporation that the Pinelands Creative Workshop was able to provide housing for residents in Lower Burney, St Michael.
He contended that this was the right time for him to take a shot at elective politics, saying he was mature enough to be a Member of Parliament.
“I have been in it for many years as a de facto representative of the people. I believe it is time to step it up so that I can provide a greater level of support to the people. Are you going to trade a captain for a private?”
The seat is currently held by Santia Bradshaw of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party.