Two-time Barbados calypso monarch John King is energized and ready to help remedy the troubles facing the people of the St Philip West constituency, after securing the nomination as the Opposition Barbados Labour Party candidate for the seat.
King threw his hat into the ring back in January, and was set to battle two others for the political riding, but one contender, Shanika Roberts-Odle, dropped out along the way and the other, Don Callendar, withdrew just ahead of last night’s formal nomination proceedings at George Walters Primary School, St Patrick’s, making the calypsonian the unopposed nominee.
“If you work with me, we will work what some people might consider to be miracles,” he said in his first speech.
King said his work would be guided by compassion “and doing what we say we are going to do in a timely manner, not making promises and then ten years later we still ain’t get it do”.
He stressed that people must be at the centre of the BLP and the party could not only focus on balancing the books of the country.
“We’ve got to balance lives. We’ve got to get in the mud and deal with the problems that are facing our people, because we don’t have problems only with money.”
King spoke of challenges affecting the young and referred to media reports of school children involved in stabbings and confrontation with teachers. “They are our people, our children and we got to work with them,” he said.
Listing his concerns, he said, “Every morning I wake up, I’m still asking myself how many more of our young people are going to end up in prison. How many more people are losing their homes? They fought their way out of poverty and this Government is slowly but surely putting them back.
“How much more tax do we have to bear? They are taxing the middle class out of existence.”
He told the gathering of party faithful, who were predominantly middle-aged and elderly, there was need for more young people to join the branch and the party.
“We have to get new people. That can help us go forward because we are going to need that energy . . . . It’s going to be a huge task, but together we will do it.”
The 52-year-old said he was previously content to watch politics from the sidelines, but decided to get involved after seeing that too many people in the constituency were under pressure, and feeling voiceless and hopeless.