The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) says it has closely scrutinized the performance of the Member of Parliament for St John Mara Thompson and has found her seriously wanting.
Addressing a gathering of BLP supporters at the Gill and Gollop Centre last night, Opposition Members of Parliament Kerrie Symmonds and Santia Bradshaw charged that Thompson, who succeeded her husband David Thompson in the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) stronghold that was first represented in the House of Assembly by the country’s founding father Errol Walton Barrow, had failed to deliver the type of representation that the people were accustomed to.
“So, let us not treat to her with kid gloves,” said Symmonds, who described the wife of the late Prime Minister as “the single biggest failure as a political representative and as a parliamentary representative that this country has seen”.
He said while the people of St John may have voted in a sentimental way after Thompson’s death, “they have seen now for themselves that better should be given to them”.
Symmonds also said no one “could be shocked now if Mara Thompson spoke for five or ten minutes in a Budget debate or in and Estimates debate, because we know that is her best.
“She gave you of her best,” he told the political meeting.
Bradshaw was of the view that the best option for St John at this stage was for the people to try their hand with a BLP representative.
“If the sentiment that I am feeling across the country is real, and I am sure that many of you are feeling it, and if the level of representation of the people of St John is currently becoming the norm . . . , I believe then that the next [BLP] candidate for this constituency has as good a chance as any of being able to take the seat,” Bradshaw said.
Meantime, the man who carried the BLP banner in St John in the last two elections last night has made clear his intention of doing so again.
Despite failing to break the DLP’s hold on the constituency, Hudson Griffith believes he can rake in “2,000 votes” in the 2018 poll.
And he has told his five challengers, namely Dr George Brathwaite, Dale Lashley, Charles Griffith, Fabian “Dandelion” Jones and Keith Rayside, “wunna ain’t getting this seat”.
Saying he has worked hard and tirelessly in the constituency, Griffith made it clear that he would not be giving up without a fight.
“I am the first person since Pat Thorington in 1998 that got over a thousand votes in St John [for the BLP]. In the by-election my wife and I were in the room when the votes were counting, when the licks [were] raining in my tail. In Poole I get six votes . . . on by-election night and with the whole party behind us, I get 585 votes. With no Barbados Labour Party behind me I got 1,090. You think that fall from a tree?” he asked, adding, “I work for that man, I work, and if you challengers want this seat, work, cause you ain’t getting it. You are not getting it,’ he stressed.
Griffith also challenged the constituency branch to be disciplined and to work with him, saying that was the only way the party would secure the seat.
“Unlike what people say that Mara [Thompson] is losing votes, the DNA of the Democratic Labour Party runs through St John. There are 3,000 DLP people in St John that could hold up this seat. So, don’t run up in St John and think that you [will] kick down the door and let the horses run out the stables. It don’t work so.
“When a candidate comes and the branch remains, change that. Let the candidate stay and pick up the next time. Walk with the candidate this time. Everybody line up behind [Donald] Trump [in the United States] right now, cause you want to win . . . and it ain’t gine be easy next election, and I tell you challengers get behind me, cause wunna ain’t getting this seat,” Griffith declared.