A former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate for Christ Church West believes the Opposition Barbados Labour Party’s Dr William Duguid still has some answering to do to the people of that southern constituency.
However, while some may be anxious to know why Duguid picked up and left that constituency in 2009, Peter Barrow, who was defeated by Duguid in 2003, said he was more interested in finding out why he even bothered to come back.
“He hasn’t brought anything back, he has just brought himself back. Other than that there is no magic that is being done out there to assist the residents,” said Barrow, in reference to Duguid, who he believes was fortunate to have inherited the BLP stronghold from Henry Forde, now Sir Henry, in 2003.
However, Barrow said Duguid hardly did anything in the constituency in the ten years that he served as Member of Parliament for the area.
“Yes, you would probably point to a few houses that were built when the party was in office, but outside of that there is no actual social programme that has been put in place [and] even as he returns now, there is nothing that is being done in the constituency to generate support on his end,” his former political opponent said.
Just yesterday Christ Church West incumbent Dr Maria Agard called for Duguid to come clean on why he chose to “abandon” the constituency in 2009, while suggesting that he really couldn’t stomach the idea of opposition politics following the BLP’s humiliating defeat at the hands of the DLP a year earlier.
“He [Duguid] never really gave constituents his reason for leaving and now his return is basically the same thing,” said Barrow, who argued that “there is no real reason for his return except it is just like what she [Agard] said; he just feels now the party is poised to win the next Government so he figure it is time for him to come back and share in what they like to describe as, ‘the fatted calf’”.
However, Barrow, who is still actively involved in the constituency, particularly in the St Matthias area where he assists in planning various community events, warned Duguid that the next election will not be a walk in the park.
“I don’t think William [Duguid] really is generating a large percentage of interest from talking to people in the constituency,” said Barrow, who also downplayed Agard’s chances of retaking the seat.
However, based on his reading of the situation on the ground, he believes that the DLP’s Verla Depeiza, who lost to Agard by 500 votes last election, will be the one to beat this time around.
Asked to justify his assessment given the perceived swing that has occurred away from the ruling party, the ex-DLP candidate said: “Sometimes you get the feeling that the tide is shifting until the election is called.
“[However] when the election is called and the work is being done by the party, there is still hope. So I wouldn’t definitely say the tide is shifting against the Democratic Labour Party just yet,” he said.