In a scene reminiscent of former Philippines president Benigno Aquino, Speaker of Parliament Michael Carrington last night told supporters of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) he was no thief.
Referring to allegations made by his challenger, Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate Reverend Joseph Atherley, Carrington told a meeting of his St Michael West branch he was an honest and sincere man.
“I am very straightforward. I don’t lie and I don’t steal. So tell him to leave me alone,” Carrington said of Atherley.
It brought back memories of Aquino, who, in an attempt to confront a growing corruption scandal that had threatened to derail his political agenda, had said in a radio and television address in 2013, he was “not a thief”.
“I have never stolen. I am not a thief. I am the one who goes after thieves,” Aquino had said at the time, while accusing the opposition of sowing seeds of confusion.
Carrington made no such accusations last night, neither did he repeat the allegations, which he said were made during a BLP walkabout in an area known as “Vietnam”.
However, they so upset him that he felt the need to vow for his own honesty before party faithful, including Senator Verla De Peiza.
“Each time a dog barks you don’t look out, so each time the Reverend opens his mouth I am not going to open my mouth or anything. But sometimes you have to answer or comment,” Carrington said.
Meantime, in an apparent reference to Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss, who last week complained about the pace at which the DLP was progressing with the selection of its slate of candidates for next year’s general election, Carrington told supporters there was no need to worry.
“It is the Democratic Labour Party that is in office, and we set the pace. The Government still has its legislative agenda to finish, and when last I checked elections are due constitutionally next year,” he said, adding that he had not heard any of the current 16 DLP parliamentarians announce they would not contest the election.
The DLP parliamentarian also assured supporters he would retain the St Michael West seat for the ruling party.
“I am going all out to ensure that this seat remains firmly and safely in the bosom of the Democratic Labour Party . . . . That is so because of my approach. I think I’ve done a good job. I’m a good man,” he said.