Elections are fast approaching and the ruling Democratic Labour Party is cleaning house. The DLP hierarchy last week dropped City candidate Patrick Todd for Henderson Williams, St Michael East’s Kenny Best for Nicholas Alleyne and Patrick Tannis in St Michael South East for Rodney Grant.
A leading political scientist described the replacement of these three St Michael candidates as no surprise, but constituents felt the changes made little difference as to how they would vote.
Former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr George Belle, said there was reason enough to replace the three. He charged that Best had “failed as a politician and.. didn’t perform” in the 2013 general election, while Todd “is already on his decline” and is not respected by his own party.
However, it is the dumping of Tannis, who lost to Santia Bradshaw of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) by just ten votes in the last election, which Belle found most interesting. He reckoned the DLP was banking on Grant’s association with former Member of Parliament Hamilton Lashley to bring home the seat.
Barbadians also had their say on the DLP house-cleaning. “If these three are considered (useless), I wonder what the heck you will call Freundel Stuart, Chris Sinckler, Donville Inniss, Dennis Kellman,” one person commented. “To win your constituency, you just have to feed, clothe, pay bills, buy weed wackers, and give a few families some jobs and your political representative is the best thing since choice bread.
“None of these paid off devotees do not look at the way their political representatives handle state affairs or the number of allegations (of wrongdoing) against there names. No Siree, as long as they pass a buck or two and give a little, they cannot do any wrong. No wonder Barbados has reached rock bottom.”
Another person poked fun at the current ‘first past the post’ political system used here in Barbados saying, “ the political system is not reliable. The two political parties maintain the same neo-colonial mindset. Even if a politician might mean good—and I feel some meant good before they were politicians and when they get into the system they realize that the system is broken and that system of governance needs
The seemingly unpopular DLP government also got a warning from one of its own MPs. Minister of Industry, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss admitted candidly that the DLP will have a tough time convincing Barbadians to give it a third term, based on its performance on
“I can say to you that this upcoming election will perhaps be one of the toughest as a political party. It is not going to be easy to convince folks to see things our way,” Inniss told Barbados TODAY this week.
The Member of Parliament for St James South said voters were concerned about a range of issues, including the economic problems, high taxes, the removal of some allowances, the imposition of university fees, unemployment and health care costs.
One observer was quick to chastise Inniss. “It is not much about what you people did to plug the economic hole the island was going down rapidly, but more what proceeded from the mouths of you arrogant lot that caused the most damage. Your PM in particular is the worst of the worst followed by Lowe… Then there is you. Donville, your psychology cannot work pun a boy. You think anyone will forget your heartless, callous words
about you got a family to feed and
bills to pay (when thousands were put
on the breadline)?.
Another person likened the DLP government’s performance to that of a child’s school report. “Mr Inniss, allow me to put it this way. A child brings home his final report having spent six years at secondary school; during these years, that child did about 12 subjects and its performance was poor. The child’s CXC returns were poor; he only passed 3 subjects. This child wants to go on to a tertiary institution like the Barbados Community College. Some one will let that child know he has to do better in order to be admitted to (BCC). Mr Inniss, after 10 years, we the people of Barbados have to look at your performance in housing, education, health, tourism, transport, human resource management, finance, sports etc. In all honesty, could you point out to us all, which of the 12 to 14 ministries would get a passing grade?”
Lastly on Trending Today, social media have gone crazy over an apparent pepper spray attack on Ninja Man, one of the island’s best known street people. This case was described as a small example of willful assaults conducted by some persons against the homeless.
“Ninja Man is not the only case. We have had clients . . . come in here who had their feet run over by a car and the person did not stop. We have had cases where some came in with their faces swollen after being beaten up, some have been complaining that persons are beating them up at nights, store owners are throwing water on them,” President of the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society Kemar Saffrey told Barbados TODAY after a video emerged of an attacker using mace on the Bridgetown vagrant, apparently on Tudor Street.
The video, which was recorded by a security camera and has since gone viral, shows a seemingly animated Ninja Man walking up to a young man and poking him on the chest, before the man sprayed him in the face. The incident sparked outrage all across the internet with one reader saying “Who does walk bout in Bim with pepper spray in their hands in broad day light? He wanted to test out his pepper spray and Ninja Man was the perfect candidate. ….But he wouldn’t have done that to nobody else.”