Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett is not about to lie down and play dead in the face of criticisms allegedly made of him on social media by agents of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
On the contrary, Blackett on Sunday night launched a nasty broadside against his political opponents, accusing them of operating “a brothel on Roebuck Street” and of encouraging “political cockroaches . . . cronies and white mouth yardfowls” to publish all manner of evil lies on social media, with a view to tarnishing the reputations of members of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government, including Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Minister of Transport Michael Lashley.
“When it is isn’t Chris, it is Michael, or Stephen,” Blackett said, while charging that he too had fallen victim to what he called the smear campaign originating out of the BLP’s “den of nastiness”.
“Only this week one of the political cockroaches walking around claiming to be BLP spokespersons came on Facebook and disparaged me.
“He can’t say I thief money from any of the 12 agencies under my care or from anywhere, but he gets on Facebook and says that some marshal served me with papers within the last few weeks,” Blackett explained, adding that “when they can’t get any facts, they make up stories on you”.
While maintaining that all kinds of lies were being told on social media about members of the ruling DLP, Blackett sought to cast blame on unnamed BLP “cronies and white mouth yardfowls”, including “some with no teeth”.
“Some of them only got one tooth in their mouth,” he added, much to the amusement of party faithful gathered at the St Michael School for a joint meeting of the DLP branches in the St Michael constituencies.
While warning that the upcoming general election, constitutionally due by the middle of next year, had the potential to get out of control, the Minister of Social Care sought to lay the blame solely at the feet of the Opposition.
“I believe that this election is going to be laced with animosity, hate and hostility and we have already seen it coming out from some members of the Barbados Labour Party, and it is very encouraged and promoted by the BLP,” Blackett said.
“All of it is originating out of the den of nastiness situated at Roebuck Street, which they call their headquarters. Every single week you could hear some malicious, evil and untrue story coming out of that brothel at Roebuck Street,” a fired up Blackett said.
Just last month Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley took to social media, accusing the BLP of being behind a fake letter circulating via that same medium that was purportedly authored by him, in which the writer expressed an interest in representing the DLP in St John.
“The fake email was clearly orchestrated to create the impression that Stephen Lashley is writing to Freundel Stuart in his capacity as President of the DLP expressing his interest in being the party’s candidate for St John and making out a case why ‘Stephen Lashley’ is imminently qualified to be such a candidate,” he posted, adding that “these are clear acts of fraudulent behaviour, which must be condemned, in the strongest possible terms”.
“Is this the extent to which BLP operatives will stoop? In this case, someone was obviously at pains to create a false email with potentially damaging political intent. It is clear that as we near the election season, the BLP operatives will be using the fake news weapon quite often, particularly against sitting DLP MPs in the hope of confusing an unsuspecting electorate.” Lashley, the representative for Christ Church West Central, contended.
This followed on the heels of claims by Sinckler that the BLP was planning to put out “a lot of fake news, nasty, lying information” about him and Michael Lashley.
However, BLP leader Mia Mottley is on record as saying that the Opposition party “shall keep it clean in 2018” while warning that “those who get offended because I speak of stealing, I say, ‘too bad for them’.
“This country is short of cash, and if you have taken more than was legitimately yours, do not take it personal when I reveal, and we reveal, the facts to the country,” Mottley told her party’s 79th annual conference last month.
“If . . . we have reason to believe or evidence to support the argument that people have amassed assets in excess of that which reasonably could have become theirs from their lawful earnings, do not get angry with us when we call upon you to account,” the Member of Parliament for St Michael North East said then, while cautioning that “if you cannot afford to buy luxury vehicles – either brought in [into Barbados] full or in parts . . . do not drive them around, cutting style, as if you bought them”.
Earlier DLP stalwart Derek Alleyne had also warned that the DLP was prepared to go down in the gutter to win the next election, which he described as the “election of all elections” in which “this same sex marriage thing” and “who lives with whom is going to come up”.