Residents of St John say they are not surprised by their Member of Parliament Mara Thompson’s announcement that she will not contest the next general election.
The incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) representative made the revelation as she was making her way into the House of Assembly on Tuesday.
But while expressing regret that the widow of late Prime Minister David Thompson had chosen to exit the political ring, some DLP loyalists today maintained that St John would continue to be a safe seat for the ruling party.
“The Barbados Labour Party, they better not send nobody. They got everybody head confused and as far as I am concerned nobody wants to see any of them,” said one staunch DLP supporter, who lives in Gall Hill, St John.
However, the elderly woman, who did not want to be identified, told Barbados TODAY she was surprised that the outgoing representative lasted as long as she did in the political battleground.
“I wasn’t looking for her to last so long. That is the truth. That was too much pressure,” the woman said.
Refuting claims that Thompson was an absentee representative, the elderly woman said the parliamentarian has remained active in the constituency from the moment she took over from her late husband through to this very day.
However, she argued that unlike the previous St John representatives, who were all men, “she was a busy woman”.
“She had three daughters to look after . . . . The men ain’t got nobody to look after and you can’t see them, so why you should see she?”
Alvin Simpson, also of Gall Hill, told Barbados TODAY that it did not matter to him whether Thompson held the seat or not. Instead, he was most concerned about the poor road conditions and unreliable transportation which he said was plaguing the constituency.
“She was trying to get attention to get things done in St John, but it seems as though it has fallen on deaf ears because nothing has really been really [happening] for the parish besides they tried to complete the polyclinic. But there are still things that the community needs,” Simpson said, while supporting the view that St John remains a safe seat for the DLP.
“It is a stronghold from ever since, and I think it still will be. There are a lot of diehard supporters of the party and they will still probably continue their support for the party,” he stressed, while suggesting that two consecutive terms in office might not have been enough for the DLP to effect the needed changes in the constituency.
“People say . . . they were trying their best, but probably two terms wasn’t enough that they can try to do whatever they can do,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Shopkeeper Harriett Husbands was admittedly stunned by the news that Thompson was not likely to run again, although she never saw her as a “real politician”.
“I think she can’t manage it anymore. I think she had enough. To me she was not a real politician. People put her into that in St John because they wanted her to maintain that seat,” Husbands said.
Meanwhile, a male resident who requested anonymity said Thompson “needed to withdraw a long time ago”.
“She wasn’t serving no purpose. The roads have been bad, mashing up people vehicle and we can’t get the road do,” he said.
Resident Shayla Codrington also expressed dissatisfaction with Thompson’s representation since she won the by-election in January 2011 following her husband’s death on October 23, 2010.
“I actually didn’t know she was still representing St John, so her not being in the election is not really a big issue. It doesn’t really make a big difference if she does run or if she doesn’t run because I have not seen Mara for a while now,” the Sergeant Street, St John resident said.