General Secretary Dr Jerome Walcott says the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is in no way associated with the production or distribution of any T-shirts with offensive messages which portray people in a negative and derogatory manner.
He was seeking to clear the air on an inflammatory photograph that was taken at a recent BLP meeting, featuring two of the BLP’s candidates in this year’s general election.
In the photograph, Opposition Member of Parliament for St Michael South East Santia Bradshaw and BLP candidate for Christ Church East Wilfred Abrahams are seen posing with Greg and Steven Williams – the sons of former BLP Senator and ex-Cabinet minister John Williams – who are both wearing T-shirts with a clear message to the electorate to vote out the incumbent Democratic Labour Party, who were described as “liars, thieves and whores”.
The T-shirts also carry an image of a bull on a toilet seat in support of the message to “vote dem out”.
However, in a brief statement issued to Barbados TODAY tonight, Walcott said: “We condemn such T-shirts. This is not the sort of campaign that we condone.
“Indeed, the record and legacy of this party is one which has enhanced and projected the advancement of women in particular,” the BLP spokesman said after former Prime Minister Owen Arthur openly condemned the image, saying it was not only “sick”, but “further evidence of a [BLP] party that has lost its way and has lost its soul”.
However, Walcott said tonight it was “ludicrous” for the former BLP leader, who quit the Mia Mottley-led Opposition party back in July 2014, to insinuate that it had anything to do with T-shirts bearing such slogans.
“He [Arthur] knows better,” the BLP general secretary said.
The development comes against the backdrop of promises by the island’s political leaders that they intend keep the 2018 general election campaign clean and that they will be taking the moral high ground in the lead up to the poll, which is constitutionally due by June.