Inspired by the reaction to retired prostitute Natalie Natlee Harewood’s run for political office, adult entertainment advocate Charles Spice Lewis is about to launch his own political party.
Lewis, who has announced his resignation as Harewood’s campaign manager, is naming his new political movement the Political Prostitutes Party (PPP).
“Yes, that is correct. I have been developing plans and will launch a new party called the Political Prostitutes Party,” Lewis told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview.
“This is in the wake of the history making political journey of Natalie Harewood from the shadows of Bush Hill to the precipices of Parliament,” he said.
The 36-year-old Harewood created a stir last month when she announced she would run as an independent for The City seat held by Jeffrey Bostic of the Barbados Labour Party. A week later she announced she was quitting prostitution to pursue her political ambition.
At the time, Lewis, who was behind Harewood all the way, described the decision to call time on trading in sex as a strategic political move “because one cannot run a campaign effectively while working a demanding job as the one she has”.
Not only is Harewood determined to clean up her act – she went to church last week for the first time in years – she has also been cleaning up The City by launching a campaign last month to remove garbage from the Nelson Street area.
However, even as the former sex worker seeks to purify her image, Lewis has made it clear he would love to have her as part of his PPP team.
“I’m not taking away all my support from Natlee, I am still available to her if she needs me for advice or support. As a matter of fact once my party is up and running and we launch, I will be inviting Natlee officially to join this new party,” he said.
However, in an angry post on Facebook today Harewood made it clear that she wanted nothing to do with Lewis’ new party, while accusing him of trying to sabotage her ongoing campaign.
“Step down, so what! You are no longer my campaign manager so leave my page alone,” she said while trying to distance herself from Lewis’ latest initiative.
But the adult entertainment activist said the decision to establish the island’s seventh political party stemmed out of concern over the way the country’s affairs were being handled.
He suggested it was evident from the support that Harewood has received that the career politicians were letting the people down.
“This journey Natlee has been on, not many people realize that there are a number of underlying questions against political leaders which need to be addressed. When we consider how a former prostitute has acquired so much capital and celebrity status in this election there is a lot to be said about that.
“The prostitutes, strippers, you name it, come from the shadows and feel that they have to represent because the leaders have failed us,” Lewis argued.
On the other hand, he said he would introduce “creative ideas” to help grow the economy. And although he did not say if prostitution was part of the plan, one of the conditions for joining the PPP is support for “legalizing, decriminalizing or regulating” the practice.
“If we able to put people in Parliament that will do the job and do it properly we will need to come out and represent. Under my leadership I have a lot of creative ideas to improve this country. It is not very difficult to make Barbados a successful economy,” Lewis told Barbados TODAY.
He explained that he quit as Harewood’s campaign boss because people were attempting to use his affiliation with the sex industry to destroy her bid for a seat in the House.
“I feel that I have taken Natlee to a great spot. What we have achieved in two weeks no one could have imagined. I started to believe that there were forces trying to use my current involvement in the adult entertainment industry to undermine the success of her campaign. So I felt that I could step down and the momentum that she already acquired was so much that it would not trouble her progress,” he said, adding that his absence ought not affect Harewood’s chances of defeating Bostic.
“People will always have negative comments to about Natlee or anyone in the political arena. I don’t believe that me stepping down would harm her – actually I think it will sharpen her chances and skills going forward. She is well on the way with her support which will carry her to the finish line.”
Lewis said there was already quite some interest from potential candidates, although he did not reveal the number of seats he intended to contest.
“I have already received a number of messages from individuals who are interested in becoming candidates. I now have to conduct interviews but I am looking for people with certain qualifications. Certainly they have to come from the adult entertainment industry, whether a former prostitute, stripper, exotic dancer, webcam performer, that is the number one criteria,” he said.
Additionally, according to a post of Lewis’ Facebook page, those who wish to join the PPP must have “a genuine interest” in improving Barbados’ social and economic conditions, willing to change the political status quo, have a business and entrepreneurial mindset, and must be in favour of legalizing, decriminalizing or regulating prostitution and other adult industry activities, among other skills.