A former diplomat and the unofficial Democratic Labour Party (DLP) campaign manager for 2018 general elections today sought to warn pollster and political scientist Peter Wickham to mind his words.
A day after Wickham charged that there was a circus-like atmosphere in the country in which Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was the ring leader and sex workers were establishing political parties, the Russian news organization, Sputnik, wrote an extensive article on the matter.
The article, entitled “Trading Erections for Elections: Prostitutes dip toes in Caribbean politics”, quoted Wickham as blaming Stuart for the current “political chaos” in Barbados owing to his delay in announcing general elections following the automatic dissolution of Parliament on March 6.
“The Caribbean island of Barbados is in a state of chaos with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart refusing to set a date for the upcoming election. Now a group of sex workers are planning to set up their own political party,” the article specifically stated.
However, in response, former Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ambassador Robert Bobby Morris accused Wickham of attempting to make Barbados the “laughing stock” of the world, while challenging the pollster’s suggestion that Stuart’s delay in calling the elections had forced former sex worker Natalie Natlee Harewood and other members of the adult entertainment industry out of the woodwork.
“Imagine [someone] could tell you that because nobody don’t know yet when the elections going to come, is the reason Natlee come out? You could imagine how low people could get! And listen to who it is coming from. Things like this will impact some people because it is in the Russian news on Sputnik. This globalization and I want people to know that everything that goes out ,comes back too,” the former CARICOM ambassador said, before issuing a specific warning to Wickham:
“I have problem with people that would push that kind of discourse upon Barbados and I am telling Mr Wickham clearly he is under watch. He is under watch! He is under scrutiny as much as any politician is and I want him to know that,” Morris said during the question and answer session that followed his delivery of the Astor B. Watts lunchtime lecture at the DLP’s George Street, St Michael headquarters.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY on Thursday, Wickham said the announcement this week by adult entertainment consultant Charles Spice Lewis that he was about to launch the Political Prostitutes Party (PPP) – made up of people in the sex industry – to contest the 2018 general election was all part of a mockery being made of the electoral process.
And he placed responsibility squarely at the feet of Stuart, whom he said had sunk the process of choosing this country’s leaders into the “realm of the absurd” by his refusal to name an election date even after the automatic dissolution of Parliament on March 6. “We have gotten into the realm of the absurd and I think the fact that we are having this conversation is evidence that we have stepped into that realm a long time ago,” the pollster told Barbados TODAY.
“We are already in an historic period where we are going now on a month that Parliament has been dissolved and the Prime Minister has not indicated when the election is going to be called and that is the most absurd thing. So this matter of a prostitutes party is all consistent with the circus that we are now,” he stressed.
However in further chiding Wickham for his remarks, Morris suggested that the regional pollster was not living up to the legacy of his grandfather Clennell Wickham, a heralded Barbadian journalist.
“I remind him of his grandfather and ask, could he replicate and reach levels that his grandfather had reached? … While I don’t consider him [Clennell Wickham] a national hero, he was very important in our history and that is legacy that Peter has to live to.
“I expect Peter to be the best at all time and when he does well I will applaud him, but when he gets down to certain levels I will tell him what about it. Life is long and the grave is not the end,” Morris stressed during the lecture in which he fended off questions of whether was in charge of the DLP’s general election campaign, saying any official announcement of his involvement would have to come from the leader of the party, even though inside sources suggest strongly that this is the case.
Morris also said it was for Stuart to clear the air on who will be carrying the party’s banner in stronghold of St John following incumbent Mara Thompson’s announcement that she is bowing out of active politics.