In the past week, much of the focus has been on domestic violence – and rightly so – in light of the gruesome murder of 36-year-old Onica King, which occurred in Swan Street, The City, of all places, in the presence of her two small children and allegedly at the hands of her own husband.
Barbadians also expressed serious outrage over the Windrush generation fiasco, as Britain’s Conservative government scrambled to repair the damage caused to its relationship with the region after delivering a major slap in the face to members of the West Indian community who have assisted most in its development over the past seventy years.
Ironically, with all the controversy surrounding Windrush, one could have easily forgotten our own silly season here in Barbados — that’s if we didn’t have certain political emissaries on our Whatsapp eagerly sharing videos and stories all day and all night in the hope of swaying us into voting, as they would have us do, in the upcoming poll.
Those at times annoying and already played out messages apart, things were pretty quiet in the hustings this week as fatigue appeared to be showing, especially on the part of the Mia Mottley-led Opposition Barbados Labour Party, which has been taking in every single dew drop since January in the hope of there being a snap poll.
But alas, they like us have learned the hard way that Mr Stuart’s hand cannot be forced. Not even if our economy depended on it, or for that matter the pole life of the BLP’s election posters, which like the party’s 2018 campaign have faded beyond the point of recognition, while Mr Stuart persists in keeping everyone guessing.
Even the campaign of retired prostitute Natlee has seemingly faded into oblivion, as her nine-day reign as the political newbie whose win would amount to the biggest political upset in Barbadian electoral history, expired.
Yet, as the political day grows old, there is no doubt in our minds where our leader’s head is right now after he unceremoniously ducked out of this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in the United Kingdom, leaving Maxine McClean to lead Barbados’ delegation to the London summit and High Commissioner to London Guy Hewitt to carry the mantle in multiple talks this week with the May administration, aimed at reducing the fallout from Windrush.
Under the cover of Government, the Stuart administration has been quite busy over the past few months making a slue of appointments, patching roads, fixing this and that, as it readies itself for elections.
All that is left now is for people to get their income tax returns, as announced this week, on the state owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) by the head of the Barbados Revenue Authority Margaret Sivers.
But what made the news even sweeter was not only that BRA had recently benefitted from a $5 million injection to assist it in clearing this long over due backlog, but the Commissioner also suggested that another injection was in store.
Did we just hear someone singing an amended version to Marc Martel’s Christmas classic which goes like this:
“It’s beginning to look a lot like [elections]
Everywhere you go
Take a look at the [NCC, NHC and BWA
Reportedly filled once again
With temporary workers]”
Based on Mr Stuart’s own pronouncements, we already know that our leader has every intention of going down to the wire, or as he recently put it, “You are given five years, serve five years. Don’t throw back the time that the people were so good to give you, back in their faces.”
With that said, there are few combinations left for Mr Stuart to play with if he is to stick to the letter of the law – as he is seemingly inclined to do – and with only 40-odd days left before his constitutionally afforded 90-day window elapses, which means any day now the bell will ring.
The only question now therefore is for whom will the bell toll?
Has Mr Stuart and his DLP done enough to convince voters to give them a third straight political term in office?
On the surface it seems not, but maybe our prime minister knows something that the rest of us still don’t know, otherwise Mr Stuart, the soon to be nationally heard chimes of the reverberating election bell may very well be for thee.