Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley has launched an attack on the Mia Mottley-led Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) amid growing calls for political candidates and their supporters to desist from mudslinging and violence.
Speaking at his first political meeting since the announcement of the May 24 general election date, Lashley told Democratic Labour Party (DLP) supporters in the St James South constituency on Monday night that he was on a “fearless mission” to prosecute the BLP.
Stating that the main Opposition party had been in a “campaign mode” for the past ten years, Lashley accused the BLP leader of not having any order, explaining that she was always quick to walk out of Parliament, “abuse the process of Parliament” and “go up and down” Barbados telling Barbadians they made a mistake in the last two general elections.
“I have said over and over again, my mission in prosecuting the Barbados Labour Party is a very fearless mission. It is one that does not have any fear whatsoever, and we need more people in Barbados who will stand up in the face of the kinds of insults and disregard for the people of Barbados that we have seen coming from the platforms of the Barbados Labour Party and coming from their actions,” insisted Lashley.
Urging DLP supporters not to fall for the “cheap propaganda” of the BLP, Lashley also took a swipe at the party for its annual Heroes Day picnic, which was attended by thousands of people last Saturday at Barclays Park along the Ermy Bourne Highway.
Lashley said it was nothing but dramatics, suggesting that a number of patrons were “paid” or “forced” to attend.
“They are good at mirror and images that have nothing to do with the day-to-day issues confronting Barbados. So what we had was a spectacle. We had a number of vehicles that were paid for, not by the Barbados Labour Party you know, because what is happening in this election is that the Barbados Labour Party is being funded by sources that do not have any regard for the people of Barbados,” Lashley charged.
“. . . That is why you could have Barbados, on National Heroes Day, being awash with hired ZRs, hired trucks, hired donkey carts, hired bicycles, hired some of everything, all about Barbados, telling people you got to get in here. And you have people who were being forced to put on red, jump in a van and go to the East Coast. And I challenge them to say that was not the case,” said Lashley.
In his wide-ranging attack, the Christ Church West Central Member of Parliament also cried shame on the BLP for having alcohol at the event, which he said was accessible to young people.
Lashley also weighed in on a concern raised by BLP Chairman George Payne recently about the relaxed approach of the DLP going into the May 24 election. Lashley warned that the Freundel Stuart-led DLP would soon be turning up the pressure.
“The Democratic Labour Party, we have not even rolled out the ammunition yet you know, we just started to dabble and they are frightened as hell across Barbados. George Payne, he kind of wants to know, ‘how come they are not doing this’.
“I guarantee you, when we unleash against the BLP they are going to run and run, and run across Barbados. I guarantee you that. I am going to put in my portion of blows. I am going to deliver my jabs and I am going to make sure because it is a part of my mission,” said Lashley.