The incumbent Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) candidate for St James Central George Connolly today defended recent DLP attacks on Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley, saying it was a case of her reaping what both she and her party had sowed.
While making it clear that he would not be getting involved in any “cesspool” behaviour or “vulgarity” this political season, the businessman was adamant that as one seeking to take the reins of Government, Mottley had to be held accountable for her political stewardship.
“Ms Mottley has put herself out as being messianic in this election cycle. She has become the face and the weight of the party [and] I think that people, knowing her and having a lot of questions related to the myriad of things she is involved in, that brings herself up to scrutiny once she put herself out there as being the person the country should rally around,” Connolly said following Sunday’s DLP campaign launch which was held in Mottley’s constituency and which has been met with mixed response from the electorate, including some who said they were taken aback by the behaviour of some of the DLP platform speakers, including Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett who criticized Mottley’s hair and dress and also described her as an “imposter” with an intellect as low as “Brandon’s Beach at low tide”.
Without defending this particular attack, Connolly suggested that it was provoked.
“The BLP has a history of being particularly brutal in the way it goes after candidates and I have sat with some of the candidates who have been on the receiving end of some of the most incorrigible and salacious comments by the Barbados Labour Party.
“I mean, the Minister of Finance has been called a drug dealer, the Minister of Transport has been called a drug dealer, they have been called corrupt. Steve Blackett, it has been said that he is homosexual. I mean there are all sorts of crazy comments being made and these are people who are emotional creatures and sometimes when those comments are constantly thrown in your face, sometimes you get an emotional response and I believe what you saw on Saturday night, a lot of the vitriol, was an emotional response to continuous personal attacks on those individuals, but on a whole I would like us to get away from that completely. Are we going to do that? I don’t know, but that is something that I hope for,” he said, while wholeheartedly supporting the contribution made by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at Sunday’s meeting at Waterford, just outside the National Stadium.
“I think the points made by the Prime Minister were powerful in that ‘I am not one who supports coronations whatsoever and I don’t like people who believe they are entitled. I believe in a system of meritocracy and persons who think they are entitled always frighten me to hell away,’” the St James Central candidate said.
He also supported Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s comments on the economic proposals presented by Mottley, while
warning that Government would have to find $400 million in six months to support such “lunacy”.
He also charged that the BLP was devoid of any workable ideas and that its proposed strategies were “incoherent”, while backing up Dr David Estwick’s position that the south coast sewage project was a “time bomb” which BLP stalwart Sir Henry Forde had warned since 1994 would explode since “it was a mistake to construct it in the way in which it was constructed”.
Asked about his own chances and those of the DLP of winning the May 24 poll, the first time candidate said: “I don’t have a crystal ball, but certainly the DLP has a superior line of candidates and will retain the Government. I can’t tell you the margins, but in my gut I feel that the margins will be higher than what it is right now.”
The BLP took 16 seats in the last election compared to 14 for the BLP, which subsequently lost two after former Prime Minister Owen Arthur quit the party and became an independent, and Dr Maria Agard of Christ Church West was kicked out of the party.