Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate in the upcoming St George North by-election Floyd Reifer has taken his Barbados Labour Party (BLP) opponent Toni Moore to task for staying silent on a controversial statement made by a former minister on her campaign platform.
And he has urged voters to “boycott” her and send her a message at next month’s polls.
Last Thursday night at a political rally at Golden Ridge Village, St George, former Minister of Housing under a BLP administration, Delisle Bradshaw, said that “…any idiot could play cricket”, as he held up Moore as a candidate with “international experience . . . representing people”.
Reifer said a strong message must be sent to the BLP for the “insulting” comment. “I am calling tonight on all of the people in St George North to boycott Toni Moore. Her silence on this issue speaks volumes. Boycott Toni Moore on November 11. Vote for Reifer. No more Toni!”, the DLP candidate declared.
Video of Bradshaw’s comments was circulated on social media, with some members of the public condemning him and demanding an apology, as Reifer had done.
In a statement issued over the weekend, Bradshaw said that after hearing a replay of his platform speech, he was “man enough to admit that my comment, made in the heat of the moment, was indeed not the best or most respectful way to make my point”.
“I have the greatest admiration for our cricketers; in fact, for all sports people,” Bradshaw had said, adding that his comment about Reifer, a former Barbados and West Indies cricketer, was more about his record of service in the community and plans and ideas. “Yes, he has played cricket at its highest level with some success, but politics, especially in these times demands more.”
Minister of Sport Dwight Sutherland, campaigning with Moore on Saturday, also told the media that the BLP government “respects all sportsmen and women in this country”.
However, on Sunday night, Reifer lambasted Moore for not speaking up against Bradshaw’s comment and called on voters to boycott the BLP candidate.
“I feel strongly [about] this. Many of you know my family is a cricketing family, so this cuts me deep. But people of St George North, you know what I realised in the last 24 hours after the insult that came from Toni Moore’s platform? We saw a written statement from the originator of the comment, but what is more telling is the video circulating with a comment from the Minister of Sport … – a lot of rhetoric, fluff.
“But do you know what was the most glaring observation? There was Toni Moore standing next to Dwight Sutherland, and not once did she take the microphone and condemn what was said on her platform,” the professional cricket coach said.
He accused Moore, the general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, of hiding behind Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and Sutherland instead of facing the people of St George North.
“St George North, Toni Moore continues to hide behind people’s coattails. She hid behind [Sir Roy] Trotman coattail; she hid behind the PM coattail; and yesterday, she was hiding behind Dwight Sutherland coattail. She has no backbone. This is who she is. Is that the type of representation you want?”
He continued: “She cannot even face the public on this issue. She refuses to face the people of St George North on this issue and then wants to represent us. No way! I played cricket all over the world, in front of hostile crowds under pressure, crowds of over 50 000 people, and she can’t even face 9 000 constituents in St George North? I want the parents of children that play sport in St George North, when they come at your door ask them, ‘which one of my children is an idiot?’” (IMC)