Keep it clean!

In yesterday’s edition of Barbados TODAY we published a comment from Anglican Bishop of Barbados, Dr. John Holder admonishing the politicians involved in the current general elections campaign to stick to the high ground.

Perhaps, like us, Bishop Holder had picked up the vibes of recent months which suggested that this time around the cut and thrust of politics was going to draw more blood the usual. There is a lot at stake and it has been clear for a while that neither side intends to go down quietly — or cleanly.

As is so often said, politics can’t be equated with Sunday School, and no reasonable person should expect anything less than a most robust campaign. But robust does not have to mean dirty, and today we join the Bishop’s call for restraint.

We are sorry we could not get our hands on a recording of the speech delivered by the Barbados Labour Party candidate for St. Michael South Central Noel Lynch, which has apparently cut the Prime Minister quite deeply. Certainly, if what the Prime Minister charged against Lynch, who is running against him is accurate, then the former tourism minister and veteran politician, who was unseated five years ago by Stuart, needs to check his approach.

Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on where you sit — Stuart’s response to Lynch is public record, having been “broadcast” to the world via a live Internet feed from the Bay Street Esplanade last night.

Here’s some of what he said to and of Lynch: “He went into Christ Church East recently, as well, and launched a blistering attack on me … as though I am running up there.

“What did he say about me? He said I am black. But that is a fact. I am black and I am proud. I have never wished to be anything else. I am a proud black man. My father was a black man, my mother was a black woman, so what colour does he expect me to be?

“He said, according to reports reaching me, that my nose is broad. Broad or narrow, the nose is mine and I am very particular as to what I allow my nose to smell.

“And then, as he had said before…, he said I am ugly. Now, I go across Barbados, I mingle with people of all ages, of all races, of all classes. I talk to girls — young, middle aged and old — in the DLP and outside of the DLP and not one of them has ever said to me ‘You know Freundel, I think you are ugly’!

“So he does not have any allies. He stands out tonight therefore as the only woman in Barbados who thinks that I am ugly.”

And the campaign is only just warming up! It would be unreasonable of us not to expect the Prime Minister to defend himself and his party against attack, especially if that attack is perceived as personal, but the challenge is that every thrust and counter thrust in politics, is likely to lead to escalation and we are afraid that we are seeing a battle that will only slip deeper into the gutter.

Understand clearly that we are not singling out the Prime Minister, other than for the fact that his video is available for the world to see. We have seen the mud slinging from both camps, and in many instances it is raw — devoid of anything that would allow the speaker to claim poetic licence.

We can do better. We must do better!

The political billboard ploy last election by the Dems has now proven, we have to be careful were we step. The Bees have now erected their own billboards and stand firmly on the position they are following the letter of the law. We, however, believe they are outside of the spirit of the law.

So what is to stop some “shrewd” businessman who has embarked on a one-month promotion from erecting billboards all over the country, knowing that the Town and Country Planning Development Office has to give him 28 days notice for removal. By the time his deadline arrives he would have received his milage. That’s what the Dems did last election and that’s what the Bees are doing this time around.

Elections are about the future; but not at any cost. The path we take to the future is just as important as the destination we seek to reach.

3 Responses to Keep it clean!

  1. Rocky Jones February 1, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I am really in shock as to the behavior I am seeing coming out of Barbados. I am residing outside so am not privy to all the comments being made on both sides, but was able to view the videos on the DLP website. I was taken back.
    I cannot understand where we are going wrong, but I ask all those involve to cease and desist from the disrespectful behavior coming from our leaders. You as leaders are suppose to be setting examples for all, but the hair on my head grew when viewing those videos.
    I always thought of Barbadians as respecful, diginfied individuals when compare to other Caribbean nationals, but no more.
    The two videos of Mr. Stuart and Mr. Sincklar were disgraceful, lacking in morals, and self respect. Who would have thought that the Prime Minister of a country would stoop to such lows, using nasty insults to a fellow man. I always thought that having that role, a person is believed to have such character as batter than most of us. Mr. Stuart what do you say to the young people of Barbados when they do the same. Can you tell them don’t do as I do. What a shame.
    I understand that it is the behavior of both parties, so my question to Mr. Arthur what are you saying to the young people as well. Are you the role model they should follow. I would think not.
    To all the politicans of Barbados, clean up your characters. Be repectful, dignified and be on higher grounds loving each other as God would have you do. Remember that Barbados is no longer in a safety vault, we are exposed for the whole world to see. Whatever is done is being viewed all over this world. For the tourists who might want to come see our lovely country, but will be swayed by our conducts.
    Politics does not have to be dirty, take a page out of our ancestors book. This not what they would have wanted for BARBADOS, which we all love so much.
    I ask God to guide each of you as you move forward to the 21st of February, the month of LOVE.

  2. Freeagent February 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I think that the above behaviour, as displayed by our leaders, is disgraceful. They ask our young people to “love and respect” yet this type of behavior is displayed not only to the young people but to the world.
    Young people out there, the politicians are friends: they are acting out their roles so do not allow them to turn you into hateful, vengeful persons. Remember that there is a life after the election results have been announced and whichever party wins, we have to live and work together.
    Peace and love.

  3. Kay-rani rosita February 11, 2013 at 4:21 am

    I hear what both of you are saying, but you should thank God that that is as far as it goes, because in some countries, people actually lose their lives during elections where violence escalates between voters on opposing sides. I am sure you are aware it happens in Jamaica to name but one.


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