Paying for the votes
From as early as Tuesday night St. Joseph, St. Lucy, St. James and St. Andrew, he charged that he had been told, have been earmarked for a systematic buying of votes in favour of BLP candidates.
Expressing disgust at “the tactic”, Jones speaking on a Democratic Labour Party platform in Orange Hill, St. James last night, stated: “I am being told that in this part of Barbados, $1.7 million has been put aside. I am being told, I do not know, I did not count it, and even if I counted it, it would still be $1.7 million. It is not mine.
“You must not yield to temptation, but you know what is being said to be done with that? By Tuesday evening just after dusk, people will be around and about this area, in St. Joseph, in St. Andrew, in St. Peter, in St. James North, in St. Lucy, in St. James Central, in St. James South, and they ain’t worried about St. Thomas, and they will be doling out, on Tuesday evening, watch for it, $200- and $300-bills.
“But do you know that it has become even more insidious. On Thursday, young people and others are being told to take your cell phones into the voting booth and if you want the $500-bill take your camera in your phone and take a picture of your vote and bring it and show us. Can you understand what is happening in Barbados,” said Jones, who had on previous platforms this election spoken out against the practice of buying votes.
The education minister had maintained then that this was not the kind of politics practiced in Barbados and called on the people to draw it to a stop.
“It has never been like this — this pollution,” he said last night. “That is what is taking place by those who really don’t care about law, about state of this nation, about the corruption of our young people.
“They don’t care about putting poison in the blood of our youth and we speak of a country, of a nation, where truth, right, justice, and equity can stand with equal protection under the law, of fairness. That is what we speak about.
“But below the underbelly, in the trash heap, there are men and women operating, trying to poison our young people. The lure of money, the cancer in Barbados, is seeking to change politics in Barbados forever … Let our people reclaim their dignity, those who have participated before; take your dignity back from men and women who say they want to represent you.”
The $1.7 million, he said, should remain where it was.
“Let them take it back to their masters. Take it back. The people must take a stand. The youth who we say daily are our future must not be so used… So what are we going to do? How are we going to protect our children?
“We can do that by changing the kind of behaviour which is being perpetuated by the BLP. That is how we must do it and the mark must start form here in Orange Hill, Baywoods, Endeavour. It must start somewhere,” he stated. (LB)