St. Philip North speaks

by Davidson Bowen

dlplashleywinsThe presence of the police at the locked gate leant a note of seriousness to the atmoshphere at the Hilda Skeene School last night.

But the St. Philip North constituency, punctuated by a howling, bone chilling wind was so quiet you could not ignore the crickets singing in chorus which was interrupted by the faint call of “Lashley!”, “Weir!”.

However, from the counting of the first box it was clear that incumbent Michael Lashley was galloping while his challenger Indar Weir was just trotting along. With the exception of one box PC3, where Weir scored 230, winning by one; Lashley opened a gap and came away with 4,053 of the 6,053 votes cast.

Then around 11 p.m. the honking of car horns burst through the quiet that had enveloped the evening as an entourage of seven vehicles drove into the compound with the recognisable lyrics of Here Comes The Party playing.

After addressing the media, Lashley, seen as the second strongest DLP candidate, danced with his supporters and encouraged his mother to “shake a leg”.

But the celebrations by the DLP victors were quite low key, as the blaring music of five years ago was replaced by pockets of people huddled around a small radio rubbing their hands together and literally biting their nails as the closeness of the election was becoming apparent.

After calling and congratulating his colleague Stephen Lashley, Michael Lashley stood with a small crowd of supporters as Returning Officer Henson Alleyne announced the inevitable.

Lashley, at a loss for words, thanked his campaign team and supporters.

“I would like to say thanks to my team and the vote tonight is indicative of the love I have for the people of St. Philip North and clearly that they have for me. I have worked very hard at the community and national level and I intend to continue to do just that and strengthen the Democratic Labour Party in St. Philip North and Barbados.

“You see, you can’t just get up one morning and decide that you want to be a politician and not connect to the people, especially not if they are people you come from among. But it will tell you, having gone beyond the 4,000 mark leaves me speechless. I am really moved,” said Lashley.

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