Benn can’t win

Haynesley Benn (right) and Mackie Holder during just concluded campaign.
Haynesley Benn (right) and Mackie Holder during just concluded campaign.

Former government minister Haynesley Benn is fooling himself if he thinks he will ever be elected to represent the place of his birth in the House of Assembly.

And this is regardless of whether or not his cousin and longstanding St. Peter MP, Owen Arthur, is his opponent.

That’s the firm belief of well-known St. Peter personality and Arthur’s friend and advisor of many years, Mackie Holder, speaking in the wake of recent statements from Benn, who failed to defeat Arthur for a second consecutive time in the February 21 general election.

“Arthur will not run again, but Haynesley will not win a seat in St. Peter. Haynesley is my friend and I really don’t want to attack him, but Haynesley is saying that the DLP caused him to lose, the DLP did not cause him to lose, he would lose anyhow,” Holder told Barbados TODAY.

Speaking on Sunday during a meeting of his Democratic Labour Party branch at the All Saints Skills Training Centre at Mile-And-A-Quarter, Benn criticised his party’s treatment of the northern constituency, and said he intended to be the candidate whenever the next election was held there.

“The party must therefore be informed, as soon as we have our business meeting, … that Haynesley Benn intends to be the candidate next time, whether there’s a by-election or a general election. And don’t try to entertain the thought of doing what you did in St. James North or what you did in St. Peter in 1991,” he warned.

Just yesterday after he was sworn in as St. Peter MP, Arthur told the media he intended to serve his full five-year parliamentary term.

“I will never step down from St. Peter, I was elected to serve and it would be a slap in the face of the people of St. Peter for me to say I am giving up. I asked to be elected and I don’t feel that you should do those things, (if) you are asked to be elected you serve,” he said at Government House.

Today, Holder, who has been involved in Arthur’s election campaigns since the 1980s, and was campaign manager for new St. George South MP Dwight Sutherland, said while Benn was right about the DLP’s long neglect of St. Peter, he was wrong if he thought he would ever be a victorious election candidate there.

“The performance of the DLP in St. Peter is the epitome of the neglect of one government against a segment of people. The history is there, Errol Barrow said that Boscobelle is off the map and Black Bess is behind God’s back. In other words they don’t care about you and this has always been the lot of St. Peter under the DLP, they just do nothing,” Holder said.

“Haynesley is claiming some housing projects, which is laughable because you don’t just don’t wake up and do a housing project, the land was acquired by the Barbados Labour Party and all the work done and they [the DLP] came in and had the houses built, but to claim it as yours is ingenious to say the least.”

“He is claiming a road building project which was part of the Pleasant Hall to Speightstown rehabilitation project, they just did not get around to completing the one from Ashton Hall, which was really the cutting down of Station Hill, but to claim it is just ingenious.

“You must not over promise and then under deliver and Haynesley wants to make people believe that he has been all this in St. Peter when simply he hasn’t. Haynesley grew up in St. Peter and left and went about his business, end of story. He was into the 4H Movement, but he didn’t start it in St. Peter,” Holder added. (SC)

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