Fed up with Dem!

Former DLP minister says Bees just as bad as Dees

With general elections about a year away, a retired Democratic Labour Party (DLP) politician and senior attorney said Barbadians are fed up with the party he once served in Parliament.

At the same time, former Minister of Justice Keith Simmons, QC, suggested voters were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea based on the choices for prime minister, and this could result in widespread voter apathy come the next election.

Keith Simmons, QC

Simmons, who served as minister in several other capacities, including health, education, labour and youth, told Barbados TODAY while people have had enough of the Freundel Stuart-led DLP administration, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) under the leadership of fellow attorney-at-law Mia Mottley has failed to inspire energy among disillusioned voters, which means a large percentage of them will stay away from the polls at the next election.

“Mia Mottley is not getting any traction and the problem is disillusionment among the electorate. Unfortunately people are fed up with the DLP, so we have a serious problem . . . . I believe that the turnout at the next general election will be the lowest in the history of Barbados because people are fed up with politicians on both sides. From my experience of walking the road, a lot of people are not going to vote. If they get a turnout of 45 per cent they are lucky,” a frank-speaking Simmons said.

There have been no recent opinion polls to measure the public’s mood; however, the last poll published in February 2016 found that 62 per cent of Barbadians wanted a change of Government.

That poll, conducted by Systematic Marketing & Research Services, found only 20 per cent support for the Stuart administration and 40 per cent backing for the BLP, with 34 per cent refusing to divulge their party of choice.

It also found that Mottley had a 21 per cent approval rating – down from 48 per cent approval in a public opinion poll published by CADRES in 2015 – four points better than Stuart’s 17 per cent approval rating.

However, the DLP administration has since come in for widespread public criticism and ridicule over its handling of a number of issues, not least of which is the economy, which last Friday suffered its 18th downgrade since the party assumed power in 2008.

In the wide ranging interview with Barbados TODAY, Simmons stopped just short of accusing parliamentarians from both sides of showing nothing but contempt for the Barbadian public, accusing the politicians of being concerned only about their pensions.

It was for this reason, Simmons said, he was in favour of a system where voters could recall their parliamentary representatives if they were dissatisfied with the quality of representation they were receiving.

“My view is that our politicians, not only now, but for a long time, have not been telling the people the truth . . . . As a matter of fact I feel politicians on both sides just laugh at people because when they win a seat they forget about the people. They get a good salary and after ten years they get a pension. That’s not good enough. There should be a recall system in place in Barbados.”

Simmons, who sat as a magistrate, first in Bermuda from 1971 to 1973 and then in Barbados from 1973 to 1981, also took the opportunity to express his dissatisfaction with the justice system and the pace at which the wheels of justice were turning.

He was particularly concerned about the number of murder accused who have had to wait for as long as ten years in some cases to have their matters heard, and the number of people accused of gun crimes who might never have their day in court.

“I know people who have been charged with murder over the last ten years and I am not so sure that the preliminary inquiry has been heard yet. So young men are laughing at us. They shoot someone, they go in jail and after six months they get bail.

“I have cases 12 years old for persons shooting at policemen. If the person is innocent it means his life is on hold, but what about the victim if he is guilty? After 12 years the chances are that some of the policemen might have gone overseas, some of the witnesses could have died and the accused is back on the streets,” Simmons complained.

The senior attorney called on the authorities to modernize the justice system, and he criticized the continuing practice of taking statements by hand.

“Those days are out. There are electronic devices that when a person speaks it comes out at the other end as a statement. Why can’t we invest money in that area?” he asked. nevilleclarke@barbadostoday.bb

32 Responses to Fed up with Dem!

  1. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne March 7, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Enough of Dems! They need to take their steel beam and go!

    Reply
  2. John Everatt March 7, 2017 at 12:33 am

    I think that Mr. Simmons is correct in all of his statements. Problem is – will anybody listen?

    Reply
  3. Sherlock Holmes. March 7, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Now i listened to this excerpt on a media outlet and the story encompassed both parties so why such a headline here? Is fake news now creeping in here merely for political effect?Please be more circumspect and honest when reporting Barbados not Today as this creates the wrong impression from the headline.

    Reply
  4. Tony Webster March 7, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Mr. Simmons’ candid commentary reinforces his fine public service record. When he was Attorney General, I had cause to write him regarding a spike in crime, and offered a few positive thoughts on the root causes, and policy options. I got a perfectly cogent reply, within a week.

    Such exemplary national service, is on the endangered species list, nowadays. Great to know he is yet tack-sharp.
    Here’s to you, Sir!

    Reply
  5. Harry March 7, 2017 at 7:06 am

    A gentleman that we should listen for unfortunately he speaks the truth.

    Reply
  6. Mark Adamson March 7, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Three things here.

    1) With so many people having become disillusioned with the DLP and BLP and their egregious and other wrongdoings, it must be helped stated by me that there are alternative parties who are here to serve the people of Barbados and who must therefore be supported by greater numbers of people in the country.

    2) Mr. Keith Simmons – rather than just talking about a system of recall of elected parliamentarians – ought to be tirelessly campaigning amongst the people for their support for such a fundamental dispensation to be made part of the constitutional affairs of Barbados.

    3) He is absolutely right that Mottley is creating no traction ( other than negative traction) with her uninspiring, dull and lack lustre leadership. What my party and I have been saying is that Mottley is the WORST BLP leader EVER. Indeed, this is an expression that has had the agreement of thousands upon thousands of people in this country.

    Reply
    • Peter March 7, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Mark Adamson. Put your brain to good use. Any other party other than the two bunches of lying, uncaring imposters need to come up front and showcase their plans and methods to deliver Barbados from the hands of poverty, nakedness, crime and starvation. I am openly calling on BARBADOS TODAY to invite its readers to submit in written format, a business and action plan to move Barbados back to economic and social recovery. Let’s see people who really care, come forward. Talk to Mr. Tony Abed. Maybe the Private Sector can get involved. Instead of 300 of them offering trips to Dubai and funneling away Barbados dollars and VOB playing ad after ad promoting it which is incredibly monotonous and repeated 6 times an hour.

      Reply
  7. hcalndre March 7, 2017 at 7:56 am

    From time to time you`ll hear what should and could be done to improve many of injustices but its only talk. Barbados with a handful of people can`t get nothing done in a timely manner. The court system is in shambles, attorneys/politicians do as they please because there is no recourse when they do wrong. What first world status? that`s a feel good idea, transportation, 5 million commuters use mass transit in NYC every day, barbados can`t do a few hundred when the day come, people not sure when a bus would arrive to take them to their jobs or appointments. The reason barbados used get away with all the skulduggery is because bajans don`t make noise about anything so the world believes that everything there is rosey and good, it`s only since the social media, things are out in seconds, nothing is hidden and politicians and certain people would like to see the end of the freedom that the ordinary person has using their gadgets.

    Reply
  8. Rosemary P. Leon March 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

    The electorate will decide.

    Mr. Adamson there are political parties with candidates who have never won their seat; some lose their deposit because they have not received the required number of votes. How many times have you offered yourself as a candidate and have been “successful”?

    The electorate will decide.

    Reply
  9. Gearbox1964 March 7, 2017 at 8:32 am

    So won’t there be new political parties contesting the next election? Why is our mindset still confined to thinking only DLP and BLP?

    Reply
    • Randolph March 7, 2017 at 9:46 am

      You should join the MAD comedians.

      Reply
      • Peter March 7, 2017 at 11:35 am

        This MUST be Randolph better known as “Goat-face.” Well goatface, that’s an honor because Madd is a talented group of satirical entertainers.

        Reply
  10. Cavil Best March 7, 2017 at 8:38 am

    The Dems need to play some hardball and ignore the foolish talk coming from these pussycats. Barbadians ain’t silly Keith Simmons. Since your retirement from the political landscape I have never seen you on ground unless you mean driving around. Dems will be triumphant in the next general election in 2018 nothing will stop them.

    Reply
    • harry turnover March 7, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Cavil Best you is a man or woman ? you caaaan be serious about DEM winning the next election when DEM from talks ON THE GROUND say that the WANT TO LOSE IT since everything is now in place for DEM.
      Looks like you are in the same boat as Simmons.You need tostop keeping noise , get down off the paling and go inside and see wha gine on

      Reply
  11. bradg March 7, 2017 at 8:48 am

    @Mark Adamson. The people do not want the DLP and the other political parties are……frankly, immature.

    The BLP will win the next election. STAMP IT!!

    Reply
  12. seagul March 7, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Our politicians are not only now, but for a long time, have not been telling the people the truth . . As a matter of fact politicians on both sides just laugh at people because when they win a seat they forget about the people. They get a good salary after taking their orders from the West minister lobby. So keep smiling and play your part, the monarchy show must go on. We’re under a system shaped by greedy US & UK corporate interest and lobbies. Whoever wins the elections will still be beholden to them, so here we are infighting and doing each other dirty for what….

    Reply
  13. Lee R March 7, 2017 at 9:08 am

    We as a country can’t afford to be on this track. We need a new mandate and vision for our country. The present government is clueless. We have to try something different. I do hope the young people of this country come out and vote, hopefully not for any financial gain, but for the love of their country.

    Reply
  14. Bajan First March 7, 2017 at 9:22 am

    It is unfortunate that neither of the two established political parties have the confidence of the majority of the population! Whichever wins the next elections will be faced with a level of criticism unmatched in the history of the country which if not responded to could result in a level of violent protest unmatched by even the 1937 riots. Not a good time to be in politics and worse still to be the government!

    Reply
  15. Randolph March 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

    The people are so fed up with DEM that they will come out in their numbers on Election Day and vote massively for the Barbados Labour Party.It is going to be so massive that DEM might lose their strongholds of St.John and St.Lucy.

    Reply
  16. Carson C Cadogan March 7, 2017 at 9:39 am

    He is speaking because he is not dumb. Nothing he says makes any sense.

    Reply
    • hcalndre March 7, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      C C Cadogan, to whom are you referring to, the PM or the former CJ.

      Reply
  17. Randolph March 7, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Mark Adamson is a real joker.Ms Mottley will prove to be one of the greatest PMs in Barbados.Wait and see.

    Reply
    • Carson C Cadogan March 7, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Wait, you mean Ms. Mottley who in 2006 the American Ambassador referred to as “not being very bright”?

      Reply
  18. Randolph March 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Mark Adamson you will see the thousands and thousands on Saturday 11th March.

    Reply
    • Sherlock Holmes. March 7, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Are you sure Randolph? Hillary and her team were so sure Randolph and what happened? You would be very silly to gauge true public sentiment from a turn out of a march. What about the silent majority and those who now seem to have a yearning for a new party let me tell you something i am on the ground too and a large number of the populace are totally fed up and disgusted with both major parties there is a lot of interest brewing for new blood so do not fool yourself.

      Reply
  19. Greengiant March 7, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Yes this is truth to the fullest, many party members and supporters need to stop burying their heads in the sand and admit the proven short comings of both parties. We really need to look at an alternative, we need to look what capability the candidates offer. Again I will prefer to see the lawyers working in the courts to get our judicial system sorted.

    Reply
  20. Yvette March 7, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Just to make sure the DEMs will not get in, I will go and vote BLP. I don’t care much for their leader as Prime Minister but my feelings that the DEms should not win again are stronger.

    Reply
    • Sherlock Holmes. March 7, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      So your vote will be the deciding vote….. as hard as i try to make sense of what you have said your logic defies me.

      Reply
  21. harry turnover March 7, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Since the MAJORITY of sensible people who can see and judge for themselves say that the DEMS have done NOTHING since they were elected in 2008 and there is PROOF …since their mechanical economist has been trying to move the economy forward since 2008. failing every year,lying every year.
    To those people who are saying that both parties are to blame.do they not know that had it not been for the WELL MANAGED economy,good foreign reserves LEFT by the SAME BLP BEFORE 2008 that EVERYTHING would have been ‘ gone to the dogs’ EVER SINCE?
    DEM came in 2008 found a good economy,good foreign reserves a control debt and tried to continue and improve on it but ended up ” putting diesel in a gasoline engine ” and it now MASHED UP .
    Pundits are now saying that it would take about 10 to 15 years to get the economy back to the pre 2008 state ..but IGNORING the other fact that had it not been for the GOOD MANAGEMENT of the economy for 14 years is the reason why Bdos REMAINS AFLOAT TODAY.

    Reply
  22. seagul March 7, 2017 at 11:57 am

    What happened in 2008 was a worldwide economic disaster. This stupid partisan sweetbread politics keeps us unwise and deeper in the ditch. The selected politicians are beholden to the gold cup sandy lane owners etc…The business minded need more than ever to support each other and stay off the kool aid.

    Reply
  23. Frank Gilkes March 7, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    The people of Barbados will decide by their numbers which political party will form the next government of Barbados, in my view Mia Mottley and the Barbados Labour Party should form the next government since they are the most experienced and capable persons right now to lead this nation. Mia Mottley is well loved throughout Barbados and the entire region so I don’t know where Mr Simmons is living, or maybe his head is buried in the sand.

    Reply
  24. Johnathan March 8, 2017 at 9:17 am

    @harry turnover Cavil Best is a woman…let Simmons know that the people have seen the BLP as their only hope and I assure him and all bajans that they will disappoint. As they did before they will do it again. We know like all of us he how feels about the DEMS as he was a Barrow DEM but this bunch surely not of that brand. Thy maligning the BLP in the process is not going to help as Barbadins are much smarter than that.

    Reply

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