Woeful St John

St John MP losing support of unhappy voters

The constituency of St John has unquestionably been Democratic Labour Party (DLP) “country” for over 50 years.

Going back to the Father of Independence Errol Barrow, the DLP has enjoyed near fanatical support in the eastern parish.

Barrow’s death in 1987 did little to impact the backing the party had received from constituents, as future Prime Minister David Thompson comfortably made the seat his own.

However, the DLP appears to be losing its dominance, as voters express their dissatisfaction with Member of Parliament and Thompson’s widow, Mara.

Barbados TODAY went on a four-hour sun-drenched tour of the rural constituency Friday morning to feel the Pulse of the People, and discovered that several residents who once backed the DLP had withdrawn their support for the parliamentary representative, although there was no clear indication that they would all switch allegiance to the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

Still, there were the die-hard supporters, who, although clearly unhappy with the quality of representation, the state of roads and an unreliable bus service, insisted they would stick with Mara all the way.

“If things tight, the Government supposed to be brek, it could do so much and no more till they get money. The roads are bad, yes. I admit that they want fixing, and fixing badly. But if the Government brek, aint got nuh money, wuh duh gine do? Blood can’t come from stone,” Janett Holder, a resident of the DLP stronghold of Foster Hall said.

Janett Holder

Not comfortable to dwell on the negative, Holder switched the conversation to achievements in the constituency.

And even when she drifted back to the failures, she absolved the Member of Parliament, who has represented the constituency since her husband died in October 2010, less than three years after he was elected Prime Minister.

“The clinic open, Lodge School looking fabulous, so wuh more can she do? The Government might be at fault for neglecting the parish, but I aint know wuh she can do.”

Like fellow parishioners, Rawle White, also of Foster Hall, is crying out for help in the constituency.

Rawle White

In addition to the perennial complaints about the state of the roads and the quality of the bus service, White has had a tough time finding a job.

The hard times notwithstanding, he said his vote would go to Mara Thompson simply because “you know what you got, but you don’t know what you are going to get”.

“Sometimes you might try someone else and they might never do nuh better. So if she dey, yuh could well leh she remain dey, cause yuh doan know,” he told Barbados TODAY.

However, there are those whose past insatiable passion for the DLP has been transformed into an intense desire to see the back of the party.

One of them is a voter who wanted to be referred to simply as Anthony.

In a clear reflection of his disaffection with Thompson’s representation, Anthony told Barbados TODAY she would never get his vote again.

”Down here getting neglect, from Martins Bay to Foster Hall. You get a bus every six hours. Sometimes you don’t get a bus. You get a bus at 10.30 a.m., next time yuh get a bus at
3 o’clock. I would like to see Mara lose her seat here in St John,” he stressed. Norma Moore, who was walking through Foster Hall with Anthony, did not mince words regarding her attitude toward the DLP representative.

But hers is not a vote that Thompson will lose, because she never had it in the first place.

“I never voted Dees [the DLP],” Moore said, adding that she was not about to begin doing so.   

Mabel Lewis

Over at Glenburnie, another DLP stronghold, we met Mabel Lewis, at one time a sure vote for the DLP.

But not anymore, although this does not mean she was about to vote for the BLP.

The last time she cast a vote it was for David Thompson.

“I am not voting anymore,” she insisted, a position strongly echoed by Ruby Moore, another Glenburnie resident, who also last voted for the late Prime Minister.

In New Castle, an angry Vindley Goddard, who had been supporting the DLP since 1981, said he had had enough of the party’s broken promises.

Vindley Goddard

In addition, he had a personal grouse, stemming from Government’s failure to have a trench dug to divert water and debris from his home whenever it rains heavily.

“Mara . . . is off my map man, I finish wid Dem. It is nothing personal. They can’t stop my pension . . . I dun vote fuh dem,” Goddard told Barbados TODAY as he pointed to debris that had washed onto his premises and filled up an 18 inch trench that he had dug.

Visits to other areas in the constituency, including, Clifton Hall, Edge Cliff and Gall Hill, revealed a similar situation, with many DLP supporters either undecided or making it clear they would not vote for the party in the next election.

And there was Thelma Skeete of Foster Hall, who vowed that “the only body I will be voting for now is Jesus”.


18 Responses to Woeful St John

  1. Iteebah Cadogan
    Iteebah Cadogan April 1, 2017 at 1:31 am

    I tell yah smh

  2. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn April 1, 2017 at 3:02 am

    Time for a change people.wake up and see what is going on. It have some politicians ,you only see them when election is getting close.

  3. Sam Clarke April 1, 2017 at 8:02 am


  4. Juliet April 1, 2017 at 8:48 am

    St. John had the likes of Errol Barrow and David Thompson. That parish should be a force to be reckoned with. That is one parish that the folks should be well taken care of, proper roads, etc. It’s time for a BIG change in that constituency.

  5. Johnathan April 1, 2017 at 8:58 am

    St. John has a new BLP canidate in Charles Griffith one of their own who was borned among them,lived amongst them and will work diligently with his leader and members of a new BLP government to ensure St. John receives decent service and the programmes for the youth are clearly thought out and presented as he has done for the children of St. John all of his life. I am from St. John and I will never vote for the DLP foreign lady who dissed our women. I like many others will switch. For Charles Griffith and I want to encourage the others to treat Mara the same way she treated us. She ran away from St. John and so we will run away from her when the time comes…Barbados today you got this one right we done with her…we voting for our own this time.Charles Griffith all the way….

  6. Glen April 1, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Barbados Today Prides itself on sound reporting, yet it seems to see nothing wrong with someone stating that a bus comes every six hours. It is true that the public transportation system needs a radical overall, but a bus every six hours is untrue. In addition your headline woeful St. John, perhaps a more fitting headline would be
    resilient St. John. I’m sure you would have notice the nice houses.

  7. PERRY April 1, 2017 at 9:34 am

    i am always in amusement when i hear ppl say st John voted for DLP so they deserve what they got , when i look at the candidates sent by the BLP to st john i wonder what any sane person would have done had they have the choice between Errol Barrow and David Thompson against the others that were sent . now let me state from the onset that i was and never will be in favor of Mara Thompson running in st john because st John is not a family business , so now that i have cleared the air on that one , i turn to the BLP they have had the reigns of government for over 14 yrs straight and did not lift a finger in st john , not even to finish an already started health project , and sending all types of candidates that would not have feared in a brownie election to represent the people of st john , if you as a party want to secure a seat you put in the work , the last candidate who ran in st john by his own admission said that he did not get any help from his party and spent most of his personal money on his campaign , its the attitude by the party in waiting as it relates to st john , or at least that is what the facts say to me . and on to the DLP i have no doubt that if David Thompson were alive that we would have been given some attention in st John but you the members of the DLP ARE guilty as hell too for neglecting a parish who has been ever so loyal to you , and if i am not clear enough , let me say it pellucidly , ” TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN MUCH IS EXPECTED” AND IF THIS RULE IS NOT RECOGNIZED THEN IT WILL BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU , SIMPLE AND STRAIGHT . DUN TALK .

    • Randolph April 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      If the BLP neglected the parish in 14straight years,how many years did the DLP neglected St.John?Wake up Perry.

  8. Ch April 1, 2017 at 9:56 am

    St.John people are stupid.Election after election they continue to put in whoever of the Democratic liars party (dlp) This coming election will be of no difference up there for they will continue to do the same as they were doing for years but still complaining of getting nothing done.

    • harry turnover April 20, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      Not STUPID …CHUPID as R..ho.e.That is why they are known as the JOHNNIES of Barbados….a man dead and wunna vote fa he wife that in even a BAJAN.
      Hope that when the guvment change that the SAME things that gine on at the udder polyclinics and parishes like St.Andrew and St.Thomas will go on there too if wunna Johnnies vote back in DEM.
      I always hear people say that mothers and grandmothers would tell their daughters ” if ya see a donkey ( man ) ya is to ride he ( get NUFF outa he ) and maybe that is what the reps have been doing over the years to those JOHNNIES…. pompasetting because dem had 2 PM as reps .but with NOTHING to show.

  9. Perry April 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    So tell me plz if you dare to ,because I have shown you representation from both fronts , MR Randolph it’s obvious you want the votes for your party but I prefer to reason , and infrastructurally st john has been neglected but I have seen first hand what personal representation was about under Errol Barrow and David Thompson, I saw the empowerment of ppl thru opportunities for jobs study etc , I saw two men who was a part of their ppl and made themselves available to all in st john .
    I saw Errol Barrow and Thompson committing some of the most selfless acts for the ppl they represented and obviously loved and the ppl showed them how they felt for them by giving them their vote . I will reiterate that I am not fond of Mara Thompson being in st john and she cannot get my vote , but let me be clear. They are no words from u or anyone else to make up for the neglect the BLP has shown for the ppl of st john and none more glaring than the obvious contempt shown by doing no work what so ever on the poly clinic in 14 of e onomic bliss .and sending some of the worst candidates known to human kind to represent that beautiful parish and ppl . Where is the moral compass from which they would be guided? I would hope that you understand why it’s so difficult for the BLP to convince the ppl of st john other wise .

  10. Ernesta Catlyn April 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    I also agree that had David lived St John would have been transformed. David did not like walking around canvassing and he was well aware that nothing is forever. His development of St John would have done the talking and walking for him. It is clear that Mara has no interest in politics or for that matter the people of St. John; actually I think she is contemptuous of the people of St John. Will she do the right thing? Most likely not – why should she?

  11. Randy Bridgeman April 1, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    I’ with Sis. Thelma.

  12. Waiting April 1, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I agree with you Perry that the BLP should have finished the Polyclinic in times of plenty and they could then be singing a different tune although they did do some road work during that time as I worked in the parish during those years. It is a fallacy of parties to ignore the opponent’s strong areas…sad.

  13. Lorenzo April 2, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Perry for over fifty years of representation the blp had fifteen of those years how many the dlp had?Let me answer for you thirty five years,seems to me the greater neglect came under your party.Time to take of the blinkers.

  14. Darson April 2, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    you guys are so off base Remember Tom Adams and St John had 10 Years and Arthur had 14 that is 24 by my count

  15. Zeus April 3, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Can someone explain to me what is political help….. Are a as a people not going to move away from this disease of waiting on hand outs…. Are there any slums in St John….. What is the crime situation there as compared to other parts of Barbados… what is the population ….Please tell me what is this political help St John needs….by the way BT are you going to involve all 30 constituencies in your poll

  16. J. Payne April 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    I guess “D” could dress-up a Bank Holiday Donkey as their candidate and they would vote for um down there… St. Lucy doan change either.


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