Election warning

Political scientists see lessons from British ballot

A leading political scientist says the outcome of Thurday’s election in the United Kingdom (UK) is a clear rejection by the electorate of the Conservative Party’s austerity programme.

George Belle also warned that the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) here in Barbados would also face similar rejection at the polls, in light of the $542 million austerity package presented by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler last week.

However, Britain’s Conservative Party still managed to hold on to power after forging a coalition arrangement with the Democratic Unionists following last night’s inconclusive result.

“The Conservative Party in England has been practising austerity and the people rejected austerity. The people in Barbados are already rejecting austerity,” Belle said.

He further sought to compare the policies of the ruling DLP with those of the Conservatives in the UK, charging that both parties were practising the same politics of “despair”.

On the other hand, the retired Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, argued that just like the Labour Party in Britain, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has come to be regarded by the electorate as the party of “hope”.

“It is the same formula of hope versus despair. The present [DLP] administration offers despair, while the [Opposition] Barbados Labour Party is offering hope,” Belle told Barbados TODAY, while contending that “despair goes with austerity” and that “the current neo-liberal policies, as practised by the Conservatives, led to despair.

In support of Belle’s argument, political strategist Reudon Eversley, said the recent surge by the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party was a revolt against austerity.

“The Labour Party in Britain presented a people-friendly policy [and] the people in England have become tired of austerity,” he said.

“The young people in Britain saw their opportunities dwindled and were energized by Corbyn,” added Eversley, who is predicting that the UK prime minister Theresa May, who now leads a minority government, will not be able to hold on to power for much longer and that Corbyn will replace her before the end of this year.

In Barbados’ case, Eversley argued that the DLP, which has been pushing austerity programmes for the past four years, was likely to suffer the effects of a revolt.

“The Barbadian people are tired of austerity. This year’s Budget shows that the Democratic Labour Party has embarked on a journey of political suicide,” he said.

Also commenting on the UK result, Head of the Department of Government, Sociology & Social Work Dr Tennyson Joseph argued that the good showing by the Labour Party was proof that the socialist agenda was still relevant.

“A lot of us in the Caribbean had abandoned the left agenda solely on the basis of a kind of political opportunism. The abandonment of the agenda arose because we as a people do not think for ourselves.

“On the contrary, Corbyn’s campaign is an example of a left wing politician and activist sticking to his guns,” Joseph said.

Addressing the political future of May, he said she would most likely resign or face a challenge from within her own Conservative Party.

Political scientist and pollster Peter Wickham said Thursday’s vote indicates that May could not secure a swift and effective exit from the European Union for Britain.

“I think that it drags out the [BREXIT] process. It creates a higher level of uncertainty. The pound is already reacting,” he said, adding that “I do not know if this is the best outcome for us in Barbados.

“Leaving the EU is not necessarily the best outcome either,” Wickham added.


15 Responses to Election warning

  1. Milli Watt June 9, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    only rejection……

  2. Mark My Word June 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    The DLP can forge a Government with the UPP and hold on to power, All Lynette need to do is get Owen and 16 other strong candidates and UPP gone clear
    BLP 12
    DLP 12
    UPP 6

    • Randolph June 10, 2017 at 8:08 am

      Which 12 will the DLP win?Name them.

  3. Zeus June 10, 2017 at 12:00 am

    When the pm of England called the election there was an article in BT featuring miss mottley who described the woman as a strong and decisive woman now that her snap election we hearing rubbish from these men ……BT if you care about fair journalism can you please republish that article

  4. Saga Boy June 10, 2017 at 12:40 am

    George Belle and Reudon Eversley are known for their anti DLP rantings. How did they interpret Trump’s win? Did they warn the BLP that the DLP might beat them? Both of them are biased and unscientific. Their comments are based on speculation. Peter Wickham did not draw the same parallel as his colleagues. He has learnt from his past.

  5. Sherlock Holmes. June 10, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Notice that no early polls have been done and if any were done they have not been released to the public. Is it the fear that a poll might Mobilize the supporters of the Democratic Labor Party who from all accounts are at this point more inclined to stay at home come election day. This is a sentiment that i am constantly hearing apart from the fact that there is also sentiments being expressed that interest is rising in alternative parties. The Democratic Labor party certainly has a task at hand in galvanizing it’s support base and the time to do so is very limited. The Budget has also created vast disillusionment among’st the populace and supporters of both parties are very displeased. If the Democratic Labor fail to rally it’s base then the outcome of the next general election will more than likely out of their favor.It is time that this reporter stop this act of push polling.

  6. Sherlock Holmes. June 10, 2017 at 2:29 am

    Correction .. the reporter who seems to a roving political analyst in respect of the other story pertaining to St Philip West.

  7. Carson C Cadogan June 10, 2017 at 6:49 am

    George be honest for a change.

    The Barbados Private sector owes central Govt. over $700million in taxes and duties which your Barbados Labour Party urges them not to pay.

    If these taxes and duties were paid there would be no need to impose new tax measures on the people of Barbados.

    And you know that.

  8. Carson C Cadogan June 10, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Instead of paying their taxes they are putting their monies on the Banks. The Banks in Barbados are awash with cash to the tune of over $6billion just sitting there catching rust.

  9. Kevin June 10, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Didnt the Conservatives win? The lost seats and their outright majority, but they still won with a majority.

  10. Greengiant June 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

    @ Carson C Cadogan; We may not agree on party support, but we know who owes what, we know why they don’t want the Barbados Revenue Authority, we know why they don’t want that Tax clearance certificate legislation. We know who is behind the plot to sabotage every effort by government to collect revenue owed, we know too that if this revenue is collected then the tax on the masses will be reduced significantly.

    The usual combined effort and electoral formula in Barbados;
    B L P + Private Sector + B C C I = B L P Government.

    George Belle + Reudon Eversley + Peter Wickham = Voters mislead = B L P Government.

    Why don’t these or any political scientists address the effects of a new party, the percentage voter turn out and the swing factor in the French elections? Sadly our political scientists are too attached to our regional political parties, they can never give the people factual assessments.

  11. Donild Trimp June 10, 2017 at 11:02 am

    @Kevin – Are you that daft?

    Can you explain how they won with a majority and still must form a coalition with one of the other parties to Govern?

    When you win with a majority, you Govern the country as a majority Government. You do not form a coalition with another party to Govern.

  12. joan Worrell June 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Is this what you were referring to in another column Carson?


    Reudon Eversley

    The long dark night of the BLP has come to an end. May Barbados never see the likes of it again. By the way, I want to encourage other Barbadians who were similarly targetted by the BLP because they were Dems or were otherwise affiliated, to tell their story. Barbadians must get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It must no longer be kept under the carpet. So Mia Mottley is calling for justice for BLP supporters. Why didn’t she call for justice for me, when I was editor of the Advocate and was being persecuted almost on a daily basis by the BLP?

    The full story of how I was treated by the Barbados Labour Party has not been told but I will do so one day and Barbadians will see what an authoritarian government we had. How we were on the brink of dictatorship because when the press is attacked and bullied into submission, freedom is always in danger.

    Some ill-informed Barbadians said I was too big for my boots when I reported Owen Arthur to the World Press Freedom Committee. If you do not stand up for yourself, no one else will. If they only knew what was happening to me, they would have been in full agreement. The media in Barbados were afraid of carrying the story. They apparently did not want to experience the wrath of the BLP.

    How many Barbadians know, for example, that the BLP complained to the Advocate’s management because I refused to eat their food at a media luncheon to launch their 1999 general election campaign? As a result, I was threatened with dismissal. Well, I sought legal advice and was prepared to sue the Advocate for breach of my human rights so they backed off.

    Let me say that the then CEO of the Advocate Mr Metzgen was a decent man who recognized what was going on and tried to defend me. I cannot say the same for certain members of the then Board who seemed more eager to please the BLP than to defend their employee – see supporting documents submitted by Reudon Eversley.

    Why would I want to eat from the BLP ? Their yardfowls used to leave the most foul messages on my voicemail, telling me they are going to get my … you know what .. out of the Advocate because I am a Dem. They could have easily poisoned me had I eaten their food and I certainly was not going to expose myself to that risk. I have my children to live for.

    The BLP wanted someone else to be editor of the Advocate. I never asked why the person in question did not get the job. I knew I was chosen on the basis of my professional track record, qualifications and vision. Systems Caribbean Ltd., after interviewing a short list, recommended me for the job. And, let me say this, without blowing my trumpet, the Advocate made a dramatic turn-around under my leadership. The record is there.

    I have a copy of a letter which Owen Arthur personally wrote to my chairman. I have kept it so that my grandchildren one day will see how this man tried to take bread out of my mouth. And I had done nothing wrong. He called my office one morning hopping mad. I told him I had just come in for the day and had neither pen nor paper in my hand to take notes of what he was saying. His letter, claiming I was disrespectful, said I told him I was taking no note of what he had to say. Different meaning!

    When all the crap was happening, I spoke to a certain well-connected BLP person and he told me they would have a problem with me because David Thompson is my friend. Imagine that? In fact, he even went as far as to tell me that I was on the phone in my office talking to David Thompson two days before, which was true. Talking to David Thompson was obviously a sin in the BLP’s books. Now, the person could have only found out this information from two sources: either the BLP had someone in the Advocate’s newsroom who was spying on me and reporting back to them or they had my telephone bugged.

    I will have more to say later and it will make uncomfortable reading or listening for Owen Arthur. I will relate an experience which convinced me beyond the shadow of a doubt that Barbadians had made a grave mistake in choosing Arthur as their leader. He should know what I am talking about if he remembers a certain phone call he made to the Advocate one day.

    The BLP is now demanding the justice they denied others. But they are getting a good deal. A well-known BLP person was recently appointed to a senior post at a statutory corporation which the BLP had refused to give that person. That would have never happened with a Dem under a BLP government. But I will say this: David Thompson is a gentleman – has always been. He has treated them all with decency and fairness which they did not show to Dems when they were in power.

    After I was forced to leave the Advocate, I could not find work in Barbados. I had to go overseas to earn a living to feed my children. I applied for a job at a government institution for which I was perfectly suited. I was invited to an interview but I was warned it was just a sham. My source told me that a certain person said I would never work in Barbados as long as the BLP was in power. I called up the HR person at the organization in question, told him to withdraw my name and keep the job because I didn’t need it as I had a better one overseas. A BLP yardfowl even saw me at a public event overseas and remarked, in front of everyone present, that the BLP had made a “refugee”. Incredible but true.

    My respect for David Thompson grew immensely during this period. You know why? He showed me his human side. He would call me quite regularly – not to discuss politics – but to enquire how I was doing. That meant a lot to me because you know who your real friends are, not when you are up, but when you are perceived as being down. This is the quality person who today is the prime minister of Barbados. It gave me great pleasure to work for him in the DLP election campaign in January as Communications Director and to have played a role in rescuing Barbados from the clutches of the BLP.

    I have told half of the story. The best is yet to come. You do not have to like me personally but, on the basis of what I have shared with you: Wasn’t I denied justice by the BLP? I am a citizen of Barbados – certain foreigners were treated better than some Barbadians by the BLP – and the Constitution of Barbados gives me the right of freedom of association. By associating with the DLP, I broke no law but the BLP government targetted me.

    But you see, the BLP always believes they are entitled to special treatment. Other people, however, can be treated like doormats. I wish them well, personally, but may they remain in the political wilderness for a long, long time to reflect on the evil things they have done and to repent for their sins. Perhaps the BLP was hoping I would have buckled and come to them on bended knee, like how some persons did, to beg them for a pick. If they were, they would have waited in vain. I would have preferred to die with my dignity than to debase myself by doing such.

    Further, I knew the God I serve would not have allowed it. God is good! God is great! I thank my greatgrandmother for my Christian upbringing. During those dark BLP days, it served me in good stead. It gave me the assurance that with patience this too would have passed, that the BLP would not be in power forever and that they would eventually fall in humiliation. Secondly, my Christian upbringing assured me of my ability to survive once I believed it was possible. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

    I expect certain BLPites on this blog will respond in their usual nasty way by going into the gutter because they can never face the truth. The truth always hurts. Going down in the gutter is not for me. The gutter is home to centipedes, slugs, cockroaches and other types of vermin and I am not at their level. Others however are free to make that choice through their behaviour.

  13. Greengiant June 10, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Joan Worrell, I’m very familiar with your experience under my old friend Humphrey Metzgen. Luckily Humphrey was no coward, and was used to real press freedom.

    I remember the B L P’s golden boy for whom they wanted your pic too, he is very noisy these days again. We both know how they all leave to work abroad every time they lose the government. Their saboteurs are positioned locally, regionally and internationally. Their effort to retake control of Barbados begins almost immediately from leaving office. I’m however concerned that persons like yourself are more concerned about how these actions affected you personally than how the actions of both parties affected the people of this country as a whole. How can you be so loyal to the political system that’s placing the security of our children at risk?

    Joan, educated people like us need to be examples to our youth, we need to break with the traditional parties, we need to play our part in reestablishing the foundations of our democracy by telling all about both D L P and B L P failings that has brought us to where we are today. We know that there are no academic qualifications required to be a political candidate, we know too there is no H R produced job description for a politician. So we need to be the people telling the country that as this current lot learned on the job so can the new persons who are as qualified or better qualified educationally than this lot.

    You Joan, like me know we need a new freshness to our parliament, you know as well that the lawyers here can’t run nothing but …………… so join me in getting these two parties out of our parliament. I was a product of the elder D L P’s, my uncle was a very senior parliamentarian, and led critical ministries with distinction. I was also very close to elder B L P parliamentarians as well, they were encyclopedias of economic knowledge. I know these guys don’t rest. How can they?

    Persons like yourself are too knowledgeable to be supporting either of these parties in the year 2017.

  14. Greengiant June 10, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Your testament to the workings of the BLPites is so strong they cannot respond. You’re so correct in all that you have said. I too commented on the appointment at the tourism body with the same opinion. A person who had been that deep in the B L P would only have gotten that pic under Arthur, and he would have had to force the hand of his tourism minister.

    That’s why as much harm as Arthur has done, the real Bees will never give his his due in that party as they will never forgive him for his politics of inclusion.


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