Shaky Steve

No overwhelming support for Blackett in St Michael Central

From the look of things, Member of Parliament for St Michael Central Steve Blackett is standing on shaky ground, although his opponent in the next general election, Arthur Holder of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) cannot lay claim to the seat either.

The incumbent, of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP), may have a tough battle overcoming voter apathy as he seeks a third straight term.

Support for Blackett fell dramatically in the last election, which many had predicted he would lose, and Barbados TODAY found nothing to suggest he has recovered any lost ground.

In the 2008 election, the former broadcaster defeated the BLP’s Rudy Grant by 409 votes, polling 2,289 to 1,889 by Grant.

Five years later, and facing a new foe in Holder, the margin shrank to a nailbiting 39 votes. However, Barbados TODAY found out during a visit to test the Pulse of the People, constituents habour a deep distrust of all politicians.

This was made clear by Vernal Yarde of Lenster Road, who was not joking when he said he was “thinking of putting up a sign at the front of my house saying ‘no politicians allowed’”.

Vernal Yarde

Yarde, a 37-year veteran in the prison service, was hesitant at first to come to the door, later explaining he thought it was a politician calling.

Having satisfied himself that it was not, he listed everything he felt was wrong with Blackett.

“The only time I see Steve Blackett is if I walking going down by Howard [Supermarket], going down to go by Abundant Life to go church . . . and that is only when I see his poster [at the front of the constituency office]. I don’t see the person. It isn’t worth it . . . and that is the people I should vote for? Be reasonable,” he said.

“I have been in the prison service for 37 years and the worse time I ever lived in Barbados is now. The representation is poor.”

Many of the voters at Lenster Road, such as the middle-aged woman sitting in her verandah, and a four-member household nearby, said the only certainty was their uncertainty.

Even the woman who preferred to be called Nicole, who clearly was leaning towards the BLP, was not sure if she would vote.

“You get a better break with the Bees . . . everybody knows that. But they both still do the same thing,” she said.

Pressed to declare her hand, Nicole replied: “Well you know, the next toss is the Bees . . . time for change.”

Proprietor Winston Farrell was on the job at his Route 6 Bar with several patrons hanging out inside.

He made it clear all he wanted was effective representation.

“It doesn’t matter who represent me once I get good representation . . . because at the end of the day, you have to work with whoever is in,” Farrell said, prompting one patron to blurt out: “All of dem could go in a hole and be buried.”

Over in Savannah Road, a middle-aged man who gave his name only as Desmond made it clear his interest was in the troubling crime level.

“Crime is really outrageous in this country and all we getting is talk, talk . . . and it gine get worse, cause we ain’t doing nutten about it,” he said.

On the other hand, his neighbour Marcus Charles could not make up his mind.

Marcus Charles

“Me, my wife and my daughter are undecided. I have to meet the candidates first and listen to them,” Charles told Barbados TODAY.

Sheila Rochester, a physically disabled constituent sat uncomfortably in her wheelchair, as she explained why she was wavering.

Sheila Rochester

“I am undecided. I don’t see anyone. I don’t see Steve Blackett. I voted for Arthur Holder the last time. I went in a taxi to vote for him and Holder doesn’t come around. “I still waiting for a chair from Arthur and Blackett.”

Further along in Savannah Road, Andrew Maynard was at the door of his house carrying out repairs and surrounded by a number of friends.

Unlike so many of his fellow constituents, Maynard had made up his mind and was simply waiting for Election Day.

Andrew Maynard

“The administration that in now, them gine go, for me. They ain’t doing nutten for me. You could get rid uh them. In fact, all 30 I would like to get rid of. All 30 members of the Democratic Labour Party I would like to lose their seats. I ain’t even want them to get back their deposit,” the public officer said.

One of the men in his company, who preferred to remain anonymous, declared his  allegiance to the BLP, even though he said he was unlikely to vote.

“I ain’t voting for nobody. Right now, I fed up,” he said.

On the other hand, there was Marvo McIntosh, a staunch DLP supporter whose confidence in the ruling party remained solid.

Marvo McIntosh

“I like the ones [party] who represent [Errol] Barrow,” McIntosh said of the first Prime Minister. “That is the DLP, right?”

Over at Prince of Wales Road, the uncertainty was equally palpable, with voters such as Allisa Nurse, who could not make up her mind, Gloria, as she preferred to be called, who “don’t have a clue” who would get her vote, and her neighbour, who wanted to be referred to as Nurse, who was clear that “I ain’t voting for nobody”.

And there was Trevor Harding, an auto body repairman and a longtime supporter of the DLP. He was conflicted over whom to give his vote.

“Right now . . . I don’t know if I am voting. I normally vote Dee . . . [but] I ain’t sure yet,” Harding said.

Perhaps no one summarized it as well as Gloria Broome, a pensioner who in one breath said she would vote, although she would not reveal who had her support, and in another breath stated she would decide on Election Day.

However, there was a hint as to where she was leaning.

“You don’t see Blackett out here. He don’t come . . . out here. He only know the people up Station Hill and Bush Hall, Waterhall and dem places so,” the elderly woman said.


emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

9 Responses to Shaky Steve

  1. Sherlock Holmes. August 5, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Why these stories are being done by this reporter baffles me. Then again i should not say that, it is clear there is an agenda at work here.It is so reminiscent of the american media in the last USA election they tried everything to have their preferred candidate elected and the end result left so much egg on their faces that to this day they have not gotten over it and are still doing their best to damage the credibility of the victor.

    Reply
    • Leroy August 5, 2017 at 9:10 am

      You are quite delusional, if you cant feel the country crying out for proper leadership which this gov has no idea how to respond to.

      And as for trump, his days are numbered, you cannot conspire with an enemy to disparage your politival oponent in an election then try to cover it up.

      Reply
      • Breadfruit. August 5, 2017 at 10:29 am

        Total delusional DLP yardfowls dus cant get any corn fuh d BLP swallow. Um dus stick it duh throats

        DAMAGE thrump credibility????? all I can do is lol@dat

        Reply
    • hcalndre August 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      @Sherlock Holmes; who is doing the damage to Trump`s credibility but Trump himself. At least Trump fired a few of his choices in just 6 months and this fella can`t even tell any of his that the people are dissatisfied with their performances but then he would have to tell himself the same.

      Reply
  2. Milli Watt August 5, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    like how it shaping….lolololol

    Reply
  3. Sherlock Holmes. August 6, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    For you who hold fast to politics and stake your trust in mere mortal politicians, i don’t i trust in Jesus. It has never affected me who holds the reins of power i am obligated to live under their rule in will call out anything that i see as bias regardless of who is ruling and this method employed by this reporter every single week is bias at it’s highest maybe he plans to get the views of how the opposing candidates are viewed until then i see this as the work of shill.

    Reply
  4. Sherlock Holmes. August 6, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Correction …… should read i will call out anything i see as bias…….also…….until then i see this as the work of a shill.

    Reply
  5. Coralita August 7, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Why people does be looking for politicians is beyond me. I don’t like to see any of them, neither do I want them anywhere close to my house. Why do people think that because they vote for a particular politician that they will come visit them after and meet all their needs is beyond me. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. They only want your vote to get power.

    Any politician worth their salt would know the needs of their constituents and seek to help those who are the most vulnerable. They would have a working team in place to help in this social aspect. However, the main goal is to get the votes and once that is done, it is business as usual. Seems a rocket scientist has to come and tell so called educated bajans so.

    Reply
  6. Patty August 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    it is clear as day that there is an agenda with these so called interviews. The Bible reminds us that God is still watching this world and he reads the motives of man. I say look unto Jesus. What man does will not last.

    Reply

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