Smear tactics

Another DLP minister claims to be a victim

Mere days after Catholic Bishop Jason Gordon called for a clean political campaign void of mudslinging, another Government minister is claiming to be a victim of Opposition smear tactics.

On heels of claims by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler that the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was planning to put out “a lot of fake news, nasty, lying information” about him and Minister of Transport Michael Lashley, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley took to social media today, accusing the BLP of being behind a letter circulating via the same media and purporting to be authored by him, in which the writer expressed an interest in representing the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in St John.

In fact, writing in the third person, the Minister of Culture complained that former DLP candidate Neval Greenidge, who is now closely aligned to the Opposition BLP, took “the liberty of posting on his Facebook page, a fake document purporting to be an email from a Stephen Lashley to a Freundel Stuart”.

“The fake email was clearly orchestrated to create the impression that Stephen Lashley is writing to Freundel Stuart in his capacity as President of the DLP expressing his interest in being the party’s candidate for St John and making out a case why ‘Stephen Lashley’ is imminently qualified to be such a candidate,” he posted.

Lashley noted that the email did not include his or Stuart’s proper email addresses, and that Greenidge had taken down the “offending publication” after he sternly objected.

“Just for the record, the email is indeed fake and never originated from Minister Stephen Lashley, who is the sitting Member of Parliament for the constituency of Christ Church West Central,” he wrote, before turning his wrath on the BLP.

“These are clear acts of fraudulent behaviour, which must be condemned, in the strongest possible terms. Is this the extent to which BLP operatives will stoop? In this case, someone was obviously at pains to create a false email with potentially damaging political intent. It is clear that as we near the election season, the BLP operatives will be using the fake news weapon quite often, particularly against sitting DLP MPs in the hope of confusing an unsuspecting electorate.” he added, contending that it was not the first time that Greenidge had misrepresented him.

Barbados TODAY obtained a copy of the one-page note dated October 5, 2017 at 11.53 a.m., with the subject, St John – Strictly Private and Confidential.

The correspondence, which has an informal feel to it, is addressed to Comrade President, and the writer expresses “my desire to be our party’s candidate” for St John in the general election due by the middle of next year.

No mention was made of the fate of the current representative, late Prime Minister David Thompson’s widow, Mara Thompson, who only yesterday said at a church service in memory of her late husband that she had no interest in mudslinging, while urging members of her party to avoid gutter politics.

Speculation surrounds her own political future, with pollster Peter Wickham telling Barbados TODAY last week that her seat could become vulnerable if reports that she did not intend to contest the election were true.

However, in the letter, which does not have a handwritten signature, the writer makes reference to being born in Gall Hill, St John, educated at Lodge School and spending “most of my early life” in the parish.

“My outstanding stewardship as Minister of Government and as the current representative of the constituency of Christ Church West Central provides evidence of my abilities and competencies at both levels.

“I have stoutly defended our great party over the past several years, often in the most trying circumstances. I have been the consummate team player supporting my colleagues and members of the DLP. I believe my background, experience and dedication simply qualifies me to be our party’s standard bearer in St John,” it states, adding that the writer was prepared to discuss further details “at your earliest convenience as I fully appreciate the political sensitivity of this matter”.

It was only last month that Sinckler told a DLP City branch meeting at the Wesley Hall Junior School that “this is going to be easily the nastiest campaign that would ever be fought in Barbados”, placing the blame squarely at the BLP’s feet.

“They [BLP activists] intend to put out a lot of fake news, nasty, lying information, starting in other places outside of Barbados and migrating into the mainstream social [media] in Barbados . . . trying their best to link me and other members of the Democratic Labour Party to criminal activities.

“This is not the only thing. They’re going to put out other stuff too,” Sinckler said a day before DLP stalwart Derek Alleyne made it clear his party was prepared to take the campaign to the gutter in order to win a third straight term, and that “this same sex marriage thing” would be brought up.

“Who lives with whom is going to come up, as part of that election campaign,” Alleyne told a meeting of the DLP’s St Michael Central branch at Bank Hall.

“The issues that are going to be raised in this election are going to be major in terms of what happens over the next ten or 15 years” and “we [the DLP] have to make our reelection sure”, he said.

When contacted Neval Greenidge hung up the phone as soon Barbados TODAY identified ourselves. Further attempts to reach him failed.

colvillemounsey@barbadostoday.bb

9 Responses to Smear tactics

  1. MARIA Holder October 24, 2017 at 2:20 am

    If this is true, Naval should be ashamed of himself. However, Stephen, I would not put anything pass you. All you actions of late speak to your character and it shows on your face. I think of you had to run in St. John, it would be the lowest voter turn out in St. John’s history. They will not vote B but you could as well be a B as far as they are concerned

    Reply
  2. Bajan boy October 24, 2017 at 5:52 am

    The first person he should condemn is Barbados underground.

    Reply
    • Robert Goren October 24, 2017 at 6:38 am

      Why????

      Reply
  3. d-coolie-man October 24, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Stephen !! at your level you don’t have to write a letter..
    just go to Stuart at one of the after parliament limes when d fellows got in uh little ting and tell him I want to run in St. John and yuh gone clear.
    don’t sue me bozie.

    Reply
  4. Meakai October 24, 2017 at 9:17 am

    So vou delete my comment because I called you a fake reporter. Well delete all you like, a real reporter wouuld know there is no such thing as being “imminently qualified “. Yes?

    Reply
  5. Milli Watt October 24, 2017 at 10:35 am

    awwwwwwwwwww little stevie get PUNK UP….stop crying and get ready for the next elections. find you crowd to thin skin

    Reply
  6. Ann Thomas October 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I don’t know if this is the politics of distraction or the politics of desperation, but it is fast becoming the politics of the ridiculous!

    Why on earth would the BLP need to run a smear campaign against you Mr. Lashley or any member of this DLP government?

    Never before in the history of this country has any government provided the richness of fodder for an opposition party as this one. Never before has any government promised so much and delivered so little. Never before has we had so many ministers singing the “don’t blame me” chorus.

    This government has treated the people of this country to one sordid episode of failure after another, for example:

    The Cahill mess – we still have not been given a proper explanation for the documents in circulation allegedly bearing the signatures of members of the cabinet.

    DELTRO

    The potholes which are now permanent inconveniences

    The water woes in the North, which are now spreading to the south

    The oft promised road projects which are yet to be seen (except of course if you live in St Lucy or St Philip North)

    The ever present odour and sometimes sight of sewage on the south coast, now with or without heavy rain.

    The 20 and counting downgrades

    Taxes upon taxes, about 30 or so, the worst of which is the NRSL

    The withdrawal of the bond issue

    The CLICO fiasco

    CARIFIASCO

    How many times can a minister sign the documents agreeing to the sale of Four Seasons?

    The taking back of your 10% which was deducted from your salary, while public servants have not had a salary increase in eight or nine years.

    And it goes on and on.

    Mr. Lashley, please get a grip
    And it goes o

    Reply
  7. Thunder October 24, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Awe do so don’t like so,you want to start wars,but get upset when you get a dose of your own medicine,well guess what the members of the B.L.P party are not your play things,you attack them you will feel the political sting of the Bees so tend to your wounds and move on,because the war is on!

    Reply
  8. Greengiant October 24, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Neval, Neval, Neval; “a year in politics is a very long day”. After the people give you a little pick up in Canada you getting involved in politics again?

    You trying to secure your pick now that your former boss attorney pass away? You really think that the opposition will keep you employed if they form the next government? You had ten years to organize your self mate. Keep out of the people’s politics, you know it almost brought you to your knees the last time.

    Play the game properly or keep out, but I just remember, “you never could play anything fair since our days at regional”. This one going be rough, tough, and nasty though val, stay out man, trust me on this one. This going to be the great grandmother of all battles.

    Reply

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