Mara successors

Belle picks his top three

Three familiar faces in the Democratic Labour Party camp, Leroy McClean, Verla De Peiza and Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, have been identified as possible replacements for outgoing Member of Parliament for St John Mara Thompson, even before the dust has settled on reports that she is bowing out of the next general election.

They were the options put forward by respected political scientist Dr George Belle, who suggested today that it was in the party’s best interest to get on with the business of finding a successor with political capital.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Belle suggested that Thompson, who secured a landslide victory in the January 20, 2011 by-election to replace her late husband and Prime Minister David Thompson, who died in office on October 23, 2010, was “never a good choice as a representative in Parliament.

Dr George Belle

“She would have succeeded because St John was the safest seat in the DLP at that time, so she would not have had to show any political skill, any particular enthusiasm and I don’t believe she even necessarily had any particular political interest in running for St John, but she was asked for sentimental reasons … and she went forward.”

The former head of the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, advised that in the current political climate where the incumbent DLP was under pressure and could possibly lose the next general election, constitutionally due by the middle of next year, the party should either seek a candidate with political skill and capacity or choose a representative on the basis of making an investment for the future.

“Somebody like a Leroy McClean would have been a good person to run even back when Mara Thompson was first in power because he had political experience, he had political skill, he had enthusiasm, he was carrying the fight for the party for a long time.

“On the other hand they have been looking for a seat for [Government Senator] Verla De Peiza. Verla De Peiza has been running in Christ Church West, which I don’t think she can win, but she has some political potential and they can run her in a safe seat like in St John, or they could be looking for somewhere to save [Minister of Labour Senator] Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, who is in a vulnerable position in St George South,” Belle suggested.

He argued that the DLP had nothing to lose with any of these candidates even if it were defeated in the upcoming election.

“If you had a Leroy McClean and the party lost, he is somebody that could defend the party in some kind of way in Parliament and carry the attack to the new Government, and he would also be able to help the party rebuild itself. I think Verla DePeiza would be able to help the party mature and Esther Byer-Suckoo seems to be popular in the party, and so it would be taking care of her political future,” he further explained.

Though not surprised that Thompson is bowing out of active politics, political scientist and pollster Peter Wickham however said her unscripted and terse announcement to reporters at the doors of Parliament yesterday spoke “volumes about either the extent to which the DLP was unprepared for her to make the announcement now, or alternatively, the caviler manner in which they are inclined to treat the people of St John who have been as loyal to the DLP as any constituency could”.

Unlike Belle, Wickham said he “had no clue” who would replace the outgoing representative, but suggested that the candidate would most likely be central to the DLP’s politics for years to come.

“I would think the DLP should approach the selection with considerably greater care and maturity than they did on the last occasion,” Wickham said.

He however expressed concern that the abrupt development had threatened her successor’s chances.

“This places the next representative at a major disadvantage and makes the seat vulnerable in the fact of a major national swing against the DLP that seems likely at this point,” the pollster contended.

However, both political scientists were skeptical that Thompson’s departure would mean defeat for the DLP, even as they suggested that the Opposition Barbados Labour Party would seek to take advantage of the development.

Belle and Wickham also scoffed at the idea that third parties, the United Progressive Party and Solutions Barbados, both of which are fielding candidates in St John, would be able to make credible inroads in the traditional DLP safe seat.

In fact, while Wickham expects the BLP to benefit “especially as the BLP’s candidate is already on the ground and working for sometime and would naturally benefit from any DLP backlash”, he said “the new parties are not a part of the equation now in my estimation and this changes nothing”.

Belle also contended that the island’s third parties were not capable of threatening any seat.

“A third party in Barbados can only be viable if one of the major mass parties is collapsing,” he told Barbados TODAY.

Today, the DLP’s General Secretary George Pilgrim said the party had no official comment to make at this stage in response to Thompson’s declaration that she would not contest the general election.

However, in reaction to the news, some DLP insiders suggested that Government Senator Andre Worrell, and Pilgrim himself, had designs on the seat, which the party has held since 1958 when its founding father Errol Barrow arrived on the political scene.

But they warned that any likely candidate would have to go through the internal process of nomination and ratification by the various organs of party in time for next election.

31 Responses to Mara successors

  1. Janette Reifer
    Janette Reifer November 15, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    All hell will break loose soon for a so called safe seat. Every turkey feeling for he own crop.

  2. Delbert Griffith
    Delbert Griffith November 15, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Definitely a safe seat

  3. Nico HL Beckles
    Nico HL Beckles November 15, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    In other words it’s a battle royale for former losers to win a seat as everyone knows St. John’s populace are mostly retarded

    • Carson Thompson
      Carson Thompson November 15, 2017 at 11:45 pm

      You have no respect for people. Because the voted for who they wanted you calling people retarded

      • harry turnover November 16, 2017 at 10:21 am

        I would never call them retarded …I would called them a PACK OF JOHNNIES.

    • La Reine Kalonji
      La Reine Kalonji November 15, 2017 at 11:46 pm


    • Trident Man November 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      @Nico…so true.

  4. Mark Adamson November 15, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Some time ago Dr. George Belle was reported to have said that a so-called third party would only be successful if it came out of the existing BLP or DLP parties.

    Now, there are 11 parties or so in existence in this country – including the BLP and DLP – and none of them have come out of the BLP or DLP.

    Hence there is really no such thing as “third parties”.

    What a stupid concept when there are 11 or so parties and when all of these parties are so different in so many ways.

    Now he goes on to be reported as having been talking more
    nonsense that “a third party” could only be successful if one of the long established parties is collapsing.

    What egregious foolishness!!!!

    What these 11 parties are principally showing (beyond their own formation) is that both the BLP and DLP are losing political
    support in this country.

  5. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn November 15, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    The people in st John have the final say. No more women. It’s time that the people of St John get good representation .

    • harry turnover November 16, 2017 at 10:24 am

      …but Benn ,they only had ONE WOMAN…. for GOOD representation though those JOHNNIES should vote any other but a DEM.

  6. archy perch November 16, 2017 at 2:53 am

    I know not who the DLP will run in St.John, but I do know who they need to run out of the constituency and that is the phony BLP which should be ashamed of itself.
    St.John people should throw the topsy full of urine at Charles Griffith.
    St.John was not even on the horizon when the BLP government ran things bout hey.You know the story.

    • Robert Goren November 16, 2017 at 3:14 am

      archy perch

      Let’s be fair and balanced.

      Yes, I agree that successive BLP administrations have done liitle for St. John.

      However, St. John was a DLP strong hold since 1958 and the DEMS has done little for the constituency as well.

      You seem to be suggesting that teh BLP should be dismissed because of their terrible “track record” in St. John…… but praises should be heaped upon DLP even though their “track record” in the constituency has been similarly abysmal as well?

      Hmmmmm……….. it seem as though you have a specific agenda.

      Could you tell us what David Thompson and Mara Thompson were able to achieve for St. John from 2008 to date?

      • roger headley November 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

        Thank you, Robert, for setting stuck in a rut Archy straight

        • roger headley November 16, 2017 at 8:29 am

          Once when Mr. Barrow was in Opposition, the MTW was in St. John fixing the roads and Mr. Barrow ordered them to leave saying that nobody had told him that work was being done in his constituency.

          • harry turnover November 16, 2017 at 10:32 am

            Tell them Roger and the JOHNNIES would tell the skipper that he don’t have to come up there,that them good…and the Dipper did just that… ignored the Parish and David Thompson and Mara continued the trend.
            …and when the BLP was in office,they continued that trend too and most likely will resume it next year.

  7. Lorenzo November 16, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Archy Perch you can tell us what David Thompson or Mara has done in St John,The people of St John need to wake up and toss the DLp to the curb.

  8. gsmiley November 16, 2017 at 8:42 am

    My pick of the three would be Verla.

  9. Patrick November 16, 2017 at 9:09 am

    George Belle is a political nuisance

  10. Arlene November 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Patrick what George Belle do you

  11. archy perch November 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I too support the suggestion of Verla DePeiza be the candidate
    she should have been in Parliament every since. Dr. Esther Byer-Suchoo will soon return to the Lower House after winning back the St. George South seat from that useless BLP misfit in a suit. I am told that – besides the empty promises of jobs within a Ministry he expects to lead – all he does is to go around the constituency as a karaoke host specialist. I understand he lays claim to alot of projects and road works done and or stopped temporarily after she lost the seat. So I expect Dr. Byer-Suchoo to win back that seat and continue the fine work she started within the St. George South. Then the DLP would have those two women in Parliament. Now, when Irene Sandiford Garner uproots George Payne from his non-productive grip of the St. Andrew seat, the DLP would have three women of quality in the Lower House, and they are very intelligent females.

    • harry turnover November 16, 2017 at 10:38 am

      This man is living in a fantasy world jack.Why not put Ninja Man to run on that DLP ticket ? he is a popular and well known figure bout de place and those JOHNNIES WILL vote for ANYBODY that has DLP behind their name.

  12. Helicopter(8P) November 16, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    George Pilgrim can save the party a headache and place his signature down as a running candidate for the representation of St.John’s people. Mr Belle knows this would be in the best interest for the party at this moment. second in line would be Mr Leroy Mc Clean!

  13. gsmiley November 16, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Andy Perch even if I buy the Byer-Suckoo scenario which I don’t.

    You really expect ISG to ever win a seat in Barbados?

    Have you ever listened to her. She is just a total blowhard… stupse.

    You dreaming bro.

  14. Greengiant November 16, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    @ Nico HL Beckles; I’m not from St. John, but I find your referral to those people rather disrespectful. Because a constituency votes a particular way that you would not doesn’t make them retarded. I’m amazed that these type of comments slip the editorial staff of Barbados Today.

    This forum has provided a medium by which we can express ourselves without the attempt to degrade or disrespect people, places, or things. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. I can suggest the people of St. Thomas, and St. Andrew has wasted their vote for several political terms as well. Can anyone show me what has the representatives for those constituencies done for those people even while in office? They’re several others that over the last twenty years can be considered safe havens for one party or the other that have nothing to showcase for their loyalty. Question is though. Who are they elected to serve? That of their constituents or the country generally? Should the minister of health therefore build every hospital or spend his budget in the constituency he represents?

    So the only person who fit the description used by you is yourself Nico HL Beckles.

  15. archy perch November 16, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I purchased two big boxes of paper towels for my store room which I will open after general elections day for you cry babies.
    I however feel though Black Rock will be trying to keep up with the flood of persons wanting beds.

  16. archy perch November 16, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    You fellows always picking on poor Archy….why?

    • Robert Goren November 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      archy perch….

      Why are the fellows always picking on you?

      Because, by your contributions, you have demonstrated that you’re an unintelligent DLP yard-fowl.

      Yard-fowls from BOTH political parties have an inherent inability to think rationally and sensibly. They depend on the political rhetoric of their political masters as a guide-line for them to form an opinion.

      For you to ADMIT the DLP stopped “projects and road works done and or stopped temporarily after (Dr. Byer-Suckoo) lost the seat” in St. George South, not only highlights your stupidity, but is also indicative of a blatant lack of respect, by the DLP, for the people in that constituency.

      How could a party claim to represent people and have their interest at heart………….. but continue to neglect them because their candidate lost?

      I’m appalled to think that we boast about a literacy rate of 98%, then I read the stupid sense of reasoning as exhibited by you in this forum.

  17. archy perch November 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Gsmiley….at least we hear Irene. When do we hear the real MP ?
    There was a song called Silence is Golden which he was performing ever since Owen sacked his butt.

    • harry turnover November 16, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Wunna hear and see ISG on wunna TV ,but George Payne gine keep he silence and still win hands down.
      Only LEADERS sack people.Cowards hide behind them.

  18. Lorenzo November 16, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Archy Perch all three of them are losers.The only way any of them will win a seat in the future is in St John.There is no way either Mrs Garner or Ms Suckoo will win the seats they are presently in.What have any of them achieved in politics.Archie I suggest you really get the tissues as you will need them some time next year.On a side note heard the Trini Dem lamenting on CBC how she was not expecting to be linked with anyone onBrasstacks after Mr Mottley blew her out of the water,after which she asked for a secnd opinion only for Mr Mottley to tell her it was not an opinion but a judgement handed down by Justice Sir Denys Williams.The hyprocrite was stunned,as for weeks the female Moderator and the Trini Dem were trying to whip a frenzy onthat CBC talkshow.

  19. straight talk November 16, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Anybody or anything can run in St John on a DLP ticket and win they don’t have to do anything, just run as a DLP candidate and that could be a rabbit cause the people are backward.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *