If not Mara, me!

Pilgrim and McClean both have designs on DLP stronghold

The battle is on in the rural constituency of St John for a candidate to represent the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the upcoming general election, due by early June.

With Mara Thompson reiterating her intention to bow out of elective politics now that Parliament has been dissolved, two DLP stalwarts, both of whom have tasted defeat at the polls in the past, will go head-to-head for the nomination to contest the DLP stronghold, which has been represented by two Prime Ministers, including the Father of Independence and National Hero Errol Barrow.

Former Barrow protégé Leroy McClean and DLP General Secretary George Pilgrim, both of whom Barbados TODAY had reported in November last year had expressed interest replacing the outgoing Thompson, have confirmed that they will seek the nomination.

Leroy McClean and George Pilgrim

Thompson on Sunday told her constituents in the Four Roads district of her decision to quit, after telling Barbados TODAY last December that the Nation newspaper had got it wrong when it reported in a November 14, 2017 back page story that she would not run again.

Having made her decision official, Thompson, who secured a landslide victory in a January 20, 2011 by-election to replace her late husband and Prime Minister David Thompson, who died in office on October 23, 2010, and who was re-elected comfortably in 2013, immediately threw her support behind Pilgrim, who had accompanied her on a walk-through of the constituency.

However, it is not expected to be a walkover for Pilgrim, a two-time loser in St Thomas in 1994 and 1999, as he is expected to face stiff competition for the nomination from McClean, who is perceived to be popular at the branch level.

Emphasizing that he was not backing down from pursuing the nomination, McClean told Barbados TODAY this morning he was certain of getting the nod if the selection process were allowed to take its conventional course and not bypass the branch.

“I have indicated to the party an interest in being the candidate for St John in the event that Mrs Thompson is not the candidate. I maintain that position. I still have an interest in being the candidate, and the level of encouragement that I have been getting from the people of St John, I intend to pursue the chances of getting the nomination for the party,” said an adamant McClean, who unsuccessfully contested for the DLP in St George South in the 1991 general election.

Already this election cycle, the DLP has bypassed the nomination process in choosing candidates in The City, St Michael East and St Michael South East, with the party’s executive and general council deciding who would run in those constituencies.

Pointing out that it was the branch that had selected Thompson after her husband had died, and that the general council had simply ratified the nomination, McClean said he expected no less in this case.

“At that meeting [of the general council], the president of the party made it clear that the branch had spoken and he was therefore bound to accept the position of the branch
. . . . And I would therefore hope that the same process would take place in the process of selecting a replacement for Mrs Thompson,” the former consul general in Toronto stressed, even as he expressed some anxiety that the process may be circumvented.

He again emphasized that he hoped that the constituency branch would be given the opportunity to have some input through the “conventional nomination process which has been adopted by the party”.

“I am doing what I have to in terms of maintaining my contact with the people of St John and seeking the nomination,” he said, adding that he was prepared to accept the decision of the branch once it agreed the nominee.

When contacted, chairman of the St John Branch Cleton Coppin told Barbados TODAY he had not received any information at this stage from Thompson regarding her future, and declined to be drawn into further discussion on the matter.

Political scientist Dr George Belle last November had identified McClean, along with senators Verla De Peiza and Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo as possible replacements for Thomson in the constituency which the DLP has held since 1958 when Barrow arrived on the political scene.

The main Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is fielding Charles Griffith in St John, while former DLP candidate Hudson Griffith is carrying the banner for the United Progressive Party (UPP) and Cherone Martindale is contesting for Solutions Barbados.


30 Responses to If not Mara, me!

  1. luther thorne March 6, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    This woman try to mek people feel that Gercine from the Nation was not accurate.

    If the BLP had concentrated on this seat from 2011 this would have been easy pickings now. BLP has to work hard


    Last I heard though is that the BLP candidate is doing well

  2. Atman March 6, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    I would love to see St. John for the first get rid of the useless Dems…but I know how unlikely that is considering that those bewitched people are still voting for Errol Barrow.

    • luther thorne March 7, 2018 at 12:05 am

      The people in St.John are suffering from EBES.
      People who suffer this malady vote for Errol Barrow even though he not in the election race.

      The antidote is exposure to light. Truth and Wisdom

    • Berestford Leon Phillips March 7, 2018 at 1:03 am

      I would love to see Atman revert back to a real real man and not a Maco man

      • Atman March 7, 2018 at 9:51 am

        Why you so interested in me yuh turd?

  3. luther thorne March 6, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Barrpw arrived on the Political scene in 1958 ?
    Hmnn !
    Do some research do
    Um easier now than before
    Steupse !!

  4. luther thorne March 7, 2018 at 12:00 am


  5. Adrian Shorey March 7, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Luther Thorne shut to hell up and move on man you so blasted well stupid wid yuh ignorant stupid talk. Stupse.

  6. Cecil Brooks March 7, 2018 at 2:00 am

    This one is personal, as someone who spent his childhood and early adult life in St John. I loved The late Errol Barrow and the DLP Party. You must remember that in the 1950’s, the DLP was not a household name in Barbados and Mr Barrow was a member of the BLP for Most of the 1950’s.The people of St John saw in Mr Barrow something that other people did not see and trusted him and later committed to the policies of the DLP in good times and bad times for the past 60 years. Call us what you want iam happy to be part of that history. Sadly we are now in a period were the DLP seem not to have a soul, with its elected members not having a care about the very people who elected them. I am kinda hoping that the same spirit or what ever, that guided them to Mr Barrow, will now guide the people of St John in electing the right person and that person will be as loyal to the people of the constituency of St John.

    • TOMMY A March 7, 2018 at 8:20 am

      Fully agreed.But I prefer the upp candidate who ran as a blp ( not dlp as reported by bt).He haven’t left st.john since.he did pretty well against mara as compare to other blp throw ins.The dlp will be losing about seventeen votes from my family which was a devoted dem from ewb days

  7. hcalndre March 7, 2018 at 3:26 am

    I heard on the DLP radio call-in talk show, saying that the BLP buses people to their meetings to make them look like they have large crowds, in Barbados with a few hundred voters in some constitutions that are divided BLP or DLP. If it was left to the supporters of that party to turn out for the meetings, you could as well hold the meeting under some tree in the afternoon. The gadfly should know that the supporters follow around with the party of their choice. Common sense is not so common, don`t mind how many pieces of paper you hold up in the people`s face.

  8. Lorenzo March 7, 2018 at 5:33 am

    Hcaidre I heard the foolishness too the Dem moderater glad to be back to attack Ms Mottley on the propaganda Talk ya talk program assisted by some callers who claim not to be polictical but can only criticize one party and praise up the government talking nonsense about pulling down the country and tourist telling her this and that.Give me a break.Since being critical of nonsense being done is pulling down a country?Ms Holder seems to believe calling God,s name regularly hides her bias behavior but it doe not,and she needs a reality check.Look out for the other two to follow her in her disgusting one sided behaviour.

  9. saje March 7, 2018 at 6:52 am

    wunna could talk chalk we in st john does paddle we own canoe and we will never elect a blp

  10. harry turnover March 7, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Well well well well…and this is NOT about those 4 wells that DEM digging.to stop their SH8 from spreading ..wish them well though …doan want to see any green dye seeping through…BUT ..DEM appears to be seeing RED regarding the St.JOHN SEAT.
    See wha Mara do to DEM JOHNNIES ? and didn’t I send out a RED FLAG a while back about at least 2 POLITICAL COITUS INTERRUPTUS in the making ? well this is ONE of them..doan know what had transpired but this one was expected to be much closer to the CLIMAX…after the balang balang balang
    A fed up DEM yard fowl says he hasn’t heard about the other one, as yet but that he intends ,however,to get on the paling to see if he could get some insights from higher ups.
    George Pilgrim…I gine stay tuned to this one ..you in stan a chance big man…Leroy McClean is mo man than you.

  11. roger headley March 7, 2018 at 8:36 am

    McClean all the way. That boy is a clown

    • harry turnover March 7, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      You people ( DEM ) do not back Pilgrim and don’t throw your support behind him either,,,McClean is the man.

  12. Donild Trimp March 7, 2018 at 10:33 am

    This seat will remain with the DLP.

    Leroy McClean and George Pilgrim are two excellent candidates so may the best man win.

    • David Brathwaite March 7, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Pilgrim is without substance. He always speaks like a yard fowl instead of being rational. McClean, on the other had, is a gentleman and a scholar, as they say.

      Having said that, I hope the people of St. John wake up and vote against the Dems who have taken them for granted forever.

  13. real vexx March 7, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Because st john is a dlp seat people going call the residents bewitched….. Smh….just sums up bajans…..you had your vote and want theirs too….stupes..

    • Atman March 7, 2018 at 11:12 am

      St. Lucy people are just as betwitched too. Kellman is the biggest clown in politics I ever came across…yet the backward St. Lucy people still backing he all the time. They probably like how he weighs their food at Moontown. LOL

    • harry turnover March 7, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      …..man those JOHNNIES so bewitched that if NINJA MAN was to step forward… both McClean and Pilgrim would have to hold a corner as he is already half way in being as he says he resides in the Treasury Building and can easily be found.

  14. Lee R March 7, 2018 at 11:06 am

    And it starts. Internal fighting……. Full laugh it off session before an election date is announced. More reasons for Stuart not to call the elections.

  15. Atman March 7, 2018 at 11:07 am

    @Cecil Brooks
    Personally I think it is folly for the average person to be loyally tied to any one political party for life. Politicians come and go, and in MOST cases their personal agendas take precedence over the so-called party doctrine. I have learn to vote based on reasonable assessment of “the last 5 years” performance…I don’t vote based on party doctrine or promises.

  16. Helicopter(8P) March 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    George! Love you but Leroy has this one. He has come through the “Horn pipe league;” as a well known St. John lady from Pool would put it. Leroy you have been there through the years and know all the wants and hardships of the St. John people. I know of no one from the St John who would honestly not want you as a representative of the people. Yes George is a hard, honest worker but Leroy has come through those hard times when we all roasted breadfruit and salt fish together and made swank as a beverage for our midday meals. From an early age Leroy was family concerned and kept a strong character of integrity.

  17. Helicopter(8P) March 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Some one is talking bad about Dennis but at least the people of St Lucy love him because he never left them with out a beautiful down to earth conversation about day to day happenings in their lives. The fishermen all had him as their number one man and if you can win them in confidence then you are a real St.Lucy leader because they are fearless sea fearers.

  18. Tennyson Drakes March 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    On St. Michael South East you are definitely incorrect. The DLP Branch members voted overwhelmingly for Mr Rodney Grant to represent the DLP in the up coming general Election. I am a member of that Branch.

  19. Belfast March 7, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Not many people may venture up to St John to take in any the meetings during the upcoming political campaign unless they are driving a Bob Cat or Caterpillar. The roads in St John are a series of elongated potholes

  20. Election watcher March 7, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Since Leroy is so popular with the folks of st.john put me in his place l would run independent if l don’t get the now and prove to b’dos an independent candidate can win

  21. George March 11, 2018 at 5:56 am

    It is time we the people of St .John elect a person who born and live in the parish to represent we. It does not matter if the person is a D.L.P , B.L.P , U.P.P or S.B take an example from the people of St. Philip and St.George they elect their OWN. please wake up St.JOHN PEOPLE. Please don’t vote for dead people.

  22. jrsmith March 12, 2018 at 6:49 am

    I am not surprise , to read all the comments and it comes down to one issue …..Voting for the party no one seems to consider what the person who is representing the constituent stands for, thats why politicians is way out in-front the people and being able to do what they like , being not accountable to anyone……..
    Over the years you see comments made by voters , who cast they party vote and have never seen they MP for they area , this will never change…………Our people have no control over our bajan politicians …………………………


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