St John residents say they know little about the two DLP stalwarts vying for the seat

It would seem that the two men vying to represent the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the St John seat being vacated by Mara Thompson, have a lot of work to do to get the voters familiar with them.

Despite the fact that they both are party stalwarts and they both have represented the DLP in past elections, Leroy McClean – a former protégé of Errol Barrow, the constituency’s first representative and Father of Independence – and George Pilgrim, the party’s general secretary, are both strangers to the people of St John, residents told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.

In fact, many asked, “Who is George Pilgrim? Who is Leroy McClean?” although 69-year-old David Mason of Small Town said he was aware that Pilgrim had been on the ground for many years with former Prime Minister David Thompson, the second Prime Minister to represent the constituency, and whose death in office in 2010 paved the way for his widow, Mara, to become the Member of Parliament.

However, the consensus was that it did not matter which of the two got the nod, the DLP would retain the seat.

Mason, who had previously worked at polling stations, admitted that many of his fellow constituents were unhappy with the DLP’s performance in office over the past eight years or so.

David Mason

But he said come Election Day, voters in St John would put it all behind them and stick with the Dees.

“I know the areas and most of the areas in St John are DLP areas. There are no maybes about that. Everybody does say this time around they are not voting, they ain’t doing this . . . but when election come out it does be a different thing. They go and vote,” Mason said, although he refused to disclose whether or not he intended to vote.

Over in Gall Hill, Philip Gibson said although he did not know Pilgrim, who unsuccessfully ran in St Thomas in 1994 and 1999, or McClean, a losing candidate in St George South in 1991 and St Michael North East in 1994, it would be difficult to dismantle the DLP in St John.

Philip Gibson

“Whatever happens, happens. You got to give the best man his way,” Gibson told Barbados TODAY.

Several residents indicated that they did not intend to vote this general election because of the dire circumstances in the country.

Among them was entrepreneur Aubyn Mayers, who was pessimistic about the country’s future, but who was confident that the outcome in St John was a foregone conclusion, although he predicted some DLP supporters could switch allegiance to the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

Aubyn Mayers

“If [David] Thompson was alive I don’t think Barbados would have been in this condition, I think it would have been different. But the things that have happened over the years, DLP or BLP, there isn’t much changes, all is actually the same,” Mayers said.

“A lot of people have changed their minds, they are either going to abstain from voting or they may turn Bee because of the things that have happened within the last couple years,” he added.

Colleton resident Rasheed Jones, who is in his early 20s, also said he was unfamiliar with the two DLP pretenders to the seat, but he had briefly interacted with BLP candidate Charles Griffith.

He, too, seemed apathetic, complaining that “all two [of the political parties] are the same because . . .  all two is just pass and just go long, none of the two don’t look around in society and see the youth . . . who have to come and vote”.

Highlighting the issue of youth unemployment, as well as the struggling economy, Jones said it was time for the people of St John to rethink their voting habits.

“I would like the BLP to win because the DLP don’t do anything for the St John people, and the youths of today doing a lot of crime and violence and they don’t have nothing consistent for the youths to educate them,” Jones charged.

13 Responses to St John residents say they know little about the two DLP stalwarts vying for the seat

  1. Berestford Leon Phillips March 8, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Who is Leroy McClean wunna asking, a man that come from Four Roads, St. John a former protégé of Errol Barrow
    St. John people like dem got short memory

  2. Kathy March 8, 2018 at 5:50 am

    It is not St. John people with short memories, it is poor journalism with a one sided agenda. Why are we trying so hard to discredit one side. What is on it for us.

    • Ernesta Catlyn March 8, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Kathy, were you on the ground with the Journalist. I know the names but I do not know them

  3. jrsmith March 8, 2018 at 6:09 am

    One thing I must say to the people who are voters in (ST. John ), please stop allowing you all selves, to be locked into to party politics and voting, it gets you no where …….. You all need people who is going to represent you and work in the interest of the people ………… Bajans must realize our politicians have no respect for the people after elections and the major issue they carry no (Accountability ) to the black voters……That’s why them, the politicians gets away with doing what they like nothing for the people……………….
    Please Stop playing party politics , the voters is always the losers.

    • Atman March 8, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      That’s good advice.

  4. jrsmith March 8, 2018 at 6:23 am

    My take its not going to matter that this party was in government for a decade and has done nothing for the people /Barbados , this is quite clear it makes no difference to the (Dems) voters………….. Bajans must beware …………….
    I can see the big mistake in voting this time around , if the people don’t make the right decision…. This would be preparing Barbados to see lines of people queuing for food stamps……….

  5. Bajan boy March 8, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Kathy no one has to dis resit the DLP they dfid an excellent job in making sure that is their reality..

  6. Greengiant March 8, 2018 at 8:51 am

    At least the people of St. John are admitting that both B L P and D L P are the same thing.

    All over Barbados most people know these two are the same, but some are looking for the better of two political evils. If evil is bad, then there’s no better of evil. There have to be better of good, and more evil from evil or worse from bad.

    So it really time for a really strong coalition with leadership from outside the main parties, or a different party at the helm altogether. If the new parties sit waiting for the PM to announce an election date to ramp up their campaign, they will be caught napping. These new parties need to make the most of this period for campaigning to get their message of restructuring this country to the people.

  7. Belfast March 8, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I thought that the DLP would have given the pick to Maureen Holder who is a bred and born St John woman.

  8. archy perch March 8, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I know that the David Thompson Football Tournament which is a community booster and offers much financial benefits to those who peddle their wares, will go through the edoes if the BLP ever wins the government. This great tournament helps to lift the spirits of the communities yearly around Barbados. I would hate to see it go.

  9. Dawood March 8, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Hi. Please don’t forget Andre Worrell from Sherbourn. Young energetic man must be given a chance to represent his home town.

  10. Lee R March 9, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I want all the DLP supporters who frequent the comments section of all articles, please tell me why I should vote for any DLP candidate?

  11. Ossie theophilus Moore March 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    If dem a smoke “highly” twelve hours a day how can they remember last two minutes?


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