Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is promising to launch an “assault”, as he announced last night that the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) intended to sweep all the constituencies in the north in the upcoming general election due by early June.
Speaking at Mile And A Quarter, St Peter, where the campaign office for DLP candidate Dave Chief Cumberbatch was officially opened, Stuart told supporters he intended to “change the political map” by wresting several constituencies from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
He said this would include St Peter, which former Prime Minister Owen Arthur held for the BLP since 1984 until he became an independent in the latter days of his political career.
“[I am] very pleased that the campaign office is being opened. This is the staging post from which our battles in St Peter will be fought. This is the staging post from which we will launch an assault on the constituency of St Peter and of the northern part of Barbados. Not an hostile assault . . . an assault to get these constituencies in the north into the fold of the Democratic Labour Party,” Stuart told cheering supporters during last night’s event.
“And in that connection, St Andrew, St James North, St James Central, St Joseph . . . of course we are keeping St Lucy, we are determined to do that. We intend to change the political map of Barbados after that date [general election] that you will hear about in the very, very near future,” he added.
The DLP leader warned supporters against allowing the announcement of an election date to catch them napping, and urged them to ensure they had the facts about the achievements of “the greatest political party in the entire English-speaking Caribbean” so they would not feel ashamed to defend the party’s record in office.
“We have a record to defend and we have a future to craft, not only for the people of St Peter, but for the people of Barbados, and in that pursuit on election night, we will meet at the rendezvous of victory,” Stuart predicted.
He also had a warning for the BLP that he was prepared to get down and dirty during the campaign, even though the DLP St Peter candidate had suggested taking the high road even if the BLP turned nasty.
“My mother used to keep pigs, a lot of pigs, and you can’t go into nuh pig pen to clean nuh pig pen and come out smelling as though you got on cologne,” Stuart said to laughter.
“I learned that in life early, not from any text book. Anytime you have to go wash down the pig pen and bathe the pig, you come out with the smell,” he said, adding that if the BLP wanted a battle “in all of this, they are going to have it”.
He referred to the well-known nursery rhyme, Hey, Diddle, Diddle, to describe the BLP’s campaign, saying facetiously that the Mia Mottley-led party was promising to cause cats to play fiddles, cows to jump over the moon, little dogs to laugh and plates to run away with spoons.
Describing the DLP as a sleeping giant which had awakened, Stuart cautioned DLP candidates and supporters to look out for pitfalls deployed along the way by the BLP.
He also suggested that Mottley and her party were using the pain Barbadians were feeling due to the economic challenges facing the country, to turn them against his party by promising to solve all their problems.
Despite allowing Parliament to dissolve automatically on March 6, Stuart has yet to announce the election date.