Nation e-Edition

The Budget following

POLICE OFFICERS were present to make sure there was order in the precincts of Parliament. HYACINTH MAPP says she has been going to Parliament since the days of late Prime Minister Errol Barrow. VELMA WORRELL says she was a political enthusiast and looked forward to hearing the politicians speak and react to each other. LONG-TIME POLITICAL spectator Angela Lythcott has not missed a budget since the 70s. (Pictures by Nigel Browne)

Fri, August 16, 2013 - 11:00 AM

BUDGET DAY is an important part of Barbados’ political landscape.

As such, it attracts a hardcore group of supporters who gather at Parliament Buildings to cheer their favourite parliamentarians and to hear the proceedings in the House  of Assembly first-hand.

This week, Street Beat was at Parliament  to speak to a few people and find out why they  decided to come out.

Angela Lythcott has been going to Parliament since the 1970s. She said she was willing to follow the party she supported wherever it went.

“Where they go, I follow,” she said. “I came here today to hear the ‘goodies’ although I don’t think there will be any. This year is exciting with trying to see how we will survive this depression.”  

Lythcott said she had no intention of staying away from Parliament as she had come too often to stop. Besides, she said, she’d rather hear things first-hand than have them reported to her.

“I live in Barbados and what happens in here  will affect me. I don’t want anyone to tell me,  I want to hear for myself,” she said.

Althea Blackman has been a face at Parliament  for just about as long as Lythcott. She said she had started since she was old enough to vote and was  now 59. She also has similar reasons.

“I love my party and whatever they do, is good  for me. If they swimming, I swimming too,” she said.

Blackman is so devoted to supporting her party  that she would let  “nothing get in the way”  of her showing her face  at Parliament.

“If I am working, I will beg for time and still come; even if I’m on sick leave, I will come. This is my democratic right,” she said.

Another long-standing face belongs to Hyacinth Mapp. The name may or may not be well known but not many will forget a certain elderly lady on a bus during a political advertisement during the last general election. She said she too had been visiting Parliament for decades.

“I have been coming here since Errol Barrow’s time. I come to hear the budget and how I can work with it; every day I have to work with it. I also come to greet my minister; I will come ’til I dead,” she said.

While not as much of a staple as the others, Velma Worrell has been going to Parliament since 2008. She said she was a fan  of the political process.

“I used to pass by but now I stop  in and offer my support to my representative. I like to go in and  listen for myself and see the reactions,”  she said, adding she got her passion  for politics from her grandmother  who used to regularly attend  political meetings.

Not everyone was so willing  to reveal their identities, however. One woman was waiting to speak to her representative on an important matter and had no intention of leaving until this was done.

“This is my first time waiting outside Parliament,” she said. “I came here  to see my representative and as soon as I can, I will talk to them; it’s something urgent so I came but I don’t think  I’ll ever do it again. I don’t like crowds, maybe if it was a church crowd.”

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