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THE LOWDOWN: The snap trap


Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: The snap trap

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Some years ago at my mother-in-law’s house her representative, Henry Double A  Forde, came calling.
And I posed a simple question: if a member of his party had strayed from the straight and narrow and was facing a no-confidence motion, what would he do?
Now, were I an MP and a party colleague took a little berry over a bus deal or put a street light outside a girlfriend’s house in St George, I would lambaste his backside. But Sir Henry pofnicitated
on the vagrants of pullittits or something. I had long since stopped listening.
I cannot abide this “united party front” which sees the likes of Tony Blair supporting Gordon Brown, knowing full well Brown would be a “disastrous” prime minister.
Nor am I am impressed at big hard-backed media commentators pulling an innocent ‘Oh dear, what can the matter be?’ when the vegetable man, the sno cone vendor and the schoolchildren passing through Rowans can tell you exactly what the matter is.
With the Bees changing horses in mid-stream and the Dems leadership still undecided, assuming Thompy will take a much-needed health break, it is meet that we examine the four contenders from a goat-man’s point of view.
Freundel Stuart seemed the natural replacement Prime Minister for Thompy. He is an impressive speaker and literally tore the clothes off Owen Arthur after the last election.
However, in one of his recorded Heroes Square outings, you can hear a Dems supporter shouting: “Talk yuh talk, old man!” and that about puts paid to Freun’s chances. The masses may listen to us old fogies, but “charisma” is what they want upfront. By which they mean “youth”.
   Which is a pity. For years Jamaicans have taunted us about how in spite of our economic success and low crime, we have no top name in public life to equal their “Sir Florizel Glasspole”. Now we could throw “Freundel” in their faces and even chant the popular ditty: “Some call him ‘Frun’, some call him ‘Froon’; but when he draws his gun, the ladies swoon.”      
I honestly know very little about Chris Sinckler. Maybe not a fluent speaker but he radiates the bonhomie of a successful undertaker.
In Guataka we also have a ‘face-man’ Kris and girls walking by often shimmy their shoulders at him, causing their bosoms to jiggle in a most appealing fashion. Sinckler probably gets similar adulation.
I don’t know.
 Mia Mottley presents a competent, if terrifying, image. Not a lady with whom to trifle. At a recent Nation function, VOB’s David Ellis seemed to be asking her for a scoop and the consensus of those watching anxiously from a distance was: “Boy, he brave!”
The more conservative among us note with some alarm that it those seen as radical elements, notably Trevor Prescod and David Comissiong, who seem most vocal in support of Ms Mottley. Whether this is an indication of where she would take Barbados is anybody’s guess.
Some talk of Alexander and some of Hercules, of Hector and Lysander and such great names as these. Put ageless Owen Arthur right up there in that crowd. The butcher-man’s son from Mile and A Quarter defied all the odds to leave the high-falutin BLP political dynasties no choice but to ask him to lead the party.
And lead it he did brilliantly, with a largely inexperienced team to boot. Except, alas, for one cardinal error.
Being an economist, he assumed that the “heaven” everyone wanted was economic prosperity. And in pursuit of this he was willing to Caribbeanize Barbados and dilute our sovereignty.
He was wrong. Bajans soon discovered that plasma TVs and blueberry pearls don’t increase basic happiness and they dumped him unceremoniously.
Now comes a new twist: the possibility of a “snap” election. His colleagues feel that when it comes to snaps, splashes, jiggers or jeroboams, he has no equal in either party. And have catapulted him back into the leadership position.
But that snap is a trap. He has taken on a no-win suicide mission. The Bajan electorate, especially with sympathy for Thompy, is unlikely to deny the Dems a consecutive second term.
Mr Arthur may have sacrificed his political future to save Mia Mottley from the agony of defeat.
What a man!

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