BLP COLUMN: Performance vs PR
AS THE BATTLE in the St John by-election has been truly joined, what has emerged has been a contest between the fearless presentation of a solid performance record in the parish and nation by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and a flood of superficially glitzy and sentimental public relations by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
The sustained highly energetic and informative platform thrust by the BLP and its candidate Hudson Griffith clearly caught the DLP and Mara Thompson so badly off guard that up to now the Government has shown itself to be totally incapable of mounting a serious and credible defence of what it has done for St John over the past 52 years and the whole country for the last three years of office.
The most glaring example of the DLP’s deficiency is its failure nearly halfway in the life of the campaign to produce for the electorate of St John a list of the projects it implemented there which voters can then compare with that published and printed by the BLP.
As a result, Owen Arthur and Hudson Griffith have succeeded in painting the DLP and Mara Thompson into a tight corner littered with the skeletons of the 52 years of protracted and indifferent neglect of the patient people of St John.
They have faithfully and trustingly supported the Dems for more than half of a century, with virtually no examples of meaningful development to show for the fact that for a large stretch of that period the constituency was represented by two Prime Ministers and two ministers of finance.
Voters in St John cannot help but contrast their largely unrewarded fate with those in St Thomas (Tom Adams), Christ Church South (Bernard “Bree” St John) and St Peter (Owen Arthur) who were all Prime Ministers and ministers of finance and who have left visual and tangible evidence of their stewardship in such lofty and powerful positions.
The BLP has therefore been proudly and confidently defending its record of contribution to the development of St John, with the Dems unable to take up the challenge of doing the same in their most secured House of Assembly seat. No wonder then that Hudson Griffith has been able to elevate the level of his platform performance so that ever since the official opening of his constituency office he has been able to speak at all of his public meetings with only reference to notes and not read a prepared script word for word.
Presenting himself as one ready, willing and able to serve St John over the long term, Hudson Griffith has meeting after meeting been telling constituents about more and more of his vision for the further development of the parish, with his gift of entrepreneurship shining through in his proposals for the economic stimulation of Four Roads and the spinoffs for the rest of the community, together with the betterment of the social, cultural and recreational environment for all.
St John has been responding positively as Griffith has been bringing hope to it, in the same way that other parts of Barbados have been doing to the same message from the BLP directed at it, while the DLP runs from a debate on the poor state of the national economy and woeful record of broken promises and broken government.