Lynch must fight for the nod
FORMER CABINET MINISTER NOEL LYNCH has beaten Democratic Labour Party (DLP) heavyweights Sir Lloyd Sandiford and Freundel Stuart to earn a place in Parliament, but now he faces a challenge within his own party before he can even think of another chance of political glory.
Today is D-Day for nomination of a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate in the St Michael South riding and Lynch, a two-time representative, was expected to be a shoo-in, but that has changed with a challenge from attorney Albert Sealy.
Lynch and Sealy will have their showdown in a nomination process that will feature an address from Opposition Leader Owen Arthur and speeches from candidates Maria Agard (Christ Church West), Colonel Jeffrey Bostic (City of Bridgetown) and Senator Kerrie Symmonds (St James Central).
Lynch ended Sir Lloyd’s stranglehold on the constituency with a victory over the then Prime Minister in the 1999 polls, followed by a victory over present Prime Minister Stuart in the 2003 general election.
Stuart got his revenge with a convincing win in the 2008 contest, became Attorney General and two years later, with the death of then Prime Minister David Thompson, took over as leader of the country.
When a SUNDAY?SUN?team visited the Bayville, the heart and pulse of St Michael South, some residents felt that Lynch should return to the fray but loyalties were divided as others felt that a new man should be given a chance to make his mark.
Earl “Big Earl”?Clarke, a long-time supporter of the BLP who has canvassed the length and breath of the constituency in many elections, is still a Bee, but not a “Lynch Bee”.
“I am a BLP?supporter. I am not fussy about Lynch – he has let me down and he has let the people down. I don’t want to say who I am supporting today but I am not happy with some things that have happened over the years,” he said.
The 73-year-old former fisherman and seaman acknowledged that he had some issues with Lynch.
“I have knocked on a lot of doors, chaired meetings and more than my part for the party, but I have not been given the respect. Lynch was not there when I needed him,” he said.
Philip “Philpott”?Streete said Lynch was the man the Bees should turn too, if they are seriously thinking of winning the seat.
“Barbados, like the rest of the world, is in a deep economic crisis and I am not sure if the DLP has been up to it,” he commented. “This is the constituency of the Prime Minister and there are many people who are not pleased with how he has been running things.
“We need people who have been there before, and I am convinced that Lynch is the right man to turn things around.
If the BLP is looking for someone to win the seat, someone to deal with Stuart, Lynch is the man,” he said.
Streete said that a huge task awaited whoever won the next election.
“If people want a change, anything can happen. The people will decide who they want. Regardless of who wins, they will have a lot of work to do in this country that we live in,” he said.
His brother Irvine, owner of the popular Big Red’s Gym, is singing a different tune.
“I?am not sure about Lynch. He hasn’t been close to the people for a long time, and said he was finished.
“Freundel has a good record about here, but he can be beaten. He has been soft as a Prime Minister, but I don’t think that Lynch should be the man to challenge him. Albert Sealy may be new, but I think he would be the best candidate at this time,” he said.
Former chairman of the branch, 83-year-old Clarence Alleyne, has parted ways with Lynch and expects his family to support Albert Sealy.
“I?won’t be able to attend for health reasons, but some of my family and associates will be there. They are disillusioned with Lynch and are certain to support the other nominee,” he said.
Postman John “Nobby”?Parris, a long-time national football defender with more than 100 caps, is not the least bit interested in the nomination.
“Freundel Stuart forever!” he declared. “The BLP?nomination means nothing to me. St Michael South belongs to the Prime Minister.”