The Politicking Behind St. James North Constituency

George C. Brathwaite

It is with some disinclination that I enter the current political fray regarding matters surrounding the actors and actions situated either in the Barbados Labour Party, its internal constituents, and the general hullabaloo that has been playing out in the constituency of St. James North which is a seat considered to be a stronghold and held by the BLP’s Rawle Eastmond. My disinclination stems from three key positions. Involved in this unmerited public spectacle is a political party that I remain a dedicated and loyal member; my friend is central to the ongoing debates; and thirdly, as a student of politics, I am a strong advocate for democratic traditions and the placing of the good of the collective people above the ambitions of individuals whose agendas are seldom fully known.

I turn now to the substantive though overblown debates. From the onset, I need to emphasise that most of the fuss relating to the allegations about a ‘padded list’ and the future candidature of the current Member of Parliament for the constituency, Rawle Eastmond, are simplistic but divisive. On two counts the simplicity can easily be established and I will explain these before getting to the more critical aspect of divisiveness.

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157 thoughts on “The Politicking Behind St. James North Constituency

  1. @David: “You are correct that many can see this for what it is, politics.

    So, then, would it be too much for the electorate to demand in the next election what has been promised by both parties many times, but never delivered:


    Every “developed” country has some form of it. We aspire to (and some claim we already are) “first world” status.

    Prove it.

    Or is that too much to ask? (Or, at least, hope for….)

    • Andrew Brathwaite wrote a full page article in the Business Authority today making a similar call for FOI.

  2. In my last post on this matter I suggested that Owen Arthur and his faction had got rid of Eastmond. Now hear what Arthur himself says…page 5 of today’s Nation…” I NEVER SOUGHT TO DEPOSE THE SITTING MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT. I DID NOT . IT IS THIS BRANCH FOLLOWING THE PRECEPTS OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT SAYS WE MUST HAVE A NOMINATION IN THIS CONSTITUENCY.”
    So the issue of Eastmond being deposed is really about who deposed him, according to Arthur ; not whether he was deposed . I cannot imagine a more callous and insensitive statement by a former Prime Minister / leader of a political party. The man about whom he was speaking is a man who has given TWENTY ONE years of public service to the nation of Barbados and the party which Arthur now leads. Is Arthur not saying that that the ignominious treatment which Eastmond is now forced to face is alright so long as the blame can be shifted from him to ” THE BRANCH “? So is it alright that Eastmond has been put out to pasture with a most uncertain future ? And is he not justified , like Cardinal Wolsey, in musing.. ” had I but served my God with half the Zeal I served my king, he would not in mine age have left me naked to mine enemies ” ? I will therefore repeat an earlier question..WHAT DOES THIS ACT OF GROSS INDECENCY PORTEND FOR THE FUTURE OF THE BLP ?
    Only time will tell .
    I must however make the point..Mr Eastmond did not merely fail to turn up for the election : he had made it plain that he would take no part in an election exercise that is wholly foreign to the custom and practice of his party which, throughout its history, has granted all sitting members an automatic reconfirmation as the candidate for any up – coming general election. To this day the party officials who oppose Eastmond have failed to deal with this claim . Why must there now be a change in respect of Eastmond?
    We are now finally left to ask..where will Rawle Eastmond go from here after this public humiliation? Maybe the answer is blowing in the wind..

  3. @Fractured BLP | February 6, 2012 at 6:06 PM |
    I have asked you already why Owen Arthur has refused to convene a PAC meeting on the Bridgetown Marina…Have I ever told you that I am spokesman for OSA.?
    Get real.. and stop make an ass of yourself.

  4. hey politics as usual blp circular call hickson wolf in sheep clothing.! This indeed is interesting as OSA calls division in party as”mock’

  5. Dear ac
    What proof have you that it was a blp circular….?
    You are becoming vulgar. Not like you. Why this is not worth it.

  6. Come to think of it that sounds like a cause chaos.
    Everybody knows it….
    But its all ova and the BEE rallying again RIGHT ac?

  7. I have just finished reading Barbados Today of 5 February and noted with great interest certain statements reportedly attributed to Mr Rawle Eastmond in an interview carried by that newspaper. In an earlier post I made the observation that Eastmond was a victim of his own indecisiveness . However after reading the said interview I was left totally flummoxed , and indeed befuddled , at the position he is now reportedly taking. He says that he remains a loyal member of the BLP and will fight to help them recapture the government ; he compares his record of attendance at Parliament with that of colleagues who seldom turn up. After stating publicly that he was refusing to contest any election because it was repugnant to accepted custom and practice within the party for sitting members to face an electoral process for reconfirmation, he now says that he did not turn up because he was avoiding inflaming the passion of supporters.
    All of this presents Rawle Eastmond as a very confused, mixed-up man; he seems to be facing a credibility crisis and should be well warned to stay away from the political hustings if he does not wish his formerly very high standing as a politician to become sullied. LET ME PUT IT BLUNTLY..RAWLE EASTMOND CANNOT ANY LONGER BE A CREDIBLE ARTICULATOR OF BLP POLICY UNDER OWEN ARTHUR ; Eastmond has justifiably blamed his political demise on Owen Arthur . If he tries to disprove this averment he might well move from being the ” sacrificial lamb ” ( his own words ) to another politician void of all moral worth. It is therefore now left to Eastmond to decide how he would like Barbados to view him in the future . I believe that most of us see him as a man hard done by : that view can change overnight . History might not absolve him .
    In many ways, Eastmonds future as an ordinary citizen in this country lies in his own hands ; he should be rather more astute than he presently is .

  8. if ever a truer word wa spoken by mr sandiford it was his pronouncement that”politics was no sunday school’.and the machinations played out in both political parties here and in the caribbean surreptiously over the years and openly in recent times give credence to mr sandiford’s view. eagle eyed should be aware of treatment meted out to mr david estwick and mr kellman by their party although except for st john they are virtually impregnable in their strongholds.remember eagleeyed that there was a move afoot to prevent mr estwick from contesting the nomination for the constituency he was representing and his time longer than twine speech after his humiliation by mr thompson. i would not even deal with mr kellman’s treatment other than to acknowledge that he is politically smarter than we think as evidenced by his ability to fall in line .

  9. good effort tytony but i am still waiting to hear the erudite mr george brathwaithe respond to mr marshall’s assertions which run counter to the meat of his comments.

  10. @ balance
    The fundamental difference between the Kellman , Estwick experience with their party and Eastmond’s , as i see it , is that in the case of the former two there were ATTEMPTS AT HUMILIATION ; in Eastmond’s case there has been a SUCCESSFUL HUMILIATION , publicly carried out.
    Do you accept this assessment ?

  11. A religious philosopher once wrote “that very few have accepted in principle or in practice that to rule is to serve. Power has turned men into beasts, patriots into fanatics, and saints into devils. Most men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Whether in politics, business or even religion, authority can be a dangerous corruptive force – unless tempered by a sense of deep humility, to be used in the service of those who gave the authority in the first place”.

    This statement describes Owen”seethru”Athur to a T.

  12. @Eagled Eyed
    I wish to respond to your assumptions about the Rawle situation. I say one can disagree with you even using the same argument . Rawle is not coming to his postion because of any supposed humilation but simply because his man has won the nomination. Rawle was unsure that his man could come up against The St Andrew force and win. It was a lack of faith on his part and that explains all his worry. Rawle will work hard for Hinkson because he needs to show he has political clout and this seat has been in the column of the BLP for over sixty years losing only once. I understand your consternation but I think when you put the political puzzle together you would understand why Eastmond will stay and work hard for his man. Think on these things

  13. I find the Dems are such hypocrites. In this very same riding, St James North, the DLP General Council imposed Harry Husbands on the branch over Austin Husbands. Not a word from the supporters on this blog that that was wrong.

    The BLP had a nomination and the better man won. What was the party supposed to do, wait and wait on Rawle whilst he dilly-dallied. He was playing the branch for fools.

    The Christ Church West branch of the DLP had a nomination, Taan Abed got 80 votes and Verla Depeiza got 5 votes. The DLP overturned Taan Abed and made Verla the candidate. And nothing was wrong with that, right Dems???

    Then they forced a candidate on the St Thomas branch without a word to the branch’s executive and although the branch kicked up a fuss, the doctor remains in place.

    Now tell me, out of the two parties, who is more democratic?? Come on Dems, you have no credibility, deal with the big beam in your eyes before you attempt to criticize the BLP, we are head and shoulders over you!!!!

  14. And follow-up questions:
    Is the BLP a PSEUDO-DEMOCRATIC party
    Is the DLP a PSEUDO-DEMOCRATIC party?
    Is Barbados a PSEUDO-DEMOCRACY?

  15. @ True to form.
    Thank you for your observation and invitation to consider another point of view. if more contributors to this blog would act likewise there would be greater objectivity and less personal abuse hurled through this medium. Unfortunately though, after having read what Mr Eastmond had to say in today’s Nation newspaper, i cannot agree with your proposition . Mr Eastmond seems to be the voice crying in the wilderness complaining about the damage a ” flawed ” electoral process has visited upon him. It would seem , if we are to believe him, that the main reason he has not taken his case to Court is because “the judges are busy”. He has also complained bitterly of the denial to him of his right to be heard and being the victim of a ” backlash, including a financial backlash”.
    Now , in light of these sentiments, EXPRESSED BY MR EASTMOND HIMSELF , do you still hold your expressed view ? Please let me know.

  16. Refused to be heard? So the news stories about him meeting with OSA and the branch, and the scheduled meeting with OSA last week were both hoaxes?

  17. Onions here….I see you all have (for sometime now) nothing of value to discuss worth the time. The Mia and Owen showdown was an anti- climax. Mia being a no show left a lot of you just lupie.(lingering).
    Now you must see and believe what Onions had told you. Never the less, some wise ass presents a note as a last resort to satisfy the needs to have something scandalous and meaty.After all these attempts to dig up something… today again NOTHING….I guess as you have noticed I just withdrew, held my peace and smirk at all the nonsense. Have fun while we plan our next strategy (with earnest). Sunday 12th.


    @ David: Time for a new article please as this one has outlived its theme.

  18. @Eagled EYed
    MY position is that Rawle is not putting humiliation high on his agenda. In this case Rawle believes he has won once the man he is backing has won Your point about humiliation is now a moot point and I think will not now bother him. If the result has been different would he have come lto the same conclusions ? I doubt it.Rawle has a seat to win for himself and the BLP and that would be his focus.Politics is about keeing your eagled eye on the ball and not to be distracted by other considerations, That is why even though you may make a point you cannot expect that this the major point.. I have said somewhere else that the list was not against Eastmond. Eastmond had expressed the desire to gvo since Mia was the leader and so three persons got in to the race to solicit members. I think that people were recruited who expressed a desire to be members and I cannnot blame a combatant who signs up members willing to join. When Rawle went back into the contest he blamed the forces in the DLP for joining up their memberss with the purpose lof getting the weaker person in.The protest by Rawle was in my virw because he was afraidf of the forces in St. Andrwew which in this cricumstance proved to be without effect. So all is well with his soul. Thinkl on these things

  19. David, Eagle,
    Does the utterances of Mr Eastmond sound to you like a man of a sound mind?? Just asking? (due respects to Just asking and true to form).

  20. oinions there is a dynamite duo in american politics they are married namely james carville and his wife Mary political miles apart.

  21. @ Halsall
    When things get serious, suddenly no one is serious.

    SERIOUS.?…what could be more ridiculous than a group middle aged menwomen pontificating on if’s and butt’s on a foregone done deal constituency posting…(not even elections) @ 8.45 pm .
    Probing at null, dead issues as conversational piece….
    GET a LIFE

  22. @ Prodigal Son
    ” Do the utterances of Mr Eastmond sound to you like a man of sound mind ” ?
    Regretably, I have had to describe him in an earlier post as a confused and mixed-up man . I take no pleasure in repeating this but his utterances do confirm that as a reasonable inference.

  23. CCC, deal with the problems in the DLP and leave the BLP’s internal matters alone.

    Deal with the low morale at CBC and that a lot of those up there who voted for the Dems say they regret the day they voted for the Dems and that CBC is worse now than under Greenverbs.

    Deal with the grumblings in the Christ Church West, St Thomas and St James North branches.

    Deal with the cursing Donville put down on the PM and how Donville tell the PM he cant touch him.

    Deal with the GANG of 11 who planned and plotted the PM’s ouster but got cold feet and now “wunnah” like lambs.

    Deal with the economic mess this country is in and with no answers, this country is going down hill fast.

    Finally, get a life and stop spying on BLPites.

  24. @Prodical

    Carson should tell you deal with the problem with owen and mia one of his former co-leder and former deputy prime ministe. Do u think that public officer forgot what owen did, place weak leaders at the top of the service. Appointed judges without the requisite experience and who have not made any significant contribution in the law area. Look how he bypassed Sandra mason and promoted people like the Cornelius persom that no one ever heard about.

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