De Peiza versus Hewitt – (D)LP for Democratic

Guy Hewitt and Verla De peiza

The annual conference of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is scheduled to be held from 18th to 22nd of August 2021. Although political parties are technically private clubs, parochial decisions taken have national ramifications. In this instance the establishment and incumbent President of the DLP Verla De peiza will be challenged by newcomer Reverend Guy Hewitt IF all things remain the same.

The blogmaster is confident the establishment candidate will win the contest. Neither of the two main political party have shown an appetite over the years to embrace a ‘rock the boat’ approach to doing its business. Although Hewitt is a political neophyte compared to De peiza, his entry to the political space in a short three months has spurred a hitherto lethargic DLP into unaccustomed activity. For more than a decade the DLP has developed a slow to respond culture, inherited from the leadership styles of former leader of the party Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and carried on by incumbent Verla De peiza.

It is unfortunate with 2023 quickly approaching and the possibility of an early bell, the DLP has to be distracted by a leadership challenge. DLPites will explain the situation playing out between De peiza and Hewitt by saying the DLP manages its affairs democratically and the party will be stronger for it. The blogmaster begs to differ. A strong leader must be able to command the respect and support of a political party at this stage of the election cycle.

The blogmaster watched the video of the combined DLP St. Phillip branch meeting held last week at which challenger Guy Hewitt delivered a ‘çall to arms’ speech. Even more interesting, he commanded the public endorsement of former ministers Ronald Jones and John Boyce as well as former member of parliament James Paul. Whether the public supports these three from the old guard or not, one suspects there is residual support within the bowels of the DLP for them. Added to which, former member of parliament representing St. Lucy Denis Kellman continues to withhold his endorsement for De peiza who is the DLP candidate selected to run in his former constituency. 

All credit to Guy Hewitt who appears willing to fall in line should he lose the election. Unfortunately it will not erase doubts expressed about De Peiza’s ability to inspire a lacklustre DLP to win against the marauding political personage of Mia Mottley. All things considered the DLP can do no worse if Hewitt is selected to contest a Christ Church riding.

If anything is to be deduced from the unprecedented shellacking of the DLP in the 2018 general election, it is Barbadians have become impatient with the game the duopoly plays perennially of winning by default. We want the kind of representation from political parties willing to hold themselves accountable to the the citizenry. Regrettably a third party is not an option.

215 comments

  • Gonna go
    With tjoe
    However, I think his “Out of this simple formula arises the thousand missteps now publicly on display within the DLP” may be a gross overestimation of the number of missteps.

    I dislike her handling selection process for the candidate for the city.

    On a personal note, nothing irritates me more than anointment, a decree from the king/queen or ‘pedigree’.

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  • Hewitt injected some life into what would be otherwise be a sleepy affair of a Party contest and he has energized some elements that were sitting on their hands even if it meant that they voted for his opponent. Verla should make some accommodation for him, but many politicians act in haste but repent at leisure.

    I always thought that if Clyde Mascoll didn’t act in a fit of pique after he lost the leadership of the DLP he would have succeeded David Thompson and become PM, how different would the history be but he joined the BLP and is irrelevant today.

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  • I actually sent Clyde an e-mail saying just that.

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  • Bear in mind the members voting reflect those who are financial. Verla Depeiza winning against George Pilgrim and Guy Hewitt are wins but they were not strong candidates. George was labelled old guard and Hewitt a man who tried to win from top down without getting his hands dirty.

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  • https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/08/26/dlp-presidents-term-increased-from-one-to-two-years/

    “While the motion was unanimously carried, party members claimed the vote was taken at a time when less than two dozen people were present.”

    A ‘thousand missteps’ may be a good estimate. Looks as if we will have a clear choice between Mugabe and Mugabe.

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  • Obviously designed to blunt what Tennyson Joseph refers to as nuisance challenges for leadership of the DLP before 2023.

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  • “I always thought that if Clyde Mascoll didn’t act in a fit of pique after he lost the leadership of the DLP he would have succeeded David Thompson and become PM.”

    Many people share that same opinion.

    However, a rational analysis of the events leading up to when the no confidence was brought against Mascoll, along with the under hand methods used to remove him as Opposition and party leader, indicate otherwise.

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  • The sitting MPs wanted Thompson.

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  • The sitting MP’s wanted Arthur

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  • Sarge i noticed you always with this nonsense about if Mr Mascoll did not act in haste he could have been PM after Mr Thompson died? Tell us how do you know this? From a crystal ball?At that time after Mr Thompson had run away from a third straight defeat which would have ended his hopes for leadership,Mr Mascoll build up the party to seven MPs from two.Why the hell should he step aside for the opportunistic Thompson?Whst had Mr Thompson done or said in his over twenty years as MP or Minister to merit such dpecial treatment?Perhaps talking about young people working for bus fare and lunch money pr promising to expose all in queen , s park? We all know how that went.The evidence after Mr Thompson became PM and his dismal performance thereafter proved Mr Mascoll was right to do what he did in leaving that party.I agreed with him then and i still agree with him now.

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  • @Lorenzo

    Have you ever heard of speculation? Have you ever heard of opinion? Have you ever heard of an educated guess? What if I wrote that if Grantley Adams hadn’t left Barbados to lead the WI Federation Errol Barrow would not have become Prime Minister.

    As to what Thompson did to Mascoll it is grist to the mill; Arthur did many things to Mottley, but she didn’t bolt and I won’t rehash his statements.

    I’m sure Clyde is happy to know that he has a supporter out there, that and a quarter wouldn’t even buy bread and two.

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  • Didn’t whine. Didn’t bolt. Saw him rejected in her favour. No sign of gloating. Saw him dead and buried. No sign of gloating.

    And Clyde? Sheltering under her wing.

    Now, how did she do that?

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  • The DLP and Barbados’ political future
    By Ralph Jemmott Fortunately or unfortunately, in Barbados politics is everything and everything is politics.
    Politics is defined as the management of human affairs, and human affairs have to be managed, one way or the other.
    This is true whether we are talking about the small Greek city state of yore or the modern expansive polities of the United States and India, the world’s largest democracy.
    In The Nation of August 26, John Goddard offered a few words of advice to Ms Verla De Peiza. At Harrison College, Verla was an able student, winning a Barbados Exhibition in 1991. From early she displayed a keen interest in politics. I once told a small group, including her, that was attending a funeral in St Philip, that Verla was born with a capital D on her forehead.
    D as in Douglas Leopold Philip or as the Dems claim, “Dear Loving People”.
    Daunting task
    Verla De Peiza has been reconfirmed as the president of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), beating off what Tennyson Joseph described as “the young bulls”. The revival of the DLP itself is a daunting task, not to mention the laying out of a philosophy and strategy for the country, if perchance the party can regain the Government of the country.
    The second challenge is the person of the Prime Minister [Mia Amor Mottley], a now seasoned campaigner who has developed something on an international reputation.
    “Yuh en see how she tek on poor Zeinab Badawi, tell she ’bout how she disingenuous an’ all dat. Had the Zeinab on the back foot fending off a Carl Mullins or Curtly Ambrose bouncer. Duck girl, Duck.’ Badawi herself is not an intellectual or journalistic bantamweight, but as I told someone, ‘Yuh en know dat we Prime Minister is ‘Rugged’ granddaughter. Mia right to put Zeinab in she place.”
    Mottley is a political heavyweight while De Peiza has still to prove herself as a viable cruiserweight. To change that impression, she has to first win a seat in the next elections. I would hate to appear discouraging, but it is most unlikely that the DLP, whoever its leadership, could confine the Mottley administration to one term. It is not a Government that has been asleep at the wheel, but it should forget the follies of symbolism and look to address the real issues that concern the average Bajan.
    Critical choice
    Most right-thinking Barbadians do not want to see this country become a de facto one-party state. The multiparty system is central to our democracy, as it affords the electorate a critical choice. The first imperative is that the DLP must regain a presence in the Parliament. A second clean sweep by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) would wipe out the party of Errol Walton Barrow and that would be a shame.
    Invariably, the real threat to democracy is not the political leaders, but the cadre of political supplicants who surround them. Goddard has suggested that De Peiza should embrace those who supported Guy Hewitt and the defeated old guard. The old guard may be so discredited that this might not be wise. However, there are some less discredited that could be co-opted. All this will depend on how they see De Peiza and how committed they themselves are to the cause of the party and to Barbados.
    The task is not just to bring a full slate of candidates but to offer persons of standing, integrity and repute. Someone recently noted that some of the people offering themselves for politics are less than comforting.
    Problematic
    The restoration of the economy is equally problematic. Talk of diversifying the economy and finding alternative paths to growth is easier said than done.
    The COVID-19 pandemic, if it continues, will inhibit any plans that any government might wish to make. Our future still rests with tourism and international business.
    One sees little that can fill that void in relation to earning foreign currency. The talk of sports and culture as engines of economic growth often borders on sentimentality with chatter about an ostensible “abundance of talent”. Beyond cricket, Barbados is hardly a great sporting country.
    I agree that the National Stadium is a blight on the landscape. I would dearly like to see the restoration of the Empire Theatre and The Barbados Public Library on Coleridge Street.
    In his column, Tennyson Joseph speaks to the imperatives of “reorganisation and ideological reformulation”. Some reorganisation should accompany the restoration of the party’s George Street headquarters. On the issue of ideology, I have grown tired of theoretical abstractions and lofty orthodoxies that beyond academia mean little and offer less.
    The recalibration of a DLP programme must take into account contemporary social and economic realities and not offer pie in the sky solutions that are hardly realisable and impossible to implement. We tired of that.
    Ralph Jemmott is a social commentator and retired educator.

    Source: Nation

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  • Reflections on DLP election

    By Peter Wickham The recent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) presidential election generated an unusually high level of interest and should provoke an analysis that seeks to identify strategic errors made by the challenger along with a look at the state of affairs within the party.
    The appended chart speaks to a simple analysis of comparative headline data from the 2020 and 2021 elections.
    The raw numbers reflect an increased participation of 263, which amounts to a 48 per cent increase on account of Guy Hewitt’s challenge. This is commendable as national elections since the onset of COVID-19 have resulted in lower levels of participation.
    That said, there is a curious similarity between the support levels received by Verla De Peiza in 2020 and 2021, along with the support levels for George Pilgrim and Hewitt in the same years. De Peiza’s support level falls just short of two-thirds of the DLP’s support in both 2020 and 2021, while the challengers recorded just over one-third.
    Clear divide
    Clearly, Hewitt inspired an increased participation to his own benefit; however, there was an equally forceful increase in those who voted against him to preserve the status quo.
    This highlights a clear and quantifiable divide within the DLP. These two sides can be conveniently labelled the “old guard” and “vanguard” and the popularity of the latter has been reinforced by these results.
    We have, therefore, had two elections in which the “old guard” presented different candidates with the same result. Pilgrim was a more genuine blue-blooded Dem with a deep history, but his association with the “old guard” appeared to have sealed his fate.
    Hewitt was different, having parachuted into the candidacy and joining the DLP in 2018.
    It was therefore difficult to associate him with the “old guard” especially as he started by acknowledging the previous administration’s failings. As time passed, however, familiar faces appeared in support of his candidature and linked him to this toxic group of former Parliamentarians that the majority of rank-and-file Dems clearly want nothing to do with.
    In my own analysis of the DLP’s options, I have consistently argued that it needs to identify new talent, along with a new ethos, setting it apart from the BLP. Certainly, the “old guard” will need to participate in this process; however, the majority of Dems seem to understand the reality that their party will reap little success if it allows its politics to be dominated by those faces, along with their baggage.
    Well resourced
    In this most recent instance, the level of organisation suggests that the challenge was well resourced. This is ironic, especially as the DLP struggles to raise money to repair its physical and virtual infrastructure, and one would have thought that well-wishers would appreciate the extent to which their resources could be better spent in assisting the DLP’s “vanguard”.
    The matter of Hewitt’s candidacy is also deserving of specific reflection, especially as it was ill-advised in so many respects. Hewitt was the consummate political neophyte, with no history of constituency involvement or any other grassroots political activity.
    In fairness, Hewitt did seek a nomination from the DLP in 2011 for the Christ Church West constituency, which De Peiza later contested; however, this was not mentioned during his campaign. We were, therefore, left to presume that Hewitt believed that his four-year stint as High Commissioner and involvement in the Windrush campaign was sufficient to trump De Peiza’s demonstrated commitment to grass-roots politics.
    Across the Caribbean, grass-roots involvement is seen as a prerequisite to national leadership, and one struggles to identify any successful leader who parachuted into the top spot without it. Certainly, the case of Allen Chastanet comes close; however, his prime ministerial victory was preceded by a ministerial appointment (2006-2011) along with an unsuccessful bid for office in 2011. In the Caribbean we are not like the United States, where Donald Trump or Ronald Regan could prevail and one would have thought that Hewitt’s handlers would have known this rudimentary principle.
    In addition, there are some of Hewitt’s characteristics that are undoubtedly problematic, such as the generous “helping” of hubris reflected in any of his statements. Politicians tend to love themselves more than the average Joe does, but this characteristic can be distracting when it displaces the need to demonstrate commitment, long service or a basis for comparison with one such as Barrow. One could perhaps have missed this trait during the campaign, but it was difficult not to notice it in his concession, which preceded an expressed intention to withdraw his support from the DLP going forward.
    There are several downsides to this recent episode, with a key one being the “old guard’s” exposure of their ignorance of the environment they seek to dominate.
    In addition, they have effectively now ruined a political hopeful who could have had a future in politics. Hewitt’s style offered no quarter to De Peiza, and while she has publicly offered him a seat “in the front row,” it will be difficult for him to fall in line under a person in whom he professed no confidence. Suffice to say, his stance effectively suggested that while he was interested in leading the DLP, a junior role was perhaps “beneath him”, which is not a good look for a political hopeful.
    We might therefore have witnessed the equivalent of a political shooting star which burned brightly for a brief period and thereafter disappeared into the political twilight.
    Peter W. Wickham (peter.w.wickham@gmail

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  • DLP stumbles yet again
    By Ezra Alleyne Music, like politics, excites me, and Brian May PhD (astrophysics), the masterful bass guitar with the now disbanded British rock band Queen, catches me every time. YouTube it and hear!
    So that when a nearby computer belts out the tune Another One Bites The Dust, it immediately arrested my attention. But the music coincided with the news that the Rev. Guy Hewitt had lost two to one to Verla De Peiza in the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) presidential race. I was now caught . . . twice.
    I made the point when Hewitt parachuted in, as if from a helicopter, that his challenge would hurt the DLP. It has and it will. His parting-shot letter tells its own story, but there is no question that Hewitt appears to have some skills that are useful to political aspirants.
    Yet discretion is the better part of valour, and those who rush into China shops or political parties like the proverbial bull are as likely to be as successful as Guy Fawkes was, and that earlier Guy also failed . . . miserably.
    There are so many aspects of this latest political faux pas by the DLP that some serious reflection is required.
    What kind of political party can it be that a man who is reported to have “recently” joined the party can land a plum political appointment as High Commissioner? Like Tom Jones sang Tell me what he’s got that I ain’t got! Who was his political “godfather? He must have had one, and if so, was that mentor unavailable to guide him through the political undergrowth?
    Instead, Hewitt was caught in the thicket like the proverbial lamb to the slaughter. From a national perspective, it is now regrettable that a “potential” political talent like Hewitt may now be totally lost to the local bodily politic.
    Now to the so-called old guard. This leadership contest has shown up the wide split within the DLP. It also shows the difference between the two parties.
    Team strategy
    I go back to 1976. When the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) won its first election after Independence, the BLP old guard of Ronald Mapp, Mencea Cox, and L. Brathwaite, some of whom lost their seats in 1961 to the DLP, were part of the overall team.
    Tom Adams had Johnny Cheltenham, David Simmons, Leroy Sisnett, Billie Miller, Maurice Ward, DeLisle Bradshaw and me on his likely backbench, a veritable plethora of young talent.
    Cox and Mapp were knighted, Mapp and Brathwaite were appointed ministers and Cox was chairman of the Constitutional Commission in 1978. I was his deputy chairman.
    Miller was appointed Minister of Health at 32. She was the country’s first female Cabinet minister. The experience of our old guard and youth were harmoniously blended in a powerful political message to the country.
    Our leader had wisely chosen. He explained aspects of his choice to us. We respected and did not undermine his leadership, but then we were not Dems.
    Verla De Peiza and her female colleagues in the Dems never got the promotion that they may have deserved. The BLP, on the other hand, opens doors to its promising political talent. It is a big difference between the parties.
    Flashback to 1993. The next election was due in 1996.The Dems were in power, and the BLP is in Opposition. Henry Forde was Leader of the Opposition. The BLP leadership analyses its future and determines it must elect a new political leader.
    Owen Seymour Arthur, the youngest of the group, gets the merited backing and support of the majority of the MPs. The party closes ranks and focuses its attention on the future.
    That was September 1993. Turmoil within the DLP presents an opportunity for a no-confidence motion, and by June of the following year, some nine months later, a united BLP supported its new leader as he presents the no-confidence motion and proves his political ability. The election follows and the BLP is elected.
    The people get 14 years of substantial economic success. That is good political party management. When will the DLP learn?
    Anyway, if Hewitt believed that the DLP leader did not possess the competencies to be leader, he ought to have allied that assessment with the realistic view that it would be difficult to overthrow the leader, so close to a General Election. He should have joined the team and waited.
    But then, as he says, he does not have the psyche of a politician. Age is now a major factor for both De Peiza and Hewitt. Both are already in their 50s and without any ministerial or even membership experience in the Lower House.
    Mia Amor Mottley, also in her 50s, already has close to 20 years’ ministerial experience. Political realities force me to believe that the next DLP Prime Minister is among the Young Democrats. But when?
    Ezra Alleyne is an attorney and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

    Source: Nation

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