St. John, meet your new Member of Parliament: Mara Thompson

Mrs. David Thompson declares she’ll speak for St. John in Parliament if voters will have her.

Okay, okay – we have to have an election first – but we don’t think we’ll have to eat gull when we predict that Mara Thompson will win the St. John by-election on January 20th and assume the seat formerly occupied by her passed husband, Prime Minister David Thompson.

As we said a few days ago when we predicted that Mara would run, we don’t see much of a contest because the Barbados Labour Party is still in turmoil. They can’t even find their computer files and website password so we don’t see how they could possibly expect voters to trust them with another Member of Parliament let alone give them the keys to government again. Owen Arthur thinks he’s the BLP leader but 50% of the party members seem to have some doubts about that.

What will Mara’s election change?

Nothing really. She’s a bright person – feisty yet classy – but she’s hardly likely to rock the boat which means the by-election will be an amusing distraction that won’t change anything. Same old, same old ’bout hey.

As a side issue, the “Queen Maker” DLP adviser Hartley Henry fell ill in the USA over Christmas and has now been released from hospital. Hmmmmm…. we wondered where he was because didn’t see him leaving comments under his usual aliases at BFP or BU for the past week. Good to see him up and around and he says he’ll be back in town for the St. John’s campaign.

Which new online alias he’ll use next?  🙂

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37 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

37 responses to “St. John, meet your new Member of Parliament: Mara Thompson

  1. Parent

    hmm, I recall hearing what a heavy price their daughters paid with a father so involved in politics. I would’ve thought she would try to spend more time with them now that they are down to one parent. Poor girls will now only have one part-time parent.

  2. Liberal

    CSME in action ? Our first foreign member of parliament?

  3. ac

    These children are prepared and are up to the challenge. . They have lived and breath politics all their lives. This is nothing new to them.

  4. why?

    ” Mrs. David Thompson”.. in your headline…hmm that sums it up eloquently

  5. David G. Brooks

    Not really you know, the St. John constituency will vote her in with minimum fuss – no major campaigning needed, thus low cost – and she will have plenty of time to spend with her children as St. John is low maintenance anyway, they are happy how they are and just as happy to place that ‘X’ the same place is has been for the last 50+ years regardless, and that’s a fact you bank on.

    Cool sailings … no worries.

  6. David G. Brooks

    As to Hartley Henry, hmm, well maybe he will be able to ease back in since its Mara for sure, but we all know there is no love lost between him and the new PM – he knew very well his walking ticket was ready and waiting as soon as the late PM’s funeral was over and the dust settled, and that’s another fact you bank on.

    Nation Sun: “A lot of work has already been done but we still have things to do in the coming weeks,” said Henry, …

    So from that we know that what we are hearing now was already decided long time ago – just keeping the nation in the dark and guessing all the while, like how was done during the late PM’s illness. Thanks, Henry.

  7. Robert

    Like her husband, she is an affable and likable woman, but I think she should spend time with her growing children.For sure, she doesn’t need the money; so why this great sacrifice?

    This is one of the reasons we have so many weak middle class families in Barbados. We need to understand and prioritise our role.

  8. David G. Brooks

    @Liberal … our constitution has always allowed for Commonwealth Citizens once they have resident in Barbados.

    But as an aside, I noticed the following when perusing the relative section …

    ****************************************************************
    Disqualifications for membership of the Assembly

    44. 1. No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly who –

    c. is a clerk in holy orders or other minister of religion;
    *****************************************************************
    Haven’t we had reverends/pastors who have been MP’s. Was that legal? Or has there been an amendment?

  9. Let's diminish the single parent.

    How dare a single parent and a woman at that decide to take part in public life. She should be home baking cookies and mourning her husband for the next ten years, wearing black and speaking when spoken to.

    How dare Mara decide that maybe the best thing for herself and the children was to carry on the work that David loved and believed in.

    How dare Mara decide to run and make the BLP candidate a sacrificial lamb. (or is it goat?)

    Signed,

    Goin’ wid Owen!

  10. David G. Brooks

    Ah yes, found it … (c) repealed by 1981-24; (amendment)

  11. David G. Brooks

    @Let’s diminish the single parent … bad taste, but you know its been mentioned here and I have been hearing it the length and breadth of BIM, a lot of people – Bajans, and women too – think she should stay out of this and look after her children.

    Remember … Families First … no one said anything about her daring to do anything nor being the proverbial house-wife. So lets get that straight, no need to go down that path. If she wants to do it fine, but it will become evident that Bajans take a dim view of this, oh it won’t hurt the St. John By-Election but … (elsewhere)

  12. rasta man

    The question is being asked,Can a person who is not born in Barbados be a representative of a parish in Barbados?

  13. rasta man

    Sorry about that previous post .Seems that David Brooks has already done the research

  14. Robert

    “..how dare Mara decide that the best thing…..?”

    Who decides running for office is the “best thing?”

  15. Robert

    @DB,
    Even though your comments might be mixed with political seasoning, what you’ve said is correct.
    If I may add, we need to understand our roles and stop trying to outdo each other.

  16. David G. Brooks

    I have since seen an amendment (1974-34), done when the DLP was (still) in power after Independance that changes it from ‘Commonwealth Citizen’ to ‘Citizen of Barbados’.

    My guess is that they couldn’t make it so in 1966 as that might have precluded some people from running – Peter Morgan comes to mind, as he was a Canadian, but cannot be sure. So they change it as needed.

    Anyone knows how to find out whether a person is a citizen and when it was made so, the latter might of interest in this instances – could be what Hartley Henry meant by a lot of work has already been done.

  17. David G. Brooks

    Robert
    January 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    @DB,
    Even though your comments might be mixed with political seasoning, what you’ve said is correct.
    *************************************************
    I can see where your confusion may come in here, but let me set the record … my comments about a clear and easy win in St. John would apply to anyone – I dare say even if Owen Arthur or Mia Mottley were to cross the floor and run in St. John under the DLP … Gearbox, Sandboy (from Rockley Beach), King Dyal, Ossie Moore … anybody – so that was mainly said to illustrate that it really will not take much for Mara to do and would still leave plenty of time for Family.

    However, my comments about her running and what Bajans think of it, including myself, under the circumstances is another matter altogether.

  18. Facts

    @DB,
    When I said your comments are correct, I was referring to your take on her running as an individual. I wasn’t referring to the political side of her involvement.

  19. Hard Driven, West Wing

    Owen Arthur began 2011 on the same sad and bitter note he caused the once united and vibrant BLP to end 2010. It is Owen Arthur who facilitated the spit the BLP and caused it to dwarf into an ineffective; slow-paste; irrelevant; tired and obsolete but desperate and power-hungry political entity.

    Not satisfied that on the very day the Parliament of Barbados was meeting, he called a media conference at the UWI to cuss then Opposition Leader Mia Mottley but ever since then Owen Arthur has been trying desperately to make Mia Mottley look bad in the eyes of the Barbadian public. But the harder he tries, the more popular she gets.

    At the BLP’s Conference late last year (said to be the most disorganized in the party’s 72-year-history) Owen Arthur uttered the petulant comments: “Mia the BLP needs you,” in yet another attempt to make he look childish. This is a tired; cranky but shameless and power-hungry old man who plotted with 4 others to oust Mia Mottley but having executed that treacherous act, pretended to be calling for healing in desperation to regain the “moral-high-ground.”

    So Owen Arthur calls for healing within the same Grantley Adams party he has split in two, but now writes to the Clerk of Parliament requesting an investigation of his wild baseless allegation that items being the property of the Crown, have been removed from the office of the Leader of the Opposition!!! Frankly, Owen Arthur must learn the danger of drinking alcohol while taking cancer treatment medication. I hear it is a very dangerous combination.

    But, like Mr. Duplicity, through one corner of his mouth, having undermined; plotted and then signed the infamous “Prior Park Accord” which resulting in the treacherous ousting of Mia Mottley as Political Leader of the BLP and Leader of the Opposition of Barbados – a power hungry and cranky Owen Arthur is seeking to create the impression in the minds of Barbadians that Mia Mottley and her former staff are thieves and that they conspired and knowingly and fraudulently stole/removed items belonging to the Crown, from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition without lawful authority.

    Why? Owen Arthur wants to create a distraction tactic. Everyone is aware of the circumstances under which he is now leader: It is a deal struck through the “Prior Park Accord,” in which Arthur has been purchased and now serves at the pleasure of George Payne. As part of that deal, it seems like Dale Marshall is being positioned to become the Leader of the BLP while Arthur is required to turn a blind eye to the electoral fraud which the Nation Newspaper reported late last year.

    Isn’t it ironic that despite being the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Owen Arthur is writing to the Clerk of Parliament asking him to investigate wild allegations about some alleged disappearance of Crown property? But where is Owen Arthur’s credibility? The gang of five now realise that having ousted Mia Mottley, she continues to received tremendous public sympathy. They are also aware that her approval ratings went up significantly after her speech to the Barbados Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCCI) and also, after the dignified and humane way she treated the late PM Thompson during his illness. This explains why Owen Arthur and his gang of five are now in: “PANIC MODE.”

    But, isn‘t it also ironic that despite being the leader of the BLP, Owen Arthur is yet to explain to the people of Barbados why he put thousands intended as campaign financing into his personal bank account?

    * Why has Owen Arthur not called for an investigation into

    why someone went into Rawle Eastman’s constituency (unknown to Mr. Eastman) and paid BLP headquarters $560 to register 56 delegates to vote for George Payne?

    * Doesn’t Owen Arthur want an investigation into

    why “under-aged people had their names on a list to vote for George Payne as Chairman, at the recent BLP conference?

    * Doesn’t Owen Arthur want an investigation into

    why people who are said not to be even members of the BLP and had never indicated an interest in joining – had their names on a list to vote in BLP’s election at its Conference last year?

    * Doesn’t Owen Arthur want an investigation into

    why 210 persons were selected by the BLP’s Women’s Leagues as delegates late last year, when there was no meeting of that entity to select any such persons?

    * As Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), doesn’t Owen Arthur want an investigation into

    why was Al Barrack given the contract to build the Ministerial Building at Warren’s for which he did not even pre-qualify? Is Arthur silent on this because he now serves at the pleasure of Payne and Dale Marshall who were the Minister and Chairman responsible for NHC, then, respectively?

    * As Chairman of the PAC, doesn’t Owen Arthur want an investigation into

    why as Minister of Finance he authorized the payment of $10 million to build a few Terrace Units at NHC – a whopping amount funned to the same Barrack, given the cheap price of building materials then? Does Arthur’s silence again have to do with the fact that he now has power and serves at the pleasure of the same George Payne and Dale Marshall who were the Minister and Chairman of the NHC, respectively and who facilitated that sweetheart deal for Barrack?

    * Doesn’t Owen Arthur want an investigation into whether he used the office of Prime Minister to raise funds for his second wedding? You see, Owen Arthur and his gang of five are corrupt and they now want to get the spotlight off them. It seems that they also want to force Mia Mottley to speak but in the process, they only succeed in reminding Barbadians just how corrupt Owen Arthur and his gang of five really are.

    Surely if nothing else, Owen Arthur should want an investigation into why under his leadership, the BLP denied its Conference the right to discuss a resolution requiring “one man one vote” but will be going into the upcoming St. John by-election inviting constituents to do that which he and his gang of five prevents BLP members from enjoying!

    Owen Arthur does not want healing within the BLP. He does not even care if he smears or slanders Mia Mottley. He just want to destroy her. This is a tired, corrupt, cranky and power-hungry old man who is at war with himself.

    His legacy is that of: ‘the sorry-irrelevant-corrupt-old man’ who destroyed Grantley Adam’s party.

  20. best wishes

    “She’s a bright person – feisty yet classy”

    On this point alone Mara should be better than 90% of the political hacks trying to cut each others throat and pick the pockets of the taxpayers.

    Good Luck!!!

  21. David G. Brooks

    @Hard Driven, West Wing
    “… but ever since then Owen Arthur has been trying desperately to make Mia Mottley look bad in the eyes of the Barbadian public. But the harder he tries, the more popular she gets.”

    Maybe that IS the whole game, she was not getting very far otherwise in his shadow even when he stood out of the limelight for the first year or so after the last elections, so maybe he is now willing to sacrifice himself to help bolster her and in the mean time giving the DLP a good run for their money in these hard economic times.

    I say again, it would have been obvious to anyone that Mia would have a hard time taking over while he was still around, and short of kicking the proverbial bucket like what has happened to other ‘second’ pick PM’s (and lets face it both Sandiford and Thompson benefited when Barrow dies in office.

    It was going to be an uphill battle for Mia. The thing is that Mia has to change her approach and don’t fluster the BLP elders – i.e. mash the toes. Otherwise, if all else fails … let Dale come forth and let a new brush do the work.

    @best wishes … Mara will have to tow the party line, so somewhere along the way she would have to turn a blind eye, which would make her just as indictable or come forth and expose them … nah, I’m dreaming.

  22. Under-Disguise

    Hmmnn !!
    seems very interesting -all this talk about Owen , Mara , Mia, etc

    Hard Driven, West Wing is using the BLP’S AVATAR-Very interesting
    Very Interesting the scenes playing out
    I am not happy with politics in this country

    Barbados is going in a funny direction
    Dynasties and Monarchies after so many years of its existence ?

  23. jack spratt

    What has Mara ever said or written to show that she may be described as “BRIGHT”?

  24. Entitlement & Dynasties

    Dynasties in Barbadian politics are not unusual, the Mottley’s and Adams’ most readily come to mind. Close to home we have the Birds in Antigua and the Pandays in Trinidad.The difference in this case is the dynasty is by way of marriage and the leadership and political competence of the candidate is less well known to the public.
    The idea that a crapaud – with the right colours of course – might be fielded in St. John and the constituents would vote blindly no questions asked; is less about ‘a safe seat’ and more about persons feeling entitled.
    In fact maybe we need to ask ourselves whether these so called safe seats are not ‘garrisons’. If we use Carl Stone’s definition: “A ‘garrison’, as the name suggests, is a veritable fortress where the dominant party and/or its local agents/supporters are able to exercise control over all significant political, economic and community related social activities.”
    But I will leave this discussion to the political scientist and kingmakers and stay home come January 20.

  25. Liberal

    Everyone is now rushing to their constitution to see what is legally permissable when seeking high office.So the discussion has already started and will continue through the campaign.To say that not much has to be done in St John so she would have plenty of time with the children is to demonstrate a contempt for the people of St John and their needs,but this has always been to situation with the DLP.Their actions have always said that they think these constituents are backward simple people!One day they will be given a RUDE awakening.Whether that day is now,only time will tell.

  26. David G. Brooks

    @Liberal … “To say that not much has to be done in St John so she would have plenty of time with the children is to demonstrate a contempt for the people of St John and their needs …”

    I realise that you are referencing mostly to my earlier comments and I would agree that I displayed some measure of cynicism in how I put it over, but by no means would I downplay the needs of the St. John people.

    While I would say that St. John should retain a lot of its rustic nature and it is indeed a heritage that is long gone form virtually every other part of Barbados, except maybe St. Joseph, St. Andrew and St. Lucy to some extent, and should be retained as long as possible, there are many issues in the parish that need to be resolved. You can improve the roads, utilities and general infra-structure for the people while leaving the overall rustic and quaint aspects that ALL Bajans like about that part of the island.

    I think what I really trying to say is that the St. John people should wake up and realise that their votes are taken for granted. I’m sure I am not the first to say that, but maybe it will eventually sink in.

    On the flip side, if the St. John constituents continue to vote DLP in the face of this ‘taken for granted’ image, the they will conjure more contempt from the rest of us Bajans outside of the parish.

    I do not think there is any better way to put it, in the face of the facts. You cannot keep defending the indefensible ‘ad infinitum’.

  27. David G. Brooks

    @Entitlement & Dynasties … “In fact maybe we need to ask ourselves whether these so called safe seats are not ‘garrisons’.”

    I agree and as I reasoned either here or somewhere else, there is no other constituency that can boast the same in Barbados.

    Yes, there are some that have been held for decades by one party or the other even in the face of major party/voter swings – Christ Church West, St. Peter, St. Thomas, St. Lucy – but not as ‘safely’ as St. John.

  28. Sentinel

    @David G. Brooks
    January 2, 2011 at 11:45 pm
    “While I would say that St. John should retain a lot of its rustic nature and it is indeed a heritage that is long gone form virtually every other part of Barbados, except maybe St. Joseph, St. Andrew and St. Lucy to some extent, and should be retained as long as possible…..”

    This is the area of the, so-called, National Park. Why can’t the long mooted Community-based Heritage Tourism take off here?

  29. Sentinel

    @Entitlement & Dynasties
    January 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    “Dynasties in Barbadian politics are not unusual, the Mottley’s and Adams’ most readily come to mind. Close to home we have the Birds in Antigua and the Pandays in Trinidad.The difference in this case is the dynasty is by way of marriage and the leadership and political competence of the candidate is less well known to the public.”

    ………………..
    Guyana:- Chedi Jagan & Janet Jagan ……. by marriage.
    Wasn’t Former T&T P.M, Manning’s wife into politics and Minister of Education there as well?
    What of Norman and Michael Manley in Jamaica?

    Hey! Joe Payne (deceased), DLP, former Dep. Speaker of the H.Of Assembly & George Owen Arthur Walton Payne (Leader of Gang of Five), BLP … first cousins.

  30. David G. Brooks

    @Sentinel … “This is the area of the, so-called, National Park. Why can’t the long mooted Community-based Heritage Tourism take off here?”

    I agree.

  31. bob

    when did they get married?
    When did David get his citizenship?
    When did she apply for hers and when did she get it?!!
    remember Marston Gibson…. not qualified but was to be David’s Chief Justice
    food for thought….

  32. browngal

    @ best wishes. Agreed. She is probably better than most in the House anyway. I don’t believe she is doing this for fame or fortune, she had that already.
    Plus, am very sure Mara and her husband talked about her running at length, and he gave her his blessings. He knew her better than all you.

  33. Liberal

    I agree with you Mr Brooks that much infrastructre work needs to be done in St John and some very basic needs of the people should be addressed ,but if the candidate could not persuade her late husband to do these things how will she manage with others now?That is why iI believe that they should be saying that enough is enough instead of running around like blind mice hero worshipping someone whose party sees them only as providing a safe seat for the party and elevating individuals to heights none of them can aspire to.So I guess my feeling is that there is a significant amount of work to be done in St John and if their candidate is successful the DLP and the candidate will be kept quite busy.The time has come for the people on St John who do not go to the polls to do so and make a difference,if you don’t vote you can’t complain.It makes no sense remaining at home and then complaing that after all these years nothing gets done in the constituecy.

  34. Let me say about her being in the party as soon as she said i do and was announce as his wife she was Bajan and she holds a Barbados pass port never mind if she was from outer space , did you ask him why he did not marry a bajan when he was P M (rip) congrats to the lady and concentrate on what is going on at the QEH , i also hope she become Barbados first Lady P M Cause you men have forgotten that with out a woman being there at that glorius moment for your farthers you would not be here LONG LIVE LIFE , now cuss me .

  35. Liberal

    To Kyle Boyce…. why not anoint her and make her a National Hero ….you can also go further and have all the evangelical priest declare that she is the new Christ and that we should worship her.”Hail Mara full of Grace etc etc”Make her a GOD not just a Queen.”Supporters of the DLP don’t cease to amaze.

  36. Liberal i am not a supporter of any party but a supporter of a persons rights , perhaps she should be queen at least she is hoping to make change for the betterment of all of us , well i can see you will be singing the same song for the rest of your life a womans place is in the kitchen , you want to anoint her so its a sexual thing with you about her , plus worship her , thou should have no other God but me , Long live freedom of speech .

  37. St JohnForever!

    All of you pontificating about St John, don’t know one thing about us St John people, nor about our parish! No way could St John be poorer than St Andrew! And it is CLEAR who is more backward!! No St John voter has ever continuously returned to the House of Assembly a representative who refuses to open his/her mouth, even in defence of their constituency. That distinction belongs to St Andrew. We are clearly on of the smartest parts of the Barbadian electorate, having produced 2 Prime Ministers, and now a woman who could easily be PM.

    To David G. Brooks (aka Mr “Know-it-all know-nothing”) I have one thing to say:- “If it ain’t broke why fix it??” If you think St John voters are going to choose some inconsequential member of the corrupt BLP just to show we can change, you can think again!

    As to Mara Thompson, she is running because the people of St John implored her to run. End of story. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!