Franklyn: I speak to whoever wants to hear me

It was not about Caswell Franklyn but more about the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) St Peter branch failing to follow protocol for having a guest speaker at its meeting.

That’s the word from the general secretary Steve Blackett after the party’s hierarchy interjected following Franklyn’s advertised appearance next Sunday at the branch to speak on the National Insurance Scheme and the pension issue. Franklyn is a former People’s Party for Democracy and Development senator and former member of the ruling Barbados Labour Party.

The intervention of the party heads led to a series of Whatsapp messages that accused Blackett and party president Dr Ronnie Yearwood of blocking Franklyn making their way into the public sphere. The author of the messages also questioned the top brass’ authority to determine who can speak at such meetings and demanded that the specific clause of the party’s constitution giving such authority be pointed out.

In the messages, it was pointed out that there were some who had spoken ill of the party in the past but were allowed

to return as guest speakers for certain events and wanted to know why Franklyn was being treated differently.

However, Blackett said there was no attempt to block speakers from branch meetings but there is a process that must be followed.

“It has more to do with the process. There is a process put in place for branches to alert the secretariat of the party if they are having public facing meetings, branch meetings. That process was not observed by the St Peter branch.

“We are not a rum shop and even rum shops have rules. The rules must be observed and there is a clear policy where you have to alert the secretariat and then there are a number of other drop down positions that you have to observe before you can invite guest speakers,” he told the DAILY NATION yesterday.

Blackett said that it was a short process and in the case of the St Peter branch, they were not dictating who they can have as guest speakers.(AC)

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