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Sunday 26 January 2020
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Tracy slams 'misogynistic' Stanford song

PNM Tobago chairman Stanford Callender -
PNM Tobago chairman Stanford Callender -

People's National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council political leader aspirant Tracy Davidson-Celestine has described as "debasing and misogynistic," portions of a song composed by the party's outgoing chairman Stanford Callender for Kelvin Charles' campaign in the January 19 internal election.

Charles, the outgoing political leader, is seeking re-election after winning the council's leadership in a run-off with Davidson-Celestine ,four years ago.

Callender, who is hoping to retain his position as chairman, performed the song on Sunday during the launch of the Charles' campaign at the Black Rock Hard Court.

In the song's chorus, the former Tobago West MP sang "If it were a fashion show, I would choose you and if it were a puppet show, I would choose/take you."

Davidson-Celestine took issue with the lyrics.

"The song classifies other candidates vying for political leader as being most suitable for a fashion show or puppet show and is debasing and misogynistic.

She went on: "The fact that two of those candidates are women makes the fashion show reference extremely sexist and totally inappropriate for the PNM in 2020, with thousands of intelligent women who serve this party daily and deservingly have ambitions for high office."

Davidson-Celestine said the reference to puppet show questions the capacity and ability of all contenders for political leader as well as those who are part of their team or support them as candidates.

She noted all three of the other candidates have been members of council and served as secretaries in the THA, with two of them attaining the office of Deputy Chief Secretary.

Davidson-Celestine said the lyrics of the song violates items three, five seven and 12 of the candidates' code of conduct.

She reminded them to adhere to the long held values of decency and respect, which is contained in the document.

Davidson-Celestine and Wendell Berkeley, her slate's candidate for chairman, urged Callender to not promote or perform "such debasing lyrics."

Davidson-Celestine said Charles should also make it clear he is not in support of such "debasing and sexist lyrics and that both apologise to their fellow party members in moving forward.

"That does not help the united, modern and caring party that we are trying to build."

During a news conference at the PNM's Scarborough headquarters on Friday, Berkeley, who is the outgoing Tobago Council vice-chairman, urged all candidates to abide by the code of conduct in the run up to the internal election.

Efforts to contact Callender were futile as calls to his cellphone on Monday went unanswered.

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