President, Peoples Empowerment Party and the Clement Payne Movement
Dr Sir Richard Christopher Haynes was easily one of the most dynamic, flamboyant and impactful politicians that Barbados has ever produced! Furthermore, Sir Richard possessed in abundance what every good and genuine politician must have — a deep interest in public affairs and a profound concern for the welfare of his country.
Dr Richie Haynes was also an energetic, live-wire politician — always probing and investigating the affairs of state; always challenging his political opponents; constantly exposing wrongdoing in official circles; and persistently putting out ideas for public consumption and response — qualities that are sorely lacking in the current political culture.
He was also a history-making politician, in the sense that it was he who launched one of the most effective challenges to the dominance of the traditional two party system with his National Democratic Party.
In fact, in a sense, “Richie” was the original architect of the concept of a “politics of inclusion”, with his and the NDP’s outreach to persons like Trevor Prescod and myself, and to the other members of the Clement Payne Movement.
I make bold to say that if a significant number of the current generation of Barbadians could only find it in themselves to exhibit a fraction of Sir Richard’s brand of active, intelligent, responsible and engaged citizenship, we would easily turn around this country and put it back on a trajectory of progress.
There can be no doubt about it — a true giant has left us, and Barbados is much the poorer for the simple fact that we can no longer count him among the living assets of our nation.
On behalf of the officers and members of the Clement Payne Movement and the Peoples Empowerment Party I hereby extend heartfelt condolences to his widow Lady Haynes and to his sons and other relatives.