Opposition Leader Mia Mottley believes last week’s British vote to leave the European Union came about as a result of political neglect.
And addressing party faithful at Graydon Sealy Secondary School last night, she warned members of her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) not to make the same mistake, even as she took her usual swipe at the ruling Democratic Labour Party administration.
“The British people spoke out not because they understood the consequences of leaving the European Union, but it was a cry, a plea, that too many people in that country were being ignored, being left one side, being marginalized,” said Mottley, adding, “It is the same cry that we hear from our people here in Barbados.”
UK citizens last week voted 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent to end their 43-year membership of the European Union in a referendum which analysts forecast may have dire consequences for the country.
Speaking during last night’s BLP nomination exercise in St Michael South where Kirk Humphrey was chosen as the party’s nominee, Mottley suggested that all politicians could learn from the outcome of the British vote.
“Understand that whatever else our mission is nationally, it can only be built on a foundation of representation and caring about people.
“It is about caring about people, and [not] this notion about sending personal assistants, or your right hand man to do the job when you have failed to come through . . . . If we ever doubted it, look at what has happened in England last week.”
Humphrey won last night’s nomination in convincing fashion with 232 votes, beating out his closest challenger Asokore Beckles by 162 votes.
Mottley told the professional policy and planning specialist, “this is not a victory to cause you to pause, this is a step to the next stage . . . use this momentum to go house to house, and person to person.
“People understand that you need somebody else to help you, but they don’t expect them to be a substitute for you, they want to see you too,” she said.
“There is no shortcut. The discipline that requires you to be out there with the people has to obtain. Even when you’re not out there with the people you have to be accessible,” the BLP leader advised.