A former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) representative is confident that the incumbent party could pull off a third consecutive victory in the next general election, but he is warning supporters that it will not be a cake walk.
Former DLP parliamentary representative for St Michael South East Hamilton Lashley, who also represented the main Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in the House of Assembly at one point, and later sat as an independent before returning to the DLP fold, made the suggestion last night as he threw his backing behind three DLP newcomers.
“We are on the precipice of the social transformation of the Barbadian society [and] this is so because the DLP has produced three young, energetic and exciting candidates to take the battle for it into the next general election,” said Lashley, affectionately known as Hammie-La.
However, he acknowledged that some DLP supporters were disgruntled and apprehensive about leaving their homes to vote on Election Day, while appealing for support for Henderson Williams in The City, Rodney Grant in St Michael South East and Nicholas Alleyne in St Michael East.
“It is so necessary because every single vote will count. The eleven St Michael constituencies must be seen as one constituency and must fight together as a unit to really take the battle to the Opposition Barbados Labour Party,” Lashley said, while suggesting that the next general election would be won and lost in the St Michael constituencies.
“You cannot stay at home in a battle. This is a battle that you would have to secure for your children. This battle must be taken to every gap, every alley, every housing area, every district throughout Barbados,” said Lashley who was especially full of praise for Grant, who he described as “a brother” and a “young man who over the past 40 years was out in the field, particularly in St Michael South East, doing community work”.
Meantime, Grant who recently replaced Patrick Tannis as the DLP’s candidate thinks the constituency could become a “model” one for the island.
“This constituency has always produced leaders. We are not weak, we were never weak. So if we want to sustain this constituency in the long run, I would say to you, find a genuine leader. It is simple. The journey that we have gone through, the struggles that we would have gone through in the 1950s and the 60s were great. I remember being thrown out of offices when I accompanied Hamilton Lashley on visits to solicit help for needy persons. The journey that we would have endured was not for weaklings. It was not for people who did not understand resilience and collective responsibility. It was because we stood together we were able to overcome,” he said.
Grant argued that the people of the constituency must come together to address the problems which confront them and that “we cannot build a country through individualism. If there is one thing that will hurt us as a country, is individualism.
“What saddens me on a daily basis is that most of the people who come to me do not realize that their individual problem is part of a bigger problem. A lot of what we learn, these bad practices [are] rooted in a bad legacy. It was thrust upon us post slavery. If ever there was a time to look to our history to find the strength of our ancestors is now. We have to persevere if we are to build a future for our children and grandchildren,” he added.