A merry Christmas to all; to the residents of Barbados and to our visitors who have chosen to spend this festive season with us on our island home. Welcome!
I am Lynette Eastmond, leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP). Greetings to you all.
In the midst of our celebrations,I would wish us to pause to remember those who will not enjoy this Christmas season because of some recent loss or tragedy as well as those who never find this time a joyous one. We hold you in our hearts.
This Season celebrates the story of Jesus Christ, a story of hope and aspiration. But even in the midst of such hope, the story tells us that human beings are often sceptical of gifts which appear to come freely to them. I want to address this natural scepticism today.
On February 9, 2017, I along with a small group of dedicated patriots formed the United Progressive Party to bring a new political narrative to Barbadians in preparation for the next General Election.
As our message of individual responsibility and political prudence has spread, we have since then grown in number and support.
We are exceedingly grateful to those of you who have listened with open minds and hearts and have accepted us into your political landscape. We hope to move forward with your help to bring progressive change to Barbados as a whole; to fulfil the potential we all can see before us.
The existence of the UPP is indeed a message of hope. Against tremendous odds we were able to launch a new party which we see, every day, has inspired Barbadians to take a fresh look at their society and encourage them to take action to set up new institutions where they consider them necessary.
At this Christmas time, I am encouraged by all I have seen throughout the last ten months. Our democracy is alive and well. We have gone throughout the community and spoken to many people willing to effect change in their lives and in society, willing to assist in building up their world, and each other, with honest sweat and unshakeable determination.
We as a young party are encouraged by the persons whose help we were able to enlist to carry out small projects throughout Barbados, doing what we can as a party and as citizens to practice our principles on a scale we could only have imagined ten months ago.
It goes to show that as a country, as a people, we only need to have the will and drive to succeed. If we pool our talents and resources, we can strive for the pinnacle as a people, together.
We would like to thank all of those persons such as Government Institutions and the Media for extending to us similar courtesies as those traditionally extended to the old political parties.
We would like to thank the people who have welcomed us into their homes and communities as we continue to hold meetings and introduce ourselves to everyone.
We also thank all our supporters, the tireless volunteers who have given of their time and money. Thank you!
As families across Barbados come together for the festivities, we rejoice in our good fortune while looking out for those among us who are less fortunate. We remember those who are more vulnerable or suffering as we reach out to them with gifts, love and fellowship that should go on past this season.
For Christians around Barbados this season marks the celebration of the birth of Christ.
For Jesus, the great teacher, taught through word and deed much that would help us in our daily lives today.
Jesus taught us the role that laws and regulations must play in our society; that the law must be used for uplifting people and not for the oppression of people.
He taught us about integrity in all of our dealings; turning over the tables of the money changers and vendors who had set up their business in the temple.
He taught our people that as we should not hide our talents and that we would be rewarded when we put them to good use.
He taught us that our soul is more important than our worldly possessions.
Such important teachings are as applicable today as they were hundreds of years ago.
Barbados has had many challenges and perhaps some of these challenges stem from our failure to incorporate these principles in our own lives, our society and in our governance.
The UPP’s message of progressivism is underpinned by our values of strong communities, a sense of compassion, and respect for human dignity; it also holds the conviction that we can get up and fashion the world as how we want to live, to fit the world we see in our dreams.
Have a very merry Christmas and a progressive 2018.
Leader of the United Progressive Party