A sea of red shirts at Barclays Park, Ermy Bourne Highway on Saturday, was not enough to convince the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) that the May 24 general election is in the bag.
As matter of fact, party leader Mia Mottley said even though the crowd at their annual Heroes Day picnic was in the thousands, it was no guarantee of victory at the polls.
“I have to confess that when started this in 2008, I never thought that we would see a crowd like this. This is the biggest crowd that I have ever seen at a political event in my 29 years of politics in Barbados. This crowd is huge but I want you to draw brakes and pause because as huge as this is, it does not represent 51 per cent of the voting public of Barbados,” Mottley said
“You and I know that we are not in it just to have a good time but we are in it to change the country and to give people hope again. So, we have work to do because you know as Bob Marley said who feels it knows it. As large as this crowd is, it is not enough for us to win the government. We need what is here plus the rest,” she added, invoking an eruption of cheers from the massive gathering.
The Opposition Leader sought to impress upon the crowd that the time had come for talk and gestures to be translated into meaningful action, noting that otherwise the hard work put in before the elections would have been for naught.
She noted that her party’s ability to hand out paraphernalia was evidence of their focus going into the election.
“When this election was called you could see that we were focused and ready. Who was it that put up the posters first? Who was the first to hand out the shirts and the hats? That is because we were focused and ready,” she said.
Mottley admonished supporters not to take their eye off the prize, stressing that they must now see the party through to victory.
“It is all well and good to say DEM [a common reference to the incumbent Democratic Labour Party] is the worse, but if we don’t do something about it we are no better than DEM. Give me and my team this one and we would earn the rest… I want to do right by the people of this country but we can only do it if we join forces to bring the best Barbados possible,” she said.
“I am not going to be the one to talk about making history. The history to be made is not me becoming the first female Prime Minister of Barbados but rather it is made by Barbadians joining together to pull the country back.”