The Assistant General Secretary of the recently ousted Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has promised that the party will rise again after falling victim to the most humiliating of electoral defeats on May 24.
Andre Worrell, who is also a former DLP Senator, was delivering first weekly lecture at the party’s George Street headquarters following the party’s 30-nil trouncing by the Mia Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
Since then, the BLP has suffered one defection with Bishop Joe Atherley crossing over to the Opposition benches of Parliament.
However, speaking on the topic, Transforming the Democratic Labour Party – The New Dawn, Worrell urged party supporters not to be daunted, despite the humiliating loss.
“Do not be daunted by people and think that we will not return to office or that is may take longer for us to return to office,” the assistant general secretary said, adding that “as long as we do what is necessary in terms of changing the way how this organization operates, how our members behave, how our leaders function, how our branches are organized . . . if we do what is necessary to make those changes impactful and appealing to the electorate, the Democratic Labour Party will return”.
Following the shocking defeat in which all 16 of its incumbents, including Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler lost their seats two weeks ago, Worrell said that the DLP was in the process of strategizing and analyzing how the political party, which was founded by the Father of Independence Errol Barrow, could improve.
He contended that transformational change was necessary at every level, from the grassroots to senior leadership, while maintaining that the DLP must stay true to its core philosophy.
However, he conceded that it had failed to effectively communicate and understand the wants of its electorate while arguing that change could not occur without organizational amendments.
“We were defeated at the polls 30-0. At this stage we no longer have a seat in the House of Assembly, we don’t have senators in the Parliament so anyone who can say that change is not necessary for the Democratic Labour Party has possibly lost touch with the reality of the 24th of May,” Worrell added.
However, he refuted claims that a new crop of DLP candidates was needed to invigorate the changes needed, saying “we had very good candidates in the field and . . . many of them still have worthwhile contributions to make not only to the Democratic Labour Party, but to the country as well”.
Worrell therefore called on DLP faithful to change their mindsets and to embrace change as well as for cohesion among party officials and supporters, while warning that discord and the tendency to “sweep issues under the carpet” would lead to their downfall.
“We must start thinking in the interest of the party and the bigger picture . . . . We will have to leave petty squabbles at the door when we are coming to deal with serious party business,” Worrell insisted.
“I am not saying you must hide things and sweep it under the garment. That is something that this party does well and something that we probably need to stop because those things we sweep under the carpet, they often come back,” he said, while stating that the metaphorical dust was causing sinus issues within the ranks of the party.
Worrell stressed that if the party failed to evolve it would become non-existent in Barbados’ political landscape.