The man who led the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) campaign in the last elections, which ended in a disastrous 30-0 defeat at the hands of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), says his party does not owe the people of Barbados an apology for their ten-year stewardship of the country.
As a matter of fact, former ambassador to CARICOM, Robert Bobby Morris is adamant, despite the resounding rejection at the polls, that the DLP should be lauded for miraculously keeping the Barbados economy afloat. His comments came a week after former Minister of Culture and Sports Stephen Lashley called on the party to humble itself before the people of Barbados and openly acknowledge its mistakes.
“I don’t take these things personally; the people have spoken, and they are the voice of God. My one thing is this, I don’t think we have to apologize to anybody because I am not buying the other people’s narrative. There is one narrative that I have, which is that the economy was so bad that holding it together was a miracle, but the cost would have been heavy and therefore we got beaten,” said Morris, who was delivering the Astor B Watts’ Lecture at the DLP’s George Street headquarters.
Noting that previous election results across the region suggested that the tide was against the DLP regaining the Government in 2018, Morris gave the assurance this afternoon that the “Dems will rise again”.
“The Dems will soar again and all you have to do is keep united. Don’t go in public criticizing other people in the party. If you have a difference of opinion there are places where you can take that difference of opinion. You are looking for sympathy, I am not looking for sympathy from anybody,” said Morris.
From the same podium last week, Lashley said the DLP administration was at times guilty of arrogance. He also expressed regret over the manner in which the party conducted the 2018 campaign, noting that it smacked of negativity and therefore urged the new party leadership to devise and publicise a code of conduct to govern future campaigns.
When asked to reconcile his stance with the position put forward by the former minister, Morris made it clear that he failed to see the arrogance and suggested that Lashley’s analysis may have been driven by emotion.
“Our perspectives may differ; it does not matter because we all have a right to be honest. We also have a second right to be clear that we are analytical, and analysis is not something that is driven by emotion. It is something that you have to be very dispassionate about. Where was the arrogance? That is something I would have to go through chapter and verse because sometimes people mistake arrogance for confidence, and confidence in what you believe in can smack of arrogance,” said Morris.
The former DLP Member of Parliament made it clear that Lashley was not speaking for the party and even questioned if he had discussed the subject of his lecture with the party administration before taking the podium last Friday.
“Lashley has a position in relation to this party and I don’t think he was speaking for the party. Quite frankly I think those were his personal views. I don’t know if he had any mandate from the party before he spoke. I know I spoke to the officials and told them what I had to say because I don’t want to disrespect my officials,” he said.