Barbados needs a resurgent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the time has come for the members to stop feeling sorry for themselves, following the party’s historic loss in the 2018 polls, when the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) claimed all 30 seats,” says party stalwart, Derek Alleyne.
Delivering the Astor B Watts lecture today, in partnership with the man who managed the disastrous campaign, Robert “Bobby”Morris, Alleyne stressed that it was pointless to continue the blame game, especially at a time when the country needed the major political party to be the voice that questions some of the actions of the Government.
He accused the hierarchy of the trade unions of being in bed with the Government and therefore it was up to the DLP to champion the causes of the working class.
“At the NUPW [National Union of Public Workers], the president speaking north, the General Secretary speaking south and the Deputy General Secretary down west. You can’t separate the political parties from the unions, everything gone red,” he said, in an apparent reference to the BLP’s party colours.
He added, “We have the responsibility as a political party to speak for the people at this very critical time.”
However, Alleyne charged that in order to serve the people of Barbados, members of the party must reconcile themselves with the decision of the people a year ago. He also argued that each person must reflect on how they contributed to the state of the party, rather than pointing fingers at a few. Drawing an analogy with a parent’s discipline, Alleyne told the audience that this was not a time for self-pity.
“When my mother had reason to cut my backside, I never used to draw up in a corner and feel sorry for myself. I used to internalize why I got the flogging. What did I do that forced my mother to put her hands on me? I have always lived my life that way and when negative things happen, instead of sitting in a corner sucking salt, I ask myself what I would have done to bring this upon myself,” said Alleyne.
He added, I want this party, rather than engage in name calling, to internalize what we would have done to cause people to treat us the way that they would have treated us. We are collectively responsible for what has happened to this party. Not one, two or 12 persons could have contributed to the lashes that this party got.”
Alleyne’s comments were in stark contrast to utterances made by Morris two months ago, when he stated that despite the resounding rejection at the polls, 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.