Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados Today Inc.
by Lloyd Taylor
This past week has been quite an interesting one, to put it mildly for the Democratic Labour Party.
It began with the significance of their week of celebrations to mark 66 years of being a political institution.
It was followed by the revelation by Party leader Verla DePieza that she has secured about 75 percent of candidates for the next General Elections and that she herself intends to contest the St. Lucy seat.
The news, while refreshing to hear for many party supporters, was soon soured when your media house revealed that no one in the constituency knew of her or was willing to give her a shot against the sitting Member of Parliament Hon. Peter Philips – based on the back page report on April 27th of Barbados TODAY.
Now while it may be debated whether the reporter who did the story was politically biased in her/his selection of areas in the constituency which are BLP strongholds, or even if persons interviewed were all supporters of the present government; it struck a chord when not even the former representative of St. Lucy and her DLP comrade Mr. Dennis Kellman, when quizzed, wanted to offer words of encouragement to Ms. Depieza.
To top it all off it was later revealed that former Minister of Industry and Commerce Mr. Donville Inniss was sentenced to 24 months in a federal prison in the United States.
Not exactly the start to a week of activities the DLP would have envisioned, to say the least.
However, all was not lost as in the midst of the turmoil I took notice of a progressive young man who accompanied Donville to his sentencing and remains one of the more respected Barbadian citizens in the eyes of many across all sides of the political landscape.
The Reverend Guy Hewitt when quizzed by your newspaper as to why he was there to offer support to Mr. Inniss had perhaps one of the most genuine responses a man in his position could offer.
“I consider my greatest wealth those special relationships that I have acquired over a lifetime. There is little that I wouldn’t do for the people I care about.
When Donville asked I unhesitatingly said yes… I am not a fair-weather friend”, the former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom told Barbados TODAY.
Now. Let me be blunt, as a supporter of the DLP I am filled with hope to see the party rise again to be a major political force in Barbados.
It is time that current leader Ms. Depieza realizes she is not the one to lead the party back into the political forefront of Barbados.
For some reason, through no fault of her own, she does not resonate with the Barbadian public as a leader or option as a political leader.
Maybe it is the fact that when placed next to Prime Minister Mia Mottley she pales in comparison to the Prime Minister’s massive personality and presence.
She however must be admired and credited for taking the reins of the party after the catastrophic 2018 defeat at the polls.
However, with a current government viewed in the eyes of many as being drunk with power, a strong opposition or a viable alternative is needed.
Rev. Hewitt is my selection as the future leader of the Democratic Labour Party. This is a view held by most supporters of the Party as it is widely believed that a new direction and personnel are needed for the DLP.
When one looks at members of the former administration all of them carry some measure of responsibility for the crushing 30-0 defeat almost three years ago.
Furthermore, they neither offer any real solutions nor do they resonate with a disinterested electorate.
Resounding arguments can be made for some of them to return to public life but sadly not as the leader of the DLP furthermore Barbados.
The DLP needs a facelift and a blood transfusion. I have been hearing the names of some younger candidates who are ready to offer their services and this is a major step towards the rebuild.
However, to complete the change and come afresh they need a new respected, articulate, and charismatic leader to rally the troops and be a formidable challenger to the Mottley-led administration.
When one looks on the horizon that person exists in the form of Reverend Guy Hewitt and the new candidates of the DLP with a sprinkling of some of the old guards whose reputations remain intact.
Ms. Depieza if you truly have your party and Barbados at heart, you should humbly seek counsel with Rev. Hewitt to save and restore the DLP to the highly regarded status it once held.
As the party celebrates 66 years of existence, it is time for a rebirth or faces extinction.
Lloyd Taylor is a social commentator and retired educator. This column was offered as a Letter to the Editor.