Candidates of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) have been challenged by outgoing interim president Steve Blackett to get noticed.
“We have to meet people in their own spaces,” Blackett told those gathered Friday night at the party’s headquarters for the inauguration ceremony for president Dr. Ronnie Yearwood.
“Occupy school halls again, occupy community centres, visit bars … attend churches. Candidates you must adopt schools in your particular ridings, attend funerals … go to Q in the Community – get noticed.”
Blackett’s comments follow the announcement of a growth in the party’s membership despite their second successive defeat at the polls in January.
Addressing some of the more than 150 new members who were inducted during the ceremony, Blackett congratulated them for making the choice to join the 67-year-old political party that was co-founded by National Hero Errol Barrow.
“You are now part of a party striving for a just society and that has been always our mantra … You are in good company and I want to salute you for joining this political organisation,” he said.
“This party, and you will grow to be proud of it, transformed Barbados from what we always call a collection of villages to a prosperous, well educated, socially balanced country that we are all proud of in 2022. Your party, your DLP was in the vanguard and the refashioning of Barbados we have here in 2022. So, I welcome each and every one of you into the fold.”
Meanwhile, Yearwood also expressed his vision for the DLP to be a more people-centred and focused institution, which he hopes will shape a new future for the party and Barbados.
“This will not be about an army of consultants and half started half stalled projects and ministers in training …. This Government is a graveyard of failed policies and of contradictions,” Yearwood said.
“The biggest of all, the people of Barbados are the collateral damage for the personal ambitions of its ministers. We will place you at the heart and centre of your country. It is time that you come into the big tent of the Democratic Labour Party so that we can not only re-imagine our party but re-imagine our country.” (KC)