Category Archives: Columns


Fri, 02/24/2017 –  Barbados Advocate

CANDIDATE selection is very much on the agenda of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), with persons expressing an interest either verbally or by letter for all constituencies.

This revelation came from General Secretary, George Pilgrim, yesterday during a press conference held at the DLP’s George Street Headquarters, where he assured the selection will be made “very soon”.

Pilgrim told the media that persons are gearing up for the marginal BLP seats and in particular the St. James Central constituency, currently held by Kerrie Symmonds, saying many in the DLP are eager to see him go.

He explained, however, that there is a difference between the DLP and BLP as it relates to candidate selection, the latter of which he contended is always riddled with controversy.

The general secretary said the process of the DLP is extremely rigorous, and has not just started.

“For the last three years this party has been drilling down into the issue of candidate selection. Every month a report comes on the performance and activity in the constituencies that are under consideration. Every month for the last three years,” he revealed.

“So it is not an overnight or weekend exercise under a tent. We function based on data, feedback and consultation. It is a very consultative process and I want to credit our party leader for insisting that over the last three years that the party consulted with the people of the branches in keeping us up-to-date on the performance of all of those,” Pilgrim pointed out.

He further stated that, “When we are selecting candidates in the DLP, we follow the Constitution. In our candidate selection process, the executive selects and the General Council ratifies with consultation with the committee of management.”

“And in one night, not a year, in one night, with the corporation and support of the two councils being in agreement with each other, the party can select all 30 candidates. We have a very non-public candidate selection process… We do our business with decorum, we have rules that we obey, and we don’t break the rules for the convenience of some at the expense of others,” he exhorted.

Pilgrim sympathised with persons who were wronged by the BLP including embattled Dr. Maria Agard and David Gill.

“Anybody vexed with the leadership with the BLP, call me. I drive around with application forms. This is not a party that engages in rejecting people and publicly humiliating people. We don’t like it. The people on this side are family are friends. The people on that side are alliances,” he stated.

“I have one vote. The executive ratifies and accepts the members and let me say if it were to come before me, as an individual on the executive council I would personally vote to welcome Agard or any of those numbers of the DLP. Signed, sealed and delivered,” he said. (JH)


Students from St. Christopher’s Primary with teacher, Angela Sealy Lewis (back), posing with students after their drama piece ‘Barbados Journey to 50’.

Students from St. Christopher’s Primary with teacher, Angela Sealy Lewis (back), posing with students after their drama piece ‘Barbados Journey to 50’.

Children from St. John’s Primary School taking part in the Inter-primary School Drama competition, doing a play entitled ‘Brown Girl In A Ring.’

Children from St. John’s Primary School taking part in the Inter-primary School Drama competition, doing a play entitled ‘Brown Girl In A Ring.’


EIGHT primary schools will go head to head in the first ever School Drama competition.

This is an initiative of the Democratic Labour Party, one of 50 events on the party’s calendar of events.

George Pilgrim, General Secretary of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), told The Barbados Advocate during a recent interview, “ The School’s Drama competition is one of two parts of the School’s Engagement programme.”

One aspect will focus on drama for primary school students, and the other on Essay writing based on the theme ‘Journey to 50.’

Pilgrim noted, “The idea is to stimulate research, the engagement of schools through education, in respect of what occurred on our journey to 50, to say to Barbadians this competition is about tomorrow’s children.”

Part of our education project is to ensure schools are fully engaged and mobilised, not just towards our independence, but towards the importance of the history of Barbados.

He revealed, “This event is the first of its kind , and will become an annual calendar event for the Democratic Labour Party. It is not an independence activity, but one where we can see children converge and compete with each other in research and sharing of knowledge.”

At the end of the competition, each school will be given a cash prize in the respective positions of first, second and third, and an additional prize will be given to the teacher who wrote the script as part of an incentive, to show that we appreciate all they have done.

He stated, “The first prize is $2000, second prize $1500 and third prize is $1000, which the schools can use in whatever area deemed necessary.”

The grand finale of the inter-primary school competition will conclude at the George Street Auditorium, where the winners will be announced by the four judges, and persons will get the opportunity to see the winning acts.

Pilgrim noted, “This is our first year, and we are pleased with the response. Going forward, we will launch the programme from September, as opposed to the second term. This is to give students and teachers more time in preparing the skits and learning their different roles.

“In launching the programme as an academic year, we can reframe the energy, but maintain the focus, which is to encourage students to conduct and interpret research whilst learning the history of this country.”

DLP column for Friday, 20th May 2016 – 29, 400 Short!!!


Extract taken from the letter to be delivered to members and supporters of the
March for Justice sent
by the Principal Organiser.

the march






Dear Comrades,


First let me thank the scores who turned out for our first in a series of demonstrations. We fell way short of the 30 000 persons we were hoping to mobilise on this occasion.  The police claimed that roughly 600 persons came out for the march.  It is my intention to refute their numbers.  However, I shall convene a meeting with the planners of this activity and seek to interrogate where we fell down.


I accept full responsibility for the very poor turn out today as some will want to apportion blame on the perceived dismal failure of the activity. I am aware of the perception which went out surrounding this activity. Barbados was told that the activity was all about me while others believed it should have been a pure party initiative. I stressed, as I did in the first one, we need to engage the Barbadians standing on the side looking on.


This is crucial if I am to see a turn-around in the fortunes of my leadership. I am extremely dismayed at the fact that despite asking for supporters to wear white, some who should know better defiled me and wore red. I want to stress once again, this activity and those which are to follow will not be derailed by a few who can’t see the bigger picture.


My March for Justice is my symbol of hope and all those who have issues with leadership should put aside their difference and support my cause. I assure you my strategy is sound and the March on May 19th should not be used as a bench mark to judge my future initiatives.


My March for Justice will become a registered charity in which people will be able to make donations and become volunteers.  I intend to create a movement aimed at pushing my agenda. I will be the President and I have already approached a very capable supporter to be Secretary. I don’t want any of the party officers holding office in my charity. It is a conflict of my interest.


I am convinced it is becoming extremely difficult to convince the full gamut of my parliamentary team to follow me and so I have decided to go outside of the box.

My cause cannot die after this poor effort. I know some may say we started out in our last march in 2014 with three thousand marchers and now we are down to a paltry six hundred.


As I said earlier, I intend to knock out all the kinks in the armour. I am convinced even if I don’t have the support of the base of the unions, I have at least convinced the leadership to join me in a relationship going forward. Leadership support is important.


On a note of profound sorrow, I regret the inability of my colleagues to mobilise their constituents. We are quite aware of the two biggest branches that hail from the East and yet I sense the lack lustre energy towards ensuring my events are successful. These are the areas of concern to which I will turn my attention to while planning the next initiative. I really want to appeal to all those with influence to encourage all hands on deck as we go forward. It is not enough for individuals to turn up on site to ensure that my events fail only to report back to the National Council, “ I told you so!”


I will not stand by and be openly disrespected or undermined and that is why we must find a way to put aside all differences for my sake. I have the ability to lead and succeed and it is not fair that I continue to put myself out there on a limb getting abused by all while my colleagues adopt a scorch earth policy towards my efforts.


In closing, this letter should serve as a shot across the bow of those who would wish to undermine my efforts while occupying a space. I want my supporters to send a strong signal to all my in-house detractors about the importance of supporting me.


The effort today, even though I had planned this initiative since December 2015 and waited until now to execute, must be commended! Though I did not receive our intended 30 000 marchers, I will not be swayed by the poor effort of the March of May 19th. In politics what counts for me is effort and I thank all, including my detractors, for joining me on my March for Justice.


Yours Truly,


Principal Organiser

The March