Category Archives: Columns

DLP LAUNCHES SCHOOL INITIATIVE

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.’

DLP LAUNCHES SCHOOL INITIATIVE

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

Who do you trust?

Who do you trust

 

This week the leader of the Opposition laboured for more than five hours to deliver her no confidence motion.  This less than stellar performance of warmed over cold soup was just another episode of over exaggeration, baseless accusations and misrepresentation of facts.  Suffice to say, that after 5 hours, the only talking point from her entire delivery is based on a misrepresentation of information; her accusation of a 10% pay increase for members of the cabinet.

 

This accusation came out of two items on the order paper of parliament as well as a leaked cabinet paper.  It should not be a secret that as part of the fiscal consolidation programme, which was introduced by the DLP administration in December 2013, that the salaries of members of the cabinet, parliamentarians, and political appointees were temporarily reduced by 10% as part of the fiscal consolidation measures.

Just like all the measures in the fiscal consolidation programme the 10% cut was for a specified period of time.  Just as the consolidation tax was removed at the end of March 2016, it is the intention of government to restore the 10% to all those persons who were affected.  Hence the two items on the order paper.

This does not in any way represent a salary increase.  It is a restoration of the pay which was being deducted as part of the fiscal consolidation measures.

 

However, when the leader of the Opposition chose to refer to it as a 10% salary increase this created pandemonium in Barbados.  A severe misrepresentation of the facts.

 

Ms. Mottley accused the government of giving themselves a 10% salary increase while civil servants have had to endure a salary freeze since 2010.  She stated that she would have a hard time accepting the 10% salary increase at this time and she would have to work out a way for it to go to a charity.  The question which we should ask Ms. Mottley and members of the Barbados Labour Party parliamentary team, did they take the 10% pay cut to begin with?

 

When the issue of the 10% cut was raised back in 2013 the members of the opposition led by Ms. Mottley were adamant that they would not take it.  In fact they gave government a set of conditions which they would have to adhere to for them to accept the 10% cut to help the country reduce its expenses.

 

THE BARBADOS Labour Party’s parliamentary group is willing to take a ten per cent pay cut but only if government stops its “partisan” projects. So said Opposition Leader Mia Mottley yesterday, when she spoke at a news conference at her office in Parliament. Pointing out that the parliamentary group had met on Friday and had discussed the matter, Mottley said: “Our pay cut for 14 members is miniscule in comparison to the $4.5 million dollars that is being spent for catering for summer camps. The Government must stop that and it must stop the $5 million in constituency councils and the David Thompson football tournament and if we can get those things then the opposition like anybody else is going to bear its share of the burden,” (News Extract, 23rd December 2013).

 

From the words of Ms. Mottley she was not willing to accept the pay cut unless the Government put a stop to summer camps which provided supervision for our children during the summer and provided them with stimulating cultural, sport and recreational activity.  She would not accept the pay cut unless the constituency councils which help in building our society and meeting the needs of persons in communities were abolished.  She would not accept the pay cut unless the successful football competition which gainfully occupied the attention of young people in Barbados was abandoned.

In short the opposition would only accept the 10% pay cut if the government had put an end to many of the social programmes which benefit our youth and society.

 

Well we know that the summer camps programme is still going and young Barbadians will soon be enrolled in camps for the summer.  We know that the constituency councils are still in place.  The football competition is still running.  Therefore the government did not concede to the ridiculous terms proposed by the Opposition.

 

What we do not know is whether the opposition Barbados Labour Party stood in solidarity with the people of Barbados and accepted the 10% cut to help the government to correct its fiscal position.

 

We do know that in the interest of the people of Barbados the members of the DLP cabinet accepted the cut.  We stood in solidarity with the people.

 

We leave you to decide whose words you can trust.

DLP’s Guiding Principles

50annpassportDLP’s Guiding Principles

This year marked 61 years since the formation of the Democratic Labour Party.  This party has worked steadfastly on behalf of the people of Barbados and by the extension the region to honour the principles and philosophies which were agreed to by the 25 persons who established this illustrious political institution on the 27th April 1955.

 

The Democratic Labour Party has remained committed to twenty-two principles and philosophies which have been at the core of all policies which the party has implemented over the 61 years of its existence.

 

These principles and philosophies are based on the development of the people of Barbados, the environment, society and economy.  Some of the guiding principles and philosophies of the party are:

 

  1. That sustainable development and protection of the environment are key concepts for achieving the social and economic well-being of the people of Barbados.
  2. That the political party is still the best medium through which the people of Barbados should have political power secured and used in their name.
  3. That while public policy should aim to improve the lot of all citizens in the society, the content of that policy should always reflect a commitment to solving particularly the problems of youth, labour, women, the aged, the disabled, the unemployed, small business and such other disadvantaged groups as may from time to time surface in Barbados.
  4. That the people of Barbados constitute its greatest asset, since it is people who make development possible, who work, save and invest, who actively contribute to the production of goods and services, who influence productivity, who generate cultural products, and who build and shape efficient and effective organizations.
  5. That honesty and responsibility in public life should be secured and maintained at all times, and that graft and corruption, wherever they may exist, should be rooted out by every constitutional means.

 

These are just a few of the principles which have guided the policy development of the Democratic Labour Party throughout its 61 years of existence and 31 years in government in Barbados.  These led to achievements such as:

 

  1. Free education up to the secondary level;
  2. The opening of the university of the West Indies, establishing the Barbados community college, The polytechnic and establishing a network of newer secondary schools in Barbados;
  3. Providing school meals;
  4. Establishing the National insurance;
  5. Maternity leave;
  6. The Severance Payment Act;
  7. Allowing peaceful picketing by trade unions;
  8. The Introduction of Domestic Violence Legislation;
  9. The Employment Rights Bill;
  10. The Cultural Industries Development Bill;
  11. Building of the National Stadium and the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex;
  12. Expansion of the utilization of renewable energy in electricity generation in Barbados;
  13. Moving Barbados from a colony to an independent state.

 

The ideals which the Democratic Labour Party stand for remain relevant to Barbados to this day 61 years after.  They still guide our decisions which are made by the party in the interest of the people of Barbados.

 

At 61st Anniversary Gala and Induction ceremony the new inductees were encouraged by our Party President and Prime Minister of Barbados, The Right Hon. Freundel Stuart, Q.C., MP. of the principles and the history of the party which makes it an ideal institution for persons who are interested in the development of the people of Barbados to join.

 

As a party the DLP believes that political power must never be used for the benefit of only a few in society.  Political power should be used to benefit the masses in society.  In the DLP we also believe that wealth should be distributed based on the principle of maximum social advantage.  This continues to guide the DLP and should be the motivator for persons to join a political party.  Focus on the development on the country and others.

 

In our 61 years of existence the Democratic Labour Party has provided Barbados with four of the seven Prime Ministers.  National Hero, The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow took Barbados to independence and laid the foundation and established many of the pillars for the modern and highly developed country we live in today.  Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford crafted the structural adjustment package which placed the Barbados economy on an growth path in the 1990s and was also instrumental in the formation of the Social Partnership.  The Late David Thompson started the process of rebuilding the social fabric of Barbados reminding us that, “Barbados is not only and economy.  It is a society.”  To our current Prime Minister, The Right Hon. Freundel Stuart who has set a mandate to establish a Barbados which is Socially Balanced, economically viable, environmentally sound and characterized by good governance.

 

For over 61 years the principles and philosophies of the DLP have served the people of Barbados well.