The following are some memorable quotes from the late David Thompson.
• “Without strong families we cannot survive . . . Families are like gardens: if they are not tilled, cultivated and nourished, they will be barren.” – November 11, 1997
• “Our moral fabric is unravelling, yet we refuse to invest in our young people. We must not offer our children less than what we ourselves had.” – November 11, 1997
• “Every young family with children and working parents needs help with child care. Every community and every workplace should therefore provide facilities for childcare.” – December 1, 2006
• “The most important job is that of a committed parent. Let’s rebuild our families on a foundation of respect, responsibility, love.” – November 30, 1997
• “Children crave a family . . . . When our house is empty, our children will find family in the streets. They will make a family of other abandoned children and seek the embrace of drugs and alcohol.”
• “Every family needs help to acquire decent affordable housing. One of the priority areas should be to help poor families to get a roof over their heads.” – December 1, 2006
• “We challenge our schools, invite our churches and encourage every Barbadian to live as if we are all parents responsible for all of our children. Children are our future. We must not fail them.” – November 30, 1997
• “I believe that as a people we have the ability to incorporate and even conquer cultures that are foreign to us.”
• “Barbadians, my message for the next 40 years is to know thyself and to be yourself. Let your culture work for you to boost your self-esteem and create wealth.” – December 1, 2006
• “The architects of our recovery are right here. This will be a national undertaking, and the timing before the budgetary proposals is deliberate . . . . I am not here to answer critics or to pander to lovers. The most reliable approach is to rally the collective will of the population to bring about proper results. I am hoping we as a country can craft a consensus to carry Barbados forward. I am your leader, not your ruler.” – March 2, 2010
On National Issues
• “This Budget calls on the strong in our midst to help the weak. The big to help the small. The privileged to help the less fortunate.” – November 30, 2008.
• A growing number of houses have barely enough money to [meet] their month’s expenses, for example, paying bills to finance mortgages or to cover the expenses associated with raising a family.” – June 20, 2008.
• “Barbados cannot linger any longer to suffer from crime, violence and drugs. It cannot continue to live in fear.” – January 7, 1999
• “We will endeavour to free this country from the scourges of unemployment, especially hidden unemployment, and under-employment, poverty, in the face of the high and constantly rising cost of living [and] inadequate housing . . . .” – March 18, 2008.
• “We all know the importance of decent housing to individual and social development, poor health, in an era of pandemics and lifestyle diseases, and the fear to walk the streets of Barbados and to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour in the safety of one’s own home.” – March 18, 2008
• “Unless black men and women, as well as white men and women, are able to talk about the black experience without being accused of racism and hatred, we cannot fix our vision on a destination as Barbadians. We cannot dream together and we will not share together. We are not at that stage today. But, with God’s help and inspiration, we must get there.” – August 1, 1998
• “Words cannot express the excitement and pride felt by Barbadians around the world when our superstar Rihanna won her first Grammy Award after being discovered merely two years ago . . . thank you, Rihanna, for remembering Barbados.” – December 12, 2008
• “I was thrilled. I half expected it and I was telling other people (to expect it). Of course they dismissed it and so on, and said ‘no’ it wouldn’t happen . . .I felt extremely proud as a Barbadian, very happy to see Eric Holder emerge.” – December 12, 2008.
• “His [Harold Hoyte] tongue is as sharp in criticising me for what he deemed my political mistakes as it has been encouraging when my political soul was laid bare. – January 26, 2007
• “Sir John [Compton] was the great nation-builder in St Lucia who truly, like the Right Excellent Errol Barrow and other outstanding post-colonial political legends, led their countries from a mere collection of small villages with [few] resources to modern nations.” – September 9, 2007
• “Clyde [Mascoll] and I go way back, there is no two ways about that . . . in him, I found somebody whose advice is always forthright. He is a very bright man who is thorough in his research, fair-minded and I think that except for the fact that he doesn’t always play politics in the way that people want him to play politics he has an exceedingly bright future in politics.” – July 11, 1999
• “They [National Heroes] inspired their citizens to greatness. These were men who led from the front, breaking down the cruel barriers of poverty, disease, illiteracy and domination and fighting the battle for our Independence and sovereignty in the region.” – September 9, 2007.
• “You have to remember that Barbados has a number of National Heroes who would have fought in this country to ensure that black people can vote and you must not turn your backs on the fact that there were others who fought hard . . . . You must not turn your backs on the struggle of those National Heroes who ensured that all of us in Barbados as long as we reach the age of 18 have the right to vote.” – February 16, 2008
On the DLP
• “I believe the Democratic Labour Party has a very bright and vibrant future in Barbados and I will contribute whatever I can at whatever level to the institution.” – July 11, 1999
• “The DLP will not be silenced . . . Our position is that the objectives of this transaction can be achieved without Barbados and Barbadians bidding farewell to yet another of its cornerstone institutions.” – July 22, 2007
• “We [the DLP] are not for sale, and we cannot be bought. We will not be controlled by anybody or any business interest. Our campaigns have always been supported by ordinary Barbadians who believe in what we stand for, and that which we are seeking to do.” – July 22, 2007
• “I urge all within the hearing of my voice to join with us tonight and rally together as one against the conspiracy that is set to be played out against the people of this country. Prepare your neighbour, family and friends for the possibility of being offered favours by Barbados Labour Party operatives. I cannot tell you not to take what they offering . . . but I urge you to vote with your conscience on election day and return the team of the Democratic Labour Party to office.” – May 9, 2003
On Foreign Affairs
• “I do not interfere in the domestic politics of other nations. But while I was born in England, I am a Barbadian, and as leader of my country I have a right to say the British Government is wrong, unreasonable and unfair with regard to the introduction of this new tax.” – October 2, 2009
• “Having lived in Trinidad and Tobago, married a St Lucian, inherited Guyanese blood, done a little work in almost every island I have come to the conclusion that New Year’s resolutions are not designed for Caribbean people.
“Let’s face it. We all have great and lofty intentions. We write them down or commit them to memory. Long lists are made with love, care and much ambition. We even take the first step in the process. But we are not the kind of people who can refuse the flow when it wants to go with us.” – January 1, 2003