PM’s advice to Young Dems
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has called on aspiring politicians to prepare themselves seriously for politics and acquire the habit of discipline.
Addressing members of the Young Democrats during their annual awards ceremony at Almond Bay Saturday night, he reminded them that politics was a serious vocation and not an area to be entered on a whim.
Saying that a trend had now developed where people merely decided to “take a shot at politics”, he said such people had no understanding of what could make their society or country better.
He explained that they saw politics as “an opportunity to lord it over people’s lives; to call people at all awkward hours of the night to fiercely abuse them; to try to intimidate them at the workplace”.
He therefore urged the Young Dems not to spend all their time “feteing or caterwauling” but to do as much reading and thinking as possible – as National Hero Errol Barrow, Sir James Tudor and Sir Lloyd Sandiford had done.
Before an audience that included Cabinet members Richard Sealy, Donville Inniss and Senator Maxine McClean, he also urged the Young Dems to make sure that when they approached the public, they had something meaningful and enlightening to say. This, he said, could only come about through reading and thinking.
Reminding them that the culture of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) included standards which had always helped Barbados make great leaps forward, he said: “You have at your disposal a core of politicians in Parliament now, and I speak of the DLP politicians, and a core of politicians in the party from whom you can learn quite a lot; I urge you not to let us go scot-free.”
Advising them to learn as much as possible about their party and country, he assured the Young Dems that this would prepare them for the eventual passing of the baton.
“You can’t perpetuate a legacy by being flippant about politics. Politics is a serous vocation,” he said.
Stuart also urged them to keep their reputations clean in the face of “a lot of enticements and traps”.
In his turn at the podium, Senator Andre Worrell, president of the Young Democrats, commended members for their resistance to the efforts of detractors, particularly in the recent General Election.
“As with any organization, there will always be detractors, both internally and externally. We have not been spared. Thankfully, we have been able to show resilience to the efforts of these detractors and it has taught us how to unite as a group and work towards a common goal.
“Admittedly, we have not fully mastered this ability but we are on the right path,” Worrell told the gathering.
He said more support from the party, along with unity, commitment and sacrifice, could help the DLP’s youth arm reach its true potential. (RJ/RL)