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AWRIGHT DEN!: Well done, Harold

Corey Worrell

AWRIGHT DEN!: Well done, Harold

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Having only developed an interest in late 2007 early 2008 for politics and with a desire in the future to participate in national leadership and governance, I have embarked on a journey to study the history of our leaders and political parties so as to better understand and appreciate where we came from, what they did and achieved, and what potentially lies ahead.

I see this as significantly important if I am to support and continue the traditional values and ideologies of our past successful leaders where relevant, and engage in progressive intellectual and intelligent discourse and strategies for national development in an affable atmosphere with citizens, comrades, scholars and technocrats of like mind.

After searching for sometime unsuccessfully, a friend presented me with a gift that I am growing to love and appreciate. It is the book Eyewitness To Order And Disorder by Harold Hoyte. This book is simply amazing, very exciting and most of all, an easy read.

Chapter 1 is dedicated to Sir Grantley Adams and I want to share three things I found very encouraging and interesting that was said in this chapter.

1. The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) won its biggest majority under Sir Grantley in 1951 working closely with the Barbados Workers’ Union to mobilise workers to ensure the election of 15 parliamentarians. Back then he was regarded as leading what C.L.R. James called “sober and conspicuously honest men who would not do deals”.

Historian and author Sir Alexander Hoyos noted: “The entry into the House of Assembly of such a disciplined group was to have an unmistakable effect on the whole tone and purpose of public life. The atmosphere they had to face was by no means a congenial one.”

2. His BLP legacy was that he was wise enough to secure generational change in its leadership, a lesson learned by Sir Henry Forde in his choice of candidates in 1991 and his departure from leadership in 1994.

3. Jamaican editor emeritus and author Theodore Sealey, in his book Caribbean Leaders, said of Sir Grantley: “The secret of Adams’ enduring political success is that he personified the Barbadian – more conservative than other Caribbean people, less confrontational yet highly assertive without bombast; modest and measured language, but firm of spirit.”

I found these points extremely encouraging and do hope our current politicians and future ones would follow suit and adopt such values into their work and practice.

On the last point, it made me wonder what is the perception of Barbadians now. Are we still described and perceived in such high esteem?

Chapter 3 was equally as exciting as the two previous ones and highlighted to me how history can repeat itself.

A section in Chapter 3 is titled 1986: The Back-Raise Budget.

“Bernard St John (BLP), serving as Prime Minister, presented a Budget he believed was ‘the most prudent and absolute best’ formula for Barbados at that time.

“In his reply, Dr Richie Haynes (Democratic Labour Party – DLP) presented a bag of promises to civil servants, which in my opinion would satisfy any electorate. Despite the experts’ concerns about how feasible Haynes promises were, given the country’s fiscal challenges, it satisfied the people’s ‘needs’ and as a result they voted out the BLP administration. The result was DLP 24 : BLP 3.”

This caused me to think. If we fast forward to the 2008 election, it could be argued that the same thing occurred. One argument is that the BLP was voted out again due to the appealing promises of the DLP.

If the DLP did win based on promises in 1986; won a second term in 1991, then three years later lost a no-confidence motion and shortly thereafter the BLP took up leadership for the next 14 years, could history repeat itself? Maybe the DLP won in 2008 based on promises. It definitely won a second term in 2013; we are still within the second year of that second term.

Will a no-confidence motion be brought against the Prime Minister and the BLP regain leadership of the country for three terms again?

This book is so exciting. I definitely encourage you to get a copy. I’m off to Chapter 4.

• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email [email protected]