No laughing matter

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A man known for entertaining and witty social commentary on stage took a serious message to the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) 77th annual conference over the weekend, providing shock treatment to delegates in the process.

Literary artiste Adrian Green told party supporters there was need for a change in the country’s politics and not necessarily a change in the governing party.

“I am not here to tell you what you want to hear, I’m here to tell you the truth,” Green said, as he launched into his appeal for change.

“I am not necessarily talking about a change in Government. That may come, or it may not. I am talking about a change in the political culture across the board, because as strong [and] devoted as you may be in here, this room cannot win an election. There are a number of people outside of this room, like myself, who are looking on and looking to see who is willing to really make the difference.”

Contenting that Barbadians are disenchanted and are showing little interest in politics, he told a packed Christ Church Foundation Secondary School auditorium that the voter turnout for the general election was a clear indication
of this interest.

“The low turnout at the polls suggest to me that despite the enthusiasm in this room there are a lot of people in Barbados who are less than enthusiastic about what the political parties are offering. This is a challenge for the Government and for the Opposition, and the party that rises to this challenge the best should be the party that prevails,” said the entertainer.

He however appeased the BLP faithful by advising that
it should be easier for the party in opposition to bring about change because governing parties were less willing
to take risks.

Green added that in order to make the necessary changes, the leadership needed the support and, when warranted, chastisement of the party members.

“If a leader has no one around him or her who he or she can listen to and let them know you going in the wrong direction you need to turn, that leader is in trouble.”

To loud applause, Green asked delegates whether the BLP leader Mia Mottley had their support and if they were willing to allow her to lead and make the “hard decisions, the sometime unpopular decisions”, that are necessary for change.

He however warned of party supporters who were “steeped in the old political culture” which no longer served the country well.

“It may not necessarily mean that what we were doing is wrong, it may just be a time for change,” Green concluded.

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