Hammie La: Embrace Thorne

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) should accept Member of Parliament (MP) for Christ Church South Ralph Thorne into its ranks.

That advice is coming from former Government minister Hamilton “Hammie La” Lashley, after Thorne’s defection from the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP) at the weekend and his swearing-in as Opposition Leader on Monday.

In 1994, both Lashley and Thorne entered politics on a DLP ticket, but the two would later switch allegiances, at different times, to join the BLP.

Praising Thorne for his intellect and passion, Lashley, a former MP for St Michael South East, said he believed integrating the new Opposition Leader into the ranks of the DLP would enhance that party.

“The DLP now has an opportunity to enhance the party’s status by linking up with Thorne and establishing a formidable Opposition in Parliament.

“If they are to be taken seriously by Barbadians, then they have to show a level of commitment and that can only come by the unifying of the DLP. Because right now, as it is, it is not a rumour the DLP is a splintered organisation with two groupings,” he told the DAILY NATION, adding that such divisions would damage the party’s chances in the next General Election.

He said someone like Thorne would best serve as leader of the party.

“I can’t see him as Leader of the Opposition and going to the Democratic Labour Party as just another member, because he is bringing what the Democratic Labour Party don’t have and what they need.

“He can also determine, if he chooses, to take two members of the Democratic Labour Party to the Senate and also give them a subvention that they so badly need. If he becomes leader of the DLP, it enhances also their chances of getting some seats in the next General Election whenever it is called.”

On Monday, Thorne, in explaining his move, said he was acting in the best interest of the country and doing so trumped “blind party obedience”. “Hearing Ralph Thorne in his swearing-in . . . he spoke with a delightful passion about the emancipation of the poor and marginalised people in Barbados. I am convinced, with that kind of passion that he spoke with, that he is focused. It is not only a vocal thing, it is a practical thing in his representation of the marginalised and disenfranchised people in Barbados,” Lashley said.

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