Thorne: It’s not about me

Opposition Leader Ralph Thorne is urging Barbadians to maintain focus on the national issues facing the country rather than his recent political challenges.

Speaking publicly for the first time since last week’s escalation of the internal fighting surrounding his political leadership of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Thorne said his “tribulations” paled in comparison to national concerns.

Addressing the Marcia Week’s Roadside Parliament on Sunday night at Hastings Rocks, Christ Church, he did not mention the latest public spat which resulted in the police being summoned to the DLP’s George Street headquarters on Thursday night over an alleged break-in. However, he told the gathering that his spirit continues to be buoyed by the outpouring of public support.

“People are coming to my office and holding my hands and praying with me. People are calling me at four in the morning and praying with me because they have seen the battle, they have seen the difficulty of my endurance. This is not about me, this is about you, and this is about the suffering people of Barbados,” the Christ Church South Member of Parliament declared.

“So my tribulations are not tribulations of national concern. My tribulations are private, but my tribulations are taking place because I dare to take a stand. I dared to sit alone in a Parliament against 29, and I know the tribulations that visit my life from day to day, and I see the arrows coming from all directions.”

The former Barbados Labour Party Government backbencher took aim at the Mia Amor Mottley administration, once again calling for an account of monies spent in overseas travel. He also urged Barbadians to keep vigil over laws and policies which he believed could potentially be used to curtail the rights and freedoms of citizens. Among those mentioned was the Cybercrime Bill, which is currently being reviewed by a Joint Select Committee of Parliament.

“A Government that will spend $188 million on travel, first-class hotels, sipping champagne, getting US$1 000 in per diem. So, my tribulations are not great, the tribulations of the people of this country are the tribulations which we must be concerned about,” he lamented.

Reciting the well-known hymn It Is Well With My Soul, Thorne said the concern of Barbadians should be reserved for those going through hardship and other social challenges.

“Don’t worry about me. There are little children in this country tonight who went to bed without dinner. There are little children who would wake in this country tomorrow morning and they won’t have breakfast. They and their mothers will be exposed to predators who will offer them dinner and who will offer them breakfast.

“So, my tribulations are not great, it is the tribulation of the suffering in this country that must bring us to an understanding of the country in which we live,” he added.

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