Labour must remain united and strong says PM Douglas: outstanding people-centered achievements highlighted

National Political Leader of the governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas addressing the 80th Annual Conference of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party. (Willet’s Photo)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 22ND 2012 (CUOPM) – Political Leader of the governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says if the Labour Administration is to continue to confront the social and economic challenges as successfully as it has done in the past, the Party must be united and strong.

“We must adopt the same strategy that our forebears adopted in 1932. We must vigorously pursue Party Unity. We must unite. The entire Labour Team in office and the entire Labour Executive must support and defend the policies decided upon by the Labour Government and the Cabinet if they are to succeed. Of course, we would not agree on everything, but the forum for disagreement among Cabinet Members and Party Executives must be within the confines of our great Party,” said Prime Minister Douglas to a thunderous applause of the over 500 delegates during the Opening Session of the 80th Annual Conference of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party on Sunday.

“On this special occasion that celebrates the 80th anniversary of our great Party, I emphasise that the party that we serve is bigger than anyone of us in the Party and in the Government.

The advantage enjoyed by the Labour Party over the years has been its level of organization and discipline. We squander these critical attributes to our peril and the demise of our great Party, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party. The Party that we serve is bigger than any single one of us. It certainly is bigger than Denzil Douglas and if it is bigger than me the leader, it is bigger than anyone of us in this country and in this government. I have no doubt about that. It is a party that has a long tradition. It is a party that was formed and took root in the blood and sweat of our forefathers. It is a party that still must play a critical role in the protection of our people. Many of them have toiled hard and long, with dedication and with commitment, to secure this great party and the principles to which it adheres. Many of them understand that their ability to eke out a decent existence from the advancement of our nation is wrapped in the future success of Labour,” said the Labour Party leader.

National Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas (left), National Chairman of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, Senior Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris (center) and Guest Speaker and Political Leader of the St. Lucia Labour Party, Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Kenny Anthony on arrival at the entrance to the Conference. (Erasmus Williams photo)

He said Labourites are concerned with the slightest threat of disunity in the Party because “disunity will divide us and if we are divided we will fall.”

“Many of them do understand that very, very well and so we cannot give away their Government based on some personal considerations. We shall not have it. We will not give away our Government to any other party or to any other group in this country on the promise of some national unity. We have all made sacrifices in our different ways to bring this great Party to where it is now. Whenever, we are tempted to lose focus, we must remember the hardships unleashed on our Party, on the Union and our people when we were opposition,” Dr. Douglas told delegates as well as invited guests included the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and representatives of other non-governmental organisations.

He pointed out that since the establishment of the Labour Party in 1932, those who opposed the organisation “have never been able to gain the political upper hand without our own cooperation, without our own help, without our own carelessness. Not so anymore. There was only one time in our long and proud history.”

“There was only one time in our history – one time, Comrades – that Labour lost its focus. Only one time that we lost our way. And you must remember that one time lasted for 15 long, hard and terrible years. We must never, never, ever get back there. They must remain where they are. We must keep out party for Labour and for St. Kitts and Nevis. Only one strange, inexplicable period, when we played right into the hands of those whose ideas, whose philosophy, whose approach to life and living was NOT “For the good that we can do”! Don’t be fooled of the wolves in sheep clothing. Labour is strong and it can form its own government,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

A section of the large and enthusiastic delegates at the 80th Annual Conference of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party. (Erasmus Williams photo)

“The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party is the rock on which this nation was built. And whatever Labour has achieved for this country has come as a result of hard, unrelenting work. We are in Government today because of the years, the decades, the century, almost, of extraordinary effort and historic accomplishments on behalf of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. Ours, Comrades, is the Party that led the most bold and historic movements in our nation’s history: Labour got everyone the right to vote, social security, a high school education for the poor and Labour started the push for independence, despite vocal opposition.

“Because of Labour, yesterdays downtrodden are today’s professors and engineers, scientists and lawyers, doctors and managers, pilots and agriculturalists. Because of Labour, yesterday’s people who were locked-out they are in Parliament today. They are your ministers of government and they are the members of your Cabinet, because yesterday’s locked out are today masters of their own destiny! Ours is the Party that turned thousands of ordinary citizens into landowners and homeowners. It was Labour who provided millions into university loans and scholarships – something the previous government, in fifteen years, never did. Labour brought thousands of families into the digital age because we know that when you give a child a computer, you give a family a computer,” Dr. Douglas said.

The Labour Party he said has protected civil service jobs when civil servants around the world are being let go. “We have provided concessions to businesses large and small in our commitment to see business in this country thrive. We have distributed thousands of rich, fertile acres to established and aspiring farmers. Our YES and STEP Programmes are evidence of our commitment to second chances of those who faltered the first time. And time and again, Labour has stepped onto the world stage in defense of our country, and returned with the buffers, the protections, and the concessions that have been so key to us, as a people,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who led the Party to a fourth consecutive terms in January 2010.

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