Govt wants to communicate better
The Freundel Stuart administration has been mulling ways to establish a rapport with Barbadians, but one political scientist has cast doubt that there will be an improvement.
No details were given as to the strategy to be employed by Cabinet, but the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) reported that the subject was on the agenda at a two-day Cabinet retreat at the Crane Resort in St Philip.
Among the topics discussed was “improving Government’s communications with the public,” BGIS said.
The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration has come in for criticism from the Barbadian public for its failure to communicate, particularly in challenging times. They have contended that the lack of a clearly defined communication strategy by Government has left many of them uncertain and unable to plan effectively for the future.
And in an editorial on May 12 Barbados TODAY called for better Government communication.
“As the Government continues along a path of adjustment which the IMF (International Monetary Fund) recommends, we look forward to an improvement in public communication, so that the next stage of the journey will not be as bumpy as the first and that, armed with the relevant information, Barbadians can face the future with confidence despite whatever challenges may lie ahead,” the editorial stated.
Stuart himself has been accused of having silence as a defining characteristic of his premiership, and of speaking above the heads of Barbadians and rubbing them the wrong way when he does speak.
Political scientist Peter Wickham told Barbados TODAY that by including the issue on the retreat agenda Stuart was acknowledging that there was a problem. However, Wickham said he did not expect anything to change.
“I think it is an admission that there is a communication deficit and you would have to be living outside of Barbados not to be able to see that. As to whether or not . . . anything will be done about it, I am very doubtful.
“The ministers have been taking the lead from the leadership, and the leadership seems not to want to communicate. It’s good that they have acknowledged it but as to whether anything will come out of it, I doubt it,” Wickham said.