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Lashley says Gov’t must engage public

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley today conceded that the Freundel Stuart administration had fallen short of engaging the public on national issues and it could no longer ignore the cries of the people.

Speaking on the Sunday edition of Down to Brass Tacks, Lashley rejected suggestions that the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was no longer popular among Barbadians, but admitted that the “discourse suggested that there was certainly a need for greater information sharing.

“… Of course in discussing with persons out there, they say to me that you need to have the Government being more responsive to our concerns, talking more with the public and that is one of the things that I agonize about.

“I think the country is at a stage where as many opportunities for public interaction as possible is very critical.”



Lashley would however not be drawn into calls to press Prime Minister Stuart to speak to the public more saying,

“I cannot speak for the Prime Minister. I understand it[calls], I hear it, but that is a matter for the Prime Minister to address himself.”

The Christ Church West Central MP added that it was a matter for each Government minister to look into.

“I believe each member of the cabinet have got to assess where he or she is in relation to the level of engagement. I certainly would not ignore that kind of public sentiment. I have heard it. Certainly I believe across the Government we are engage in much work, quite a lot is happening. There is a lot of good work happening within the government and therefore I think the whole question of sharing, educating and explaining to my mind are some of the areas that are missing and that is perhaps the cause for people to believe or feel the way that they do.”

Lashley however insisted that Government had held its own despite severe economic challenges.

He said even in face of the recent downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service, the Government had still performed credibly, citing that the economy had been stabilized and social safety nets were still in tact.

The Culture Minister highlighted that the national debt was still a concern and this was a sore point for Barbadians that the Government had a duty to address.

“You would see that much of what we have to do is related to paying debt that has accumulated over the years.
“The average Barbadian is concerned; they are feeling pain in a very difficult economic environment. I can’t assure people that this pain will not last for a certain time as we go through this period. I also believe and I share the concerns of Barbadians and it is indeed time that we have to communicate more effectively what the changes are.”

Lashley said the Government should have spent more time explaining its strategies especially during the period of structural adjustment, admitting it was “one of the negatives”.

“In times of difficult economic challenges any government would be wise to be much more forefront and open with the public and I think I have said that to my colleagues … and they would say that to you in terms of championing the cause of managing information in a much more robust way. I would say that is an area that we have to work on.”





12 Responses to Lashley says Gov’t must engage public

  1. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea April 17, 2016 at 7:39 pm
  2. Donna Harewood April 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Stephen, we don’t want only for information to be passed to us we want our ideas and opinions considered seriously. So far it has seemed as though you guys think that you are the only people with brains or the only people with a right to an opinion. If we disagree or challenge your decisions, if we stand up for what we perceive as our rights it is taken as an affront and we are ridiculed, insulted, threatened and vilified. I am not sure that this conciliatory tone will be seen by anyone as anything but an attempt to win us back before the next election. The trust is gone never to return. You have been rulers instead of governors. You have reigned instead of served. You have forgotten by whose power you were placed in these positions. You have taken the positions which we gave you and lorded them over us. We feel disrespected, disenfranchised and marginalized, not shareholders in our country. Tremendous damage has been done to our psyche. We no longer treasure our vote but see it as a useless symbol of a caricature of democracy. I have voted for your party for 34 years. I do not think you have enough time to convince me to do so again.

  3. Tony Webster April 17, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    As Eric famously and eagerly applied his mathematical brilliance to matters of great federal fraternity and import: eleven minus one…equals one. Hmmm…cud also be eleven minus one…how’s equals ten all perfectly eager folks?

    Scratch muh head…eagerly, earnestly, and intensely…sumptin gine down…or jes’ trying to bounce back up? Pick a card…any card…could it be the story of The Reluctant One? Fuh sure, No-one gine be bored from now on.

    I mUst accord the Hon. minister some significant marks for a strong backbone, and full complement of cojones, though not all shots reached the boundary, and more particularly, the man who is paid to handle such really hot deliveries, was not even padded-up to face de bowling: once again significantly-and most regrettably- not takeing the field at all.

    Thanks also to David the Lionhearted, and , the nice Nation lady. This country would be cognizable without Brass Tacks….especially when applied to sensitive parts of the political anatomy.

  4. Dawn Franklin
    Dawn Franklin April 17, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    By George he has woken up.

  5. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd April 17, 2016 at 8:47 pm


  6. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock April 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Although, the community some of it centers are run down and it’s difficult for members of their communities to have access to their centers, I like the idea of the community looking after their center, and having some one as sponsor, to assist, mr. Minister I think you’re one of the best sports ministers, in a long long time! , I commend you highly! The worst was Cappy Greenidge!

  7. Ryan Henry
    Ryan Henry April 17, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    too little way too late

  8. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore April 17, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I get a distinct impression that PM Stuart lords over the cabinet, not as a colossus, but as a leader with whom his colleagues can’t relate. This Hon Minister & a few others have tried, when necessary, to keep us enlightened as to what transpires in their ministries. When Dr Eastwick had to seek permission to present a PowerPoint presentation to cabinet that Stuart chairs then we realise the manner of man. Really, Is this leadership of which we should be proud? People of power, influence & authority have written Stuart over the years & are still awaiting a reply. Ask P M Gonsalves from St Vincent or Myrie Lawylers from Jamaica. This problem is endemic & neither his cabinet colleagues, you or I can change this snobbish behavior. Since Stuart became PM, Barbados has not been well served. Will he change? Hardly likely as Stuart’s enduring legacy will be utter contempt & total disregard for a people he was unfortunately given the dishonor to misrepresent.

  9. David April 17, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    To late shall be your cry our prime mnistet has taken us for grant for the last six years. He has operated a’s a self appointed prime minister not answerable to anyone.his callous approach to leadership of this great Caribbean country has been to painful for many of us Barbadian. Time for that disappointment of a leadert to go. Freundel Stuart arrogance,insulting and insensitive behavior is too much for us to bear. Maybe selecting a new leader to lead the party into the next election might win back a few frustrated supporters like me

  10. bajan boy.... April 18, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Lashley cant speak for the Prime Minister neither does he speak to him. He is the George Payne of the DLP so they should all shut up when they speak of George’s failure to support the opposition.They are the Government whose actions affect our nation and hardly any of them speak to each other and very few to Freundel Stuart.
    He is is another world if he thinks they are not unpopular. Would like him to tell bajams what they have done to be popular. Bunch of uncaring,heartless,indifferent,senseless loosers.

  11. Juanita Blanco
    Juanita Blanco April 18, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Elections breeze blowing…

  12. Dave D Small
    Dave D Small April 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Guys welcome to silly season where ministers will suddenly pretend to realize what the masses knew all along #don’tbefooledpeople


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