EDITORIAL: All reasoning together and in charity?
Thu, May 24, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, with his usual optimism and gusto, is singing the praises of this year’s Crop Over Festival planning – essentially by his ministry and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).
Says he: “I know some people like to see controversy, but my focus is to have an approach where all the parties can sit together . . . . I’m very happy to say that that has occurred.”
And Mr Lashley is attributing much of this perceived success in relations as well to a heightened level of organization by the NCF and a new and deliberate involvement of festival stakeholders, namely tent managers, calypsonians and masqueraders.
As far as Mr Lashley is concerned, he and his team in “renewed determination” have made sure they satisfy stakeholders. But the Minister of Culture must be reminded that a compromise with stakeholders does not exactly spell full-blast satisfaction on all sides.
The minister has also acknowledged that there has been “in the past” some “fascination with creation of confusion at the NCF, and I have determined that will come to an end”.
As long as he is responsible for the NCF, he swears, there will be an orderly way in which matters are conducted, a part of which will be the media policy that dictates that not “every John, Dick and Harry” will speak to the Press “and create unnecessary distractions”.
We agree there should be an order and a clear point of reference, but certainly a CEO or corporate communications specialist cannot be any John or Jane, or Dick, or Harry. And we would wish to have it that official sources should be cooperative with the Press; not given to wrath with it and not ostensibly wearied by it.
We are also a bit wary of Mr Lashley’s declaration that the NCF will be run his way, given, as he puts it, and as we agree, that the our culture must evolve into Barbados’ next economic pilot. Surely there are other views that should carry weight.
We would wish to hear more on the new NCF media policy and who exactly is responsible for interacting with the Press and other stakeholders before the usual official announcements.
It could put an end to the unnecessary “secrecy” we had come to expect of the National Cultural Foundation. We could see dying too the oft-times presentation to the very stakeholders of decisions fait accompli, and instead live and spirited in its place charity – which suffereth long and is kind.
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