Nation e-Edition

Hold technocrats to account too

By Jon Ashcroft

| Mon, January 14, 2013 - 12:01 AM


This is the “political season” and political operatives will aggressively try to spin every word and expression to gain maximum mileage for his or her party, and our Prime Minister who loves to use metaphors is perhaps uniquely susceptible to spin.

But let not ordinary Barbadians be fooled.

Those who genuinely feel insulted by the Prime Minister’s comment should ask why their foreparents toiled long and hard in the hot sun in canefields to give them a better education.

They will arrive at the conclusion that toiling in canefields was to ensure that the children of canefield workers could work in air-conditioned offices on issues coming out of the Alexandra School controversy.

And the Prime Minister is correct. If those with higher education are charged with solving these problems and cannot solve them, then the hard work done by our foreparents in canefields was in vain.

 The Prime Minister didn’t quite put it that way, but all of us know what he meant. But the issue underscores a much deeper problem: to what extent are we – including civil servants – prepared to hold ourselves responsible for resolving issues as opposed to holding politicians responsible?   

The pendulum has swung so far that we no longer take responsibility for resolving anything but feel content to pass it to elected officials to solve. If they can’t solve it, we change them at the next elections.

No wonder an increasing percentage of our population believes that no matter which party is in power, nothing gets done.

Politicians set policy and leave it to technocrats to execute. When the technocrats fail, we should hold them to account.

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