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Posed ignorance?


Ridley Greene

Posed ignorance?

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WHO REALLY BELIEVES that the spoken word, or the explanation, or the putting of a position, or the going to the trouble of dialogue won’t soothe the broken heart, or calm the anxious soul, or clear the doubtful mind?
Only the dunderhead!
One major function of the political relationship between representative and the represented is critical communication – to help the governed learn more
of the intentions of the powers that be, understand better the prescriptions of the Government, and indeed ignite renewed enthusiasm among the electorate.
The days when kings – and those others who fancied themselves regal – ruled from castles and Fort Knox-type edifices, separated from the common people (and some of their courtiers) by a moat, guarded bridge, obstacle course, or exquisite aloofness are long gone.
This is the age of communion.
Leaders link with the led on Facebook and Twitter – among the rest – when they are unable to interface in the flesh.
We are accustomed to our Prime Ministers discussing the matters of the day everywhere: Errol Barrow in the supermarket, Tom Adams in the Hippo nightclub, Bree St John in the Oistins fish market, Erskine Sandiford at the Sunset Crest gas station, Owen Arthur at the Bush Bar, David Thompson in the Lucky Horseshoe. Everywhere and anywhere.
No people should have to be wondering if their leaders are lost somewhere in the Sahara Desert, where there are unlikely to be cellphone towers, or have been captured by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and put out of their misery.
As long as our political leaders will remain among us, they are to be heard from; they must be heard from. It is the people’s right to hear from them whenever the people wish. Our political leaders do not get to determine when they will deign to speak to us.
We do not contribute to any banana republic ’bout here!
And these lame excuses being bandied about for a Prime Minister who will speak when he is ready, or not address a burning issue at the appropriate time or at all, are as poor as stark poverty will permit. And, the argument that it is Mr Freundel Stuart’s right to do away with Barbadian Prime Ministerial etiquette, as we have come to know it, is as empty of conviction of truth as the devil’s promise of a stroll along a gold-paved boulevard in Heaven.
Nor did it help when Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler proffered that Mr Stuart would speak in his good old time, and intimated the Prime Minister preferred to reflect long and hard on things.
He likes to be deliberate, to study things, a defensive Mr Sinckler says of his boss.
Well, at the current rate of deliberation (or deliberateness) and profound thought, come the general election in 2012, Mr Stuart will still be mulling over God knows what.
Not so Mr Sinckler himself, though! At last, the Minister of Finance has come to see the light, though he might be modest and claim the Prime Minister made him do it.
He is communing with the electorate, sharing his intimate thoughts and feelings on the economy and the hurting of the people, and speaking to his plans of delivery and hopeful alleviation.
Agreeing with him or not, we must give him an ear – even if it is only for his courtesy. But I think we will listen to him more because at least he is trying, which he only can.
Any Minister of Finance at this time – even the great Owen Arthur – will find the going taxing.
The people of Barbados know that. They see it elsewhere in the world. They just need to know what their leaders are doing. What efforts are being made. Why one or the other plan will not work. If there is a plan that will, what the sacrifice is.
People can only know these things and be comfortable in mind when their leaders talk to them – constantly and uncondescendingly. Not when their powers that be are moved by a spirit, or by protracted profound thought.
Or when they are minded to a game of Socratic irony.

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