The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) says it was simply not impressed by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s 90-minute television interview on Tuesday night.
Party spokesman Dale Marshall told the DAILY NATION that the presentation fell way short of expection and was “devoid of anything new”.
“I don’t think that he dealt with any issues of substance. And what is being demanded from him is that he address the important issues of the day by being engaged and by doing something about them.”
“It seems it (the interview) was only to prove that the Prime Minister is physiologically able to speak . . . I think it is clear when Barbadians say that they want the Prime Minister to break his silence and I am sure that he could not seriously believe that by giving this choreographed Press statement that he would be satisfying the needs of the public.”
Political scientist Peter Wickham also reacted, saying that Stuart had failed to silence critics.
The recorded presentation was the first face-to-face television interview done by Stuart – who celebrated his 60th birthday yesterday – since becoming Prime Minister six months ago.
Wickham noted that the interview format “with a select member or a preferred journalist” was a concerning feature.
“The format which he chose in terms of using a personal interview with a select member or preferred journalist, I think that really is the part where I believe that persons who were critics yesterday will still be critics today because I don’t know that the manner in which the interview was presented has done a lot to change the perception, in terms of the way that he handles the Press and the public and I think that will be a concern,” Wickham said.
Wickham also said that much of the information presented by the Prime Minister was identical to that delivered by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler a week ago.
“People will now make the comparison in the way in which the Minister of Finance conducted a media blitz with great ease over three days and responded to queries in a very comprehensive manner while the Prime Minister, the leader of the country, chooses a slightly safer route,” Wickham stated.
The DAILY NATION also sought to get responses from political scientists Dr George Belle and Don Marshall as well as prominent members of the business community, who all said they had not seen the interview with the Prime Minister.
Opposition Leader Owen Arthur was also otherwise engaged but BLP colleague Marshall termed the interview a letdown.