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AWRIGHT DEN!Break the silence


Corey Worrell

AWRIGHT DEN!Break the silence

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This is our country and since we contribute to its development and management, we as a people have a responsibility to share our views and opinions on what is going on. Although we don’t have access to all the information or the knowledge to analyze and understand all that is being discussed, we must not allow that to deter us from sharing our views.
During the campaign process leading up to the election, we freely and willingly shared our ideas for what type of country we wanted, and I want to remind you that you still have that franchise. This is our country and we have elected people to represent our concerns and we have given them the power and privilege of leading our nation. If those we have chosen fail to do the job we expect of them, we have a right to say so.
I have heard people share their concerns with me in private and when asked why they don’t share them publicly, their response was a fear of being victimized and targeted. This is a problem we as a society have faced for quite some time and unless we address it head-on, it will continue to be a curse over our nation.
If we see decisions being made or something occurring that in our opinion is not beneficial to our development and we remain silent, we have become an official shareholder of the problem.
Speaking out and voicing your opinion requires boldness and even though you may feel intimidated or unqualified to do such, your opinion and contribution have value. Because you were part of the process at election time, it means that your contribution is still valuable throughout the term of government. If your concerns and recommendations never reach the ear of your Government representatives, you cannot hold them responsible for their actions.
The way in which you communicate concerns is equally important to sharing them. All communications must be done in a respectful and lawful way.
On Sunday I decided to attend the People’s Assembly at Frederick Smith Secondary School to hear the Opposition’s perspective as to what is really happening to our society and economy. It was very informative and I was pleased that I attended. The information provided by the speakers, especially Ralph Taylor and Mia Mottley, was indeed timely and gave me the
opportunity to weigh what they said against what the Government is communicating.
* * * * * *
Dear Mr Prime Minister,
I am confused and somewhat annoyed by the way in which your administration makes decisions and communicates them to the public.
Last year, the Minister of Finance introduced a belt-tightening Budget which stirred a lot of anxiety among Barbadians. Shorty afterwards, you communicated from Canada that the Budget was a work in progress. It was also communicated by the minister that University of the West Indies students would be made to pay tuition fees and soon after, you said you would invite alternative recommendations.
In December, a decision to lay off 300 workers was made and following that your administration communicated it would welcome proposals from the unions. The Minister of Finance announced job cuts across the Civil Service, with the first 3 000 due to be cut yesterday. On Monday you communicated after a meeting with the unions that the deadline had been extended and some of the unions’ proposals were being looked at.
Mr Stuart, I want to inform you that it is very unkind, unprofessional and inhumane to play with the emotions and psyche of your people. In the future, your administration should engage in discussions with all relevant stakeholders first; then agree on a path forward before addressing the public with your proposed actions.
 Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email [email protected]

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