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OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: No privacy


Rev Errington Massiah

OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: No privacy

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If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, that man’s religion is vain – (James 1:26)
There is a very serious question that I have to ask this week and it is this: is there any confidentiality in Barbados or even in the world?
I think that the answer is no! Recently a letter appeared in the Press which was written by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur to the Honourable Kerrie Symmonds. I think it was morally wrong to publicise such a letter and to place it in the public domain.
The question that must be asked is: how did that letter get into the hands of the Press? The same thing must be asked about the Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick’s all-day session in Cabinet, during which he was finally allowed to make his PowerPoint presentation on an alternative path to Government’s retrenchment programme.
How did his document get into the hands of the Press? Some will say it “fell off a truck”.
It was reported in the British Press that a close friend of one of the players in the English team has been using Twitter to leak details from the tour to Australia, including private team meetings and what happened in the dressing room.
I am sure that such behaviour would constitute a breach of trust and team ethics.
I am of the opinion that Cabinet business is confidential. But yet it is in the public domain.
People in certain positions are sworn to secrecy and yet things are placed in public. Only last Sunday, in the SUNDAY SUN,?it was reported that there will be sweeping changes in the Barbados Diplomatic Service and certain names were given for those positions.
I believe that either the Prime Minister or the Minister of Foreign Affairs should be the one making such announcements. Usually the Press is right with such things. Therefore, someone has leaked it.
I would also like to find out if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a public relations officer. If it does, that person should be making the announcements.
Since there is no confidentiality these days, we have to be very careful with what we say and write to others, because we are living in an age where technology is playing a very important role in the life of business and there are persons out there who you can’t let them know your business for it will become a public affair.

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