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EDITORIAL: Of servants and celebrities


EDITORIAL: Of servants and celebrities

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HAMLET’s oration surrounding his contemplation of suicide over the possible spurning of his love by Ophelia, contains, from both subjects, some of the finest use of language for which Shakespeare is renowned. Thus the beautiful term: “The observed of all observers.”

We regard celebrities to be among “the observed of all observers” and icons who earn the respect of fellow citizens through popular pursuit.

There is therefore no room in this category of people for those who are merely marking time as casual wage-earning servants of the public. It is for that reason that we raise concern over the recent acclaim given to a minister of Government as a celebrity of Barbados.

Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Stephen Lashley was so adorned by a major Bridgetown business house which chose to invite “celebrities” to meet and greet customers.

There was obviously room in that elite group for successful sports persons and entertainers, but we found it strange that a minister of Government would allow himself to be enclosed into that select band of persons of popular appeal about whom all observers subscribe their mutual agreement.

Coming as it does shortly after this particular minister jetted off to be at the Rio summer Olympics when the House of Assembly was debating the annual budgetary statement of the Minister of Finance, we are left to wonder if he indeed believes he is a celebrity and not a servant.

Office holders are temporary members of the power elite, members of the auxiliary corps chosen to serve time at the discretion of voters. They should never confuse this role with that of persons of lasting renown, people of note and luminaries.

Unfortunately and erroneously, some political persons regard this fleeting opportunity of service as a badge of perpetual gratitude.

In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, he ponders the pangs of despised love and asks himself: “To be or not to be. That is the question.”

Mr Minister, we copy the language of the youth of today and suggest that you do not “get tie up”.

Further, we hypothesise: “To be a servant or to be a celebrity. That is the question.”