The news that government recently created the Department of Public Affairs (DPA) as a bona fide government headed by Director Pat Parris supported by Tyson Henry, Tyrone Lovell, Christal Austin and Lisa Lorde has set tongues wagging. If one separates from the political arguments there is no doubt concerns are valid in a scenario the government of Barbados currently holds a 29 to 1 seat advantage in parliament. Then you add to the mix the country is currently operating under an emergency mandate because of COVID 19 which extends extraordinary powers to the prime minister. Even if we are persuaded that during a pandemic any government in the seat will want to be in a position to make quick decisions unencumbered from the bureaucracy of parliament there is a razor edge balance to be managed all must agree. Who was it that said “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”?
The blogmaster will not be as extreme as others by comparing the establishment of the DPA to a Joseph Goebbels move, except to say on the face of it there are reasonable questions the prime minister must answer if we cursorily critique the resumes of those appointed. And this is after hearing a reasonable justification for the establishment of the DPA in the first place. They all qualify as Barbados Labour Party (BLP) supporters. The blogmaster is prepared to give Lisa Lord a bligh.
The blogmaster suspects the prime minister being the political animal that she is has an eye on a general election that has loomed large on the horizon and feels comfortable to establish a unit that will disseminate information and respond to concerns from citizens in the government’s/BLP interest. The prime minister is obviously prepared to write-off any political fallout in the face of a weak political opposition.
For the avoidance of doubt the blogmaster does not agree with the establishment of the DPA at this time. It is not a fit for purpose approach in the prevailing climate. There must be a more creative way the prime minister could have achieve the political objective. The is insensitively too naked a political move.