Mia Mottley Government Must Work Harder to Build Trust with Barbadians
Prime Minister Mia Mottley was a bubbling fountain of information yesterday. She was courteous enough to advise Barbadians she will be jetting off to New York to attend a climate change meeting at the United Nations, New York and will take the opportunity to have a bilateral exchange with the President of Ghana. One positive all will admit is that Mottley has raised her profile in the international arena, definitely above her regional counterparts. This will boost her job prospects post prime ministership and unlike her predecessor will not have to secret herself from the public, content with drinking Merlots and reading books.
Besides observing the frustration leaking through of the Prime Minister during the press briefing yesterday the blogmaster takes the opportunity to introduce a few others.
A key characteristic of a good leader is always defined as the ability to be empathetic – “one who has a genuine interest in his/her team members’ lives, the challenges they face, and their overall feelings. This kind of leader makes an effort to understand their situations and what they are going through, in order to offer support and help”. Several times during the press briefing Mottley became immersed in highlighting government successes at a time Barbadians are understandably more concerned about the pandemic wrecking havoc on households; both socioeconomic and mental. The blogmaster understands she is a politician and leader of a political party with a general election due soon but with delta variant on the rampage …
Mottley took the opportunity to shoutout White Oakes for expertly (blogmaster’s word) assisting with the domestic and international restructuring. Really prime minister? Do you understand how the domestic restructure of debt has decimated the networth of the middleclass and senior citizens whose peace of mind was punctured by your decision? It is a win for the government but at the micro level it NOT.
Prime Minister Mottley also took the opportunity to remind Barbadians international reserves stand at 2.6 billion. With all the respect this blogmaster can muster, who gives a rats ass? Is there pride in your (Mottley) suggestion Barbadians should pleasure in the country’s improved capacity to borrow post 2018? Of course it is a tactical win for the government but in a pandemic requiring situational awareness, really?
Last but not least, Mottley publicly commended some key members of her economic team, Dr. Kevin Greenidge, Avinash Persaud et al. Really Prime Minister? At the risk of being repetitive, who gives a rats ass. The majority of Barbadians are stressed and can do without hearing the platitude. There will be a time on the campaign trail coming soon to pat members of the economic team on the back, for now do it at your inhouse meetings.
The blogmaster does not know everything, who does. What is known however is that good political leaders never miss the opportunity during a crisis to demonstrate empathy. The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Arden is a case study of a good example. Interesting Mottley often references New Zealand and Arden in her briefings. The blogmaster has no issue with the government’s policy of over-communicating with Barbadians. However there is more work for the public relations team to do with scripting and content targeted to build trust with the public. Let us hope David Ellis adds value to the team.