A Letter From DLP Election Communications Director Reudon A. Eversley

After reading contributions on this blog, even though my role as Communications Director for the DLP was specifically related to the General Election Campaign and officially ended with the conclusion of this event, I wish to assure the BFP family that the DLP Government is serious and committed to improving public communication.

The government agency responsible for communicating with the public is the GIS. However, if you checked the GIS website during the past several months, you would have noticed that the news there was very dated. Clearly, this has to change. That may have been fine under the BLP, considering their approach to public information, but it can’t be business as usual. The former regime was more interested in propaganda than having a genuine dialogue with Barbadians. As soon as the PM’s new press secretary is fully settled, I expect that you will see a pro-active approach where public communication is concerned.

The GIS should be and must be the focal point for news and other information about what is happening in government, pretty much like how the GIS in St Lucia was when Dr Kenny Anthony was prime minister. Within an hour, say, of Dr Anthony delivering a budget speech, the document would be posted on the website for the public to access. I see no reason why the same cannot happen here in Barbados.

Regarding updating the DLP blog, that matter is being addressed and you should see some activity pretty soon. I must tell you, however, that already the DLP Government has honoured a campaign pledge related to improving public communication by introducing press briefings after Cabinet meetings. Unheard of during the Owen Arthur era. Rome was not built in a day. The DLP’s main focus during the past month was putting in place an administration, getting reacquainted with the machinery of government, and settling down to press ahead with the people’s business.

Rest assured that public communication by this government will be better than under the BLP. You know; the DLP sees itself as the people’s servant. Hence, the commitment to accountability, openness. The BLP, on the other hand, always behaves as if it is the people’s master. Well, massa day done long time ago!

Reudon A. Eversley

39 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

39 responses to “A Letter From DLP Election Communications Director Reudon A. Eversley

  1. Bajanboy

    blah … blah … blah

  2. Negrocrat

    I agree entirely with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Eversley. They were well-reasoned and written with a feeling for all concerned – the public and the DLP Government.
    ‘Rome was not built in a day’. Is this a contest between the daily press and the blogs which are instant? I see BFP\s complaints as more an attempt to get to the public first.
    Just take it easy, man.

  3. samizdat

    Just hope he’s not all mouth and no trousers…

    But it’s encouraging that Mr E has bothered to write to us.

    It clearly suggests that this Govt recognizes the increasing importance to our political landscape of non-partisan blogs like the BFP.

    I wonder if he’s also written a similar letter to The Nation…?

  4. Centipede

    Was Prime Minister Arthur the only Prime Minister in the world who didn’t have ‘news conferences’ ?

    Will PM David T follow suit, or will be regularly meet with the press?

  5. Briggs Hill

    Reudon A. Eversley,

    At least this time you are not doing as much whining as a spoilt child, which is your usual manner.

    Your writing is so often petty and childish.

  6. crossroads

    Mr Eversley’s comments seem honest and sincere. However the title should read ” Former DLP Communications Director”. Only time will tell.

  7. We agree with the thrust of Mr. Eversley’s submission. However the fact that a Press Secretary is not yet in place should not prevent the government from dissemination information to the public in a timely manner. Whether the Throne Speech was distributed via GIS, CBC, VOB or even the blogs is immaterial at this stage. The expectation of the public MUST be met and this is linked to the basis upon which the public became endeared to the election message of the DLP.
    We are aware that the correctness of the Barbadian society would have an affinity for protocol, but in the interest of sustaining the momentum of change the current administration should be prepared to find alternatives and not stay forged to the tried and trusted.
    John et al please forgive us for this intrusion but as you know we feel very strongly about the right of the PEOPLE to know and the need to create the right environment which encourages freedom of expression. We have become cynical about issues like this because efficient managing of information by governments is not usually something which is practiced around the world. Why should we think Barbados will be any different?

  8. Bajanboy

    I hope the extend invitations to BFP and BU to attend these news conferences (even if they politely decline) and habitually send press releases to them.

  9. Bush tea

    It is amazing how purportedly reasonable people could expect the DLP to perform miracles within weeks of gaining office.
    I wonder if these new ministers all know yet where the nearest bathrooms are to their new offices – far less being chastised for not publishing a Throne speech (which was read live on TV) within minutes…

    When this comes from BFP (who we have all -with one notable exception- forgiven for their delay with the article on money laundering) I am not really surprised. You guys have been holding the DLP responsible for most that is wrong in Barbados long before their election…

    Indeed, I seem to recall your scathing attacks on their strategy leading up to election and your dire predictions of failure…. any apologies? or concession of Error forthcoming?

    Look, can we at least allow the people to settle in and figure out their bearings? Don’t employees get an orientation and probation period?

    …While I am on it, I noticed that a few ministers have quickly become TV stars talking about things that they clearly do not fully understand…. It is far better to spend some time learning the job, listening to different views and devising a sensible strategy…
    Put policies in gear before engaging mouth..

  10. sharky

    Was there a press conference after this week’s cabinet meeting or has the wind already gone out of the dlp sails already and we shall return to buisness as usual as in former times under the blp

  11. Tony Hall

    When a new Gov’t comes into power it has to be given time to acclimatise to the machinations of the various ministries. Mr. Eversley is correct. You will see things being done differently. Give the process time. There has been more openess in the first month of this new administration than in the last 10 years of the last BLP administration.

  12. Hants

    The new administration also has to deal with disgruntled BLP civil servants who may feel like Owing Arthur that the DLP should never have been elected to run Barbados.

    The fact is that the DLP Members and its supporters have long recognised the importance of the Internet and blogs.

    We will continue to participate on BFP although we think there will be a lot less to complain about.

    Barbados is in good hands BFP even though the DlP cannot provide the instant gratification you seek.

    I also believe the role of BFP could be like the CNN program called “Keeping them honest”.

  13. Lady Anon

    Forgive me…why are we so quick to castigate the DLP and sat silent for 14 years while the BLP did what they wanted and we said nothing?

    We never had a press conference at the end of a cabinet meeting before…the DLP held one. It does not mean that it has to happen after every cabinet meeting.

    I alluded before that the GIS is responsible for disseminating information as it relates to government. However, we know the GIS has/had issues under the past administration. Dear God, give them some time (obviously not too much) to thaw out from the freeze and get themselves together.

    Posting information on the GIS website should be done systematically and regularly, but it wasn’t. For 14 years, a throne speech was never published. Here in 2008 we got a throne speech published within 4 days.

    Right now, I think we are being too critical. Yes we demanded change, we voted for change but we also know that change is not instantaneous.

    We want the system to move from “I am the only one who can and will do” to a system where all are included. Please give it time.

    We must also remember that the Public Service is replete with persons appointed under the last administration who will do all in their power to cause embarrasment to the current one. Case in point one minister going to the cabinet meeting with the incorrect cabinet papers which were given to him by a lackey of the BLP government in their capacity as a public officer.

    Many of us who are critical are back seat drivers. Make your contribution … not only on this blog, but also in the communities.

    ************

    BFP says

    Hi Lady Anon,

    You said “Forgive me…why are we so quick to castigate the DLP and sat silent for 14 years while the BLP did what they wanted and we said nothing?”

    I wanted to make one point with you…

    We certainly castigated the BLP, but for the last 18 months we seldom demanded improved performance and honesty from them – because one does not demand honesty from the mafia.

    Citizens can now demand honesty and changes from the DLP government because, despite our criticism when they do go wrong or become forgetful, we still believe that they INTEND to do the right thing. That’s a big difference from the last government and we appreciate that there is a big difference.

  14. Anonymous X

    Reudon,
    Ignore Briggs Hill (Ezra Alleyne). You have clearly demonstrated via your contribution to the last general elections that you are more than capable.

  15. 2 Cents

    If the PM or his Press Secretary or whoever had uttered the following directive!

    “Please ensue that this document is disseminated in print and electronically by x time, it would have been done.

    Change = change

    I voted for change not excuses!

  16. Bush tea what time what?

    All it would have taken to have the throne speech published online was a simple instruction to the GIS head. The process does not require the Minister to have any special knowledge neither should it take days.

    We will give the DLP time but in routine matters such as the one under discussion time is not required more good management.

    The Ministers all have assistants who are charged with executing the mundane requirements of the job.

  17. De Orginal

    Reudon A. Eversley,

    I like all other Barbadians await your promises of more open communication at this point in the administration, I will await the delivery of your promise. The press briefing after each cabinet meeting is welcomed but rest assured if we the people of Barbados are not convinced that there is accountability, transparency and integrity in your actions. The DLP Administration will be held accountable for its inactions. But like you said Rome was not built in a day and we look forward to the openness you have promised.

  18. While Mr. Eversley’s comments are worthwhile, I however think the DLP’s website should be kept current.

  19. reality check

    It would be a revolutionary era of accountability if Ministers would be permmitted to occassionally come on the blogs and openly discuss some of the issues facing them and how they are attempting to deal with them.

    This is done in other countries and demonstrates a mature level of democratic accountability as well as a recognition that our leaders are not hiding from issues but facing them head on.

    *************

    BFP says,

    Yes… we’re still waiting for “Prime Minister” Owen Arthur to keep his promised appearance on the BLP blog! 🙂

  20. Brutus

    Now that the throne speech IS available, I wonder how many of the readers and contributors to this blog have actually taken the time to read it. Its more fun to speculate and make accusations based on half truths than to seek out the facts.

    Let’s not forget as well that the point of the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation promised by the DLP is to give us a legal right to information which we can now only beg for. I think we should be clamouring to get the FOI and Integrity Legislation passed as quickly as possible.

  21. itsjustme

    I would suggest,BFP,if you think that the DLP intends to do the right thing, that you change your header, as it is rather misleading in its connotations.

    ***********

    BFP says,

    Yes… but we always reserve the right to be strident and offensive. Sometimes it is the only way to cut through the smell of horse dropping that often emanates from the political elites.

    We shall keep this government honest.

    Shona isn’t back until this afternoon and we’ll ask her to make up a new one. We mere men are of little artistic talent.

  22. Bush tea

    David,

    You couldn’t resist that ‘Bush whack’ could you?!?

    ..but help me… how did this issue become a priority? and for whom is it a priority?

    Certainly not Bush tea… who is going to read that thing? …and even if a few do read it … SO WHAT!?! …the words of politicians are suddenly prophecy?!?

    …give me a break..

    What Throne speech What?!?

  23. Pablo

    “Thistle told us that the throne speech would be published and he/she was right hope you’re eating your words now as I previousl mentioned wunna must give this fresh Government a chance Like my girl Rihanna they will shine through and uphold their duties to the people of Barbados. Barbadians you should be proud to have such an upstanding Man taking care of the peoples business God Bless you Prime Minister keep up the Good word with God’s good Grace. I Gone Pablo!!!!

  24. Pablo

    ” Thistle told us that the throne speech would be published and what do you know he /she was right hope you’re eating your words now.

  25. Lady Anon

    because one does not demand honesty from the mafia.

    ——————————-

    Why not? Why don’t we demand honesty from the mafia? We demand it from everyone else!

    That’s why the mafia continues to be the way they are because the citizens do not demand honesty…they cower and close their eyes and hopes the mafia does not knock on their door.

    ************

    BFP says,

    Our point is that to demand honesty from the Mafia is to waste your time.

  26. Goldenbead

    I hope that while the new government is improving its public communication, it takes the time to update the secondary schools’ websites.

    I have been trying to get information on schools in Barbados for my children and some sites haven’t been updated in over 5 years!!

    Contact email addresses for the schools are hotmail and myway and other such email services that are normally for personal use and not what you would expect from government departments. No one answers the emails anyway!

    Please, please, please, DLP. Update the schools’ websites, give them proper email addresses and move them into the 21st century. What is in place now is just embarrasing.

  27. Negrocrat

    Lord, what foolishness are we hearing from GoldenBead?
    It’s the school’s responsibility to organise their website. What has this got to do with the Government, give me a break, man.

  28. ROBOT

    Regarding updating the DLP blog, that matter is being addressed and you should see some activity pretty soon. I must tell you, however, that already the DLP Government has honoured a campaign pledge related to improving public communication by introducing press briefings after Cabinet meetings. Unheard of during the Owen Arthur era.
    —————————————————————
    not true !

    blp did it in the first years of the administration and beyond—check it out !

    ***********

    BFP says,

    Ok, Ok,…. Arthur had a few press conferences before he became a dictator 10 years ago. What’s your point?

  29. ROBOT

    gi’ me a break man !

    hey negrocrat !

    that signature belongs to me but you know what they say about the best form of flattery

    gi’ me a break man !

  30. ROBOT

    “We will continue to participate on BFP although we think there will be a lot less to complain about.”
    ————————————————————–

    why ?
    what has changed

    man gi’ me a break !

  31. John

    David

    I don’t know why you are asking me for forgiveness but for what its worth, I forgive you!!

  32. John

    …. I guess it is up to the et al, whoever they may be, to also grant you forgiveness, if they are so inclined!!

  33. Lady Anon

    Goldenbead…as part of the “Eductech” programme, each school should have been capable of designing and maintaining its own website, which would have been hosted by the Min of Education. The Government held no responsibility for the sites other than hosting what the schools designed.

    Some schools started websites as school projects, extra curricular activities as it may, and like many other activities and school clubs, if the student interest is not maintained, then the project falls by the wayside.

    Perhaps, with the revised role of the Data Processing Department and the Government Portal, a new look at the development of websites for schools would be taken.

    I still believe, however, that it is the responsibility of the schools’ boards of management to ensure the schools have a web presence.

  34. Bajan to de Bone

    To whom much is given much is expected.

    I say no more. But strangely enough it looks to me as if our new PM at this stage anyway is all about PR and little else.

  35. Negrocrat

    Come on bajan- to- the- bone, the David Thompson administration is only one month old.They have not yet completed the setup fully – still many Board positions to fill, many things for the Ministers to know about the Ministries allocated to them. They have to navigate through the sympathetic BLP people who are in the Civil Service.
    Thompson has just presented his Govt’s programme and it is a solid one.
    Bjan to the bone you really sound like a disgruntled B who disagrees with what the electorate has done. But yu have to tek that, ha ha.

  36. ??

    See eversley had the guts to put his name this time.

  37. Get it Right

    Keep Off De TV and RUN the COUNTRY!

  38. Anon

    Does anyone know if the Government of Barbados has acquired a private jet, I ask only because it was reported that the PM travelled to NY and to Trinidad on private jet.

  39. Tell me Why

    I was reading today’s Nation where my friend Reudon in his column ‘Reflections’ was quoting the Honourable Mia Mottley quote “aggressive communications stance’.

    He is saying that the word aggressive and using the word in his own ‘wicked’ context to portrait that to him only, it means “behaving in an angry, threatening way as if you want to fight or attack someone”

    Come on Reudon, this word ‘aggressive’ is a strong word that is mainly used for progressive thinking people, like in this context “having or showing determination and energetic pursuit”. When the commentator says that “Brian Lara is an ‘aggressive’ batsman”, would you jump to the conclusion that he is a vagabond? What about a company stating that it is going to “implement an ‘aggressive’ campaign” or a party saying that “it will deal with the cost of living in an ‘aggressive’ way”…….; and I can go on and on.

    So stop the twisting of words for your embedded behaviour.