That there is no response from the President’s office on the on- the- spot disinvitation of media at the Private Sector Commission’s corporate dinner held at the Pegasus September 10th 2015, adds to the discomfort many are expressing about several things, government.
This Private Sector Commission, already a suspect body that seems to be controlled more by the executives of member businesses than the member businesses themselves, is no stranger to furtive assemblies – the most famous of which was the dinner that was such a secret that its guest of honor was not told the private room in which it was held.
So, this shut out of media by the Private Sector Commission, has to be addressed and should be done in the context of the President as a Public Servant and the Private Sector being a part of the business machine that needs public oversight.
We’re already discomfited by the head of this Private Sector Commission, Norman McLean, a man whose magnetic field for controversy reads like a warning label emblazoned with skill and cross bones. We were duly alarmed when he chose to politicize the Commission by declaring the government’s dismissal of public servants, under whom misappropriation and misapplication were unquestionable, political discrimination and public humiliation.
One might want to say that we should not question Norman’s authority on public humiliation, victimization, misappropriation and misapplication of things under one’s charge, the violation of labor laws or any of the charges he has laid at the Administration’s feet, all areas that he has mastered with frightening impeccability, but this is not the topic here.
The issue is the fact that Private Sector Agency has the authority to determine whether the address by the country’s elected President, at their corporate dinner, was material for public consumption.
It’s been a few days since the lone non –mainstream media broke this news. We have heard nothing from the State’s news organ, nor have we heard any reporting from other media on their eviction from the function before the President’s address; the fallout of what was described as an erroneous invitation to cover the event.
It is public opinion that frames the tenor of politics and shapes the image of politicians and this is least served when information is delivered in staccato.
There have been too many observations, expressions of concern, even complaints of a patent communication’s gap between the Government and the Guyanese public, inclusive of the Diaspora.
There is an inherence of an understandable degree of spin and secrecy when Administrations govern.
Most people expect this.
What they will never understand is the lack of requisite communication to explain the incongruence of Presidential action and to offer reassurance that the President remains on duty for all of the people.
The media has the power to shape political opinions and the ensuing process.
An administration whose communication is characteristically lethargic, limiting and post reactive will be reminded of this when the people go to the polls.