Letters to the Editor: Incompetence and lack of transparency in carnival affair

Letters to the Editor: Incompetence and lack of transparency in carnival affair
The flashing lights of popular carnival rides, tents and stands illuminate the night sky on Wednesday, December 15, at Clifford Park, Fort Charlotte.

Dear Editor,

There are still so many questions on the Christmas carnival mess the government is refusing to answer. After he read a statement on the carnival, Press Secretary Clint Watson refused to answer questions. This is not the kind of transparency and accountability the PLP promised.

His boss, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, didn’t even come out to read his own statement. Is he hiding from the press on this matter? Mr Davis hasn’t answered any questions on the carnival from the press and the public.

Did the prime minister approve the carnival, as stated by a representative of the carnival? Mr Davis is minister of finance. Did his ministry give any approvals for the carnival? He should accept responsibility if finance gave any approvals.

The Tribune pointed out in an editorial: “After a representative of the carnival said that Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis gave them permission to hold the event, Press Secretary Clint Watson dismissed that as ‘absolute nonsense’.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis.

“He went on to say: ‘The Prime Minister has never spoken about this issue, neither has he been involved in this issue.’” Then why doesn’t the prime minister come out and say this? He should say it in the House of Assembly.

The editorial also stated: “Again, it seems the PLP was involved in this process — so why did Mr Watson not avail himself of the opportunity to tell the public how closely involved with the organizer the ruling party was?”

Mr Watson better begin to understand that he has an obligation to the press and the public to get out the full story or his credibility will come into question. He is not just a mouthpiece for the PLP.

The Tribune also said: “It would be best as this government moves forward to see Mr Davis at the helm in press conferences on such matters, particularly issues as important as COVID-19.

“The questions surrounding the arrival of the carnival also deserve answers — the funding, the application process, the work permits granted and so on. These are early days still for this new government, but we would encourage Mr Davis to ensure it is his voice that is heard and that he is present to answer questions.”

Aerial view of the Christmas carnival.

What role did Minister of Foreign Affairs and PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell play in this matter? He seems to be ducking answering questions about any role he may have played as chairman. Did he meet with any carnival representatives? Was there an agreement with the carnival operators?

The prime minister’s failure to fully address the carnival is a serious lack of transparency and accountability.

The whole carnival affair is a sign of terrible incompetence by the prime minister and his government. How did the carnival get into the country without permission from the competent authority? There seems to be no coordination by a government that is looking chaotic and disorganized.

Anyone who has been paying even a little attention to the COVID-19 pandemic knew that another wave was very likely and that large events were not a good idea.

Yet somebody in the PLP seemed to think it was okay for the Christmas carnival to come into the country this year. This is a mixture of incompetence, recklessness and irresponsibility during a pandemic.

Neither the Ministry of Health nor the prime minister has held a full press conference on the pandemic in the nearly three months the PLP has been in office. Why is this the case?

With another wave is on our doorstep, the government needs to get serious. The prime minister and his Minister of Health need to have press conferences and speak more directly to the public.

Having gotten rid of most restrictions, how is the Davis administration going to respond to the next wave, especially after they criticized the former government over and over about the measures they put in place to save our lives?

Mr Davis had plenty to say when in opposition and plenty criticism of the then government. Now that he is prime minister, he has mostly gone quiet about the pandemic as the criticism is about to come his way.

Be careful what you say in opposition because it will come back to haunt you in government. The PLP and Mr Davis are about to get a baptism by fire with the coming waves of COVID-19. Talk is easy in opposition. In government, action counts more than easy talk.


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Clearly this writer has been missing in action. Many of the questions asked in this article were addressed. The reference that the press secretary didn’t take questions is not in context. The press secretary told the media prior to the statement that he had another pressing matter and would not be able to take questions but would take them the following day at the weekly press, which he did. On Monday it was announced that the prime minister would give an update on covid at Thursday’s presser and take any other questions.

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