Last update: 01-Aug-2014 6:50 am
Friday, August 01, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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‘Officialese’ less than convincing
Political spin-doctoring, ie, “lies, half-truths and innuendos,” essentially attempts by politicians from all the major political parties to deceive the national community, has so polluted public communications that it has become almost impossible for the population to believe anything said by public figures and institutions as being anything other than cover for malfeasance, gross mismanagement and or mistake.
The explanations and claims by the Petrotrin hierarchy, backed up by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Energy, are potent current examples of how public political communication has lost value, undermined by the political culture which is based on deception and Anancy politics.
The first response by way of giving a reason for the December 17 oil leak (and the ten subsequent others) at Petrotrin screamed “sabotage.” The claim was made without the slightest trace of substantiating evidence and it came from the Petrotrin president and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, to be followed shortly thereafter by the Energy Minister. Then came the nonsense and false assurances about the spill being contained and the clean-up being almost finished.
Further, and incredibly so, the Prime Minister and the Petrotrin officials said the repair work had taken place and there was no need for the population to become overly concerned about the situation in the southwest peninsula. Reports in the media on the ever-spreading slick have consistently demonstrated the claims of the Petrotrin officials and the government ministers, led by the Prime Minister, to have been without substance and on occasion deliberate attempts to mislead.