Being a public servant is not easy. You are in the public glare and open to all sorts of criticism in the media, through anonymous comments and through social media.
In Bermuda it is worse, it’s so small, it’s like working in a goldfish bowl. There is never any escape.
So it should come as no surprise that members of the Commission of Inquiry are coming in for criticism for their recent report.
In particular questions are being asked about the objectivity of John Barritt, a former leader of the OBA; albeit for a very short time until he stepped down as an MP to make way for Craig Cannonier.
It was also at that time that he ceased to be a member of the OBA.
Mr Barritt has never been slow in coming forward to criticize the current Government. His various columns over the years have demonstrated that.
It must also be pointed out that he was one of four members of the Commission. It was not all his work.
So why is he being singled out? It’s easy. One of the most used and obvious PR methods is to ignore the message and make an issue out of the messenger.
It’s called deflection and seeks to take the public conversation away from the core issues by trying to create another stream of thought. Usually it is accompanied by a lot of noise to make it sound much more important than it actually is.
Some people have coined the phrase ‘astroturfing’ to describe the method. Nowadays it might be called ‘fake news’.
The message in the Commission of Inquiry’s report is too important for that tactic to be allowed to work, however.
Whether it is deliberate, politically motivated deflection or just uninformed individuals is difficult to know. However, the end result is the same. It is self-interest, protecting the interests of the few over the needs of the many.
While Obama might be able to be objective if he was on a committee judging Trump for wrong doing it would always be questionable by some. The same can said for the leader of the OBA judging the leader of the PLP. While I do not have a problem with John personally or his ability to be objective, for political and other reasons, his appointment should not have been done.
But surely attacking the messenger is to ignore the message
After all it was critical of both parties