Editorial

Unsolicited Texts From The Pm’s Office

Unsolicited Texts From The Pm’s Office

Why is the Office of the Prime Minister texting me and who gave them my number? That was the question being asked by thousands of mobile phone subscribers across the country over the last week, after the messages were dispatched via SMS. At first, no one paid much mind to the messages as many dismissed them as nuisance texts from the ODPM. But on careful inspection, it was realised that the messages were from the OPM or Office of the Prime Minister. Only then did the  curiosity begin.

Mobile phone users reported that starting on Tuesday February 6, the first message urging an end to gender based violence started coming in. The next day, Wednesday, another suggesting that we remain faithful and avoid AIDS followed. Then on Thursday, the final unsolicited SMS urged us to teach our children to look out for abuse and report it. All great messages and all valid points. It’s also great to see that our Prime Minister looking out for our welfare and that of our children. But the question still remains: “Who gave him my number?” Did you authorise your service provider to share your personal information?

The other question that comes to mind is that, isn’t it a bit hypocritical of the Office of the Prime Minister to be texting me? Didn’t the PNM in 2015 accuse the then government of desperation when they sent out voice notes from Kamla Persad Bissessar? If we recall correctly opposition said the ruling partnership was infringing on the privacy of citizens. Well we ask, what’s the difference now?

One way or another, the entire texting campaign is going to be passed on to the consumer, either directly or indirectly. Our service providers are going to deduct the cost of the text messages from our accounts or the OPM is going to use taxpayers funds for the operation. So may we suggest that since we’ll be paying one way or the other that messages be of a more pertinent nature, like updates on how national economic distress is being addressed or what is being done to immediately relieve the stress and trauma the country is facing over the ever increasing murder and crime situation. We feel messages of this nature would be greater appreciated.

You may recall, last week we talked about wasting money over ineffective song and dance messages by the Education and National Security Ministries. While we feel strongly about ‘squandermania’ over ineffective communication between government agencies and the public, we reiterate that the messages themselves were of substance but were lost in translation. And just one final thought as we return to reality after a hectic Carnival season; wouldn’t have been highly amusing to see the head of the OPM dancing and singing about faithfulness and AIDS rather than a text message? Just a thought.

Web Master

February 14th, 2018

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