In endorsing the book as a “good read” former Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Godfrey Smith explains that clientelism goes beyond the relationship between the politician and the voter. Smith, who openly admits that tons of money have been spent in elections past, discussed what he suggests is a symbiotic relationship between the media and Government. Here are some of the comments he made during a virtual launch on Monday of Vernon’s publication.
Godfrey Smith, Former Foreign Minister and Attorney General: “The book is a good read. It’s a good read for students, it’s a good read for politicians, it’s a good read, an important read for policymakers, for civil society organizations because even they are not spared in Mr.Vernon’s work because he points out that the clientelism becomes so pervasive that it’s not just between political actors and their constituents the clients but it also goes into civil society where very often a number of NGOs are dependent for subsidy for their very survival from governments and therefore the task the raison d’être becomes marginalized to decide because their dependent and are afraid to speak out. The same may also be true for the fourth estate, the critical media houses who should act as a check and balance are highly dependent on governments for advertising work in fact just on looking at TV this morning one Channel 7 reporter was upset or complaining that a particular minister had pinpointed his newsagency to withhold ads from because supposedly for past criticism and so this thing of political clientelism vote buying, welfare state is so pervasive indeed it will require a great deal of work.”