Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gifts, then the fireworks


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So beyond it all, the nation's Christmas gift is likely to be a constitutional crisis. It appears that this year's Christmas celebrations may be experienced eventually as just a sideshow, given the coming costly, full-sized legal battle between the President and the Prime Minister over Section 34, holding the potential to be a major spectacle as we cross over into 2013.

Behind the jabbering of the senior counsel last week there must have been some gleeful chuckles, as those fine legal minds, along with high-priced English QCs, prepare for the likely battle between these two offices.

Taxpayers can only be assured that, as they foot the expensive legal bill, their "joy" will be in watching on from their front-row seats.

President Max Richards, obviously not satisfied with the review undertaken by Senator Timothy Hamel-Smith who was acting for him, wrote to the Prime Minister on December 7 requesting what some are seeing as a real demand, in the public's interest, for full disclosure.

The Prime Minister, it is understood, took off her Santa Claus hat and replied that she had already given his office the relevant information, apprising Mr Hamel-Smith of the situation and what she had done, including the firing of Herbert Volney as justice minister.

There are reports that lines are being drawn on both sides. Some say that the President has gone too far into the realm of "politics". But what is the definition of that concept?

I have never accepted that vulgarised use of the word, preferring instead the sublime definition that the practice of politics is really "the furtherance of the common good".

In that light every presidential action can be interpreted as pursuing that "common good". If the President concludes that Mr Hamel-Smith's review of Section 34 was not a sufficiently rigorous exercise, he is entitled under Section 81, even after his weekly consultation with the Prime Minister, to request full disclosure.

The Constitution does not stipulate what he is to do with the information but again, in pursuit of the noble ideal of politics, one expects that the President will then address the nation on his findings.

Some claimed that, in maintaining that Hamel-Smith had received all the information previously, the Prime Minister "dissed" the President, and she intensified it further by questioning His Excellency's interpretation of Section 81, under which he requested the information.

So then, this Christmas season may be celebrated as a sideshow in preparation for the main event. Nonetheless, in the spirit of the season, one should extend gifts.

I propose to lend President Richards my aged copy of Bernard Crick's In Defence of Politics.

I propose to send the Prime Minister a copy of the editorial from the Jamaica Observer in the hope that she would grasp eventually what thousands of Trinbagonians have concluded—that the "peak experience" of May 2010 has soured into one of desolation.

To Jack Warner I will send a box of "Thank You" cards which he can use, padding them with whatever gifts he chooses.

The first card should be posted immediately to the Senate, then to his various cohorts, including those in Brazil, Haiti, Geneva and Malaysia. But, please Jack, check out the FBI's motto first before you send them.

For Minister Roodal Moonilal I have great news; he is in line for nomination for "The Most Insipid Stand-up Comic" award.

Minister of Health, Dr Fuad Khan, who is said to be still smarting from the termination of his moonlighting job as medical consultant, can be cheered with the booklet on 101 ways to be a good health minister, without offending private stakeholders.

For Environment Minister Ganga Singh, a Christmas card from year 2000 that reads: Water for all in 2000. These cards, like clean water, are rare, and even with the purchase of Desalcott his former permanent secretary, Emmanuel George, now Works Minister, is said to still hiding thousands of them.

I will seek Hubert Volney's contacts, so I can congratulate him personally. He may not get back his position on the Bench or his job in the ministry, but singing in the 2013 Carnival season alongside kaisonian Crazy is an honest living; I have been told that so too is the job of a URP foreman and a maxi tout.

And then there is Sport Minister Anil Roberts. His gift is that he, too, has been nominated for that "Insipid Comic Award". There is also talk that the FPA's 2013 promotions will include him as a poster child warning to parents.

The Planning Minister certainly deserves a Christmas gift, after how he planned our 50th anniversary celebrations. My gift is that new book on How to talk profoundly on Caribbean literature and economics without thinking critically and even planning.

Minister Alleyne-Toppin? Up-to-date news from Grand Cayman, where the premier is speaking to the financial unit on the proper use of his public credit card.

Port of Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing will get a large box of tape for his mouth and my copy of the book, How to Shut Up and Clean the City.

• Keith Subero, a former Express news editor, has since followed

a career in communication and management.