Once again, ‘reshuffle’ drama in prime time
The T&T public have by now recognised a recurring People’s Partnership administration drama advertised as a ministerial “reshuffle”. At regular intervals, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has exercised her exclusive prerogative to hire and fire.
Extraordinary hype attended the latest “reshuffle” because the Partnership, and its leadership, have reason to see its present and future political prospects imperilled as never before. Last week’s shake-up, and shake-down, of the Cabinet has lengthened the list of those hopefuls newly on a trial run, and of others, who having been tried and found wanting, stand discarded, in a continuing process of experimentation.
A regulars’ hardcore remains in position. The passing parade, in and out of the Government, however, must strike observers as a remarkable reflection on the availability to Ms Persad-Bissessar of ready and willing human resources.
But readiness and willingness are not everything. This, the Prime Min-
ister stressed as she charged her renewed team to work 20 hours a day, to “deliver, deliver, deliver”. In near-desperate exhortation, she added: “No excuses, no explanations. Just execution beyond the call of duty.”
This sets a standard that is for no one more challenging than National Security Minister Gary Griffith, fourth holder of that office in 40 months. Hoisted by the petard of his military experience and security-adviser expertise, he has been summoned to the urgent mission of making a difference, especially with so-far-unstoppable murders.
Mr Griffith, a former army captain, has been exalted to a leadership position held before by former army brigadiers. But in this end game before the next elections, more will be expected of him, even as he follows the Prime Minister’s lead in taking an all-inclusive approach to “circle the wagons” for a struggle of “good versus evil”.
What all this translates into must soon be made manifest. The Police Service Social and Welfare Association has already set a three-month timeline for evaluating the potential of Mr Griffith in securing the support of officers it represents.
Inside the tourism industry, unhappiness has early been expressed over the ministerial switching of Stephen Cadiz for Chandresh Sharma. Mr Cadiz, a seasoned businessman, can be expected to hit the ground running in Transport. Mr Sharma’s prospects in Tourism are hardly helped by the unwelcoming disappointment voiced by tourism interest groups.
Emmanuel George, Jairam Seemungal, Marlene Coudray, Rodger Samuel, Gerald Hadeed and Raziah Ahmed are others affected by prime ministerial portfolio adjustments. Among these, eyes will surely turn to ministerial first-timer Gerald Hadeed, a business veteran, now curiously drafted to fill the Communications portfolio.
Mr Hadeed is evidently hoping to bring to bear the people skills and positive projection that as Airports Authority chairman earned him employees’ trust. Should he succeed, this “reshuffle” stands a chance at least to enjoy a better public image than forerunner episodes.