Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The man with the match


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Is there anyone out there who cares about Jack Warner to have a quiet, heart-to-heart talk with him? Is there anyone in Mr Warner's political circle who could "so advise" him of the need for that talk?

Warner is considered a generous benefactor, a person who is said to display genuine empathy for the cries of the needy, a person who deals with most pleas personally to ensure that no one is ever turned away.

Among them there must be someone, or his liming friends, even his political leader, if she is not consumed with other matters, he would listen to; someone who would advise him to seek silence, more so a moment of solitude in which he could pause and listen to himself.

It is in solitude, I believe, that we all discover our disconnectedness, learn detachment, and experience that interior transformation from which we can begin our journey to a divine union.

As Minister of National Security, Mr Warner holds responsibility for the state's protective services, but from his statements last week he appears more of a loose, incendiary character, who can be likened to a child with a match.

For some time, Warner has been unmasking himself, a spectacle which forces public speculation as to how many more faces of Jack there are to come.

Questions arise on whether Mr Warner is that "self-alienating character" that psychologists have told us about. A person, who, behind his various masks, is unsure of himself, his image, and the social roles he should be playing.

Self-alienated persons, it is said, have no roots; they are neither fish nor fowl, so no place is called home. They know they belong someplace, but don't know where. Because they do not belong to a core group their world is one of various, complex illusions.

A significant characteristic of self-alienating persons is said to be "a sense of depersonalisation"; they are tortured by their own low self-esteem from which they, unconsciously, view themselves, not too pleasantly, as things, objects, even possessing robotic skills, rather than as satisfied, productive human beings.

Most times they are troubled and humourless, living in a manic state, always on the edge. Behind their various masks they are social introverts who experience emotional numbness i.e. a restricted range of feelings, and an illusionary sense of superiority; because they carry a secret, contradiction in that they see others as stupid and shallow.

Last July, Mr Warner told us that he held the answers to our crime problem, but then responded intemperately that it was the PNM which was responsible for murders in Laventille.

But it is his remarks last week that should raise our concern.

First, it was dismissal of the march of thousands who opposed Section 34, as just a small number of disgruntled African people. This raised hairs on the backs of many citizens; one letter writer, Carol James from Trincity, described it a "despicable racist commentary".

But Mr Warner's comment could have been offensive also to Indians, and other ethnic groups, whom he said chose not to march.

The proclamation of Section 34 was a crude attempt by the Cabinet "cabal" to deceive Parliament and the people of Trinbago. For Mr Warner to claim that other groups chose to ignore the protest was to imply that those groups were open to deception and collectively they held an unethical world view.

But Mr Warner did not stop there. He took a swing at the Integrity Commission because its chairman, Ken Gordon, appeared with THA Chief Secretary Orville London in an advertisement to promote an essay competition on integrity.

The Commission, realising the sensitivity of the situation, pulled it immediately and publicly apologised. But that was not good enough for Mr Warner, who as party chairman, is emerging also as leader of the UNC incendiary fringe.

That fringe is a frighteningly toxic cocktail. Mix Warner's preoccupation with posturing, partisanship and power with the Attorney-General's grasping after social recognition and omnipotence, then add Devant Maharaj's bizarre Hindu sectarianism, Anil Roberts' unbridled loutishness, include the internecine subterfuge of the Cabinet cabal, include, too the hopeless naivety of other Cabinet members, and top it off with the unpreparedness, air-headedness and indifference of the Prime Minister and what does Trinbago get? A recipe for what?

Mr Warner did not stop there. In not-too-coded language he told the Hindu community that he was its "faithful servant", and that the Opposition Leader's presence at the launch of Divali celebrations was "sacrilegious" and took the celebration below "its lofty and holy expectations".

All this coming at a time when Trinbago's attention should be drawn to deficit spending, an economy that has declined "much sharper than anticipated", and a 7.3 per cent contraction in the energy sector.

But these threats mean nothing to Warner, and the AG who, as he attempts to dance away from Section 34, dismisses the likelihood that soon taxpayers may have to pay billions for the OPV contract cancellation.

It is now urgent. Someone must speak with the man with the match.

Let's just pray he listens.

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

career in communication

and management.