BIG, bad Jack Warner did not take long to assert his authority in his new role as Minister of National Security.
But instead of chasing down some hardened criminals or raiding a drug den, he swooped down one early morning on the meek and mild men and women who are members of the Highway Re-Route Movement and demolished the camp they set up in their ongoing protest over the construction of the Point Fortin Highway.
Way to go Jack! That will really have an effect on the out-of-control murder rate.
What's next? If the Trinidad and Tobago footballers who have been patiently waiting for the bonus payments promised to the Soca Warriors amidst the euphoria of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup Finals decide to picket outside your office, will you have them all arrested and sent to Carrera, seeing as they're of such great nuisance value.
Unfortunately, which is putting it mildly, that's what we get when the Prime Minister scoffs in the face of all decent and honest citizens and installs a tainted and tarnished figure to supposedly tackle the criminals in our midst.
He should never have been allocated any Ministry in the People's Partnership Government in the first place, but now the PM compounds the original error with her latest reshuffle.
Putting Warner in charge of National Security can best be described with the words used by former prime minister Basdeo Panday, when asked by an intrepid reporter about his association with a certain "short pants man" who had been the recipient of a juicy state contract.
"That's insulting!" Panday exclaimed more than once. And you would think that's the opinion the majority of people might have expressed when our esteemed leader announced her new appointments, headlined by "Action" Jack.
But you also heard: "He gets the job done!" as frustrated taxpayers grasp at straws as they look for a turnaround in the fight against crime.
Well, his first major move in that crucial position was to get rid of a bunch of peaceful protesters, most of whom would never harm a fly.
What about if his one-time cohort, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, decides to visit Trinidad and Tobago? Will he be pulled aside in the line at Immigration, declared persona non grata and put on the next flight out of La La Land?
Don't talk rubbish, I can hear Warner's faithful supporters saying, but there is no denying this job placement ranks right up there as one of the most farcical moves ever enacted by any government of this country.
That's why the standard joke going around last Saturday, when everyone became aware of who had been put in what Ministry, was that all the files the Police Service or anyone might have had on Warner were being shredded as we speak, being turned into so much confetti.
Typical T&T humour in the face of mindless and arrogant politicians, who come and go like the rain, wetting us for a while, but not able to dilute the electoral ink when election time rolls around.
But amidst all the congratulations, consternation or general inertia, depending on how you look at the reshuffle, another thought being raised is that National Security is where you send ministers—especially upstarts and fast-risers who might have their eye on the throne—to die, or rather to have all the gloss wiped off, reducing them to a mere shadow of their former selves.
What person holding that portfolio over the last two decades—since Abu Bakr got away with murder in 1990 and dishonest law enforcement officials grew fat off the land—has ever come out smelling like roses, showered with praise and described as a brilliant appointment, from Joe Theodore to Howard Chin Lee to Martin Joseph to John Sandy.
So what is, at first glance, purely a case of the PM saying piss off to those who don't agree and are steadfast that Jack Warner should never be a member of any elected Government, could actually have an even more sinister motive, which is to cut him down at the knees and rubbish the consensus that he gets things done.
We're dealing with suppositions there, though, and instead we should stick to what is written in black and white, which is that Jack Warner is now the Minister of National Security, believe it or not, and woe be unto whoever crosses his path, as environmental activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh found out first hand on Wednesday.
There is no denying that jovial Jack has his share of avid fans, but there is no legitimate reason for putting him in such a powerful position, especially as we can't escape the general perception, which is held both here and abroad, that he could walk in the shadow of a corkscrew, as a lyrical Barbadian once said of a Trinidad and Tobago horse trainer at the Garrison Savannah.
And as if to confirm our wildest fears, his initial plan of action was to send well-armed soldiers and policemen to stop a peaceful protest…all with the support of the Attorney General.
That's getting the job done, "Action" Jack! What would we do without you?