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Where's that switch?

By Keith Subero

It is my guess that the Prime Minister spent last weekend searching for a switch — one which would allow her to turn off converging events.

This morning she may be still in that crisis mode, asking herself:

• How does one turn off the illumination in public consciousness that the hunger strike of Dr Wayne Kublalsingh has generated?

• How does one black out the series of daily mis-steps of National Security Minister Jack Warner?

• How does one stand in public and not blink from the sparks being generated from the criticisms of former minister Verna St Rose Greaves in a television interview?

• How does one create a power outage which would erase from the public's mind the Attorney General's mis-step in the OPVs contract cancellation fiasco?

• How does one create another outage which would prevent the President from invoking Section 81 of the Constitution, which could force the Cabinet to explain the real reasons behind the proclamation of Section 34?

• How does one switch off the website which carried the Divali speech of Trinbago's Ambassador to Washington describing the East Indian community to the world as the "most well-to-do and culturally-strong and progressive ethnic group in the uniquely plural society of T&T"?

At the point of writing, Dr Kublalsingh is still alive, but surely by now the Prime Minister has been "so advised" of the implications of his possible honourable death, particularly in the season of Divali, the blight that would be left at her door, and the likelihood of his funeral being larger than that of Basil Davis, a little known figure in 1970, who was martyred.

Over the past few days, Dr Kublalsingh's stance has become a symbol of the best that is in us. It is possible that his stand may be the spark which could animate the dead matter in our society.

Millions have died for the noble cause of king and country. We here have existed blissfully, believing in a little bit of dis and dat, or as we have discovered, since May 2010, many are disengaged, and content with an "eat ah food" existence.

But Dr Kublalsingh has acknowledged the inevitability of death, showing us that his could be for a higher cause. Hopefully, his choice of possible death for truth and transparency may eventually help us re-construct our consciousness, empowering us to stand up with greater sensitivity to higher causes.

The veracity of Mr Warner's statement in the Senate that the Police Service Commission had recommended the payment of $7.2 million to the former Police Commissioner and his deputy after they resigned is now in question in the honourable chamber. The Senate will have to consider the implications of the commission's denial, and a parliamentary censure could determine Mr Warner's future.

Then there is Warner's threat to journalists about maligning the Prime Minister, "a crime which I will fight".

At some point, the PM must realise that Mr Warner is a danger to his own self, and he must not just be switched off, but unplugged.

It may be a difficult task for the PM, because Mr Warner has been the UNC "queen-maker", but as Machiavelli advised, a leader must never mind the charge of cruelty, "from which spring bloodshed and rapine", once it is for the larger community.

But then there is the continuing charge that Mr Warner, whose Ministry is soon to be empowered further with national CCTV cameras, is allegedly the holder of the bag of dirty secrets which he dangles at whim.

Also, there is the public indigestion caused by the Attorney General's confident claim that British ship-builders BAE are to pay this country millions after it settled the OPV issue.

It is now revealed that there was no settlement, just a simple refund from BAE, and that this country lost millions.

And what does one make of the inexperienced veterinarian who has been posted to Washington as Trinbago's ambassador? Gushing from the "success" of his newly-renovated million-dollar office, Dr Neil Parsan boasted to a GOPIO audience in New York.

To him East Indians, in this multi-ethnic society, were "the most well-to-do", "culturally-strong" and "progressive" of all groups. But his remarks were not confined to that audience; his office posted it on its website.

Challenged, the ambassador said the comments came from his first draft, and were later deleted — yet the "draft" remained on the website.

He claims that he told the audience that East Indians held the "largest numerical representation in the entire Caribbean" — a point easily challenged, when one adds the total African population.

Significantly, Dr Parsan's statements came days after Minister Warner's statements about "demons in disguise", and the Prime Minister's own mis-steps at the Divali celebrations.

While National Security Minister is chasing such illusions, public attention is switched on to the conduct of certain police officers in the death of Stacy Ramdeen, during a raid on her home.

Thanks to excellent reporting on the TV6 programme, Crime Watch there is a different spotlight on the Police Service.

Mis-steps just keep coming, while the PM is searching.

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

career in communication

and management.

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