Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jack The Saviour?

One of the bad things about living in a country like Trinidad and Tobago is
that nothing stays secret for very long ... if at all! One of the good things
about living in a country like Trinidad and Tobago is that you can usually
find out fairly quickly what went on in any given situation.

Now, I don't pretend to know absolutely, but if the reports that I am getting
about what happened yesterday at the Prime Minister's residence, La Fantasie,
the Partnership government owes its survival this morning to the efforts of the
UNC Chairman Jack Warner. It seems that the Prime Minister had indeed been
persuaded by her closest advisers that she should fire COP Leader Prakash
Ramadar for his comments on Sunday where he said in essence that the COP
would not necessarily tow the Government line in Parliament. Frankly, it
would have been impossible for any Prime Minister
to have tolerated that type of challenge and Mr. Ramadar was extremely
foolish to have made it in the first place. He ought to have known that such a
challenge to the authority of the Cabinet ... and ultimately the authority of the
Prime Minister ... could not and would not be left alone.

Now, it seems that five of the COP Ministers and Parliamentarians were
prepared to walk out of the Cabinet with Mr. Ramadar. Such an exodus, though
clearly not immediately fatal to the continued existance of the Government
would have hurt Mrs. Persad-Bissessar terribly. The moral authority of the
Government would have been very, very badly damaged ... and quite likely
damaged fatally.

And it is at this point, if my sources are correct, that the erstwhile Jack Warner
stepped in. The old Jack correctly recognised that this crisis would effectively
destroy the Government's moral authority if it was allowed to go to its logical
conclusion, and that the UNC's chances of winning another term would be
severely (if not fatally) dimnshed. Mr. Warner apparently used his not
inconsiderable negotiating skills to bring both sides together enough for
the Prime Minister to go on national television last night at the peak
viewing hour of seven pm to announce that no Minister had been fired and
that no Minister had resigned.

The fact that the meeting then continued until about two am tells us that even
if the cracks have been managed to have been papered over for now that
deep divisions and hurt feelings still remain. Prakash Ramadar has been
forced/persuaded (it doesn't matter which) to climb down Whether he stays
"climbed down" remains to be seen. My spies tell me that the person in
the COP who has been pushing Mr. Ramadar is his deputy Vernon DeLima.
If that is true, then Mr. Ramadar is going to have to be cery careful as to
what advice he accepts from Mr. DeLima in the next few days, for (if that
report is true) it would mean that Mr. DeLima is not as committed to the
Partnership Government as perhaps he ought to be and is prepared to sacrifice
his Party's inclusion in the Government for what he perhaps believes to be a
matter of great principle. The truth is that if that is indeed a fair reflection of
the truth and what Mr. DeLima believes then there will be further clashes as
Mr. Delima clearly would believe that the Marlene Coudray affair is worth bringing down the Government for.

In the meantime, the Government survives for yet another day. What a pity
that the great promise of May 2010 has now degenerated to this. But at least
the Prime Minister should thank her lucky stars that she didn't "cut Jack's
throat" as it was rumoured some months ago that she was being urged to do.


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