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Who’s down with OPV?

Scene: Post-Cabinet meeting press conference

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan: “Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to announce that due to the good governance of the People’s Partnership government, we have been able to save the taxpayers of Trinidad and, especially, our island paradise of Tobago, $0.2 billion that otherwise would have been squandered away by the previous PNM government.”

Juhel Browne: “Mr Attorney General, can we enquire as to how these savings were made?”

AG: “Certainly. These savings were made by cancelling the three defective Ocean Patrol Vessels that were commissioned by the inept PNM government. Only swift action by our Prime Minister prevented the wastage of $0.2 billion. And some of that belongs to the good taxpayers of Tobago.”

Browne: “But I don’t understand. The OPV contract was for $1.5 billion. How have you managed to save money?”

Photo: AG Anand Ramlogan addresses the media with ex-National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy (far right) in the background.

AG: “Well, I don’t expect you or the man in the street to understand complex financial transactions, although I’m sure many Tobagonians will understand it.”

Browne: “Well, at least allow us the chance. How can the cancellation of a $1.5 billion contract, which resulted in an arbitration hearing to quantify the penalties that this government must pay, equate to a saving of $0.2 billion?”

AG: “You see? It’s complex. But in layman’s terms, the PNM saddled us with a debt of $1.5 billion and we have brilliantly managed to negotiate that debt down to $0.2 billion. A fantastic achievement. Despite all of the mischief created by the PNM, the people can be happy in the knowledge that the People’s Partnership is running this country in a way the PNM could never do. And once the PNM is removed from the THA, I’m sure every Tobagonian will own at least three cars.”

Browne: “But, Mr Ramlogan, that means we’re paying $1.3 billion and we still have no OPVs. That doesn’t make sense.”

AG: “Well, I don’t expect you or the man in the street to understand complex military hardware, but rather than be stuck with defective ships, as the PNM would have done, we’ve saved $0.2 billion. Of course, our brothers and sisters in Tobago, which of course is surrounded by sea, will understand the dangers of defective boats.”

Browne: “But if these ships were defective, why has Brazil brought them for $1.3 billion? And don’t they have far more naval experience than we do?”

AG: “Look, I thought you lot had been told to stop causing problems? Stop criticising everything we do. I mean, here we are with good news and you still try to make us look bad. If you did your research, you would see that Brazil only has one coastline, while we have, erm, more than one. These ships may work well sailing up and down the Amazon, but here they would have to cope with hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis and tourists, especially in Tobago, the jewel of the Caribbean.”

Browne: “But Brazil has a coastline of nearly 7,500 kilometres while ours is only 362 kilometres. Doesn’t that mean these OPVs would have been 20 times more effective here than in Brazil?”

AG: “Did Rowley put you up to this?”

Browne: “Mr Attorney General. There is no bias in my questions. But the fact is that the Prime Minister cancelled a contract for ships that have just been purchased by the Brazilian navy. And instead of state of the art vessels to protect our coastline, we could spend over a billion dollars and have nothing.”

AG: “Jack knows where you live, you know.”

Browne: “Are you threatening me, Mr Ramlogan? And, since you were responsible for advising the Cabinet on the consequences of cancelling this order, do you take responsibility for this scandal?”

AG: “You know, you people make me sick. I come here and announced good news and you are calling my competence into question? Can’t you for one moment put aside your PNM loyalties and report the truth? The good people of Tobago wouldn’t treat people like this. They are happy, fair and just people who want only freedom from those PNM dictators.”

Browne: “Mr Ramlogan, is this another attempt to cover up a poor decision by this government that has tarnished our international reputation? Won’t you just admit to a huge error of judgement?”

AG: “Of course, I’m not well versed in maritime law, as my area of expertise is actually civil law. You will have to direct any further questions to the Minister of National Security. Not Jack, eh? It was Brigadier Sandy. The buck definitely stops with him. I’m off to Tobago, where everyone is much nicer. Thanks for your time.”

 

Editor’s Note: This column is pure satire and all conversations are faked; no offence is meant at parties named although they probably deserve it

About Filbert Street

Filbert Street
Filbert Street is a real columnist who works in a fantasy world that sometimes resembles our own.

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(Copyright AFP 2015)

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One comment

  1. “Jack knows where you live,you know”…….Lol!!