Mysterious happenings and a strange, cryptic verbal message aboard a commercial flight this month looks like it will be the talk of the town for some time yet. But enough about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Trinidad and Tobago is abuzz with talk about BW1519 and its 10 minute trip from Crown Point to Piarco. And by “Trinidad and Tobago”, we obviously mean the press and politicians.
According to a report lodged by CAL flight attendant Ronelle Laidlow, Minister of the People Glenn Ramadharsingh drank a bit too much, got a Napoleon complex, thought the cabin was his living room, mistook Laidlow’s breast for the suggestion box and threatened to have her sacked.
In this case, Mr Live Wire hastens to add, “sacked” does not mean what may or may not have happened during a MP’s Spanish lesson in Room 201.
Ramadharsingh gave a qualified apology. He insisted that he was not drunk, did not touch the flight attendant’s breast and never threatened her; but he was sorry for everything else.
In short, the Minister’s apology was like ordering a chicken roti with extra pepper and getting dry paratha instead.
Opposition Leader Keith Rowley ordered Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to fire Ramadharsingh at once for abusing the airline employee. Rowley, incidentally, was accessory to the abuse of an entire airline last year; when the Prime Minister treated a CAL plane like a taxi to attend the funeral of late South Africa icon and former President Nelson Mandela.
But it was MP and ex-FIFA VP Jack Warner’s shameful attempt to get onboard that really turned the episode into a sequel of Snakes on a Plane.
Warner, the scourge of transparency bodies, ethics committees and auditors worldwide, released the following statement:
“Ramadharsingh’s behaviour is reprehensible and unfitting for a minister of government. It sets a bad example for the young people of our nation. It is an embarrassment to all citizens as the report on this incident is read by persons around the world. But then again, such behaviour is typical in persons with swollen egos and who are drunk with power.”
Since Mr Live Wire was intoxicated when he read it, he got the names mixed up and it read like this:
“Warner’s behaviour is reprehensible and unfitting for a (MP). It sets a bad example for the young people of our nation. It is an embarrassment to all citizens as the report on this incident is read by persons around the world. But then again, such behaviour is typical in persons with swollen egos and who are drunk with power.”
Please write in and tell us which statement is the right one.
Warner, who only tries to board airlines in the figurative sense ever since the FBI started looking his way, is a world class performer in the hypocrisy game. Just earlier this week, he suggested that the UK Telegraph crossed the line by showing up at his home to ask questions about millions in alleged bribes that he supposedly received from Qatar.
One remembers that the ILP chairman was not squeamish about personal space when he had photographers snap shots of Ramadharsingh’s supposed palaces or when he sent a loudspeaker to berate and antagonise former pupil and ILP councillor Faaiq Mohammed outside his house.
Warner, of course, might be responsible for the country’s biggest airport scandal since Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson after his former colleague, Mohamed Bin Hammam, came through Piarco International, two years ago, with over US$1 million in undeclared cash.
Presumably, there are no mirrors in the ex-FIFA VP’s home so he can take a good look at himself.
In a statement best filed under “TMI”, Ramadharsingh tried to play himself up as a champion athlete too as he explained why he was “fatigued” enough to mistreat Laidlow.
“What I would like to indicate is that on Saturday after spending an entire day in the constituency in walkabouts, we had a sporting activity,” Ramadharsingh told the Trinidad Express, “in fact I participated in that sporting activity and did indeed win the bronze medal in the sack race at Arena.”
So, Ramadharsingh got bronze in a Tobago village sack race and thinks that was reason enough to berate flight attendants? Wait until someone tells Olympian Richard Thompson.
Pace yourself, Minister; the Cabinet sack race is much more taxing.