Suffice to say that President Anthony Carmona’s reputation has not exactly aged like fine wine.
Today, Carmona delayed his retort to various allegations about his conduct in office until Wednesday afternoon due to “very recent additional matters… warranting a more comprehensive response.”
In football, this is referred to as “running down the clock” when hardback men suddenly pretend to be as fragile as rose bushes in a hurricane and do everything from feigning injury to taking the ball in the corners of the pitch for some ‘alone time’ in the hope that the opposition gets frustrated and gives up.
“Aaaagh… My former butler died… Can I take bereavement leave?”
“Can we reminisce about my favourite journalists instead? Yeah. The dead or retired ones…”
“Is Monday reaaaally the best day for a contentious press conference? Suppose it messes up the rest of my week? I mean your week Ref, your week!”
In Carmona’s Republic Day message he noted disdainfully that Trinidad and Tobago continues to use Britain’s Privy Council as its highest Court of Appeal rather than the Caribbean Court of Justice:
“Regrettably, 54 years on and the Privy Council is still Trinidad and Tobago’s highest Court of Appeal, and we continue to deny ourselves that hallmark of full judicial independence, to which, as a Nation, we are entitled.”
Yet, when Fixin’ T&T cited the Freedom of Information Act to request information on Carmona’s staff—and, more specifically, to confirm whether his mother-in-law was or is employed there—the response was that the FOIA does not stretch as high as the Office of the President.
Know who else is exempted from FOIA requests, “Lord Pussyfoot”? The Queen of England. Bet you don’t mind Trinidad and Tobago denying themselves the entitlement of being able to question its Head of State eh?
It is not so much that Carmona is able to fiddle figures—and Mr Live Wire is looking specifically at his shameless act of pocketing a TT$28,000 housing allowance while living in State housing. Hell, look around the office and you would probably see a half dozen people who can be as creative as Lionel Messi on tax day.
The problem with President Quenk is that he might be the biggest hypocrite since Bill Cosby—a man who publicly criticised fellow comics for their naughty language while he was secretly buying date rape drugs like hops.
And let’s not overlook the fact that Carmona’s favourite journalists—George John, John Babb, Therese Mills, Hazel Ward, Holly Betaudier and Owen Baptiste—are either deceased or long since put out to pasture.
Maybe Rhoda Bharath should beef up her security detail.
And speaking of wanna-be bodyguards. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley attempted to put some clothes on his infamous meeting with former Express reporter Anika Gumbs, just before the 2015 general election.
The problem was Keithos covered up the wrong parts.
Rowley’s auto-biography, “From Mason Hall to Whitehall”, claimed that “when [Gumbs] arrived at my house I greeted her bareback at the gate and upon hearing that she was being stalked I offered to guard her bedroom.”
He went on: “According to her I was also interested in knowing about some tattoo she had on some exposed part of her body. She also alleged that I praised her sucrose or saccharin levels when a bee inadvertently landed on her.”
Hold up there, Keith Sweat. So the allegations against you are that you met a female reporter at your home while bareback, offered to guard her bedroom door, asked her about a tattoo on her back and suggested that she was so sweet even honeybees were landing on her…
And you thought the bit that you needed to distance yourself from was not the part where you met her bareback and offered to be her personal Kevin Costner?!
Tell me Keithos, if Mr Live Wire has an interview with Sharon Rowley at her house, would it be okay if she came out to meet him in a bra?
Rowley’s response to the suggestion that Gumbs was considering legal action was typically bullish.
“Contemplate? Tell her to read the Nike advertisement!” Rowley told the Trinidad Guardian. “I would welcome her return from under whichever stone she has crawled out from under.”
Just do it? Really? Admittedly, it was not quite as quizzical as: “She could bark at my dog because I will ignore she cyat.” But that’s a low bar.
So I take it Anika no longer has the option of your personal protective services, Keithos? Probably just as well when you look at the crime rate.