Not for the first time, Trinidad and Tobago can only look on with mouth agape as an unrepentant nanny-loving political appointee with an insatiable fetish for groping taxpayers’ money stumbles into view—named and shamed by an unrelenting media.
But enough about Donald Trump. After all, the two-island republic has always punched above its weight where self-righteous, hypocritical, brazen, two-faced politicians are concerned.
If The Donald’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” motto looks set to go down as the most disastrous political catchphrase of the millennium—albeit one that undoubtedly seizes your attention. Then time will tell what luck “Lord Pussyfoot” has with: “taxpayers pay for my nanny”.
And, of course, we are referencing Trinidad Guardian reporter Kalifa Clyne’s exposé, which revealed that President Anthony Carmona spent TT$2 million of taxpayers’ money on vacation travel in three years—including $.4 million on a single trip to the Cayman Islands—plus TT$300,000 on allowances plus a TT$14,000 monthly salary for “domestic services” from Savitri Singh, who may or may not be his mother-in-law of the same name, and purchased jewellery from Anton’s Gold Rush and Zina’s as gifts along with TT$4,000 in gift cards from Wonderful World.
Mr Live Wire can only hope that he picks up something sexy for Rhoda Bharath before her next vlog.
However, like The Donald, Carmona has nothing to fear from the courts over his creative use of allowances meant for the effective running of the Office of the President.
According to the Trinidad and Tobago Constitution:
“Subject to section 36, the President shall not be answerable to any court for the performance of the functions of his office or for any act done by him in the performance of those functions.”
And if there are three things Pussyfoot holds dearly, they are: his wife, his nanny and his constitution.
Section 36, incidentally, deals with the procedure for remove a sitting Trinidad and Tobago president, which would be unprecedented.
Grounds for Carmona’s removal include if: 35(b) he behaves in such a way as to bring his office into hatred, ridicule or contempt; or, 35(c), he behaves in a way that endangers the security of the State.
Section 35(b) now seems like a formality. And there would be a strong case for 35(c), once National Security Minister Edmund Dillon gets around to telling the Prime Minister that Carmona’s crime plan included Wonderful World lingerie for gang leaders.
Still, removing President Pussyfoot would be exhausting.
The motion would twice need support from two thirds of the Senate—which means either Opposition help or agreement from the Carmona-appointed “Independents”—as well as a report from Chief Justice Ivor Archie and four senior judges appointed by him.
To be fair, Carmona was not the only local public figure to take Trinidad and Tobago firmly by the nanny this week.
Adolphus Daniell, a former teacher and current smart man, spent close to three hours at a press conference in the Hyatt Regency—arguably the only place that houses more white collar criminals than Parliament—explaining why anyone who thought he should repay the TT$34 million he received in taxpayers’ money for not teaching maths at Life Sport should go f**k themselves. Wonderful World voucher not included.
“$34 million is a jingle in a piggy bank; that’s no money,” said Daniell.
With Trinidad and Tobago preparing for another lean Christmas, there was Daniell offering a not-so-heartwarming remake of a classic carroll. Although it wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine the likes of Ish Galbaransingh, Krishna Lalla, Lawrence Duprey, Anil Roberts and Jack Warner piping in with: Ho, ho, ho!
It was almost a gag a minute from good old Adolph, who might never reach the standard of ‘comedian’ but surely ticks the boxes for ‘joker’.
He told the press that: “The best chance of economic recovery is with me.” Which would be like asking The Donald to lead the feminist movement or asking Dwight Yorke to lecture on abstinence.
Adolph also gave a moving shout-out to former Life Sport co-ordinators, Rajaee Ali and Devon Cummings, who ensured he was untouchable and able to “walk in any community in Trinidad and Tobago”.
“I have tremendous respect for those fellas […] because they really wanted change,” said Daniell.
Ali and Cummings would surely have responded with a teary-eyed standing ovation, were they not in jail awaiting trial for the murder of prominent attorney Dana Seetahal SC.
It is indeed a confusing time for impressionable young minds seeking role models in this land of bacchanal and bobol.
On Friday, two bandits held up a barbershop in La Puerto, Diego Martin and were quietly relieving customers of their valuables when off-duty police officer Inspector Kenneth Morgan whipped out his firearm.
What followed was a bloodbath, which left all four customers shot—and one, Hassan Ali, fighting for his life after being shot in the head—and one alleged bandit, Shaquille John, dead. The other robber escaped, which left Morgan with a curious scorecard: 100 percent of patrons shot versus 50 percent of criminals.
That was a roaring success in Dillon’s book, who hailed Morgan’s “courageous” stand and labelled the trigger-happy lawman as a hero.
“Inspector Morgan literally put his life on the line to save not only his own life but others,” said the National Security Minister. “Fortunately for us and fortunately for those who were around in La Puerta at the barbershop that Inspect Morgan was there. And, notwithstanding the fact he was off-duty, he took the oath of the policeman and he came to the defence of those who were present…”
Where would barbershop patron Hassan Ali be without Morgan? Probably not in ICU, for starters.
Trinidad Express reporter Alexander Bruzual asked Dillon to respond to nitpicking members of the public, who pointed out that nobody was getting shot until Morgan started his Bruce Willis impersonation.
After all, even Denzel Washington’s character in The Equaliser didn’t endanger customers by engaging a bandit in the popular movie. And, spoiler alert, that gunman had fake bullets!
“That is an assumption that they are making,” said Dillon, “I think they should look at the brighter side of it, that he was present. Had he not been present it could have been worse…
“So those who are saying that I dismiss them completely.”
It was the sort of weak logic that you would expect from a man who, one year into his job as National Security Minister, still does not know who his boss is—judging from the Pussyfoot versus Rottweiler fiasco.
No wonder Carmona swore at him twice during the swearing-in ceremony.
And Mr Live Wire cannot wait for ballistics to prove whether the innocent bystanders were shot by the panicked bandit or the courageous cop.
With pseudo-superheroes like Pussyfoot, Adolph and Cap’n Morgan, no wonder—to paraphrase Big Sean—the only things we see flying in this country are bullets.