When the first two people to offer congratulations to your new Minister of Works might well be Ishwar Galbaransingh and Jack Warner… Well, you know you’re not in Kansas anymore sweetheart.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced his second Cabinet reshuffle today and to say it was a bit of an anticlimax is an understatement. This was like telling your wife you have reservations for two at a trendy restaurant where you dine under the stars, the chef prepares the meal right in front of you and there is curbside delivery. And then you take her for Rufinas doubles by the Arima Dial!
Yeah, that face your wife pulled when she realised “canal view” meant just that and “live entertainment” was an inebriated gentleman who could hold his liquor better than he could carry a tune—but only barely…
Well, that was the look on Mr Live Wire’s face when he realised that Rowley thought replacing Works Minister Fitzgerald Ethelbert Hinds with Rohan Sinanan was an upgrade.
Last December, Sinanan’s guest list at his 50th birthday party suggests that he certainly will not be short of know-how—and, more worryingly, know-what—when he starts work. His guests, according to a Sunday Express story co-authored by Denyse Renne and Asha Javeed, included multi-million dollar People’s Partnership contractors like Prem Ramhit, Sieunarine Coosal, Nirmal Rampersad and Kalco’s Arvind Kaloo.
And, most spectacularly, Galbaransingh and Warner, who are both fighting extradition to the United States on corruption charges.
“Ish has been a friend [for some] time and I have known Mr Warner for years,” Sinanan told the Express. “This is who I am and that is one of my strengths. These people have been my friends. It doesn’t mean that anyone can be compromised.”
The old people have a saying which goes: “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” Which is probably why the PNM stopped allowing old people free GATE access.
“One of the big issues in this election, which we have just won, is that we had no policy,” said Rowley, as he addressed Balisier House on 7 September 2015, “but we had deputy political leader Rohan Sinanan, policy and campaign manager for the 2015 general election.”
No wonder the PNM, like the UNC, is in no rush to pass legislation that would compel political parties to reveal its financiers. Hinds, it now seems, was no more than a seat warmer—although, to be fair, it is a position that suits Fitzie’s unorthodox talents.
Hinds now replaces retired Brigadier General Ancil Antoine as Minister of Public Utilities. Nicole Olivierre gives way as Energy Minister to PNM chairman Franklyn Khan. Within a week, everyone will forget that Nicole was ever in the Cabinet.
Well, except the constituents she shouted at, of course.
And Kazim Hosein takes Khan’s former portfolio as Minister of Rural Development and Local Government. As a result, Sarah Budhu’s senatorial appointment will also be revoked by president Anthony Carmona.
Crucially, Edmund Dillon stays as National Security Minister. Maybe Rowley didn’t trust another get-together between Dillon and Carmona.
And Darryl Smith remains as Minister of Sport, Mohawks and Selfies. Which might come as a blow to sport presenter James Saunders, who could easily combine all three portfolios. Although, to be frank, so could any idiot with a camera phone and a middle-aged barber.
As for Sinanan, Live Wire would like to stress that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever which suggests improper conduct on his part. True, some of his best friends are as straight as a slippery road sign. But let’s give him the most lucrative ministry anyway.
After all, background checks which scrutinise the likelihood that your network of associates might impact on your prospective job are only necessary for really important jobs. Like directing traffic and handing out pillows on international flights.
There are two unshakeable facts. Whether you vote PNM or UNC on election day, it is always the “parasitic oligarchy” that wins. And when mammy name you “Ethelbert”, yuh bong to get tap up!
Rowley’s memo to Carmona
•Revoke the appointments of Ms Sarah Budhu as a Senator;
•Revoke the appointment of Ms Nicole Olivierre as Minister of Energy and Energy Industries;
•Revoke the appointment of Brigadier General (Retired) Ancil Antoine as Minister of Public Utilities;
•Reassign Mr Franklyn Khan from Minister of Rural Development and Local Government to Minister of Energy and Energy Industries;
•Appoint Mr Kazim Hosein as Senator and Minister of Rural Development and Local Government;
•Reassign Mr Fitzgerald Ethelbert Hinds from Minister of Works and Transport to Minister of Public Utilities;
•Appoint Mr Rohan Sinanan, a Senator, as Minister of Works and Transport;
•Reassign Mr Stuart Young, Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs and Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, to Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister.