Home / Live Wire / When ‘keeping it real’ goes wrong; Marlene fired BEFORE starting job after bizarre swearing-in ceremony 

When ‘keeping it real’ goes wrong; Marlene fired BEFORE starting job after bizarre swearing-in ceremony 

Move over, Brent Sancho. Marlene McDonald set a new corbeau sweat record in public service after she managed to get fired before her first day on the job—and on the weekend to boot.

#ThingsLongerThanMarleneWuk… Machel Montano’s temper!

Photo: Daaaaamn! Who says you can take a gangster to work on casual Friday?!

Friday 30 June 2017 is likely to haunt Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for the rest of his first term in office. On that day, Keithos had former Housing Minister, Marlene, sworn in as Minister of Public Utilities, above a chorus of public grumbling about her own controversial past—only for her to turn the ceremony into an unprecedented farce.

The last time so much fuss was made about this ceremony was when President Anthony Carmona needed two takes to swear in National Security Minister Edmund Dillon. As it turned out, that was prophetic. The whole country has been swearing at Dillon ever since!

Friday’s function at President’s House was something else altogether as Carmona, Marlene and a certain Cedric “Godfather Burkie” Burke combined to devastating effect. Or, to put it another way, the Big Mac set down a new marker for ‘casual Fridays’.

Allow Mr Live Wire to paint the scene:

One from that trio is an arrogant quenk with an apparent thirst for public money to which they are not entitled. This is a person who deals ruthlessly with dissenters and will not hesitate to intimidate or attack, even in full view of the law and public;

The other treats State property and funds like a God-given right of the treacherous occupation they clearly excel in, and is about as straight as a circle;

Photo: Port of Spain South MP Marlene McDonald (second from left) poses with alleged gangster Cedric Burke (third from left) and President Anthony Carmona (fourth from left) after her swearing in ceremony as Minister of Public Utilities on 30 June 2017.

And the third is Godfather Burkie, the supposed president of the Rasta City gang of outlaws—that is terrorising communities from Sea Lots to Chaguanas and beyond—and owner of the Good Fellas Security company.

Pick which of those three should have no business in President’s House. Take your time. We will wait.

As it transpired, Godfather Burkie was the odd man out since, although he is clearly just as competent at eluding the law as his colleagues—for whatever that’s worth considering the police’s inability to even apprehend a wheelchair-bound killer, Azad Ali, two years; ah mean the police still ent find out who shut down the country on 23 March 2015 on the day of “total policing”… and is dem do it!

But Mr Live Wire digresses.

It turns out that showing up at the President’s House for your ceremonial appointment as a Government Minister with, allegedly, one of the most feared gangsters in the country is a deal breaker. Who would have thought?

Ironically, Keithos is believed to have brought Marlene back into his Cabinet to appease the PNM grassroots who feel he has turned over the party to the sort of people who have Mario Sabga-Aboud in their My Lime list.

Photo: Here is some fish… And would you like a government appointment to go with that?

Well, so much for Marlene’s adventure in social mobility—although, in defence of the lady from behind the bridge, at least she doesn’t tuck the gun toters in at night like a certain Attorney General from that small, powerful community.

Not that Mr Live Wire is suggesting Faris’ decision to take his kids to play laser tag at the Defence Force headquarters, rather than Fun Station, is comparable to what Rasta City gunmen get up to.

But the money used to pay Carmona’s controversial housing allowance or rent an empty building from Al-Rawi’s in-laws could have purchased hundreds of hospital beds and medicine, made roadways safer or fixed drainage systems across the country.

Who can tell how many lives lost or damage incurred might have been prevented?

When Marlene used her position as a Government Minister to help her boo, Michael Carew, get a Fidelis House that was promptly rented out, how can she possibly look on stoney faced as squatters’ homes are demolished?

How can Rowley not see that his minister was denying a legitimate applicant the chance to be a home owner; and consequently damning a family to life as tenants?

Criminals—arguably, here, in a moral sense rather than the legal one—come in all shapes, sizes and hues.

Photo: Alleged Rasta City president Sea Lots Good Fella, Cedric “Godfather Burkie” Burke.
(Copyright Islandmix)

All the same, Marlene’s judgment in turning up at the President’s House with the alleged president of Rasta City was breathtakingly poor.

“I have two persons upstairs, and you know why I invited them here?” asked Marlene, in reference to Godfather Burkie and another Sea Lots contractor, Kenroy Dopwell. “They are from East Port of Spain, from the Sea Lots area. They represent the best of what East Port of Spain has to offer.

“We are not just nobody or anybody, we are people, first and foremost.”

In that sentence, Marlene condemned Sea Lots to scorn and ridicule and made her position as MP untenable. East Port of Spain certainly has more positive residents than that.

Promising 21 year old football star Aikim Andrews, who is on loan at Canada’s Toronto II from W Connection, is from Beetham Gardens after all. And former World Cup 2006 midfielder Densill Theobald is from Nelson Street. Yesterday, John John resident and RSSR midfielder, Mamade Guerra, dazzled his way to the Under-15 MVP title at the Republic Bank National Youth Cup.

Any one of them would have pulled off a tie better than Burkie.

If Marlene truly can’t find a better example for her community than a man starring in a video which glorifies violence and shows off illegal firearms, then she is as much a part of the problem as the Sea Lots Godfather.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger and Beetham resident Aikim Andrews (right) forces his way past Haiti defender Stephane Lambese during the 2014 Under-20 Caribbean Cup.
Andrews and his teammates are the last T&T national men’s team to win a Caribbean title.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

As American comic Chris Rock would point out, she was ‘keeping it reeeeal’. Real dumb.

But what of the presumption that the Prime Minister and National Security Minister have no clue about the company the PNM Deputy Political Leader keeps?

How close an eye can acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams be keeping on our crime situation when the head of one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most notorious gangs can saunter into President’s House for a photo op?

What does this farce say about the government’s supposed war on crime?

Mr Live Wire understands that Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, whose most prized Cabinet member and one-time National Security Minister is now wanted by Interpol, rushed to put out a statement for political mileage and tripped over her own hypocrisy.

Still, that is a photograph for the ages: the Godfather sandwiched by President Powers—further confirmation, if it was needed, that perceptiveness is not Carmona’s ‘super power’—and Carew’s sugar momma.

Mr Live Wire cannot help but wonder if Burkie felt like Jesus Christ at that moment: a sacrificial lamb about to be crucified between two…

Photo: Mr Live Wire was unreliably informed that, just to be safe, Cedric Burke (centre) made sure to keep his hand firmly on his OWN wallet!

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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53 comments

  1. This is not a fete in here but madness”

  2. MS MacDonald and her friend are now the superstars of the town while mister Starbucks is free to go back to behind the scene with the rest of the 1% who are just laughing their belly full at the gullibility of Trinidadians because we fall for anything with that 9 hour memory of ours.

  3. When you fire qualified people who are knowledgeable on n protocol and hire incompetent friends and family, this is what you get. Bungling and errors at the President House, Take blame Pres, get your house in order. All my life in T&T with over 5 presidents this has been the worst in his actions andstill have not responded to the $28,000 which he accepted for 2 years unlawfully. behaviour and

  4. Nah pure failure if it was addressing how she got fired on her day off just like Greg yeah…

  5. “The last time so much fuss was made about this ceremony was when President Anthony Carmona needed two takes to swear in National Security Minister Edmund Dillon. As it turned out, that was prophetic. The whole country has been swearing at Dillon ever since!”

    Ah weaaaaaak!

  6. Well for sure this is the last “Return of the Mac”. Can’t get that song out mih head. Seriously though when I was reading the first part.. I was trying to figure out who was who in the “trio”. The “arrogant quenk” coulda be anybody

  7. Points/Questions to note:
    1. If Cedric owns a security firm – and that firm has firearms, then that means that the Commissioner of Police gave him permission to have LEGAL firearms and ammunition. The CoP gave an alleged head gangster, permission to own firearms (licences:FUEC/FULs) and ammo!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!

    2. The Chairman/Head of the NSC, Dr. Rowley and his Special Branch Officers seemingly did not know who the alleged Head of Rasta City was?! Do they play tic tac toe in NSC meetings?

    3. The Head of the National Security Council did not know that his Deputy Political Leader kept company with a notorious figure?

    4. If Marlene McD kept company with the particular person but did not do so at the swearing in ceremony, would she have still had her Ministerial portfolio? Chances are that this was not their first meeting together, so is it ok to do it outside of the public’s view?

  8. Salaah Inniss

    Whose the ‘camera-man’? Marlene, Burke & the ‘Prez’ say cheese…

  9. I collapsed at corbeaux sweat record ok.

  10. So, we must only accept their posing with the other gangsters then?
    Like the Calder hart’s, the clico ceos, the sabga aboud family, et al then?!?!?!?!

    See y we are a nine day memory lapse society? !

  11. The security detail that allowed Marlene to wave Burkie through got let off the hook.

  12. Can always appreciate our Trini humour.

  13. Hahaha..maybe a real one not a wannabe….lol

  14. How close an eye can acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams be keeping on our crime situation when the head of one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most notorious gangs can saunter into President’s House for a photo op?

    Mr Live Wire understands that Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, whose most prized Cabinet member and one-time National Security Minister is now wanted by Interpol, rushed to put out a statement for political mileage and tripped over her own hypocrisy. ~Wired 868~…….

  15. ((((((((((((((((((((((((((BOOOOOOOM))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  16. Did the ink dried from the swearing in??

  17. Lasana Liburd I ain’t read it yet . But yuh doh stick. Lol

  18. Hahahahaha nah ah weak!!! When keeping it real goes wrong!!!

    Rowley kept it “realer” allyuh real idle yes!!!!

  19. “ah mean the police still ent find out who shut down the country on 23 March 2015 on the day of “total policing”… and is dem do it!”

  20. No fair stealing Dave Chapelle’s bit Lasana.

  21. A lot of truths being revealed in recent weeks…

  22. That last line tho … lol. But satire aside…the last time she was fired there was no statement on why…again here I would like to know the exact infringement because there are implications for the follow up. Is it her company or the fact that her company was made public…the fact is she remains MP, so is the real problem the company she keeps or the fact that we saw? So as she retreats to the background again all will be well with imagery? I am happy you raised CoP in this because if the character of the individual is enough for a Minister to be fired then will we see some action from CoP?? Surely as a population we cant be this gullible to accept a cosmetic redress and be happy like pappy!!

    • Makes you wonder about the company that MPs keep eh? I suspect the farce extends well beyond the swearing in ceremony…

    • Lasana Liburd is all this surprise genuine? Wasn’t mark Guerra on the back of a pick up truck with some senior ministers ? This is not new! And whether the gangsters can’t wear a suit or wear a nice one with a tie – same gangster

    • Lasana Liburd Sunday Guardian – march 28, 2010 and Express February 1, 2009. The latter article also highlighted this practice occurring since 1957. We seem to have always coddled criminals. We only talk about crime when it’s an epidemic but how much of it is empowered by political action?

    • Brian well I tried to touch on those fine lines in the story.
      Guerra’s younger brother is one of the country’s most gifted players btw and earning a legal living in the states. And his nephew is a very promising national under-15 player.
      Again it suggests that we might do more by supporting sport and culture than by spending on new armored tanks.

    • Lasana Liburd I know the younger Guerra well. Very talented. Yes sport and culture can be viable vehicles but we need to stop taking sides and call things for what they are and solve the problems. I lived in laventille and saw the development of the gang culture from a ringside seat