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No news is bad news for Opposition

Scene: Studios of C News

Desha Rambhajan: “Good evening, Trinidad & Tobago, and welcome to C News at 7. In today’s headlines, there are no real headlines. There was a landslide in Diego Martin but nobody was hurt and nobody was killed in a two-vehicle accident near Grand Bazaar. And that’s it, really. But, hold on, Fenella Theodore has this report from just outside the temporary Parliament Building.”

Fenella Theodore: “Thanks, Desha. Well, as you mentioned, there was no news today. Nothing. Nada. Bugger all. Our calls to various government ministers have gone unanswered and nobody can confirm the whereabouts of any government MPs. With me, however, is the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Keith Rowley. Dr Rowley, what do you make of this strange occurrence?”

Dr Rowley: “Well, it’s clearly a new strategy by the Government who have been under extreme pressure recently over their public mishandling of certain issues. It’s clear that the Prime Minister has gagged her ministers, which is a breach of our democratic rights.”

Photo: Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
(Courtesy Jyoti Communication)

Fenella: “But how can the Government’s silence be a breach of your rights?”

Rowley: “Because if they aren’t misleading the public or making outrageous statements, we have nothing to do. I mean, we don’t actually do anything except criticise the government. The People’s Partnership has effectively taken away our right to laugh at them.”

Fenella: “Dr Rowley, shouldn’t all 11 of your MPs and you be making the most of this silence to launch initiatives in your constituencies?”

Rowley: “Um, well, owing to the flagrant neglect by the Government, we’ve been too busy to meet with constituents. And this is why this government is failing and needs to be removed.”

Fenella: “Well, how about taking this opportunity to promote your party’s plans should you return to government?”

Rowley: “Plans? Yes. Well, owing to the flagrant neglect by this government, we’ve been too busy to make any plans, which is why we need to get rid of this government so that the PNM can put a sensible manifesto in place. When we think of one, that is.”

Fenella: “Thank you, Dr Rowley. Also with me here is Ancel Roget, Leader of the OWTU. Mr Roget, what do you make of this silence?”

Roget: “This is a clear attack on the working man. We are already considering a mass march from City Gate to Independence Square.”

Fenella: “But that’s only a few hundred metres…”

Roget: “Not if you pass through San Fernando!”

Fenella: “Well, okay. But why are you marching?”

Roget: “We know exactly what this government is doing. By gagging themselves, they rob the journalists of stories to report. Jack Warner and Anand Ramlogan between them account for over 30 hours of overtime per month for journalists. This is an example of the People’s Partnership taking food out of the mouths of blue-collar workers. As usual, the rich are unaffected by this; it’s the poor man who will suffer.”

Fenella: “How exactly are poor people suffering?”

Roget: “This explicit attempt to control the media by giving them nothing to criticise will result in thinner newspapers. Already I’ve had reports that the Express is reducing tomorrow’s edition from 114 pages to just 10. What use is a 10-page newspaper to a homeless man?”

Fenella: “Well, there you have it, Desha. That’s new. Apparently, no news is bad news.”

Desha: “Thanks, Fenella. And we have now managed to get Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed on the line. Minister, can you explain what’s going on?”

Mohammed: “Just to clarify, I’m the ex-minister of Communications.”

Desha: “Ex-minister? Have you been fired?”

Mohammed: “Not fired exactly but I’m now surplus to requirements. The Cabinet has decided that no government M.P will make any kind of statement until the next election. It’s kind of a damage control exercise.”

Desha: “Well, what about Parliament? Your ministers have to speak there.”

Mohammed: “From now on, we’ll be using sign language and possibly crayon drawings only.”

Desha: “Thank you, Ex-minister Mohammed. And there you have it, folks, that’s tonight’s news. Join us at 10 for a 5-second bulletin.”


Editor’s Note: This column is pure satire and all conversations are faked; no offence is meant at parties named although they probably deserve it

About Filbert Street

Filbert Street
Filbert Street is a real columnist who works in a fantasy world that sometimes resembles our own.

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