Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan toured Beetham Gardens yesterday with the acting Police Commissioner and Defence Force Chief and promised 100 URP jobs.
Presumably, Beetham residents are less squeamish about $69 than East Port of Spain. Beggars, as people of means keep telling themselves, cannot afford to be saints.
Rambachan insisted that his job offers were not in response to the residents’ protests last week but were planned well in advance, which is in keeping with State policy on all matters except Section 34.
The Minister further stated that he has already selected five persons from the Beetham Gardens to identify people most in need of jobs. He did not explain his speedy tendering process for the chosen five or what criteria they would use in distributing employment within the impoverished community.
Were the five, for instance, skilled in human resource practises such as assessing applicants and recruiting staff? Did Rambachan simply anoint his “My Lime” list? Or where they the “gangsters” that National Security Minister Jack Warner threatened to unleash his army on last week?
And has Warner retired from the $69 business after his unsuccessful tryst in East Port of Spain? Sixty-nine dollar jobs were part of Warner’s much vaunted crime plan, so why did he not want the credit this time?
Do People’s Partnership Ministers share each other’s duties like musicians do groupies? Or are all State decisions taken based on the PR needs of one Minister or the other?
Regardless, Mr Live Wire is happy that a potential war has been averted. We trust that allowing five persons to decide on the short-term livelihood of 100 persons with no stated selection criteria will not be abused.
Beetham, one assumes, must have a stronger moral fibre than the rest of Trinidad and Tobago, which international transparency bodies won’t touch on a map without first putting on gloves.
Beetham, according to the Trinidad Express, is sorry for burning tyres on the highway to get jobs, which duly arrived in less than a week.
Let that be a lesson for any community across the country considering street protests. Unless, of course, you want an arbitrarily seconded Minister to show up with 100 jobs that he then says should have been yours to begin with.
Why 100 rather than maybe 87? For the same reason that the jobs pay $69 and Section 34 was declared on Independence Day.
Which is to say, why not? With great power comes great misuse.