Scene: Office of the Opposition Leader
PNM Senators Faris Al-Rawi and Fitzgerald Hinds walk in and stiffly shake hands with Opposition Leader Keith Rowley. Al-Rawi sits closest to the door, which is slightly ajar.
Rowley walks behind the two seated Senators and slams the door shut.
Keith Rowley: You two think you’re in a savannah?! You don’t respect this office?!
Faris Al-Rawi: My good sir, it was only my intention to permit the free exchange of oxygen through your esteemed bureau, so as to deliver a metaphor as we provide life to a position of the highest prominence.
Fitzgerald Hinds: He still feels a little nervous about being in an enclosed setting with you, boss. I told him that he shouldn’t worry and you’re a great guy, once he gets to know you better.
Rowley glares at both men.
Rowley: Well, what is it? I still don’t understand why it is taking two grown men to deliver one point. You think this is a URP job or what?
Hinds laughs loudly and slaps his knee.
Hinds: Good one, boss.
Rowley: I wasn’t joking.
Al-Rawi: Sir, we are here to appeal for some clarification regarding our official location on capital punishment in our wonderful republic.
Hinds: Do we support hanging?
Rowley: Listen, we all have our jobs to do. What are you here to ask me that for? So you didn’t run for PRO, Faris? Just do your job, man. Do what you think is right. And so help me God, you’d better get it right.
Al-Rawi looks confused and nervous.
Al-Rawi: I cannot say that it is within my jurisdiction to do so and I am not minded to step outside my boundaries insomuch as my position within the party allows. While, from a professional capacity, I feel it prudent to take notice of the precedent set with the lovely Miss McIntosh in a previous caucus.
My job, if I may be so bold, is to convey precisely the stance of the party and not my own. And I think it injudicious to speculate on morality from a professional standpoint.
Hinds: Boss, we are lawyers; he means that our client tells us what is right.
Rowley: I can tell that I will have real trouble filling my Cabinet, oui.
Al-Rawi: The matter of the hanging bill is now before us and it is within the realm of possibility that a scribe might put before us a query regarding our own outlook on capital punishment. How are we to retort?
Hinds: Suppose the media asks our position, boss?
Rowley: Tell them we support the law.
Al-Rawi: If I might be so bold as to proffer this juxtaposition, sir: The section 34 was in fact law at a certain juncture. Would this in fact make our position regarding observance of the law to be one of elasticity?
Hinds: Ahmm… He thinks you have a great tie, boss.
Rowley: Listen, my wife is a lawyer, eh. It’s a 20 minute debate just to change the channel in my house. Sometimes I take her side against myself, just so I can win every now and again. You trying to take away the sanctity of my work space, Faris?!
Al-Rawi: No, sir. I only meant that…
Rowley: Free advice from me, Faris. And I know that is not something you say too often. Being a successful politician is about bonding with the people, not making them feel silly with a bunch of flowery nonsense. And we are with the people in supporting the law on this matter.
Al-Rawi: Insomuch as we supported the people then in their opposition to Section 34?
Al-Rawi: Even though that was contrary to the law.
Rowley: It was not a popular law. That is the key thing.
Al-Rawi: So, we support the hanging bill because it is the decree of the people?
Rowley: Of course not. Don’t be silly.
Al-Rawi: So why do we support the hanging bill?
Rowley: We are not supporting any hanging bill. The law works just fine as it is. Ramesh was hanging people like he was in an all fours tournament.
Al-Rawi: So, our desire is to see the government recommence capital punishment based on existing legislation?
Rowley: Who said that? How hanging people going to improve anybody else’s life? The people want hanging. They also want an extra week for Carnival and half day every Friday if you give them the chance.
Al-Rawi: So then we support legislation that is in step with the immediate needs of the people?
Rowley: Jezu Webb! Boy, we not giving the people anything. We just don’t want to be seen to be not giving them something.
There is a minute of awkward silence.
Hinds: Boss, I think your stewardship is going wonderfully well and I get excited thinking about how well we will do as Cabinet colleagues.
Rowley: Faris, you’d better not mess this up, eh!
Al-Rawi: I beg your pardon.
Rowley: Steups. Crack the door next time.
Al-Rawi: I don’t think I follow…
Rowley: Listen, the country’s in the worst state that I can ever remember seeing it. You think anyone could survive another five years with those pirates? We just have to keep quiet and let them continue burying themselves.
Al-Rawi: Is the hanging bill an attempt on their part then to reconvene a covenant with the electorate?
Rowley: Who tell you that they want to hang anybody? Kamla can’t even hang Jack. Who she going to hang? What that going to solve when they know fully well who the criminals are and they not charging them in the first place?
We’re just not getting caught up in any poorly drafted legislation again. No more damn slip-ups!
Al-Rawi: So this bill is a ruse?
Rowley: They’re just trying to get us to hit our own wicket and get the man on the street talking about something other than the FBI. They’re hoping we get a case of the Gumbs too. You can say what the hell you like, Faris, but just make sure that you don’t say anything that would fit in a headline. Why you think we made you our public relations man?
Al-Rawi: Sir, it is against my better nature to expatiate on my own precious value as an orator but it behoves me to say…
Rowley: Yes, yes. Not on me, Faris. Keep it for the reporters. Okay fellahs, have a good day.
Hinds: Let me say sir, on behalf of us both, it was a great pleasure to have this time to get further acquainted with your goodly self and to be further appraised of the future of the PNM, which, I am sure, we all will play a great part in; and as we, the party, seek…
Rowley: Get out.
Hinds and Al-Rawi: Yes, Opposition Leader.
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.