Home / Live Wire / A dodgy Mandela tribute, KPB’s wardrobe malfunction… and a missing President!

A dodgy Mandela tribute, KPB’s wardrobe malfunction… and a missing President!

Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona never did reveal the powers he has that we think he does not. Perhaps it is the ability to erase memories.

Photo: Does anyone get the feeling that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar forgot someone at home?
Photo: Does anyone get the feeling that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar forgot someone at home?

It is over 48 hours since Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar left for the funeral of South Africa’s first democratically-elected president and global icon Nelson Mandela. Somehow, Carmona did not make it on to a flight that took off from Piarco with less than a quarter of its seats occupied and which even found room for a handful of journalists.

Persad-Bissessar told the Trinidad Express that she was “honoured and privileged” to lead a “very distinguished delegation” to South Africa.

Mr Live Wire cannot confirm whether the obscure Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador or unheralded Barbados Foreign Affairs Minister started looking around to see if someone else was coming. There were only two Caricom Heads of Government on the flight other than KPB. Others like Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and Guyanese President Donald Ramotar and Surinamese Dési Bouterse made their own way to Johannesburg.

Photo: How did you all get here? Somehow, Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller (left) and Guyana President Donald Ramotar (centre) managed to get to South Africa without a private jet or a wardrobe malfunction. (Courtesy Trinidad Express)
Photo: How did you all get here?
Somehow, Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller (left) and Guyana President Donald Ramotar (centre) managed to join Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in South Africa without a private jet or wardrobe malfunction.
(Courtesy Trinidad Express)

Meanwhile, Caribbean Airlines must placate hundreds of displaced customers from Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the United States while its Boeing 767, which is set to be renamed after Mandela, pays housing fees to stay parked on the tarmac in Johannesburg awaiting the PM’s signal to return to Trinidad.

“Nelson Mandela Airline… Home!”

It is arguably an odd tribute to assign Mandela’s name to a craft that just left hundreds of ordinary citizens stranded all over the western hemisphere while a handful of egotistical politicians turned it into a free drinks limo to South Africa. Maybe the Prime Minister should brush up on her history of the great man.

There has been debate too as to if the PM’s African garb was appropriate for an occasion in which even the South African president Jacob Zuma wore a sober black suit. Whether or not Persad-Bissessar’s outfit was actually a Nigerian ceremonial dress is a debate that Live Wire is not qualified to join; except to say that, if so, it would be like going to a Trinidad and Tobago Independence Day show draped in the Barbadian flag. Africa, after all, is not a country.

Not that anyone in Johannesburg would have noticed yesterday.

Photo: United States President Barack Obama (second from right) poses for a "selfie" with Britain Prime Minister David Cameron (far left) and Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (second from left) while US First Lady Michelle Obama tries to remember the nuclear warhead codes. (Courtesy CNN)
Photo: United States President Barack Obama (second from right) poses for a “selfie” with Britain Prime Minister David Cameron (far left) and Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (second from left) while US First Lady Michelle Obama tries to remember the nuclear warhead codes.
(Courtesy CNN)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who once accepted an all-expenses paid trip to apartheid South Africa, seemed as happy and distracted as a schoolboy at recess; US President Barack Obama allegedly got boffed by the “Head of the House” for being too “outgoing” with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Zuma was loudly booed whenever his face appeared on the big screen.

Opposition Leader Keith Rowley was there too. Mr Live Wire hopes curried duck was not on Caribbean Airline’s menu. That dish caused serious indigestion for his former leader of the Senate.

In the hullaballoo, spare a thought for the little president that Santa forgot. Carmona, once known in the calypso arena as “Lord Pussyfoot”, has lived up to his pseudonym a bit too well.

Photo: President Anthony Carmona.
Photo: President Anthony Carmona.

Mr Live Wire thinks the President has just two plausible options now if he is ever to catch the attention of the People’s Partnership Government:

Ask Verna St Rose-Greaves to get her bell and accompany him to Parliament on Friday; or borrow Asha Javeed’s two-piece.

 

Editor’s Note: Mr Live Wire has a sneaking suspicion about what the Prime Minister wants for Christmas. Hint: It has two wings, pilots and puts the Treasure Queen to shame when it comes to sweet limes.

For the love of Caribbean Airlines’ passengers, would you buy the madam her own jet, Mr Bissessar? (She doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to ask Cabinet for one).

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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10 comments

  1. Why doesn’t KPB take over the private jet ordered by the previous PM?

  2. How did the Jamaican PM get to South Africa? A commercial flight? I’m not sure I have a problem with a head of government taking a private jet. Security, logistics and well, I’ll say it, how it go look?

    • Well, if the PM thinks a private jet is befitting her role, she can always petition Cabinet for one. The cost of her using Caribbean Airlines like a personal taxi is that hundreds of paying passengers are left in the cold when she decides to suddenly take it for a spin.
      How many of those passengers might be turned off by the disruption to their schedules or impressed with the rival airline that saved their travel plans instead? Is Caribbean Airlines so well off that it can afford to be so cavalier with its passengers?

  3. Lasana,

    One of these days you are going to get the recognition that your journalism deserves…but it won’t be before 2015 at the earliest because there’s no chance that it will happen before the PP are kicked out of government onto the dung heap of history.

  4. On The ball! especially on the Head of State bit!

  5. I think that it was important for us to go even if the plane was not filled. It is also important to note that the trip was very last minute, and in the case of the J’can PM at least, she was already in the air when the communication went to her office. Normally it takes close to 2 days to travel to SA, so chances are some of the leaders would have already made their arrangements to get there prior to the invitation from Trinidad. The direct flight took half the time, so would have left later than regular commercial flights.
    No apologies for leaving passengers stranded though. And as for her attire, well, don’t think in the grand scheme of things it matters. She was there, Trinidad was represented. Madiba deserved at least that.

    • Did Jamaica, Guyana and Suriname find out about Nelson Mandela’s death before we did? That’s the only way I would understand how they could plan a trip and we couldn’t. Note that the Jamaican PM left on the same day as the T&T PM without need for a private jet. Hopefully, we will get the full cost of the excursion.