Scene: Office of the Prime Minister.
Mr Live Wire waits patiently for the arrival of the Prime Minister and an exclusive interview. The Prime Minister walks in and greets him enthusiastically.
PM: Good day. So you are the Vanity Fair reporter eh? Very nice to meet you. How has your stay in Trinidad been so far? Do you like my billboards?
Live Wire: Good day Prime Minister. I think there must be a mistake. I’m not from Vanity Fair; I’m from Wired868.
Live Wire: Sorry ma’am. To be honest, I joked to your secretary about if it was ‘fair to use your vanity’ to get this interview. I think there might have been a misunderstanding…
(The colour drains from the Prime Minister’s face).
Live Wire: My apologies for the mix-up, honourable Prime Minister. But can we proceed since we have scheduled this interview?
PM: Oh ho. So it’s ‘honourable’ Prime Minister now eh? I wasn’t so honourable when you were lambasting me and my ‘fete match side Cabinet’ eh?! You think I don’t know you?! You’re the joker who always attacking my Government. What happen… Jack Warner doesn’t play with you again or what?
Live Wire: Ahmmm… Sorry, the ‘honourable’ thing was a reflex from watching too much Parliament Channel. I didn’t mean to give your occupation a facelift. I’m not a joker. I’m a satirist. I comment on real issues with a twist. But the aim is to inform not to…
PM: Boy, you are not a real journalist. You didn’t get the hint when nobody sent a Neal and Massy voucher for you?! I hope you had a PNM Christmas; full of nothing but false hope! I have nothing to say to you.
Live Wire: Well, I don’t think a State assisted gift bag is the measure of my worth. But are you admitting that your office was involved in those gifts to journalists?
PM: This is a cross-examination or what? Allyuh just jealous. This country is divided into three parts: Who Get, Who Waiting To Get and Who Vex Their Turn Taking Long To Reach!
Live Wire: Is that how you see the country that you are supposed to be serving?
PM: ‘Supposed to be serving?’ You didn’t see me up and down the country giving out gifts like Kamla Claus? I even thought about resting a Punch de Creme on you; but without ‘de crème.’
Live Wire: Prime Minister, do you think you are dignifying your office with the tone of this interview right now?
PM: Boy, it’s you I’m not dignifying. You think I care about you and your three readers?! Debbie and Melville and Earl can vote for who the hell they want. I see happy citizens every day.
Live Wire: But who is happy except for highway contractors and Chick-V mosquitoes? Crime still high, economic hardship staring us in the face, rampant corruption everywhere and your ministers behaving worse than policemen in a ‘hoe house’ or on an airplane!
PM: So you coming out your shell now eh? You want to talk down to a Prime Minister, boy?! This whole country is a whore house. I meet it so. Everybody’s happy to take abuse with a smile so long as there have some dollars in it for them. The only difference from one voter to the next is what his finger worth… A box drain or CEPEP work will do for some; others want a government contract. Some people will take a promise and all. You think Rowley going and make housewives out of them hoes?!
Live Wire (inhales deeply): So you don’t see the role of the Government being to give the people what they need rather than what they think they want or what that they are conditioned into thinking they want?
PM: You want me to give them what they don’t know they want as opposed to what they don’t know that they don’t want?! Steups. You’re an arse or a marble? The role of the Government is to stay in power, boy. Allyuh smart til allyuh stupid yes. Carmona spiked your sorrel or what?
Live Wire: But don’t you have a moral obligation to…
PM: Moral?! Boy, grow up! Moral is for recess in primary schools.
Live Wire: Well, won’t it be better in the long run if the country is growing too? How is it sustainable to act as though nothing matters after your five year term? Aren’t you thinking at all about what the Treasury would look like if you stay in power for another term?
PM: So who decides what is good for the country? Let me tell you something: Kublalsingh and Peter Minshall and Rachel Price and all them armchair critics have just one vote each. Just as the same as Gopeesingh son who planassed the old man so he could eat his doubles in diesel fumes. That is what happens when you try to give people what they need instead of what they think they want. You want to talk to me about economics? Which one more economical: to re-route a damn highway for Kublalsingh and his raggedy band or to give big little Gopeesingh a bag of doubles? Why you think we don’t tax double vendors?
Live Wire: So your philosophy is based on looking for the low ground then?
PM: I am satisfying the people I can satisfy. When Jesus eventually comes to take Kublalsingh, I bet he complains that the celestial wings not reusable or his heavenly robes not green or something! Yuh can’t please everybody boy.
Live Wire: Prime Minister, I would appreciate it if you stopped referring to me as ‘boy.’ And it sounds to me like in your ideal government, the tail wags the dog and you continuously seek out cheap votes. My question is: do you ever think about the future of the country? This is not monopoly money allyuh spending yuh know.
PM: So long as we have enough money to put Machel on the Soca Monarch stage and milk and pampers in poor people’s hands, we will be okay. Allyuh wanna-be middle and upper class people are the ones who create this inequality and benefit from it. Don’t blame me for using it too. People can’t take principles to the grocery yuh know. When you talk like a man, I will refer to you as one!
Live Wire: You’re giving the people fish but not teaching them how to fish. You’re not stimulating economic growth. You’re keeping them in a state of dependence to exploit them for votes!
PM: I’m giving the people what they ask for: something to smile for in Christmas, a reason to wine in Carnival and loose change to spend at the pub every fortnight. After that, I just have to keep my financiers happy. That is politics boy. I don’t see you going about trying to offer the people anything different. What Wired868 do for the country?!
Live Wire: We give them relevant information!
PM: You give them entertainment! Just like me. Just like Rowley with his theatrics. Just like the media that hops from topic to topic looking for what is trending on any given day. We are all peas in the same pod.
Live Wire: Just that some of us trying to shine light and others trying to shut the light out.
PM: Just shut the door behind you when you leaving eh boy? And tell Melville and them: stop playa hating.
(Two heavyset bodyguards appear at the door and point to the corridor).
Live Wire: Well, I thank you for your time and…
Live Wire: Yes, Prime Minister.
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.