Home / Live Wire / The Lone Ranger rides out as PM shuffles her jokers

The Lone Ranger rides out as PM shuffles her jokers

First, the good news: Kamla Persad-Bissessar has stepped down as Minister of the People—a possible concession that she has no idea what the people of Trinidad and Tobago want anymore.

And the bad news? She is still Prime Minister.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. (Copyright AFP 2014/Frederic Dubray)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Frederic Dubray)

Something like cricketer Daren Ganga in his latter days when he was the specialist captain of Trinidad and Tobago but contributed little else with bat and ball.

The difference is Trinidad and Tobago were the undisputed limited over cricket champions of the region at the time and could afford a player who was part-spokesman, part-motivator, part-window dressing but no longer the steady opening bat of his heyday.

And Tanty Kamla?

Let’s just say that at least the RMS Titanic’s captain knew when to sound the distress signal and initiate evacuation proceedings. Persad-Bissessar is shuffling deck chairs instead and asking passengers if anyone wants some extra ice in their drinks.

How bad are things in Government right now?

When Captain Peacock, the self-professed Lone Ranger or, by his Christian names, Gary Griffith, can claim moral superiority and excess integrity amongst any gathering of people, you know it is time to send in a trained exorcist.

Tonight’s press briefing by the Prime Minister was as bizarre as they come.

First, she claimed to have demanded and received the resignation of Anand Ramlogan in an effort to spare the office of Attorney General from controversy that might diminish public confidence.

Photo: I almost get away by this much...
Photo: I almost get away by this much…

It was a point that might have been made immediately after the Section 34 scandal, almost three years ago. Since then, Ramlogan has done everything short of deliberately sabotaging oil prices and kneeing Wayne Kublalsingh in the groin.

That horse has left the stables so long that it is probably part of Singing Sandra’s hairdo.

Oddly, Persad-Bissessar’s sharpest criticism was not for Ramlogan but for Griffith, Police Complaints Authority (PCA) director David West and Opposition Leader Keith Rowley instead.

Griffith was apparently supposed to tell the Prime Minister that Ramlogan allegedly asked West to withdraw a witness statement in a libel matter involving Rowley before West himself had officially reported the matter.

Whatever one might reasonably expect from Griffith, surely precognitive powers is not one of them.

But I suppose the Prime Minister felt Griffith should have felt comfortable enough to tell her regardless.

I mean look how well that worked out for the former solicitor general Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell in the prison scandal, the policemen who snitched on Reshmi Ramnarine’s patchy CV and ended up being subjected to polygraph tests and, another casualty tonight, Minister in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Stacy Roopnarine.

West, according to the Prime Minister, was guilty of a conflict of interest because he had a matter before the police while serving as PCA. That one needs careful examination.

Photo: First they praise you son, then... (Courtesy thepresident.tt)
Photo: First they praise you son, then…
(Courtesy thepresident.tt)

The AG allegedly offered him an inducement in exchange for the post of PCA director.

Now if West accepted the AG’s terms, he would obviously have been unfit for office. And, if he declined the terms and said nothing he would have concealed a crime and thereby been unfit for office.

But, according to Tanty Kams, if West declined the terms and reported the matter, he is still unfit for office for having reported a crime while working in a field that encourages people to do just that.

In some secret dungeon, Mr Live Wire is certain that Logic is being held captive and tortured nightly by this administration.

The Prime Minister chastised Rowley as well for not warning her about AG to which Rowley might reply: “haven’t you listened to anything I said over the last four years..”

But let’s head West again for a moment.

Did Persad-Bissessar really accuse him of a conflict of interest for merely being a witness in someone else’s mess?

Is this the same Prime Minister who previously appointed Jack Warner as National Security Minister while he was under police investigation for possible money laundering due to his role in the Mohamed Bin Hammam scandal?

Photo: Ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner (left) and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar share a light moment during the 2010 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago. (Courtesy FIFA.com)
Photo: Ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner (left) and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar share a light moment during the 2010 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago.
(Courtesy FIFA.com)

Or the Prime Minister who, at present, has Larry Howai as Finance Minister while he is implicated in alleged insider trading from his time at First Citizens?

Or the Prime Minister whose future Sport Minister Brent Sancho still has a legal matter pending against his ministry’s biggest sporting body, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA)?

Mr Live Wire could point out the fact that the Prime Minister is also under police investigation for her alleged role in a string of offences highlighted in “emailgate.” But that feels more like irony.

In the Prime Minister’s less illustrious moves tonight, Embau Moheni (Minister in the Ministry of National Security), Justice Minister Emmanuel George and Senate president Timothy Hamel-Smith were all put to pasture.

And the fact that Hamel-Smith is walking rather than House Speaker Wade Mark really says all one needs to know about whether her latest Cabinet shuffle had anything at all to do with quality governance.

It is musical chairs on the Titanic.

Retired Brigadier Carlton Alfonso is Minister of National Security, Christine Nawal Hosein is Minister of Social Development and the People, Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar is now Justice Minister as well and newly elected NJAC leader Kwesu Mutima is Minister in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.

The replacement of Rupert Griffith with Sancho is an odd one. Neither time nor oil money is on Sancho’s side to make much noticeable impact in the Sport Ministry over the coming months.

Photo: The new Sport Minister Brent Sancho (left) presumably got tips on handling Anil Robert's portfolio from, eh, DJ Lurbz.
Photo: The new Sport Minister Brent Sancho (left) presumably got tips on handling Anil Robert’s portfolio from, eh, DJ Lurbz.

Perhaps Persad-Bissessar thinks Sancho, a decent and articulate fellah who is also the managing director of Pro League club Central FC, can give Jack Warner a run for his money in Chaguanas West.

To which Mr Live Wire would ask the Prime Minister: Have you seen the attendances at Central FC’s matches?

Like Sancho, Alfonso’s introduction is probably a vain attempt to add the appearance of respectability to a post that none of her senior ministers would have dared to touch this close to an election. Both gentlemen are knowledgeable about their respective fields and one can only wish them well.

And the new holder of the lofty portfolio of Attorney General?

He is none other than the thoroughly unexceptional Gavin Nicholas, whose first job under this administration was the extremely modest post of Press Secretary. Nicholas was so unremarkable at the job that he was replaced in the first Cabinet shuffle and shipped off to London.

At the time, the Prime Minister felt that Jamal Mohammed—arguably the first minister in history to literally record his own stupidity in the Hansard—was an improvement.

Allyuh better get me a lifeboat and jacket oui!

Of course, the always talkative Griffith will steal the headlines now after Persad-Bissessar gave him the gift of martyrdom. Suddenly, the hapless former National Security Minister is no longer a figure of ridicule.

Photo: I'm riding West. Who's with me?!
Photo: I’m riding West. Who’s with me?!

Who was that masked man anyway?

Griffith has never seemed so wonderful as in his departure. Perhaps the Prime Minister should take note.

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.

Check Also

Infantino rallies for ‘teammate’ John-Williams, as TTFA president enjoys gala HOF opening

“When you have a good day, you help your teammates; when you have a bad …

78 comments

  1. Kamla gestures hypnotically, as the people eyes rubbing and ears throbbing are being told to observe that the ship is not sinking but to stand in awe and watch the ascension of the iceberg.

  2. I just read this and couldnt stop laughing. This government is a big circus! I really need to get popcorn cause the real show just starting ah feel.

  3. Since Griffith was the only one to surrender his laptop in the email gate enquiry…it will be interesting to hear what he will reveal about the alleged emails….now we will see how truthful the Lone Ranger is….Perhaps he may also reveal information about the 30% minister..?

  4. she never was a people person,and like a cat in water she is grabbing for straws, what you have to go and call dr keith in your deck of cards for and punish the man who was placed in your dek and did the right thing by going to the police so to avoid no cover up are you not fedup well we the people are and to finish it off that joke for min of sports you serious you just pay him off and then turn an hire him haa you is a real joke miss bissessar.

  5. Troll here. Sean Paris, Levi Morris and Clint Huggins was witness too

  6. I want to steups eh, but I like Sancho. So I will do it internally

  7. Not musical chairs nah! More like pin the tail on the donkey!

  8. TTOC welcomes Sport Minister Brent Sancho
    (Press Release from TTOC president Brian Lewis)
    The appointment of former national footballer Brent Sancho as Minister of sport sends a good signal to the athletes of Trinidad and Tobago.
    Minister Sancho is to be commended for accepting the position in what can be best described as challenging times for Trinidad and Tobago Sport given the macro economic reality of falling oil and gas revenue , the recent life sport scandal and other systemic issues bedeviling and hampering local sport.
    In welcoming the new Minister of Sport there is confidence that his experience as a national team sport athlete , a professional footballer, managing director of Central FC, his advocacy for player rights will give him the context and commitment to make decisions that are in the best interest of sport and the athletes.
    In addressing some of the major problems zero tolerance for corruption and poor governance will be essential success factors.
    On behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) I welcome the new Minister of Sport and extend best wises to him for a successful , progressive and forward thinking tenure.

  9. I’m convinced the AG called for the other heads in order for him to go and i’m also convinced he manipulated the entire parody which took place last night. They learnt well from the former PM. Use of weapons of mass distraction of which the gullible in our society is easy prey. The timing was perfect. Carnival season is their time for their modus operandi. Remember Kamla was removed as the Attorney General and replaced with Ramesh L Maharaj during carnival week under the UNC? They seem to think we are ALL fools but they’re so stupid it hasn’t occurred to them as yet that they are self imploding. The masses will wake up on Ash Wednesday and Mr West will not allow them to assassinate his character without a fight. The baccahnal only now start.

  10. Lasana Liburd, you mean the ugliness of a cabinet reshuffle?

  11. Need i say more than de………? lol…..

  12. That’s the beauty of a Cabinet reshuffle Melina Hutchinson

  13. What a tangled web we weave, when we first conspire to deceive.

  14. Well it’s either they trying to bring down the gov, or they working under the instruction of the former AG!!

  15. It doesn’t Ravi, they playing the fool

  16. I believe that Sancho’s first decision is critical and will serve as a good indicator about his leadership as Minister of Sport from the standpoint of ethics/integrity to minimize potential for corruption allegations (conflict of interest) . He must disconnect from Central FC leadership immediately. If he does not then he is no different than former Minister of Sport (National swimming coach) and former Permanent Secretary of Sport (owner of track club).

  17. Not only dat, how come it takes 6 months for stuff to be entered into court records?

  18. Melina Hutchinson u’r on the $$$ with that observation

  19. But the thing about it is that Ram Goat knew that West was a witness in the defamation law suit against Rowley before West was offered the appointment!! So we have to wonder why he didn’t stop Kamla from appointing West if the feeling is that West is for the PNM? I say Ram Goat was trying to wield and deal to get himself out of trouble as is his usual modus operandi. However, this time, it backfired on him!!

  20. I’m not a fan of Jack Warner, but he has a knack for stringing together some effective phrases. He said the PM just put together “ah pick-up side” to run them through the pending elections.

  21. Everything is Rowley fault, allyuh didn’t know dat?

  22. It is alleged that logic is also being abused daily by the leader of the the COP.

  23. this is an attempt to tar rowley and get him out and keep her self as the viable person.this cannot work for her ,the leader of the opposition has no moral or legal obligation to disclose any thing to her nor she has the same right,when allegations of corruption were raised in parliament every week play whe maks busing,eric williams and the other mp were charged with criminal offences ,based on evidence of a serial liar,who later recanted,the season of politicalo football began,why cry now

  24. I was waiting for your commentary….you did not disappoint…lol !!!

  25. 19 others an’ I ehn get pick! Steupsss!!!

  26. The (then) AG has been the Prime Minister of this country since 2010…’Silk’ serving and taking an all….steups

  27. Well said Melina. It’s all about distraction – shift focus from the main issue(s). It’s standard operation procedures for this gov’t. I also think the AG’s last task before departing office was to contribute to drafting the PM’s speech. I honestly hope he gets disbarred and is never allowed to practice law in TNT. But then again it’s TnT. This will become another “cold case”. The rich and famous never get convicted or make jail in TnT. Smh

  28. Tanty Kams make sure she put the new buses to work by throwing West, Griffith and Rowley under them.

  29. “In some secret dungeon, Mr Live Wire is certain that Logic is being held captive and tortured nightly by this administration.”….. let’s plan a jailbreak to free Logic..lol

  30. The thrust of the PM’s speech was to attempt to exonerate the AG from wrongdoing and distract the population from the allegations made against the AG by West. The Dishonourable PM attempted to exonerate the AG by shifting the blame and insinuating that there was a plot by Gary, West and Rowley to bring down the AG. She also attempted to distract from the main issue by announcing the reshufflement of her cabinet. See how everbody is talking about whether Gary and West should go and whether Rowley is involved in this sordid affair? No one is talking about the AG anymore! See how everybody is talking about why she fired this one and she appointed that one? Nobody is talking anout the AG anymore! These spin doctors continue to believe that the citizens of this country are stupid!!!!

  31. “But according to Tanty Kams, if West declined the terms and reported the matter, he is still unfit for office for having reported a crime while working in a field that encourages people to do just that”…well said

  32. Shoutout to all the trinis here making use of their thesaurus. Given that most of you probably 20-somethings with nothing better to do with their life (as am I), props to the Minister of Education at the time of your <tertiary schooling at the time, tanty kamlz herself.

  33. Glad I waited to read this this morning, yeah…. “First, the good news: Kamla Persad-Bissessar has stepped down as Minister of the People—a possible concession that she has no idea what the people of Trinidad and Tobago want anymore. ” Shows how clueless she really is

  34. “musical chairs on the Titanic”………really loving this description….HA!

  35. “In some secret dungeon, Mr Live Wire is certain that Logic is being held captive and tortured nightly by this administration.”

    They apparently torture logic in the day time too. And in Parliament and press conferences as well. Probably even in all-inclusive when they have time..

  36. Kamla is not only shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, she’s saying that de iceberg is PNM!

  37. Lasana Liburd thank you…i am sharing this with the ‘blind’ folks in my circle! Smh…. well done..again.

  38. I’ve always said we are indeed a unique bunch of people. Bacchanal fuh so and I’m sure more to come. Stay tuned.

  39. No truer words were ever spoken

  40. Loved this one! Sweetest whistling past a graveyard I’ve heard in a long time!

  41. Our Prime Minister is the strongest woman Trinidad and Tobago has ever seen. She is fearless and always prepared to brave the storms that face this country. She is not afraid to perform her duty despite mounting criticisms. She is not afraid to take action even against men who seem big and strong. and powerful. I say Kudos to our Prime Minister. She deserves a standing ovation.l This is definitely new politics.

  42. As the Lone Arranger,Gary Griffith rode out,he was heard to say,” Hi Ho,two pieces of Silver,away !! “

  43. Gypsy yuh sang DE SHIP IS SINKING but is de first time I see A SHIP SAILING LIKE A SUBMARINE boy THIS PISSING PARTY GOING DOWN FASTER THAN A TORPEDO

  44. Now i have more questions than before. Thank you Lasana Liburd

  45. The rasta man running things now yes. hahaha

  46. Here we go again. Them really good yes.

  47. Lasana Liburd I swear my blood was staring to boil when she started her tirade on Mr. West I normally don’t go HAM on our PM unless if I have good reason but after everything with emailgate and with the former Solicitor General she will seriously admonish the man for not bringing it to the attention of her sooner like really for him to be victamised etc I was so happy to see the panalists for CNC 3 reject the PM’s attack on Mr. West, because I wanted to cuss so loud its not even funny. The man was placed in such a delicate position he did his best and maintained his integrity in the process and I loved how you broke it down for those he needed it broken down lol

  48. It so long that AH could eat An enamel cup AH crix and milo

  49. That article is wayyyyy to long…should have stopped at “And the bad news….”

  50. I can’t utter nothing there nah .

  51. Laz – that was one ah yuh best. Ah classic! Lmao

  52. Today had more activity than top football clubs in Europe transfer deadline day oui…#pressre

  53. Mr. Sancho have to resign as Central FC’s Managing Director…not so ?

  54. Lasana I’m conspicuous about that last pic…is that “Captain Peacock” ? What kind of animal he riding ? Ah goat ?

  55. Asha, we sending you to Australia to replace Chris Gayle.

  56. At the time, the Prime Minister felt that Jamal Mohammed—arguably the first minister in history to literally record his own stupidity in the Hansard—was an improvement.

  57. When Captain Peacock, the self-professed Lone Ranger or, by his Christian names, Gary Griffith, can claim moral superiority and excess integrity amongst any gathering of people, you know it is time to send in a trained exorcist.

  58. Another pick up side in the Government.

  59. i think he kneed him in the groin

  60. Gaiven Clairmont

    Brilliant as always and the sad thing is that all of a sudden Gary Griffith has become the symbol of morality in politics and I’m like “umm really?” then the whole let’s go after Mr. West and spend several minutes talking about his role in all of this and spend less than a minute on the AG’s role (sigh) not to mention demanding his resignation its almost as if the man is being punished for reporting a crime and I’m so happy you brought up what happened with the Solicitor General, she rushed for help from the PM and she was promptly put in her place. People who say Mr. West took long to bring the matter to the public should note he sought legal advice on the manner and proceeded how he sort fit in light of issues in the past being brought to the public eye without all the ‘I’s dotted and ‘T’s crossed. I really hope nothing happens to David West as he is the only honourable person in this political debacle. But lmfao at the pic with Brent Sacho and Dj Lurbz at the end #priceless

  61. Scotty Ranking

    People often make bd situations worse, but KPB has succeeded in making a worse situation worserer! No only has she NOT comprehensively dealt with the situation, she even tried the PP’s ever-tiresome somehow-blame -it-on-the-PNM gambit, making only passing mention of the errant AG while going full blast on West, and Griffith. And the replacements she has shuffled in leave a lot to be desired! As Sports Minister, how will Sancho be able to treat with the TTFA while they are still litigants in an ongoing court case?. Has Sancho quit with immediate effect his official post(s) at Central FC? Situation smells most fishy. Then again, with the red herring menu that Aunty Kams served up the place must reek of it.

  62. Pahahahahahaa…watch na this man has me laughing hard at 12am…but seriously though…in this sweet T&T if yuh ain laugh yuh surely gonna cry yes…so keep us laughing Lasana while we twiddle our thumbs and await the next General Elections…