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Demming to PM: Never been to a whore house? Are you okay, Mr Prime Minister?

Dear Prime Minister,

When you speak, I listen like many others young and old, we all listen closely. If we miss your message, we go to social media and that is where I found a shocking clip from a recent News Conference on Anslem Gibbs’ Twitter feed of 3 December 2021.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley addresses allegations about his filings at the Integrity Commission in a media conference on 3 December 2021.

Straightway I switched to corporate communication mode and tried to picture the pre-conference briefing.  Here’s what I imagined ‘Briefing Boss’ said: “Remember sir, our key messages are … I’ve never been to a whore house; I’ve never drink alcohol and drunk; I’m minding one family; I’ve never bought cigarettes”.

As a good professional ‘Briefing Boss’ would have repeated the messages and ended with your favourite slogan: “let’s do this” before helping you to the podium.

But then I snapped back to reality and concluded that those messages were not from any ‘Briefing Boss’.  That was you and nobody had to courage to say it was a bad idea. What did you plan to achieve with those four messages?  What action do you want the person in the street take after hearing those messages?

In my opinion, nobody cares whether you visit whore houses, get drunk, support your outside children or buy cigarettes. We care about you doing your job as prime minister, and let me remind you what the Parliamentary website says:

Photo: Dr Keith Rowley is sworn in as prime minister for the second successive term.
(via Office of the President)

‘He presides over the Cabinet and is responsible for the allocation of functions among ministers. Apart from being the leader of the Cabinet, which has effective control of the nation’s affairs, the prime minister keeps the president fully informed concerning the general conduct of the government and shall furnish the president with such information as he may request with respect to any particular matter relating to the government. 

‘The Office of the Prime Minister is also responsible for constitutional matters, national statistics, public holidays, national awards, ecclesiastical affairs and library services.’

If this is your job description, then what is happening in your head? Why remind us of earlier suggestions of misconduct? Were you feeling anxious?

A few weeks ago, you did ask us for a break. Is this another sign that you really need to take a break from the pressure?

I understand that you feel the need to respond to the continuous pressure from all quarters including the Opposition but using the prime minister’s podium to vent personal matters is not right. You have been in office for more than 30 years, so you know that you have to separate your roles as prime minister, political leader and bread winner.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (left) and Minister of Finance Colm Imbert.
(via Trinidad Express)

When you speak as prime minister, you join the world stage of leaders who usually display politeness and dignity.  On Piggotts’ corner when you are riling up the party faithful, you can talk about which family you are supporting; and on the golf course, well, anything goes.

If you intention was to respond to the ‘townhouse’ gate issue which is growing legs, then using the prime ministerial podium was not a good idea. Mr Prime Minister, please use the Christmas Season for some rest and recovery (R&R) and to love up your grandchildren because ‘de journey now start’.

It would be unfortunate for you to provide material to strengthen rumours about your wellness as happened with your previous colleague, former prime minister, Mr Patrick Manning. Self-care is important for your mental wellbeing and rational judgement.

Please take care of yourself because if Trinidad & Tobago ever needed you is now!

About Dennise Demming

Dennise Demming
Dennise Demming grew up in East Dry River, Port of Spain and has more than 30 years experience as a Communication Strategist, Political Commentator and Event Planner. She has 15 years experience lecturing Business Communications at UWI and is the co-licensee for TEDxPortofSpain. Dennise holds an MBA, a B.Sc. in Political Science & Public Administration and a certificate Mass Communications from UWI.

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One comment

  1. And this is why we compare him with Mia Mottley, who is so prime ministerial and speaks with such grace and class.
    There is no crassness, boorishness,coarseness or gunta behaviour.