Editorial: The message

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“If I need your opinion, I will give it to you! You see, son, while you may allegedly be a bright enough chap and all, you ought not to weigh in on matters of high finance. After all, you are an intellectual novice in that area, never mind the many other areas where you are astonishingly amateurish . . . and quite the neophyte. You were warned about that letter that makes no sense. Not to mention, several of our colleagues had a problem with the language you employed therein and yet, as is your wont, you persisted in your folly. I would have warned you many times! Ah tired warning you; now look what you gone and do! You’ve provided fodder to those obstructionists.

What the hell is your problem? I bailed you out with that other contract mess; everybody was calling for your head, and I was the one to sweep it under the carpet and declare ‘Case closed! Nothing to see here, folks!’ But like the little wayward boy that you are, you wouldn’t take heed! And who wouldn’t hear will feel! I am trying to save you from yourself, from your constituents. Everybody know that if you bring our kitchen cabinet into disrepute with your idle and pretentious thoughts, your own constituents will turn against you. They love you because of me! When will you get that into your skull? You see, that is your problem; you are trying to think. You will get a headache! I will do your thinking for you. Limit yourself to thinking about which bowtie and which boutonniere you will wear. Good grief! Is that too much to ask?

Look at the mess up there on the hill with the industrial action. Not even that you can do right? Huh? And I don’t want to hear anymore of your sniveling, groveling apologies and promises not to screw-up again. You make me sick! You are the gift that keeps on giving – to our detractors and the rabble-rousers! (Sigh!) (Pause)

It is pellucid, (Thanks, Sir Lester) that ‘I am surrounded by idiots!’ (Al Pacino) ‘Can’t anybody here play this game?’ (Casey Stengel) (Stengel, the manager of the 1962 New York Mets, famously asked that question in exasperation at his team’s spectacular ineptitude). I am trying my endeavour best to make this blasted thing work, and every blessed day I have to be resolving yet another issue and coming to the defense of these square pegs in round holes. What am I, the Fireman in Chief? And after I would have put out the daily quota of conflagrations, this pyromaniac with the pocket square goes and starts playing with matches again. (Chupz!)

Look, all all-you best listen to me; I am going to quote Sparrow to disabuse you of any notion of independent thinking and bright ideas. No more letter writing! If I need your opinion, I will give it to you! I will do the thinking for all of you! And if you don’t like it, get the hell out of here! The good Dr. Eric Williams would have told his colleagues how barley would have grown in Trinidad, and I am telling you the self-same thing: ‘I am going to bring back Solomon and who don’t like it complain to the Commission / None of them going to tell me how to run my country / I defy anyone of you to dictate for me / I am no dictator, but when I pass an order / Mr. Speaker, this matter must go no further / I have nothing more to say, And it must be done my way / Come on, come on, come on, meeting done for the day / This land is mine, I am the boss / What I say goes, and who vex lost / If I say that Solomon will be Minister of External Affairs / And you ain’t like it, get the hell outta here! / I am going to do what I feel to do, and I couldn’t care less who vex or who feel blue/ . . . I control all the money that pass through this country / And they envy me for my African safari /. . . Who’s not with me, is my enemy, and thus will be their destiny / . . . Who de hell is you to jump and quarrel / Look, PNM is mine – lock, stock and barrel / Who give you de privilege to objeck / Pay yuh taxes, shut-up and have respeck / I am a tower of strength, yes / I am powerful, but modest / Unless I am forced to be blunt and ruthless / So shut-up and don’t squawk; this ain’t no skylark / When I talk, no damn dog bark / My word is law, so watch yuh case / If you slip you slide; this is my place  . . .’ Be guided accordingly!”

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