Creative thinking is the bedrock of the writing profession, and whomever at Indo Trinbago Equality Council [ITEC] wrote the following 100 day review deserves the Creative Thinking and the David Copperfield Outrageos Illusions awards for 2010.
Similar to George Bush's now famous Aircraft Carrier 'Victory in Iraq' landing, the writer demonstrates a never before seen ability to bend reality to suit a promise.
I shall endeavor to deconstruct the clever contribution, and where I omit to show my respect for the incredible contortions of logic, please assume them gratuitously:
Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the People's Partnership promised during the May 2010 general election campaign to fulfill with the first 120 days in office, 32 items, which it listed in its manifesto, titled: Prosperity for All.
Persad-Bissessar took the oath of office on May 26, two days after the historic landslide victory against the PNM, and immediately got to work, dealing with massive flooding across the country.
Two days later, she named her cabinet. And four months later, she has fulfilled a majority of her pledges - at least 21 of the 32 from our count - a first for any government in Trinidad and Tobago. (If our tally is inaccurate, please send us a note.
Here's what they promised and what they delivered:
1. Laptop computers for all SEA students entering secondary schools for the first time (Done) - Hmmm, stretching reality a bit to fit the promise here. The Laptops have not arrived, the systems are not yet in place, and the entire affair is not adding up, but okay, the decision WAS made so....
2. Expand and improve GATE (Done) - Really? So as of now, GATE is both expanded and improved? In what ways exactly?
3. Change senior citizens grant to senior citizens' pension of $3,000 a month (Done) - I not touching this one nah, sorry.
4. Kill the property tax legislation (Done) - I understand that the legislation has not been repealed, so when you say kill, what exactly do you mean?
5. Have an integrated approach to address flooding and food security (Done) - Lol, seriously? Come nah man, yuh want people to stop reading here and go an' watch Deal or no Deal or wha? What does these fancy sounding words mean? Inflation and food prices are rising daily, and the place flooding more than ever before.
6. Re-afforestation of areas burnt in last dry season (Done) - This has been done? The trees have been replanted? How come I was not told? I would have helped.
7. Rehabilitate and pave existing access roads, build new ones (In progress) - I don't even know what to do with this one. How many roads were rehabilitated? How many new roads were built?
8. Establish the Ministry of the People (Done) - I KNOW this one was done, but like everyone else, not sure what it means. Don't even think Glen Ramadhar Singh knows exactly what he is supposed to be doing besides vouchers and hops, but okay, whatever it is, it exists...
9. Review the minimum wage (Done - change to $12.50 an hour from $9) - I know this was done. This is one of these that needs a little 'settling' time to have an opinion on so I will have to brace.
10. Launch first phase of an anti-crime plan (Done) - Now this is just plain lying man, or are you trying to see if we're still awake? What was the first phase, buy a plaque for the office? Come nah man, doh do big people dat nah.
11. Identify and address fundamental problems affecting law and order (Done) - Again, seriously? That has been accomplished? So all the fighting about to hang or not to hang, and where to hang who you hanging, all that resolved? We have Identified the problem? Ok, I'm willing to concede that it might be possible, but we've addressed it? Are you saying that the guns and sex toys in Karamath's house was the heart of the crime problem all along?
12. Increase police presence everywhere (In progress) - Ok, I will accept that it is in progress, waiting for them to actually be deployed before I say anything else.
13. Connect all police stations to a national operations centre (In progress) - Where is the center located? (yuh doh have to be exact, just give me an idea so ah know yuh not playin' with me). Who has been given the contract to connect them, Flow? Blink? Gillette? HP? How come I did not see this tender go out?
14. Review and strengthen laws to combat white-collar crime (In progress) - In progress here refers to extraditing Ish & Steve, right?
Hadda be, because if we can't prosecute them, then we might as well appoint people whose names have been called in corruption investigations as Ministers and Public Utility CEO's ent?
15. Strengthen the National Security Council (Done) - Have they all been given Wheaties? What exactly does this 'strengthening' entail? Sea Moss?
16. Review challenges at the nation’s public hospitals (In progress) - Review challenges? Are you trying to give me a migraine? Isn't this one kind of like standing on a corner and observing traffic? What exactly was done here?
17. Establish a $100 million LIFE fund for children (Done - legislation to be passed) - SOOO, the money is in the bank, right? Or does this mean that everybody agreed to do this one day? What is keeping the legislation back? How much legislation is required to open a bank account?
18. Camera technology at traffic lights, system for ticketing offenders (In progress) - Where?
19. Government ministries must develop strategic plans in first 60 days (Done) - Seriously? Everybody? Not one of them sticking a little bit, you know, like when we was small and had homework to do? How can we verify this? Will they be placed in the Public domain?
20. Establish an Economic Development Board (Done) - Well done. There can never be enough jobs for the boys, and as this Partnership is made up of five Parties, you are going to have to make some stuff up. No worries, how about convening a committee to form boards to makes lists?
21. Establish a Civil Society Board (In progress) - Could never have enough 'nothing' Boards, good call
22. Consultations on a coherent export strategy (In progress) - You actually put talking about something on the list, and claimed it as 'in progress?'
23. Initiate a forensic audit on Petrotrin and other state bodies (Done) - This sounding big. The Minister of Energy said in the Senate today that a forensic audit is 'in progress,' is that another one? Now THAT is being thorough. Kudos, man...
24. Establish a legislative agenda (Done) - Wait a minute here, we have a legislative agenda? This I HAVE to see. Is this in the Public Domain or is it one of those tricky 'eyes only' documents?
25. Establish a time table for constitutional reform (Done) - Establish a timetable?... Hmmm, isn't that like taking credit for setting your watch or showing up for work? How nitpicking is this list going to be?
26. Determine the true state of the country’s economy (Done) - This has been done? Has this been shared with anyone else?
27. Share government budget priorities with the public (Done) - Lol, so you are claiming in this note writing a note about claiming something in a note? THAT was clever, I am in awe....
28. Develop a plan to complete all infrastructural projects in train in Tobago (Done) - This has been done? Let's see how that meeting went; Yo, who's in charge of the projects in Tobago? Tell dem hustle nah... When they think they go finish?
29. Form a committee to make government services more accessible in Tobago (Done) - A committee was formed to discuss making government more accessible in Tobago? Nobody else saw the silliness in the statement and the claim before you published this?
30. Repair leaks in all WASA lines (In Progress) - Yup, but isn't that like taking credit for breathing in and out and calling it exercise? That in progress since the Queen, it's an unavoidable fact of life with water distribution, not so?
31. Each minister to provide one-year action plan to Cabinet (Done) - How is this different to the Ministries strategic 60 day plan above? How many plans do we need? Do the Ministers get to tell the Ministries? Or is this like Hide and Seek? (I LOVE hide and seek) good call ;)
32. Review poverty alleviation programmes (In progress) - So what does this mean exactly, they promised to read and they still reading? Okay, I could accept that. Makes sense to take your time when reading too. Again, good call.
What an exercise!
Impressive is not the word I would use here, in fact I do not think I HAVE a word to describe the Merlin-esque writing I have just read. It should have begun 'Abra Cadabra' and ended 'Tah Dahhhh!!!!' with a flourish and an elaborate bow.
DRUMROLL PLEASE "And now for my next trick I shall turn water into wet. Please note that at no time during this trick will my fingers leave my hand!"
I thought I mastered the art of making much out of nothing, but the person who wrote this is my leader. I Bow to your strong kung fu.
Based on the above, I would also like to show my ability to get the 'job done'.
Promise my self to one day move to the moon - (Done)
Begin packing for the eventual move - (In Progress)
Decide to cure cancer - (Done)
Actually cure cancer - (In Progress)
Dumb myself down watching what passes for intelligent debate in Parliament - (Done)
Discuss the disgusting behavior of certain Members in Parliament - (In Progress)
Stop believing in anything that comes out a politician's mouth - (Done)
Find an honest politician - (In Progress)
Establish a Ministry of the Kitchen - (Done)
Cut back on eating roti - (In Progress)
Learn to take credit for absolutely nothing and deliver it in list form - (Done)
Make actual list - (In Progress)