I think Austin Jack Warner is the brightest politician in Trinidad and Tobago, quite possibly the world.
Seriously, whoever came up with the idea to use State funds and State largesse to reinvent Jack and rewrite him as the hero of the piece deserves their weight in gold.
So brilliant, so cleverly disguised I am embarrassed to admit that i missed it.
His plan to remake himself is a sure hit and I cant believe how it took me so long to see it, but now that I do see it, not only am I impressed by it, I am going to recommend it to everyone else, so that they can become uber successful PR inventions too.
The plan is simple, so simple it's brainy; find populous issues to champion, doesn't matter what, and whichever side most of the people are on, you be on that side too.
Forget right and wrong, those things don't matter now; throw good governance and long term planning aside; the name of the game is popularity, and the fastest way there is to give the people what they want, regardless of how foolish or retrograde to the country and its development it is.
Masterful, sheer genius!
He also seemed to have taken the plan one step further, by isolating Kamla and setting Dooks up to fail, while allowing his protege Gypsy the same opportunity to remake himself as a man of the people.
Offering them three carnivals a year if they wanted it was so obscene the people rejected it because it was obviously too much. Rewind and come again, how about free mas band then, hell, free grog if that is what it would take, just get the people to love you.
You want North Stand, sure, how about a South Stand, an East Stand and a West Stand too while we're at it?
Pan Players want two million plus one thousand dollars playing fee? Sure, why the hell not, its not our money, it's your children's.
Jack I must admit I am impressed.
And was Louis Lee Sing your invention too?
Or did you just luck out and he came up with a plan to make himself the villain in the story all on his own?
What a blessing Louis turned out to be.
For every person he said no to you said yes, just to win their love, and you looked so magnanimous, so caring.
Well done, because you fooled them all, they're actually calling you the hardest working man in Government, isn't that a laugh out loud moment?
Let's see, legalize PH cars?
Be my guest.
Everybody wants to get into maxi business?
Why the hell not?
Rules need not apply when we're politricking.
Poor Dooks, as Minister of Finance he was trapped in having to find ways to pay for these shiny things, and is forced into taking strict and austere measures ruining his own popularity in the process and removing him as a threat to you.
Masterfully and incandescently beautiful, literally killing two birds with one stone.
How I wish I was his advisor; if I were I would tell him to practice popularity Governance the Jack Warner way, I would make him the most loved politician and Minister this country has ever seen, bar none.
How you ask?
Simple, pay everybody what they ask for and more and let the devil take tomorrow; hell, it's not your money you're spending, so spend it all, and do it with a smile.
Practice statements like 'giving the people what they want.'
CLICO Investors want full refund?
Sure, throw in the interest too, it's not like common sense has to prevail anymore, we're talking PR here man, getting the people to love you.
Contractors owed 2 Billion, 4 billion, 6?
How about we round it off to ten, and throw in a bonus, make everybody like themselves, how about two Christmases a year?
PSA workers want 5%, come on Watson, where's that smile?
You know we can do better than that...
How does nine per cent grab ya?
Plus Cost of Living indexed to prime, just to keep everyone peachy.
In one week of headlines the public at large would declare Winston Dookeran their King.
Who was fooled into thinking she's the Barbie Doll in this story while her popularity stocks plummeted?
Let's remake Kams into the People's Princess.
Besides PM, we will declare her the Queen of hearts.
We would throw lavish parties at La Fantasie, free food, free drinks, and presents, because everybody loves presents.
For their entertainment let's make NAPA a wonderland, open all night, every night, free to the public, all that their heart desires courtesy of their Queen Kamla.
The people would be delirious and the Government's approval rating will be 99.9% (the one per cent will be Rowley and the PNM people who don't cross the floor, but you can't please everyone now, can you?)
My rough estimate for this plan is around twenty five billion and would DEFINITELY require an IMF and World Bank intervention, but don't worry, they wont mind lending us because we still have oil and gas, and as we'll be paying bribes and kickbacks, they'll be at the party too.
Everyone would be a winner, everyone but Jack, because when everybody's back on the same level playing field, Jack would be back to just being Jack, and nobody really wants to be that, not even jack.
Reminiscent of when Lady Astor told Winston Churchill "You Sir, are a drunk!"
To which he replied "That I am m'lady, that I am. But you're ugly, and I'll be sober in the morning."