Whenever people of Trinidad and Tobago wish to conjure up a figure that represents the epitome of bold-face, they can easily refer to Watson Duke, Past President of the Public Services Association, current member of the Tobago House of Assembly and – according to his projections – the next Mayor of Port of Spain.
That’s the latest in the various salvos shot off by the former Head of the PSA who, angry at the amount of interest the bank was paying, grabbed a whole bag of his organization’s money to ostensibly deposit into another bank across the street.
By the time this public process carried out in full glare of the media was completed however, Watson decided to extract outstanding salaries due to him – leaving the PSA’s new account wanting by about one million dollars which were never known to have been replaced.
In a similar vein, he recently found himself in a monkey’s pants with a married official of the THA who publicly confessed she had been having an affair with him but had broken it off. Her ire was raised when, on starting a new affair with another outside man, – as she was herself reported to have confessed – the former Deputy political Leader saw compromising photos of herself distributed on social media, allegedly by Watson.
A lawsuit is now pending in this matter.
As a man who readily admits his panache for “aggression” this Duke of Hazzard will brook no quarter to get down in the gayelle and take on any one in a good cock fight.
“By being aggressive, you are different”, he said to TV6 Morning Edition host Marlon Hopkinson on Thursday March 2.
In perhaps inadvertently revealing the laser-beam insight which has served him so well in the nation’s politics, Duke noted that – as he saw it – the greatest vulnerability of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) in the capital city, is the weak-kneed people of the its Mayor Joel Martinez.
In his typical tongue-in-cheek style which deflects anger away from himself while throwing the hardest punches, Watson very accurately identified the great extent to which the Balisier was only giving symbolic, empty flights of power for a party which had survived on the strength of traditional support and loyalty by a dying breed.
Times have changed and, as new players come on the scene, the young participants have been growing in leaps and bounds on the political arena, as can be seen in the large number of new parties and leaders which have been spawned in recent times.
These are the people who Watson wants to bring together to confront the old regime in one accord and lead the people to a new Jerusalem in Port of Spain.
His confidence is well placed in his history of wrenching the THA away from the PNM last year, as he pointed out to Hopkinson in the interview.
Which means that Watson Duke is not just a mischief-maker seeking attention, but a calculated risk-taker who looks for the right place and time to pounce on his helpless prey.
As THA Chairman Farley Augustine who presides like a lame duck over an Assembly which Duke can manipulate for his own benefit from inside, as he sees fit.
And ask the people of Tobago who, they feel, is the best person to hold the fabric of T+T together as truly united force in the future, and many of them will say Watson Duke – not so much as Mayor of Port of Spain – but, as he himself says “incrementally”, as the next Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
Keith Rowley, watch your back. Another jumbie is coming out of Le Coteaux with the hope of taking Whitehall in the same way it took the THA away from under your feet.
But it was Stephan Reis of Synergy’s Breaking Dawn who shed abundant light on the strategy being used by the Duke of Hazard when he treated his audience on Thursday March 3 to a sharp insight into what must be a genius mind under a harmless, buffoon-like character whose public projection is meant to deceive. In other words: The Tobago wolf in sheep’s clothing pretending to be the Trini ass in the lion’s skin.
As Reis sees it, by announcing his intention to become the next Mayor of Port of Spain, Watson Duke inadvertently exposed his long term goal to become the next Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. This is in keeping with the same approach he used to enter a disarrayed Tobago with the overt intention of bringing everybody together but ending up as the king of the hill after the smoke of battle cleared.
The Mayor of Port of Spain is a pit stop on his journey to the highest goal. As he had quipped to Hopkinson earlier in the week, the rise is “accumulative”.
In essence, in Reis’ well-placed opinion, Duke will give the Port of Spain City Council a run for their money by ramping through the large piece of empty land left vacant by PM Rowley when he extended the term of the country’s Councilors for one year, leaving any ambitious political wannabee the room and time to drill deep into the landscape where the populace is hungrily gasping for breaths of fresh air in this vacuous environment.
Duke will therefore present a new hope by building a conversation that offers options and choices for a future which the PNM – already dead in their muddy water of a forgotten past – can now only paddle like a frog which doesn’t realize that the water is boiling around him and, as former PNM Political Leader once predicted : It’s Just a Matter of Time and Then…..
This is the context in which Duke and his people will have the luxury of currying favour with all segments of the electorate as the travel throughout the country with their crusade for a land where citizens come together for the sake of one love and not separated from one another as Sparrow once sang in grief for the broken West Indian Federation:
Not separated as we are
Because of Jamaica.
In a period when the PNM can make a squeak about elections for fear of the backlash of criticism to be hurled upon them over their past record – which citizens will find fault in no matter what – Watson and his demolition crew will trample on the country like the Carnival Savannah Grass and take no prisoners in their onslaught which is intended to wreak havoc and let slip all dogs of war.
Out of this chaos, it is expected that he will emerge as the saviour, the humble gatherer of broken pieces, the anointed one who alone can save this nation for a new beginning. Therefore, nothing else but the Prime Minister will do.
As the weeks unfold, it’s left to be seen how a hapless PM Rowley – who is well known for his willingness to take on a good fight – will hold and tame the roaring Watson Duke Tiger by its tail, especially when Keith has both hands tied behind his back by peewats like Mayor Joel Martinez and Communications Minister Symon de Nobriga.
As the old people like to say:
Time Longer Than Twine, and
How it Heng it Swing!
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