Like a natural magnet for other people’s problems, a now sombre-looking TT Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has already begun to attract the interest of key observers shortly after spending about six weeks abroad.
Evidence of the heavy demands placed upon his last 42 days out of the country – with a couple pit stops on home soil – is showing in :
- His obvious PM’s hollowness of voice;
- An unusually taciturn manner which is not ever broken through by his characteristically gruff, in-your-face stance when facing adversity – imaginary or real;
- A soft bark with a bite of equivalent emptiness and timidity;
- The black Tobago warrior whose big bang has suddenly turned into a whimper; and
- The posture of a very tired grampa who would prefer to go home and take a rest.
After all, how can a respected, veteran attorney like Keith Scotland, reasonably expect his chronically cynical boss to believe he could accept $10,000.00 in fees for working as the MP of his own constituency in search of solutions for problems among troubled youths here?
““I did not ask for it, that was what was recommended, and having done my work, I received it”, Scotland responded in an un-convincing manner to Opposition Senator Anil Roberts who bust de mark.
He sank himself deeper in Rowley’s pool of quick-sand by seeking to use alleged instances of corruption with which Roberts and Moruga/Tableland MP Michelle Benjamin have been sullied. What does that matter?
Any lawyer with the surname of high-ranking symbolic association in law enforcement such as Scotland should know better.
Then again, Rowley – who admitted to having been treated to some still to be completed cardiac work in California coupled with concerns about his prostrate – also had to be reminded of the never-ending story of former Commissioner Gary Griffith whom he himself was said to have vaulted into the job, against the advice of many.
With Double G’s latest move, even the President’s name may be brought into the public fray again. As the old saying goes: “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”
According to PhraseFinder, “the expression ‘uneasy lies the head that wears a crown’ means that a person with great power, such as a king, is constantly apprehensive”.
Tell that to Rowley who has been giving mixed signals about staying in office beyond the end of this term and retiring to his sheep farm in Tobago with his very caring, beautiful and loyal wife Sharon.
So what can Rowley do in terms of his succession plan?
His former charming Attorney general Faris al Rawi is now in the doldrums of the Ministry of Local and Rural Development;
While bright and shining star Youth Affairs Minister Foster Cummings seems to have survived a scathing character assassination attempt by Opposition Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial, he himself seems to have gone under the radar;
- Keith Scotland is facing the risk of fast becoming a political pariah;
- Quick-on- the draw Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales is admirably batting in a very unstable labour relations environment; and
Energy Minister Stuart Young continues to function as a rock as he bravely works yet another difficult ministerial portfolio fraught with challenges and hazards. Few people realize that it’s now about seven and a half years since the young lawyer left his lucrative business to serve as a PNM Minister.
A recent poll on July 27, 2020 has shown a near statistical tie in the ratings of Dr Keith Rowley and Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in terms of who would make the better Prime Minister leading up to the August 10 General Election.
The poll also found no significant difference between Rowley and Persad-Bissessar with respect to a “favourability rating” as political leaders.
The poll was undertaken for Guardian Media by H.H.B & Associates Limited, whose managing director Louis Bertrand is a national pollster. The firm was commissioned by Guardian Media to conduct two surveys—the first a national poll while the other focused on six marginal constituencies leading up to the General Election.
The first part of the national showed that the People’s National Movement (PNM) was slightly ahead of the United National Congress (UNC) in the election race. The poll showed that 35 per cent of respondents support the PNM and 29 per cent the UNC, while only two per cent said they would vote for other parties.
Also, 40 per cent of respondents stated that they were not bothered as to who wins the upcoming election, while 30 per cent reported they were worse off today than five years ago.
It showed that 57 per cent of voters viewed Rowley as “favourable” while Persad-Bissessar captured 53 per cent.
“There is no statistical significant difference between Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Keith Rowley with respect to favourability ratings. Both have favourable ratings of just over half of those registered to vote,” the poll stated.
Bertrand said given the margin of error with the poll, “that is a tie” between Rowley and Persad-Bissessar.
Respondents were also asked to rate the PNM and UNC performances in office in the last five years.
“The PNM performance was generally rated better in Government than the UNC in Opposition,” the poll stated. The poll also showed there is a statistical tie in the rating of Rowley and Persad-Bissessar on who would make the better Prime Minister.
It goes to show therefore that, with the small margins by which he has been running his government – coupled with his questionable state of health – Rowley may be considering the option of pulling back now.
In this way, while the going is still good and while Kamla and her negative, hate-based wild bunch are hurtling down hill on skates, there will be an opportunity for a leader to surface out of the young successors swimming in the PNM pool of political ambition over the next two years.
In this way, assuming Rowley packs his bags and heads home, the PNM should have a good chance of winning the next general election – although that dubious period can give opposition forces a chance to regroup and assault the Balisier posse as the NAR did (National Alliance for Reconstruction) in the first routing (33-3) of the PNM in 1986.
That’s when sitting Prime Minister George Chambers lost his seat to largely unknown Tapia man Lincoln Myers who had fasted on the porch of the Hall of Justice for 40 days in protest of government corruption.
Can the PNM afford to hold on with so many inexperienced OJT’s (On the Job Trainees) and Scotland-type blunderers trying to find their way?
Or should he push forward a Trojan like Stuart Young to work as deputy Prime Minister to clear the hazardous political path for the success of the PNM back into government, in the same way he has been breaking barriers and clearing boundaries in so many ministries over the past seven years?
As the people like to say:
What don’t miss you, don’t pass you!