THE PM & HRH @ CHOGM PDF Print E-mail
Written by BCPires
Thursday, 26 November 2009 22:32
THE LONG-AWAITED (by the PM & the PNM, long-dreaded by everyone else) Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting begins today in Port of Spain and, for the second time this year, I’m delighted not to be in Trinidad for what is officially regarded as a shining moment but is actually a mirror reflection of the desperately shallow values Trinidad & Tobago has adopted. If I were in Trinidad today, I would be incensed over the treatment of the citizen – and would be foolish enough to protest it.

The real threat to my safety in Trinidad never came from the criminals and the sufferers, but from the police and the ruling sector: our Great House-pleasing constabulary would not have been content to arrest me under terrorism legislation and charge me for printing fliers without a printer’s address à la Inshan Ishmael; they would perforce have beat my short ass to a pulp; and then beat the pulp; and got a promotion for their trouble; because the one thing you mustn’t do in a slave society is pappyshow the masters.

Even with the much smaller security zone for CHOGM, you can be sure many decent, law-abiding Trinis will be moved along by ignorant (of the law and in attitude) police officers; and it would boil my blood to see the peons being pushed aside so the planters could pass with their noses in the air. I would be pelting lash; and getting whipped; probably making a jail.

During the Summit of the Americas (aka State of Emergency For Trinis/All-Inclusive Fete for Visitors), the only benefit I took was seeing members of my own former neighbourhood group (St Anns/ Cascade/ Mt Hololo) literally stand their ground at the St Anns roundabout to wave at President Obama despite the amateurish-stroke-thuggish attempts of police officers to make them leave. If more people in Trinidad asserted their rights as citizens, the place would not be in the mess it is today; mind you, if half that many people discharged their obligations as citizens….

Only a handful of people in Trinidad seem to have cojones at all; but I read them; and follow their Tweets. And one of them, who shall remain nameless, lest anyone realizes he is Nicholas Laughlin, editor of the Caribbean Review of Books, got me to thinking about something.

When I made the point, on Twitter, that Mr Manning boasts of his humility, @nplaughlin (as he’s known on Twitter, and perhaps in Trinidad gas stations), replied that Mr Manning boasts of his humility in the third person. “Not easy” wrote (or rather, tweeted) @nplaughlin. “Try it.”

So I thought I might.

Imagine the scene: Prime Minister Manning, without a doubt the most important figure in the Commonwealth this weekend (at least in his own mind/Cabinet), while perambulating around his extensive private grounds (complete with half-finished private concert hall) comes upon a little old white lady wearing something looking (to him) like one of those old-fashioned crocheted toilet-roll holder on her head; and the one is given to using the royal plural while the other is driven to speaking of himself in the third person.

Mr Manning does not recognise Queen Elizabeth; and Her Majesty, though shown a picture of Mr Manning upon arrival, expects someone perhaps a bit taller; and certainly more statesmanlike; and Her Majesty has difficulty differentiating her Commonwealth Negroes in any case.

And the PM and Her Royal Highness have the following exchange:

Mr Manning [smiling benevolently at the white septuagenarian woman while secretly wondering how Newsday stringer, Anne Hilton, managed to sneak een to his private grounds]: “The Prime Minister didn’t expect to see you of all people here! You ent get enough free food at the last cocks-tail party?”

HRH Elizabeth II [stepping back quickly, peering at Mr Manning through pince-nez]: “One doesn’t quite know how to respond!”

PM PM: “Eh? Which one?”

HRH: “One is quite taken aback!”

PM PM: “Well, you better bring two or three back. The Prime Minster does not approve of anything of the Prime Minister’s being taken.”

HRH: “Where is the Prime Minister, please?”

PM PM: “Eh? The Prime Minister find you too damn fast!”

HRH: “One didn’t even realize he was looking for us.”

PM PM [steupsing]: “The Prime Minister ask you already which one? Is only two o’ we here! You talking about you and the Prime Minister?”

HRH: “We do beg your pardon but we are not sure we have made your acquaintance? And we are quite sure we don’t follow your conversation.”

PM PM: “It have no begging here. Excepting on Thursdays during Cabinet. And the Prime Minister invariably says no, ladies and gentlemen. Unless Calder, Ken or the Indian involve. And which “we” you talking ‘bout? You’s come in parts? You have a mouse in your pocket? You is a basketball team? [Looking around for a Cabinet flunkie] Anybody could escort out this Hilton lady?”

HRH: “No, Sir, we are staying aboard our yacht.”

PM PM [Stamping foot, looking around for a security guard]: “G’wan! Mash it! Bus’ it! Back to the cruise ship!”

HRH [herself similarly looking round, but for an interpreter]: “Parlez-vous anglais? Sprechen sie Deutsch? Oh, dear, we are rather swiftly approaching the fringes of distress.”

PM PM: “Your mouth hurting you?”

HRH [attempting to touch his shoulder reassuringly, though the reassurance is really for herself] : “My good man!”

PM PM: “Catch you’ falling self! Nobody lays hands on me dry so! You foolish, foolish woman!” [To himself, aside, proudly] “The Prime Minister learn that one from Benny Hinn.”

HRH: “We are afraid we must withdraw.”

PM PM: “The Prime Minister not holding you back. I does only read the Guardian & the Express, by the way.”

HRH: “One does not know what to do. One is waiting for the customary bow and withdrawal by the commoner.”

PM PM: “Hear nuh, this will do, but it ent go pay. The Prime Minister have to bus’ it. The Prime Minister promise to listen to the Divine Echoes. Security will show you out.”

The PM turns on his heel, presents his back to the Queen and walks off. At the edge of earshot, a brilliant rejoinder hits him and he spins back to shout at Her Majesty a final time before disappearing beyond the kissing bridge.

PM PM: “Oy! Yo! The Prime Minister say, ‘After one’ time, is two!’”

BC Pires has a bitter part

BC Pires is roaming on Lime while Trinidad burns. Mr Francis may not have lost his deposit, by the way, the line was just irresistible