2 Apr 2008

Panday to the rescue

Tuesday, April 1 2008

THE EDITOR: There is never a dull moment in this controversy-filled land of ours. We move from one storm to another with the speed of greased lightning and at times it seems that these tidal waves or exposes crash into each other giving a tsunami effect. The PNM administration still smarting from public indignation over their bull headed approach to acquire a luxury private jet was able to bail out at the very last moment by using an anti-corruption escape clause.

No sooner had this debate died down comes rumour that Brian Manning, son of the Prime Minister had applied for a luxury HDC apartment in St Augustine. The Minister of Housing was clearly flabbergasted and out of her depths as like so many of her cabinet colleagues, she could not answer questions posed by the media concerning young basketball promoter Manning's housing application. It was left to the experienced Colm Imbert to come to the rescue of his hapless fellow minister who many would have been seeing and hearing for the very first time. What an impression she created as she seemed gasping for air as the world appeared crashing around her and she may have wished like Mariano Browne that she had remained in the safety of her last job in Barbados.

Clearly Imbert too was taken aback at the line of questioning pertaining to Brian Manning's application for an HDC apartment when his father had just moved into a most luxurious and spacious palace. He would have been taxing his wits to put a spin on this latest controversy and to deflect concerns to other quarters. Who would have been able to save the PNM from this latest scandal, Colm may have asked, and then true to form as he has done so many times before appears Basdeo Panday!

Colm Imbert must have been wringing his hands in glee when he heard that Panday was interested to know where the young Manning got the money from. Imbert cannot wait to get back into Parliament to tell Basdeo Panday that Brian Manning holds a prestigious job at Neal and Massy, the conglomerate to which Arthur Lok Jack of Caribbean Airlines is associated. He will further tell him that when Brian applied for that particular apartment the then Chairman of the HDC was the PNM treasurer of Home Mortgage Bank fame, André Monteil. Colm will further tell Panday that both Patrick and Hazel Manning receive hefty salaries as Prime Minister and Minister respectively and they may be receiving and saving their housing and travelling allowances since they have to live away from their Sumadh Gardens town house and as good parents will help their son.

He would remind Bas that it was he who admitted at the opening of Mickela's constituency office that he was not a good Dad. He would tell Panday that there was absolutely no nepotism in Patrick appointing his wife as a minister and this all became possible when his government crashed out of office with the "Done Deal" orchestrated by his close colleague. Colm will then challenge Panday to tell the country how he was able on a meagre Prime Minister's salary at that time, with an unemployed wife, afford a luxury apartment in Kensington, London, where his three student daughters were able to be housed when they studied. He would also want to find out how much of the Duprey admitted scholarship funds assisted in the upkeep of the apartment and the Mercedes Benz motor car.

The smiling Leader of Government Business may want to find out whether it is the same person who exposed the Panday's apartment in London is now exposing Brian Manning's apartment. And finally as he slams down his papers in triumph, Colm will ask Basdeo Panday to remind the population as to the nature of all the court charges he and his wife now face. Basdeo Panday saves the PNM again.