First there was “Inspector Gadget” and now we have “Ambassador Gadget”. A “Gadget”, according to WIKIPEDIA, is “a small technological object (such as a device or an appliance) that has a particular function, but is often thought of as a novelty.
Gadgets are invariably considered to be more unusually or cleverly designed than normal technological objects at the time of their invention. Gadgets are sometimes also referred to as gizmos.” A “gadget” can also be a “contrivance”.
Topping the list in a U.K. poll on the most pointless household gadgets are electric nail files, laser guided scissors, electric candles, hair crimpers, egg boilers and electronic fluff removers.
Topping the list of gadgets as contrivances is the appointment of former CARICOM Secretary General, Edwin Carrington, as Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to CARICOM.
Regional columnist, Rickey Singh, dubbed the choice of Carrington as “A Curious Diplomatic Post”. He asked in bewilderment, “What’s the politics behind the very surprising, if not intriguing announcement?”
Both definitions of a “gadget” provide a clue. The appointment is novel in the sense that Naipaul’s “Mystic Masseur” is a novel although, in this case, I would replace “Mystic” with “Mistake” and wonder who is trying to massage whom.
It might be part of a clever design in diplomacy. However, if diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie” while reaching for a rock, the TNT Government has actually grasped a 72-year-old straw that served as the doggy’s leash for enough years to ensure that the dog is beyond obedience or potty training.
If the appointment is the contrivance it seems to be, one has to perceive it as part of the grasping at straws that constitutes, together with jumping to conclusions and giving bad names to all dogs not named Jack, the major preoccupations of the populist PPP government.
Mr. Singh made an extremely pertinent point, “There is no precedent of a former secretary general, or a deputy secretary general, or even an assistant secretary general, being appointed by any member state of the Community as ambassador to Caricom.”
He also asked an even more apt question, “So why has PM Persad-Bissessar considered it advisable to create such a precedent with Carrington’s ambassadorial appointment when there continues to linger for resolution some very outstanding issues on the future governance of the 15-member Community while the ‘search’ continues for a new secretary general?”
The most important question of all is why, having so badly screwed up the CARICOM Secretariat to the point where it is beyond redemption, the septuagenarian is still willing and eager to go once more into the breach?
I believe it has to do with the role supposedly to be played by a “Permanent Committee of CARICOM Ambassadors to help in improved governance of the Community.”
As Mr. Singh pointed out, “This move has, however, already won more political derision than applause.” The return of Carrington to CARICOM will inevitably continue the same CARICOM-MESS and CARICOM-EDY that typified his regime. Maybe this is what the PPP wants. In which case, it is an immaculate contrivance.
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