protests continued in East Port of Spain for the second day in a row today. For those keeping track, it was also the second day of the spectacular failure that is the People and Projects for Progress Programme - a venture that has succeeded only in being the most alliterative gimmick/make-work program that this Government has been able to come up with so far.
Few are surprised at this turn, as it would seem that one half of the population saw right through Jack Warner's attempt to buy peace in Laventille and the other half figured that it was just a matter of time before the savages flipped out again.
At the very least, most folks had to admit that Jack totally screwed up by getting involved in Laventille. He's in way over his head.
But ... What if - for a second - we give the People's Partnership Government more credit than they've ever shown the potential for deserving?
It occurred to me today - as I played devils' advocate with myself - that this Government could well be executing a brilliant plan to further divide T&T along the familiar fault lines that have made us such easy pickings for politicians for at least a half century.
So what if the whole point of Warner strutting into East Port of Spain and declaring that he can solve crime with a some paint, spackle and a few jobs before hitting the residents a six for a nine was to rile them up? So that the rest of the country would - in unison - shake our heads and tsk at those misbehavin' po' folk... the ones who are behind ALL of the nation's crime. The ones who are so ungrateful, they won't even take a free job without trying to dictate the salary? The ones who should be happy to get $69 a day to do nothing when they were doing nothing for free before?
Think about it. It fits the narrative they've been peddling from day one:
These people, who resemble John Sandy, who were the vast majority of the ones being detained without cause or investigation during last year's State of Emergency, are the real problem here in Sweet T&T. Especially the ones living in Laventille and Beetham. Just look how they're behaving!
And - whether their anger is justifiable or not - the residents are playing right into this narrative. TV6 even caught one on tape threatening to loot Port of Spain if their demands are not met. "We go give de police wuk to do", she said. Off camera.
It also fits the wider Us vs Them paradigm that they've been building - particularly since they launched their THA election campaign, when the Honourable Prime Minister invited us all to Get in a Section.
Of course, that's assuming that you believe that this Government - which has managed to commit a staggering number of "missteps" in the past two and a half years - is capable of such foresight. Given the events of the past few weeks alone, it'd be quite a leap to make.
Oh hey, did you hear that Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed sent an email to Dominic Kalipersad, Head of News at CCN, accusing the organisation of perpetrating an agenda designed to make this government look bad and referring to himself as an "insignificant Muslim coolie"?
I'm sure it's all just a part of their plan.