One thing about blogging that I am beginning to enjoy more and more is meeting people who are supposed to be a bit special and finding that they are indeed special but also like you and me, just sort of ordinary. That's not meant to be a sign of disrespect. My mother, a midwife, always said that everyone was born naked and we all have backsides. She saw enough newborns for me to not have an argument on those points. But, I'm one of those strange bloggers: I am not 'underground'; I can face people and say who I am, tell them what I do and want to do; I can mention that I will write about them and then decide when and what it will be. I'm not theirs to control. I also do not need to hide and will defend fully any argument in public.
I was sitting on a plane a few days ago, in the front section, with the nice leather seats and the food on real plates--those years of travelling to far flung places do pay dividends. I saw a familiar face. It was Minister Christopher Sinckler. I had seen him once before at some function, but not close up. As I passed, I said, "Are you trying to keep a low profile? Anyway, it's not working. I know you but you don't know me." I then walked on and took my seat a couple of rows behind him. Once the passengers had settled themselves, I went back to speak to the Minister. I introduced myself. His reaction was a bit surprising. "Oh, I know you now. You are on Brass Tacks." He then gave a big laugh. I smiled: that is how I am seen, as a voice on the radio.
I talked a little about what I had been doing and that I was now not shackled to the IMF. We discussed the value of having a sense of independence when giving economic opinions, and how the IMF association sometimes means that the messenger was shot and the message ignored. I mentioned how Professor Persaud (a.k.a. my good friend, Avi) and I had pressed hard to avoid any formal contacts with either party and keep our voices independent. (Avi has a little more local connection than I do so it's really hard for him to stay aloof, except by constantly not being in Barbados.) The Minister nodded in agreement. I parted by saying that I would write about him on my blog, but I would be nice. He gave another big laugh. When the plane landed, I shook his hand and told him to look out for his name to be in lights.
I had totally forgotten why the Minister might have been a magnet. He was of course the victor for the seat in St. Michael North West, beating out Clyde Mascoll (see 2008 election results). I'm not going to expand here on Clyde's hurdling skills: he is not as good as Ryan Brathwaite.
Minister Sinckler had been doing what many saw as a good job in his post as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and International Business, but in a Cabinet reshuffle last November, was made Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development (a veritable mouthful of a portfolio). His name has been plastered about recently as the Urban Development Commission has been put through some 'restructuring'.Now is not the place to delve into that: I had promised to be nice (see the latest spin between the unions and the Commission in today's Nation, plus their devilish 'Worm' cartoon). But, we will see if his diplomatic skills can keep him away from the circling sharks.
The Minister has an impressive biography (see Government Information Service). Apart from a wealth of brain power and good experience, I will give the Minister a little plug for his sartorial elegance. His choice of clothes is superb.
There. Now, I have fulfilled my promise and next time I will see if it is necessary to be less nice. Just kidding.
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