TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: A task for PM?s sales team - EntornoInteligente / Trinidad Express / At this time, the PR strategists sitting in the UNC Government?s engine room must be wondering how to come up with the most creative tagline to promote the performance of the Prime Minister in the coming general election. In a previous time they gave us the line,”Performance Beats Old Talk” But here is their present challenge: How to sell to the population a person who, in the past four years, has not succeeded in punching above her weight class, as they say in boxing? What do you tell an electorate?even party zealots who have come to realise that the signature mawkish smile is just a flimsy façade?that there is more to the person, of course, when”so advised?? How do you say that this first term was simply the PM?s ordinary imagination at play, but given another five years in office her authentic leadership skills will be demonstrated? At this time, the PM may be also assessing her personal legacy. In moments of deep inner-dwelling, locked in divine conversation with the Spirit, she may have contemplated:”What am I truly leaving behind?? She may have wondered also whether future chroniclers will be kind to her. Will they dismiss the multitude of projects, some in her Siparia constituency, including the law faculty and her Couva children?s hospital as mere monuments to her vanity?”Men make history,? Karl Marx wrote back in 1859,”but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves”? So will those chroniclers assess her government?s performance, through public values such as integrity, trust, morality, equality, justice, and fairplay? Will they look at the floods across the country last week and draw on the Prime Minister?s promise, as she cut short her 2010 swearing ceremony, asserting, as she changed into rubber boots, that”flooding will be a thing of the past?? Will they describe her government?s neglect of Port of Spain?s infrastructure, and its alternative policy to shift, surreptitiously, the operations of government to Chaguanas and Couva as strategic planning? How will they deal with the hopes and sublime aspirations that were extended to the whole nation in 2010? What about the promises of unity of national purpose and an end to alienation, and subtle, internecine tribal rivalry? What of the current practice of quiet recriminations and marginalisation of persons in the public sector? And what of the parachuting of party supporters and co-ethnics, armed with iron-clad contracts, into the management of every State enterprise? Then there is what Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, now 60-plus days into his hunger strike, called”the social war?, the systemic entrenchment of abuse and corruption that allegedly carries the blessings of the Prime Minister?s”cabal” Pulitzer Prize winner George Mac Gregor Burns, in his classic, Leadership, asks:”Is leadership essentially inspiration? Mobilisation of followers? Goal setting? Goal fulfilment? Is a leader the definer of values and morals? Satisfier of needs?? The PR strategists may choose to flirt with, then twist the above, selling the PM in their 2015 promotion as a sound manager of her team. We may be told that she has been a stringent budgeter, detailed organiser, and strict controller of the ship. They may then tell us that she a charismatic, big picture visionary, who has transformed her whole animal farm, but expect to hear little, or if possible, nothing about her ministerial team. For instance, there will be reluctant or just oblique mention of the failures of the Education Minister. Expect that the Attorney General will be similarly shunned. Also, the garrulous National Security and Energy Ministers, the two”babes? the PM appointed to do”a man?s job?, will be air-brushed out of any promotion. Add the Works Minister and the Health Minister to that list. So what selling points should we expect? Every day their challenge becomes more mountainous. Really, how does one create a credible message for a lightweight, who has posed in a heavy-weight class? How does one speak of her team without cleaning the stables? How, at this stage, does one message the nation on values, integrity, morality, and trust? * Keith Subero, a former Express news editor, has since followed a career in communication and management. Previous Article Well done, officers

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