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Commentary: My Fictional Interview with a Tobago Political Leader

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By Alicia Chamely

THIS week I decided to turn my attention to whom some may call a wild card in the politics of Trinidad and Tobago… Walter Drake, trade unionist, leader of a Tobago political party and a candidate in the upcoming general elections.

Fun fact, Drake and I have somewhat of a complicated past. Back in my Trinidad Guardian days I was chronically assigned to every PSA protest and press conference.

They were fighting down the then Manning-led PNM’s plan to institute the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority. My, my how things have not changed. Personally I thought it was good idea, it just needed a few kinks to be ironed out.

Regardless it was an exciting time, the unions were beginning to unite, their regular protests kept me out of the office and their modus operandi of starting malarkey everywhere they went, kept me somewhat entertained.

Then it all came crashing down. Drake got infected with a severe case of megalomania; he was on the outs with his original PSA executive and just started to go a little Kayne.

I remember a CNC3 reporter and me sitting sadly in Pancho’s admitting we had helped create a monster.

Naturally I was hesitant to conduct this interview, but alas I cannot help myself when it comes to the crazy.

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Me: Good morning Mr. Drake, nice to see you again.

WD: Ahh Miss Llanos, we meet again.

Me: Well its Chamely now, but…

WD: Remember that time you lent me your lighter to burn the CPO’s proposal! Good times.

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Me: Anyway here we are, years later and your graduated to the big leagues my friend.

WD: Graduated? I was always in the big leagues! Did you just meet me Miss Llanos?

Me: Chamely

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WD: Listen I am a fighter for justice! For my home land Tobago! Forget all dem PNM, UNC, COP business! Now is the time for the PDP to take back Tobago!

Me: Speaking of the other political parties. How do you handle accusations from the PM that you are an agent of the UNC?

WD: Madness! Madness, Miss Llanos! You ever know me to sell out?

Me: Uhh …define sellout?

WD: (Ignores me). They have an agenda to bring me down! They don’t want to see me, Walter Drake, be great! Do you know who I am! Do you know how much people of Tobago want to see me, Walter Drake, bring this island out of the dark ages and in to the light!

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Me: As much as your fight is admirable Tobago has long been a PNM stronghold. Do you feel as though you have enough support to capture both Tobago East and West?

WD: Miss Llanos, Miss Llanos…

Me: Chamely.

WD: Whatever. Listen! The people of Tobago want change! They want a man bold enough to swim treacherous waters for them! That swim from Scarborough was just an example of how far I am willing to go for the people of Tobago.

Me: Buuutttttt did that swim actually accomplish anything? And did you hold on to a jet ski for most of the way?

WD: Did it accomplish anything? Did it? I was trending on Trini Twitter! Social media was buzzing! Everyone knew who Walter Drake was and what he was about! Me! I am Tobago! I am the fighter Tobago needs!

Me: And what about holding on to the jet ski?

WD: (He kept silent).


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Me: So not to chook fire here, but former ally Christlyn Moore, leader of the Tobago Forwards, recently referred to you as an egomaniac…

WD: Who? Who? She isn’t relevant to me! You see when the fire gets too hot the cowards run! She couldn’t handle all this heat!

Me: (Trying not to laugh). So how confident are you that the PDP will win both Tobago seats?

WD: As confident that the Cocrico is the national bird of Tobago.

Me: Uhh?

WD: Miss Llanos, who else people going to vote for? They gonna vote for a party that continues to hold them back? Or they gonna vote for the Walter Drake, who will usher in a new era of greatness for Tobago? So answer me! Who do you think Tobago gonna vote for?

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Me: I am not sure that answered my question directly, but I am going to say you are pretty confident.

WD: What’s your agenda? Eh! I feel you came here with an agenda! You trying to bring me down? Go outside Miss Llanos and ask anyone who is Walter Drake! They know! I am greatness! They know I am fighting! They know I am a symbol of victory…

At this point I quietly left. It is rumored that Mr Drake is still in the interview.

*Disclaimer: Again this is satire. It’s all a figment of the imagination of Alicia Chamely nee Llanos. Names have been changed, not Alicia’s.

 

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