Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Chatter from the pork barrel

Published:Monday | November 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Who remembers Arnaldo Brown? That's the young man whose first major public declaration after his election to Parliament three years ago was of drooling support for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), the barrel from which MPs get to dispense slivers of pork and dollops of rind to their constituents. Mr Brown wished for more.

That's the same Arnaldo Brown who was made a junior minister for foreign affairs, where he ran up a $1-million-plus bill for his mobile phone, for which taxpayers are obliged to pay and over which he was initially contrite, exciting a willingness among people, even when not entirely convinced, to entertain explanations of the exigencies of the job. That Mr Brown appears to be having, or has had, second thoughts.

He now characterises legitimate questions about the execution of foreign policy as "chatter" and seems intent on claiming credit for Justice Patrick Robinson's election to the International Court of Justice as the results of the ministry's lobbying - presumably via his expensively billed mobile phone.

If Mr Brown and others in the Government had communications and policy advisers who were as skilled as their fitness instructors so obviously are, maybe they wouldn't stick their feet in their mouths so often.