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Cut Jack Some Slack
Posted: Saturday, June 12, 2010

THE EDITOR: The issue of whether Jack Warner should be a Minister of Government and retain his FIFA posts is a ticklish one. If it is illegal to do so then there is no issue — he must give up one or the other. If it is not illegal, some say he must choose; many more say he should not have to. Clearly, whatever decision he makes will not please everybody.

I'm sure we can all rattle off the names of (former) ministers who held no other posts (the cynics would argue that no one else would offer them a job) but yet accomplished little or nothing during their tenure. Would you rather a minister who is available 24/7 (none was), gives 100 percent (none did) but does nothing of benefit to the people, or one who gives 50 percent of his time but achieves much more? Also remember that, for most, 100 percent is an eight-hour day; for Warner, 50 percent is a 10-hour day.

I am certain that the people who voted for Warner don't care what posts he holds in addition to being a Minister. Those posts did not stop him from becoming the best-performing, most-loved MP we have had in decades. The proof is in the results — he garnered the most votes in the entire election without campaigning in his constituency.

Mr Warner's duties in FIFA are transparent for all to see. But we can imagine (former) ministers who have interests in properties/companies and we have no idea how much time they spent on their private rather than the people's business. At least, in Warner's case, he does not pretend that he had no other interests.

The region stands to benefit from Warner's role in FIFA. The country stands to benefit from Warner being Minister of Works. Why should we deny either of these groups the benefit of his expertise and drive? He should not be forced to choose. Once in a long while an individual like Jack Warner comes along and we would be foolish not to utilise his talents to the fullest.

While others will intellectualise about a problem and do nothing, Warner will test it out with a plausible solution. If it doesn't work, fine — he goes back to the status quo and tries again. By the same token, I suggest we cut Jack some slack. Allow him to mix and match his ministerial and FIFA duties as he and the Prime Minister see fit. If it works, we would all benefit. If it doesn't I am confident he will make the appropriate choices and adjustments.


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