Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Noel flips his lid
Noel Lynch (left) with sprinter Donovan Bailey
There was always something about Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch that intrigued me. I always had the impression that underneath his designer suits beat the heart of a man who was, as a friend of mine would say, "straight hood". He always struck me like a guy who, if he felt insulted in some way, would back his Saville Row jacket and sucker punch a brother.
Well, he didn't punch talk-show host David Ellis, but he delivered a TKO to the "Brass Tacks" programme last Sunday by walking out on the show. I didn't hear the programme myself but according to media reports Lynch blew his top after a question was raised about his alleged rise from being a "virtual beggar" to millionaire status in recent years. Before then he had also engaged in a heated exchange with hotelier Adrian Loveridge about low CWC bookings.
To give him his due, David Ellis is a brave man. Wave a red flag in front of a bull and prepare to get trampled. The comment was offensive, though. I sincerely doubt Noel Lynch was a "beggar" before getting his ministerial pick. He might not have been able to buy $5,000 suits but still...
Anyway, despite his understandable abhorrence (his word) at Ellis raising the topic in a public forum, Lynch was a bit of a diva about the whole thing. He refused to sit in the same studio as Loveridge, who isn't exactly Government's #1 fan, and then he went on to link the framing of the emailed question to criticisms by people who were "against the idea of people like Owen Arthur being Prime Minister and Clyde Mascoll being a key political figure because of their social backgrounds".
See what the PM has started? This "poor boy from Benn Hill" foolishness is pervasive. Nobody sees the PM and Mascoll as poor men now. Nearly everybody was poor back then anyway, I'm sure even the same David Thompson whom they're trying to hit at with this comment. And all of these guys are fat cats now, so it beats me why they're trying to endear themselves to the less fortunate in this way. Poverty isn't quaint, trendy or cute. Get over yourselves, politicians!