Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner yesterday admitted to chinks in the political armour of the People's Partnership Government. Warner spoke of "unexpected intrigue, infighting and backbiting" among his colleagues in the five-party coalition that makes up the Government. The minister, who has been criticised for his unilateral decision to sign off on two contracts for the Piarco and Crown Point International Airports, said there was an absence of teamwork among some of his colleagues. He also said his response to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's decision to halt the projects, "is coming. It will come. It will come. It is coming." Speaking to reporters before a tour of bad roads in the constituencies of Moruga/Tableland and Princes Town, Warner denied the situation had left him frustrated.
He said: "After four months, I expected most of this. Nothing here has really fazed me. What I did not expect was the kind of intrigue and infighting and backbiting and so on. I did not expect that." He said he expected a measure of difficulty, "because there is a different culture, actually, from the one I have been used to in Fifa and Concacaf, where I come from." He said in those organisations things were done differently and he now had to get used to that (referring to being in Government). "So I have no problems with that. What I have a problem with is a lack of the collegial effort, where you have work to do and where you have colleagues who you believe should be able to work as a team and that is not happening.
"I tell you this, that too will pass away," he said. Responding to comments from Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley that he should be disciplined, Warner said: "I have no intention of dignifying Mr Rowley's piece of foolishness. "Mr Rowley is clutching at straws and if he believes he can use that to revive his dying political career, I have news for him. He can use anything else but not Jack Warner." On the issue of the urgent appointment of an Airports Authority Board, also put forward by Rowley, Warner said he could not say when one would be appointed. As to the danger posed to users of the two airports, now that Persad-Bissessar has halted the contracts, Warner said he did what he had to do to avert any danger.