So Pravin has managed to do it again. With his usual (and characteristically miserable) displays of wit, intellectual vigour, originality and limping force of personality (yawn), again we have been completely underwhelmed by the dynamism of yesterday’s Budget speech.
Bland beyond belief, Pravin, looking ever more porcine in his sleek corpulence, continued in his failure to compare with his predecessor Trevor.
Trevor (said to have once been a hot dog vendor) was, as a Minister of Finance, something of a Catherine Wheel of ideas and inspiration, an illuminating man of energy and some flair working to find (sometimes misguided) financial solutions for a nascent nation of hopefuls and opportunists.
Trevor could sell – rather like the fictional hot dog purveyor of a very popular novelist of recent times – the sizzle in the sausage rather than just the sausage itself - all regardless of the miscellaneous donkey bits, buffalo snot, toe clippings and other (suspiciously unnamed) contents of the product being offered to an unsuspecting public at the time.
The closest dazzlement that poor old Porky Pravin can come to Twinkling Trevor’s fireworks can be likened to dropping a ball bearing into an industrial vat of Vaseline.
Trevor was plainly a man of and for his people; occasionally rumpled suits, sometimes an errant collar or skew tie, considerable ability unencumbered with too many airs and graces, performing a difficult and unpopular job. In a land where a majority of folk have to manage with second-hand clothes and paraffin stoves under rusting galvanized roof sheets, Pravin’s perfect pink tie and exquisitely hand-tailored business suit cannot resonate and seem, unwittingly, to reflect where his true loyalties and ambitions may lie – away from the indigent, the helpless and hopeless, the abandoned and the excluded.
In a so-called Rainbow Nation I think that I would rather have a Coloured Finance Minister or President than a grey man in a grey suit heading up an army of grey apparatchiks armed only with grey ideas and grey personalities leading us into a grey future.