13 February 2005

Pride Day

Apparently Monday is to be Pride Day in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Look for lots of messages from the Premier on how the Accord fight restored our pride and how the deal will make us a "have" province. This is the message he has been carrying since that fateful Friday in Ottawa. Lots of things to be proud of.

Lots of hype.

Lots of spin.

Usually a good sign of nothing of substance, or a concerted effort to distract attention from something else.

Expect to see both print ads and television spots, some of which will run nationally. The production cost and media buy will likely stretch into the six figure range - that's hundreds of thousands of dollars. Is anyone in the province not in favour of the deal? Will a few ads change Dalton's mind?

Now this is completely separate from the "branding" campaign advertised over the weekend. The province is seeking bids from companies interested in promoting Newfoundland and Labrador as a great place and a great place to do business. Target, the internationally successful local marketing company already has done the research component. Let's see who actually gets to do the leg work.

As for the Pride Day event at the Fairmont, I have had a raft of e-mails and phone calls inviting me to attend. The contacts were not from the provincial government, of course. They have been busily contacting all their supporters as well as issuing formal invitations to people - apparently without having reserved or designated seating for many. So we may well wind up with a giant game of musical chairs on Monday morning. There are likely no more than 350 seats available; more than that showed up at the airport in a storm on short notice to welcome Danny the Conquerer home from Ottawa.

And running underneath it all will be yet more of that venomous partisan attack on John Efford, initiated by Danny and Loyola and taken up with such enthusiasm by their minions. The chorus of "boo"s at the political rally disguised as a news conference a week or so ago was just a small taste of what some political low-lifes are likely to do on Monday. Regardless of John's performance or what you may think of him personally, the whole spectacle of the Terminate John campaign and the flag nonsense are definitely something not to be proud of.

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