05 October 2009

An admission of abject failure

A quarter of a century ago, Doug House and the Royal Commission on Employment and Unemployment heard time and again of the the need to get rid of make-work programs. 

Qualifying people for federal employment insurance benefits promoted a culture of dependence and destroyed innovation and self-reliance.

Some 17 years ago, the province’s Strategic Economic Plan introduced a bold, new approach in order to bring about fundamental changes within Newfoundland and Labrador.  There’d be no more make work and government free gifts to businesses.  Neither one worked to produce sustainable jobs.

Less than a decade after the Royal Commission – with the change of administration in 1996, in fact -  things were heading back to the old ways of megaprojects and make-work schemes.

In 2003, there was a new crowd, who supposedly had a plan called the New Approach.  Some of it seemed familiar.  Doug House came back and then left again.

Nothing changed.

It’s still megaprojectsmake-work and more make-work and handouts to business, hand-outs to business, hand-outs to business, hand-outs to business and hand-outs to business.

Oh, and let’s not forget hand-outs to business.

And hand-outs to business.



Ward Pike said...

Whoa there, cowboy. Back up that there for just a moment. The Danny Williams' memorial steamroller you're driving is going too fast for me to keep up with...

I think all those Bond-paperites might need a few facts,

First of all, Ed, you reference happenings of 17 years ago in 1992 as if they were yesterday and germane to today, Is that correct?

Second, were you a part of the government in any way, shape or form? Did you work for former PRemier Clyde Wells?

Third, didn't the Clyde Wells' Liberals ride to power with less popular vote than the Tom Rideout TOries? 46% versus 47%? Isn't that undemocratic and not a true mandate for change such as the SEP?

Fourth, didn't the Clyde Wells' Liberals ride to power over $14million spent on the Sprung Greenhouse?? What are the accomplishments of the Wells' years you are romanticizing? What about Trans-City?? Same Hospitals, Double the price!! Remember the Murray Premises Debacle? Lots of people benefitted financially in those years? Moral stands that cost us money... anyone shed tears over Meech Lake?

Fifth, didn't the Clyde Wells' Liberals divest Newfoundland and Labrador of most Provincial Parks to mostly well known Liberal Party contributors? And weren't those Provincial Parks divested actually the profitable ones that are still making money... thus robbing the treasury of funds for decades since?

Sixth, didn't the CLyde Wells' Liberals become the Brian Tobin Liberals? Or am I mistaken and all the Clyde Wells' Liberals resign after Clyde Wells' departure. . . You state a change of administration in 1996... tell us, did everything change or did the Liberals merely switch out one leader for another?

Seventh, was Brian Tobin as bad as Danny Williams in your eyes? Was Roger Grimes a continuation of Tobin or Wells? Who was he closer to? Which of those three Liberal masters is most responsible for betraying the SEP and thus almost bankrupting NL, according to some??

I might have all my facts wrong, and perhaps Clyde Wells was the greatest leader in the history of the western world... and he had the greatest speech-writer (future bloggers) in the history of the western world to go along with it too... and no doubt, Judy Foote had the best paper clippers!

Please set me/us straight!

Edward G. Hollett said...

Ward, it's pretty simple and none of the information you relayed has anything to dow ith the economic development policies i was discussing.

There is information; and then there is relevant information. Then there's also the horseshit you introduced about the greatest this or that. perhaps you are confusing your membership in the Fan Club with what everyone else is interested in.

Peckford commissioned the 1986 study and then he and his crew did nothingn with it. That was left to the 1989 to 1996 period.

Tobin arrived and essentially tossed the approach with the concurrence of his caucus, although some of it survived through the next few years. Basically, the dominant theme went back to megaprojects.

You can check the links, BTW; that's why I provided them. They give all sorts of detailed and background that would simply overload the post. One is to an online version of Doug House's Against the tide which does a decent job of mapping it out.

Now, as for the current situation it is really straightforward. There wa ssupposed to be a plan. What it turned out to be was the oldest of the old ideas: make-work and hand outs.

You have something to contradict that perhaps rather than bring up diversions, distractions and horsefeathers?

Ward Pike said...

facts here? I asked detailed questions which you've seemingly ignored. Can you directly show me, point by point, how each is mistaken?

I clicked on every one of your links, btw, and notice that in most cases you are citing yourself... Isn't that tantamount to "I'm right because I said so"? Or is citing yourself a sign of dimentia or perhaps mpd as you are on one hand Ed Hollett & on the other, SRBP?

Edward G. Hollett said...


Let's start with the simple stuff.

The first link is to google books, which is not me.

The second link is to the SEP which I posted. It isn't available online so there it is. I didn't write it; I just posted it.

The third link is again to google books (but this time a different book) and again that isn't me.

The fourth link is to a post I wrote recently but it contains links to a bunch of others things I didn't write.

So there ya go: right off the bat, you are batting zero since three of the four links aren't to my own writing.

Your "detailed" questions are about a series of irrelevant issues that have nothing to do with the post. They also don't add up to an argument.

Three swings and four misses.

That's pretty good.

What's the point, other than you have the ability to be mistaken repeatedly and consistently and then scream "aha!" like you have suddenly stumbled on brilliance?

Anonymous said...


Ed never writes about Clyde's mistakes, ergo all commentary re Clyde, and the 'Clyde lied tribe' are irrelevant. This is Ed's blog, so Ed is always right. Any commentary that is contrary to Ed's liberal/ anti-Conservative drivel will be attacked as hogwash, and the author of said comments will be demeaned in Ed's most condescending manner. This is the law at Ed Hominem's blog, so don't waste your time trying to discuss things in the comment section. The only room for such discussion is if it comes from Ed's yes men such as Wally and Simon, and occasionally Mark or Craig. There you have it, the law of commentary at Borg papers.



Edward G. Hollett said...

And of course, even though the comments section are open and uncensored, people are supposedly not able to offer any contrary points of view, CJM, just as you haven't been allowed to in this instance.

When there were no comments, certain people made that claim.

When there were no anonymous comments, the same people made the same tired claim.

Now that the comments are open such that even anonymous is allowed, the same people make the same comments.

Of course, they never seem to take the opportunity to make a point other than the same tired - and obviously incorrect - ones.

The response from these same individuals when this is pointed out is to moan and complain.

They also like to hurl their abuse and insults from the dark corner of anonymity. At least Ward has the stones to write under his own name, CJM so everyone can see who he is.

Ward Pike said...

Oh Ed, I dunno... CJM makes some good points.
Blogs are like fiefdoms and bloggers are very territorial... And afraid of contrary minded opinions. Not as bad as editorial journalists but close... Plenty of narcissistic megalomaniacs in the blogosphere.

Most comments tend to represent a segment of society. CJM definitely represents an opinion that persists re former bureaucrats and staffers exorcising their demons and letting them out on the readership of their blogs.

I respect your opinion as much as I may disagree with it. But take a lesson from CJM inasmuch as you may appear to be completely intolerant of other opinions with your fingers firmly plugging your ears singing "La la la la..."

Anonymous said...

I feel empathy for you Mr. Pike since your questions or you have been referred to as horseshit...I am not sure which. "There is information; and then there is relevant information. Then there's also the horseshit you introduced about the greatest this or that. perhaps (P since it is the beginning of a new sentence)you are confusing your membership in the Fan Club with what everyone else is interested in." However, I think you have asked legitimate questions which could have lead to some interesting revelation from both....but graciousness as does courtesy doesn't exsist on the part of the blogger.

Edward G. Hollett said...

But Ward, what exactly is your opinion here that you would like "tolerated", as if it isn't already?

In this instance, I noted quite succinctly that the current administration's economic development policy consists of all the shop-worn bad ideas people in the province rejected a couple of decades ago, but which politicians brought back over the course of the last 13 years.

You raised some completely irrelevant points, which I noted as such. You and someone who calls himself "CJM" have now taken to discussing something else entirely rather than either make clear your initial point or add something substantive to do whatever you want, like perhaps contradict me?

Go right ahead and do as you want, but I am sure people will note that your views have been expressed freely and unhindered.

That doesn't mean I have to agree with them or endorse if, as I am sure you will appreciate, I think they are loads of crap and can explain why. That doesn't mean I do not have regard for you personally. I just think your arguments are crap sometimes.

Of course you can do likewise - disagree strongly that is - except that you seem unable to explain how and why.

So at the end of it all we have a fairly simple situation. I make a point. You offer a contrary view and when I note that you basically don't have a leg to stand on you and now CJM proceed to tut tut on "liberals", "Liberals" and all sorts of other irrelevant nonsense.

If that makes you feel better, fill your boots, but I am sure people reading this would much rather see something from you that is far more substantive. I am sure you can do if you'd just stop whinging for a second.

Incidentally, it's usually a good sign I've a struck a very sore nerve with a certain species of mindless partisan because what has been seen here is the sort of commentary that results.

Ward Pike said...

Oh Ed, Eddie, Edward... you don't need to tolerate MY opinion, you don't have to tolerate anyone's opinion!

The point made was that it appears as though you don't tolerate anybody else's opinion. Now methinks you are making example of yourself as one who does not tolerate the opinions of others...

Why such people are often placed in very uncomfortable classifications. And they are never complimentary in nature, sorry!

Those who try to impose their will on others AND/OR do not tolerate or cannot abide the opinions of others are sometimes called bigots and when hospitalized, diagnosed with one of three different mental illnesses... NPD, MPD or Bi-Polari Disorder.

I hope, for your sake, you are just putting on the dog and don't really suffer from something as serious as this, and that appearances are deceiving.

I don't think we can possibly address the other comments or points you may be trying to make, and sadly failing at, until you can really come to terms with the possibility that a treatable illness may be clouding your judgment.

Kindest regards,

(who respects the opinions of others and is certainly open to criticism).

WJM said...

Those who try to impose their will on others AND/OR do not tolerate or cannot abide the opinions of others are sometimes called bigots and when hospitalized, diagnosed with one of three different mental illnesses... NPD, MPD or Bi-Polari Disorder.

Must... resist... urge...

Edward G. Hollett said...

Thanks Ward, for proving my point, exactly.

I couldn't have said it any better after I pointed out what was coming next: more of the same.

I am apparently "intolerant" but yet I am not supposed to tolerate anything. I seek to impose my opinion on others but fairly obviously do not do so.

What would you call someone, Ward who refers to someone as "simple minded" for share an opinion contrary to his own?

Is that an example of what was causing you some consternation, Wally/ Don't worry, Ward just can't see it. he never has been able to, right back to his now infamous post about Rona Ambrose and Rick Mercer.

But you see, Wally, Ward has an explanation for that: there is a giant conspiracy out there of the "Liberal/liberal" media. The capitalisation varies depending on the context, but the excuse is ready to hand.

It's and excuse, just the like the excuse offered here by CJM and Ward for their failure to produce an argument: it's someone else's fault.

Ward Pike said...

Oh Ed, poor Ed. You need help. You really do.

WJM said...

Oh Ed, poor Ed. You need help. You really do.

Yikes, Ed.

Coming from someone who can diagnose NPD, MPD or Bi-Polar Disorder from 1200 yards, that's meaningful. You really should get that help.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, Ward, I evidently didn't need any help in dealing with you.

Don't you find it interesting, Wally that both ward and his buddy peter resort to this variantion of the ad hominem slur when they can't provide anything of substance.

Ward Pike said...

Oh dear God above, ED. Get a grip!! You're more concerned with oneupmanship than any real discussion of facts anyhow!

That's why you ignored my genuine questions and instead engaged int he age-old debater's transparent act of bait-and-switch, misdirection and illusion.

You will note I refer to all bloggers as being territorial, and I am including myself in that. You know, you must have missed the classes on... er... um... class. Having grace towards others and actually taking one's self not so seriously that a moment of self reflection is impossible ARE signs of good mental health. The #1 sign of a well adjusted individual is charity towards others and generosity in general. This extends to manners and accommodation.

You and Wally seem to experts in judging hypocrisy at 1200 yards, and the ability to find fault in others. Maybe you should see if you're just as good at finding it in yourselves, else take the comedy routine on the road and see if you can raise Liberal fortunes.

Edward G. Hollett said...


Take a breath.

What does privatising provincial parks have to do with the broader issue of a flawed economic policy that was identified as such in 1985/86?

How does privatising provincial parks have anything to do with a government handing out cash free, to Rolls-Royce?

What does it matter that Wells came to office in 1989 on a wave of revulsion bred but such hare-brained schemes as Sprung?

What does it matter that I worked for Wells when the Royal Commission was commissioned under Peckford?

There is no effort to dodge here. I have simply asked you to explain your point since the ones you raised you raised are essentially irrelevant to the discussion.

But if you are and earnestly want to have a discussion, then by all means explain your point.

While you are pondering whether or not to actually get into a discussion where you have to make a point, let me suggest you go back and read House's book.

It's a pretty good account of things. Peckford's administration commissioned the study but politically wasn't in a position to implement it. These things happen. it fell to a new administration to give it a go.

in 1996, the change felt more like a change of party than a mere administration and fairly quickly a great many things reverted back to the way they were.

2003 was more a change of elites than a change of policy. In many respects the policies simply carried on, as in the case of economic development.

Now if you can link provincial parks to all that go right ahead. Whatever point you were trying to make got lost somewhere in there and you've done nothing to go back and find it.

if you want to have a discussion go right ahead and have one but for mercy sakes spare us the whinging and the excuses and the ad hominem horseshit. Speaking of which, were you advising Paul oram on his exit strategy?

Ward Pike said...

Thanks for a thoughtful reply. I wish that had come first!

My points about the divestiture of Provincial Parks into certain hands, and the other examples I questioned were genuine points in form although I wanted verification.

You see, there is a tendancy here to villify all things Peckford, Tobin and Williams YET romanticize all things Wells. And I am genuinely of the belief that the same problems you cite are common to all premiers since the last dictator... being that all things mentioned were equally Wells' doing insomuch that the bureaucracy may have a lot to do with these things and does not get cited nearly often enough.

When you mention Doug House, the SEP, the various departments of business from Clyde Wells to Danny Williams... no matter what the intent, the execution and outcome of all is very similar and seems to be the product of a bureaucracy attempting to justify itself yet making itself redundant and irrelevant in the process.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Ward if when you say vilify and "here" you mean Bond Papers, then I will say right up front your perception is as far off base as it can get at least when it comes to Peckford.

I have given and will continue to give nothing but praise for the 1985 deal and defend him against all comers including the current Tory crowd who have insulted his administration without any merit or justification.

There are others things I will disagree with but for which I have nothing but praise for the way they were presented. Peckford and his crew stand head and shoulders above the current crowd on several levels not the least of which si that I don't recall them ever sticking the knife into their predecessors the way Tom and Danny did to Brian not so long ago.

So right off the bat I refuse to be burden with your misperceptions.

That would include the dictator crap which you mention. It was entirely the invention of political enemies outside the party and picked up by a few inside. It wasn't true and was demonstrably not true. There is simply no comparison to the current administration on any level either with respect to the way cabinet and government runs or to the courtesy and dignity dispayed in office.

To try and equate the current premier and the one 20 years ago is to engage willfully in misrepresentation.

It's one of those bullshit lines some people use but the people who use it evidently don't know what they are talking about; I make no apologies for writing that but when you toss bullshit on the table I am not about to call its aroma beautiful.

I am not sure what your last comment means on its own or in the context of the post. This isn't an issue of the bureaucracy but of the policy set by different administrations.

Simon said...

"the age-old debater's transparent act of bait-and-switch, misdirection and illusion"

Debaters refer to those tricks as fallacies and are to be avoided in one's own presentation.

Bad debaters do it; good debaters do not do it themselves but can point it out in others.

Edward G. Hollett said...

So what would it be Simon when someone avoids the discussion and instead accuses the other - erroneously - engaging in misdirection or illusion or some other non-sequitur or canard or fallacy?

Surely the act of accusing someone of a fallacy does not prove the fallacy or brand the individual a good debater.

Ward Pike said...

Dear Ed,

Jumping to conclusions usually means ending up in a free-fall, as there;s little base there to support you when you come down.

I'll admit I'm sometimes guilty of this also.

The "Last Dictator" to whom I refer is Joseph R. Smallwood, not A Brian Peckford or Clyde Wells.



Ward Pike said...

P.S. Good call on A Brian, he was a great Premier. Perhaps the greatest we've seen to date. Perhaps. I agree with your sentiments expressed in your reply. But try not to sound so injured, offended and (dare I say it) sanctimonious about it. Please.