15 December 2009

The Placentia Bay Nostradamus

If the Telegram editors ever get jammed up for copy, they could easily recycle Ray Guy columns from 40 years ago. 

Most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between goings on then and now.

Back then, partridgeberries were the economic salvation of this cove or that harbour.  These days, cranberries will replace the income from a pulp and paper mill in Grand Falls.

Back then people were complaining about the great partisan conspiracy against the beloved saviour of His People.

These days, Bill Westcott is lacing into Peter Pickersgill on much the same basis. Poor Pickersgill has the extra misfortune of not only being the progeny of mainlanders but of being not pur laine hisself:

Despite spending a lot of his adult life in Salvage, we must remember PIC is not even an (Island-born) Newfoundlander, one of da boys! His genes, I think are rooted in Winnipeg and Ottawa.

That explains everything, of course.

There is no way the truth could be known by someone who wasn’t born here or who doesn’t live here.

Sure John Hickey said so dealing with another one of the confounded traitors:

Of course Mr. Waugh is entitled to his opinions on any and all Labrador matters, even as he writes from the comfort of his Nova Scotia home.

And Bill Westcott? 

He writes his truth from Florida.

That must be Florida, Bonavista Bay.



Craig Westcott said...

Ed, I couldn't finish reading Bill Westcott's (no relation to me) hate-filled, xenophobic screed against Peter Pickersgill.

I don't quibble or question a person's right to an opinion, but when it is entirely misinformed and based on a racist-like premise, one can't help but respond.

With his headline, the editor of The Compass cleverly and hilariously tipped the reader that everything in the column was off balance. So full marks to him for providing the warning.

But getting back to Bill Westcott, his view of the world reminds me of the Nazi sympathizers in Germany in the 1930s. The great appeal of Adolph Hitler to them was that he played to their belief that the rest of the world was out to get them and that somehow they were superiour to others simply because of their birthright.

There is a tremendous parallel there with the dark nationalism exhibited by Bill Westcott: A complete faith in a Leader who can do no wrong, a man who is going to right all the wrongs of history, who confirms in every speech and policy the superiority of Newfoundlanders to our mainland brethren, who is fighting the forces that are supposedly opposed to us. And of course, anyone who questions the leader or his policies is a traitor, or at least, not a real Newfoundlander, according to Bill Westcott.

Paranoia, hate, an inverted inferioity complex that transforms into a superiority complex. It was all part of the Nazi make-up and it is also there, unfortunately, in much of the dark nationalsim exhibited by Bill Westcott and his ilk.

I'll be attacked now for bringing up the Nazi analogy. But that doesn't make it wrong. We'd be fools not to learn the lessons of history.

Craig Westcott.

Peter said...

Craig: In this one narrow case, I have to admit I agree with your comparison. But how much traction does someone like BW have? Even his own editors don't take him seriously.

Craig Westcott said...

Peter, perhaps surprisingly there are a great many people in the province who share BW's views, more than many of us would like to acknowledge or admit.

There is something in the premier's style that appeals to the psyche of people like BW.

It is that style, such as accusing the Opposition Leader of being a traitor for doing her job and asking questions, as well as the deliberate and prolonged attempts by his regime to stifle the media and stamp out all forms of dissent, that form the basis of my own grave doubts and apprehensions of the man.

Danny Williams is not Hitler and Newfoundland is far from being Nazi Germany. But there is an unspoken, but clearly acknowledged, tyranny of the majority in place here now. I hear it all the time from business people and community leaders who deplore the man's style and amount of power, but are afraid to speak up publicly.

Like many other political jurisdictions that have given in to a cult of personality, Newfoundland is going to wake up with an awful Danny Williams-inspired hangover some day and will have to come to terms with having been so foolish as to put so much of its stock in just one man.

I imagine that for many there will be a lot of denial and blaming others or even "the conditions at the time," just as there is in explaining the stranglehold that Joey Smallwood had on us for nearly 23 years.

Are we doomed to repeat our mistakes? Only if we refuse to acknowledge that it's happening again.


Ed Hollett said...

Thanks for the input, guys.

I threw this up last night after kicking around a couple of other ideas that didn't bear fruit.

They didn't come out as easily as I'd hoped. Then I stumbled across this and throw up is the right word.

Basically I threw up the link because Bill is typical both of a raft of people who I lump together in the Fan Club. Bill is typical of a crowd of very vocal people. Peter. They may not be a majority but they are out there and as I have pointed out they are very, very touchy right at the moment.

How touchy? Well, the signs of it are everywhere from the comments sections of the local media to the House and now in Bill's column.

Bill can't be easily dismissed. He and his kind are very much a part of shaping the current public dialogue (which is already pretty poinsonous thanks to his type of thinking and efforts.)

Now aside from that, I think it is hysterically funny to see all these Tories carrying on like Liberals a few decades ago. I could lay Bill's crap alongside stuff from 40 years ago and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference except that the words Joe and Dan would have to be interchanged.

If I'd told you five years ago that this sort of mindless personality cult existed, you'd have laughed at me. 10 years ago you'd have thought it impossible.

But there he is.

And if wonders why things turned out in 1969 as they did, it was exactly because of the philosophy of people like Bill.

Simon said...

I suggest buttons which say loudly and proudly. . . 20%!

WJM said...

I threw this up last night

Very apt verb-preposition construction.

Jingles said...

Now Mr. Ed you certainly have brought up something that has been dominate ever since I can remember. Perhaps now you understand my comment same old, same old. Cheers

Ed Hollett said...

Dominant or dominate?

Jingles said...

Mr. Ed a slip with spelling and not one of your strong points either. Maybe xenophobic would have been more appropriate: look down upon with a superior attitude. The same old, same old.

Jingles said...

On second thought, dominating the Newfoundland psychi. The cause: victimnization; An act of cheating: cheat , fraud , swindle, informal flimflam. Newfoundlanders consider themselves to be victims and cannot seem to learn from recent past history. The same old, same old.

Ed Hollett said...

Ahh, the second comment explained what you didn't make clear from the first.

The victim thing is one which is pushed and exploited by certain locals to suit their political purposes.

People who are repeatedly told they are stupid and are victims tend to act that way, even if - objectively - there is no evidence to support the contention.

Frankly I am surprised based on your past comments to see you so readily attacking the underpinnings of the people you previously supported.

Jingles said...

"Frankly I am surprised based on your past comments to see you so readily attacking the underpinnings of the people you previously supported."

Mr. Ed I have told you on a number of occasions, I am not partiscan. I don't happen to support any government at this time.

Ed Hollett said...

"I don't happen to support any government at this time."

A ha!

An anarchist!


Jingles said...

Jingles said...
I won't be reading any more of your blogs. Arrogance is no confidence in disguise. Bye-bye

Ed Hollett said...

Well, there's only one Jingles, so if you aren't reading it, that's it.

But hey, if you can't take a joke (or understand what that smiley was), then maybe it's just as well you moved on to something more suited to your tastes.

Wm. Murphy said...

Well it's good that Mr. Jingles won't be reading any of your blogs...if so, I would hold back on what I think of him.

He is the guy that runs home when things are not going his way, or when people are not agreeing with your point of view.

What is priceless is that Mr. Jingles feels that "I will show you...I will make life difficult for srpb because I am not going to read your blog. I will bring this blog to it's kness and it is me...only me, that could resurect this sinking ship"

And all this because you called him an anarchist...with a smiley face.

A child playing in traffic.

Wm. Murphy