In some countries, you can tell when the latest Great Helmsman is dead.
The radio stations bombard listeners with sombre music of a classical bent for a few hours before the formal announcement is made. Brezhnev, Chernenko, Andropov, all got the warning treatment before being propped up for displays of ritual public grief and then stuffed in the Kremlin wall for posterity.
Well, there may not be any depressing music yet but we may already have begun to hear tests of the the eulogy for Danny Williams’ political career.
Tory backbencher Ed Buckingham called voice of the cabinet minister’s morning talk show on Friday to rebut some comments by an earlier caller about the Hibernia South deal. Maurice was out to lunch but Ed went a bit farther than necessary in defending the master’s honour when he got into the great wonderments of the deal just inked.
Ed picked up the thread about all the great knowledge and wisdom which is coming from not just this deal but others. Apparently before now, no one knew anything about oil and gas stuff. But thanks to Glorious and Wondrous Leader’s efforts – according to Ed – we are learning more with each one and getting better and better at deal-making.
Then he tossed in the bit that was way too much. The thing about WGL – according to Ed – is that he is always looking ahead to make sure that we his doting subjects, his sheep, his idiot children, his precious flock of stooges are looked after, all in preparation for the day when he is not around to lead us all in his usual wondrous and glorious fashion.
Now that line displayed an entirely patronising and belittling attitude toward the people of the province, let alone what it said about Ed and his fellow politicians currently sitting in the legislature.
And we’ve certainly heard the line about gaining knowledge and how that is a big part of these deals. Having an oil company is supposed to help “us” learn about oil stuff, like none of this has ever happened before in the history of the province.
What’s noticeable about this reference is that it is the first time – in light of the most recent unmentionable subject - that one of the truly faithful has dared to make any reference to the prospect that at some point someone else might have to put a hand to the tiller instead of the guy who has been doing it for the past seven years.
Even without reference to that most recent unmentionable subject, as distinct from the unmentionable subject Bob Wakeham mentioned, that seems to be about the only time some local Tories have floated the idea that Wondrous and Glorious Leader might actually not be here for the thousand years foretold in legend, the four terms joked about with VOCM or the one more election he told Fred Hutton about.
But if one of them does start talking about the post-Danny world, then it may not be so very far away after all.