For some reason, Kathy Dunderdale wants to know who is criticising her pet project.
Now she doesn’t come flat out and say that, but you can tell someone got her goat pretty good during the public utilities board hearings into Muskrat Falls.
You can tell because Kathy said so in the House of Assembly on May 29.
You can find the video version of it in the House of Assembly’s audio archive. It’s at around the 55 or 56 minute mark after she says some other nonsense about lower debts. it’s worth taking the time to watch it because you to see the Premier in all her spittle-spewing best. And you can also hear the others around her mewing and bawling. In the middle of her rant, someone says the initials JM.
Here’s the printed version of Hansard:
… it is the same old do as I say, not as I do syndrome. Mr. Speaker, we encourage people to ask questions. We encourage people to critique the project. The one thing we have said in all that we have heard, where are the facts…? If you are going to set yourself up as an expert on hydro development, put your name on it so we get to weigh the value of what it is you have to say. Because what Ed Martin has to say about hydro development has a greater weight than what I am going to say about it; certainly what JM has to say about it, whoever JM is…
… people need to understand who is critiquing because they have to give weight to the opinion. What is their knowledge of it? What is their experience of it, Mr. Speaker? Because that is going to measure how much value you are going to give to their opinion. To others we say … show us where the gaps in the analysis are. You do not have to argue with me. I am not putting myself as any great expert on natural gas but I am going to point you to expert, expert, expert who has given this opinion, this opinion, this opinion and if you do not agree with it, tell us what your expertise is to counter the argument or give us your expert who has something different to say. Nobody has responded, Mr. Speaker. Not a soul, Mr. Speaker. MHI, PUB's own expert, and we acknowledge their expertise, Mr. Speaker. They say that this is the best, low-cost alternative for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
According to Kathy Dunderdale you judge a person’s argument not by the quality of the argument itself but by knowledge of the person’s identity.
Nothing else matters.
Now on the face of it, that just another piece of Kathy-nonsense. And just because we know Kathy Dunderdale said it, doesn’t make it any less of a nonsense. Nor does it give her foolish notion any more credibility.
If Ed Martin told her the world was flat and someone else – whose identity she didn’t know – explained to her in detail why it was that the Earth was a sphere that kinda bulged in the middle, Kathy would apparently accept Ed’s view because she knows his name and can judge his credibility on that basis.
You get the point.
And before any of the smart-arse brigade try to distinguish between these two examples, just remember that Ed martin has no professional expertise he can rely on in the flat-earth example. Martin isn’t a physicist. He’s an accountant with all his work experience in the oil business before he took over Nalcor. He has no special credibility to draw on.
We don’t need to belabour this. Kathy’s argument is foolishness on the face of it. We can also dismiss Kathy’s comments about wanting people to tell her where they went wrong. We can dismiss those remarks because, as Jerome Kennedy knows, the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour. Whenever Kathy and her pals have run into a substantive argument against their project, they go slime bag and launch an attack on the person, not the argument.
That’s essentially what they started back in May aimed at this particular person. It sounded like Fairity O’Brien who mentioned JM first,but Kathy didn’t hesitate to pick up the example and use it. Apparently JM’s submission to the PUB hit the Tories pretty hard.
They’ve taken notice of him.
He is on their target-hunting radar.
Logically, that would mean his analysis upset them.
They didn’t like it.
Which, of course, means that JM probably got a lot of things – maybe even most things - right.
Well, if Kathy, Fairity and their friends didn’t like what JM had to say before, they are really not going to have a good day on Wednesday.
Not a good day at all.