There are times when a politician’s comments are so stunned they just take your breath away.
The first few days of the Damn-fool Fishery this weekend were marred by a tragic and entirely preventable death off Bell Island. A man drowned after being tossed from the boat in which he was riding. None of the people in the boat were wearing life jackets.
The major of the largest community on Bell Island turned up on CBC Monday evening. Gary Gosine explained that while some people might think the man would be alive today had been wearing a life jacket, the real culprit in this tragedy was the federal government. The feds restricted the “food fishery” to a few weeks of the year. people have to go out in all kinds of weather while in other provinces they can fish a lot more often.
Where does one begin to explain the utter stupidity of Gosine’s comments?
The weather this weekend was perfect. The reason the man and his companions were in a boat was irrelevant. They were apparently out to get a few codfish but they could have just decided to go out for a spin.
The death, as tragic as it was, would have been prevented had anyone in the boat been wearing a personal flotation device of some kind. Gosine dismissed such an idea because most people in rural Newfoundland take to the water without wearing a life jacket. Stupid is as stupid does, according to Forrest Gump’s mother. Or to use a more local version of the same thing, you’d talk about jumping off a wharf just because everyone else does it.
The fact that everyone does such a foolish thing as go out on the ocean without looking after their own personal safety does not make foolishness sensible. It simply reminds us that common sense is not all that common after all.
And as Gary Gosine reminded us all on Monday, politicians can sometimes can be uncommonly stupid.