Showing posts with label Political Stupidity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Political Stupidity. Show all posts

20 December 2013

Ghouls, vultures, and a-holes #nlpoli

The marine rescue sub-centre story is one of those things that typifies politics in Newfoundland and Labrador.

It’s entirely the creation of a few politicians with their own agenda and a whole bunch of other sincere, well-meaning people have gotten sucked into what is – essentially  - a complete pile of shite.

10 May 2012

The Twitter Perspective #nlpoli

Tories on Twitter act like twits. Then they complain in the House of Assembly that other people are misbehaving.

Yes, they are hypocrites.

15 December 2011

A bad week for Penashue #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Poor Peter Penashue.

First, the federal Conservative intergovernmental affairs minister gets hammered for stupidly appointing his campaign manager to a position on the offshore regulatory board even though the guy isn’t qualified for the job. The SRBP post spawned a raft of comments in all sorts of places across the province about Penashue’s shameless decision to pork-up his buddy.

Then, on Wednesday, Liberal member of parliament Scott Simms outs Penashue for personally calling federal employees in Penashue’s riding to assure them they are safe from job cuts or transfers. Penashue apparently didn’t call any other federal employees in the province.

You know Penashue got caught doing something wrong.  As CBC reported:

Penashue walked past reporters after question period Wednesday and did not comment.

Since bad news comes in threes sometimes, it all makes you wonder what little rocket Penashue will get up his derriere next.

- srbp -

24 June 2011

Like Momma says, stupid is…

It takes an especially keen political genius to take someone else’s political problem and make it yours.

It takes an even rarer form of political genius to take a guaranteed loser issue and stake your entire political future to it with loopy rhetoric.

But that is exactly what Kathy Dunderdale has done with a decision by the federal Conservatives to shift 12 jobs at a search and rescue call centre from St. John’s to Halifax.

The Premier spent almost 19 minutes today scrumming with reporters to discuss a 15 to 20 minute telephone conversation she had with Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the transfer.

You can see the raw video of the scrum embedded in CBC’s online story.

Dunderdale told reporters that the “full force” of the provincial government will now be brought to bear to get the Prime Minister and his cabinet to change their minds.  She said she has tasked two cabinet ministers and their senior staff to take “every opportunity” to pursue the issue with their federal counterparts over the next year.  In addition, Dunderdale said she is also going to be doing the same thing, spending every available minute of the next year fighting to keep the 12 jobs in the province.

Now while Dunderdale acknowledges that she didn’t make this decision, she has decided to make this the singularly most important issue of her administration.  In effect, she is staking her political reputation on this single issue.

And for that reason, she has now taken what could be Stephen Harper’s problem and made it her own.  Dunderdale appears to be doing this for the same reason that Roger Grimes tried to foment political rows with the federal government before 2003:  she has the naive understanding that people will park their brains and back a Premier who is fighting a foreign oppression. 

What’s worse she seems to think this will bolster her political standing in rural areas.  That the sense you get when you hear Dunderdale tell reporters that “the vast majority of the people working in this province” making their living on the water.

That simply isn’t true.

Dunderdale should know and you can bet the Prime Minister and his officials know it as well.

But consider for a minute that Dunderdale has effectively made this the single issue that will occupy – using her own words – every minute of her time over the next year.

This trumps fishery reform.

It trumps talks to implement the Wells inquiry report recommendations into offshore safety.  Just think about that for a second when Dunderdale says “safety trumps all.”

And it trumps her precious loan guarantee for Muskrat Falls.

How did she get into this mess, aside from the naive belief about local politics?  Well, it’s the sort of ass-thinking that led Dunderdale to offer to pay the federal government to keep the jobs in the province.

That’s despite a point Dunderdale acknowledged during the scrum, namely that the federal government has been accused of offloading federal responsibilities for years.

It’s despite the fact that when pushed on it, Dunderdale had to admit that taking over the role 12 months from now is a big, complex issue that needs further study.

And that’s despite the fact that this is clearly a federal responsibility. 

Think about it:  if there’s a tragedy that can be linked to the decision, Harper and his people will wear it. That risk alone would cause politicians to run from the decision. odds are that if they’ve already ruled out the idea that where a phone gets answered won’t materially change the time it takes a helicopter to fly or for a ship to steam to a rescue site.

And if you look at the comments coming from this province since the feds made the decision, no one has yet pointed to how this decision would threaten lives.  Even Dunderdale hasn’t been able to explain simply and clearly how this puts lives at risk.

The best they’ve come up with is the rather silly claim that mainlanders can’t understand our incomprehensible dialect or that mainlanders might be too stupid or irresponsible to know which North Harbour someone might be talking about.

If a mainlander relied on such racist stereotypes of dumb newfies, we’d be manning the barricades and running up the battle flags. Why should we treat it any differently when locals use the same garbage?

Both of these arguments rely on preposterous claims. If you are to believe them, search and rescue professionals who already routinely deal with people from this province cannot understand their impenetrable accents or be bothered to learn what towns or headlands are where on the map.

If this was actually the case, then we could turn the former AbitibiBowater mill at Grand Falls-Windsor into a coffin factory the work would be that steady. Not only would the locals be drowning in droves but  so too would the Chinese, Filipinos, Bulgarians, Japanese, Russians, Portuguese and a world of other seafarers who don’t even speak English in the first place, let alone who have a local dialect and an accent to boot. and who pass our shores daily.

And when Dunderdale adds the laughable claim about the vast majority working on the water – check the labour stats – then you know that there is no comment too silly for Dunderdale to make.

Where these 12 jobs get done might be an important issue.  But Kathy Dunderdale knows the federal government will not change its decision.  As a result she knows the outcome is failure before she pledges to put this issue before all others on her agenda for dealing with Uncle Ottawa and fight it every second of every minute of every day in the full glare of the media who will be following it intently for the whole time.

What a better position could she be in with an election coming this fall?

We will get to see her evident political impotence. every day

The voters will be reminded of her poor judgment every day.

And Dunderdale runs the very serious risk of being goaded by her self-imposed impotence of having to ramp up the rhetoric to ever more ludicrous levels.


Forrest Gump’s mom had it right.

- srbp -

23 June 2011

Dunderdale dunder-fail on SAR call centre

Kathy and Steve had a nice chat on the phone, but Stephen Harper’s biggest Newfoundland and Labrador fan couldn’t persuade her guy to change his mind about shifting a search and rescue call centre from St. John’s to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax.

So much for raising expectations, Kath when you know you can’t deliver.

Luckily for the people of the province, Harper wasn’t interested in [Premier Kathy]* Dunderdale’s idiotic suggestion that the provincial government take over the call centre and pay to keep the jobs in this province. So much for that ass-thought.

- srbp -

*  added for clarity.

Updated:  Premier Kathy Dunderdale will play out the last act in the bizarro local political drama that comes with telephone calls when she scrums with reporters on Thursday.  This should be a doozy.

And if you want a simple description of the Newfoundland political life cycle of the telephone call, refer to nottawa.  He relies on his considerable experience to map it out for you.  .

29 April 2011

The choice is clear #nlpoli #elxn41

This is one of those political pictures destined to go down in history.

In years to come, they’ll refer to it as one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time.

Like posting the picture on Facebook from Las Vegas of you, drunk, a pair of panties on your head, taking a leak in the middle of some street on that wild post-graduation trip.

You know the one.

Kathy Dunderdale now has one of those pictures. Every household in the province will likely have one by Monday, courtesy of Kathy’s new buddy, Stephen Harper.

It’s hard to know if she was drunk with Harper’s charm,  if all the trappings of having a job she never, ever dreamed she could get went to her head or she just started to believe she really is all that and a bag of political potato chips.

But whatever the reason, there’s no taking this sucker back.

Come the fall, you can bet that this is just one picture Kathy Dunderdale will see over and over and over again in any place where voters can see it.



- srbp -


28 April 2011

Conservative householder a multi-level bust

Someone on the mainland decided to design a campaign householder for the federal Conservatives.

Pretty picture.

Nice little headline there.


You can tell the person is not from the province where it got dropped this past week.  There are two rather obvious  - and related - problems.  See if you can guess what the problem is.


The name of the province is Newfoundland and Labrador and that’s Problem One.

Bigger problem is that in Labrador – where this thing is going as well as on the island – there is considerable opposition to the project because it is all about power for Newfoundland…

and shag-all for Labrador.

Stunned enough that the provincial Connies conned their federal Connie cousins into backing something that only 3% of people think should be a major priority for the province.

Stunneder still is the fact that the Pavement Putin of the Permafrost and his crowd are attacking Liberal Todd Russell’s opposition to the project as if that was somehow going to work against him come polling day.

Stunnedest of all, the Harper Bunker drops this little gem across the province, especially in Labrador where it will go over like the proverbial fart in church.  Todd Russell will be laughing all the way to the polls.

There are no wounds as painful as self-inflicted ones.

- srbp -

17 March 2009

Science minister a creationist?

Now that would be nutty even in a nutty federal administration.

Not quite as nutty as having a cabinet minister who has nothing better to do that write letters to the editor, but still, pretty nutty.

People in Labrador, of course, won’t help but notice that all the big projects supposedly being “advanced’ by the provincial government in Labrador  - according to cabinet minister John Hickey  - depend on federal funding.

Meanwhile in related nutty news, still no word on how Hickey’s defamation suit is going.  Hickey sued the former leader of the opposition for remarks said by someone else, namely Hickey’s own party leader, Premier Danny Williams.

Maybe Hickey has federal aspirations, what with his attacks on incumbent member of parliament, Todd Russell.  Based on the standards set by the current science minister, Hickey would have a bright future in any Harper government. 

He fits right in.


16 March 2009

Do they have anything of value to contribute?

Please. Someone. Explain this:

[St. John.s city councillor Tom] Hann admitted he didn’t know enough about search and rescue to say whether or not a faster response would have made a difference to the outcome of last week’s crash.

“I can’t answer that question,” he said. “That’s an issue for the experts. But the only issue that I see is that, you know, I think it’s needed. Everybody says it is needed, but nothing has been done.”

The guy says he doesn’t know enough to anything of consequence at all and yet he makes a proposal to do something to deal with a situation about which he admits his own fundamental ignorance.

On top of that, he claims the idea of having a search and rescue unit in St. John’s is an issue best left to “experts” but at the same time, he wants to push this idea because “everybody” says it is needed.

So who are the experts he’s talking about?

Here’s a thought:  maybe Tom can get together with Scott Simms and discuss relocating the search and rescue unit in Scott’s riding to St. John’s.



Tom, don’t expect to get a job with Sikorsky sales update:  Just listening to Tom Hann on a night-time talk show doing an excellent job of demonstrating what he doesn’t know.  Tom is familiar with these subjects since  - as Tom put it  - “I’ve flown the Cormorant.”  Flown one or flown in one? 


Newsflash, Tom -  Both the Cormorant (EH-101) and the S-92 are built to fly search and rescue as well as transport and other missions. Next time you get a chance to talk to anyone federally you might ask about the new navy helicopter, the Cyclone, which is…wait for it…the S-92 in another guise.  When it comes in service, it will be providing SAR back-up for the Cormorants.

Makes you wonder where Tom stood on the cancellation of the EH-101s in 1993?  It’s a bit like listening to Scott Simms asking where the Cormorant back-up was while the entire squadron from Gander conducted a squadron full deployment exercise last week. 

The back up was provided by Cougar. Here’s some video of a Cougar SAR training mission. You’ll find a few other vids of this from different angles.

Once this is all over, Rick Burt and the people at Cougar need to take Tom and his friends up for a spin and introduce them to the superlative staff flying SAR missions for the company.

08 January 2009

Clueless, useless “opposition”

Lorraine Michael is clueless.

She obviously – painfully obviously – doesn’t understand how cabinet appointments are made.  How the heck else would she make this kind of comment to voice of the cabinet minister?

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael wants the Premier to consult with the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women when filling board positions. Danny Williams appointed Ed Drover to replace outgoing member Mary J. Whelan on the Offshore Petroleum Board earlier this week and Michael says the new makeup may not be able to adequately address employment equity issues for women in the offshore since there are now no women sitting at the table. Michael says Williams missed the opportunity to name a woman to the now all-male board, which also has an all-male management team. Michael plans to raise her concerns in a letter to Williams.

If not understanding the process wasn’t bad enough, the biggest concern she’s got about the recent appointment of a Tory bagman to a plum job on the offshore regulatory board is that the fact the board is now all-male means they won’t be able to adequately address gender equity employment offshore.

First of all, Lorraine Michael is making a sexist comment.

That’s right, a sexist comment.  Her comment is based on the assumption that men cannot understand, appreciate or act on issues involving gender equity evidently merely because of their chromosomal structure.

Utter crap, Lorraine.  Sheer crap.

Second, she might want to pay attention to something like the lack of any obvious qualification for the appointee other than his impeccable Provincial Conservative ones. Rather than make sexist comments, Lorraine might try addressing substance.

Third, she might want to watch the news once in a while. 

Lorraine Michael is the kind of opposition a government loves:  clueless and hence completely ineffective. 

Go ahead and write your letter to Danny, Lorraine. 

It’s sure to have a profound effect on the guy who eats tough multinational companies for breakfast.