21 January 2005

Link to "Which is to be master?"

As I noted when I started this blog, in July I released a research paper on the Williams administration proposal which discusses the Atlantic Accord, what had been discussed in public to that time and suggested another way of structuring the province's proposal that might work.

It can be found on Greg Locke's blog. Greg is a local photographer and journalist - he's more than just the word photojournalist suggests. Greg and I disagree on the Accord and a bunch of other things but he did post this paper when it first came out. Follow the link and click on the paperclip marking an attachment and you'll be able to download the original paper. Since the hits on my blog have shot up in the past few days, I thought it would be a good idea to remind people of the original research paper.

Which is to be master? (http://blog.greglocke.com/blog/_archives/2004/7)

Since July I have been able to obtain what seems to be the complete set of official correspondence to and from the Prime Minister, including both copies of the slide presentations made in February and March. Those documents make for interesting reading and are the basis of my recent posts, including the description of the three different versions of what Premier Williams has been seeking. There is actually a fourth version - a sort of Williams 2.1 - described very generally by the Premier in answer to a question in the House of Assembly on 7 June 2004. That version is what was agreed to on June 5 in the Saturday Cell Phone Accord and that seems to be different from both the pre-June 5 provincial position and the June 10 position. If I had more detail on what it contained, I'd give it to you.

Something tells Danny wouldn't return my phone call or answer my mail.

Meanwhile on the "Blame Canada" website...

it has been interesting exchanging some views on the "Fair Deal" website with some people who seem to support Danny Williams more than his own family does. For the past couple of days, the site owner hasn't had to update since the entire site has been focused on a discussion related to some of my posts.

True to form, in some cases the responses to my points have largely been little more than name calling - "s*** disturber" - but that surely pales compared to "wimp capitalist petty bourgeois suburbanite" for inventiveness. Some others have pointed out my work background and political affiliation as if that had any bearing on the matter except in the truly most narrow and seemingly non-functioning of minds. Again, sadly true to form, those sorts of irrelevant points come from people who use only their first name to post or hide behind a pseudonym. Too bad they can't Marshall the courage to stand behind their convictions.

A few have tried to toss some "facts" on the table, usually the ones put forward by the provincial government. My rejoinders have earned the previously mentioned responses.

As a final effort, a couple of the posts have suggested that I must be afraid of Danny Williams' succeeding. This is a curious idea for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I have actually been afraid that because of his amateurish approach and histrionic tactics, the Premier keeps making it harder to negotiate properly. I am also afraid that by raising public expectations so high in pursuit of a virtually impossible objective (200% forever), Premier Williams could end up walking away from a good deal for no legitimate reason other than to claim a moral victory.

Show me a moral victor and I'll show you a loser. Unfortunately, the loser in this case won't be the Premier. Look in the mirror to find the answer.

Perhaps my most favourite comment came from a chap named "cyril" - that's all he posted as a handle- who advised that I should leave the negotiating to Danny and Loyola because they were doing a good job. I should learn from his succinctness. His comment is curious since much of the irk on the Fair Deal page centres on the Upper Churchill. We got that contract because nobody questioned the Premier of the day who was "the only one fighting for Newfoundland". We never questioned him because, as Ambrose Peddle said, "it wasn't fashionable". cyril's attitude is a time honoured one.

Unfortunately, it is the same one that keeps costing us money over and over again and it is the same one we pursue often being left to wonder how we possibly could be still broke.

The answer that always leaps to mind is that it was the Mainlanders fault. That answer is usually associated with the next "only" Premier to ever fight for "us".

Just visit the "Fair Deal" site. Too bad there wasn't a public internet in 1982 or I could link you back to old Brian Peckford sites.