05 May 2006

Williams doppleganger shows up in Corner Brook

Some guy delivered a speech in Corner Brook today claiming he was Premier Danny Williams.

Among other things, this guy said that government can't be using legislation to force companies to do things that aren't economically sustainable, like running fish plants when there isn't fish. If you go around threatening companies with expropriation, according to this guy, then you'd have a hard time attracting new investment.

This can't be the real Danny Williams.

Well, at least it isn't the guy who diddled around with Fishery Products' income trust proposal until it was useless. Of course, when that Danny Williams got around to putting legislation in front of the House of Assembly he tried to extort FPI into putting resources into plants that weren't economically viable.

It can't be the same guy who threatened to expropriate Abitibi's Stephenville mill if they shut it down.

[Speaking of Abitibi, check out this government page, last updated March 10, 2005 (!) that says Abitibi is reviewing the status of its Newfoundland operations, including Stephenville. That page is linked off the New England business development page that itself was last updated a year ago. Last August, Bond Papers drew attention to the public embarrassment of that website, complete with its picture of aircraft carrier deck crew supposedly being in Newfoundland and Labrador.]

It can't be the same Danny Williams who just a month ago was talking about getting legislation to take out ExxonMobil because government and the Hebron partners couldn't get a deal on developing that field.

And surely it isn't the same Premier Danny Williams who, on the same day that he was speaking against using political pressure against companies struggling with tough competition, found his deputy premier and fisheries minister (photo: left) on CBC Radio's Fisheries Broadcast warning the beleaguered Fishery Products International that it had better come up with plans for Fortune and other plants the company has closed if it ever expects to see government support for its current efforts at cutting costs and restoring profitability.

That last one could just be Tom Rideout riding on his own merry way. He's been known to say things that aren't backuppable and this might be another case of Rideout being out of sync with his boss.

But look at the other ones and you gotta wonder what Danny Williams is up to.

Supposedly Richard Nixon had a theory that if he acted insanely, then maybe his international opponents like Vietnam and China would be more co-operative at the negotiating table. They'd fear Dick might just go wacky one day and nuke them all. It was good cop/bad cop on a global scale with Henry Kissinger as the good cop.

Maybe Danny Williams is running the same little psychological ploy on the business sector.

Only problem is Danny is trying to play both parts at the same time, all by himself. At least Nixon had Henry the K.

Either that or the secret cloning experiments - the real work of the Department of Business - were successful and there are really two Danny's with maybe more to come.

There's a thought for the weekend.