30 July 2006

A horse, a horse...

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then what is a Telegram editorial?

In the bad old days, Telly-torials were simply a precis of events related to a given topic followed by the inevitable conclusion that, all things being considered, something was likely to happen.

These days, there are editorials that make a sharp point - once in a while - but all too often editorials are like the series some time ago criticizing the Globe and Mail. On those occasions, the Telly editorial writer of the moment finds it more convenient to park higher brain functioning and fall back on whatever the 8th Floor's call-in organizers have approved as the official thought-du-jour.

With that background then,consider the recent Telegram editorial on Sanford's interim director's report ("Not just another annual report", Wednesday, July 26, 2006).

The Telly-torialist excerpts the report, one portion of which took issue with claims the company was being managed against the best interests of the province.

While these suggestions are totally false and cannot be substantiated, the government has chosen to strengthen the FPI Act by requiring the company to increase the number of directors from seven to 13 and requiring the board and all committees of the board have a majority of Newfoundland based directors.

The government has also introduced a requirement that the board must seek government approval for the sale of any assets of the business no matter
where they are in the world. Clearly this and other changes to the FPI Act go against normal business principles and practices and are a total invasion of shareholder rights.
Here we have an assessment of the current FPI situation from a credible source that, just coincidentally, happens to demonstrate that the Premier's comments on FPI and John Risley are something other than factual and accurate.

Rather than add to the commentary, the Telegram first tries to lampoon the Sanford comment. Then it advises we should consider Sanford's comments but only with large grains of salt.

It is disheartening when an influential media outlet such as the Telegram can do no better on its editorial pages than to offer up this intellectual version of rock soup on an issue as important as the continued Fishery Products International mess.

The Telegram, moreso than most news media in the province, has churned out editorials lately on the current administration's resource policy that make Tony the Tory from Open Line sound like one of the Premier's staunchest political opponents.

It would more useful to Telly readers if the editorials became once more horses designed by committee. It would be a damned sight better than seeing - as we have - only the stuff that falls from underneath the horses tail.