28 September 2006

The King of Id

Danny Williams' was named leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador in early 2001. His speech on that occasion contains a great many memorable quotes.

Left: Danny Williams. Not exactly as illustrated.

In the weeks ahead, we'll bring you some excerpts from it. For starters, here's the section where Williams lays out the essence of his approach.

Williams has quoted John Kennedy on several occasions although it is not clear on any of those occasions if Williams ever understood what Kennedy was talking about.

Anyway, from April 7 2001 here is Danny, in his own words:
John F. Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."

I say to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians: "Ask not what we can do for our country, because we have done enough. Let's ask our country what they can do for us."

Update: Some readers didn't quite get this. The indented section above is Danny Williams, in his own words. it is a full and accurate quote.

It doesn't make sense, said one e-mailer.

Of course not.

That's the point for people who understand Kennedy's clarion call to public service and selflessness in striving for a larger good.

But if you understand the constant messages from Williams that we have been stupid victims - until electing Danny - and that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are collectively entitled to hand-outs, payback, reparations or compensation for supposed past injustices, then Williams' meaning becomes starkly clear.