11 March 2007

The foreign bogeyman

...Rhetorically at least, there has been good mileage to be made in Newfoundland politics by charging governments past and present with having sold the country down the river and by challenging the legitimacy of allegedly perfidious agreements. At one level, indeed, Newfoundland history is a record of attempts to undo the past. If foreign bogeyman can be made part of the story all the better, although the greatest loathing in this particular tradition is perhaps reserved for local politicians who are believed to have aided or engineered the betrayal of their own people. In St. John's especially, a paranoid outlook in such matters has, going back to the nineteenth century, never been far below the surface. In sum, the scapegoat, either at home or from abroad, has figured prominently in Newfoundland political history.
Peter Neary, Newfoundland in the North Atlantic World, 1929 - 1949, (McGill-Queen's university Press, 1988)