19 February 2011

Connies torquing Bev Oda

The Globe and Mail carried an exceptionally well crafty effort by someone to counteract the fairly obvious problems federal cabinet minister Bev Oda created for herself recently.

It is not just spin, however.

It is beyond mere spin.

It is torque.

Pure torque.

It is such a heavy load of torque this piece should be accompanied by the whine of one of those wrenches they use in garages to change tire lugs.

Bev Oda is a former senior executive in the communications industry who, we are to believe, is now a “serious minded minister” who has one tragic flaw – she simply can’t explain what she means.  She cannot communicate effectively. 

Someone was so concerned to get that message that they made it the headline of the piece.

The lede then reframes the entire controversy and ascribes it to “sketchy paperwork”.

But here’s the simple truth:  Bev Oda lied to parliament.

The paperwork was not sketchy.  it’s there and plain and as Oda herself acknowledged she directed someone to insert the word “not” in a document and thereby change its meaning.

The lede of the Globe piece is factually incorrect.

It is, to use a simple word, untrue.

In case you missed it, the lede is based on an entirely false premise.

The rest of the article describes Oda’s desk piled high with papers and cases where decisions were left to the last minute.  The article refers to former staffers who attribute this to her penchant for reading each document thoroughly. Oda is, we are assured “a stickler for details and a pains-taking reader of files.”

Sure she is.

What the article describes is a person who actually appears to be overwhelmed by her responsibilities and who is working well above her ceiling.  Delay of this sort is not an attention to detail;  it is likely an avoidance of making a decision and that comes from only one source:  insecurity.

Ministers who are on top of their files, as the phrase goes and who are, at the same time, sticklers for detail tend to keep their desks cleared with an endless flurry of paper coming and going.

They do not hesitate to make decisions.

They are constantly making decisions.

They are the ones who, after a very long day,  take home a bunch of hundred page tomes and skip the one page briefing notes to dive into the detail.  The books comes back the next morning with hand-written notations on page after page in the middle.

Your humble e-scribbler can say this because he has worked for or with a bunch of them and knows a bunch more by reputation.

Oda served as a senior vice president at CTV but she is, according to the sources in this article, beset by a communications problem.

Again, a nose-puller of Mulroney-ego-esque proportions.

Bev Oda lied to parliament.

She should go.

And if the Prime Minister and his crew had half a clue they’d have punted this fairly obvious inept minister a long time ago.  Surely there’s a sinecure somewhere for her other than sitting in cabinet.

- srbp -