01 December 2011

Stupid politicians and their staffers #nlpoli #cdnpoli

National Defence has had its fair share of total boobs who wind up appointed as minister.

Perhaps worst of all was the numpty who mandated that all Canadian Forces kitchens should use real maple syrup.  Of course, the maple syrup he mandated came from the part of Quebec he represented, but that was the extent of his concern.

Rare have been the ministers whose combination of intelligence and ability led to sound decisions and the sort of grown-up behaviour that the men and women of the Canadian Forces deserve.

The latest contestant in the “Biggest Dickwad of a Minister” sweepstakes would have to be Pete MacKay.  As it turns out, a very senior officer in the air operations centre warned against using a search and rescue helicopter to winch the minister out of a vacation spot on the Gander River.

He’s a sample from The Star’s story on the military advice the minister’s political staff ignored:
“If we are tasked to do this we of course will comply,” Ploughman continued. “Given the potential for negative press though, I would likely recommend against it.”
Formal PortraitThe “Ploughman” in the quote is Bruce Ploughman, then a colonel and these days a brigadier general.  Ploughman – originally from Newfoundland – is chief of staff for the military command responsible for deploying Canadian soldiers, sailors and aircrew around the globe.

According to his official biography, Brigadier General Ploughman is a highly experienced maritime helicopter pilot with tons of experience on the management end of the military. He’s also commanded the Canadian air wing in Afghanistan.

Smart guy.

Someone you might listen to.

Listen to, that is, if you weren’t the defence minister or the staffers who insisted on using a helicopter for the minister’s personal business.
From the looks of the Star story, it seems that the experience air force staff officers tried a number options to see if a bit of delay or apparent difficult would lead the pols from finding another way to get Pete out of the woods.

If that’s the case, then the officers were much smarter than their political masters.  The idiots insisted and – as a result – the whole mess has proven to be embarrassing for MacKay and the federal Conservatives.

- srbp -