10 February 2012

Best interests #nlpoli

Fisheries minister Darin King rejected Ocean Choice International’s proposal for exporting and processing fishery. He held a news conference on Thursday.

King claimed the decision is in the best interest of the people of the province. 

King also said the decision did not mean he was opposed to reform in the fishery.  By his decision in this instance, King was insisting that he  - as fisheries minister - must have the right to dictate what private sector companies will take as losses in order to maximise work in a fish plant in his own district.

That’s not reform.  That’s just more of the same fundamental premise that has created the financial, social and political mess that is the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador today.

At no point did King indicate how his decision was in the best interest of the province, although he went back to the same idea a couple of times to justify his decision.  There’s no surprise in that.  Politicians like to use that sort of self-righteous bullshit to justify all sorts of things.

There’s also no surprise that King and his cabinet colleagues took this decision at the start of the current polling period.  The provincial government’s pollster is in the field this month.  King’s announcement is a populist move to appeal to certain interest groups. King should know he’s in a very bad spot, though, simply by virtue of the fact the provincial Liberal fisheries critic is slapping King on the back and giving him a hearty “atta boy!”

The Liberals have perhaps the most backward, outdated policy in the fishery anyone could imagine.  Its elements look to the fishery long since past, not to the one that is emerging. 

In the fishery of the very near future,  fishing subsidies like federal employment insurance wage subsidies,  state-sponsored marketing schemes and the stalinist political control of the economy typified by King’s decision will all go by the wayside. International trade talks are already laying the groundwork for massive change. 

That looming change is one of the reasons decisions like King’s aren’t in the public interest at all.  They do not solve problems. They do not get people ready for what is coming.  They merely build up pressure such that when changes come, they are more likely than ever to be radical, uncontrolled and potentially financially and socially brutal. 

We are just in the early days of a period of revolutionary change in Newfoundland and Labrador.

You can see it coming.

All you have to do is look at how hard politicians of all three political parties and the FFAW are struggling against it.

- srbp -