14 March 2012

When you suddenly become the enemy… #nlpoli

For those of us in Newfoundland and Labrador who  - from the outset - opposed the political style that settled on this province after 2003, it’s been a fascinating exercise to watch others suddenly take up the same issues.

Danny Williams’ Conservatives imported the style and applied it ruthlessly to anyone the Old Man felt was not sufficiently compliant with his wishes.

The pattern of behaviour is very well documented.

Until lately the province’s New Democrats and the labour unions that back them enjoyed a very special relationship with the Conservatives.  Generally, they backed the Tories on major projects and issues.  They could find lots of common ground on all sorts of issues.

And as for things like free speech, well, those things were nothing to get bothered about.

Well, those days are gone.

Federation of labour president Lana Payne isn’t signing provincial Tory praises any more now that the Tories have turned on her friends.

And so it is that Lana wrote in her Telegram column this past Saturday that the “divisive smear politics” from other places “has found its way” to this province.

It is disheartening.  No good can come from this.

Well,  of course, it was disheartening.

No good did come of it.

What was most truly disheartening in this province after 2003, though, was the way that people and organizations you would expect to fight for basic rights and for progressive causes couldn’t be bothered to do so as long as the Tories kept the public purse strings loose.  

Maybe Lana could write a column about that some time.  If she did, then maybe she might have an ounce of credibility in her sudden love of fundamental rights and freedoms.

- srbp -