13 November 2020

Sod off, Norm Doyle #nlpoli

Ex-Harper fart catcher
Norm Doyle
Veteran Connie hack Norm Doyle has finally aged off the public tit, on which he spent too much of his adult life.

Attention spans are so short in local politics these days that most people don't remember his stint as a fart catcher for Stephen Harper let alone his long time in provincial politics.

So let's refresh memories with a couple of examples.

Anyone who wants to get a more fullsome account of Norm's shallow and self-serving political career can use the search function in the upper left corner of these e-scribbles and enter "Norm Doyle".  

Lazy readers can click that link on Norm's name.

In his memoir published a few years ago,  Doyle whined about that time in 1989 when he and his crowd were turfed by voters into a batch of shitty offices in the Confederation Building.  

Your humble e-scribbler told the story more honestly than Norm ever would:

Doyle and his mates wound up in the western wing of the fifth floor in a part of the building they had not renovated since it was built in the 1950s. Sometimes water poured in when it rained. That’s the spot the Conservatives gave the Liberal opposition when, in their arrogance, the Conservatives figured that these offices were only ever going to occupied the Liberals or the New Democrats.  Doyle had never worked in the Opposition office  - despite the implication of one sentence in his book - and most of his colleagues couldn’t remember the time before 1972 when the Tories had won power from Smallwood and the Liberals.

By contrast, Doyle and his colleagues made sure their offices were well-appointed. They spared no public expense to fit themselves out in fine style.  Bear in mind that Doyle was part of a provincial government that was in very tough financial shape.  Among the Tories, only the Speaker worked in a place decorated in a style best described as a cross between a Turkish whorehouse and a set from Good Fells or Married to the Mob. The rest were lavish as lavish could be in a 1980s way.  Doyle doesn’t get into any of that but clearly, from the way Doyle describes the election episode, he still finds the whole thing painful a quarter of a century later.

In one small paragraph - excerpted in this SRBP post -  Norm also just how small-minded he could be.  The subject was the end of the sectarian education system that had kept Newfoundlanders and Labradorians ignorant and backward for a century and more:

There would be no more schools teaching Christian principles or creeds.  As a matter of fact,  there would be no obligation on the part of the so-called enlightened system to teach much more about Christianity than it would about the other world religions, whether they were the new Asian religions, or Taoism, or Shamanism, or Confucianism, or Wicca, or New Age.  Christians might very well make up ninety-nine percent [sic] of the Newfoundland population, but [they] would now occupy the same space in our schools as those who barely made it onto the radar screen.

Simon Lono took issue with another of Norm's bigoted views.  He wrote this short, and characteristically generous, criticism when Norm wanted to ban equal marriage.

I was sitting here at my desk, minding my own business listening to the radio when, to my surprise, I hear Norman Doyle!

Remember Mr. Doyle? If you cast your mind back you might recall that he's the sitting Member of Parliament for St. John's North.

It's ok if you don't recall because since his election, Mr. Doyle truly has been very effective at being an MP (missing person).

But now he's resurfaced on issues close to all our hearts - same-sex marriage.

Apparently he believes that the issue should be re-opened in yet another vote for yet another debate because he has a real problem with what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

Mr. Doyle believes that this burning issue takes precedence over a whole host of federal issues as they pertain to our province - fisheries, unemployment, social programs, health and education funding.

The Harper government was recently good enough to float a trial balloon on a constitutional amendment that would squeeze federal funding out of areas of provincial jurisdiction. The philosophy behind this is clearly "every man/woman for themselves".

While Doyle and his national Conservative allies are keen to get the federal government off the backs of the individuals and the provinces, they have no problem putting government into our bedrooms.

I'm not very impressed.

Norm wasn't very impressive, ever.

Except for his ability to get elected again and again and then ingratiate himself with Stephen Harper enough to get a seat in the Senate.  Norm lowered the standard in any elected body in which he sat and  finished off by doing the same for the Senate. 

And while Simon wouldn't say more than that Norm left him unimpressed, your humble e-scribbler will be characteristically blunt:  

Norm Doyle is an asshole.

Good riddance to him.