Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nov. 24: Good report on a lousy speech

John Chilibeck deserves credit. He reported fully on the government's throne speech. He said everything there was to be said. He even made space for the NDP comment, though the NDP doesn't  have an elected member of legislature. Chilibeck did a good job. It's not his fault  the speech had nothing to say.

There is, though, one hell of a fault with an editorial staff that doesn't see a need to have comment on the speech that is going to set our course through what are likely to be the toughest years we will ever see.

A couple of hints for the editors:
1. Read election platforms of every government in  Canada for 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934. They all propoased the same response to economic hard times that Alward has (vaguely) suggested. They all failed.

R.B.Bennett, prime minister of Canada and a real capitalist (one who did not make his money by sponging off the taxpayers) realized it didn't work. He proposed the Bennett New Deal in 1935. He proposed not firing people, but hiring them. He proposed not cutting services but improving them.
,However,  Canadians of the time all read papers like BrunswickMedia - so they elected Mackenzie King instead of Bennett. And the depression sank even lower until the war pulled us out. Duriing that war, we adopted Bennett's suggestions - and it turned out they worked.

But corporations found it wasn't good enough to satisfy their greed. That's how we ended up back in this mess. Alward is a disaster. So is his minister of finance - you know, the ex-Irving exec.

Poor Bennett. He had brains and integrity. But we seldom elect people like that. More often, we elect the Alwards of this world.

He's going to get rid of a few MLAs? Big deal. How about all the civil service cuts and the medical people who are on the block? You seriously think we're going to improve employment by firing people?  Isn't that like tryiing to put out fires with a flamethrower?

We're going to develop strong regulations for oil and gas exploration???? David, they've been doing it for over ten years.  You've been in power well over a year. You mean we STILL don't have regulations and enforcement in place? Haven't you announced on at least two occasions, in fact, that we already have them?

And you're going to keep us informed about fracking? Not that it should require a special promise for a premier to tell people what he's doing - but isn't that a promise you made at least twice? And dishonoured at  least twice?

He's going to bring electricity costs for corporations in line with other provinces. David - 1. I don't believe you. 2. Other provinces also over-subsidize their corporations. 3. I don't believe you. I don't believe you'll inform us about fracking. I don't believe you will bring down and enforce tough regulations. I don't believe you'll get honest about energy for corporations.

I do believe you when youo say you will appoint a committee of senior businessmen (along with a few university presidents as decorative potted plants) to plan the economy. New Brunswick governments have really always done that. The very people who are the ones who don't want to pay taxes and who want to cut services are the ones you are going to listen to for advice on economic planning.

Ever think of hiring burglars to install bank alarms?

This was not only a vague speech. It stank of corruption and of ignorance of the development of economic thinking over the past seventy years.  It was a contemptible speech. (I guess we'll have to wait for the editorial that says how brilliant it was.)

But you'll be okay, David. You'll retire to some comfortable, easy and well-paying directorships. And you'll probably even get an award for - oh - humanitarianism.

There was another quite decently reported story on A10. This one, by Chris Morris, was a pretty full and impartial report of demonstraters outside the legislalture during the speech from the throne. That's two stories full, fair and impartial in just one section, a new record. But, seriously, good jobs by Morris and Chilibeck.

By  the way, if you have checked Google news (chosen from news media across Canada), you will know that the US is openly talking of intervening in Syria as "coordinator" for Turkish and Arab League aircraft to set up no fly zones. That, let us note, is an act of war. Canada (without us ordinary people being asked) is already involved with a frigate in position. The US has sent a super carrier with its cruiser escorts.

The last time we set up a no fly zone, we used it to kill thousands of civilians.

The US has also said it plans to go ahead without the approval of the UN, in fact without even informing the UN. In other words, the great experiment in world order is over. The UN is going the way of the League of Nations.

Oh - did I mention that Russia, as a protest against western interference in Syria, has warships in Syrian waters? 

Sounds dangerous?  Nah. It can't be. None of this has appeared in the TandT.

Both Alec Bruce and Jody Dallaire bring their usual good sense to the fore.

Rod Allen, as usual, is so vague and trivial that I have to wonder whether he wrote yesterday's speech from the throne.

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