Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14:This is the making of history....

New Brunswick is, almost certainly, going through the  most important political and economic moment it has seen in a hundred and fifty years - and more. The corruption and the moral rot that has characterized its past (and present) is for the first time being openly challenged. And the TandT and the whole Irving press  haven't said a word about it.

I don't want to say they're all lying - though most of the editorial staff surely is lying. But we have to be generous and allow for sheer stupidity and journalistic incompetence - the twin devils whose dung we can see almost every day on the editorial and op ed pages.

As well, there are commonly huge gaps on the news pages. For example, a report commissioned by the city council recently showed that the city went over budget in building the stadium. And I mean big time over budget as an initial estimate of some 14 billion turned out to cost almost double that. Nor can it be written off entirely in incompetence.

For millions of dollars, there is no record of what the money was for or who got it. That's not just incompetence. That's robbery. And it's criminal. Some people, somebody was in collusion. Who can tell who it was? The moral rot in this province runs deep, and includes some of the best families.

Somebody in city government had to know what was going on - perhaps a person who is now encouraging us to spend over a hundred million on a hockey rink when we could renew the old one for a quarter of that. Well, it wouldn't be a quarter of that. The same people who filled their pockets on the stadium would do the same with the hockey rink.

But none of this was important enough to make the pages of the TandT.

Dr.Cleary, the Chief Provincial Medical Officer who warned about shale gas has just been given a major, natiional award for what she did. The government ignored her. The Irving Press butchered her report, preferring to accept a report from a man quite incompetent to make the report he did. Of course, that man has suffered for the wrong he did. Every day, he has to drop his pants and bend over for Norbert's kisses.

 And, of course, the Irving Press becomes one of the few in Canada not to mention Dr. Cleary's award.

In other health matters, somebody outside government is pushing for changes in health care that  would lead to privatization. The spiel is that privatization would be more efficient. And that is lying bullshit. Worse, it is murderous, lying bullshit.

The US has a private health system. It is far less efficient and far less expensive than our medicare. Indeed, it is far more expensive and inefficient that any health system in the developed world. And the expense and inefficiency kill.

Recent figures from the US show that under private health, the rich live longer than the poor. The time longer is in the range of 10 to 20 years. (It's a saving, in way, because the very poor die at 63, so you don't have the burden of paying pensions to them.) That's not efficiency. That's deliberate murder to satisfy greed.

But don't worry about that report. It hasn't appeared in the Irving Press; and it's not going to.

Then there are the "business" committees. What the hell is going on in this province? Can you imagine the storm if a union were to form a committee to 'advise' the provincial government or city hall? If the homeless were to decide to do so? If the poor did so? If small storekeepers did so? If teachers did so?

But Mr. Irving, contrary to Canadian consitutional practice threw together a committee of business buddies and administrative tarts from the universities to plan the economic future of New Brunswick - something us common people had just elected a government to do.

Then he had the astonishing nerve to name himself a member of the government. -though nobody had voted for him or asked him. Then, premier Alward, a man who makes a jellyfish look like a body builder in comparison, allowed this intruder to plant his puppets officially as advisers to the Minister of Finance.

The Irving press noted nothing of this extraordinary and anti-constitutional behaviour.

More recently, another Irving presented himself as a chairman of business group to advise city council (the one WE had elected to make decisions) on matters like the events centre/hockey rink.) Not only is that presumptuous, it also gives people with a stake in the hockey rink (including the chairman) an unelected role in getting it built - and perhaps profiting in the construction themselves.

This has a real stench about it - as does the mysterious appearance of a billboard group called Business Inc. This is a denial of democratic rights for most of us, and highly improper intrusions by business into government. But the Irving press clamps a great, clothespin on its collective nose, and treats it as if this were normal behaviour in a free society.

And no doubt they will some day find a professor to write a series on how good this all is for us.

Oh, and the Canadian government spies on our phone calls and e mail. But there won't be  room for it in the paper. It has a big story on somebody nobody ever heard of and who has done nothing for a whole lifetime.

And, of course, there is no room for the story of how Harper is deliberately destroying the only public broadcaster we have. and the best news source in the country - counting radio, TV and the press. What he wants is something brainless, and something completely under his control. He plans to sneak it through under a big pile of legislation with no time for debate. Luckily for Harper, he has a Governor-General with even less spine than Alward has. (Of course he has less; he was once a university president. If you think that suggests a certain contempt for university presidents, you're right. I'll write about it some day.)

And that brings us to why this is a great moment for New Brunswick.

From it's early days, this province has been dominated politically and economically by a handful of robber barons who held power because they controlled access to the only paid employment available. To say one word of criticism of them meant stigma and, probably, poverty for life.

To this day, most New Brunswickers are afraid to express anything but the most loutish opinions in public. I encountered more freedom of speech in China than I have in New Brunswick - and that's not an exaggeration. You will find that fear of open expression all the way down to school committees, churches, even coffee klatches...  People are scared.

Now, for the first time, we're seeing an open and public challenge to the old dominance. Thanks largely to the courage of native peoples with support from others among us, we're seeing people stare down the robber barons.

It's happening on route 116 where peaceful protestors faced by police who are not always peaceful have been facing SWN, a fracking company that is exploring for shale gas in the region. And, as we all know, this exploration is to be followed by many more across the province.

It takes courage to stand out there in the open. And in this heat it takes suffering and endurance. But they've been out there day after day with scant shelter or water or conveniences of any sort. They're out there for all of us. They're out there to challenge the vultures who have fed off this province for generations.

But there's no word in the TandT about the sacrifice and the hardship it means to be out there all day every day, remaining patient, remaining orderly, but demanding our human rights be respected. Mind, should anything happen that could be blamed on the protesters, it will instantly make front page, with a flaming editorial by whoever the half-wit is who writes editorials, and a moustache-twisting rant by Norbert.

For years, the Irving Press has either ignored the issues involved in fracking - or it has lied about them. The Irving Press is the face of the moral rot that characterizes the political and economic leadership of this province. For the past few weeks, its strategy on the current protest has been to ignore it. We have had more news on old cars and strawberries than we have had on this crucial moment in New Brunswick  history.

The economic leadership of this province has nothing but contempt for you, for your children, for your prosperity, for your  health, even for your life.

And now, for the first time, the apprently God-given right of that leadership is being challenged. It's happening on route 116 with a leadership from us that has shown intelligence, hard work, and excellent organization. Indeed, everyone who is there can fairly be called a leader. We owe our support and our thanks to all of them.

This is a mile post in our history. And that history is not likely to be kind to the vultures of the          world of big business, or to the journalistic maggots of the Irving press.


 

5 comments:

  1. Keep calling out the truth Graeme....:)

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  2. Mark D'Arcy, FrederictonJuly 15, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    Minister of Health Ted Flemming and Minister of Energy Craig Leonard refused to attend Dr. Eilish Cleary's presentation ceremony last Thursday. This is rude and unacceptable behaviour.

    If they don't want to acknowledge the accomplishments of people like our Chief Medical Officer, I would suggest that they don't deserve to hold public office.

    Attention to the Irving media and the Alward government: Please move out of the way while the rest of us build a prosperous and clean New Brunswick!

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    Replies
    1. Gary John Owens, MonctonJuly 18, 2013 at 4:54 AM

      Shocking!

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  3. I fully agree with you. Whether it is the Irvings, the McCains, or whoever else, New Brunswickers are getting sick of tyranny. We are sick of cruel and arrogant feudal lords who feel that they are beyond the law simply because their pockets are thick enough. The one word of caution I will say is to not demonize the employees of Irving papers. They have no choice but to post pro-Irving crap day after day. They are just as afraid (if not more) of the Irvings as the rest of us are. Just recently a journalist was fired for simply mis-spelling an Irving's name. Free press is the backbone of our democratic system and I'm sick of our papers having to lick the boots of Jamie and his family for fear of being fired with no hope of ever getting hired by another newspaper in the province ever again. With the recent purchase of News 91.9 by the Irvings, I am even more disturbed. Something must be done to free our newspapers

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  4. I wrote this (and a number of others) but didn't send it to T&T...


    I am offering no opinion on the “Highfield Square Project” but I am offering a thought on the DMI billboard project.



    From CBC (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2013/07/10/nb-moncton-centre-billboards-1006.html) : “Lawrence Forbes, the president of Downtown Moncton Inc., said his group is hoping people use their smartphone to activate a code on the billboard to show their support for the project. "There's going to be a counter on it and we'll be able to update regularly on Facebook and whichever way we want to do about the support is rolling in for it," he said.” And, “Forbes said those opposed to the $105-million project can e-mail or phone their comments in to his group, as well.”



    So, you can vote in favour and have it tallied and you can vote against (if you care to take the extra time and effort to do so as opposed to being able to “click”) and possibly have it ignored.



    Seriously? If you are in favour, check the yes box and if you are not in favour, give us a call???

    That is beyond reality. Why not have a "no vote" code on the billboard too? That only seems logical and fair to me.



    Who cares what Downtown Moncton Inc. dreams up? City council will do the right thing... won't they? That is what they were elected to do. I would respectfully request DMI spend their time and $ on keeping the downtown safe for patrons and residents than on this silly… oh… what’s the word I am looking for? Oh, yeah. I’d rather not say.



    BTW, I might click on such polls/surveys if I wasn't raised better and understood that a yes only poll is, at best, ludicrous. As it stands, I wouldn't care if someone defaced the billboards/signs in protest of the sheer arrogance. And, lastly, I avoid the downtown and will until it gets "cleaned up" and is reasonably safe. That is far more pressing for me than any project or silly, one-sided poll.

    Gary John Owens, Moncton

    ReplyDelete