Ful­some praise in­deed

The Compass - - OPINION - Tony Rockel writes from Pla­cen­tia

In a re­cent let­ter and out­pour­ing of adu­la­tion for Pre­mier Kathy Dun­derdale, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Tom Mar­shall ex­celled him­self.

The ful­some­ness of his praises would put North Korea’s min­is­ter of pro­pa­ganda to shame. The Dear Leader him­self would have blushed if he’d heard such flat­ter­ing phrases di­rected at his per­son.

But re­ally — “prin­ci­ples and val­ues?” Genghis Khan and At­tila the Hun had prin­ci­ples and val­ues too: they just weren’t the prin­ci­ples and val­ues most of us would ap­pre­ci­ate in to­day’s so­ci­ety.

As sug­gested by the sign in English in the lobby of a Euro­pean ho­tel, invit­ing pa­trons to “Please leave your val­ues at the front desk,” it seems as though our pre­mier has done just that.

“So­cial jus­tice”? Where does that virtue en­ter into the re­cent gut­ting of Adult Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams — one of the few means avail­able for peo­ple to lift them­selves out of the poverty trap?

“Fair­ness”? Where does “fair­ness” fig­ure in Bill 29, our no­to­ri­ous se­crecy bill, or in the neu­ter­ing of the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Board, or in Nal­cor’s mo­nop­oly over the sale of elec­tric­ity in this prov­ince? “Fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity?” Oh yes, we see a shin­ing ex­am­ple of “fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity” in the Muskrat Falls project — a multi-bil­lion dol­lar jack­pot for the pup­pet-mas­ters of our fawn­ing Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment, but a fi­nan­cial dis­as­ter in per­pe­tu­ity for most of the cit­i­zens of this prov­ince.

De­spite our ob­vi­ous na­tional dif­fer­ences, it seems as though our pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment has quite a lot in com­mon with its North Korean coun­ter­part.

In both in­stances, we see mem­bers of the in­ner cir­cle in­dulging in flat-out flat­tery and shame­less syco­phancy in a des­per­ate com­pe­ti­tion to see who can please their leader the most and who is the last to stop ap­plaud­ing what­ever the leader says in the House.

And fi­nally, both gov­ern­ments rely on a heavy veil of se­crecy to hide their do­ings from the gen­eral pub­lic. Do we have the mak­ings of our own Dear Leader? Are we about to go nu­clear? Will “po­lit­i­cal re-ed­u­ca­tion” camps be next?

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