Uncle Gnarley Addresses Annual Meeting ‘Royal Order of Old Farts’.

My Friends:

Finally, I
get to address one of the most maligned groups in our Province. 

My mission, is
to correct the erroneous impression that you are causing the unpleasant aroma
that has become so pervasive, recently. 
It is an impression with which you have been saddled, both in the media,
and with certain groups.  The truth, my
friends, is right under our noses.

My comments
speak to the need for government to take responsibility for this unpleasant
aroma.  Government should seek the
necessary medication, and swallow it, hard. 
It just won’t do to blame the very people on whom the aromas have the
greatest negative effects. 

I speak to
you at a fortuitous time for it has become evident that the people, themselves,
keenly acknowledge that an odor is pervading the land; happily, they also are increasingly
awareness of its source.

realization usually follows an election, when people have a tendency to second guess
themselves.  It is a perfectly normal
reaction; voter remorse is an all too common fact of democratic life.

I have
determined, based upon the best science available, that the odor not only has a
tendency to linger; it has distinct political content.    

While its
content is political, I have also been able to confirm that its colour contains
the spectrum of an ‘arrogant’ hue; its texture is consistent with a brand of
hubris closely associated with ‘disassociation from common sense’.

Indeed, you
will learn, this evening, my friends, that the problem has a name, a diagnosis
and a prescription, much in the same way as does a disease of the human corpus.

My analysis
shows that the disease manifests as ‘rot’ and is characterized by maladaptive
hearing of the essential opinions of the ordinary man and woman; a progressive
failure of ’empathy’ is a common by-product of the disease.

of the entire head of government is typically the only known cure.  That treatment comes with a high degree of
certainty.  In the end, we are assured
that the greater body politic will be saved.

At times, my
friends, a government can be rescued from this seemingly terminal malady; but I
regret to say, measurable improvements are rare.  Typically, this poor prognosis is based upon evidence of extreme sensitivity and reduced hearing, especially when it involves citizens
who have a tendency to critizise. 

for maladies of this variety, both the doctor and the patient suffer terribly;
much pain for both could be spared if a resort to political shock treatment
were tried.  This therapeutic approach seldom
works, though it is always attempted, as a last resort.

The demands
of the treatment are high.  At a minimum,
courage, on the part of the political leadership, is required (call it a ‘faint
hope’ clause); unfortunately, when it is available, even in the barest of
quantities, the active ingredient, ‘recognition of the prospect  of imminent political destruction’, is lacking.  Hence, an infusion of realty checks from the
electorate, combined with the ‘threat of time in the political wilderness’,
must be kept on standby should the patient succumb to the effects of we call
‘latent’ stupidity and require, as a consequence, political defibrillation.
Abandonment of the caucus from the leadership is the surest sign that the
disease is at a terminal stage.   

But Ladies and
Gentlemen, let us never resort to fear or doubt.  We have named the disease, though it does
challenge ordinary speak: it is called, “Dunderheadedness Complex”.  Dreaded as it sounds, I have the assurance of
history, that, when people are confronted by a hopeless political challenge, a
general election is a cure-all for everyone concerned.

So my
friends, the absence of hope is not absolute. For us, and especially for all
you, “Old Farts”, sometime soon, perhaps a few years, the air will clear.
Des Sullivan
Des Sullivan
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Uncle Gnarley is hosted by Des Sullivan, of St. John's. He is a businessman engaged over three decades in real estate management and development companies and in retail. He is currently a Director of Dorset Investments Limited and Donovan Holdings Limited. During his early career he served as Executive Assistant to Premier's Frank D. Moores (1975-1979) and Brian Peckford (1979-1985). He also served as a Part-Time Board Member on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Uncle Gnarley appears on the masthead representing serious and unambiguous positions on NL politics and public policy. Uncle Gnarley is a fiscal conservative possessing distinctly liberal values and a non-partisan persusasion. Those values and opinions underlie this writer's views on NL's politics, economy and society. Uncle Gnarley publishes Monday mornings and more often when events warrant.


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?