The Auditor General is Full of sh’Shakespeare

June 1, 2012:  Premier Kathy
Dunderdale announced, today, the appointment of a new Auditor General for the
Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.


ACT I: The
Fairy Tale A-G

Eight months later…..

(The Auditor General,
preening in front of the mirror, is getting ready for his first Press Conference).

A-G:           Mirror, mirror on the wall

is the most courageous one of all?

my dear A-G, you are the most courageous one of all;

Holeass:   But, there are so many others even more
A-G:         You are
just trying to get my goat aren’t you, Holeass?   Of course, I am the most       
                 courageous! I know I

my!  How could it be otherwise?  And, I am smart and handsome.

    (As he applies his special cream, ‘Oil of Hibernia’.) Those blasted Tories.  How could they     
    have spent all that money and
got us all into such a financial mess? I wonder?  I must  

    warn the peoples!

                 Yes.  That’s what I’ll do. I am the Auditor General
of the Province of     
                 Newfoundland and Labrador. My very first Report is due out
this very day:  I shall   
                 stand in front of
the media and warn them of all the bad things the Government is doing. 
                 They will tell the peoples, I just know they

are you so silent? Holeass.  Do you not believe

feel soooo good, I haven’t felt this good in years! Oh My! All that time wasted,
advice to    

   Kennedy and Marshall. They did not deserve one so courageous. Isn’t
it wonderful being    

   the A-G! 

                 (The A-G is now aware of Holeass’

Holeass, you give me such support.  It’s
nice to feel so comfy and cozy…do sit     

                here, Holeass; did you say, let’s do some
Shakespeare?  My, my, how I love

                Most little senior public
servants don’t do Shakespeare, you know. 
It’s a tragedy, really…all

                they want to talk about is money, money,
money! You know, the politicians, too. Filthy

                stuff, if they were lucky, like
me, they could be having so much fun! Oh, Holeass, please,

                let’s do Shakespeare
later….I want to sing, now.  I have sooo
much to sing about.  I’m so

                happy, I’m

Holeass, sing with me.


The A-G and Holeass now join
together and dance and sing:

am the A-G

am the A-G
ho, a-derr-i-o
am the A-G.

Holeass, this is so much fun.  Let’s try
another verse, shall we?

tenure is ten years
tenure is ten years
Ho a-derr-i-o
tenure is ten years.


you are not nearly the tenor, today, that you normally are; are you tired from
all this celebration?  You must expel the
sounds more vigorously, I just know you can do it!  Let’s do one more verse and please, do give
it you’re all.  It’s not every day one
gets another chance to make a new first impression, is it? Let’s try this one:


can’t fire me now

can’t fire me now
Ho a-deer-i-o
can’t fire me now!

was so wonderful, Holeass.  That’s enough
fun for now.  I have to get ready for my

 Press Conference.  Afterall, I’m giving my
very first A-G’s Report.  I am so excited.  I must

 look my best.  And, please do attend the Press Briefing.  Oh, yes, do try and think of some
Shakespearean thingies to say.  We must
impress the little Reporters. I may even  

 attempt something myself.


II: In Which A Tragedy is Revealed

The Press Conference is
about to begin:

Gallery Head:  All rise for the Auditor
General of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

(The Auditor General enters.  All stand. 
Silence erupts).

Gallery Head:  Ladies and Gentlemen, let
me introduce to you the Auditor General of the Province of Newfoundland and

(Looking very solemn, the A-G
addresses members of the media). 

Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;   

come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. 

evil that men do lives after them;

good is oft interred with their bones;

let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus

told you Caesar was ambitious…

(The A-G sits down, looking


         Yes, yes, my friends of the
media, that was a little Shakespeare I selected just for this 

                  most noble of
occasions; yes, you are quite right, I did hear a couple of you note that it

                  was a little of Anthony’s Eulogy to Julius Caesar.  My, my, you are all fine, clever
                  Reporters.   I thought I might wax a little more poetic
than some of my forebears; bring,

                  perhaps, as I might, a little more dignity to
the Office.  I am, you know, the Auditor

                  General of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  I have tenure. 

Let me tell you, my Reporter friends, I plan to be courageous;
I will tell the peoples         

                  everything thing that is going on in the government, I
will expose every little tidbit of

                  falsehood and arrant expenditure; I am, after
all the Auditor General of the Province of

                  Newfoundland and Labrador. I have ‘de
tenure, you know’, as Jean Chretien would say.

    Now, my friends, to the issue.  These expenditures of the Government cannot go
on. They

   are simply not sustainable.

Holeass:  (Voice from somewhere.) And, Brutus was an
honourable man.

      Holeass, you are not a member of
the media, you must be careful what you say to these

                Reporter people. I am so
sorry, my friends. So much wind is my Holeass.

Ladies and
Gentlemen, you know our per capita spending is 50 per

                cent higher than even the
Canadian average.  It is a tragedy, I
say, a tragedy of Greek

                proportion. The Government has increased expenditures
by 66 percent in just ten years! 

could they possibly have done that? It offends me so much, yes, yes, my convenient…

mean my considerable sense of fiscal prudence! I ask, again, my friends: Why didn’t

                someone notice? Why wasn’t someone on guard? Pray, I beseech you, I do not

Holeass:  (Interrupting the A-G’s Speech) Not
that I loved Newfoundland and Labrador less,

                  but that I loved myself more.

A-G:         Holeass,
knock it off! This is my big day. We can do the tragedy stuff, later.  Right now, the

                 peoples are only in danger,
the tragedy…it is still…er…unfolding.  I
know.  For, I am the

                 Auditor General of
the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. And, I have tenure.

   Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, the Government has oil on
the brain, it has become

   the facial cream of choice.  Some call it ‘Oil of Hibernia’.  Yes, some think that they have
   even put it in
the wine.  I tell you, it has to
stop.  I am the Auditor General of the

   of Newfoundland and Labrador.  I
know. For I have tenure.

III: In Which A Second Tragedy is Revealed

(Now, in an audible voice,
the A-G asks if there any questions)

A-G:           (Holeass raises
his hand.)  Holeass, you are not a member
of the media, for


Some          It’s OK, your honour, Mr. Auditor
General of the Province of Newfoundland and

Reporter:   Labrador, we don’t mind if Holeass
has a question or two because we never have many

                    of those.

A-G:            Then,
go ahead, Holeass. What do you want to ask?

Holeass:     Sir,
those ten years during which the Province’s expenditures increased by 66 per         


A-G:            Yes, yes, go on…

Holeass:     Weren’t you the Deputy Minister of Finance for
8 for of those 10 years?  Why didn’t you

                     speak up then?

A-G:            Holeass! If you keep this up you are not
coming to my little celebration; I promised you

                    we would sing more nursery

Holeass:    (Obviously
ignoring the A-G’s reply) Sir, I have one more question.

A-G:           Now that’s enough, I won’t have my very own Holeass
interfering with these very, very

                   quiet, very, very demure, very, very fine

                  Some Reporter:  That’s OK, your Honour, Mr. Auditor General
of the Province of

                  Newfoundland and Labrador, let him ask one more itty bitty
question ‘cause we don’t 

                  have any ourselves.

A-G:         (clearly
uncomfortable). For the love of god, Holeass, ask the bloody question.

Holeass:  Sir, if you think the deficit is bad now, how
come, for all those years, you also supported

                 Muskrat Falls?

A-G:        (Looking
pompously dignified…is attempting no response….)

Reporter:    This Holeass is pretty sharp.  Aren’t they questions we should be asking?
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.


If a Big Mac costs McDonalds $10 to produce and it is sold for $1.50, McDonalds will go out of business. They would not declare a profit!


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.


  1. The Premier would do to take heed from Shakespeare, when this mega project, Muskrat Falls, fails it will be of monolithic proportions to Newfoundlanders.
    "When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions". Hamlet

    A message to you, Madame Premier, "To your own self be true." Hamlet