watchers slavishly crave intrigue. They anxiously await the opening of the House
of Assembly, only to experience an excess of regret, at the mere hint, that the
current Sitting is about to end.

Politics allows
political addicts to enjoy the adrenalin rush of a game where simplicity and
prediction are constantly supplanted with complexity and uncertainty.  For them, a little scandal, a petit
embarrassment, a Member’s defection, sometimes even the mere mention of the
word ‘politics’ is titillating enough to compete with the CBC’s favourite
winter program, the ’Worst Pot Hole Contest’. 
The problem, of course, is the ardour with which Anthony Germain tackles
the subject.  The politically tilted enjoy
no status in the hands of a Host, as lively as he, in matters of the mundane.  Admittedly, I may possess bias. 

politicos, Public Opinion Polls are greeted with a wonderment rivalling the arrival
of St. Peter, and a thirteenth tablet.  Though
the rapid slide in Dunderdale’s popularity bewilders, just one more Poll,
before the House closed, might have sated the worst symptoms of withdrawal.  That said, it could have been worse; for a
while, this winter, it did seem that another power outage would have upstaged
even the most ardent observers’ thirst for political analysis.

Still, the
entrails of MQO and CRA numbers have been parsed and we are safe to conclude
that the NDP enjoys the unmistakable upper hand. Their lead in St. John’s, the
P.C. Party’s traditional stronghold, is undeniable; even the rural districts
offer little solace to the Premier; the three Parties given equal
claim to a rather tenuous prize. 

reached what is Summer, in most civilized places, Spring has arrived here.  New beginnings, in this Province, have all
the appeal of re-runs on TV.  The Seal
Hunt is about to end.  A four decades old
fight with a French blonde and American money, better spent on its own Budget deficit,
has dissolved into the annual slaughter over crab prices.  Played out on the public airwaves, after five
hundred years, the same issues recur like a widow’s nightmare.  We are left to wonder whether even Earl
McCurdy has figured out who actually won.

In the House
of Assembly, we have been assured that ‘testy’ is still no counter punch to ‘nasty’.  On the quieter days, Jerome yawns, Dwight is
still the gentleman and Lorraine is still indignant. Kathy hopes to improve her
profile. A $150,000 communications strategy proposes she might begin, well, by reducing
her profile.  The strategy should work; all
other options having been eliminated. 

As for the
Speaker of the House, word is that Gerry Rogers is now providing him tutorials
on social media; understandably, he is all ‘aTwitter’.

In the
coffee shops many express relief, like the Premier, that they have been shielded
from a daily diet of Muskrat Falls. But, consumption without digestion is
difficult; in this case, the source of the gas is certainly not offshore.  The public will catch up with the issue, in
time, as will most of the media.  Still,
to his credit the Telegram’s Wangersky still keeps Nalcor in the crosshairs.

The most
interesting issue to captivate audiences, in months, is the way in which Church
Bishops have girded for another long hot Summer.  A recent Press Release seems the perfect foil
should the awesome heat, of last year reappear, requiring extended absence.

Just a
couple of weeks ago, for example, one might have thought that the Bishops had
teamed up with the CBC to disavow the exigencies of undisciplined men and their
pursuit of those engaged in the oldest profession.  Of course, such licentiousness was not on
their noble minds.  Their issue, it seems,
is not prostitution, at all; the public broadcaster having now exhibited an
ability to be indignant far beyond the Church’s right to be sanctimonious. 

properly, it is now the role of the CBC to save souls; an appropriate role
reversal, too, the Broadcaster having no time for economics and the Churches, finally,
having moved beyond a defense of Bingo.  They
now claim social decrepitude, in the face of the Federal Government’s travel
restrictions, on EI Claimants. With the cash economy still a much larger rival,
to a more spiritual opiate, the Bishops’ at least, might have demanded the odd Claimant’s
trip to the confessional.  

That they
made no such demand confirms that one should not count on politicians,
religious or otherwise, to give offense. Me thinks, I have been much too hard
on Kathy Dunderdale!

With the
House of Assembly now closed, Peter Penashue dispensed to the wood shed, the
Churches in repose and Darin (the Ayatollah) King proving beyond any doubt, he is an
absolute tool, it could get pretty boring around here.

Hookers on
the Radio?

may have to convert to the CBC.

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?