When the “rubber booters” descend on
the Holiday Inn on the May 24
th weekend the capitalist free-loaders will
get to commune with nature, guilt-free.

It’s only Thursday and, while Ryan
Snodden is working hard to put a damper on the holiday, everyone (but the NDP) is
happy just to have a long weekend.

Who, but an N’Dipper, would want to attend
ideological boot camp with Lana Payne when they could be freezing their butts
off at Paddy’s Pond!

It’s not as if she might be leading
a workshop on the political strategies of Machiavelli or the less tiresome writings
of Winston Churchill though the latter did intone that ‘the
virtue of
socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.’ 

And, heaven knows, the NDP has plenty of those.

When you go from ‘tour de force’ to ‘down in the dumps’ you
can be sure Frank Coleman isn’t the only one sounding like a eulogy at

I don’t quite understand what happened. 

But, it seems a good thing Dale Kirby and Chris Mitcelmore
weren’t negotiating Middle East p

I’m thinking, too, Lorraine
didn’t quite make it to India last summer
.  She must have stood up the
great Indian social activists with whom she had intended to break bread,
instead to take counsel from Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers.   You
don’t need to check her
Just look at the way she ripped the heads off Mitchelmore and Kirby upon
her return! 

Talk about Marg, Princess Warrior! Jeesz, Mary Walsh should be
looking for work.

Now people are saying the NDP has to build itself back up.
Why would they do that when, for thirty years, they were far happier with a
Caucus of one and five percent of the popular vote

What’s the Party to do?  

She could start by being less
the Liberals. 

Look at what happened last week.  

Lorraine and Dwight, in a gesture of unity befitting the
aftermath of a Caucus revolt, took off to Ottawa to talk shrimp
.  With whom? The Canadian
Senate….a bunch of wind bags who don’t know a cod from a sculpin.  

What does Lorraine leave behind?  Corruption allegations and possible
Government complicity in a $19 million scheme to bail out Humber Valley Paving,
a Company with connections to the in-coming Premier. 

How much better can it get? 
It is the political gift that keeps on giving!

What does she do?  She
stays on the plane! 

Lorraine flies to Ottawa, when she should have hidden away in the
St. John’s Airport.  When Dwight
Ball was in the air, she ought to have taken a cab back to Confederation
Building.  If she couldn’t shake Ball
a dozen flights a day to get her back home. 

She ought to have known Dwight doesn’t have the political
intuition of a fur ball
. That’s what the NDP has to take
advantage of. 

What could be more important to a society than high level
corruption?  It’s more
critical even than oil or fish.    

 Having left the issue in the care of George
, what does he do?  After Liberals Tom Osborne and Andrew Parsons
oes a creditable job making Transportation and Works Minister Nick McGrath squirm,
George asks the same question three times and has no follow up.  He proposes the A-G investigate.  He passes it over to Gerry Rogers who changes
the subject!

Allegations of a $19 million corruption scandal and Gerry does

She changes the bloody subject.

And, the NDP want to be
taken seriously?

If Lana has any designs on
introducing Machiavelli this time round, I’m tellin’ ya’ Gerry is just not
ready. Talk about the innocent!

Jeezus, my hair will never grow

Now, where was I? 

Oh yes. How does Lorraine deal with the Convention this


She might tell them Dale Kirby is actually sookier
than George Murphy. 
It just so happens that the one who gives off the most
gas surprisingly
isn’t the one who stayed.  At least,
thankfully for Kirby,
the Libs can hide him away. 

As for Mitchelmore, he never did
belong to the NDP.  N’Dippers can
understand that

If Chris didn’t leave
when he did, he would have to invent the opportunity.  Perhaps, that’s why
him ‘opportunists’.   

The Straits is a Liberal District.   Mitchelmore might speak like he’s attending a
funeral pyre; but he’s not stupid. 

Winning twice for the NDP, in
Straits of Belle Isle
, is tantamount to lightening striking the same
spot twice or, if you prefer,
having the same odds as Frank
getting the HVP Bonds released and a lifetime pension, for
a year of being Premier.     

There are some things in politics
you simply cannot control. Danny Williams’ buddy and people like
Kirby and Mitchelmore are three of them.

But it isn’t all bad.  Even if the two buckos aren’t around to face
the Convention they demanded, Michael can still argue the NDP is still ahead of
where they are used to be.

And, it’s not as if leadership options are popping out
all over. 
Michael is the most
articulate, most passionate, most intelligent leader the NDP has

The Party has to pick itself up,
if it has disappointed a public who once demonstrated it is willing to embrace
economic babble
fiscal crazy’.     

Michael might remind them, in spite
of the difficulties, the NDP broke through a large barrier in the last election
and that she brought the Party to 30% in the Polls since – even if she wasn’t
able to keep it there. In the heavily contested Virginia Waters, the Party ran
a solid candidate.  The outcome was not
an embarrassment.

Michael will tell the Convention she is the best one to lead
the NDP through the next election.  Why?  Because it’s true.

But, she will need to talk
succession, too. 

It is not for me to tell the NDP what it ought to
believe.  But, I suggest, it can never
hope to be a credible political force until the Party can demonstrate resilience
in the face of failures, the ability to attract new blood including in a
leadership role, and the confidence to freely discuss an economic program that isn’t a metaphor
for Tory misbehaviour. 

It must never confuse the priority of corruption over policy.    

Yes, there are many who just want the NDP to be nice. 

And, you know what they say
guys who are. 

On this 24th weekend
there won’t be a single camper at the Convention
….but N’Dippers can still check to see if anyone
has attended
who can help Ms. Michael light a
new fire.
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?


  1. Does it matter des? The NDP are not relevant in this province because the PC's and liberals will both naturally spend ourselves to a breaking point. The PC's Liberals and NDP policies (or what is of them) are so similar there is no real difference in party platform.

    The reality is that this province is in dire need of strict fiscal prudence. The PC's have squandered a kings ransom in oil royalities. A balloned public service and projects like Muskrat Falls will leave a hefty bill for future generations. When you overlay the natural demographics then there is a big issue for those of us baby's born after the boom.

    The political apetite for fiscal prudence is non existent, but the requirement is essential. We need a 20-40 year plan for this province which is focused on debt repayment, public sector reduction, and a consolidation of rural communities. We need to look 30 years from now, when the average age in most rural communities will be >70 yrs old. Without the infrastructure to care for the seniors most of these picture post card communities will be in crisis.

    The public service also needs to be slashed, and union agreements broken. We need to maintain the good people, and remove the rest. The government is the best example of a workforce who consolidate to the lowest common denominator. The paving saga reported in todays telegram so clearly demonstrates how disfunctional provincial governments operate. Where is the accountability?

    We dont need a common sense revolution. We need to just need to open our eyes, and stop listening to the rhetoric offered by our current and recent leaders (Williams in particular). The reality in NL is not pretty. Oil Royalties is simply allowing us to buy designer lipstick for the pig.

    • Well said. Here, here. Mr. A.
      When Bill Barry entered the PC race there was a glimmer of hope because he recognized and articulated what was happening as you just did. Unfortunately we now have the PCNDP, LiberalNDP or just the NDP to choose from yet again.
      As Brian Lee Crowley (AIMS 2006) so succinctly said, "I weep for Nfld."
      Keith Ryan