the Liberals should be pit bulls, they are wimps.

After Tory
members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) refused to show up for a meeting, last week, to discuss the Humber Valley Paving (HVP) affair, Liberal MHA Jim Bennett told
the Telegram “the whole thing seems fishy to him…”


And Bennett
wasn’t even in the legislature where the Speaker might have ruled any provocation out of order.

A good
Opposition MHA would have whipped out his thesaurus of insults,
insinuations, epithets and allegations. The public would know, in the
colourful language of the best parliamentarians, that the guttersnipes heading
the government are weak of character as well as at the knees.

Disraeli was said to have been forced to withdraw, by the commons speaker, a
remark declaring that half of the cabinet were “asses” – whereon he offered
this riposte:
Speaker, I withdraw; half the cabinet are not asses.”
Winston Churchill used the phrase
“terminological inexactitude” to get around the rule preventing him
from accusing another member of lying.

The great ones understood that sometimes the
delivery of an ordinary message demands an extra-ordinary missile.

Bennett, I
am sure, has no pretension to climbing the oratorical heights of Churchill or
Disraeli. And he shouldn’t.

Like Dwight Ball and his shy platoon, he
is content to be an undertaker for a government moribund. 

But the undertaker, not the corpse, is the one expected to exhibit signs of life, for gosh sake!

Had Bennett called
the Tory PAC Members cowards, quislings, and schemers, at least he would have only
been stating what the public already knows.

Bennett got
noticed having lucked in with a couple of slo
w news days..


Related to this story:


Former Tory
MHA, John Carter used to maintain a special book co
ntaining a plethora of perfect
words just in case such an opportunity, like Ray Hunter presented, arose.

Words like poltroons,
buffoon, craven, and yellow-belly would have been uttered with mere reflex.

Carter is
long gone from the Legislature. But inside or outside the House there is not a
single MHA who can match even that denizen of the Tory backbench. 

Carter would never let Liberal MHAs forget their reputation for nepotism and cronyism; one they earned
under Smallwood.

Now the shoe
is on the other foot; except Bennett would have you think the PAC Meeting is a
church social, not an inquiry into possible corruption, on a multi-million
dollar scale.

Minister Nick McGrath’s decision cost the public millions.  It left a large number of HVP sub-contractors high
and dry.

In the world
of opposition parties, abuse of power and cronyism justifies a specially
selected lexicon; none of those words would include benign.

“They would prefer, I think, to keep a cloak of secrecy on it,
and take the political fallout of not looking under that rock, so to speak” added Bennett. 

Yawn! Yawn!

Lucky for Bennett he wasn’t speaking with a St. Barbe fisherman who would have had him
understand equivocation with a good smack from a rotten sculpin.  

There is
nothing “fishy” about what the Tories are up to. It stinks. What is there to equivocate

And you can
bet your booties the decision to rob the PAC of a quorum was not made by Ray
Hunter or any of the Tories on the Committee, either.  The Constable Premier can talk chapter and
verse about the law regarding driving and talking on your cell phone. But with
an election looming itty bitty issues, like government corruption, are not on
his police radar.

Now, John
Carter would have called the tory PAC members scurrilous, shameful, arrogant,
and unscrupulous. He would have made sure they paid dearly for their truancy.

Perhaps, the
strangest part about Bennett’s tepid comments is that they still elicited the
ire of Ray Hunter and the Premier, anyway.

“I don’t
know where Mr. Bennett is coming from with this bullshit he gets on with” the
Telegram quoted the Member.  “You might
get one (Tory MHA) to say, ‘Yes I can,’ and then the next day, call you and
say, ‘Uncle Joe just died, I’ve got a funeral.’ Or, ‘No b’y, I just got an
invitation to a garden party, and there’s going to be 300 people there.’”

We actually
elect people who say these things!

And how does
the ‘cop from flop’ react to Jim Bennett’s limp explosion?

“A low blow”
…“disgusting”, roared Davis; invoking Hunter’s health condition, which even Ray
Hunter didn’t do.

The invective
must have sent McLeod seeking the safety of his Twitter feed.

Carter probably would have taunted the Premier as an insolent and impertinent blatherskite for the effort.

He would
have looked as silly as the Telegram reportage made him sound.

Carter’s book may be old now, but it’s not out of date. My guess
is that he is so poisoned with the Tories he’s be happy to give Jim Bennett his
coveted book.

Except it would be wasted on someone so wimpy.
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. 50$ oil is exposing the bunch of idiots who have run this province for the past 10 years. You can hide incompetence with largesse. However, incompetence is quickly exposed when accountability is required.

  2. PCs under DW have always had thin skin and rabbit ears, Jim Bennett must have hit a nerve to get the responses he did out of considering how tame his words were. PCs want a private meeting before the PAC (so they can get their stories all straight) and I immediately thought of this Dilbert comic strip http://dilbert.com/strip/1996-07-05 . Davis brought up health as a reason Hunter couldn't attend, did he run this by Hunter because the original Tele article didn't include it?

    Ray "sookie" Hunter threatened the PCs would all resign from the PAC if Jim Bennett kept up his barrage of pea-shooter level salvos, moving the PAC meetings to January or February. Sounds to me like taking the ball and going home, learned behavior from DW.

    Want to get re-elected but won't fight – mixed messages are being sent here.