...That Brung 'Ya If They Try To Get You Drunk And Take Advantage Of You (Or Worse) Out In The Parking Lot.
Of course, I am referring to Mr. Davies appalling comments to the Cluffmaster Flash earlier today on the local CBC Radio morning show about how all the HST contracts doled out to BC Liberal party hacks is just more of the same old, same old 'everybody does it, so it doesn't really matter' business.
These contracts were not designed to pimp shameless sycophantic promotions for Tourism BC or even penny stock-addled 'Mining Adds Life' type campaigns.
Thus, they were not meaningless pork generators for the media messaging friendlies.
Instead, they were designed to facilitate the roll out of things like the government's information campaign to inform the public on the both the Pros and the Cons of the HST. In other words, these things were supposed to be, as we were explicitly told by Finance Minister Kevin Falcon, completely non-partisan (ie. hack-free).
Which means these things do matter to the public, given how nothing I have seen since I was born in St. Joseph's Hospital way back in the '50's has galvanized the public of this province against its government like Colin Hansen's HST skullduggery did.
Which is all bad enough, and worthy of real media follow-up in the wake of Sean Holman's investigative journalism that broke the story, if only to find out what these fine BC Liberal party-connected folks actually did as they sank their teeth into the top-secret pork.
Please remember that part about this all being totally and completely top-secret.
Because it was until Mr. Holman unearthed it by FOI.
And the secrecy aspect of this thing is another point that Mr. Davies, and his partner in Cluffmaster Flashery, Stephen Smart (who may or may not have snuck a peak at his life partner's briefing notes over breakfast this morning), failed to mention when they dismissed all of this, out of hand.
But that's not even the worst of it.
Because, in addition, at least one of these contracts went to a BC Liberal Party Insider to work on, as the Insider himself said when he was caught red-handed by Mr. Holman, the 'logistics' (but never the 'policy') for Jim Dinning's HST panel that we have been told over and over and over again was completely independent of any government of BC Liberal party intereference.
Do you have it now?
Do you now understand how patronizing Mr. Davies use of Brian Mulroney's (yes, Brian Mulroney's!) ridiculous 'Ya Dance With The One That Brung 'Ya' statement that justified the use of patronage as necessary and good really was?
Especially when you realize that Davies was using this particular Mulroneyism to justify his own waving away of the matter as being essentially meaningless and not worthy of further consideration by the public and/or the awesome and precious investigative powers of people like him.
But here's the real thing that exposes Mr. Davies' comment as being truly and utterly preposterous, and not worthy of serious consideration by serious members of the public.....
Which is that one proMedia reporter, Robert Matas of The Globe, decided he wasn't too precious to do his job and actually did something that Mr. Davies, apparently, did not, which was to do some follow-up investigative digging. As a result, Mr. Matas quite easily discovered that the BC Liberal Party Insider's statement to Sean Holman was deflector spin at best and, in my opinion, more likely to have been total obfuscatory bullshit designed to bury the story forever.
Because Matas discovered, by speaking to one of Jim Dinning's panel members directly, that the secretly-contracted BC Liberal Party Insider did in fact participate in the panel's discussions where policy was likely one of the subjects under consideration.
Oh, and did I mention that this particular secretly-contracted BC Liberal Party insider who was only supposed to be doing 'logistics' for Mr. Dinning's panel (ie. scheduling meetings and arranging for the sandwiches to arrive on time) also worked for that old Finance Minister we mentioned above, Mr. Colin Hansen, in a politically-appointed capacity at the very time when the HST was first foisted on we, the unsuspecting members of the public, serious and otherwise, out of nowhere?
I'm almost done, and I apologize to regular readers who are getting tired of and/or fed up with this, but I really do believe that this story, and more importantly, the way it is not being followed-up seriously by proMedia mavens like Davies and Smart, truly does matter on a whole lot of levels, some of which are the following:
1) Why, if as Mr. Davies and Mr. Smart also mentioned, this is really the slow season for proMedia stories that matter, don't they get off their asses and do a little real work for our money?
2) Come to think of it, when was the last time exactly, that either Mr. Davies or Mr. Smart actually broke, or even followed up significantly on, a story that truly matters?
3) The CBC really is going down the tubes.
4) The immediate story of why this was all kept secret is a compelling one given that the non-partisan HST 'information' campaign and the 'independent' HST panel were both used early and often by both the government and the business interests to soften up the public (ie. they really don't matter now in the last minute multi-million dollar blitzkrieg bop, but they sure as hell mattered then, from a 'secret' strategic point of view).
5) If the public had not been softened up early and often to bring at least some of them around to the concept that Kevin Falcon et al. are now dealing squarely with, rather than lying to, them.....Would they have been willing to believe, even for a fraction of a second, that the proposed future HST rate cut is not just more of the same old codswallop that enraged them in the first place?
6) Are reporters like Davies and Smart, and commentators like Cluff, as part of, as Ian Reid calls it, their 'Club' memberships, contributing to this softening up of the public by constantly dismissing stories by feigning world weariness, by not caring, and/or by not digging so that they can instead just swallow press releases and/or secretly proferred inside information whole?
7) Are Mess'rs Holman and Matas not in the Club?
8) Why did Mr. Holman have to wait so long to receive his FOI statement, and then, once he finally got it, was he unable to follow-up more himself before letting it go because of the recently introduced 72hr 'Kill The Blockbuster' release rule?
9) Why is no one in the proMedia demanding that Mr. Kevin Falcon himself, rather than his chief Spokesthingy, explain, specifically, what is so important and 'privileged' about the HST strategy that led to these contracts being doled out in super secret fashion?