Sunday, September 16, 2007

There is No Guidance in Your Kingdom

So get this. This is cute.

There are shenanigans and goings-on over in our easternmost province; perhaps you have heard about it. Over the course of the last eighteen years, Newfoundland and Labrador elected officials – former and current – have squandered over two million dollars of public money on pretty much everything an elected official should not be buying with the taxpayer dollar.

The beer and underwear are the headline acts to grab the reader’s attention, but the article notes that these items are in the vast minority; the vast majority of the money was spent on an ol’-fashioned time-honoured political tradition –- giving money from the wrong account to the wrong people.

Now, of course, this is all very terrible and everybody involved should be ashamed of themselves. Two point two million dollars up and vanishing through distinctly wasteful spending? That's a lot of money, especially for one of our poorer provinces!

The kicker, though? (There’s always a kicker.) Manitoba has actually wasted more than that on the repulsive Spirited Energy campaign –- and Spirited Energy has been active one year. It's run up a tab of anywhere from $2.4 to $2.8 million dollars thus far, that we know about, and what with our NDP's dogged refusal to humour public access requests the actual cost is probably higher than that.

One year’s worth of Spirited Energy could have financed eighteen years’ worth of illegal contributions, alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, hockey tickets, nice clothes, home renovations –- things that people want! Things that people can appreciate! If you're going to blow over two million dollars of public purse, you can at least make it last!

It took fifty-seven Newfoundland and Labrador politicians, present and past from all parties, eighteen years of inappropriate spending –- guaranteed to torpedo the careers of everybody involved –- to hit the magic number of $2,200,000.00. Here in Manitoba? We blew more than that in a single year, we have absolutely nothing tangible to show for it, and nobody’s so much as been reprimanded over the whole thing! So don’t tell me Manitoba is a have-not province! Just look at all the cash we have to throw away without fear -- clearly we must be made of money!

I'm disappointed in everybody involved, from both provinces, and -- you know what? This is all disappointing enough that it warrants a Milt. Get Milt out here!

Hunter S. Thompson once described my generation as the "short-changed children of the '80s", predicting that ours would be the first group "flogged every day of their lives with the knowledge that sex is death and rain kills fish and any politician they see on TV is a liar and a fool". One day somebody's going to find a way to argue against this -- but it won't be any time soon!

Thievery Corporation - The Richest Man in Babylon (The Richest Man in Babylon, 2002)
[buy | site]

The Network - Money Money 2020 (Money Money 2020, 2003)
[buy | about]

Rasserfrackin' Spirited Energy mumble mumble why I oughtta. Sigh.

Keep an eye on me, gentle readers! I'm sure I'm up to something!


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen one thing written which doesn't lead me to believe Spirited Energy wasn't designed to be a scam from the very beginning. It's almost as if the elite in this province conspire to pick a party(this time the NDP) and let them know that special awards, perks and particularly large bags of money are the only keeping them in power.

To hell with the Free Press and its hangers-on.
To hell with the former Winnipeg Enterprises or whatever they call themselves these days.
And to hell with the shady business leaders who got shady Crocus investments.

James Howard said...

Why, the very idea!

I don't know where you could possibly have come up with the notion that Winnipeg is run exclusively by and for its entirely self-interested business elite!

Unless you've been paying attention to anything in Winnipeg ever!