As Bill Vander Zalm, Chris Delaney and Bill Tieleman push their Recall Agenda I hope they’re getting advice as they go.
At this point they have everything going for them including, critically, the people. But that can quickly change
Bill Vander Zalm is not noted for reflection before acting nor for taking any advice he doesn’t want to hear. This is his style and he can’t change that. It makes me think of Churchill, well into his 80s was advised by his doctor to quit drinking he replied “I should think it pretty hazardous to interfere with the ineradicable habit of a lifetime.”
Much about Vander Zalm’s approach to life is admirable indeed. He has maintained a sunny disposition through some pretty stressful times and has shown forgiveness to those, including me, who made his life miserable when he was premier.
There is no doubt that he is popular with the media and that’s the trouble. They know he will deal with the most difficult of issues with a ready string of one-liners. Indeed this is refreshing but the difficulty is a very serious matter for what this means is that by treating the trivial stuff and the serious stuff the same, he winds up trivializing the serious. At best he destroys the important differences between them.
Going into “Recall” is in relatively unknown waters, not in the sense of what you must accomplish but how it is to be done. It’s rather akin to war, about which Churchill had this to say:-
“Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.”
A great deal of importance must be given to what the “Recallers” have to save. Public opinion will be keen and ever changing. The Campbell government will fight back – and hard. Statements made must be measured and carefully timed.
Isn’t this controlling the media?
In a sense I suppose it is but it must be remembered that the media sells space or time long before it practices high standards of journalism. Their version of evenhandedness is to report whatever will make good viewing and reading.
I admire Bill for what he’s done. He stood out against the privatizing of BC Rail and quite rightly, in my view, alerted us to the HST issue and led a great fight to get the government reeling.
It’s a different ballgame now. Bill is a loose cannon on the deck and must be tethered so to speak. He and his supporters know that the usual political half wits are coming out ready to form new parties on the ashes of previous failures. They will want to get into the action because it’s a hell of a good way to get publicity. And Bill Vander Zalm is publicity personified.
The Campbell government is the worst of my memory which goes back to the old Coalition days of “Boss” Johnson and Gordon Wismer. I believe it’s in the interests of BC to get rid of this soulless bunch of Fraser Institute acolytes as soon as possible.
Vander Zalm and Delaney have a glorious chance to send this lot packing.
I just hope that they don’t **** it up with careless words.