Friday, December 24, 2004

Give yer head a shake, Danny

Babble on.

Danny Williams has officially jumped the shark:

Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams has ordered the immediate removal of Canadian flags from all provincial government buildings in protest of failed talks with Ottawa over offshore revenue sharing.

"They're slapping us in the face. I'm not willing to fly that flag anymore in the province," an angry Williams told at a news conference Thursday in St. John's.

I wonder what Cpl Jamie Brendan Murphy would have said about this cheap political stunt of Williams'. Knowing a few Newfs, and knowing a few grunts, I think Cpl Murphy probably would have told Williams to stow his gargantuan ego and stop playing partisan games with the national flag. The flag under which Cpl Murphy proudly served. The flag under which he died. The flag under which his casket was draped.

Greg at Sinister Thoughts and I disagree about a great many things, but I'm in complete accord with him when he says this:

[Williams] can jump up and down and call Paul Martin a monkey if he wants to, but he better not mess with the flag. Paul Martin is not the flag. The people of Canada are that flag and he better treat it and us with respect. (Babbler's emphasis)

That bears repeating: Paul Martin is not the flag. In fact, it bears expansion: the Liberal Party is not the flag, nor is the Conservative Party to which I belong, nor is any politician or party or movement. The flag is a symbol of all of us.

I'm no fan of Paul Martin's, and if Danny Williams wants to have a pissing match with him, that's fine with me. But the minute he drops MY flag into the dirt in the middle of his juvenile urinary contest, I say: for shame.

Babble off.

Update: Hmmm. Someone who gets about ten times my daily traffic once told me he is almost always surprised at which posts attract comments from his readers. Seems he's right. I didn't think this was a difficult issue. Seems I was wrong.

First: I knew a fellow at RMC - played rugby with him - who was known as Newf. Great guy. Hair was so blond it was almost white. Always had a smile on his face. He was killed in a car crash shortly after graduation. Anyhow, his nickname wasn't pejorative. There were a bunch of folks from The Rock at the College, and not a one of them ever objected. Of course, if you ever called one of them a Newfie, you'd best be running by the time the word was out of your mouth. In any event, no offence was intended.

Second: Damian Penny - you know, the guy from Cornerbrook - summed up my feelings on this whole issue quite well:

Like all Newfoundlanders, I'm with Danny on the main issue here, but is desecrating the national flag (in a manner of speaking) really the best way to get the other provinces on our side? If I were in Alberta - a province what has, up until now, shown some sympathy for Newfoundland's position - I'd be pretty upset, and thinking something like, "if they hate Canada so much, maybe we should stop giving them so many millions of dollars in transfer payments."

What he said. The way to deal with this is not to piss off mainlanders like me who agree with you on the issue of resource revenues. It's counterproductive.

Third: on a side note, posting a link to your own blog in my comments is called link-whoring, and as the name suggests, it's bad form. You want referrals from Babbling Brooks, you e-mail me and ask me to check out your site. /ettiquettelesson


At 2:07 p.m., Blogger Greg Staples said...

As always you are dead on! Merry Christmas.

At 11:40 a.m., Blogger Capt. Craig said...

Ah! Chauvinism has reared it’s ugly head I see. Me thinks the babbler doth protest too much. And what I may ask would Cpl. Murphy think of your using his name for your cheap stunt? What business do you have mouthing off and taking it upon yourself to state what Cpl. Murphy would have said. I am a Newfoundlander and put in almost 25 yrs as a pilot in the RCAF (That’s what I joined) and have buried 17 of my buddies so you don’t have to think what I would have said; read it!
Most Mainlanders haven’t a bloody clue about Newfoundland and furthermore Newf is a pejorative term for your information. As far as the” flag being dragged through the mud” Cut the bloviating. The flags were taken off the flagpoles and put away unlike the loony leftist mainlanders burning US flags, so get real.

Newfoundland was Shanghaied into Confederation and if you were to come to the province you would see as many Union Jacks flying as the Canadian flag and as many US flags too. Aproximately half of living Newfoundlanders were born under the Old Duster and the Newfoundland (not that ugly arrow flag pointing to Toronto) no, the pink white and Green and they weren’t born Canadians, myself included. We were born Newfoundlanders so you’ll pardon us if we don’t fly off the handle like you folks. If the flag is the people then the people had better wise up and treat Newfoundland as an equal.
Since Confederation This province has been decimated by Qttawa not just Paul Martin, he is only the latest manifestation of the debacle. Newfoundland knows how the Irish felt when England raped their land.
You folks up-a-long can just get down off your high horse before we take our province and go home. If you think Les Quebecois are a pain in the ass, You haven’t seen a half million pissed off Newfoundlanders and they are pissed almost to a man.

Check out my site:

At 7:56 p.m., Blogger Prolix said...

I didn't see any mud dragging, just a grand standing premier (is there any other kind?) and a rather self-conscious commissioner at a flag pole. He knows he's not going to get beat up at home and he doesn't care what the rest of us think. He also knows that he's stuck another thorn into Martin's side and if its painful enough Martin may just give in as he did with Quebec over health funding. I wouldn't call out the shark hunters yet, Damian. Let's see if he backs down first and whether he gets what he wants...

At 8:53 a.m., Blogger Anselm (Not the Saint) said...

The true shame is all Canada.

I despise the arrogant short-sighted thinking of those that wave the Canadian flag while spitting on the pride of its natural citizens. Having lived in Newfoundland, I despise the narrow-minded thinking of upper Canadians that support multiculturalism at the peril of the national culture.

Newfoundland was forced into confederation by corruption and deceit. If Newfoundland had aligned itself with the USA, it would be a rich prosperous ‘state’ today. Canada has been no friend to Newfoundland. From Mike Pearson to Paul Martin, the focus of Canada’s political elite has been Ontario and Quebec while Newfoundlanders and Maritimers are used like slaves to wave the Liberal flag while its communities are slowly decimated by poverty, immorality and corruption.

Having lived in Quebec, there is an arrogance that exists, breeding contempt for any culture other than its own. The contemptuous run the Federal government, instilling their favoured culture while the rest of the country is supposed to play along. Newfoundlanders and Maritimers are tired of playing and dancing with the devil.

At 2:15 p.m., Blogger Greg said...

I am seeing lots of venting, but what does any of this have to do with oil revenue talks?

At 6:58 p.m., Blogger Mike P said...

It boils down to what was promised and what wasn't delivered. When Martin was securing votes in Nfld he promised them all the oil revenue. There was no mention of equalization clawback. Now the election is over and Mr Martin is saying "Well you know its understood that if you get the royalties then you dont need the equalization, now just go away Mr Williams and I will be talking to you next election." On behalf of all Newfoundlanders, and for some of us who dont live there any more, Danny Williams is telling Mr Martin to go fuck himself. You go, Danny.

At 7:09 a.m., Blogger Greg said...

You see, I don't mind that. I wish Williams would tell Martin to go fuck himself. I get off the bus when Williams tells the rest of us to go fuck ourselves.

At 10:06 a.m., Blogger Mike P said...

Greg, Quebec has been telling us to go fuck ourselves for years with our flag. Did you protest as loudly when they burnt our flag, or when they refused to raise it. Martin has removed all the flags from his ships to avoid paying Canadian taxes; Did you protest that??
I am certain that Danny Williams is not trying to insult all Canadians, but in any battle with the enemy, there is always collateral damage.

At 10:16 a.m., Blogger Greg said...

Absolutely Mike (that was before I took up blogging so you will have to take my word for it). For heaven's sake don't use Quebec nationalist yahoo's as your model for how to behave like a civilized person.

At 7:07 p.m., Blogger Capt. Craig said...

Further to my last. The people of Newfoundland have had enough and most past premiers had no guts to stand up to Ottawa especially since Smallwood set the tone for so many years and was totally owned by the boys on the Rideau. The line in the sand had to be drawn. Think about this; The Trans Canada pipeline crossed Saskatchewan and manitoba to bring fuel to Ontario, and Ottawa made sure that it arrived untouched. When Newfoundland wanted to ship Electricity south, Ottawa made Newfoundland sell it to Quebec at less than fair market value and it is Quebec who is making money on the Churchill Falls power.

At 1:31 p.m., Blogger Mike P said...

Yeah right Damian the idea is for Newfoundlanders to kiss every ass in Ottawa and maintain the status quo. Since you and Martin both live in the real Canada where the Feds give out the royal treatment its real easy for you to wrap yourself in the flag. But if you happen to live outside the Ont/Que border maybe, just maybe, you are sick of the total disregard shown once the votes are bought. You are sick of being sent back to your corner and told to shut up. You know what else- Damian Penny is wrong. Most people would be sympathetic to Newfoundlands stand. Because they see Ottawa as using the flag as one of convenience. Unity represented by the flag sure stood tall when Martin attacked Alberta during the election campaign for something Que does with impunity, or when he removes the flags from his ships to avoid taxes. Excuse me while I throw up.

At 2:46 p.m., Blogger Greg said...

My problem with Williams is not his position on the oil revenue sharing. I think Martin is a lying scumbag and Newfoundlanders have a right to be pissed. However, Williams is letting Martin off the hook by using this stunt (and that is what it is). Martin can take the last refuge of any scoundrel -- courtesy of Danny Williams. Williams may get cheered in the streets of St. John's but will be seen as the Mel Lastman of Newfoundland, everywhere else. And brother that ain't good.

At 10:39 p.m., Blogger Chris said...

It looks like major cities in Newfoundland and Labrador are following suit and lowering the Maple Leaf as well...


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