Much Ado About

I called a friend on Salt Spring Island today – which is in Elizabeth May’s riding. After catching up, we got to the Elizabeth May press gallery speech incident and she cried out, “It was us!”

What?

MayElizabeth_GP“She was with us on Friday night. She spoke at our event. She mentioned she’d just come in from Ottawa, was still on Ottawa time; had gone to bed at two, was up at six and she was with us. After our event, she missed the last ferry, so she went to Sidney by some kind of private boat – on her way back to Ottawa.” We speculated she’d probably grabbed the redeye on to Ottawa, thence to the press gallery dinner that evening. That’s a lot of flying in two days.

Definitely physical overkill. But no doubt trying to not let anybody down.

Probably wrote that bit on the plane.

And it was a schtick. It was quite subtle, perhaps too subtle for the conservative press gallery news folk to grasp after they’d had a few drinks.  She began by outing them for not mentioning that they were standing on First Nations territory with her acknowledgements — in two First Nation languages — and an apology to the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations,Perry Bellegarde, who was in attendance. Good on her.

She moved into a complicated kind of thing about her continued exclusion (“I’m honoured to be here, among my colleagues, allowed to speak…”) in the election debates by the other leaders. It included a little pirouette about hair: you know how commentators always talk about women politician’s hair and makeup. May did some commentary on the hirsutian managment machinations of Harper, Trudeau, and Mulcair which was wrapped around a little bit about Freud and envy.

She seguéd into the climax, just as Conservative Cabinet Minister Rait came and tried to stop her because she was going over-time and literally tried to drag her off. Had she been, as accused, “drunk,” I’d love to know how she managed to keep talking while Lisa Rait was hands-on trying to move her off the mike, while May simultaneously manipulated her cellphone so it would play the Welcome Back Kotter theme while simultaneously doing a little derringdo play on words around ‘Kotter,’ and delivered her zinger that Omar Khadr has more class than the whole effing cabinet … all the while being yanked by Rait.

lisa-raitt-elizabeth-may-speech-press-gallery-dinner-may-9-2015If May had been drunk, she would surely have fallen over the way Rait was pulling her sideways.

Then, May was onstage singing a few minutes later, so the drunk thing seems a pig in a poke. The whole speech, that the news sticks in Ottawa called “awkward” was playful. It was a bit.

On the video it looks like a fair bit of physical effort was put into trying to end May’s speech before she would bring up Khadr.

I think it was an edgy bit that bombed.

Had it been someone like Dane Cook trying out a bit that didn’t work, there’d be no issue whatsoever. And yes, May is not a professional comic, but the press gallery dinner is an event where politicians are encouraged to try to be comics for the night, to step out of their day to day parliamentary roles.

Very disappointed at the way one NDP MLA in BC and another former candidate dog-piled May on Facebook with their pejorative comments.

Apparently some are actually calling for her resignation over this.

What?

I wish May hadn’t felt the need to apologize, but I think I understand why she felt she had to explain to the uninformed how the press gallery evening works and do some damage control, given how judgmental so many have been.

Nellie_McClung

Nellie McClung

Wish she could just have pulled a Nellie McClung: “Never explain, never retract, never apologize. Just get the thing done and let them howl.”

But perhaps she feels there is too much of that attitude coming out of Ottawa already.

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Let’s Outsource the BC Government

They’re expensive. And there has to be a better way of getting the job done faster and cheaper.

Why don’t we apply the model to the Provincial Government that they’ve applied to everyone else? Let’s downsize, re-structure, contract-out, outsource.

Elections-schmelections – rule of law?  Can you say E-80?  What Charter Rights? If the Government doesn’t pay mind to what the top courts in British Columbia say – why should anyone?

Some first steps going forward:

  1. Let’s start by outsourcing the Premier’s job. I say we approach the Dalai Lama or Desmond Tutu, see if they want to make a few bucks on an ongoing contract. They’d make wonderful leaders.
    HHDLDesmond_tutu
  2. For Education, let’s restructure along the Swedish education ministries. Or – Malala.  Malala
  3. Social Services > End Legislated Poverty.
  4. For Finance, we could outsource that job to the Finance Minister of Norway.
  5. For the Revenues, let’s contract that out to the Government of Venezuela – they certainly know how to finance things.
  6. Downsize that Provincial Cabinet: 19 of them!
    BC-Cabinet-2012
    Should be able to get that down to four not counting the Premier position. Just need to follow the template:  (1) redefine the jobs, (2) combine five into one portfolio, (3) lower the salary and at the end of the day, (4) re-post the job and get some of the existing ministers to re-apply at a lower salary.
  7. Environment Minister – outsource that to Greenpeace and let’s get the job done. First order of business – take care of Mt. Polley arrests and clean-up; then the salmon (sub-contractor:Alexandra Morton).
  8. Outsource to the German labour minister. The FRG manages to give their worforce six weeks holiday a year and still top the GDP charts.

Privatizing the BC Liberal Government could give us a much more efficient government, a lean tax-saving machine.

Down with Don’ts

I propose we take the apostrophe out of don’t.

Yes, on my part, it’s pure laziness. It’s texting. It’s my phone. It’s having to go to a separate symbols screen to pick up the apostrophe. I often do it because I contracted that Editing Virus years ago, but I resent it every time.

It’s time. We’ve evolved. We dont need it anymore. (Did you have any trouble understanding that? No clarity issue there.)

Everyone knows what don’t means. Dont. There. It’s fine. Just like that. Yes, it’s a lovely old English contraction of do and not. But who cares? Dont works fine.

Plus if we get rid of that irritating little apostrophe, we also solve the Don’t’s Constant-Mis-use Problem in one clichéd fell swoop. Whew. Gone. One less nit-pick. The new plural becomes donts and, apart from the fact that it looks a little like donuts if you have visual processing issues and your scanning, it’s just fine

Oh my goodness. According to the Oxford English Dictionary it’s based on bad grammar to begin with:

Don’t is a contraction of do not. It is often used informally, especially in speech, as the equivalent of does not—as in, for example, she don’t drink tea—but this is not standard English and should be avoided in writing.

Goodbye apostrophe. That seals it then. Down with “don’t.” Dont use don’t no more.

©2014 Margo Lamont

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