Lest we forget Danny's big bang

Brian Jones
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There are some things in this world — and this universe — not meant to be comprehended by mere mortals who are not former premiers.

Astronomers, like politicians, like to issue pronouncements that boggle the minds of common laymen. They’ve already come up with two this month (the astronomers, I mean; politicians come up with that many every day — more if they’re talking about Afghanistan).

Apparently, there are three times as many stars in the universe

than astronomers had previously thought. Instead of there being a mere 100 sextillion stars, it is now estimated there are 300 sextillion. As one news report described it, that’s a three followed by 23 zeroes, or, put another way, 300 trillion times one billion.

One scientist helpfully noted that, by a strange celestial coincidence, the number of stars in the universe is roughly equal to the total number of cells making up the bodies of the six billion or so humans on Earth.

Not only are stars incomprehensively plentiful, the buggers keep replicating.

It seems, according to one theory, the proverbial Big Bang that began the universe will happen again and again. Each time the universe stops expanding and collapses in upon itself, a big bang reoccurs. Apparently there will be more than one universe. Perhaps there already has been. Perhaps there have been numerous universes over the past 300 sextillion years, and will be an infinite number of universes over the next 300 sextillion years and more.

Thank goodness the astro-nomers didn’t bring God into it. For if there has been, or will be, more than one universe, surely there is a God for each one. On the other hand, if the same God creates and rules over each new universe, then his Son must be the laziest and most pampered Daddy’s boy in history — he works only once every 10 billion years.

Premier power

If astronomers and existentialists are moved to ponder the mind

of God, Newfoundlanders (and Labradorians) are left to wonder at the mind of former premier Danny Williams.

It seems incongruous that a man smart enough to be a Rhodes Scholar would also be stunned enough to send a Christmas card to selected former subjects depicting his grinning visage with a backdrop of the sombre words, “Lest we forget.”

The image is crass, shocking, ignorant, egotistical and insulting. Maybe it is what comes from a leader having an approval rating of a sextillion per cent.

Equally unexplained is the timing of Williams’ departure.

The standard interpretation is that he resigned because he’d attained his primary goal — a deal to develop the Lower Churchill.

And yet, his highly touted deal is for the development of Muskrat Falls, which comprises only a minority of the potential power from the Lower Churchill.

The signing ceremony and Williams’ subsequent speech of resignation were gripping drama, but if you listen carefully, there are no sounds of pickaxes striking Labrador rock. It’s all just on paper. Regular readers of the political news will know how reliable that is. First power is projected for 2016 — place your bets, and ask for good odds.

Williams’ glorious exit — simultaneously celebrated and lamented — was premature. He’s like a hockey coach who signs a batch of players and then boasts about his championship roster, before they have even scored a goal, let alone raised a trophy.

Make no mistake — Williams was an excellent and at times brilliant coach, despite his nasty habit of lashing out at fans who dared to heckle him.

His legacy — the Lower Churchill project — is not assured. A simple “No” from Prime Minister Stephen Harper could scuttle it.

I just don’t get it. To truly understand the rationale for Williams’ premature resignation, maybe you have to dwell in his universe.


Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached by email at bjones@thetelegram.com.

Organizations: The Telegram

Geographic location: Afghanistan

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Recent comments

  • Frank Blackwood
    December 10, 2010 - 21:36

    Most Newfoundlanders are more concerned about the shortage of Hard Bread than thinking about Premier William's departure from politics.

    • Toby
      December 12, 2010 - 20:47

      Really now? All I've heard in the last few weeks is talk of Mr. William's departure.

  • David
    December 10, 2010 - 13:13

    Lest we forget, we say this every day! We should not forget most things in politics but we do forget! We vote people in to do our bidding but they just work for a party and not the people of Canada. Why is the party more important than Canada, put people in the senate so they can veto a bill without even discussing it! Until we get elected officials to work for Canada should we ever forget! Canada is not a party, Canada is a country and when will we remember that and Lest we forget! Williams enjoy your retirement but I got a feeling, Harper has not seen the last of him and the only way to change things is get elected to Ottawa. Sad but true, promise the world and when you get elected follow the party rules! Scare the west and steal a few votes in the east! Thanks for listening but soon no one is going to vote as why? Remember, LEST WE FORGET!

  • don
    December 10, 2010 - 11:08

    Finally! A journalist who can see right through the smoke and mirrors of the Danny Williams dog and pony show. Good for you sir.

  • ron
    December 10, 2010 - 10:42

    Lowly desk editor.. Still haven't got that job with Metrobus yet.. Oh.. they are on strike.. Darn .. guess we have to put up with your crappy comments.. SADLY...

  • Rod Lyver
    December 10, 2010 - 08:08

    Well written Mr. Jones. I too was appalled by the Christmas card. How much money is paid to PR flunkies to make sure this thing doesn’t happen...or does? The cry from the Tory lemmings of "wear blue" reminds me of Trudeau's female fans swooning in the streets or Beatles fans crying hysterically. Has the world gone mad? Or just William's supporters?

    • W McLean
      December 10, 2010 - 23:19

      Just Williams supporters. See how many of them you can find in about nine months' time.