Tories’ comedy of errors no longer funny

Brian Jones
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The upside of bad political times is that irritating stereotypes die faster than Tory leadership aspirations.

Take Stephen Harper, the “economist” prime minister who is not, was not and has never been an economist.

Thankfully, the news-consuming public no longer has to hear Harper described as “brilliant,” which was a commonly used adjective when he first took control of the rudder of the good ship Canada.

Similarly, in Newfoundland (and Labrador) fewer people by the day laugh and comment with a shake of the head that politics in this province is always an entertaining fight.

The political self-destruction of the Progressive Conservatives is entertaining only in the sense that some Brits find entertainment in watching hounds tear apart a fox.

As for the fight, there isn’t one. The Tories will restart the process of selecting a leader who, come general election time, will be torn apart by Dwight Ball and the Liberals.

The longstanding tendency to refer to provincial politics as a fun-filled brawl will suffer further decline in 2018-19, when people start receiving power bills that are twice what they used to be.

Incompetence, arrogance and disregard can be funny for a while, but then the humour and novelty wears off, and citizens are merely left with … incompetence, arrogance and disregard.

The PCs were justifiably laughed at when they kicked Wayne Bennett out of the leadership race for sending racist Tweets.

The laughter got louder when candidate and fish merchant Bill Barry hauled in his nets and headed for home port, so to speak, complaining the process was fixed and he had no chance of becoming skipper.

By the time the last man standing, Frank Coleman, quit this week, the comedy had dulled.

After all, the guy wasn’t even premier yet and had already been snared in a scandal that would have been cause for a premier to resign, had the premier-designate actually been premier (see: Humber Valley Paving, released from contract without penalty).

Black humour has to kick in. The Tories are now looking for a sacrificial lamb willing to be slaughtered by the Liberals.

Steve Kent would be perfect.

A large swath of the population would probably love to watch Dwight Ball gut that pretentious sycophant.

Which brings us to the serious matter of a general election. The people need one and deserve one.

The longer the PCs procrastinate and put off an election, the more they reveal they care about their own interests and preservation rather than the province and its people.

The longer the Tories delay calling an election, the more they prove politics is about desire for power rather than a wish to serve, as politicians and candidates so often declare, often to background laughter.

For the sake of the province, the PCs have to get out of the way and let the public start hating Dwight Ball and the Liberals.

It would be fine strategy. The sooner people start despising the Liberals, the sooner the PCs can expect to return to power.

Call an election for this fall, and people’s enthusiasm for the Liberals will wane by 2018, perhaps not enough to topple Ball, Cathy Bennett and the temporary foreign staffers they will undoubtedly bring in, but definitely enough to ensure that by 2022 they will be tossed from office in favour of a return to the Tories.

This is how it has gone, will go and must go. Liberals, Tories, Liberals, Tories, Liberals … love, hate, love, hate, etc.

What won’t change is the inevitability of incompetence, arrogance and disregard, no matter which party is in power … and the doubling of your power bill.

Brian Jones is a desk editor at

The Telegram. He can be reached by email at and can be found on Facebook.

Organizations: Progressive Conservatives

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • What a joke
    June 20, 2014 - 12:02

    Premier Steve Kent. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha

  • Excited and Thrilled
    June 20, 2014 - 10:01

    Tory times is hard vibrant times boys. Leave it to the ole Tories, the only thing they can do now is blame the Liberals for their, and now OUR mess. No one even wants to own up to these last 10 disastrous years. Maybe all the big contracts are all given away so they can collect on the other side of the coin. I'm sure Johny O is only given the job so he can get the people of the province on the hook for all the FRACTING that will take place on our west coast. But when the tough get going, he'll walk away again. The Tories have stalled our province long enough. They might thunk they have good marketing skills, but like the ice caps, their small percentage of province wide fans and PAID creatures, they choked. Maybe they were only their to try a catch of glimpse of our former Premier, so they could have a real story for their kids, don't forget the kids, when they get back to their homes . When we have the likes of Steve Kent and Dan FLIP FLOP Crumble as our governments lead minister, then we are up to our necks in it. Why don't they just get MHA Davy Brazil to barter a couple of cases of beer for a new leader. We all knows he won't be sorry for doing it, but the rest of us all could all very well be.

  • Colin Burke
    June 20, 2014 - 08:03

    You think the English put foxes in enclosed areas with hounds just so the latter can tear them apart? Actually the English chase the foxes and hounds at breakneck speed on horseback, for the thrill of the hunt, the danger of it, which is greater than the danger entailed in shooting a moose with a powerful firearm at some distance or even up close. And because the fox offers that kind of honourable challenge by being wily and nimble enough sometimes to escape, the English deem, or used to deem, it a disgraceful deed simply to shoot that worthy contestant. If you haven't tried it, don't knock it. G.K. Chesterton said fox hunting is not coldblooded cruelty to animals but men's becoming among animals more or less what they are to one another -- foxes tear apart rabbits, for instance.

  • Judy
    June 20, 2014 - 05:19

    We continue to ship out our main resources, our people, but at the same time, we bring in foreign workers to fill the gap. Liberal can't speak out concerning this issue, Because they have Cathy Bennett in their mist. For this reason, I can't support them.

  • Scott R
    June 20, 2014 - 05:03

    Mr Jones, I think your wrong one this one, Comedy haven't started yet, Its still to come, I was listening to Lisa Dempster yesterday, with Pete, She was talking about the decline of N & L population , almost the first thing came out of her mouth was " This Government ", Then the second thing was, under our leader Dwight Ball. he planning on building our economy, to keep our young people, My question to the Liberal. " How " ? He a man who only leadership abilities he got, " Is agreeing with the PC's ". Now Mr Ball is known has a mud slinger. Because he got nothing to offer.

    • Ken Collis
      June 20, 2014 - 09:10

      Do you think we really talk like that? Oh my, what a new low some folks stoop to.