The dishonourable Mr. Wakeham

Bob
Bob Wakeham
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The House of Assembly speech we're not likely to ever hear

Before heading off on my first fishing trip of the spring tomorrow (and avoiding next weekend's Victoria Day invaders of the woods, most of whom will put up with a dozen squealing kids squat into a trailer built for four, play Frisbee in the rain with the top of a salt-beef bucket, and emerge Tuesday with no trout and a hangover), I started to contemplate - of all things - my maiden speech.
Needless to say, I won't ever have the lobotomy required to eliminate independent thought and the castration needed to remove the gonads of grit, so a career as an MHA does not appear on the horizon.
But after reading excerpts in The Telegram last week of powerful speeches by the freshest face in the legislature, former cop/mouth-piece/councillor Paul Davis, and the irrelevant and cabinet-envy backbencher Steve Kent, I was inspired to the very marrow of my bones to put on paper a few words that might, in my make-believe world, one day make it into Hansard.
Mr. Speaker: "The honourable member representing former journalistic scum."
(THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE, INTERSPERSED WITH 'HERE, HERE,' A GREETING OF SUCH ORIGINALITY AND SINCERITY THAT A GREAT GUSH OF TEARS WOULD HAVE TO BE FOUGHT OFF)
Mr. Wakeham: "Thank you from the bottom of my sold-out heart valve, Mr. Speaker.
"Today, I rise in this House of Assembly, a historical place, where, just last week, Mr. Speaker, the valiant Minister of Natural Resources stood in her seat, red as a beet, nervous as a cat, and calmed our fears about the dangers of an oil spill.
"In fact, Mr. Speaker, I was surprised she didn't use Franklin D. Roosevelt's 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' But the honourable minister probably didn't realize we are permitted to exploit the President as a local angle because he spent time in Placentia Bay during the war with Winston Churchill, smoking cigars and swearing on the fog, and complaining the wet weather made his wheelchair squeak, a matter not mentioned by the press of the day, of course, Mr. Speaker, respectful reporters that they were, keeping the President's disability secret, unlike the crowd of intrusive, yellow journalists we have to tolerate in Newfoundland.
"But I digress, Mr. Speaker.
"Because most importantly, Mr. Speaker, in my maiden speech, I wish to declare how immeasurably thankful we are to have the privilege to work alongside, to work beneath, in any position he desires, Mr. Speaker, the most magnificent leader to ever head a party in Newfoundland, in Canada, in - oh, what the hell, Mr. Speaker, if you'll excuse my un-parliamentary language - the brightest, strongest head of a government in the free world.
"Now, Mr. Speaker, I know the ambitious rookie, the member for Conception Bay South, was divinely inspired when he boasted that we were 'blessed' to have the honourable the premier in our midst. Mr. Speaker, I have to confess it moved me to tears, and I felt compelled to make the sign of the cross.
"The honourable member, in fact, actually spoke of the 'vision' of our hallowed leader. Mr. Speaker, the rain, drizzle and fog above Confederation Building evaporated at that very moment.
"All I'd like to suggest, Mr. Speaker, that it's time for every soul in this province, every man, woman and child, every dog and cat, to join the premier on his voyage to heavenly opportunity.
"In particular, Mr. Speaker, I implore the members opposite, the little band of whining Liberals and the holier-than-thou leader of the NDP to abandon that satanic side of the House and cross over here, to the enlightened, godly side.
"Mr. Speaker, we should all join in one glorious voice.
"Mr. Speaker, I was a sinner, I transgressed against our leader. I criticized him. I was blasphemous.
"But no more, Mr. Speaker, for I've seen the light.
"And I invite the members opposite to embrace the Williams light as well.
"One blessed family, Mr. Speaker. The Trinity: Danny, the opposition and the press. United forever.
"Praise be to Daniel.
"Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity to bow in adoration to this all-wise and unearthly leader."
(THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE)
Honourable members: "PRAISE DANNY, PRAISE DANNY, PRAISE DANNY."

Bob Wakeham has spent more than 30 years as a journalist in Newfoundland and Labrador. He can be reached by e-mail at bwakeham@nl.rogers.com.

Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Placentia Bay, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Harvey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Wakeham, you're not going to make it now,or ever, as a real recognized journalist. I am not an over-zealous fan of the premier!!!But the tripe that you write encourages me to believe that we have a premier never had before, never will have again for a long, long time.Rest your thoughts!!!

  • Polly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    ~~~~~~~~~ A M E N ~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~B R O T H E R ~~~~~~~~~

  • Chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    @Harvey Jackman, et al;

    If you don't like the column, don't read it.

    Do you watch TV shows you don't like or listen to music you hate?

    I didn't think so.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    While some of the younger journalists have what it takes, only two of Newfoundland and Labrador's finest journalists, both from the old school, have had the courage to really speak truth to power. One was the great Ray Guy and the other was the just as great, Bob Wakeham. Keep up the good work, Bob!

  • Dept Of Cheerleading
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Yes I heard that patheic, can't say it was a speech, in the house. They talk about, using a hockey analogy, how good their first line is compared to their seventh?!@#$ I'd like to see his buddies study company recommendations on that one. They have enough for at least 2 hockey teams and still can't win the cup, even being unaccountable. That persons role on his team, Id say, Is no more than a WATER BOY. Thats right.
    What happened to all these out spoken people who would have a voice and fix some of the problems for their districts. I know, They fell in line and are keeping their mouths shut. The only time we hear from them now, like on fridays radio show, is when the popularity contest for danny is about to close. The thing is, why do we even know when these contests are being run, its sorta like insider trading if you ask me, and ye did. Yes sir, the mha's have all but been slienced and have take up the pompoms to replace their voice. and, I wouldn't expect a text either.

  • Bogey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    That display of propaganda was amazing and uncalled for by that PC MHA. He comfirmed how I voting next election. Its almost as unthought out as moving the air ambulance from St. Ant-en-E. Then we hear on commericals that we spend more money per capita than any other province for our healthcare. I hope they aren't using the same study company who said it was cool to move the air ambulance. If that is the case then what are we doing wrong, spending all that money in the wrong places. Are we being penitized because so many people actually try and use these services, dispite the amount of effort to detour people. This government has missed the most important piece of the whole Exercise. Danny said, about his heart condition, that it was his body, his choice and his money. I'd say to him, about my healthcare, that is my body, my choice but you guys have all OUR money. So I /we can't fly away some where warm and recouperate. I know one thing we aren't short on is lawyers and cops. And I rather pay a doctor for help then a lawyer who's only tring to make you thing they helped you. When in essence, they only helped themselves. But we all know what reaction would come from this fact. But I say nothing, and I means NOTHING, could be Closer to the TRuTH! Frankly.

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    The more they protest about it, the more you know they read it. Example: Danny slags the Globe and Mail every chance he gets. The rest of the time, he QUOTES from it.

  • The Boy inside the Man
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Hmmmmm..........

  • Lloyd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Good Lord! Man, you're flirting, either foolishly or courageously, with hellfire and eternal damnation. Sure, we can smell the brimstone way up here in Labrador....

  • Harvey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Wakeham, you're not going to make it now,or ever, as a real recognized journalist. I am not an over-zealous fan of the premier!!!But the tripe that you write encourages me to believe that we have a premier never had before, never will have again for a long, long time.Rest your thoughts!!!

  • Polly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    ~~~~~~~~~ A M E N ~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~B R O T H E R ~~~~~~~~~

  • Chris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    @Harvey Jackman, et al;

    If you don't like the column, don't read it.

    Do you watch TV shows you don't like or listen to music you hate?

    I didn't think so.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    While some of the younger journalists have what it takes, only two of Newfoundland and Labrador's finest journalists, both from the old school, have had the courage to really speak truth to power. One was the great Ray Guy and the other was the just as great, Bob Wakeham. Keep up the good work, Bob!

  • Dept Of Cheerleading
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Yes I heard that patheic, can't say it was a speech, in the house. They talk about, using a hockey analogy, how good their first line is compared to their seventh?!@#$ I'd like to see his buddies study company recommendations on that one. They have enough for at least 2 hockey teams and still can't win the cup, even being unaccountable. That persons role on his team, Id say, Is no more than a WATER BOY. Thats right.
    What happened to all these out spoken people who would have a voice and fix some of the problems for their districts. I know, They fell in line and are keeping their mouths shut. The only time we hear from them now, like on fridays radio show, is when the popularity contest for danny is about to close. The thing is, why do we even know when these contests are being run, its sorta like insider trading if you ask me, and ye did. Yes sir, the mha's have all but been slienced and have take up the pompoms to replace their voice. and, I wouldn't expect a text either.

  • Bogey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    That display of propaganda was amazing and uncalled for by that PC MHA. He comfirmed how I voting next election. Its almost as unthought out as moving the air ambulance from St. Ant-en-E. Then we hear on commericals that we spend more money per capita than any other province for our healthcare. I hope they aren't using the same study company who said it was cool to move the air ambulance. If that is the case then what are we doing wrong, spending all that money in the wrong places. Are we being penitized because so many people actually try and use these services, dispite the amount of effort to detour people. This government has missed the most important piece of the whole Exercise. Danny said, about his heart condition, that it was his body, his choice and his money. I'd say to him, about my healthcare, that is my body, my choice but you guys have all OUR money. So I /we can't fly away some where warm and recouperate. I know one thing we aren't short on is lawyers and cops. And I rather pay a doctor for help then a lawyer who's only tring to make you thing they helped you. When in essence, they only helped themselves. But we all know what reaction would come from this fact. But I say nothing, and I means NOTHING, could be Closer to the TRuTH! Frankly.

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    The more they protest about it, the more you know they read it. Example: Danny slags the Globe and Mail every chance he gets. The rest of the time, he QUOTES from it.

  • The Boy inside the Man
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Hmmmmm..........

  • Lloyd
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Good Lord! Man, you're flirting, either foolishly or courageously, with hellfire and eternal damnation. Sure, we can smell the brimstone way up here in Labrador....