There are some, open-line moderators for example, who still think our former leader gave us our pride, starched our collars so to speak, stiffened our spines if you like.
It wasn't our parents or forbearers, it wasn't our centuries-old struggle that developed our character, not Jesus of Nazareth, the Blue Puttees nor Joan of Arc.
No, it was, to draw from the common local lexicon, "a short-arsed corner boy" from St. John's. A man who, in a fit of anger, struck our colours one day all by himself and without our permission. We may have to on call on that tactic again some day as I shall explain.
No person should be abused by lies and deceit publicly, or privately, for that matter.
But all public figures and policies are subject to criticism and debate, even colourful criticism at times and even if what is proposed is perfectly legal.
What needs to be considered sometimes is the question whether "legal" and "right" are synonymous. I am very much inclined to think there is no necessary connection between the substantive meanings of these two words. One is not a function of the other.
Consider also that persons may intentionally participate in "wrongdoing" or they may act in "doing wrong" as an unintended consequence of that action, a distinction worth noting.
What I am suggesting is that, for the most part, the cast of characters supporting the Muskrat Falls project is acting on the latter principle.
They are acting legally, but their proposal for this tiny population base is wrong in the opinion of many. And further, they are doing so using extraordinary levers of legislative power and the persuasive influence of our apparent betters.
I am beginning to think we are like a small school of caplin and the net has been cast around us.
Opposition is ridiculed, the Public Tendering Act has been compromised, access to information is more difficult and Nalcor is already vaccinated against questions and providing critical information. This all appears to be unprecedented legislative manipulation which will render Decision Gate 3 a simple fait accompli. Can't you feel the net yet?
One of the most damning features of this misguided 50-year business plan remains just below the public radar and is often lost or forgotten in the raging statistical debate. But yet it underpins everything else, including - and especially - profits or subsidy benefits for those who might receive them.
"Take or pay" is the cornerstone of this business plan. Without it, nothing works. It's not a new idea as, for example, we all pay for our health-care system whether we use it or not.
But are we ready to accept a monthly billing for energy products we did not consume?
Are we ready to accept this principle, unchallenged, to guarantee profits and low-cost power for mining companies? Not this reddy kilowatt.
Now if, at the end of the day, we get cheap energy and we do not subsidize industrial rates to our own considerable hardship, then I guess all is well.
But if it should be the case that our worst fears are true, then this project will be the greatest economic travesty ever imposed upon Newfoundland.
However, and here's my point, that desperate possibility will exist no doubt within the context of a new government, one which may be forced to strike our colours again and use our legislative authority to correct past wrongs; contract law be damned. Politicians and investors be warned.
Robert Rowe writes from St. John's.