Monday January 31, 2011



Mair Tells It Like It Is

Can you find something good to say about Gordon Campbell?

Submitted by Rafe Mair


feel that I owe an explanation for not appearing as usual, this morning, on CBC's political panel with Moe Sihota and Erin Chutter. After speaking with a senior producer this morning I believe - and devoutly hope - that our relationship remains as always.

Early Saturday morning (we'd come home from London late the previous night) I saw an email from a CBC producer saying that in light of a testimonial dinner coming up for Premier Campbell, that we each put forward two good things and two bad things about Campbell's leadership.

I knew that I could not do so without being a hypocrite. In coming to that decision I went back over his record to the beginning when he gave a one billion dollar tax cut to the well off.

To me this was like asking an American commentator to name the two best and worst things about George W. Bush. That question, as here implied that there was an equivalency, that it was sort of six of one, a half dozen of another sort of thing.

I spent an hour reviewing the record in these areas:

The economy, social services, health (including mental health), business and labour communities, democracy in the legislature, the environment, transit, credibility and general leadership.

I could not, in all conscience, find anything I could say positive about Gordon Campbell.

I conscientiously think that Mr Campbell has been premier for the well-to-do to the exclusion of others and is certainly the worst in my long memory.

I considered the business community particularly. As long as a Premier is not NDP they will sing his praises. But I for down to the basics and MR Campbell's "accomplishment has been to give our power resources to large companies, ruining the environment in a big way with huge net loss to British Columbians.

I could go on but I only want listeners to know that my decision was based upon considerable research and self examination and I came to this conclusion, rightly or wrongly - If I were "forced" to identify two areas where the premier was a "plus" I would be a hypocrite.

I imply no criticism of the CBC with whom I've has a long cordial relationship both in Radio and TV. It is their show and they have the absolute right to pose the questions.

At the last moment before the show this morning I said I would appear as long as I could say "I won't answer the question (for the reasons above) but would give my assessment of Campbell. That wasn't satisfactory. And I can understand that.

The bottom line is that I cannot praise Campbell in any area and still tell the truth.

I hope I'll be with you all next Monday.

Rafe Mair is a long-time broadcaster and ex-politician who knows the inner workings of government. He's 83-years-old and the hall-of-fame broadcaster still packs a punch few can deal with.



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