Gordon Campbell reaps loyalty reward

Apparently there are rewards to not burning your bridges, as former premier Gordon Campbell shows us. He’s soon to be off to London as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom for the federal government.

Apparently there are rewards to not burning your bridges, as former premier Gordon Campbell shows us. He’s soon to be off to London as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom for the federal government.

Truth to tell, it’s not a bad reward for a man who resigned his premier’s position in March with some of the lowest public approval ratings ever seen in BC – nine per cent.

The Vancouver Sun opines – and I guess I have to agree – that remaining so unstintingly uncritical of the Conservative government through three terms as premier can lead to good things – an annual salary of between $163,000 and $191,000, an official residence (and offices) in Mayfair and the obligatory limo, chauffeur and even a chef since a lot of entertaining, on the taxpayer’s dollar, is also obligatory in the role.

However, as of today, June 30, the prime minister’s office has not made an official announcement with the news emanating from premier Christy Clark following a business trip to Ottawa.

Most British Columbians are not confused by the name of the BC Liberal Party, which is a long, long way to the right of the provincial NDP and creates a difficulty for the BC Conservative Party to differentiate its small-c conservative positions from those of the very-conservative West Coast Liberals. This probably demonstrates why the PMO was able to dismiss or at least minimize the importance of Mr. Campbell’s somewhat ignominious departure from his provincial premiership, his PR-disaster “no-contest” pleas to under-the-influence driving convictions in Hawaii, and his more-than-just-HST-based unpopularity level with the voters of BC, who nevertheless rewarded Mr. Harper with 21 of 36 seats in BC in the May election, to confirm his ascendency to majority government.

Ah yes, confirmation that – as is attributed to William Shakespeare – politics can make “strange bedfellows.”

 

 

 

CBC News is gushing, as I write, over the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, (better known world-wide as Will and Kate) in Ottawa.

The crowds and the throng of 150,000 anticipated for tomorrow’s Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa, seem to fly in the face of a Angus Reid poll that as many as 50 per cent of “young Canadians” (aged 18-34) are royally indifferent to the Royal Family or the Queen as constitutional head of state in Canada. It’s a much-older segment of Canadian society that nods approval for the existing state of affairs.

But that’s not what I see when I look at the faces of the throngs around the Royal visitors. I see many, many more young people peeping over the shoulders of the vets at the wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Back in the crowd, the young children are up on their parents shoulders, the cameras and mobile-phones are flashing, people are phoning, the thumbs are tweeting and everybody seems to be enjoying the aftermath of even this more sombre ceremony.

True the tour has been designed for the newly-wed visitors to spend a lot of time with the younger-generation of Canadians and with some 1,500 journalists from around the world following every move of the tour, Canada will certainly benefit from this exposure.

One quick observation, if all of the public “walk-abouts” follow the pattern of the one I’m watching in Ottawa, the PM, if still following behind the visitors, won’t be able to avoid actually chatting to the Canadian public – not a bad thing.

One other thing, I know the city of Ottawa is facing austerity, but I see the road leading to Rideau Hall is so cracked and pot-holed that I hope the visitors didn’t spend much time looking down at the bumpy pavement en route…

 

ahewitson@telus.net

 

 

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