Friday, February 16, 2007

NEIL WAUGH: WEASEL WORDS AND THE ART OF THE BIG LIE

Neil Waugh has been a columnist for the Edmonton Sun for many years. His message is always the same: Tories are great; Grits are vermin - much like the scribblings of his Edmonton Sun colleague Paul Stanway and Herald hackster Tom Olsen. Stanway and Olsen were finally put on the Tory payroll full time. How is it Waugh didn't make the cut? He probably will, the next time the Premier wants to reward his pals in the media with cushy jobs paid for by the tax-payer in his Communications office.

Waugh is representative of virtually all of the right-wing scribes and loud-mouth conservative talk radio hosts who ply their less than awesome talents in Alberta and elsewhere. They are not above exploiting the Goebbels truism of the BIG LIE: Tell the BIG LIE often enough, and the masses will sure to believe it.

An example is the BIG LIE of the National Energy Policy (you remember, shurely, the 'NEP'). It was the proposition that it was the NEP alone that devastated the Alberta economy when it was launched in the fall of 1980, and that it was a punitive measure imposed on the oil industry, deliberately and with malice, by the Trudeau Government of the day, to destroy Alberta prosperity. Perhaps it has been expressed with differences here and there, but that is the essence of it.

It is a BIG LIE because the NEP was not a malicious and punitive measure. It was a response - albeit, probably a bad one - to sky high oil prices that were crippling world economies, including Canada's. Furthermore, there were other far more significant factors that plundered the economies of all oil producing regions of the day - whether it was in Alberta, Texas or the Sultanate of Brunei. Interest rates, led by the U. S. Federal Reserve Board during the reign of conservative poster-boy Ronnie Reagan, went through the roof for an extended time, exceeding 20% and thus bringing construction and industrial expansion to a crashing halt. In addition, oil prices did not continue to rise, as predicted by the economic gurus of the day. Oil prices went south, which combined with the high interest rates, resulted in the cataclysmic collapse of the oil and gas economies.

But the BIG LIE has been told ad nauseum by the likes of Waugh and his pals in the conservative media and politics, and so a great proportion of Albertans have come to believe it.

Waugh is at it again. His target again this time is of course the Liberal Party. His recent column of Thursday February 15, entitled 'Scary and Really Scary' beats up on Ajax-Pickering MP Mark Holland. Never one to understate when it comes to an attack on the Grits, Waugh states that 'the greatest threat to the Alberta oil patch is not Al Qaida terrorists . . . but Ottawa Liberals ' such as ' M.P. Mark Holland.

Now here comes the BIG LIE. Waugh goes on to say, 'Holland, apparently, let the cat out of the bag when he blabbed on open-line talk shows recently that Stephane Dion and the Libs would seize the oilsands if companies didn't conform to the Kyoto agreements impossible green house gas emission targets.'

Holland said no such thing, 'apparently' (a weasel word if there ever was one) or otherwise. Furthermore, no Liberal - from the Leader on down, has said such a thing. Nor could any Liberal's words be interpreted as saying any such thing. And neither did Mr. Holland try to 'wriggle out' of what he said - as alleged by Waugh - when Holland later claimed that the Liberals still support oilsands development 'in a reasonable and sustainable manner.' That is what Holland and the Liberals, and indeed, former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed, have said all along.

What Waugh has done is introduce another BIG LIE to once again scare the people of Alberta into voting Conservative. He and his ilk have done it before and they will try to do it again. They will repeat the BIG LIE over and over again, so as to maintain the depressing, monolithic presence of the Federal Conservative Party representing Albertans in Ottawa.

Let's hope the people of Alberta finally recognize that they have been manipulated by twits like Waugh long enough. Good bye to the BIG LIE.

10 comments:

Raymaker said...

There is no bigger scumbag working in print today than Neil Waugh. He's probably a little angry these days because Olsen and Stanway got their big payoff and he missed out.

knb said...

Let's hope the people of Alberta finally recognize that they have been manipulated by twits like Waugh long enough. Good bye to the BIG LIE.

I'd like to think that was possible however, one just seems to replace the other.

The latest Big Lie, from the PM comes to mind. Liberals hate the police.

It seems everyday, some new Big Lie is uttered by the gov't, then duly spread by the faithful.

GritPatriot said...

Waugh is a clown. You called it right.

The NEP myth has kept the Tories in power for 25 years, both provincially and federally.

The NEP would have been good for Alberta IF the assumption made made Trudeau and Lougheed proved crrect. They assumed the price of oil would continue to rise. It didn't.

What the CONS can never explain is how the NEP made the worldwide price of oil collapse.

The NEP myth is so huge that most people will not listen to the facts or reason.

On this one, the CONS win.

jp said...

Is it really the Big Lie that maintains the Conservative Party representing Albertans in Ottawa ?
I have been in Canada for 6 years, and in Calgary for less than 5. I don't know anything about Trudeau, like many emigrants from the rest of the country or overseas, like me.
But I know I won't vote Liberal if the leader does not change his mantra about Kyoto, only Kyoto and all about Kyoto ! And succeed by 2012, that sounds like a big lie to me.

Erik Sorenson said...

Hmmm. Would that "Big Lie" be anything like other big lies such as:
- replacing the GST;
- scrapping the FTA;
- $500 mil for Toronto waterfront (6 times!)
- $4 billion over 10 years for "brownfield" sites;
-Martin (Captain Chicken) to debate Duceppe on any street corner, in any town, anytime ... just as soon as we can find him;
- Kyoto reductions of 35% in 10 months can be achieved; and
- Dion is a green hero.

For a reputed lawyer, company director, commission chairman and (most disgracefully) a Liberal, you sure are either extremely forgetful, naive, or utterly mendacious. Take your pick, any choice destroys your pithy complaint against reality.

Grow up. Although I fear that it's too late for you.

(signed) A Senior Citizen (65+) with a hell of a better memory than yours!

Darryl Raymaker said...

To all who have commented on this Post and particularly to JP and Erik Sorenson - Hey, thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to write!

Raymaker said...

Erik Sorensen, you sound like one bitter and thick old man.

Oh, but you're also a liar. The $500 million for the Toronto Waterfront was a boondoggle initiated by the .... wait for it! ... Mike Harris government in association with his weasally little sidekick Mel Lastman.

Don't know where you're going with the remainder of your list. Maybe you're just cranky because you've run out of dry adult diapers.

Erik Sorenson said...

Oh, Darryl, you really shouldn't do this, guy. Because my site is a walking repository of every Liberal promise made during the last two elections, as compiled by McLeans and the Globe&Mail ... they are quite good at it!

Start on this, guy:

http://www.thiscanada.com/2005/04/26/caution-liberal-promise-warning-level-2/#more-184

Nice simile on the diapers, though. Classy.

Raymaker said...

Click on the name and read a little more closely. I know that's asking a lot, but I'm sure you're little mind can hack it if you try.

GritPatriot said...

erik, you are a sad little man and you have my pity.

Surely you don't believe HArper when he makes promises. Remember when he promised not to bugger investors involved in income trusts.

Not so long ago, Harper denied any problems withthe environment. Now, his conscience has been woken by opinion polls and he is an enviro-hero. Appointed Fortier to the sentae (remeber when he said he was against that before he was for it.) Heck, he even appointed a fortier as a cabinet minister because of the lack of talent amongst the elected CONs.

Take it somewhere else loser-boy.