Well Brian and I are back, good to smell the fresh air up in Garden Bay, anyways, as you know I made a secret visit to the NDP convention, we were there saturday for Carole`s speech and we did get a chance to talk to Carole James as well as Gary Coons....Nicholas Simon.....Bruce Raulston.....Herbert Spencer....and I had a real good chat with John Horgan.....in fact if not for Vaughn Palmer sniffing around , looking for a story no doubt, well, we didn`t want to take up too much of John Horgan`s time.
After finding a great parking spot 1/2 block from the Bayshore hotel, brian and I walked into the Bayshore hotel around 10.00 Am saturday, not knowing where to go and not wanting to miss Carole`s speech....Well, I always have a feel for the action spot so we went in,turned left a wiggle right and lo n behold there was Carole James 1 minute before her speech waiting to walk the walk, well we couldn`t resist, we introduced ourselves, shook hands,smiled and wished her luck......And of course I still hadn`t registered,ooops....oh well.
Anyways, I have to say that Carole looked marvelous,she was real upbeat,her face was glowing, maybe she was calm,maybe the 14 point lead she holds over Gordon Campbell has buoyed her spirit but whatever it was she never ever looked physically better than she did this saturday morning, anyways a minute later Carole was on the stage to address the crowd, Brian and I picked a good spot and went to work, looking for crowd response,peoples faces, whisperers, the speech.....Carole started out strong,pointing out the glaring and obvious lies that Gordon Campbell spun during the election,but, those were pretty easy targets, heck Tommy the deaf dumb and blind kid from the pinball wizard could of hit those lies out of the park, Carole,physically was glowing on stage, she made a few wise crack jokes about Campbell`s inner cabinet, again,easy targets for a laugh, a minute or two on education and health issues which is clearly Carole`s best subject, Carole James dominates on social issues.
Then Carole touches ever so briefly on the environment, and....and not even once did she talk about the dire straight of our wild Salmon stock, and most of her environment talk was about sustainably developing it, she was very weak on what Campbell has done to our environment but more importantly she was was even weaker in not denouncing the things Campbell is trying to push through, such as the Enbridge pipeline,offshore oi n gas....and more big run of river projects and again,nothing on moving fish farms onto land...Clearly the last half of her speech was geared towards big industry ,in fact to me it seemed she was signalling to big business that it will be business as usual under a NDP government, now as for the jokes early in her speech, I personally don`t think any of the lies and deceptions from the Gordon Campbell government are laughing matters, to me the speech didn`t show enough hatred towards the Liberals, laughter, laughter gives the impression that you forget the sins and are prepared to move on, sort like oh well, there are far too many betrayals this time around to have considered jokes, our (Brian and I) over-all impression was of wasted "opportunity" for Carole, there wasn`t enough red meat for the left, the new direction Carole Jame`s seems to be taking is Trying to please everyone, unfortunately in my opinion when you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one!
After her speech I quicky loaded up on a extra large grande coffee from the Starbuck`s coffee shop inside the Bayshore Lobby.....What the hell is a Grande anyway?...I pointed to the largest cup...a few sips, a little surveillance, yes....The targets came out of the big room, I didn`t want to talk in a crowd, I needed one on one, I wanted to ask some questions, I wanted to see what impressions flowed from the speech, I wanted some answers, forthright answers, I can smell a lie a mile away, I wanted their body language to talk, and it did.
Well ...Bruce Raulston was my first post speech Victim, unfortunately Bruce is a wet noodle noodle in person as well as on T.V. but never the less he gave me his ear, Nicolas Simons was next and he was very personable, he was pleased to meet Brian and told me he was getting rave reviews from people whom have read my blog,who the heck is Grant G... I think I blushed, but underneath Nicolas was tense,edgy.... on to Herbert Spencer, he certainly has a unique room presence, when he talks you can`t help but listen and be impressed, but.....He`s young, I told him that he is a rising star and in 10 years he could be a provincial superstar, he minces no words, a real good find for the NDP...Gary Coons, I was waiting to Catch Mr. Coons, I wanted to talk ferries, Brian enjoyed informing gary Coons about the Christy Clark retraction, Gary laughed, and I spent a little time with my ferry data from my last post, in fact,Gary Coons was impressed and actually had my data I sent to him before I left Garden Bay,he pulled it up on his Blackberry ....He told me he gave it to their finance people to look at, unfortunately he hadn`t thoroughly studied it before heading to the show, being convention weekend and all,I`ll forgive him . And last but not least John Horgan, absolutely charming, a real down to earth man that can communicate with anyone, John was thrilled to meet Brian from Garden Bay, he laughed,he went on to say that every time they announce Brian from Garden Bay on the cutting ledge he would smile, he said Brian you make my day, in fact Brian and John talked about their conversation they had on the Sean Leslie show, John Horgan,apparently has been reading my blog, he had kind words, in fact John got talking about estimate debates with Blair Leckstrom and was pointing out some glaring problems and giveaways, John Horgan was still fighting for our rivers,fish, and economic security,for John Horgan,just because the election has come and gone there is no reason to let up,what`s right is right. I of course finished a few of his sentences just to let him know that I in fact watched every hour of estimate debates, he was impressed, as he said,who watches estimate debates? Anyways, we would have talked and talked if it wasn`t for Vaughn Palmer crashing our chat.
I didn`t even notice who it was at first squeezing into our conversation, anyways John Horgan said send me your pertinent data, so we turned to leave when Bitter Brian said, hey it`s Vaughn, I let them reminisce, I`m not quite sure if Vaughn was impressed with Brian or worried that Brian was going to thump him,after all, they have got into many a heated battle on the radio, but it ended peaceful with handshake and.....Of course Brian had to rub it in to Vaughn about making Christy Clark retract (as pitiful as her retraction was) and I reminded Vaughn Palmer if he ever needs story ideas,check out The Straight Goods it`s always loaded with dynamite, he had a chuckle,Anyways, in talking to this cast of characters one thing stuck out like a sore thumb, the party is divided, more than one MLA I talked to said...."What was with that speech" I gave them my impression of the speech, one MLA told me, of course we want business but not corporate giveaways, we can`t condone most of the deals that have been done, we can`t endorse corporate sellouts at our`s and the environment`s expense, I won`t name names but clearly there are internal challengers to Carole Jame`s leadership, like Bill Teileman advocating shifting stronger to the left, more health, better cheaper education,raising wages and worker protections with a real tough environmental policy in effect, and there are others who believes the swing to the right or more centrist position is the way to go.
In my opinion,for all it`s worth, the swing to the left is where the party should go, target seniors,youth and workers, big industry big business has more money but less people, if the NDP go soft with wage and worker issues and look the other way with environmental issues that will surely alienate the left and soft green voter, and truly,do any of you out there think that big business won`t turn on the NDP harshly just like the Canwest Global media machine and others do on the run up to the election?
I think a little different, big business and industry have had their way in this province for sometime,time for the left to win for a few years, better wages, better seniors care, more education resources, a concentrated effort to save our wild salmon, a stop to private power,slow the corporate gold rush and restore "true" public oversight.....We have had 9 years plus of "Yin".....Time to even it up with a healthy dose of "Yang"
The Straight Goods
Cheers-Eyes Wide Open