The other night after I retired to bed I began reading a letter sent to me by Premier Gordon Campbell! It was little short of a miracle. I, the hated Rafe Mair, actually got a letter from the premier!Dear Rafe,
Like you, I’m getting on a bit and I’m about to leave the premier’s chair for a million bucks or so a year with Westinghouse. Before that I’m off to California to visit with my pal Arnold and have a bit of swim in his pool which is heated by private river power from British Columbia.
Because I’m leaving, I’m going to make a clean breast of it of it all.
You raised a question or two about Site “C” and why we didn’t seem to care about that 5400 hectares of farm land we’re going to drown.
Well, Rafe, it’s because we don’t give a shit about farmland, never have, never will, As for farmers, the stupid buggers will vote for us forever no matter what we do!
You asked about the environmental assessments I talk about for Site “C” and I nearly died laughing. You’ve been to those phony baloney things Rafe … I’ve seen shots of you blowing a gasket at all the crap that’s tossed around. It must have been a rhetorical question because no one like you, who’s been in the government, could ask a question like that with a straight face.
Then, Rafe, you asked me the question I spent a lot of time not answering, if you know what I mean. All my caucus at one time or other said “Premier, Mair is asking a question that we’d like answered (Pretty please sir, and don’t forget me the next time there’s a cabinet shuffle because that’s all that’s kept us from asking this question before, sir). Mair wants to know this; if our so-called rivers policy is producing so much energy that we’ll be self sufficient in energy by 2016, why aren’t we using that power instead of building Site “C”?
Well Rafe, I’ll tell you why I haven’t answered that question – it’s a killer. You know the answer of course – those rivers can’t produce power in the winter time,when the water is too low which is when we need it!
But I couldn’t tell people that or they would never vote for us so I’ve had to, as you say, lie through my teeth! I was going to tell the rest of my cabinet to lie as well but I knew they were too goddam dumb to understand the question in the first place.
But Rafe, that word “lying” is unparliamentary and I’m a stickler for that sort of thing. As you know, I’ve been punctilious in behaving as premier just as I told NDP premiers past how to behave. So can we say “”fibbed through my teeth”? OK? Shortened to FTMT? Yep, old buddy, that’s why I’m outa here. Sooner or later you, and that group of enviro freaks you hang out with, will get the public understanding the truth and you know what that does to politicians!You got me dead to rights – all that money to those greedy bastards in the private power game and they send that power to BC Hydro for export because they can’t make energy in the winter months when BC Hydro needs it!
And we’ve been, thanks to our dear, dear friends at Canwest, getting away with it!
Now Rafe, I’ve been FTMTing all along about BC Hydro just like I did with BC Rail. You’re right, it’s just like Dr John Calvert says in his book, Liquid Gold - BC Hydro is paying those greedy bastards double what they can sell it for! And since BC Hydro doesn’t need that private power it’s produced, it it must sell it for ½ they paid for it!
Pretty neat, huh! And the ingrates still ask us why they have to pay so much to the Liberal Party campaign fund!.
Rafe, I hate Crown Corporations – a socialist idea if I ever saw one! That’s why I dumped BC Rail and said it was just a little lease for 990 years! I laughed when I heard that you’d said that while you didn’t know what the world will be like in 990 years you did know that 990 years ago the King of England was Ethelred the Unready.
That’s why I’m trying to dump BC Ferries too and why I approved of selling BC Gas to the boys from Enron, that US Company that made that little accounting mistake and left shareholders and employee pension funds high and dry.
And, damn your hide, you pointed out that BC Hydro will be broke because of the deals we’ve forced them to make with private power corps, so they won’t be paying that traditional huge dividend each year to the people – nearly a billion dollars one year! That money will be going instead to people like Warren Buffett!
Then, you gave away our little secret - . BC Hydro is planning to still give the people that dividend after all - they'll raise the money with a rate increase to those very same people!
You know, before you and that partner of yours, Damien Gillis started listening to that mischief maker Tom Rankin, the rancher on the Ashlu River, no one knew what a god awful mess those private power guys were making of our rivers! Of course I FITMTed when I said it was green power and the rivers wouldn’t be hurt even a teensy weensy little bit. But I wasn’t the only FTMTer. So were those so-called citizens’ group calling themselves Citizens for Green Energy. Isn’t that a great name for apologists for those who screw up our rivers; the fat cats that so abuse our rivers that the salmon we don’t get kill with fish farms, we’ll nail with dams? Oops! I forgot, we’re supposed to call them weirs - sounds so much better don’t you think?
Now about those fish farms. I admit you’ve got me again. I FTMTed on every issue every bit of the way. You were right on the escape issue, escaped Atlantic salmon were and are settling into our rivers and crowding wild salmon off the spawning grounds and Alexandra Morton has been spot on the whole way on the sea lice question.
If I were a truth telling politician, a rare breed I admit, I would apologize for the harm I’ve caused – but of course I’m a pathological FTMTer
Then it happened. Wendy nudged me saying “you’ve been asleep, dear, even though I haven’t turned the light out yet”.
Damn! Like the guy in the Green, Green Grass of Home, I was only dreaming!