Monday, May 21, 2018

° » 5 day

Because we have been waiting for you for a decade

Four More Years

Gordon Campbell on vacation

Pilsner Backs Campbell

British Columbia’s most infamous drunk, Gordon Campbell, and his Liberal drinking buddies are crawling back to the electoral bar and on May 17 will ask the province to buy them another round. But before Campbell begins his boozing, schmoozing and finger fucking over the next two months, it’s time to take a sober second look at the past four years of Liberal intoxication with the start of the Only’s provincial election coverage.

Campbell’s lowlight as premier occurred in January 2003 when he was arrested for drunk driving while vacationing in Maui. But it wasn’t just a case of him having one for the road. The man was completely smashed out of his skull and blew double the legal blood alcohol limit. In a press conference that would have gotten him heckled off the Springer show, the normally frigid Campbell (who could also pass as an albino pedophile) shed some crocodile tears and somehow the scandal disappeared. The incident, however, was a perfect metaphor for how Campbell has run the province: like an abusive alcoholic. He broke promises, browbeat the weak and stole millions in corrupt business deals to fund his capitalist drinking orgy.

The dirty drunk set the tone early in his term with a $1.5 billion tax cut that largely benefited the richest 15 per cent of the province. This was quickly followed with nearly $2 billion in spending cuts that primarily hurt the bottom 20 per cent.
“Let me put it this way, if you are on the upper middle [class] to elite categories you did very well with the tax cuts, because they really did significantly reduce provincial personal income taxes,” says Philip Resnick, a professor of political science at the University of British Columbia. “On the other hand, if you were more on the recipient end of certain kinds of social services–health, education and welfare–you’d have reasons to see this government as miserly.”

In their four years of power, Campbell and his cronies slashed spending on everything from health, education, the environment, public sector jobs, women centres and welfare while somehow managing to raise the provincial debt. They’ve ripped up legally binding labour contracts, diminished and ignored aboriginal rights, cut minimum wage, done nothing to stop abusive police departments and scrapped the human rights commission while passing shady privatization deals that got them into hot water with the RCMP and the privacy commissioner. Whether the province will forgive and forget Campbell’s attack on the poor remains to be seen. They’ve already let his criminal conviction slide, so there’s no reason to think they won’t overlook the criminal nature of his governance. Thanks mainly to external factors, British Columbia is beginning to ride an economic boom and the $1 billion of free drinks in the 2005 Liberal budget may be enough to make the public forget Campbell’s paying for it on their tab. But just as the Liberals are exploiting the province’s new found wealth, they are also exploiting the very social problems their cuts exasperated.

“At one level people are aware of rising homelessness and ironically you’ve got the current government and people like [Vancouver-Burrard MLA and Safe Streets Act motherfucker Lorne] Mayencourt actually attempting, maybe successfully, to politically capitalize on the very conditions they helped contribute to,” says Seth Klein, the BC director of the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives, a left-wing think tank. “To that extent they are tapping into this awareness that things are not well, but that they’re managing to make the issue their own is fascinating and somewhat grotesque.”

To be fair to the premier, booze might not be his poison of choice anymore. It could be goat’s blood or possibly Hitler’s cryogenically frozen semen. It’s too bad that the 2005 budget lumped together addiction services, mental health and home, residential and palliative care with a mere $200 million. Campbell could use the treatment.

  1. Rick Barnes

    WOW. That was harsh but sometimes that is needed to wake some folks up. - Apr 2, 06:16 PM

  Textile help