Blackmail, Greenmail and Booth Canal - Alcyonenews

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Islands Trust
Posted April 10, 2020

Blackmail, Greenmail and Booth Canal

“Blackmail” implies that mail comes in various colours. No, I am not about to examine the colour spectrum of mail, my intent is to coin “Greenmail”. I will explain after I confess.

I am at a loss for a word to express exactly what I want to say, if I may paraphrase  Humpty Dumpty.  A word to encapsulate what I have in mind for the iTrust and which could conceivably be misconstrued as being blackmail.

The OED defines “blackmail” as: “#1 the demanding of money from someone in return for not revealing discreditable information; #2. the use of threats or manipulation in an attempt to influence someone's actions”.  #1 is clear but #2 is ambiguous.

Suppose somehow I learn that a charity manager pocketed $10,000  from the charity. I ponder what to do with what I came to know.  Should I take it to the police or “blackmail’ him to split the loot with me?  Nope, for I could do better: I could mail the offender informing  him  “I know”; offer  to wash out of my head the offence if he would return the $10,000, plus 10% “tuition  fee for the lesson,”  to the Charity; warn him that if does not comply with the request I will sing to police.

This does not meet the OED #1 criterion of blackmail – presto, blackmail it is not – or is it? It meets the criterion #2 – or it looks it does, but does it really?  Is the vicar offering to spare me Hell if I do not commit adultery, blackmailing me? Which? I searched for a word for it but found none.

Bypassing the cops is taking matters into my own hands. But I do it for noble return: the satisfaction from correcting a wrong; from helping someone who, perhaps in a moment of weakness, yielded to temptation and took a wrong step; from sparing charity a loss; and from sparing society the spectacle of the magistrates “flogging” the offender in the Town Square. Charles Dickens indicated the Law can be an ass ...

The spectrum of human innate traits is broad. It includes stealing, stabbing, smuggling and more. We accept those “born to steal”, for as long as they steal naught and so on. Indeed we help those with “anti-social” traits by making law to scare them into suppressing such traits. Law is a perennial  threat: Behave ... or else.

Law meets OED #2 criterion. It is  “using of threats or manipulation in an attempt to influence someone's actions”. But the Law is meant to be benevolent and this  absolves it from being blackmail. Methinks “greenmail” befits.

Greenmail may not be purely legit but can be pragmatic and ethically correct. This because yields no material gain, unlike blackmail which yields loot.  Moreover, “greenmail” is bound to please Elizabeth May and will be appreciated by St. Patrick and many of his protegees.

Now that I have your support, (I hope I do), I will greenmail the iTrust.

Booth Canal, an outstanding asset of Saltspring, is on the slippery slope to “ditch-itization”. The Canal is a thing of beauty that the Trust is determined to let become  lost forever. This we must not allow.

In a democracy, “the buck stops with us”, the “Demo” and we must not fail in our duty to ourselves, that of controlling those whom we appoint to govern us. It is only thus that we remain free, which is what we want to be.

I have been fighting for the Canal for the past half century. For a decade the Trust have been fighting me for it and, sad to say, they fight dirty.

My duty to do all I can to save the Canal emanates from having the qualifications  to understand the science at play. No different really than the Hippocratic oath of the physicians. Society has a right to expect those who can answer a need to answer it, and this is what I do.

I am finishing drafting a book on the Canal. It is damning to the Trust and the  Trustistas. For they have dome much to be ashamed of about the Canal.

Here then is my Greenmail, laid out, all in the open, me proud to do it. I will burn my manuscript if the Trust would do either of the following:

A.       Launch a comprehensive recovery program to ameliorate the decay and restore the health of Booth Canal; or

B.       Explain their refusal to protect and preserve Booth Canal, c/w respect for my right to answer whatever they say.

All to transpire in front of the public eye.

It is not  much to ask given the size of the pile of shameful stuff the iTrust has to hide ... They have so much that is ethically rancid and this gives me much to expose. But  I am seeking to avert the Battle for Booth Canal and anxious to focus our energies into healing the Canal. The ball is now in the Trust’s park. Hope they opt to do themselves proud rather than  shame. Remorse is praiseworthy, intransigence is damnable.

Look what remorse did for the Hon. Drunk Driver Gordon Campbell ...  And for the guy, South of the border who was smoking cigars with Monica Lewinski ...

Tom V.
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