In the field of honour – Dueling with mud at 30 yards
Finally! Now we have the “statements of defense” filed by Messrs James and Lenz laying alongside Speaker Plecas’ “statement of claim”, so to speak. To complete the circle we need Plecas’ response to the allegations made in the Statements of Defense, but it is unlikely we will see such.
One is tempted to review these together, but I will defer just in case Plecas answers James and Lenz. Anyway there is already before us a sizeable heap of stuff inviting comment. I will sample issues that neither of the warring parties are likely to raise voluntarily. Yet, some of these issues must be broached, and this they, all the actors in the play, should not be let escape – the task is therefore left to us, the populace to expose that which they would rather hide.
Let’s not forget this Plecas et al melee is merely a symptom of malaise in the political system rooted in the system being more Party-o-cracy than Democracy. The Justin Trudeau – Jody Wilson-Raybould show, ditto. We have to endure this nonsense but should seek to gain from the ordeal and avert perpetuation of the nonsense. It would all be for the better if we recognize that unless we do something extraordinary, something “outside of the usual pain-relief pillbox”, the malice will remain under the skin of our body politic, ready to recur, not unlike the chickenpox virus lurk in us and eventually surfaces as painful “shingles”.
A fundamental point raised by both James and Lenz is the way Plecas choreographed the show. This I criticized myself in my column of January 25. My concerns pivoted on Plecas succumbing to temptation from being in personal conflic of interest – with that I remain fast. James and Lenz feel wronged by Plecas’ omission of an attempt to resolve the matter “out of court” so to speak, meaning away from the eyes and the ears of the public. But in this instance the Public is the overall stakeholder in the outcome of the Plecas quarrel with the Clerk and the Sargent-at-Arms. Indeed we cannot let them settled this among themselves, we must insist on having the last word on that, for unless and until we do, the malaise will remain endemic.
Anyway, what would have happened if Plecas had coffee with James and Lenz? I do not know what the pair would expect. Was it that they would placate Plecas after he had dug for dirt like a sow digs for truffles?
It is noteworthy that James and Lenz had sought to implicate Plecas and to some degree they succeeded it appears. They took him on junkets to England, Scotland, and China; and had planned with him another to Australia. That much Plecas has admitted and he has “explained”. He was new in the Speakers’ job he said and was keen on learning the ropes and mastering the methods. After that, he continued to play the game that was underway, he has further “explained”, so as to bait the “baddies”. This brings to mind the Danish Police who removed the “No Parking” signs from the streets so they could nab and ticket more “violators”. Plecas said he went along with that game, all the time having in mind to later rescind his approval, like anglers remove the hook from the fish after they land it.
James and Lenz felt discriminated against. They complained that Plecas and Mullen had handicapped them in defending themselves when Plecas evicted them from their offices. This deprived them of staff to help them access the records where to scurry for “evidence of innocence” and possibly for more dirt to hurl at Plecas and Mullen, in a counterattack, I presume.
To understand the attraction of in-dungeon discussion, look at the Islands Trust. You can see the magic of “eliminating incriminating evidence after the fact”. Some “guardians” of public “records” can do it quicker than seasoned pickpockets. One thing is for certain, James and Lenz engaging in secret bickering with Plecas, would be driven by the common need to extricate themselves from their predicament.
Thus far, Power has won over Reason. Plecas and Mullen helped greatly the NDP avoid losing the Nanaimo seat thereby keeping themselves “gainfully employed”. And have enhanced the chance that the “Recall Plecas” initiative will collapse. Macleans Mag have not frontpaged “Darryl Plecas Superstar” as they did Chrystia Freeland. But the Press has turned things around for Plecas and Mullen. From where they sunk in October 20 last and shouted that SOS answered by retired Judge and past AG Wally Opal to do PR for them, now they claim public gratitude for busting the ring.
It is sad to observe Plecas taking a couple of superluxurious trips to England to buy a hat and learn the tricks of the Speaker’s trade. One finds it sad to believe that we are governed by people who instead of flying to London, could not measure the periphery of a cranium at hat-contour and buy on-line a Speaker’s tricorne from Amazon, at low price and free delivery, to boot. Really, nobody should have to put up with that; surely we deserve better.