"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful." - Samuel Johnson
"In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." - Warren Buffet
"There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics." - Mahatma Gandhi
I just finished reading what could be the next instalment of Fifty Shades of Gray. It’s titillating if you are into that kind of stuff, filled with intrigue, covert hook-ups, erotic rendezvous and tinges of scandal.
If you are interested in a copy of this interesting read, don’t bother going to Amazon or Indigo to find it.
Because it’s the latest dirt on a group of Newfoundland and Labrador politicians who forget that with power comes responsibility but with power also comes people seeking to undermine them.
And with that, secrets held by some become coveted knowledge for those who seek to use that knowledge at just the right moment – whether to “leverage” someone into doing something for them or having someone thrown out if they no longer serve a purpose.
And while rumors circulate about the promiscuous, salacious behavior of married politicians with people inside and outside of caucus, I can’t help but wonder if these are the type of leaders that Newfoundland and Labrador needs to dig the Province out of the financial hole that they find themselves in.
Perhaps I’m too conservative in my belief structure but in my world, married politicians who need to satisfy their cravings should be aware that how they satisfy their cravings provides insight into their sense of values, ethics and character.
And while I don’t expect perfection from such people (who of us are perfect), somewhere in my flawed brain, I want to believe that these people are doing their best to satisfy the needs of the people instead of the needs of their loins.
On the flip side, if we out these people, we hurt innocent people, including husbands, wives and children, who likely aren’t privy to what is happening away from home but stand to be embarrassed, humiliated or impacted financially when dalliances become public. I think some miscreants count on this, using the “you wouldn’t want my family to be hurt, would you?” defense.
So if we turn a blind eye to it. we submit ourselves to be led by people who have demonstrated themselves to be of questionable ethics, morals and character, causing us to wonder if there are any limits that such flaws will produce, limits that will hurt any number of innocent people in one or more ways.
And if we take action, other innocent people will get hurt.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
And now as some Ministers ally themselves against the Premier with an intent to undermine or overthrow him so that they can replace him, other Ministers find an alternate definition for the term “honorable member” and people forget that what happens at the Liberal AGM doesn’t stay at the AGM, I wonder if once again, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have gotten the shaft (no pun intended).
I’m a big believer in “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.
However, many people who sin significantly count on this to avoid being judged or they gather enough dirt on everyone else to in order create a form of detente, threatening mutual assured destruction should anyone blow their cover (no pun intended).
I think it is fair and reasonable to hold Government leaders to a higher standard of ethics, morals, values and character, given their power, influence and responsibility.
What do you think?
The Bottom Line
Eight to fifteen MHAs in the Newfoundland and Labrador government are considering crossing the floor to the PC side.
I think it won’t make a damned bit of difference if we can’t get better moral, ethical, intelligent, people-serving, character-based leadership inside the House.
What do you think?
I wonder what the great people of Newfoundland and Labrador are willing to accept from the people who were elected to serve them instead of their own hungers and desires.
I wonder what the people are willing to do about it besides complain in social media and coffee shops.
Because it takes action to fix things.
Everything else is just entertainment – maybe we could call this 49 Shades of Gray to honor the year the Province was welcomed into Confederation. It could raise the town of Dildo to new opportunities of promotion. Alas, I digress.
I think the Province deserves better.
I wonder what the People think.
In service and servantbood,
PS I asked someone what they thought of my thoughts and they told me that “I nailed it” – no pun intended.
Let us not forget that there are good, character-based, people-serving politicians in the House. However, their efforts are undermined and their attention distracted by the actions of others, producing a net result that is less than optimal.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Government is leaderless and on fire from within with people like Finance Minister Cathy Bennett (with some assistance) attempting to exert control over a weak Premier in a vain attempt to secure greater control over the caucus and possibly secure the Premier's Office while other MHAs run willy nilly following their own passions. Unfortunately, it is the people of the Province who are getting burned .... again.
Addendum - What Difference Does it Make? - August 29, 2016
I've been contacted by a couple of MHAs who want to know what difference it makes if MHAs want to have a little "fun on the side". I tried to explain that blatant examples of disrespect, dishonesty and the like are a poor reflection of someone's character, morals and values and they disagreed entirely with me. I also explained that a dalliance could compromise the MHA themselves or privileged information that they have access to and once again I was told I was wrong. All of them asked what names I had. I don't know if they wanted to see if they were on "the list" (the answer is yes) or if they wanted dirt on fellow caucus members. Such individuals are either ignorant, incompetent or looking for ways to justify their own behavior. None of these attributes serve the people of the Province well.
The one bright spot? The sitting MHAs (regardless of Party color) with active, credit-card confirmed Ashley Madison accounts aren't expensing their membership to the people.
Good people cannot govern when they are distracted or harassed by incompetent, ignorant or greedy people. If the NL Government Caucus doesn't clean house soon with solid, transparent leadership, it won't matter for the Premier or the Liberal Party as they eat themselves alive.