Make New Brunswick a ‘No Spin Zone’

If you have had the pleasure (or lack thereof) of watching Bill O’Rielly on Fox News, you will know about the ‘No Spin Zone’. O’Rielly is by far the most popular TV News personality with his abrasive style and constant exacerbation of hot button issues such as immigration, morality and the ‘left-wing’ bias in the U.S. media. If you haven’t got a chance to see this guy, it would be a good education into the mindset of many Americans right now – heightened paranoia, xenophobia, and most starkly (even in the midst of all the shouting and bravado), a creeping worry that the American empire is starting to decline.

But I digress.

The point of this blog, and a constant theme here, is the ‘No Spin Zone. O’Rielly claims that his show is the most unbiased in America – that you will get the facts and not the spin when you watch his show. Personally, I can’t watch for more than ten minutes without getting a headache – but I have a low threshold for pain.

But I digress, again.

The point I am trying to make is that we should have a ‘No spin zone’ in New Brunswick. Premier Lord said he would replace the ‘spin doctors’ with ‘real doctors’ and it turns out his team is even better at spin that the previous government.

Imagine when the Labour Minister this weekend bragged about the second worst Employment Rate in Canada. Bragged about it. Quite frankly, journalists shouldn’t even print this stuff without major disclaimers.

The problem with ‘spin’ is that it creates confusion. Governments need to do it because they need to be seen to be doing something. To admit there are problems is a last resort – only when all other options have been exhausted.

But I still think that politicians don’t give the public enough credit. If you went to the people, candidly and honestly and said:

  • “Look folks. We have a declining population. We have declining industries (except public administration and retail – go figure). We have no immigration. We have almost no external business investment. This is not a new thing – this is a problem that has been mounting for 40 years. In fact, the last time New Brunswick’s economy really ‘boomed’ was in the 1850s – 150+ years ago. So, let’s get serious. Let’s make solving this crisis of economy the number one priority for the next 10-20 or even 30 years. Let this issue, among all the issues, transcend politics. Let’s help create an economy that can provide the taxes necessary to pay for public services (now it does not). Let’s help create an economy that stimulates jobs at a rate that people are moving here instead of leaving (now it does not). Let’s help create an economy that rewards education and stimulates more higher learning (now it does not). Let’s help create an economy where entrepreneurship thrives (now it does not) and generates the kind of wealth that leads to philanthropy in the arts and to address specific social challenges (now it does not – the government provides the vast majority of ‘philanthropy’ in this province).

Let’s bring back trust in our government. Let’s make New Brunswick a model for the rest of the world. In 20 years, let’s have former New Brunswick Premiers touring the world telling people how they ‘did it’ the way former Irish Prime Ministers do today.

Gosh, that sounds like a stump speech.

Now back to our regularly scheduled crankiness.