"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Bringing the past up to date

Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.

— George Orwell, 1984

In the past year or two, someone has been making the claim that Danny Williams, in addition to doing things like lifting Corner Brook out of a dormant state, and exhorting the sun to rise every morning, struck the deal with Inco (as it then was) to develop Voisey's Bay.

Throughout that past year or two, there has been a steady parade of the gullible and the facile — hey, John Ibbitson, how ya doin'? — willing to accept this historical revisionism as Gospel According to Dan.

Of course, Nothing Could Be Further From the Truth™. The Voisey's Bay Statement of Principles was reached in June 2002, followed, wonder of wonders, by a special debate in the House of Assembly, with the legal text hammered out and actually released to the public in October.

That is, more than a year before Danny Williams was sworn in as Premier.

Which brings us to Danny Williams' much-hyped "improved" Voisey's Bay deal. The man who promised "no more giveaways" and "no more secret deals" issued a press release on his "improved" agreement.

But, quite conspicuously, and apparently unchallenged by the press or opposition, not the "improved" agreement itself.

(Cf. the under-reported and confidential four-decade agreement to sell hydro from Menihek to Hydro-Quebec. And that is to say nothing of the "secret document", never to be released, at the core of Our Dear Hebron Deal.)

However, as Mr. Orwell reminded us all in 1984, for a certain class of governor, it is insufficient to merely re-write the history. You must also take great pains to eliminate those records of the past which might contradict your version of history as re-written.

Accordingly, the information which used to be available on-line at:

has been scraped clean, with nary a word of explanation from the comms shop at the Ministry of Truth Department of Natural Resources. And the full legal text of the Voisey's Bay agreement which used to be available here:

has been consigned to the virtual dustbin of history, leaving nothing but ghost press releases (and a mine and mill and a refinery now building in Placentia Bay) to witness that it ever existed. A multi-billion-dollar project, once a matter of public record, has successfully reverted to the status of state secret... thereby joining every single resource agreement reached during the seven-year Danny Williams Era.

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At 5:32 PM, December 02, 2010 , Blogger the REAL Savage Cove Devil said...

"all history was a palimpsest,scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary."
what a wonderful quote there WJM.


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