Newfoundland is not an ugly place. It is beautiful. It's raw, rugged nature, unblemished by time remains for all to see. You can't help but love Newfoundland. The place. However, there is a deep, dark side to Newfoundland that defies the beauty of this place. In a word, tyranny. Not the tyranny you would find in a dictatorship over sees. Not the tyranny of an armed camp. This is the tyranny of the elites. And here the elites work hand in hand to keep the average Newfoundlander (or common man as it goes here) firmly in his place. Dissent here equals disloyalty. Disloyalty equals persecution. Persecution by the small group of business families that run the province. Persecution by an elite that is so small that it encompasses the few but powerful law firms here, and the few but powerful media outlets here.
To go outside the strict boundaries of day-to-day conduct established by these elites is to invite unto yourself public ridicule and humiliation, and personal destruction. Whether that destruction be of a financial or reputation nature - although it is almost always both. Newfoundlanders know it. They know it only too well. It's the Italian mafia version of Omerta - or silence. We run the show, we run the money, we run everything - you do not challenge us. Granted, it's not very Italian here, so perhaps Irish mafia is a better analogy. Whatever the name, Newfoundlanders have been afraid for a very long time of the powerful here.
It began with the "Merchants", the small group of families that controlled Newfoundland by controlling its economy. Fisherman survived on the credit from these stores, whatever the price and conditions, and then turned over what they made to pay there way clear. A never ending sentence of feudalism - and it never ended.
Now, things are a changin'. Feudalism is dying a sudden death here in Newfoundland. Our government, that represents those elites is falling. Not just the government that is in office today, but the governments coming after it. "Falling" means business as usual amongst the elites here is dying. Instead of the people becoming controlled servants to these families, and the systems they control, the people are taking back, or perhaps better put finally taking, this beautiful place back for themselves.
In the last four years the political, legal and business elite here have been subjected to a phenomenon they do not see or understand. All they can see is the order they had so tidily enforced and enjoyed crumbling all around them. They're scared. As the incumbent premier said very recently: "Some authority from somewhere is challenging us". As odd as that comment might seem, it's not altogether off the mark. Their is an authority, but it's not challenging the "boy's club" here - it's destroying it. There is no challenge. "Challenge" implies that there exists a possibility they can win, and there is no possibility of that. They just haven't figured that part out yet. They haven't stopped long enough to see how far they've fallen. Perhaps they don't want to see what it looks like when they finally hit ground. Whatever the case, they desperately try and cling to the feudal system so well layed out for them by their predecessors. Newfoundlanders, average Newfoundlanders, the common man be damned.
In fact, the ruling class of Newfoundland is in such a panic they are making mistakes. Big mistakes. Grave mistakes. The most recent, and personally tragic one being that of Don Dunphy - who is to be buried tomorrow. The premier's own staff flagged a completely innocent tweet made by Don, contacted the premier's own body guard, and the rest is history. Don died. He died for tweeting. The reason I say that is the officer should never have gone to his home. But, they couldn't help themselves. They had to show this poor man, suffering as he was, that they were the bosses around here. He dissented, and made them look bad. He needed a talking to. The talking to went bad, apparently, and now Don Dunphy is dead. But, Don wasn't the only one that died on that Easter Sunday. No, the last shred of any credibility the Newfoundland elite had died with him, and I'm positive that Don would have been tickled with that.
He knew only too well what it was to suffer under this regime of silence. Now, predictably, the many in the local media tried to spin his death on the strength of one part of a five part tweet. To make Don look bad. To make him look depraved and dangerous. To make the result seem justified. It didn't work. The premier tried to show he was the last authority by stating he phoned the officer that fired the shots and gave him his "personal support". He knew that his office sent the officer to Donny's home. They used his personal black SUV to do it. He knew there would have to be an investigation, yet he compromised it before it started by giving the shooter his "personal support". And he didn't care. Why didn't he care? He didn't care because that's what happens when you mess with power. They are the last word, and the only word. That's the way it's always been. And then BOOM! The people of the province came apart. They exploded in anger and disbelief at the death of Don Dunphy. Why? Because the killing of Don Dunphy represented everything we have come to despise, and give oath to change.
The powers to be will no longer be the powers to be. It's over for them. Whether it be the business or legal elite. Whether it be the small, select families. It's over for them. All they have to do is stop, look, and see what's happening to their grip on this place. It's been happening for four years. The politics of feudalism is dying a slow, twisting, in denial death. As the saying goes "God guard thee Newfoundland". Well, God is with us, and we are the people.
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)