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.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Newfoundland and Labrador's Class Revolution

It's been weeks now since the provincial government here laid down its budget. A budget designed to touch the lives of every man, woman and child in the province. A budget that severely hurts the poor and working class, but spares the middle class, and up from equal severity. Whether it be the taxes on insurance, or the hated levy, the less fortunate and working class are being nailed to the cross in a way they can't compensate for. Their way of life is at stake. Not so much for the middle and upper classes here. It's a hit for them as well, but ever so slight in comparison.

The targeting of the civil service here, which makes up about 25% of the working people in the province, has also cast a distinct class flavour to the mix. Closure of 60% of the province's libraries - all in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Closure of Courts - also in the rural. The message is clear: if you are an upper income earner in St. John's and the Avalon you'll be fine, but otherwise you will suffer the economically suicidal policies of former Premier Williams and his class of upper class types. They caused the pain, but aren't willing to pay the piper. That's the job of the "great unwashed" apparently - us.

That is where the class comes into the revolution. I get that sounds a bit Marxist - it isn't meant to be. It's just a fact on the ground here. Big business leaders in the province, and especially their lawyer buddies, are taking care of their own. The people that directly benefitted from the oil boom are making sure they're not the ones who pay now that it's collapsed. That isn't going over well. Several large demonstrations now have pointed, even indirectly, at this underlying conflict. Sure unions have been involved, but so have social justice groups and plain old taxpayers. The theme: this is becoming class warfare.

A warfare that can best be described as a revolution in the making. A revolution of thinking. A revolution of perception. There is a real sense of "revolt" in the literal sense of the word. An anger that permeates from a deep sense of betrayal. A betrayal of the working class and poor by the upper class. A squandering of wealth that had not been had to squander before, and may never again. A deep betrayal of the futures of the working people now, and their children yet to come. The immensity of the conduct of the PCs is just starting to sink in, but the anger is already quite evident every where you turn. There is not an acceptance of the inevitable. There is instead an absolute resolve to change things up - hence the revolt.

Now people have to witness a new government, this time Liberal, looking after the interests of the law firms and big business here. It is as if there was no change in government. Instead, the perception is of a tag team of wrestlers - one taking over from the other to pummel the people. That isn't surprising t those of us that study the debauchery known as politics here. The new Premier is a businessman. He is good friends with Brian Tobin who set up his Toronto political dinner  at $10,000.00 a plate. Tobin is also good friends with Williams. We all know Williams. So there you go. Fat cats looking after fat cats. Law firms making sure it's all "scrupulously" taken care of. Newfoundland and Labrador politics in the nut shell. Also, now, the target of a new class revolution forming against them by average Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Get ready to rumble.

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