Monday, May 02, 2011

Gruending On Blakeney

He was a remarkably good premier even though the hand-pumping side of politics did not come easily to him. Although he liked people and was genial and quick witted in private, his public persona was one of someone buttoned up and cautious. He told me in an interview after he left politics that when he was premier he kept in mind the image of a giant reel-to-reel tape that was always recording. He did not want to commit any embarrassing bloopers that would threaten his government and its social democratic projects.

A nice reminder that politicians are human too.


buckets said...

I once had lunch with Blakeney. It was about five years after he'd retired when he visited the university I was studying at. The lunch was not well advertised, and only three people showed up, including me.

Anyway, one thing that he said always struck with me: that people want change but hate going through it.

Gerrard787 said...

A CBC reporter in love with an NDP politician. Big surprise.

Those of us who lived under NDP rule in Saskatchewan when the Dippers were nationalizing industries have much different memories.

(Note: This message will self-destruct in the nano-second before BCL censors it)

Sir Francis said...

I was struck by this:

...when I asked a question, perhaps with a negative twist, about Grant Devine, his successor as premier, Allan looked at me then shook his head and waved his arms like a referee disallowing a goal. He did not want to make a negative comment about an opponent.

He would have gotten much the same reaction from many other major politicians of the era, John Robarts and William Davis, just for two. Meanwhile, that kind of magnanimous reaction is literally inconceivable today, a sad measure of how far we’ve deteriorated.

double nickel said...

@ Paul S: In my experience it's the right wing ideologues that like to censor people. ie Stephen Harper et al.