His going to the U.S. has stirred a great volume of controversy and comment -- almost as much, by informal measurement, as the propogation of Parliament. Both here and in the U.S. Heavens, it's even been brought up in that Shangri-La of Socratic disinterest,FOX News' Bill O'Reilly show,now there's a Judas. Not surprising, many might say. Danny Williams is a lightening rod of his own construction. He's aggressive, combative, partisan -- and back home, largely without any real opposition. My own personal take on him, for what its worth, is that I admire the ferocity of his feelings for Newfoundland while I sometimes deplore the bullying and bluster it occasionally leads to.
But I see it as more than awkward that his surgery, and his choice -- perhaps on the advice of his Newfoundland doctors -- of where to have it, has become the great political football that it has. I've never been a fan of that wretched slogan "the personal is political" for the very obvious reason it demolishes the barrier that should -- must -- exist between our genuine private lives and the wide-open, reckless and supercharged arena of politics.
It's his heart, it's his surgery, and it's his choice. Danny Williams, Premier or no Premier, and his family are the only ones at this point who have any real say about where he chooses to have life-threatening surgery. Further, as most commentary admits, the actual facts upon which he made his choice, and the counsel he has received from his Newfoundland doctors is not known to us -- nor, by the way, should it. So the river of commentary, both here and in the states, is taking place in a vacuum of fact.
A larger reason for refusing to politicize ;the moment however is a simple one: It parallels Trudeau's dictum that the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. Likewise, politics should stop at the edge of the operating table. It's his life and it's his business.
He hasn't, using his standing as Premier, jumped some queue, lined up an MRI by cutting off someone less connected, hasn't displaced some other Newfoundlander waiting for surgery. Something like that would make a genuine case for debate of condemnation.
So -- the decent civil course would be to wait till the operation's done, wish him the best, wait for his recuperation -and if then, he wants to unfold his personal circumstances, and offer some thoughts on the "politics" of his choice, we can all hear him out.
Here is a man who obtained the portfolio of Premier of Newfoundland,
Took no salary and fights tooth and nail for the cause.The operation as I have read it was paid out of the pocket of the premier himself and not by the Canadian taxpayer.If all policians were to repeat this gesture the media would have no political news.I am beginning to think that you can never please the public.If you are crooked its bad,If you are honest it's bad.It's a no win situation.
Danny Williams is by far The greatest premier Newfoundland has ever had.Joey's dead and Danny's in. Politics, as I've said, should stop when the man in the white coat is reaching for the scalpel.