Major’s Corner: Never shy away from speaking your mind in public

I enjoy the sight of gobsmacked voters when they receive what they have always asked for from politicians — the truth.

Several months ago, our attractive and intelligent premier, Christy Clark, said she did not much like Victoria because there are no real people here. There was a pause for the bad smell, and then an enormous intake of breath consisting of incredulity, awe and finally rage. Crazed villagers have been shooting up to the podium of social media sputtering about “that appalling woman” and “How dare she?”

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We all know if we are as honest as she was that this city, although beautiful, is not a normal burg. It is first and fundamentally a government and university town, with most of the other occupants servicing the aforementioned, therefore with no real people. Perhaps the term should have been: No normal citizens.

Our premier said what was in her soul, that she would much rather be somewhere else, and good for her, I say. So here for once is the unvarnished truth reminiscent of a cool drink of water, and for a politician it is a breakthrough on a level rarely seen in our legislature.

Sometimes the truth hurts, but I would much rather have that than the blather about “My friends, I love and understand each and everyone of you.” Phooey.

Sadly, Clark and her team of advisers have been desperately trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube. “I meant the people in the legislature, not Victorians in general,” etc.

All of us have been known to slip in the excrement, so to speak, when it comes to overtly personal remarks. For instance, I mentioned the other day to a friend that I was surprised he had started drinking again as I thought drink disagreed with his nature. He has yet to return my calls.

To another chap, I remarked that I was astonished to see his wife was with child at her age. With trembling jaw, he whispered that his wife was addicted to butter tarts and thus heavy. One should not comment on addiction.

Often it is only on our deathbeds we come clean. One club mem asked his family to gather round him as his time was almost up.

He then proceeded to eviscerate the children for the ungrateful gumboils he felt they were, and to castigate his spendthrift wife, who seemed determined to bankrupt him with her profligate shopping habits. Then, with a happy face and a little sigh, he passed away.

I am not sure any of us want to do that, but there are times when one is tempted to shout the truth.

My wife, Kitty, is always saying I am a classic case of arrested adolescence, which is wicked. She believes that I have juvenile tendencies because of my love for 19th-century poets, particularly Byron and Shelley. I can lose myself for hours amidst their verse, and that part is fine with Kitty. However, it is the aftermath she objects to, the romantic gurgling from her husband regarding “drug-addled serial adulterers” (her words).

Within families, one must generally put up with the poisoned arrows of close relationships, but one expects that. It is frankness between mere acquaintances that really puts the cat amongst the pigeons.

I am sure politicians must bite their tongues every day as they are approached by the great unwashed public, consisting of ranks of constituents with chronic halitosis and ghastly personal scents. The feverish pols stick out their hands, only to find something sticky on their fingers or missing cufflinks. Two hundred rubber-chicken dinners a year with the obligatory pie à la mode will bring about bowel tremors, which tends to darken their collective outlook.

I believe Clark spoke from her heart, which was bellowing “Let me out of here,” and good for her. As long as politicians work hard, which they do, then they need not pretend to love me.


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