Sunday, January 31, 2010

The death remains a mystery

The following played on CBC Radio on Friday, Jan. 29, in response to a commentary earlier in the week by Bob Wakeham …
My name is Ryan Cleary and I’m calling from St. John’s.

I’d like to comment on Bob Wakeham’s commentary on Tuesday’s Morning Show.

Wakeham’s topic was Bill Murray — the former bureaucrat at the centre of the House of Assembly spending scandal — and how he pleaded guilty on Tuesday to four of seven charges against him.

With Bill Murray’s confirmation that’s he’s a crook, as Wakeham put it, there’s not much of any entrails left to that rotting corpse known as the spending scandal.

I disagree.

I think a good part of the spending scandal story has never been told — and will never BE told.

Was Bill Murray the bureaucratic criminal mastermind who engineered the changes in the House of Assembly that led to the legislative rot? To the scandal we’re still going through?

I don’t think so.

Not a single politician — not a single member of various internal economy commissions — has been taken to task for the decisions that led to the abuse of constituency allowances.

Who made the calls that made it possible for millions of dollars to be stolen from the public purse?

Who made the decisions that led to the abuse of public monies within the House of Assembly?

Which politicians pulled the trigger?

The scandal began under then-premier Brian Tobin — I guess he’ll never be questioned.

So there was no inquiry, no Bill Murray court case (because he pleaded guilty).

It would have been interesting to allow the federal auditor general of Canada — Sheila Fraser — to conduct her own independent review of the spending scandal.

When there’s call for an internal investigation into the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, an outside force (the Ontario Provincial Police) is called in.

Why wasn’t an out-of-province auditor called in to the House of Assembly?

MHAs — the very politicians at the centre of the spending scandal — decided how the scandal was dealt with.

But wasn’t that a conflict of interest?

There are still a ton of questions about this scandal, which I suspect, will never be answered.

Not much of any entrails left?

I say the corpse was thoroughly examined, fair enough. But the cause of death remains a mystery.

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