“Danny Williams: Now I can call it quits”
Only the scrapper in the UK news isn’t our own Townie cornerboy who loves to blacken enemy lamps, but a veteran fighter who lost his British heavyweight title on Saturday night (May 15th).
Danny Williams, a 15-year professional boxer, lost by a technical knockout in the second round.
Our own Danny B’y has been knocked around by Quebec as of late, but isn’t about to throw in the towel.
He told the Canadian Press earlier this month he wants a third term, although he has a ways to go before catching up to the all-time champ (in terms of political longevity) — Joey Smallwood.
Telegram cartoonist Kevin Tobin loves to draw Williams with a bowtie, but the premier would have to win six back-to-back elections to match Joey’s record.
Smallwood actually ran in 7 elections as leader of the provincial Liberals, although the 1971 provincial election resulted in a tie and he resigned in January 1972.
Let’s see, if Danny were in office for 23 years that would mean he’d retire in 2026 at the age of 76.
Which is still three years younger than Fidel Castro was in 2006 when poor health forced him to step down.
Keep in mind Danny’s rule has been described by a Memorial University professor as a “friendly dictatorship."
•••The National Post also carried a feature recently on Danny Williams (the politician).
Headlined Master of his own Destiny, Williams’ popularity was described as “almost frightening”.
Part of the interview was carried out at Ches’ restaurant in St. John’s, with the premier ordering a “stack of saucer-sized” onion rings as an appetizer.
A message far and wide that Williams’ heart is good to go.
The Post article mentioned how the premier is “softening around the edges”, getting all buddy-buddy with Steve Harper et al.
Which has the “giddy” federal Conservatives talking about reclaiming at least two NL seats come the next federal election.
What does the premier want in return?
His wish list includes the federal government’s 8.5 per cent stake in Hibernia; federal funding for the Lower Churchill project; and for Ottawa to “lean” on Hydro-Québec to carry NL power along existing lines to Ontario and markets in the northeastern States.
Good luck with that last wish.
The last time the feds leaned on Quebec in defense of NL was … was …
•••It's been noted as of late that the media are starting to take on the Williams administration.
Just this week Labrador’s Aurora newspaper carried an editorial headlined Time for Williams to give up Lower Churchill fight.
Here’s the last paragraph: “Many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are fans of Williams because he'll always stand up for the province, but one has to wonder whether he sometimes starts a patriotic fight just to distract the people from other issues — like the botched appropriation of a paper mill, or a controversy over the relocation of an air ambulance, perhaps?”
Only Williams didn't start the latest battle with Quebec.
And giving up the decades-old war over the development the Lower Churchill would be a mistake.
It would be another mistake to let the Upper Churchill contract go.
That fight's personal.
•••Corner Brook’s Western Star also went after the premier recently, advising him to reevaluate his “wish to carry on” with a third mandate.
"They're a hostile newspaper," Williams told the Post with a dismissive wave of his hand.
See, the premier has changed.
There was a time when that wave would have been a round-house.