Tuesday, January 04, 2011


At his finest, Paul Nettleton as an independent MLA from 2002 to 2005, marched in Prince George rallies protesting the sale of B.C. Rail with scores of concerned citizens ...

BC Mary comment:  I don't believe we ever own our friends. Sometimes, we're just lucky to have known them at their best.  Never forget that the lonely figure of Paul Nettleton was magnificent, as he stood up for BC Rail against the 76 others in the Campbell Government. It's a memory to cherish, not to be easily forgotten. Especially, I don't want others to feel as Second Look does, in today's comment:

When I read the shameful turncoat Nettleton throwing his 'best interests' in with Christy Clark; Kinsella's Co. . . . the biggest insider 'Insiders' with fingers in the BC Rail scam . . .

. . . . the first person I thought of was: you and how betrayed you would feel.

Mr. Nettleton has shown he is no better than the same old circus that got us into this far reaching mess. He will pay a big price with his reputation in the public's mind . . . he's lost a lot.


So I think Paul Nettleton won't mind if I set the record straight. To explain my true reaction, here's what I wrote:

Dear Paul,

I've tried with all my heart, to know how best to reply to your last message, endorsing Christy Clark. Could I just say that I don't want to lose your friendship or your advice. 

I have often wished that you would re-enter BC politics. I'm not even sure that this is your intention. I had always hoped -- even knowing the difficulties -- that if you did return, it would be as an Independent M.L.A.  It seems to me that people today have a much better understanding of what an Independent means, than they did in 2001. It seems to me that the BC Provincial Liberal machine is smashed. And this is where your re-entry becomes deeply puzzling for me.

Nor am I suggesting that you owe me -- or anyone -- an explanation for what must have been a well-thought-out personal decision. I'll just say this once, lest you find it troubling ... but the BC Provincial Liberal machine lies in rot and ruin, with more to come. How is it that Mr Clean would choose to return to the fold now? 

I'd be pleased if you were to look in on my blog  


to see the big posting I did yesterday on Ben Meisner ... it helped to lift and restore my own confidence, to keep pressing for a Public Inquiry. I've never met Ben but I've been on his radio show, and have an image of a tough journalist from the old school -- not given to compliments. Yet he gave me (us) one of the greatest, yesterday, when he said (in total): thanks Mary, you an I both know had it not been for people such as yourself, I wonder just how much traction the issue would have received.  So Paul, I'll never forget the help you gave, along the way.

My sincere sympathies to you and your family, as you're drawn into the last harsh phases of your beloved parents' lives.  May it all end gently for each of you.

Blessings upon you,


P.S.  Here's something I enjoyed ... and thought you might enjoy it, too: 


What if you threw a party and no one came?

By Benjamin Alldritt
North Shore News - January 2, 2011

In the aftermath of the 2001 provincial election, when the NDP was all but wiped out, new political parties sprang up around B.C. like toadstools after an early autumn rain.

There was Democratic Reform B.C., the Work Less Party, the Western Refederation Party, the Citizens Action Party, the Platinum Party, the Sex Party, Your Political Party and a host of others. Each hoped they'd be able to attract the seemingly large number of voters who'd had it with the New Democrats, but didn't really call themselves Liberals either.

Not a bad plan, but by the end of 2005 most of these mushrooms had elected no one, and Carole James had restored the NDP caucus to respectable opposition numbers.

The NDP is once again a shambles, but the Liberals are also in disarray: leaderless and badly wounded by the HST, the B.C. Rail scandal, the Kash Heed debacle and a badly explained crackdown on drunk drivers. Surely if there is ever to be an opening for a new party to emerge and flourish, it's now.

That's what I was thinking just before Christmas as I strolled over to the inaugural meeting of the B.C. Conservative Party constituency association in West Vancouver-Capilano. Readers may recall Eddie Petrossian won 3.16 per cent of the riding's vote (529 ballots) under their banner in 2009. Province-wide, the party won a shade more than two per cent. But the provincial Tories -- they have no formal ties to the federal party -- have gotten some media buzz lately and a recent Angus Reid poll said their support touched 10 per cent last month. In tax-sensitive West Vancouver, I figured the B.C. Conservatives might find some traction.

I arrived at the library early to get a good seat. But after the announced start time had come and gone, the crowd had peaked at six people. One was a woman who looked around, asked me what was going on, and then left. Then there was the library employee who brought down some coffee and also left. And then there were four -- Petrossian, his interim riding president, the party's regional director and me. We sat around and chatted for a while until it became obvious this "meeting" wasn't going to inaugurate anything. They even explained to me, gamely enough, that the party's bylaws require 10 paid-up members before they can even call it a constituency association.

In fairness, their pamphlet listed endorsements from recognizable, if slightly dated, public figures. A couple of former mayors, former MP Randy White, current MP John Cummins, former Socred premier Rita Johnson and former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford all exhorted readers to sign on with the B.C. Conservatives. I expect a few of these folks will come out of retirement to try for the leadership in the spring. Why should Bill Vander Zalm have all the fun?

But whoever ends up at the Tory helm, I don't think Ralph Sultan will be losing sleep any time soon.

I don't want to sound too mean-spirited. Just keeping an existing party ticking over is a really tough job -- ask Carole James. Trying to build a new one from the ground up is a labour of Hercules. It takes a lot of money, a lot of time and dedication bordering on fanaticism from some very talented people, all with a miniscule chance of any success whatsoever.

A bit of discontent and a gang of buddies just doesn't cut it.

Part of the problem is that the pool of donors and political operatives is fairly static, and it takes a lot to pry them away from the established parties. So fledging parties are often embarrassed by the antics of hastily vetted candidates and staff. What's more, senior members frequently decide that the project isn't headed in the direction they wanted and they jump ship.

Which brings me to a funny postscript on my night in West Vancouver. Only five days after the non-meeting, I got an enthusiastic press release announcing that Petrossian had ditched the Conservatives and is now a "constituency development and election readiness director" for the B.C. First Party, an even wetter-behind-the-ears outfit founded by disgruntled B.C. Conservatives in 2010.

Wow. I guess the grass is greener (or is that bluer?) in B.C.'s 23rd registered political party.

I'm not so sure about 23rd parties, but third parties can succeed. Reform did, and those guys are basically running the country now. The Wildrose Alliance has high hopes for the next election in Alberta. The B.C. Liberal party itself spent decades as a penniless joke before eventually winning the biggest majority in the province's history. Can one of B.C.'s new crop of fringe parties repeat this feat in the next few years?

I say no. Despite their current difficulties, both the Liberals and the NDP are structurally sound. Sure, it looked like the NDP was about to tear itself apart, but it didn't actually happen. Ties to the federal party are strong, and a provincial schism would make federal organizing and campaigning pretty awkward. More importantly, there have been some long years in the wilderness for the NDP, and no one wants to start over as the New New Democratic Party, splitting the left-wing vote in the process. On the government side, now that Campbell has released his death grip on power, the Liberals appear to be having a fairly orderly succession process and haven't lost their hold on the "free enterprise coalition" one bit.

So as hard as the winds of change seem to be blowing, I don't see either of B.C.'s big political trees toppling or any plucky sapling making a serious challenge. Maybe one day we'll have a Conservative premier and I'll be dredging up this column as evidence of how something really can come from nothing, but it's a long climb from an empty library basement to the legislature in Victoria. balldritt@nsnews.com

Read more: http://www.nsnews.com/news/What+threw+party+came/4049068/story.html#ixzz19tEKNotk


Paul replied: 


Thank you for your kindness and your willingness to give me the benefit of any doubt.  You are both gracious and kind and I will continue to follow your work with great interest.

Kind regards,
Paul Nettleton - Lawyer

BC Mary comment: To round off the story, this was the original, and unexpected announcement:

B.C. Rail inquiry not needed: ex-MLA

By Paul R. Nettleton
Times Colonist - Dec. 26, 2010

I have opposed the sale of B.C. Rail and the subsequent handling of this important file by the Campbell administration over many years. As Liberal critic, I opposed the sale of B.C. Rail and called upon my Liberal colleagues to commit to protecting B.C. Rail employees and their families, northern communities and British Columbians.

As an independent MLA from 2002 to 2005, I marched in Prince George rallies protesting the sale of B.C. Rail with scores of concerned citizens. I stood at the head of these groups and shared the podium speaking with heartfelt passion and concern about the B.C. Rail issue.

More recently, as a private citizen and as a lawyer, I have continued to follow the B.C. Rail issue in our courts in the hope that those responsible would be exposed and brought to justice. I share the concerns that many questions remain unanswered.

Where, then, should we go from here?

I support the position of Liberal leadership candidate Christy Clark, who has rejected the call for a public inquiry, insisting that we move forward and put the B.C. Rail matter behind us.

I have worked closely with Clark over a number of years and have confidence in her integrity, on this and other issues. I also believe that Clark would ensure that her administration provides openness, transparency and honesty.

Paul R. Nettleton



To Paul: Please reconsider, sir. Your testimony and critiques of what went down in caucus in its first meetings after the 2001 election is an indictment of illicit politics that you yourself should not forget, and not let go of. We need a public inquiry, and we want BC Rail back. Having a noted critic of what happened to it turn around and say "it's over and done with, time to move forward, there's no need to investigate"....is very disappointing. What's not being investigated, or punished, or recompensed to the people and Crown of BC, are serious criminal matters and also, given the nature of the buyer, a serious threat to our sovereignty. If this is not dealt with properly, it's a mandate for "more of the same".

Please reconsider.

As for the ''NS News'' article, it's good to rad and I would agree about fringe parties, and the difficulties of third parties I've experienced first-hand. But I see no reason to endosre voting for either party simply because they are "structurally sound"...when the alternative is no parties at all; or at least a league of Independents who share a caucus as such, party ideology and backroom agendas cannot rule - "let a thousands flowers blossom" (Mao). My hundred that the current Independents of either stripe, and notables who might run (Laila, for instance, or if Paul changes his mind....or Rafe, for that matter), and charter that no-ideology caucus as a party, so the Independent candidates associated with it can tap into public matching funds, and level the playing field against the party machineries. It would give Indpendents, especially qualified ones, have a fair shot - which the "solid structures" of the current parties exist explicitly to prevent. Big parties are like Wal-Mart, they can buy votes cheaper and have huge marketing systems and such in place, and it's not accidental that election-donation tax credits are limited to registered parties only.

The Zalm running for Conservative leader, that's interesting, and would be his third - fourth? - party. I'm actually pretty sure he could win his own seat, even without party financin, i.e. as an Independent, which is really what he's always been. Or per Sarah Palin, a "maverick".

I'm gonna go dig up various sources on how and why the party system was introduced into BC, and what rules were passed to entrench it. It's not in the Constitution, the party system, it was brought in to serve special interests and achieve "stability" (which meant keeping the riff-raff from having any say, along with political opponents). There's also some good books out there on the premiers and ministers of the pre-party period; the idea that that period was mis-run is advanced by historians associated with later parties, but those same historians happily turn a blind eye to how the place was mis-run AFTER the party system was introduced.

Anyway, the only thing an Independent Caucus has to organize, to make itself a party, and have access to the same funding other parties' candidates enjoy, is a charter and a general policy placing the constituents and constituency above party and caucus.
Perhaps Mr. Nettleton can agree to my taking from him his home. He can still keep everything else, but not his house. Maybe I will just borrow it for a long while....who knows. It really is for his own good, as his home is costing him money. Eventually he would get over this theft, if he were willing.

Mary, I use this example above to try and put into perspective the theft of BCR. You are a bigger person than I, as I cannot let this tripe about putting the matter behind us be spoken as Mr. Nettleton has. There is no justice yet!
I concur with Skookum and Anon 1:55 AM. Mr. Nettleton's about-face is not credible. It reeks, actually.

Why do I make such a strong statement? For one reason -- Mr. Nettleton has not given any explanation for this reversal in his stance on the BC Rail Heist. No explanation whatsoever.

That causes alarm bells to ring for me.

The only thing Nettleton is saying is that he thinks Christy Clark is swell, but he gives us no concrete reasons for his fulsome endorsement of her either. He goes so far as to tell us that Clark would "ensure... openness, transparency and decency."

Man, that's a tall order. Where on earth is he getting that confidence from? Maybe his new career as a "lawyer"? i.e. angling for a plum job in her administration? Or maybe Nettleton is just an old-fashioned populist opportunist? History and civilizations are strewn with those glitter-seekers.

There's a well-known phrase used in corporate, legal and political circles that seems to fit here: If you can fake sincerity, you've got it made.

Methinks Mr. Nettleton is trying to capitalize on a previous position he took, one for which he, perhaps, was accorded too much "sainthood" status.

Here's another well-known phrase – Show me the money Mr. Nettleton. You've given us no explanation for your conversion on the road to Damascus, on the BC Rail Heist or on Christy Clark.

Anyone else wondering about that? Or are we just gonna be a bunch of dumb bunnies again?

Mr. Nettleton's press release should either be scrutinized and pilloried, or ignored. All his latest effort has resulted in is taking our eye off the ball -- the goal of bringing the Gordon Campbell government to account for its heinous actions.

I think Nettleton's non-explanation press release may have been designed by the Power Brokers Behind the Scenes to cause us mere mortals all to go chasing after a ball in another direction. It surely has had that effect.
This reeks to high heaven, is endorsement that is.

Canadian Canary, I picked up the same reaction as you:


There is no explanation as to WHY Neddleton wants to support Clark's NO INQUIRY position. There simply is no reasonable explanation WHY the public would not want to know what was behind the biggest theft of BC property ever, and WHY the BVB trial was suddenly halted with the defense pleading guilty and not having to pay their legal fees, an unprecidented turn of events for accused govt employees, and that in and of itself is a red flage if not an atomic explosion to indicate the fix was in from the get-go.

Needleton does not say why he supports no Inquiry, but if he did, it would likely be the same mindless drivel Clark has spewed and continues to spew. But it still makes no sense unless Neddleton has lost his mind or there is some dirt in his broom closet as well.

I will take the high road and assume that he has lost his mind.
Please explain to me, CC, how Paul Nettleton owes you any explanation for his current opinion.

You say he's "trying to capitalize on a previous position he took". What? For that comment to be valid, he'd be ... well, capitalizing on a previous position and calling for a Public Inquiry.

You can't change history, C.C., and Paul Nettleton was magnificent in fighting the earliest battles against the Campbell regime.

Remember the old truism: if you don't learn from history, you'll find yourself repeating it. And here you are, sounding very much like the Campbell Gang of old.

If you honour those who fought the good fight, you must accord Paul Nettleton high honours too. He stood up for BCRail and BCHydro when it counted most, and when that (77 to 2, remember?) was most difficult to do. He well knew the price and paid it without complaint. You diminish us all when you reduce that level of public duty to Campbell-style sleaze.
It would be interesting to know what little piece of dirt the odious Ms. Clark has on Mr. Nettleton that would cause him more shame than the shame he has conferred on himself by allying(sp?) with the dark side of this BC Rail debacle.

No doubt the incriminating information came from the vaults of the 'fingers in every pie' puppetmaster Kinsella.

The only reason anyone, including Ms. Clark would make a deal with a devil like Kinsella, is because he made them an offer they could not afford to refuse.

Mary, get that book published now!
Mary, I never said Paul Nettleton owed me an explanation for his opinion, and I did nothing to try to "change history". I was merely commenting on Mr. Nettleton's most recent actions.

As a citizen of BC I am extremely concerned about the harm that has been, and is being done, to this province by the current government and their cronies.

That alone should be reason enough for me to be able to publicly express my concerns about Mr. Nettleton's baffling and suspicious actions of late.

Mr. Nettleton issued a press release to the media dismissing the need for an Inquiry into the BC Rail Heist, and spouting a wholesale endorsement of Christy Clark, a key party at the table when the juicy spoils of BC Rail were being carved up and dished out.

Mr. Nettleton gave no explanation for either of his about-face statements.

He sent a press release out for a reason, to capitalize on his "name" as a critic of the BC Rail Heist. And it worked. Paul Nettleton got the media attention that he was after, and the predictable results, weakening the call for a public Inquiry.

Therefore, I think I have a right to express my opinion about his most recent actions and position, and I would hope you would agree and continue to allow me to express them.
Mary, I think CC is asking a valid question, especially of someone who's done a complete 180 from the principled stand he took years ago. What has changed?

An excerpt from an article:

As Paul lay on his bed reading his Bible, as is his daily custom, he asked [Campbell] if he could read a chapter on King David from the Old Testament. Gordon said yes. After reading, Paul shared with him the challenges that David faced as a man, as a King, and some of his moral failings. It was reported back to Paul the next day that as the caucus relaxed over beers that evening, Campbell remarked openly to them about enjoying his exchange with Paul on the subject. This was to be only the first of several exchanges of this nature between Paul Nettleton and Gordon Campbell.

On different occasions, over various issues...Paul has come across as a principled Christian man who's willing to take a stand when he knows the odds are against him. For that I commend him!

However; I too, would like to know what it is that has caused Paul to back away from what he KNOWS is right, to accept what is expedient? Are his words soul-felt when it comes to Christy Clark, and the BC Rail inquiry...or are they worldly-logical? Something is not ringing true somewhere, only Paul knows why.

I hope he'll take some time in quiet prayer to be sure he's doing the right thing, for the right reasons. Otherwise, there could be a much higher price to pay...
He goes so far as to tell us that Clark would "ensure... openness, transparency and decency."

LOL. Well, we've heard that before, haven't we? Geez, wasn't that even part of the 2001 platform of the Liberals? Maybe not quite the same words - "open and transparent government" etc. though; it's an old refrain, and from the same mouthpiece, and the same p.r. machine (the Marissenites).

While I agree with Mary that Nettleton doesn't owe anyone an explanation, I do have to ask how it is that shutting down calls for an inquiry and sealing evidence and controversy in the same press release as "open, transparent and decent" makes any sense at all. "We'll be open and transparent in future, but not about the past."

Doesn't have a lot of credibility, given the history of that slogan/promise and who he's waving it on behalf of. I've seen the deviousness of Clark supporters in Wikipedia, where there was an attempt to manipulate her article's content....these are not "open" and "transparent" people, rather they are practitioners of concealment and distortion. Old ways die hard, and these are defnitely not dead.....

Paul is known as a man of faith, but I wonder if he's switched denominations and is now part of the Church of Mammon. Or if the devil holds a certain card on him.

I don't think he's a political opportunist. I think they made him an offer he can't refuse.....or daren't.

You said: Mr. Nettleton gave no explanation for either of his about-face statements.


And I said: Nettleton doesn't owe you anything.

You said: That alone should be reason enough for me to be able to publicly express my concerns about Mr. Nettleton's baffling and suspicious actions of late.

Even wronger, you silly person. That gives you no right to abuse people ... no right whatsoever.

and where do you get the idea that you must beg for your right to express your opinions about his most recent actions and position ... which, as I see it, are based on guesswork on your part.

There's a limit to how much abuse I'll allow amongst fellow citizens on this site. Don't you see how stupidly damaging that is, even to our hopes?

Tell us your opinion of the need for a Public Inquiry into the BC Rail Trial. That's your right.

But when you start throwing mud at a good citizen (someone who has every right to HIS opinions), that becomes a matter of editorial judgment.

You see, I have a right (and a duty) to manage this site in such a way that people can safely read varied viewpoints without being deeply offended.

And you, sir, have become deeply offensive.

Also I have a right to my opinion that this is no way to rebuild a province which has been brutally wounded already.
Mary, I know you make a genuine effort to be fair and avoid "partisan sniping." However, did you really re-read the statement:

"Please explain to me, CC, how Paul Nettleton owes you any explanation for his current opinion."

You seem to be saying that politicians have NO accountability. Yes, Paul doesn't HAVE to explain his apparent about face - only if he wants anyone who is paying attention to give it any CREDIBILITY!

As every commenter above, excepting yourself has pointed out, Paul gives no reason for his suddenly expressed support for Christy Clark, the leadership candidate MOST tarnished by the criminal BCR scam. Though all (except perhaps the mayor of Nanaimo) bear responsiblity for going along with the BCR Theft, only Christy Clark has triple-dipper extraordinaire (BC Rail, CN, Liberal Party Maven) running her campaign.

I understand that Paul is a Christian man, and if he chose to convert to Satanism, HE OWES NO ONE any explanation - it is between him and whomever he chooses to call his god or moral leader. However, assuming that politicians, especially those IN GOVERNMENT are accountable to the public they supposedly serve - I feel he does owe not just me, but the people of BC, an explanation of why he has apparently reversed his position. Has lying, breach of trust, cronyism etc. etc. all of a sudden become legitimate?

He also could do better in explaining just why, out of the all the mobsters vying to be capo of the Campbell Crime Family, he thinks Christy is the best choice. Just saying she would "ensure ensure... openness, transparency and decency," doesn't cut it, since all the visible evidence indicates the opposite. I could say the Pacific Ocean isn't wet, but that wouldn't make it so!

All I can think is either he is so phobic at the thought of an NDP government that he wants to back the leader of the liaRs that he thinks has the best chance of being elected, OR the other motives which really aren't appropriate for a person claiming to hold Christian values that, as I understand them, frown on lying, stealing and other abuses of fellow humans.

The position Paul took before made sense and seemed honourable - whether he intends to be a candidate ever again or not, by endorsing Cluck Cluck, HE IS INVOLVED in politics and IS accountable to the voters.

No need to explain Paul Nettleton's principles to me. I'd trust him to have thought this situation through carefully, and to arrive at a decision he can live with in good conscience. It's his life.

I don't know what his rationale is. My first question to him was "Help me understand this." He responded with grace but didn't explain. I accept that it's his personal choice and his alone,

and I would defend him, if he chooses to shield himself and his family from more of the abuse he took back in the day when he stood alone in that horrendous battle to save BC Hydro and BC Rail.

I am certainly not going to demand an explanation from Nettleton tailored to suit those who now so easily bad-mouth him ... and I shudder to think of the blood on the walls if the political street bullies can get their teeth into the details. Sure, they'll make stuff up ... such as ... how anybody could call Nettleton a "coward" is beyond me.

Surely we've got enough of the Campbell crap-and-corruption on file to be able to bring the crooks to account ourselves.

Also, here's a thought: ask yourself if it's smart to keep this blog tied up with a non-issue (in the larger event of a Public Inquiry) ... or should I be working on the excellent data I've got ready to publish, showing a deal-breaker on the part of CN and the "Revitalization Agreement".
Koot, Skookum1,

Thanks to you both.

I stand by my assertions....Read what Nettleton says...

Read between the lines...Do you notice that Nettleton goes out of his way to say...I am a Lawyer!!!

Who benefits more under the Campbell cabal than lawyers?

There is a price being paid by someone for Nettleton`s endorsement and BC Rail betrayal...

Partisan, no Mary...Common sense.

Nettleton is weak and hungry...Nuff Said!

How can one say:

"More recently, as a private citizen and as a lawyer, I have continued to follow the B.C. Rail issue in our courts in the hope that those responsible would be exposed and brought to justice. I share the concerns that many questions remain unanswered."

Then ask:

"Where, then, should we go from here?"

And then answer with the following:

"I support the position of Liberal leadership candidate Christy Clark, who has rejected the call for a public inquiry, insisting that we move forward and put the B.C. Rail matter behind us."

The logic of a schizophrenic

Of course this seems to be the disgusting fashion today. Obama exhibits this in spades with his refusal to look into or allow anyone else to look into the myriad crimes of the Bu$h/Cheney administration, preferring to look ahead. Meanwhile now that the ReThugs are running the committees in the House, constant investigations and hearings have been PROMISED - deja vu all over again, just like the everlasting Starr inquiries that spent millions and years looking for anything to pin on the Clintons. In the end all he could find was a dress needing dry cleaning.

It is rich listening to Chomp Chomp Chong trying to say that recall against her is improper, was only designed to get rid of politicians committing actual malfeasance (though most of the BC liaRs are eligible for recall under those conditions). I wonder if she is supporting Birdbrain Falcon for leader, you know, the guy that wanted to recall ALL of the governing NDP MLAs, just because!
On another note . . . Skookum1 wrote:

"The Zalm running for Conservative leader, that's interesting, and would be his third - fourth? - party. I'm actually pretty sure he could win his own seat, even without party financin, i.e. as an Independent, which is really what he's always been. Or per Sarah Palin, a "maverick".

Have you taken leave of your senses, Skookum1? To describe this one man wrecking crew fueled by self interest as "independent" hardly cuts it; only if you define "independent" as fueling one's selfish ambitions without conscious regard for the well being of others come hell or high water, then indeed, his "independence" will lead us all back to hell.

On the heals of Mary's words: ". . . no way to rebuild a province which has been brutally wounded already" . .

. . not through the way of the Zalm either. BC was "brutally wounded" from the day that disgraced former Premier VanderZalm got his paws on power.

He was turfed out of Office in the midst of chaos and corruption that impacted severly many people's lives. BC never really reovered.

The 'gang' around VanderZalm just carried on with Campbell.

British Columbians don't heal or lift themselves from despair and a vacuum of ethical political leadership, by contemplating VanderZalm being anywhere near political power again.

His resurgence from under his rock is anything BUT "interesting" to most British Columbians memory of his sociopathic personality given unbridled power with zero conscience of right & wrong.

Any 'wanna be', naive person yearning to get into politics, who jumps in bed with this tainted 'has been' politician needs an eduction in BC history and ethical standards. Anyone who would stand shoulder to shoulder with this guy I suggest is doing it for what they think is going to assist them in jump starting their political career but will be finished from the start.

He used the HST and the crowd hysteria from the public, to USE the anger to further what he lusts after yet again: his political grip on power.

You don't save yourself from a cesspool by leaping in with the devil in the swamp.
Would it be easier to scuttle a ship from the inside or the outside??
BC Mary I can understand your perspective re Paul Nettleton and your response to other people's perspectives.

Of course he was courageous in the past. But he has now altered his persona in some peoples' minds, including mine and that is up to each of us to make given the information/experience we each hold.

You are a thoroughly ethical, bright, skilled journalist who has earned a huge amount of respect from thousands of people who have recognized your bold integrity to invest your time and skills to help ensure that justice prevails on the PEOPLE'S BC RAIL. You aren't responsible for Paul's recent stunner that for me, altered my opinion of him. It surely does impact his personal/political reputation clearly in many people's opinions.

We are all only responsible for our own actions and can only answer for ourselves given our life experiences. Given the high level BC Rail players pushing Ms Clark's campaign for leader to surely keep a lid on their past actions re: the sale of BC Rail, I would be interested and can only guess at the political/personal motivations placed before Mr. Nettleton to bring him onside. I would be interested to hear from this man in his own voice as to his sudden change of heart.

I sincerely meant what I posted that the first person I thought of when I was stunned to read Mr. Nettleton's current announcement - was you; the shock/disappointment you must have felt as your original comment reflected on your Blog.

Speaking only for myperception of his actions, knowing the leverage he held having expressed his courageous/ethical stand on BC Rail to you and others what a danger to NOT having him onside to all the guilty persons surrounding the all too political insider sale of BC Rail . . .

. . . when Paul announced his decision to support Ms Clark and thus here whole team of high level 'fixers' deeply involved in the sham of BC Rail while he lets go of everything he formerly stood for saying lets move on, in the midst of public outrage of thousands of British Columbians know something was very wrong with this betrayal to BCers/demanding answers . . .

. . . it was too much for me, personally, to swallow - in the context of the whole political machinations that have evolved over time that have led to this chaos.

I sincerely hope you will accept and appreciate my opinion along with others as we all move forward toward justice.

We all make our way in life making personal decisions that impact and create our journeys.

Until I hear otherwise, I believe Paul Nettleton cut a deal with the Clark 'team' fixers that was in BOTH of their best interests.

When people are in positions of public trust, their decisions both past and present, are open to public scrutiny; ultimately which make or break their own reputations.
I would differ with secondlook re:

"The 'gang' around VanderZalm just carried on with Campbell."

That gang is the gang that crawled out to join Bennett the Lesser, which is when BC really began to go to the dogs following the decades of building under Bennett senior and the constructive but short reign of the NDP under Dave Barrett.

How anyone can even mention VanderZalm's "peccadillos" over a small amount of money that actually had to do with sale of property HE OWNED, Fantasy Gardens, not a Railroad, a Ferry System or public utilities like BC Hydro and BC Gas that we once owned and benefited from is stunning.

And how anyone can even be stunned enough to even mention the fast ferries or a small deck in East Van after a decade of depredation by the current gang (which will stay the same with a new face out front) including the Convention Center, the Sea to Die shadow tolls, BC Rail and the idiotic roof (built to specs to please a casino operator that apparently can make Kevin Krueger drive and talk on the cell phone at the same time to take his orders) that will cost more than some much better stadiums than BC Place cost to build from scratch is enough to make me wonder if brain cells are even involved.
Any 'wanna be', naive person yearning to get into politics, who jumps in bed with this tainted 'has been' politician needs an eduction in BC history and ethical standards. Anyone who would stand shoulder to shoulder with this guy I suggest is doing it for what they think is going to assist them in jump starting their political career but will be finished from the start.

You're misconstruing my comments as supporting Vander Zalm; and while commenting that he's not much more, or in some cases considerably less, sociopathic than most of the current Liberal caucus, I'd like to stress my introduction of that as interesting and, knowing his political skills, suggesting it's not impossible for him to win a seat (I didn't say anything about power).

Perhaps "weathervane" would have been better than "Independent", as he was good both with going with the prevailinag wind as well as blowing up where the sun don't shine. But given his party history, he was never really a Liberal, never really a Socred etc....he was always just the Zalm, a one-man party.

And don't blame the ruin of British Columbia on him; that belongs to 1983 when the Ontario Tories and the GOP and others like them from the US donated organizers and materiele to win an election that Bill Bennett should have lost (again with the NDP fumbling at the hustings, and then during the following crisis, sitting on their hands, even as the momentum to the abortive generael strike melted away when Jack Munro went to Kelowna and cut some still-secret-deal-if-it-was-a-deal with MiniWac).

The hijacking of British Columbia began long before Vander Zalm came to power.....

Unlike you, though, I belive in something called redemption, and making amends. I don't know if Bill's fully there yet, but he's showing more signs of it than Christy or Gordo or de Jong.

As for this, apparently targeted at me:
Any 'wanna be', naive person yearning to get into politics, who jumps in bed with this tainted 'has been' politician needs an eduction in BC history and ethical standards.

I"m not wanting into politics, not at all, and certainly not a wannabe, and anyone who's followed my career here or at Bill T's or formerly at The Tyee, or in Wikipedia, knows that the one thing I DO know is BC history, and that as a critic of ethical standards or lack thereof, I'm no slouch.

But I'm also just an observer; and I find it interesting that Vander Zalm would even dare to come back, even more that people still like him.

But that's politics for you, and he wouldn't be the first politician in history (cf John A. MacDonald) to come back from disaster in grand style....
And as for the "skeletons" metaphor, I submit that "zombies" is more like it, as the walking undead from BC Rail are still sporting political flesh, and are not ()yet) just bones. Also suits their behaviour somewhat better.
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