Plausible deniability refers to the denial of blame in loose and informal chains of command where upper rungs quarantine the blame to the lower rungs, and the lower rungs are often inaccessible, meaning confirming responsibility for the action is nearly impossible. In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such act or any connection to the agents used to carry out such acts.Do you understand why the Premier has had rather little to say publicly about the $6 million inducement - bribe for a bribe? - from taxpayers used to seal the final Basi/Virk BC Rail cover-up? And, how much availability have we seen from Graham Whitmarsh, Allan Seckel and David Loukedelis? Gee, is there a pattern here?
However, back to Wilson. The retired politician writes about his various interests at gordon f d wilson and this week gives the backroom strategy employed when the Premier's operatives put an end to the embarrassing Basi/Virk trial.
De Jong tried to spin us that the agreement to pick up the $6 million of the defendants’ legal bills was the primary issue for the public. At first this spin looked like it might work because the public was furious.Recommend this post
The response to the Basi/Virk deal was, like everything else that comes out of the Campbell government, a carefully orchestrated partisan response, and it was a pretty good one because De Jong was on firm ground. Berardino had the legal right to cut the deal, although it is quite doubtful that he did so alone.
The process gave de Jong plausible deniability. The fact that the trial didn’t finish meant that there was no assignment of costs by the court. The $6 million in legal fees could be signed off by the Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister of Finance. Cabinet would not have to be involved, thus more plausible deniability.
It was all pretty slick. I seriously doubt that it all happened without considerable discussion amongst the senior Deputy Ministers. This includes Allan Seckel.