When the fixers were ready to move Gordon Campbell into place, a media campaign was orchestrated against the existing BC Liberal leader. Wilson was involved with colleague and future wife Judy Tyabji, a relationship begun while both were married to others. Indeed, pious media accounts of the Wilson and Tyabji marriage breakups helped Gary Farrell-Collins advance a caucus revolt. leading to Wilson's ouster by Campbell in 1993. Since then, romantic alliances of Liberal politicians have been off limits to the once virtuous BC media.
Kinsella's group was well financed and vigorously supported by media, particularly the Hollinger newspapers of David Radler and Conrad Black. By the end of the decade, the Asper family's Canwest had taken control of the major BC newspapers along with TV news powerhouse BCTV and its Victoria sister station. Canwest enthusiastically joined the campaign for a business-friendly government. So did its eventual successors.
Most expected Gordon Campbell's Liberals to form government in 1996 but Campbell, with an unpopular promise to sell BC Rail, faltered in the campaign. Premier Glen Clark was reelected but faced a corporate media determined to end the New Democratic administration. Liberal Party managers designated Martyn Brown from the old Reform Party to stick-handle Campbell's political affairs.
The media soon found their issues. NDP internal squabbling helped as pragmatists and ideologues scrambled for dominance but fast ferries and gambling issues gained the most traction in public. By the end of the NDP mandate in 2001, the party had earned appropriate ignominy. The Campbell led Liberals cruised to easy victory with a smart platform promising the most open and accountable government in history. Having learned from the mistake of 1996, this time, they also promised not to sell BC Rail.
What we found out later was that the Liberal platform and its progressive promises were completely disingenuous.
Gordon Campbell is gone. Christy Clark will soon be gone. What has not changed though is the guiding hand that is never subjected to a ballot. America's Progressive Party created a platform in 1912 that demonstrates how little has changed in one hundred years. It included this statement:
"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”Needless to say, the unholy alliance continues undissolved. As was the case almost 20 years ago, British Columbia's unseen leaders again need a vehicle suited to replace a discredited coalition. Christy Clark's tenure as Premier will soon be over because Premier Photo-Op is seen by the public for what she is: an intellectual lightweight narcissist who is ridiculed and not respected.
Even though her selection as Liberal leader is clouded by allegations of voting fraud and her performance as Premier is marked by incompetence and steadily declining voter approval, Clark has remained Premier for a year. The single most important factor protecting her is the gentle treatment accorded Liberals by the corporate media. There was hint of this in a comment left at the site of online journalist Alex G. Tsakkumis:
"Alex, I know firsthand of one NW reporter who is sitting on an awfully incriminating recording related to the BC Rail trial"AGT also knows of the recording. Among corporate journalists, the referenced item is not a secret but pressure has been applied to keep it off the public record so that Liberals are not embarrassed. That situation reinforces the accuracy of words written four years ago by blogger Phil Rockstroh at the Smirking Chimp"
"...It should be increasingly clear to see that the corporate media's job has never been to be unbiased chroniclers of the events and circumstances of a free republic. Rather, they are active agents serving to protect and promulgate the pernicious myths of free market capitalism. And they are a highly partisan lot. Moreover, they have been highly successful in their mission. Hence, our lives, both inner and outer, have been conquered and colonized by the corporate empire, and a resultant forced occupation dominates our days determining the trajectory of our brief lives upon this earth.Recommend this post
Yet, we, against all evidence, believe we are free actors in a spontaneous, unfolding democratic drama. When, in reality, we have been cast as dehumanized supernumeraries in a lethal farce that renders all concerned both oppressor and oppressed. This is the central paradox that binds us..."