Just like starting over

It’s been a while since the last post. I’ll get to the reasons for that shortly, but I first want to say thanks, an enormous thanks, for the response to that last piece.  It had over 12,000 views, which I’m told is a good number for a blog post.

It’s a good number for other reasons, not the least of which is the interest it shows in the future of BC’s traditional centre left party.

If comments are any judge, the BCNDP faces a tough few years as it gets back on track.  Aside from the rotten campaign, which few seem interested in defending, the party itself seems tired and defeated with few good ideas and an antiquated understanding of the way to get them across to ordinary citizens.

But more than that, like the left in general, the BCNDP seems unable to grasp the implications of the important and rapid social and economic changes that have taken place in the last two or three decades.

For example economic agreements – starting but not ending with ‘free trade’ -eliminated the possibility of low skilled living wage jobs at the same time as new work practices and organization mitigated against union organizing.

The result of these and other changes in BC with its trade dependent economy is a very real decline in the middle class, growing poverty and a small and growing pocket of extreme wealth.

This kind of transformation was inevitably greeted within the NDP with calls to block trade agreements (TILMA anyone) and increase union protection, policies that are stop gap at best and counter-productive at their worst as employers counter with capital strikes and other wait ‘em out strategies.

Those agreements and work arrangements aren’t going anywhere fast.  The same is true of hundreds of other social and economic changes that challenge the goal of a better life for all, not just the few.

Tilting at windmills too often seems to be our slogan.  No issue is too small, no windmill too quaint for the BC NDP to attack.  A BC NDP platform is generally easy to identify.  It’s thick, it’s unreadable and, taken as a whole, it’s of little interest to the majority of voters.

***

I wrote the last post because I believed that despite everything that’s wrong with the BCNDP my province desperately needed a change of government and desperately needed an NDP government that would pay attention to the plight of the middle class, would seek to at least slow growing inequality and would start to deal with our dependence on a carbon culture.

That is not to be because of the sheer incompetence of the BC NDP campaign.  That they could blow such an insurmountable lead still seems surreal to me.  And it still makes my blood boil.

Out of government it will be harder to change the BCNDP into a winning machine.  But that or building a new better machine is what must happen.

The right is feeling its oats right now.  But a quick look shows a lot of problems.  Campaign promises are unlikely to be kept.  They have cut way past the bone and now they are cutting again, when they promised prosperity.

Their leader is still a wingnut with a healthy dose of corruption and incompetence following her everywhere she goes.

More importantly, the emptiness of their campaign made the NDP look policy mad.  If the NDP tilted at windmills, the BC Liberals ran a Potemkin campaign, slapping up the rosy billboards to cover up a host of problems they themselves created.  That they got away with it is enough of a reason for the NDP leadership to go.

Just like 2009 it won’t take long for the threadbare policies of the winners to show.  The middle class will continue to shrink, inequality will rise and the environment will continue to sicken.  In short most British Columbians will be worse off.

BC’s elite forget that fewer than 20 per cent of the voting population put this government in power.  On Election Day the right was returned but not joyfully.  A smart opposition ready to prosecute its case and offer an alternative that puts the average person first will be in a position to beat this, pretty mediocre, government.

They just have to be in a position to run a decent campaign.

 ***

Can they do it?  That’s something I hope to look at this summer and just this summer, because the sad fact is that I won’t get to play in this sandbox.

As my cancer grows I will post less and less.  Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been in and out of the cancer clinic, getting tests and treating symptoms.  The cancer is past beating.

This blog will pretty much stay the same to the end: politics, maybe a little music, a little social commentary; also some pictures and videos.  The big change is I’m going to talk a bit about living with and dying from cancer.

I doubt I have anything new to offer, but it’s hard for me to avoid right now.  I just hope I don’t bore you to death.

This entry was posted in Adrian Dix, BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics, Christy Clark. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Just like starting over

  1. RossK says:

    Always look forward to reading whatever you have to say Ian.

    Always.

    .

  2. Chris Montgomery says:

    Thanks for this, Ian. You always help make sense of things and provide some logic and inspiration for carrying on with public engagement.
    As for the rest, one hand for yourself and one for the boat, eh? Take care.

  3. Grant G says:

    Thanks Mr. Reid, I appreciate your honesty above all else, humility and vulnerability are hard to write about, losses are hard to take, there are those among your audience that are soon to follow you beyond..

    How much time is enough, I can`t answer that, for the clocks within my home have all been destroyed..

    I look forward to your many more posts, even the long distance ones..

    Good Day

  4. George says:

    Bless you Ian..

  5. Bruce says:

    Since I stumbled on to you blog last year, I check in most days to if if there is a post. Your a very brave man, and I wish you well. I have enjoyed your blog very much. Cheers

  6. Dan Schubart says:

    Best wishes on this phase of your journey. My thoughts are, and will be, with you, as they have been with so many others who have fallen victim to what I suspect is a form of industrial disease. Your outlook alone makes your material worth a read.

  7. Kim says:

    Thank you Ian, always, for every sentence.

  8. Kris says:

    I would urge you to read Flood Your Body With Oxygen by Ed McCabe.

  9. e.a.f. says:

    Thank you for your column. I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog. I will miss you. May your continued work on behalf of all of us not take too much of your energy. You have made a valiant fight of it. Your courage has been impressive and an example to all. Enjoy your summer, your family, friends.

  10. Merv Adey says:

    I am tremendously saddened that you didn’t get to enjoy the NDP victory that should have happened in May. But more important than that, is to acknowledge the tremendous contribution you’ve made to the blogosphere. Your posts are always sane and insightful whatever you write about..We will all go sometime, but I am sure you will be remembered longer and more kindly than many.

  11. raven says:

    Ian your words get to the heart of the matter, and to the heart of this reader.

  12. tf says:

    I can’t imagine what you are facing so I am glad you will be sharing a small part of your life with us. Know that your words will help us walk beside you. Thank you.

  13. off-the-radar says:

    Ian,
    Oh damn, that is sad news. It’s been a real pleasure to read your blog (as a faithful lurker over the past several years) and get to know you (so to speak). Thank you for taking the time and making a difference to me and many other British Columbians.

  14. Beth says:

    Bless you good sir, for all your work, and your sacrifices,
    you made this province a better place for all of us, I’ve been a reader of your wonderful blog for a long time now, and at this moment CANNOT imagine our BC without you! every time there was a gap in your postings I worried and wondered.. you have been an amazing commentator for so many readers reporting on our “golden era” here in this corruption soaked province.
    Saying thank you doesn’t seem to be enough
    Please know that your in our hearts wherever you go

  15. woodie says:

    Your contribution to the internet blogs, is so appreciated,as there are so few places to find quality, honest and true insight into the plight of the political goings on in our great province.Thanks,looking foreword to reading some more articles ,as long as you are able to share your thoughts with us.
    Cheers

  16. luigi says:

    “Can they do it?” you ask. I believe they can do it if they are willing to make the changes that are required, and make them immediately. Waiting will be their downfall. But they have to be willing to put in the hard work, the exchange of ideas within the membership, and they have to have the courage to say to the current hierarchy, “Look this is not working. We can change, or we can fall into the abyss. Which do you want?”

    I, too, would like to have seen you enjoy an NDP victory in this election but that was not to be. But your insight into what happened and what exists right now can be a catalyst for the change that’s needed. (Are you listening Moe & Company?)

    Thanks for making us think.

    Peace to you.

  17. raven says:

    Ian, I think our party needs some time on the couch, short of that, this article might help just a little:

    http://www.psmag.com/politics/the-psychology-of-political-stubbornness-34256/

  18. hjawgwash says:

    Bore us?
    Don’t go there!

    I ‘ve yet to be bored by anything you have written. Oh sure, sometimes Farrell like graphs challenge my attention, but never bored.

    Sadly, I look forward to your remaining words. Why we are so afraid to talk about the most certain thing in life is way beyond me. I don’t get it. So write with gusto ’til you run out of ink, Mr Reid.

    Write on.

    The self destruction of the NDP must have been particularly hard to take given your support of and for Carole. Those who stabbed he in the back should feel nothing but shame.

    The best to you Ian.

  19. Norm Farrell says:

    Ian, you continue to impress me and I feel honoured to have had opportunities to interact directly. Obviously, your political opinions are honest ones, free of self interest, unlike the shills and trolls who comment regularly in political forums hereabouts. Many of those people are getting paid, and many of the rest hope to be paid by generous sponsors.

    You’ve talked about the final act and, given my age, I think about it too. I guess if we inspire others persons to carry on with messages of justice and human rights, we’ve done what we can. Really, we do what we think is right and the people remaining spread our thoughts and, if important, those will survive and influence greater numbers.

    Your words deserve to survive but, even more, your example of bravery, constancy and selflessness is the lesson that really matters.

    I don’t have expectation of any afterlife, but if I turn out to be wrong, can we meet for coffee?

  20. Ole Nielson says:

    Ian, I echo the sentiments expressed by other commenters here. Your intelligence always shines through in your thoughtful words. You have a knack for cutting to the very core of issues, and always well expressed. I will continue to follow your blog with interest. Please know that I am in awe of your bravery.

  21. I will always wish you well, Ian. Yours is a treasured blog, well-written and passionately articulated. It is humbling to have ever been named in the same breath. The service you provided the people of this province is second only to the reasonable, centered and principled service you have sacrificed for an NDP that understood little of it–if at all.

    My wish is that we finally have that cup of coffee (or stronger).

    It’s never an end with a good friend.

    Just an interlude, sometimes short, or sometimes long, till we meet again.

    You have faced your ca

  22. You have faced your cancer with uncommon purpose and unflincing courage.

    With love and respect,

    Alex

  23. NATOMAH says:

    Ian, I have been reading your postings for over a year now. I check almost every day for new ones.
    I very much enjoy and respect your efforts.
    The news that your cancer is now unbeatable has hit very hard.
    My wife and I are both cancer survivors and for that we very thankful.
    Your journey will continue, new friends will be met and old ones will be remembered.
    We will always think of you and keep you in our hearts.
    Bless you for all you have done,
    D’Arcy/Denise.

  24. Brad Zubyk says:

    Ian,

    I am at a loss for words. Whatever our differences, I read your blog and enjoyed it (except the odd one when I was on the hot seat). I second the post from Alex and wish you a peaceful summer. Seems like those soccer games with Ken and Chris were just yesterday.

    Brad

  25. Maharg says:

    Ian, you remain a strong voice of integrity in our current world of political deceit.

    Thank you for your truth, enlightenment, and courage.

  26. Ryan Painter says:

    I’ve appreciated reading your blog Ian and I look forward to doing what I can as a young adult (29) to carry forward your message of social and politcal justice with a heavy smattering of transparancy and accountability!

    Thank you for all you’ve done and what you continue to do. I will do my best to live up to your reputation!

    Yours in friendship,

    Ryan L. Painter

  27. Mark Shaw says:

    I always make time to see if you have updated your blog, Ian. I share many of your views and appreciate your insights. Thank you for a wonderful contribution.

    Cancer is a sensitive subject for me, because it has impacted my immediate and extended families. I admire the forthright manner in which you have written about it, and wish you all the best.

    Mark

  28. Kranky says:

    Thanks for your forthrightness in your analysis of our party’s follies and shortcomings. Folks can say what they like re our idealism and dreams of a new Jerusalem, but there was a group (72-75) that put their beliefs and convictions on the line and the people followed. Stay strong my friend. I see Guy Gentner validates most criticisms and the best the exec can do is send out Mabel( Black label) Elmore to respond. Pathetic! DAVE BARRETT WEEPS!

  29. Arleigh Chase says:

    I was sorry to hear that things have taken a turn for the worse for you, Ian. I’ve always appreciated the intelligence of your observations and the utter civility with which you have conducted your blog.

    My father died in hospital of esophageal cancer in 2009 and while we encountered many, very kind people both on staff and volunteering at that hospital, we also had some difficult experiences with others. One incident involved my father waking up to a young male nurse going through the contact lists on the cellphone I had loaned to my father. Other incidents centered mainly around staff members who were unhappy with attending to the bodily needs of a weak and dying patient. If you have fight in you, then, please keep going. If you feel it’s time to start planning, then I would urge you to seek out a good hospice – or if you have the means for the care you will need, to stay in your home. I don’t believe those suffering with a terminal illness should be made to feel vulnerable or ashamed simply because someone has chosen a career in nursing for which they are unsuited.

  30. Anne-Marie DeLorey says:

    Never bored dear friend, far from it. I will follow this journey with you, from afar. Will check daily so stay in touch. AM

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