Monday, 4 February 2013

The Auditor General is Full of sh’Shakespeare

June 1, 2012:  Premier Kathy Dunderdale announced, today, the appointment of a new Auditor General for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

ACT I: The Fairy Tale A-G

Eight months later…..

(The Auditor General, preening in front of the mirror, is getting ready for his first Press Conference).

A-G:           Mirror, mirror on the wall
                  Who is the most courageous one of all?
                 You, my dear A-G, you are the most courageous one of all;

Holeass:   But, there are so many others even more courageous! 
A-G:         You are just trying to get my goat aren’t you, Holeass?   Of course, I am the most       
                 courageous! I know I am.

                 My, my!  How could it be otherwise?  And, I am smart and handsome.

    (As he applies his special cream, ‘Oil of Hibernia’.) Those blasted Tories.  How could they     
    have spent all that money and got us all into such a financial mess? I wonder?  I must  
    warn the peoples!

                 Yes.  That’s what I’ll do. I am the Auditor General of the Province of     
                 Newfoundland and Labrador. My very first Report is due out this very day:  I shall   
                 stand in front of the media and warn them of all the bad things the Government is doing. 
                 They will tell the peoples, I just know they will…..

                 Why are you so silent? Holeass.  Do you not believe me?

   I feel soooo good, I haven’t felt this good in years! Oh My! All that time wasted, advice to    
   Kennedy and Marshall. They did not deserve one so courageous. Isn’t it wonderful being    
   the A-G! 
                 (The A-G is now aware of Holeass’ presence.)

                Oh! Holeass, you give me such support.  It’s nice to feel so comfy and cozy…do sit     
                here, Holeass; did you say, let’s do some Shakespeare?  My, my, how I love Shakespeare. 
                Most little senior public servants don’t do Shakespeare, you know.  It’s a tragedy, really…all
                they want to talk about is money, money, money! You know, the politicians, too. Filthy
                stuff, if they were lucky, like me, they could be having so much fun! Oh, Holeass, please,
                let’s do Shakespeare later….I want to sing, now.  I have sooo much to sing about.  I’m so
                happy, I’m giddy!

                C’mon Holeass, sing with me.
The A-G and Holeass now join together and dance and sing:
               I am the A-G
  I am the A-G
  Hi, ho, a-derr-i-o
  I am the A-G.

               Oh! Holeass, this is so much fun.  Let’s try another verse, shall we?

My tenure is ten years
My tenure is ten years
Hi, Ho a-derr-i-o
My tenure is ten years.

Holeass, you are not nearly the tenor, today, that you normally are; are you tired from all this celebration?  You must expel the sounds more vigorously, I just know you can do it!  Let’s do one more verse and please, do give it you’re all.  It’s not every day one gets another chance to make a new first impression, is it? Let’s try this one:

              They can’t fire me now
 They can’t fire me now
 Hi, Ho a-deer-i-o
 They can’t fire me now!

 That was so wonderful, Holeass.  That’s enough fun for now.  I have to get ready for my
 Press Conference.  Afterall, I’m giving my very first A-G’s Report.  I am so excited.  I must
 look my best.  And, please do attend the Press Briefing.  Oh, yes, do try and think of some
 nice Shakespearean thingies to say.  We must impress the little Reporters. I may even  
 attempt something myself.

ACT II: In Which A Tragedy is Revealed

The Press Conference is about to begin:

Press Gallery Head:  All rise for the Auditor General of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

(The Auditor General enters.  All stand.  Silence erupts).

Press Gallery Head:  Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce to you the Auditor General of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

(Looking very solemn, the A-G addresses members of the media). 
             Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;   
              I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. 
              The evil that men do lives after them;
           The good is oft interred with their bones;
              So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
              Hath told you Caesar was ambitious... 

(The A-G sits down, looking pleased)

A-G:           Yes, yes, my friends of the media, that was a little Shakespeare I selected just for this 
                  most noble of occasions; yes, you are quite right, I did hear a couple of you note that it
                  was a little of Anthony’s Eulogy to Julius Caesar.  My, my, you are all fine, clever
                  Reporters.   I thought I might wax a little more poetic than some of my forebears; bring,
                  perhaps, as I might, a little more dignity to the Office.  I am, you know, the Auditor
                  General of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  I have tenure. 

Let me tell you, my Reporter friends, I plan to be courageous; I will tell the peoples         
                  everything thing that is going on in the government, I will expose every little tidbit of
                  falsehood and arrant expenditure; I am, after all the Auditor General of the Province of
                  Newfoundland and Labrador. I have ‘de tenure, you know’, as Jean Chretien would say.

    Now, my friends, to the issue.  These expenditures of the Government cannot go on. They
   are simply not sustainable.

Holeass:  (Voice from somewhere.) And, Brutus was an honourable man.

A-G:        Holeass, you are not a member of the media, you must be careful what you say to these
                Reporter people. I am so sorry, my friends. So much wind is my Holeass.
                (Continuing now.) Ladies and Gentlemen, you know our per capita spending is 50 per
                cent higher than even the Canadian average.  It is a tragedy, I say, a tragedy of Greek
                proportion. The Government has increased expenditures by 66 percent in just ten years! 
                How could they possibly have done that? It offends me so much, yes, yes, my convenient…
                er…I mean my considerable sense of fiscal prudence! I ask, again, my friends: Why didn’t
                someone notice? Why wasn’t someone on guard? Pray, I beseech you, I do not understand.

Holeass:  (Interrupting the A-G’s Speech) Not that I loved Newfoundland and Labrador less,
                  but that I loved myself more.

A-G:         Holeass, knock it off! This is my big day. We can do the tragedy stuff, later.  Right now, the
                 peoples are only in danger, the tragedy…it is still…er…unfolding.  I know.  For, I am the
                 Auditor General of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. And, I have tenure.

   Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, the Government has oil on the brain, it has become
   the facial cream of choice.  Some call it ‘Oil of Hibernia’.  Yes, some think that they have
   even put it in the wine.  I tell you, it has to stop.  I am the Auditor General of the Province
   of Newfoundland and Labrador.  I know. For I have tenure.

 ACT III: In Which A Second Tragedy is Revealed 

(Now, in an audible voice, the A-G asks if there any questions) 

A-G:           (Holeass raises his hand.)  Holeass, you are not a member of the media, for

Some          It’s OK, your honour, Mr. Auditor General of the Province of Newfoundland and
Reporter:   Labrador, we don’t mind if Holeass has a question or two because we never have many
                    of those.

A-G:            Then, go ahead, Holeass. What do you want to ask?

Holeass:     Sir, those ten years during which the Province’s expenditures increased by 66 per         

A-G:            Yes, yes, go on…

Holeass:     Weren’t you the Deputy Minister of Finance for 8 for of those 10 years?  Why didn’t you
                     speak up then?

A-G:            Holeass! If you keep this up you are not coming to my little celebration; I promised you
                    we would sing more nursery rhymes!

Holeass:    (Obviously ignoring the A-G’s reply) Sir, I have one more question.

A-G:           Now that’s enough, I won’t have my very own Holeass interfering with these very, very
                   quiet, very, very demure, very, very fine Reporters.

                  Some Reporter:  That’s OK, your Honour, Mr. Auditor General of the Province of
                  Newfoundland and Labrador, let him ask one more itty bitty question ‘cause we don’t 
                  have any ourselves.

A-G:         (clearly uncomfortable). For the love of god, Holeass, ask the bloody question.

Holeass:  Sir, if you think the deficit is bad now, how come, for all those years, you also supported
                 Muskrat Falls?

A-G:        (Looking pompously dignified…is attempting no response….)

Reporter:    This Holeass is pretty sharp.  Aren't they questions we should be asking?