Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Salivating opposition have severely overplayed their hand

Well, well, well.

We now learn the smoking gun turns out to be a puff of smoke.

Despite clear evidence that the 'shocking' leaked cabinet paper contained no new issues that weren't dealt with in Jon Singleton's report, and that (as the auditor's report clearly and correctly delineated) there is a world of difference between liquidity and pacing concerns versus the later Crocus valuation debacle -- the opposition, encouraged by an unquestioning media, kept on perpetuating confusion for days in hopes of creating a "scandal".

An indignant Hugh McFadyen reported Monday that he called Singleton on the weekend and the former auditor didn't recall the document. Ooooh, it must have been hidden said Hugh. And the media was happy to repeat it all.

But chinks in this line of reasoning, such as it was, emerged pretty quickly. Yesterday, to her credit, the Peg Sun's Rochelle Squires got to the heart of the Singleton issue that should have been asked immediately. She quoted the former auditor as saying: "There's nothing about this document that wasn't covered in our report," even though he apparently doesn’t recall seeing it.

Isn’t that the most important thing? Whether this leaked document was at all relevant, not just that it was seemingly new? Why didn’t anyone in the media ask that before?

Too bad few people, including her bosses at the Sun and Tory cheerleader Tom Blowback, paid much attention.

Moreover, it now seems much of the excitement around Singleton's lack of recalling the document was a mere memory lapse.

So we’re treated to days of breathless media coverage based on Jon Singleton’s amnesia? That's pathetic.

Maybe the media will realize the opposition (and the media themselves to a degree) have severely overplayed their hand. And maybe, just maybe, the media will now begin to be a little more measured while chasing every test balloon the opposition throws out on Crocus.

As to the heart of the whole Crocus issue -- if you believe the government should have rang the alarm on Crocus in 2000 over liquidity gripes faced by almost all companies at some point, then you believe in state socialism. You would therefore believe that the government is responsible for what happens internally in all private firms, that investors are not responsible for their own due diligence and the public should be told by the government who the winners and losers in our economy are.

Who would have guessed Hugh McFadyen and Jon McGerrard are socialists?