I titled my last blog posting based on a great British series ('A Very British Coup'), so while I'm still in that mood, I am calling this one after another of my favorite Brit series, 'That Was the Week That Was'. In fact, in my childhood, I loved that series (hosted by David Frost, but more on him later) so much that when my writing partner, Ken Shaw, and I pitched our first television series, 'Sshhh it's the News', which ultimately ran on Global TV for 78 episodes in 1974-76, we based it on "TW3". The British version - had only run for two seasons to huge audiences, but was shut down before the 1964 election by the government of Alec Douglas-Hume - who was getting fed up with being skewered so mercilessly. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131188/
The Canadian Crisis Cools Down...for Now
After coming within a whisker of taking control of the government through a coalition with the NDP and guaranteed by the Bloc Quebecois, the Liberals couldn't move fast enough to show their leader the respect they thought he deserved. He was out the door and replaced by Michael Ignatieff faster than Gov. Rod Blagojevich could auction off an Illinois Senate seat. [By the way, his indictment for that haircut alone was long overdue!]
Gov. Blagojevich and his unindicted hair
That whole Canadian episode seems to put paid to the notion that in politics 'winning is everything' (which I don't subscribe to). When they think you have a chance of assuming power, they swear their undying loyalty. When it's clear you failed, you are history! I actually felt sorry for Mr. Dion. He was a decent man who clearly wasn't able to navigate the political waters and after capsizing the Liberal ship in the election was miraculously thrown a lifeline. I mean you can't blame him for trying!
Sssshhh....the Coalition goes over a cliff but do his ex-partners realize it?
Watching Michael Ignatieff's first news conference after the caucus selected him Leader, I couldn't help but feel that the Coalition is dead in everything but name only. You read it here first. Michael Ignatieff will NEVER AGREE to have the NDP in his Cabinet. He already indicated that if the government falls after its January 27th budget he will go to the Governor General and simply ask for the opportunity to seek the confidence of the House. Period. However, I believe that he will find a way to criticize the budget but allow it to pass. He's no fool. He needs a minimum of 18 months to rebuild the Party coffers, re-build the shattered Liberal brand, and create a bridge to the Canadian voters.
The Big Three Go to Washington (the sequel)
Having shed their private jets and driven to Washington in their own cars, Detroit's big three auto CEOs did a much better job of making their case...but not enough to convince Republican lawmakers that it's a good deal for the taxpayers. As of this writing, even Barack Obama's involvement has come to naught, so, unless there is a last-minute bail-out, a nightmare scenario may indeed unfold with potentially hundreds of thousands of workers thrown out of work. If only the Big Three had been banks or investment firms rolling the dice with depositors' money they would be given all the money they need! To quote Jimmy Carter, "life is unfair".
Frost/Nixon - the MovieSpeaking of David Frost, I'm looking forward to seeing the movie this weekend, as I was blown away by the Broadway stage show. As a sidebar, I remember many years ago working on a variety series that was being directed by Jorn Winther, a Dutch-born director who had just returned from directing the actual Frost-Nixon interviews in San Clemente. Last year, I just happened to be visiting the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda CA and Ron Howard was there directing Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, which I must say was pretty neat.
So I hope to get one more missive out before Christmas but if I miss you, I sincerely hope that you have a peaceful, happy break, because let's face it, we all deserve it, don't we?
Until next time...