It’s who you know, not what you know

An “old boys club” is an informal closed loop system by which money and power are retained by those who are politically connected or through incestuous business relationships that benefit a select few. It isn’t necessarily purposeful or malicious but the “club” can prevent ambitious people who are not connected to the network from success in spite of how hard they work.

The term “old boys club” originates from the British civil service who would rarely open opportunities to those who were not lifelong associates of the inner circle they’d known from their earliest days. The phrase “its’ not what you know, it’s who you know” is attributed to that repressive old boys club tradition , born out of the small inner circle of special interest and selfishness.

In modern days it is not gender specific, however these arrangements still entail establishing mutually advantageous relationships much of the time with little more than a wink and a nod. These are arrangements from which perceived outsiders are excluded and thus not privy to the truly serious business transactions or conversations.

It’s always been my belief that Alberta needs a clear vision for the future. The way forward is aimless if the path is without a principled growth oriented course that benefits everyone. Recently, Alberta has been wandering through a maze of aimless misdirection and unpleasant financial surprises such as the govts tax on everything, affectionately called a carbon tax.

So who does a carbon tax help? (Since being implemented on January 1st of 2017 not one shred of quantifiable evidence has been presented to the Albertans it claims to benefit.)?? Typically when an opposition member broaches the subject of accountability of the carbon tax we’re met with ridicule and name calling from government Ministers. Judging by what we’ve seen in the Legislature, any questions that challenge the accountability of the carbon tax, without fail, elicits a reaction from the Premier and her Ministers that reminiscent of a dentist finding a raw nerve without anesthetic.

The benefits of the carbon tax that the NDP claim appear to be reserved for the people in their very own old boy’s club. The NDP’s favorite Oilsands advisory appointee and radical environmentalist, Tzeporah Berman most certainly gained financially from whom she knew to the tune of about $23,000; a transaction that saw Alberta get nothing for the investment. Her recommendations were little more than a reiteration of her continuous calls for the Oilsands to be shut down, completely regardless of the economic calamity it would cause to Alberta’s economy. Considering the source, this begs the question, what were they expecting her to recommend?

In Hanna, the shut down of Alberta’s coal industry is turning out to be yet another example of how who you know can reap substantial benefit for the few while the many pay the price. Unfortunately for average Albertans we know that this rushed and needless early conversion away from coal will come at an unreasonable cost, but it isn’t what we know that matters, it’s who we know.

 

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