What Shakespeare has to say about the BC Liberals’ leadership.

Not that I’d expect Premier Christy Clark to remember Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar from high school, but it has a message that speaks directly to her, and to her whole caucus.

In Act II, Caesar is brought news of terrible signs that have appeared in the Capitol during the night: signs that certainly suggest something dreadful to come for Caesar, and something that the audience is well aware of: that the conspirators against Caesar –his own senators –will have their day.

Caesar’s wife, Calphurnia begs him to stay home from work, but he bravely (and famously) answers,

Cowards die many times before their deaths.
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

Caesar later stands by his choice. Caliphurnia tells the paige to send word that he will not attend at the Capitol because he is sick. Caesar answers:

… Shall Caesar send a lie?
Have I in conquest stretched mine arm so far
To be afraid to tell graybeards the truth?

Now, just in case any of our government leaders cheated on the test, what these passages reveal is that to the mind of Shakespeare, it was dishonourable to hide away from the inevitable rather than to face it head on. I’d like to think that this theme resonates today. Lies are never honourable, even if you can get away with them, and cowering away from ones responsibilities out of fear of losing power is rather pathetic.

In 2012, several British Columbia Ministry of Health researchers who were enthusiastically going about their jobs, were suddenly fired with little explanation, and threatened with criminal charges relating to the misappropriation of confidential patient data. It’s no exaggeration that their lives were suddenly turned upside down. Their income was taken away, they were escorted off the premises of their jobs, and they were discredited as scientists.

After they went through months of stress and anxiety, they were faced with an even worse reality. They had been victims of a conspiracy. The charges against these researchers were complete confabulations, made up by members of the government. The charges had been trumped up for what reason? Well… it’s not public knowledge, but the affair stinks.

It is well known that some of the science produced by the discredited researchers threatened to affect the bottom line of a very large pharmaceutical company, and that said pharmaceutical company makes large political contributions to the Liberal party.

What we now need in BC is leadership. Lives have been turned upside down by a conspiracy of unscrupulous, cynical people, who live in the Machiavellian delusion that power is more important than truth. One poor young man died. This research was to be his doctoral dissertation. It was his whole world. God only knows how many thousands of hours he had poured into his work, only to be completely mortified. He took his own life.

No one who knows anything about what happened is innocent in this affair, until they do something to effect change. They need to show up, to stop hiding, to bravely face the storm that will happen when they demand that the truth be revealed.

They need to publicly oppose members of their own party who would continue to allow this injustice to go without indictment. To do otherwise is to participate in this awful conspiracy.

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