Fifteen long years on a losing streak and a lot of bodies unburied
and there comes a time when you cannot turn the other cheek
you have got to ride the ferry
past the battered old bodies of dead dead dreamers
past the tethered and fettered and deskbound schemers
past the punks and the drunks and the bad guitar players and
the dewy eyed teenage dragon slayers
’til you come to this place where you can say
I just want to work with you
as we do the things that we know we have to do
ever hopeful and ever blue
we do the things that we know we have to do
and though we all know deep down in our hearts
someday this will all fall apart
for right now let’s just be heroes
David & David
From the album Boomtown
These are the lyrics to a David & David song from 20 years ago (sheesh). They always come to mind when I see a young business leader or politician who is so keen to make a mark they end up like a bull in the proverbial china shop.
I am speaking, of course, about Saint John MLA Trevor Holder who in his first two days in office reminded me of the “the dewy eyed teenage dragon slayer” referred to in the song.
In those 48 hours, Mr Holder has:
- Said his first act as Minister was to buy Guiliani’s book Leadership for all his senior managers. This, to me, came across as a little bush league.
- Came out swinging against the Federal government for holding up the clean up of Saint John Harbour (without actually checking to see where the real holdup was).
- Made comments that appear to suggest the provincial government is prepared to give his city’s airport financial assistance to help it attract a flight to the United States, an apparent reversal of what has been government policy. Mr. Holder’s comments (according to media reports) appear to have taken even Premier Bernard Lord aback and by surprise.
Now it seems clear that Mr. Holder wants to make an impression and appear to be a bold leader but these three little moves came across as just plain silly. Mr. Holder would be better advised to spend a few years (if he gets that long) directing a highly successful department. If he does this, his reputation will become known not by what he says but by what he does – and it today’s political climate that’s as good as gold.
I think there are enough motormouth, teenaged dragon slayers around, don’t you?