Herring guts in July

In early 1988, International Trade Minister John Crosbie took a leading role in defending Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's very controversial proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Crosbie's folksy mannerisms and Newfoundland accent appeared to give him a free pass for applying sneeringly abusive language to his opponents: on April 1st of that year, with no apparent intention of cracking an April Fool's joke, Canada's 'national newspaper' praised Crosbie's “acerbic Newfoundland wit and Rhodes Scholar intellect” (“Crosbie's Political Footwork is Key to Success or Failure On Free Trade,” The Globe and Mail [1 April 1988]).

With the notion of paying him back in his own coin, I sent this squib to The Globe and Mail, which published it on the Letters page, under the title given here, along with two other letters that also mocked Crosbie's intemperate language. “Gurry,” by the way, is a Nova Scotian word for the semi-liquid waste from fish-plants.

The Globe and Mail (23 April 1988): D7.

Someone should let International Trade Minister John Crosbie know that Hogtown nationalists, Edmonton encyclopedia peddlers, and those naughty CBC satirists aren't the only ones in this country who see Old Lantern Jaw's trade deal as a sellout (“Crosbie Called Irresponsible After Speech On Free Trade”—April 12).

There are people down east as well who have long since stopped believing everything they're told by the minnows, choughs, bunghole-corks, ideologues and kettle-menders who make up our federal Cabinet.

The trade deal stinks like herring-guts in July, and it would take more than the slubgubbardly demagoguery of some gurry-tongued jackdaw from St. John's to make Canadians think otherwise.

Michael Keefer

Annapolis Royal, N.S.