Today, Bill Bennett publicly confirmed a fact that many observers and commentators have known for years. In Bennett’s words, “Gordon Campbell is not a nice person. He has a terrible temper.” He went on to describe a bully who leads by intimidation and recounted an early experience of his own in caucus.
After a retreat of Liberal members, Bennett dared state that the retreat had been disappointingly unproductive for backbenchers. He says Campbell was so angered by the simple criticism that he went into close-talker mode and berated the elected member so vigorously that he spat in Bennett’s face.
Bennett says good people such as Carol Taylor and Olga Ilitch were driven out by abuse:
“He can run on me, I’m a tough guy, I can take it. But I’ve seen him do it to other people in caucus, you have almost a battered wife syndrome inside our caucus today, inside our cabinet, it’s really sad and all the man has to do to give the B.C. Liberal party a chance to renew itself is to leave.”
Bennett also made it clear that Colin Hansen was not truthful (again!) when he stated today that Cabinet decided to ask for a resignation. Bennett said that the Premier had a party waiting for him as soon as he arrived for the beginning of the Cabinet session. The decision had already been made by the Premier. Besides, Cabinet has no constitutional authority to appoint or remove ministers, only the first minister has that power.