In this eagerly awaited follow-up to his memoir The Premiers Joey and Frank, bestselling author Bill Rowe delivers a spirited account of the next three premiers of Newfoundland and Labrador: Brian Peckford, Clyde Wells, and Brian Tobin.
[Minister Brian Peckford's] ongoing vociferous battle with the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa over the actual ownership of the offshore petroleum resources added to his lustre. He made precisely zero progress against the federal Liberal government, but Peckford's three years as the "fighting Newfoundlander" . . . gave him the platform from which to launch his run for the leadership of the PC Party and the premiership.
* * *
For a man who disliked talking much in public about his own personal or family matters, [Clyde Wells] surprised a lot of observers by detailing his gut-wrenching and heartbreaking experience when his own son had to leave the province, taking Clyde's beloved grandson with him, because there was no work here. . . . Thus, his "bring every mother's son home" speech was extremely effective, as he lumped himself in with listeners and viewers who were also suffering from the forced absence of their loved ones. Wherever he emitted that speech during the campaign, it brought the audience to tears.
* * *
Most objective commentators . . . conceded that the rally initiative Brian Tobin conceived and orchestrated had a favourable impact that contributed, just three days later, to the narrow "No" vote victory. . . . Even a previous political opponent, the formidable John Crosbie, was in awe of the former Rat Packer's media savvy. The little rodent had saved Canada. But chief among the Tobin aficionados after the Quebec referendum was Jean Chrétien. My favourite Liberal MP informant in Ottawa told me that, when the close victory was finally known on the night of the referendum, the prime minister was heard screeching, "I love you, Brian Tobin" . . .
No Punches Pulled is a memoir. Bill Rowe, as leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador and, later, host of VOCM Open Line, observed the rise of these three premiers and the shape our province took while under their care. This rousing and often laugh-out-loud political tale, told in Rowe's inimitable style, will hold readers captive until the very last page.
No Punches Pulled: The Premiers Peckford, Wells, and Tobin is Bill Rowe's tenth book. His books Danny Williams: The War With Ottawa and The Premiers Joey and Frank have appeared on the Globe and Mail bestsellers lists.