Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The telephone calls of May 17th and 18th

One of the less discussed recordings that Grewal released is a series of phone calls from May 17th and 18th.

Like Grewal's other files, it exists in two forms--recording and transcript--and there are two different versions of each of these. So there are four different files:
  1. tel ud tm.mp3 (19.9MB, created 31/05/05 11:57am, 21 min. 41 sec.)
  2. TelConversations-TM-GG-UD.mp3 (19.3Mb, created 07/06/05 1:32am, 21 min. 4 sec.)
  3. "4Telconversations-TimMurphy-Gurmant-Grewal-UjjalDosanjh-Gurmant Grewal.pdf" (creation date: May 31st, 10:24 am; length: 5 pages)
  4. TelConversations-TM-GG-UD.pdf (created 7 June, 1:32 am; 7 pages)
(The MP3s can be downloaded here; for the pdfs, check back soon.)

The difference between the files is a bit puzzling. The mp3 released on May 31st is 37 seconds longer, which is odd given that the later file should be the more complete one. But the May 31st mp3 is corrupt: there is only 3 min 38 seconds of sound (that is, it has conversations #1-3, below), and from that point onwards the file is blank (as far as I can tell).

Also, each of calls in the second file is slightly shorter than the first--that is, if you queue up the two mp3s so that one plays in each ear, the May 31st mp3 slowly falls behind the June 7th by about one second per minute of conversation. I'm not sure what this means--might the transfer of the original mini-cassettes to digital have been done on different machines? or perhaps different compression in the ripping of the MP3?

The files contain five phone calls over the 17th and 18th:
  1. The first call with Dosanjh. The contents of the call make it clear that this comes shortly after the meeting with Dosanjh and Murphy. Dosanjh restates that there will be no clear deal: 'The Prime Minister is never going to say say to you that I'll give you X'; he also says that an apology with Volpe can only be arranged if Grewal decides to cross the floor: 'If there is an understanding, Volpe would happen before you speak.
  2. The first call with Murphy. This occurs on the night of the 17th. Grewal is coming out of caucus--the emergency caucus meeting called in reaction to Stronach's defection. Grewal presses on that the apology from Volpe be arranged. Murphy says an apology can be made, implying that it will happen if Grewal crosses the floor: GG - 'So will he go ahead and issue an apology?' TM - 'Umm, well, I understand in the right context'. They arrange to meet in Grewal's office the next morning at 10 am.
  3. The second call with Dosanjh happens on the 18th, following his meeting with Murphy. Dosanjh mentions meeting Murphy after lunch, so this is early afternoon. Dosanjh, speaking in Punjabi implies that Grewal might be made Parliamentary Secretary after a few weeks (assuming the translation is not misleading) and encourages Grewal to meet with the Prime Minister that evening.
  4. The second call with Murphy. The reception is not good on Grewal's phone so he asks Murphy to phone him back in a few minutes.
  5. The third call with Murphy. Murphy seems to assume that Grewal has agreed to cross the floor and advises him how to describe his decision--that there was no reward offered. Grewal tells him, however, 'I won't do anything until the uncertainty element is removed', that is, until he knows what his reward is.
The important point from the interpretative context is that the final three calls come after Grewal's meeting with Murphy on the 18th.


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