Category Archives: Conservatives

Mad as Hell…

Boris Johnson, BrexitBoris Johnson threw his support to the “Out” campaign in England’s referendum on exiting the European Union today. In a stroke he added legitimacy to Brexit, dismissed the wet Tories under Cameron’s weak leadership and positioned himself as the next Prime Minister of England in the event of an “Out” victory.

Perhaps more importantly, Johnson underscored a revulsion with establishment, business as usual, squishy middle politics which has been occurring all over the world.

The rise and rise of Donald Trump and the collapse of the Republican Party establishment is one manifestation of this. But, more interestingly, the challenge mounted by Bernie Sanders – seemingly quixotic – has rattled the Democratic Party establishment. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats have an effective firewall in the form of super-delegates to push Hilly over the top; but the fact she is being so effectively challenged from what, in America, could be termed the radical left has been a shock. (It will be even more of a shock if Obama does the right thing for once and lets Hilly be charged with the crimes she so obviously and selfishly committed against the national security of the nation she was sworn to protect.)

On the left in England all of the candidates of the squishy center, whether Brownian or Blairite, went down to total defeat at the hands of Jeremy Corbyn and a rabble roused in its hundreds of thousands.

In each case, and there are more examples in Europe with assorted outre parties of the left and the right running up significant voting and polling numbers, what has happened is that large numbers of ordinary people are no longer content with the “offend nobody, do nothing” approaches of mainstream politicians.

What, precisely, was the trigger for this insurgent attitude varies from nation to nation and party to party but my own sense is that unfettered immigration played a huge role in focusing discontent. At least it did on the right. As well, the sense that the office holders were unwilling to stand up for much of anything created the conditions in which Corbyn, Bernie and The Donald could flourish. Finally, the bien pensant‘s endless attempts to shut down debate about immigration with accusations of racism have not been appreciated.

Watching the lines of migrants snaking through the Balkans or landing in Italy or flooding the Southern United States has not gone down well with people who are already struggling to make ends meet. For the English, the Blairite/EU project of largely open immigration has meant that schools, hospitals and benefits programmes have been overwhelmed. Housing has become hard to find. For the Americans, Obama’s abandonment of the enforcement of the southern border has raised the question of just how many people America can absorb on a yearly basis. And it has also raised the question as to whether America should be selective about who it lets in. Again, when the middle class is being hollowed out by economic forces apparently beyond the control of Washington, putting out the welcome mat to millions of migrants is not attractive.

At the same time, the office holding establishment’s dismissal of these concerns as racist or ignorant or both is a stone in the shoe of many voters on the right. While on the left, the unwillingness of the office holders to make a principled case for a more welcoming immigration strategy for fear of alienating the more traditional working class voters destroyed their legitimacy in the eyes of the activist, progressive and very vocal minority. A Saunders or a Corbyn, while they may not have much appeal for the general electorate, are rallying points for the anti-racist, anti-facist, anti-white, anti-Christian, anti-Isreal progressive core in both the Labour and Democratic parties.

At the height of the Middle Eastern refugee hysteria, a poor little boy was washed up on a Greek island. Like a reflex hammer, the sad little child caused every leftie knee in the world to jerk and jerk hard. Suddenly the left at large was demanding “action”. Even the squishy middle seemed to think that “something must be done”. Then, a few months later came first Paris and then Cologne. Oddly, in terms of reaction, I think the rapes and gropings in Cologne were more significant than the slaughter in Paris. Paris was the work of “terrorists” and only tangentially – in so far as several of the perpetrators were carried in on the tide of refugees – related to the migrant crisis.

Then, a few months later came first Paris and then Cologne. Oddly, in terms of reaction, I think the rapes and gropings in Cologne were more significant than the slaughter in Paris. Paris was the work of “terrorists” and only tangentially – in so far as several of the perpetrators were carried in on the tide of refugees – related to the migrant crisis.

Cologne was different. The rapists and the gropers were not “terrorists”; they were plain, ordinary, Muslim migrants. The Germans and, rather quickly the rest of Europe, woke up to the realization that letting millions of people from an alien – if not actively hostile – Muslim culture into your country was going to have big consequences, mostly unpleasant. They also realized that their government was pretending otherwise and, perhaps worse, attempting to censor the media and the internet to keep their citizens ignorant of the real costs – social, cultural and economic – of migration.

In England the EU referendum is very likely to turn on how best to keep the migrants on the other side of the English Channel. Cameron is pitching European co-operation in the face of a Europe-wide crisis. The Outies will say that until and unless England reasserts real control of her borders, Europe’s migrant crisis will become England’s problem. (And, of course, the leftie luvvies will yell “Racist” and will, I suspect, be ignored because overuse and misuse has rendered that term nugatory.)

In the United States the Trumpian Wall is and will be “Yuge”. It is a concept which will attract support from large numbers of non-elite Republicans and, I suspect, large numbers of working class Democrats who are sick of the endless stream of illegal immigrants clogging the social systems they depend on. Major media and the official Democratic party will continue to pretend that only racists object to unfettered immigration. A position which will alienate the white working class and, if Trump is skillful, annoy the struggling black and Hispanic populations. (Saunders, meanwhile, will have the bully pulpit at the Democratic Convention to decry the inhumanity of deportation of illegal immigrants. A position unlikely to sit well with people who live a little closer to the Mexican border than Vermont.)

Perhaps the most important thing which seems to be happening on the left and the right is that people are willing to look at radical action rather than meandering along the pointless path of the status quo. I may think Corbyn is a dangerous lunatic but I also think that he stands for something rather than nothing. Saunders has a healthy dose of the crazy old left wing uncle about him but he too stands for something no matter how impractical. The main objection to Trump is that he is a vulgarian with only a very limited understanding of the nuances of politics. Which may be true; but many voters may prefer that to the warmed over meatless gruel served up by his competition.

Boris Johnson, old Etonian, journalist, Mayor of London has cultivated an image as an endearing, deeply English, buffoon who rides his bike around London getting into scraps. He is, of course, a very sophisticated politician who can read the signals and gauge the political mood as well or better than Cameron. He is placing a huge bet that the English have had enough of rule from Brussels and that the grossly incompetent handling of the migrant crisis will push them over the edge to Brexit. If he is right Cameron will almost certainly have to resign and any member of the British Cabinet who supported the “Inners” will be disqualified to run for the leadership simply because they will be open to the charge that they cannot be counted on to properly negotiate the terms of Britain’s exit. That leaves the Leadership between Boris and Michael Gove and that, I suspect, is an easy win for Boris.

The next few years are going to be about a fundamental political realignment. The current stock of politicians are going to be kicked to the curb by populations unwilling to let their nations be overrun by people with whom they share nothing in common.

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Timing

A fair number of the louder conservatives are already calling down the Furies on Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet. It turns out the Stephan Dion is just as Green as he ever was and that the Libs are going to throw their shoulders into bringing the 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada ASAP. And lots more besides. As Lance over at SDA points out:

“I hope the incrementalist Conservatives are paying attention. The liberals are slashing and burning their way back to Trudeaupia and they’ve only been in power for what – a week?”

With 39% of the vote the Libs are doing exactly what they said they were going to do and, of course, the media party is cheering them on.

Whining about the Libs doing what they said they were going to do is dopey. At the moment, and right through the winter and into the spring, the Liberals are going to push their agenda. They are also going to blame the Conservatives for anything which goes wrong. Conservatives who don’t get that are just firing blanks at an indifferent enemy.

Now is an excellent time for Conservatives to think clearly about why, in four years, Canadians should vote for the Conservative Party. Make the assumption that all will go reasonably well for Trudeau. (Over estimate his strength.) Assume further that there is presently no potential Conservative leader who will come close to Trudeau in terms of straight leadership appeal. Now, why would someone vote for the Conservative Party?

It is not enough to shoot at the inevidable “carbon tax”. Conservatives have to go out and actually say why a carbon tax is an expensive, ineffective way of making very little change to a non-existent problem. They need to push back against the dwindling, but loud, anti-scientific, economically illiterate warmists. On migrants they need to actually articulate why it is a bad idea to allow more than 25,000 into Canada while be conspicuous in helping to settle the poor people already in the pipeline.

Conservatives also have to think seriously about their own economic platform. Trudeau is promising 10 billion a year for infrastructure to be financed with deficits. Throughout the campaign there was no coherent response to this bit of economic candy. Was it wrong? If so why? Did the Conservatives have an alternative? What are the pillars of a Conservative economic vision for Canada? That needs to be hashed out before there really can be a coherent response to Trudeau.

Just as every new government has a honeymoon lasting at least six months and often up to a year, a defeated party has a period of reflection. While Ezra and the gang at the Rebel are pouncing on every Liberal announcement and appointment as evidence of Liberal prefidity, they are wasting their breath and annoying the fair minded Canadians who tend to think the new kids should have a bit of a break as they take over.

Winning the next election is going to be touch for the Conservatives, there is no reason to make it tougher by substituting rants for constructive policy. Give Trudeau room to make his mistakes. Give him time to hit the various potholes the world is putting in his way. Most of all, get to work to give Canadians a real alternative to the Liberals.

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The Burbs #ELXN42

Harper, CPC, Rob Ford

Who has let those dreadful people in?

The night before E-Day and the campaigns are pushing, hard or not, to hit the last few swing seats. Smart war rooms have closed down the news cycle and are throwing what resources they have left at GOTV efforts for the Day. (Really smart campaigns have been working the advanced polls to get as many of their committed voters “in the box” before E-Day as possible.

The media seem to be hedging a bit as the polls are pretty inconclusive – JT up a bit, but then there is EKOS… – but they are all pretty sure Harper screwed himself being seen at a Ford Brothers shindig on Saturday night.

Chris Selley marked the desperation:

And then, there was Saturday night — a brand new low for a conservative party that has abandoned so very many of its conservative principles. Drugs or no drugs, the Fords’ politics is a flailing, nihilist mashup of spite, fantasy and delusion masquerading as “Respect for Taxpayers.” The Tories wear that now. If they lose on Monday, they will have utterly debased themselves doing so. national post 

Young Justin, fresh from discovering that one of his key campaign aides has been peddling advice on how to reach out to the new Prime Minister, went deep Annex on Harper:

Trudeau, asked during an appearance in Montreal about the prime minister’s association with the Ford brothers, said Harper should be “embarrassed that he’s having to count on the support of Rob Ford for his re-election.” national post

The Fords touch a very deep-rooted snobbery which lies at the heart of Canadian politics. Rob Ford’s fall from a weird sort of grace was, from the Annex and the deep bunkers of the CBC and the Toronto Star all the way to the languor of the virtual common room which the Globe and Mail effects, a much needed correction in the Canadian universe. People like the Fords, brash, uncouth, beer-drinking – Labatts not artisanal – get up the noses of the decent people who recycle, cry for refugees and are convinced global warming is the moral challenge of our age.

Oddly the people whining about Harper sharing a stage with the Fords were not going to vote for Harper. The question is will Ford Nation turn out? Harper probably has very little time for the Fords; but he needs the votes they can bring in order to win the suburban ridings which ring the orange and red ridings of downtown Toronto.

Like most Canadian elections, this election is not going to be won in the downtown core of Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver or Calgary: it will be won in the burbs. Burbs where Ford Nation and the bluer sort of Tory feel right at home. The years that Jason Kenny has invested in the Sikh and Chinese and Hindu communities have made whole tracts of the burbs winable CPC seats. An ethnic strategy which recognizes the social conservatism of many ethnic communities is about to be tested.

The Canadian “middle class” does not live downtown. It lives in cul d’sacs and townhouses and Vancouver Specials. For a decade Harper and the CPC have been weaning it away from the Liberal Party. Ford Nation is about aspiration.

Aspirational, middle class, voters are a huge part of this election. Either the CPC strategy has worked and these voters will stay aligned with Harper and the CPC and their pocketbooks  or it will have failed and those voters will take a flyer on JT.

Chris and Justin are “shocked and appalled” that Harper would take seriously these sorts of people. It will be interesting to see if Harper has made an astute political bet or if Ford Nation is just déclassé bluster.

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Splits #Elxn42

So, here we go. Last few days of the campaign. Mulcair dropping, JT rising, Lizzie May ready to double her seat total – Victoria is in play.

Will the kids with the smartphones show up? The Lying Jackal figures that if they do JT wins. But will they?

As I drove down the highway with my buddy the Mad Monk we were talking about the election. He is NDP to the core. The question is the splits. This election has been about getting rid of Harper. The Libs and the NDP are both pitching themselves as the ABC party. But neither have closed the deal. Strategic voters, whose numbers are impossible to determine, are supposed to vote for the non-CPC candidate in their riding who has the best chance of beating the Tory. But tribes are strong. For a Dipper to vote Liberal is more than a little problematic. Perhaps the younger ones. A Liberal, carried away by Trudeau’s weird version of hope and change? Voting NDP is voting for no hope and no change. They probably get that.

The Cons have abase and then they have a halo. People who do not identify as Tory but who are not attracted to either the NDP or the Libs. They may not actively like Harper but they don’t hate him either. They are the difference between 33% and 39%. Third place or a majority. The CPC knows this.

I told the mad monk that, all things considered, the CPC have managed to keep hope alive for both the NDP and the Libs. They have to because a sudden shift to the Libs or the NDP will sink a hundred CPC seats. The media are so far in the tank for the Grits that actual information has more or less ceased to flow. They want the bandwagon effect to kick in. Will it?

I am awful at predicting elections. I am up at Kate’s prediction pool with 183 seats for the Tories. I don’t think the kids will show up and those who do will be just as likely to vote Green as make a difference. I think the niqab will win Harper seats in Quebec – and the rest of Canada. I think that the idea of JT as Prime Minister is not all that attractive to a serious fraction of the voters, even the ones who hate Harper. And I think that the NDP and the Liberals are going to come second, by a hair, in thirty to fifty seats simply because neither of them is an overwhelmingly attractive, electable, ABC choice.

Harper is not dumb. Nor is is warroom. They have kept Trudeau and Mulcair in this. The collapse of Mulcair in Quebec means seats for the Tories and, perhaps, for the BQ who will likely support Harper in Parliament.

Outside the Annex, Ontario is shifting to a two party race. Mulcair is essentially sunk beyond a few, public servant rich, ridings in Ottawa and a couple of hipster enclaves in TO. Now we see if Trudeau can break out in the burbs. If he can’t Harper has, at minimum, a minority.

Do the kids show up? The mad monk tells me that as he scrutineers the advanced poll he’s seeing lots of kids. Could happen. My bet is against.

But I am usually wrong.

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Islam is a Race?

islamicbritain-walthamstow-muslim-Jamaal-Uddin-assault-072013-400x266

“Islam is a religion. But “Muslim” is a signifier, and the signified is not your reassuringly white neighbour. Let’s dispense with the disingenuous distinctions of Muslim-baiters and see their xenophobia for what it is—racism in another guise.”  Dr. Dawg

I commented….

What a silly position.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”

—–

The Dawg wants xenophobia to be racism (which is, presumptively, just so damned evil). And he deems Islam to be a religion which, amazingly, is the only racialized religion on the planet. (Oh, and by the way, in other contexts, race is simply a social construct which, I suppose, allows it to be applied, like whitewash, to any instance where it might be useful.)

Now a reasonable person might query, “Why does Dawg want Islam to be a race?” What is useful about converting a religion into a race? How does this assist our understanding of that thing? Or, cynically, is racializing Islam designed as a last ditch attempt to prevent us from understanding that thing?

—–

Here is a suggestion. Try running the argument that Islam is only superficially a religion; scratch the surface and you find a political ideology as fully elaborated as conservatism, liberalism, socialism or fascism. Rather than trying to fit up Islam as a race – which either does damage to Islam or to the common sense idea of race – why not pay attention to its distinctly political elements.

Do races have “law”? Islam does. Do races have a singular position on the Jews? Islam does. Do races have specific views of homosexuality? Islam does. Do races have injunctions as to how to treat non-members? Islam does. Do races have strictures as to how to treat women? Islam does. Do races proselytize? Islam does.

—–
One may be xenophobic or racist with respect to an actual race; but rejecting a political ideology is neither. It may be prudent. It may preserve political positions which are the basis of our society and culture; but it cannot be racist.

For the “progressive” left the defence of Islam should be a deep and enduring embarrassment. Every progressive principle, from basic human equality, feminism, anti-discrimination, anti-slavery, anti-imperialism is violated repeatedly and doctrinally by Islam.

Yet you excuse it. You accuse people who want to fight the evil politics of Islam of the very worst of progressive sins: racism. Because, for some reason, you seem convinced that it is somehow your duty to welcome the agents of your own destruction to your own country and culture. You have this weird need to prostrate yourselves before a politics of brutality, conquest, rape and subjugation.

You’ll have to excuse me if I can’t join you in your political and cultural surrender.

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Enter the Dragon

001The French language debate – a rite in which each leader demonstrates his or her grasp of French and Quebec issues – turned up something interesting. Mulcair and Trudeau think the niqab is perfectly suitable attire for taking your citizenship oath: Harper and Duceppe don’t.

Neither, it turns out, do 80% of Canadians and 90% of Quebecers. There’s a fine old fight going on at Dawg’s blog in which Dawg himself says,

The niqab, after all, is just synedoche for the Muslim presence in Canada. In the service of hatred and fear, articles of ethnic clothing are completely interchangeable.

The electorate has become a mob. And how easy it was. dr.dawg

While I certainly don’t agree that the electorate has become a mob, I think Dawg is exactly right when he says that the niqab has become “synedoche for the Muslim presence in Canada” (synedoche means a part which represents the whole (yes, I had to look it up too)).

All of a sudden the people of Canada have the opportunity to express their views about Muslim immigration. Perhaps not directly – after all the niqab is not a particularly good proxy for Islam as it is not required religiously and not all Muslim women feel compelled to wear it – but far more overtly than the topic has ever been broached before.

Dawg ascribes all manner of sinister motives to Harper, his Aussie advisor and the CPC in bringing this up at all. For all I know this may very well be an exercise in wedge politics. If it is then it is about time that this wedge be tested.

Immigration policy in Canada has never really been put to any sort of popular test. Nor has the ruling class’s conviction that the only thing which matters about Islam is Islamophobia. Dawg lines up nicely with the ruling class and, in the lively comments, states,

There IS no legitimate debate about the degree a government should be prepared to extend human rights to minorities. Rights should never be up for debate, and frankly I don’t give a damn what Chantal (Hebert) says to the contrary. dr dawg

Apparently, well over 80% of Canadians disagree with this position.

Partially, I think, the debate turns on whether one sees Muslim immigration as just another instance of immigration or if one sees such immigration, particularly from the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia, as potentially more problematic than other sorts of immigration.

There are thousands of Muslim immigrants to Canada who lead rich, full integrated lives as Canadians. I am thinking particularly of the several hundred thousand Ismailis who arrived as refugees in the 1970s and have gone on to build vibrant, integrated communities all over Canada.

However, there is a growing minority of Muslims who have moved to Canada but who seem incapable of leaving their old countries, customs and culture behind. The burkas at Walmart are one thing, the demand for segregated swimming times another, the terrorism and support for Sharia law yet another.

Over at Dawg’s the argument seems to be that even noticing that there are Muslim immigrants who do not integrate well into Canadian society is bigoted or racist. Which it may well be; but Canadians have the right to at least discuss how they would like their country to evolve. Should we welcome immigrants from parts of the world where anti-Semitism is matter of fact? Where women are treated as chattels? Where support for the barbarity of Sharia law is a religious duty?

Harper – perhaps by design, perhaps by accident – has given Canadians the opportunity to discuss and, maybe, vote based upon their particular answer to the question of whether, in general, we should accommodate the religious, cultural and political demands of Islam.

I suspect he has won the election by giving Canadians that choice.

[And, as a bonus, I rather doubt that there are any Canadians other than the editorial board of the Globe and Mail, who don’t take a certain satisfaction when convicted terrorists are stripped of their Canadian citizenship. Just as few Canadians lamented when various Nazi war criminals lost their citizenship.]

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The End of Abbott

1442215778612Our friends in Australia play politics as a blood sport. Tony Abbott, Prime Minister for less than two years, was dumped in what the Aussies delightfully call a “party room spill” which is basically a vote of the party MPs. He will be replaced by the guy who he stabbed a few years previously, Malcolm Turnbull. I say will be, in fact, the replacement has already taken place. Turnbull will be the fifth Prime Minister Australia has had in five years.

Abbott was a profoundly conservative man. But, unfortunately, he felt he had to hedge his conservatism much like Harper has hedged his. He refused to follow the logic of his positions allowing the idea of governing moderately to displace the idea of governing well. For example, he campaigned against the carbon tax introduced by Labour (after promises not to) knowing full well that the science behind CO2 hysteria was deeply flawed. However, instead of just scrapping the tax he replaced it with a system of payments to large carbon dioxide emitters which cost a great deal of money and which would not have made the slightest difference to world temperature. He repeated this sort of behaviour on a number of other files.

Not that it did him the slightest good. Abbott was reviled in the Australian media – especially the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – and some of the newspapers. If you think Harper Derangement Syndrome is bad in the Canadian Media Party you simply would not believe the levels of vitriol Abbott attracted down under.

I suspect he could have survived all that had he, instead of trimming to placate his critics, driven his conservative agenda much harder. And that would have included dumping Turnbull from the Communications portfolio where he was notionally in charge of the ABC. He could have done much better by scrapping the whole idea of carbon dioxide reduction and appointing a serious, and properly sceptical, Royal Commission to look into both the science and economics of climate alarmism.

Conservative politicians need to realize that there is nothing to be gained trying to placate the media and the left. The media party is never going to like you or give you a fair shake. You will be just as hated pursuing a forthright conservative agenda as you will if you tip toe in the direction of the right.

I am sorry to see Abbott go. Turnbull is a proven skunk and a wet when it comes to everything from climate to the boats which Howard and later Abbott succeeded in stopping. But the sort of cocktail circuit compromises Abbott felt he had to make to keep the jackals in the press at bay, doomed this very decent man.

(Andrew Bolt is the Oz go-to guy and the comments are worth reading. The conservative interest in Australia is not a happy camp. Not happy at all.)

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The Lazy Left, Migrants and Jeremy Corbyn

gettyimages-487150944There are large patches of decent, well-meaning, people on the left whose eagerness to help anyone who might be “oppressed” is matched only by their zeal in denouncing people who question if such help may be doing more harm than good.

At the moment, there are around 800,000 migrants either in Europe or on their way. The luvvies on the left see each one of these migrants as a potential Anne Frank fleeing the evils of ISIS, Assad and assorted other nasties. Every one of the migrants is granted instant refugee status in the good hearts of the lefties because these kind souls are too lazy to even try to make distinctions.

Making distinctions is what intellectually engaged people do. There is an apparent difference between a family driven from their home a week ago and unable to register at a refugee camp and the young men who, the week before, were driving such families from their homes. But once the hunter and the hunted head off in the general direction of Germany, the lazy left transforms them into “refugees” and any attempt to sort sheep from goats is nothing but racist, fascist oppression.

Suggesting that the migrant flow might best be contained in the Middle East or that it would be a good idea to take on ISIS seriously and get rid of Assad are seen as failure of compassion. The idea that Europe might imitate Australia and turn the refugees back so as to discourage others from coming is entirely beyond the pale.

When I say “the left” above I used to be speaking of a particular sort of activist leftie who, in Canada, would usually be found at Rabble and at the more virulent anti-Israel events or suggesting the something be Occupied. The time these people saved by not thinking very hard was redeployed into adopting really hard line positions on issues of little concern to the average voter. For various reasons, mainly because the media are equally lazy and nutbars protesting pipelines or announcing that “No one is illegal.” are colourful easy stories to cover, this activist left is surprisingly influential. While it does not make policy, it can shout its agenda into the national conversation and can exercise a heckler’s veto over opinions it disagrees with.

It is no surprise at all that, as soon as the migrants started rolling into Europe, the lefties immediately embraced their cause as a test of Europe’s humanitarian resolve. This happened in Europe and here in Canada where there is a bidding war going on between Mulcair and Trudeau, along with assorted provincial premiers, as to who can promise the greatest compassion by demanding Canada take in ever more “refugees”. The fact neither of these leaders nor the provincial premiers have thought very clearly about the security, social or cultural implications of their bids shows how powerful the luvvie claque can be in Canada.

However, for the moment – and possibly excepting young Justin – the adults still run our politics. The far fringes of lefty thought, while over-represented in the media, are largely ignored in the day to day working of the Canadian Parliament. While a Mulcair government would have more than its fair share of left wingers, almost all of them would be capable – when it came to the point – of making the important distinctions necessary to tell the difference between a refugee, a migrant and an invader. And, perhaps as importantly, they would see a good reason to do so.

The lefties in the UK, having been defeated in the last General Election (which they had convinced themselves they were going to win), have decided to abandon adult supervision and elected Jeremy Corbyn as their next leader. Mr. Corbyn is out on the looney left of Labour. He likes Hamas and Hezbollah, has stated that he can see no proper role anywhere abroad for Britain’s armed forces, wants – of course – to tax the rich, renationalize the railways, is resolutely anti-nuke, deep Green and, needless to say, welcomes refugees in unlimited numbers. To say he is a radical left winger is understatement veering toward sarcasm. And he is terrifically earnest in each and every one of his beliefs.

Corbyn and the luvvies in general are predictably dogmatic because they have largely abandoned any pretence of critical thought. There are no complications in Corbyn land, no ISIS members floating over with the rest of the refugees. And, indeed, from a Corbynite perspective, even if ISIS was sending on battalions of terrorists, Corbyn says he will not bomb ISIS, he wants to talk instead.

There is a wonderfully childlike quality to Corbyn which I can’t help but admire. Unlike the last seriously left wing Leader of the Labour Party, Michael Foot, Corbyn is not an intellectual and has spent no time in and around government or the security services. He has managed to preserve his activist’s innocence of any knowledge of Palestinian terrorism, ISIS atrocities or other bad things in the world apparently by repeating the mantra – “It is America’s fault.”

You don’t have to think very hard once you have that essential key. And it allows you to preserve a touching naivete in the face of everything from migrants to the IRA.

The adults in the Labour Party are appalled. Front benchers are resigning, commentators are taking odds on how long Labour will be out of power, donors are heading to the exits; but it does not matter. For the activists, for the true believers, the election of Corbyn represents the pinnacle of the magical thinking which powers the dogmatic left. They can count on Corbyn to stick to his principles and their agenda no matter what the electoral consequences. There will be no trimming with Corbyn.

All of which will be deeply comforting for the activists because it will ensure that no hard choices, no difficult thinking, will be required of the newly pure Labour Party. Old fuddy duddies, the fiscally responsible, the war mongers who think, perhaps, ISIS might deserve a bit of bombing, the racists who fail to embrace every last migrant with open arms, people who think it important to have a productive as well as fair economy – they are all yesterday’s men. They lack the purity of purpose and the clarity of vision it takes to be a Corbynite and they will be tossed on the ash heap of history in a matter of months if not weeks.

Lazy thinking has triumphed in the Labour Party which, I suspect, means that the Labour Party, as we know it, is over. The adults will take their money, organization and abilities to make hard choices and play somewhere else. Which also means that the Conservative Party will be in government for at least one and perhaps two or three more elections.

 

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Betrayed: Stephen Harper’s war on principled conservatism – A Review

51i7c9ikkIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Various people have asked me why I will not vote for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives in this election. While the Cons’ failure to seriously tackle the deficit, reduce the size of government and begin to dismantle the Liberal state are all good reasons, I probably would hold my nose one more time if it were not for one, fundamental fact: C-51. And I might have even given Harper a pass on C-51 if I didn’t know the Conservative record on free speech, the perversion of the Human Rights Commission and the legal thuggery which attended it.

Connie Fournier and her husband Mark are not going to be voting for the Harper Conservatives either: Connie has detailed her reasons in Betrayed: Stephen Harper’s war on principled conservatism.

Full disclosure: I’ve met Connie and Mark once and I provided an affidavit in their defence when Dr. Dawg sued them for libel (a case which they won at great personal expense). Connie and I chat on Google and, in so far as it is possible to have friends you only chat with on the internet, I’d like to think Connie is one of mine.

The Fourniers are ordinary, middle class Canadians – Mark drives long haul trucks, Connie was a homeschooling stay-at-home mum – who were politically involved as far back as the Canadian Alliance. They started a website called Free Dominion in 2001 where conservatives of various sorts could post topics and comments and have a good time arguing among themselves. Continue reading

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Nigel Wright = Dudley DoRight

images (2)Revulsion appears to have driven him personally, not only to make out the bank draft for Duffy but, before that, to try to make him see that whether or not what he’d done was illegal, it was improper, and that ordinary people would recognize it immediately: Duffy had been caught with his snout in the trough, and he needed to make it right.

Happily for Wright, his personal raison d’etre coincided with the needs of his job, to protect Harper and his government and to stifle scandal, wherever it bred.

He must have been as much of an anomaly in politics as he is in that courtroom, an honest witness sitting in a chair most often occupied by mooks, thugs and liars, this man with the great wide streak of hard-as-nails pragmatism and the almost ridiculous sense of propriety. christie blatchford, national post

As show trials go the Duffy trial is a bit of a damp squib. Duffy is an obvious scumball. Well, yes and it was idiotic to appoint him to the Senate. And he was a greedy scumball who got himself into a shitload of trouble for being greedy.

Nigel Wright bailed him out. In Wright’s world 90K to make a problem go away is nothing. It was his own money. He solved a problem. The media frenzy – and it seems pretty much the only people who give a rats ass about this are the media, jealous no doubt that one of their own hit the Senate – needs to prove some sort of conspiracy in the PMO/PCO to what? Bribe Duffy? (If it was a bribe it would be Wright, not Duffy, who would be charged.)

Wright wanted to make a nasty situation go away. Duffy had not done anything which was illegal (by the quaint rules of the Senate which assume, contrary to experience, that Senators can be counted upon to be gentlemen) but his troughing was extreme even for that august body. He needed to repay his crappy expenses and Nigel had the money to make it happen.

Did Wright structure the transaction to keep his name out of it? Er, no. His name was all over the thing. He did not hide the fact he gave a piece of shit 90 thousand dollars. All he asked in return was that Duffy fess up to his not terrifically major transgressions.

Losing Duffy is, all things considered, a bonus for Canada; losing Wright is a tragedy.

 

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