Tuesday, June 02, 2009

God Bless the Prince of Wales !

It took a Prince to defray the French snub that was about to mar the memory of the sacrifice of The Commonwealth in liberating France in 1944.

The Queen is Head of the Commonwealth. She is Head of State of both the United Kingdom and Canada. She should have been the first person invited to the ceremonies marking the 65th Anniversay of the Normandy Landings.

Perhaps President Sarkozy should get his head out of President Obama's arse.

Just a suggestion.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Canada lost 129,000 jobs in January: StatsCan

see here for the gory details

The economic crisis continues and is now mounting. What differentiates this particular downturn is the rapidity of the slow-down, the extent and size of individual Mortgage Debt, and the shared-pattern on a global scale.

This is NOT a recession. This is a deflationary spiral, and if we do not arrest it soon we are headed toward our first Depression in over 70 years.

To all of you ignorant economic neo-liberals of the CPC:

Recession and Deflation are two very different things.

More "free-market bullshit" will not help this time.

Unlike most of your Parents, my Parents lived through the 1930's.

They taught me to never forget, and I will never forget how it imprinted on them for the rest of their lives.

It was a pure trauma the they never got over in so many ways ... and their generation were a far hardier people than we currently are.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wall Street, or Las Vegas?

The American "Casino Capitalism" culture has claimed another series of victims.

And yet, there is no movement by American legislators or regulators to address the fundamental problem that is a wanton disregard for the sanctity of the common people's private wealth.

Which is a galling thing - given how the largest part of the pensions system over the last 25 years has been re-engineered to the notion of "self-directed investments." Canada got caught-up in the madness as well, which is not unsurprising as our economic elites only mimic the behaviour of Americans anyway.

This is a disaster in the making; a disaster which will afflict some of the most vulnerable in our society - the elderly. And it will hit hardest when the largest demographic the nation has ever known - "the Baby Boomers" - retires. It will impoverish us all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lest We Forget ...

I took the Family to the Alberta Legislature tonight to see the Vigil: 1914-1918 exhibit.

We will remember them.

Can You Remember?

By Edmund Blunden. January, 1936.

Yes, I still remember
The whole thing in a way;
Edge and exactitude
Depend on the day.

Of all that prodigious scene
There seems scanty loss,
Though mists mainly float and screen
Canal, spire and fosse;

Though commonly I fail to name
That once obvious Hill,
And where we went and whence we came
To be killed, or kill.

Those mists are spiritual
And luminous-obscure,
Evolved of countless circumstance
Of which I am sure;

Of which, at the instance
Of sound, smell, change and stir,
New-old shapes for ever
Intensely recur.

And some are sparkling, laughing, singing,
Young, heroic, mild;
And some incurable, twisted,
Shrieking, dumb, defiled.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I have gone Green - again!

Given that there are so many staunch republicans (and rednecks) & Republicans in the Conservative Party of Canada, and given that I will never vote for the treasonous and materialistic Liberal Party, and given further that I oppose the vehement republican orientation of the New Democratic Party with all of my being, I - here today - announce that this traditional tory feels that the only current option for Disraelian/Macdonaldian tories in Canada is to vote for the Green Party of Canada.

Yes, there are republicans in the GPC - but there are traitors in all of the main parties; until such time as there is a thing called "The Monarchist Party of Canada" I strongly feel that the only option for English-speaking nationalists is the Green Party.

That may change over time, but that is the way I feel today.

The CPC and the LPC are pro-American/anti-Canadian Free-Trade parties that care not one whit for the survival of a sovereign Canada in the continent of North America. To that end, they do not deserve my vote. Nor will I give it to them.

Monday, July 07, 2008

On Honour

There was a time when it was a given that Citizenship implied ascription to the ideals of honesty, respect, & selflessness; men and women swore to truth on their HONOUR, and under the watchful eye of their Creator. They upheld to Fear God, Honour the Queen, Love Thy Neighbour, and Obey the Laws - ON THEIR HONOUR.

Acting honourably means to demonstrate, accept, ascribe, or evince:

1. allegiance to moral principles
2. a person's good reputation and the respect they are given by other people
3. a. fame or glory
b. a person who wins fame or glory for his or her country, school, etc.: he was an honour to his nation
4. great respect or esteem, or an outward sign of this
5. a privilege or pleasure: it was an honour to meet him

The concept essentially boils down to this: You bring credit to yourself by acting with decency, integrity and/or valour for the sake of others, or in bringing credit to others through a selfless or noble action. Inherent to this is a clear grasp of respect for others, self-respect, and self-control.

They keys are decency, integrity and selflessness.

The impetus for posting this is The Blogging Tories granting of a seat of honour (of sorts) to the so-named Bill Whatcott, a self-confessed "glue-sniffer, thief, rent boy, rusticated LPN, and evangelical Christian."

My issue with Whatcott comes from his claim that:

"I got an image of the Order of Canada, crapped on it, wrapped it up and mailed it to the Governor General to communicate my utter contempt of her office, her arrogance, her anti-Christian/anti-life bigotry and the now corrupted and irrelevant Order of Canada in general."

THIS is what the Blogging Tories consider Honourable behaviour?

Celebrating an act of idecency directed at the representative of Her Majesty The Queen?

Celebrating contempt for the Vice-Regal Office, and thus for the office and position of their Lawful Sovereign Lady?

Celebrating the actions of a man who can only presume to know what thoughts beat in the heart of Her Excellency the Governor-General?

Celebrating (and presuming to join) the disdain of a former Solvent-Huffer, Prostitute, disbarred Nurse, and Religious Charlatan for the repository of Canada's Honour?

If these people are conservatives, then I am the Man-on-the-Moon.

This is NOT the behaviour of honourable, decent, conservative people. At least NOT the people I have known personally - and shared the appellation "conservative" with - for the last 45 years.

These people demonstrate no knowledge, consciousness, or appreciation for 300 years of the English Tory tradition.

No conservatives they. Rednecks perhaps, but Tories - NO.

Perhaps civilisation is doomed; Edmund Burke realised this in 1793 when he wrote of the Revolutionary Mob rough-housing the Queen of France to her eventual death.

"It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like the morning star full of life and splendor and joy. 0h, what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour, and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult."

"But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom! The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone. It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness."

If there ever was a time for Honour, it is now. Some people however, are incapable of such Nobility.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A succinct overview of Toryism in Canada

I read this column by David Orchard in The Globe & Mail some years ago. The year 2000 in fact; despite David's ill-considered defection to the Liberal Party, this little column neatly summarises the difference between Toryism as it has been practised in Canada since before Confederation, and the US-style Republican thought that has triumphed in the Conservative Party of Canada under the Reform element.


Globe and Mail, March 6, 2000
What makes me a Conservative
by David Orchard

Preston Manning has decided who is a real Conservative. Joe Clark is not; neither is David Orchard. Judged by Mr. Manning's criteria neither is John Diefenbaker, Robert Stanfield, R.B. Bennett, Robert Borden, Arthur Meighen, John A. Macdonald, Winston Churchill or Benjamin Disraeli.

My encyclopedia defines "conservative" as: "A political outlook that involves a preference for institutions and practices that have evolved historically, over radical innovations and blueprints for reshaping society."

Edmund Burke coined its classic definition: "A disposition to preserve and an ability to improve."

William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge further elaborated conservative sentiment. Once wholehearted supporters of the French Revolution, the terror in France changed their minds and both reacted against the ideology of liberalism. (Businessmen, wrote Coleridge, were often subversive, not conservative.)

In the 1830s, a youthful Jewish radical named Benjamin Disraeli thought the Tories, who had lost their traditions, could be purged of reaction and reinstalled as leaders of the people. In 1837, he was elected to Westminster as a rather different kind of Conservative MP. "The rights of labour are as sacred as those of property," he asserted and attacked the Poor Law for treating relief to the poor as a charity. "I maintain that it is a right," he said.

When Conservative Prime Minister Robert Peel broke his campaign promise to oppose free trade, Disraeli condemned his betrayal in a speech that would become a classic in parliamentary history. The government fell and the party disintegrated. From its ruins, Disraeli built the modern Conservative Party. To outflank the Liberals with their merchant support, Disraeli reached out to the working class. Along with fellow Tory, Lord Shaftesbury, the great 19th century social reformer who led the long battle for the 10-hour workday, he championed the rights of workers.

Children at four were working in the mines. There were no limits to the hours of work. Life expectancy in working class areas was 21 years. The Liberals and factory owners argued against any regulation. Young people were learning a useful work ethic, they maintained.

In power, Disraeli regulated the hours of work and legislated protection for unions and the environment. "Power has only one duty," he declared, "to secure the social welfare of the people." According to Alex Macdonald, an early Labour MP, Disraeli did more for the working class in five years than the Liberals had in 50.

"The dream of my life," Disraeli explained, "was to re-establish Toryism on a national foundation." His guiding principles -- "to elevate the condition of the people" and "maintain the institutions of the country" -- stand in stark contrast to Manning's call to dismantle ever more national infrastructure.

In Canada, as in Britain, the Conservatives are the nation's oldest political party. Created by John A. Macdonald and George-Etienne Cartier, the party achieved Confederation against the vehement opposition of the Rouges, forerunners of the Liberal Party, some of whom argued for union with the United States.

The Conservatives refused to allow the entry of U.S. railways, and faced down a campaign by American rail owners to overthrow their government. The idea of building an all-Canadian railroad to British Columbia was vehemently opposed by the Liberals: How could a new country of four million inhabitants promise to build the world's greatest railway? they asked. If built, it should at least follow the cheaper, easier route south of the Great Lakes and the contracts be awarded to U.S. business.

"Never," replied Cartier, "will a damned American company have control of the CPR." Manitoba, then British Columbia and the entire northwest entered Canada and the railroad was built.

While Mr. Manning claims a conservative believes in wide-open borders, Canada's great Conservative leaders were adamant in their opposition to free trade with the United States. The idea was, Macdonald said, "sheer insanity" that would have "as its inevitable result, annexation." How could Canada keep its political independence after it had thrown away its economic independence, he asked.

Cartier was no less blunt. "What will be the consequences of industrial reciprocity?" he asked. "The factories of Canada will lose the advantages they now possess and eventually the largest manufacturing industries will be concentrated in the U.S." The end result would be union of the two countries, "that is to say, our annihilation as a nation."

In 1911, the Liberals, under Wilfrid Laurier, negotiated a free-trade agreement with the United States. The Conservatives, under Robert Borden, defeated it. "Laurier," Borden said, "was calling for a greater Canada, but it seemed to be a greater United States the Liberals had achieved."

Contrary to Mr. Manning's view that government's role is to stay out of the economy, Robert Borden and his interior minister, Arthur Meighen, nationalized five railway systems to create the CNR. Meighen's successor as Conservative leader, R.B. Bennett, likewise had no fear of government enterprises and believed they could be efficient. Corporations, he said, are creations of Parliament and Parliament can regulate them.

Kicking off his 1927 leadership campaign, Bennett said: "The first thing we must do in this country is build up a strong national consciousness -- a virile Canadianism -- we have suffered from an inferiority complex long enough."

In power from 1930 to 1935, Bennett introduced the CBC, the Canadian Wheat Board and the Bank of Canada, the institution that allowed Canada to finance its entire Second World War effort without borrowing abroad.

In direct opposition to Mr. Manning's postulation that a conservative believes smaller government is better government, Bennett said, "Reform means government intervention. It means government control and regulation. It means the end of laissez-faire." He described the Conservative Party as being "for the greatest good, for the greatest number of people," and was labelled "a Tory of the Left."

The Conservatives under John Bracken and George Drew moved right, adopted a business orientation and were largely unsuccessful at the polls. In 1956, however, John Diefenbaker won the leadership and moved the party sharply left -- and to victory. He called on Canadians "to take a clear stand in opposition to economic continentalism" and the "baneful effects of foreign ownership." Condemned as a "prairie Bolshevik," he replied: "To those who label me as some kind of party maverick and have claimed that I have been untrue to the great principles of the Conservative Party, I can only reply that they have forgotten the traditions of Disraeli and Shaftesbury in Britain and Macdonald in Canada."

In 1983, Brian Mulroney strongly opposed John Crosbie's proposal for free trade with the United States. He was swept to power. In office, however, Mr. Mulroney reversed his views, broke the Conservative Party's historic position and ushered in the North American free-trade agreement. In 1993, the party was dealt the most dramatic repudiation in a western democracy, and was reduced to two seats.

When the Conservative Party adheres to its people-come-first roots, its following is strong. Each time it loses its sense of nationhood, moves too far right and adopts a narrow business agenda -- exactly the stance being advocated by Preston Manning today -- the party itself loses, too.

Mr. Manning's affection for a survival-of-the-fittest society is not conservatism; it is classic liberalism.

The environmental movement, based upon the impulse to preserve, is a conservative idea. The liberal free-market model, which Mr. Manning preaches, ridicules and opposes this impulse, slashing national institutions, escalating the clear cutting of our forests, the genetic manipulation of our agriculture and food supply, recklessly revolutionizing without regard for the consequences. The Disraeli/Macdonald concept of preservation and the public good are polar opposites to this view, as is the very definition of conservatism.

Mr. Manning's so-called Canadian Alliance attempts to import directly from the United States a brand of right-wing evangelism, package it with a Canadian name and declare the product to be Canadian conservatism. But the United States has no conservative party -- its political tradition is an expressed reaction against conservatism -- and it doesn't belong here.

Preston Manning's movement falls well short of the values Canadian conservatvies cherish. The older, deeper pro-Canadian conservatism that elevates the condition of the people, as Disraeli put it, is tried and proven conservatism. It is the key to the victory of the Conservative Party at the polls and to our survival as a sovereign nation.


David Orchard is the author of The Fight for Canada - Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism and was runner-up to Joe Clark in the 1998 federal Progressive Conservative leadership contest. He is a farmer in Borden, SK.