A little perspective

Written by the surly beaver on August 25th, 2011

As Jack Layton’s soul, freed from this mortal coil wends its way upward to the great massage parlour in the sky, he leaves behind a nation devastated at his sudden passing, bereft of their messiah, shorn of their protector against the evil Lord VolderHarper…

Or perhaps not.

Since I am not participating in the beatification of Jack Layton following his very sad death from cancer, I wish to take issue with letter-writer Dick Harrington, who insists that, “The bottom line is that if you thought highly of [Tommy] Douglas or [Ed] Broadbent or Layton, then you should think highly of the NDP. They go hand-inhand.”

That is utter nonsense!

I never met Layton, so I cannot offer an opinion of him from that perspective, but I do know the political and social policies he advocated and I do not agree with them, or with most of the policies of the NDP.

Tommy Douglas was a pastor in the same denomination as me and I have never admired much of what he stood for and accomplished.

Find his thesis from McMaster Divinity School online and read about his advocacy of the elitist and racist principles of eugenics.

I did meet Broadbent on more than one occasion and interviewed him on my radio talk show decades ago.

He was a delightful, charming and down-to-earth man.

I really liked him and still disagreed with the policies of his party.

I also met and interviewed Pierre Elliott Trudeau and enjoyed his company, but I do not support his party and I think he was one of the worst prime ministers we have ever endured.

You can think highly of an individual and not embrace his or her politics and social views.

The NDP and their moonbat fellow-travellers are overreaching on this one and it’s going to come back and bite them hard.


Open source, open season

Written by the surly beaver on July 26th, 2011

Whilst skimming through Breivik’s manifesto the following stood out:

3.13 Founding principles of the Order/Tribunal
The purpose of the order/tribunal, PCCTS, is to consolidate Europeans and create and develop a significant armed defensive force through ?open source warfare?, by marketing the developed decentralised platform with self-organising features. This will be achieved by our continued efforts to call and request that all Europeans accept the duties which are expected from each and every free, patriotic individual. All free Europeans have a right and a duty to become ?Justiciar Knights for the order/tribunal with the purpose of:

- Oppose all hate-ideologies; communism (anti-individualistic), cultural Marxism/multiculturalism (anti-European), Islam (anti-kafr) and national socialism (anti-Jewish).
- 100 year plan to contribute to seize political power in Western European countries currently controlled by anti-nationalists (cultural Marxist/multiculturalist regimes). Bring freedom and cultural and demographical sustainability to all Europeans
- Serve and protect the indigenous peoples of Europe and all other loyal and patriotic European individuals
- Preserve European culture, traditions and heritage
- Stop the ongoing European cultural and demographical genocide facilitated by the cultural Marxists/multiculturalists, suicidal humanists, and capitalist globalist elites
- Prevent the deconstruction of Christendom in Europe
- Prevent further Islamic demographic warfare – disallow the Muslim invasion/colonisation of Europe
- Repulse Islam from Europe by the initiation of future deportation campaigns
- Effectuate punishment for Western European cultural Marxist/multiculturalist/globalist perpetrators for crimes committed against the indigenous peoples of Europe
- Oppose and defeat the Multiculturalist Alliance (MA 100) in Europe using any and all means necessary
- Support Israel‘s fight against Jihad
- Liberation of the Middle East Christians from Islamic rule
- Virtues such as the willingness to martyr oneself for the cause, the exercise of discretion, voluntary poverty and devoted obedience to the principles are mandatory for all Justiciar Knights
- Honour the wishes and memories of our forefathers, who secured European security and prosperity in the past
- Follow the PCCTS‘s mantra – ?Martyrdom before Dhimmitude.

If the Templar “Knights” didn’t exist before last Friday’s events, they do now. By calling on Europeans to become “Justiciar Knights” Breivik has given any citizen of a European country who has a grudge against the state, any lunatic or fantasist, the attention-seeking, or even the suicidally depressed in certain circumstances, a framework within which to work. Angry about your tax bill? Declare yourself a Justiciar Knight and shoot up an Inland Revenue Office or if you really want to go out with a bang, gun down George Osborne. Tired of life and want to end it? Strap a bomb vest on and attend your MP’s surgery. The potential list of “traitors” according to the criteria set down in Breivik’s manifesto must run into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions across Europe, so it’s a target-rich environment out there.

Oddly enough this tactic of “open-sourcing” the conflict mirrors the development of Al-Quaeda which rather than a hierarchical organizations is closer to a “brand” that can be adopted by anyone who shares its aims and acts towards similar goals.

Mad as a hatter perhaps, but not stupid or insane.


Why Yutes?

Written by the surly beaver on July 25th, 2011

So, why did Anders Behring Breivik choose a Labour Party Youth Camp as his main target?

A snippet from his manifesto may partly explain his choice (italics mine):

As Bruce Bawer writes in the article While Sweden Slept[15]: ?Sweden Democrats have been the targets of events that recall China‘s Cultural Revolution. Staged ‘people‘s protests‘ by members of the ‘youth divisions‘ of other parties have led to the firing of Sweden Democrats from their jobs. A few weeks ago, a junior diplomat was dismissed when it became known that he was a member of the party and had criticised his country‘s immigration policy. On several occasions, thugs loyal to the ruling parties have broken up SD meetings and beaten up party leaders. What do the governments in countries like Norway and Sweden do about it? They continue to fund their Marxist lynch mobs as they are successfully silencing their annoying political rivals.

Youth wings of parties are often used to do the dirty work of senior politicians, whether it is rather benign hijinks of the sort I and others used to get up to in Reform Party by-election campaigns, or as in the above case, more intimidatory and anti-democratic tactics. The advantage of using youngsters for this sort of thing (and I don’t necessarily mean children – youth wings often extend their membership to people in their twenties or even thirties -it will be interesting to see the actual ages of the victims of the Utoya massacre) is the plausible deniability it gives more senior politicians – any actions that go too far they can blame on youthful exuberance and lack of judgement, and plead ignorance.

I think we’ll find another reason when the list of victims is released. Norway is a small country, with a population of less than 5 million people (slightly more than British Columbia). I’d be surprised if the total membership in the Labour Party’s youth wing came anywhere near 1000 – the young people camping at Utoya probably constituted at least 80% of the Party’s youth membership from every region of the country, and you can be sure that amongst that six hundred were many children of senior party officials and government ministers and members of parliament, and many young people who were being groomed for future leadership positions in the Party. In choosing the target he did, Breivik has brought far more misery and grief to Norway’s political elite than he could have accomplished with a frontal assault on the government itself.

Mad as a hatter perhaps, but not stupid, nor insane.


Perhaps Pierre Trudeau was right…

Written by the surly beaver on July 19th, 2011

Kevin Williamson has a long, thoughtful post on gay marriage, and marriage generally in light of the vote in the New York Legislature make gay marriage legal. He comes to the same conclusion that I did a few years back when the same debate was taking place in Canada – cultural conservatives who argue that the State has no power to redefine the foundational and vastly more ancient institution of marriage are right in principle but very confused in practice expect the state to abide by its previous “definition” of marriage.

My own preference is to make marriage an entirely private affair and to remove the icy hand of politics from the marriage bed entirely. Marriage should be a strong, enforceable contract negotiated between the contracting parties; if the parties sought to have their union blessed by a religious authority, then the contract would have to comport with the rules spelled out by that authority. This would, incidentally, give the Catholic Church far greater actionable authority over the marital practices of Catholics than does the current system, and the same would be true for other religious congregations. If traditional modes of life really are self-evidently preferable to contemporary libertinism, then they should be able to compete in the marketplace of ideas.

Gay marriage is a mopping up operation for the left – no-fault divorce laws long ago put paid the notion that modern “marriage” is something special, something permanent – it’s just cohabitation with expensive entry and exit fees.


Throwing the Union away…

Written by the surly beaver on June 11th, 2011

At least that is what the Tories appear intent on doing if this story in the Scotsman is anything to go by (Just for reference, Michael Moore is a Lib Dem MP and is the current of Secretary of State for Scotland). By way of background, the Scottish National Party won a majority government in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections last month, and its leader Alex Salmond promised a referendum on Scottish Independence before the end of his current government.

The Tory backlash came the day after Mr Moore suggested that the first of two referendums would be held on the principle of Scottish independence.

Assuming the Scottish people voted in favour of independence in the first poll, Mr Moore said that a second referendum would then have to be held to ratify an independence deal brokered between the UK and Scottish Governments.

The second vote would be held after the two governments had worked out details such as what proportion of national debt should be taken by an independent Scotland, what share of North Sea oil revenue it would receive and how the Armed Forces would be divided between the two countries.

But Mr Moore’s decision to flag up the prospect of two independence referendums was attacked by Conservatives, who believe that such an approach will add to confusion and will discourage voters from voting “no” to independence in the first vote – thus handing even more political momentum to the SNP.

What Mr. Moore seems to be doing is what Stephane Dion and Jean Cretien did in drafting the Clarity Act in the late 1990s (admittedly following in the footsteps of Stephen Harper who’d previously tabled a private member’s bills the Quebec Contingency Act). He’s beginning to set down the conditions under which Scotland could separate. Admittedly it’s a rather weak first step, but it’s a start.

The Tories claim that by suggesting that two referendums would be required, that Mr. Moore will confuse the poor stupid Scottish voters who will think that since they get two referendums they can all vote yes on the first one.

In fact suggesting that two referendums would hopefully serve to inject a note of realism into any debate on Scottish independence. You can be sure that Alex Salmond would prefer to talk about how independence for Scotland will mean a haggis in every pot, a pet unicorn for every young lass, and a rainbow with a free pot of gold for every one else. What he won’t want to discuss, is questions such as how much of the national debt does Scotland take with it, how many Scots are going to be left unemployed when the Royal Navy removes its submarine forces from Faslane, just who owns the now-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland and various and sundry other issues. You would hope that Moore’s comments would raise the notion in Scots’ minds that in the event of a yes vote in an independence referendum, all sorts of facets of life deriving from the Union that they take for granted would no longer be guaranteed, and that the government of the United Kingdom would no longer have any interest in guaranteeing their survival.

So are the Tories really so stupid? Well an argument can be made that they are, but in this case I suspect their motivations may be more malign – they might prefer Scotland (and Northern Ireland, and perhaps Wales) to secede from the Union and with it damage Labour’s competitiveness. Since Thatcher, the Tories have been deeply hated north of the border. They currently hold one of 59 Scottish seats in Westminster. Labour currently hold 41. If Scotland were to leave the Union, overnight the Tories electoral position would be strengthened.

Don’t expect Call-me-Dave to put up much of a fight if the SNP holds a referendum on Scottish independence.


Referism considered

Written by the surly beaver on June 4th, 2011

Richard North has been on a bit of a roll lately, inventing a new political concept/movement – Referism. Leaving aside the name, which bears far too much resemblance to something else (yes, my mind can plumb remarkably juvenile depths), Referism (whereby the public approves the government’s budget by annual referenda) isn’t as far-fetched as it might sound – after all, in many American states, the public already exercises a great deal of control over state finances through citizens’ initiatives.

However attractive the concept, Referism is a dog that won’t hunt – it still leaves far too much power in the hands of the political class. Sure, the public could reject a budget in a referendum, but who for a minute believes that a Prime Minister Blair, or a Prime Minister Cameron wouldn’t adopt the favoured strategy of Euro-Elites and simply put the same budget, or one substantially similar to the public again and again until they gave the right answer?

Or they could get really creative and first offer up a decoy budget, with a couple of tremendously unpopular measures that would ensure its defeat. You can imagine the media following a no vote, hysterically screaming about how the country would grind to a halt, how our poor troops were sure to suffer for lack of ipods, how we were an international laughingstock, how we needed a budget, any budget, passed now now now, no matter how unpalatable, and enough of the public would feel pressured into holding their noses and supporting the next budget, the “real” budget that the government had prepared, ready for a second try.

And of course a yes vote to the budget would actually provide the government with added legitimacy, stamped with the imprint of the popular will.

The governing classes spend a great deal of money on manipulating public opinion. They are happy to spend it because to a large degree, the spin doctors, ad agencies, pollsters, and image consultants do what it says on the box – manipulate public opinion.

The problem is our elites – any proposal that leaves them in place with any substantive amount of power is doomed to failure.

I’ve been giving a fair amount of thought these past few months to this last problem – how do we go about shifting the the corrupt cretins who are currently in charge without becoming corrupt cretins ourselves – “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…” and all that. You’ll just have to keep watching this blog over the next week or so whilst I float some proposals of my own – but for now, here’s The Who in their prime performing Won’t Get Fooled Again.

UPDATE 06/06/2011

Richard’s post outlining the results of previous referendums on council tax increases illustrates my point perfectly. As soon as it became clear that the public wasn’t going to vote the way the council bosses wanted them, the enthusiasm for referendums suddenly dried up. I can’t see Westminster politicians being any more keen on having their own wings clipped, so supposing Referism became the law of the land, you can be sure te government of day would use every trick to manipulate or bypass the referendum requirement.



Written by the surly beaver on June 3rd, 2011

…to Andrew Scheer, Canada’s youngest-ever Speaker-of-the-House.

This result will leave a lot of Regina-area Dippers deeply unhappy – they’ve had a real hate-on for Andrew ever since he knocked off long-time MP Lorne Nystrom in 2004 with a fiesty campaign. Get over it kids.


French Family Values

Written by the surly beaver on June 2nd, 2011

Since moving to the UK I’ve had the opportunity to get over the Channel to France, and also to get to know some French people including one of Au Pairs, some customers at our business and more recently one of my employees. And the more I see France, and the more I get to know the French, the more I like them.

Not the French elites, the Strauss-Kahns, and the de Villepins and the rest who are perhaps some of the most corrupt and unpleasant people in the world, nor their bought-and-paid-for hangers-on, but ordinary Frenchmen and Frenchwomen, and traditional French society. Sure they do things differently from us, and their beliefs and traditions aren’t ours, but on the whole they seem to get a lot of very important things right much of the time, things that we’ve lost in Canada, and the UK.

Consider this blogpost by Anna Raccoon (who happens to live in France):

…Thus it is unthinkable to the French that you should have the ‘individual right’ to leave your wealth to whomever you please – of course it should stay within the family, it should go to your children, it is to your family that your first duty lies.

This has caused many an ulcer and fed a fair few obese lawyers as the ex-patriot community wriggle and squirm in their efforts to disinherit the son they haven’t spoken to for many a year…

The moment you have children here, they have an interest in the family home, an interest which is protected by law. You cannot put it at risk without their permission, or a lengthy process by which a Guardian is appointed to consider the advisability of that which you plan if your children are too young to speak up for themselves.

That is why the French are quite happy to rent when they go off as youngsters to the big cities to work; one day they will return to the family commune and take their share of the family home. Sometimes big homes are divided into two or three to accommodate all the inheritances, sometimes they are sold and the money used to build a smaller home within the commune.

However, the quid pro quo is that since the family home is their inheritance they have a responsibility towards it and those who continue to live in it. A responsibility which is protected by law.

If the roof over your elderly Mother’s head is leaking – it is your job to fix it. If your Mother needs someone to cook for her every day, it is your job to do so, or pay for someone to do so. If you are not able to afford it, or perhaps have vowed never to speak to your Mother again (unusual here, as you will see) then the Mairie will fix her roof, or provide her meals, or a place in the local care home – but they will take a lien on the house whilst she lives in it. Your inheritance will be whatever is left….. your parents cared for you, now it is your turn to care for them. It is only the rarest of cases where there is neither the equity in the inheritance, nor the ability of the children to provide, where the state must step in and shoulder the burden.

There are care homes here, I shall probably end up in one myself one day, no children to spoon gruel down my throat; my beneficiaries will be asked whether they wish to pay for it themselves, to care for me themselves, or lose that portion of their inheritance that it ultimately costs. Their choice.

What doesn’t happen here is that the elderly end up in a care home because their youngsters are too busy paying off a mortgage on an expensive ‘home-as-investment’, whilst simultaneously investing in Jimmy Choo shoes – ‘because you’re worth it’ – and whining because the NHS ‘promised cradle to grave care’ and ‘how dare the government expect any contribution from their inheritance’ simply because Mum’s roof leaked and she couldn’t manage at home any longer.

I’m a big believer in our Anglo heritage of indvidual rights and liberties. However, I’ll also happily admit to recognizing that “No man is an island…” and all that and as such I think that we have responsibilities and obligations to each other. The genius of the French method as outlined above, is that it aligns peoples’ legal responsibilities with their natural instincts, and encourages to them to look after those closest to them, rather than allowing them to pass the burden over to some nanny-state government program to deal with.

Libertarians won’t like it, but somewhere Edmund Burke (he of the “little platoons”) will be smiling.


The Economist jumps the shark

Written by the surly beaver on May 27th, 2011

With a bit of self-belief, Australia could become a model nation

Australians must now decide what sort of country they want their children to live in. They can enjoy their prosperity, squander what they do not consume and wait to see what the future brings; or they can actively set about creating the sort of society that other nations envy and want to emulate. California, for many people still the state of the future, may hold some lessons.