“Warren Kinsella's book, ‘Fight the Right: A Manual for Surviving the Coming Conservative Apocalypse,’ is of vital importance for American conservatives and other right-leaning individuals to read, learn and understand.”

- The Washington Times

“One of the best books of the year.”

- The Hill Times

“Justin Trudeau’s speech followed Mr. Kinsella’s playbook on beating conservatives chapter and verse...[He followed] the central theme of the Kinsella narrative: “Take back values. That’s what progressives need to do.”

- National Post

“[Kinsella] is a master when it comes to spinning and political planning...”

- George Stroumboulopoulos, CBC TV

“Kinsella pulls no punches in Fight The Right...Fight the Right accomplishes what it sets out to do – provide readers with a glimpse into the kinds of strategies that have made Conservatives successful and lay out a credible roadmap for progressive forces to regain power.”

- Elizabeth Thompson, iPolitics

“[Kinsella] deserves credit for writing this book, period... he is absolutely on the money...[Fight The Right] is well worth picking up.”

- Huffington Post

“Run, don't walk, to get this amazing book.”

- Mike Duncan, Classical 96 radio

“Fight the Right is very interesting and - for conservatives - very provocative.”

- Former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory

“His new book is great! All of his books are great!”

- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD

“I absolutely recommend this book.”

- Paul Wells, Maclean’s

“Kinsella puts the Left on the right track with new book!”

- Calgary Herald



Boring.

Drab, dull, flat, insipid, uninspiring, monotonous, prosaic, tedious, interminable.

The leadership race of the Conservative Party of Canada has been all these things, and so many more. If you consult your nearest thesaurus for things that are synonymous with “boring,” like I did, you will find no shortage of words that fit. You might even see the shiny faces of the assembled 13 candidates, smiling up at you.

Oh, sure, the American citizen Kevin O’Leary was an unmitigated clown show, and clown shows are usually pretty entertaining. And, yes, assorted nobodies and Kellie Leitch – She-wolf of the Clueless – raised the temperature, somewhat, with their braying and screeching about refugees and immigrants. But it isn’t ever hard to raise the temperature at, say, a cross-burning.

Apart from the O’Leary interregnum, and the unabashed channeling of Donald Trump, then, it’s been a pretty dreary affair. Joe Clark would have felt right at home.

And, by next week, Joe Clark may be what they ended up with. 

Erin O’Toole and Andrew Scheer have been the Joe Whos of this race. Bland works, per the Muse of Bill Davis, and Messrs. O’Toole and Scheer have been doing their utmost to be toast. As in, as exciting as. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. Me, I feel a nap coming on.

Kellie Leitch, who ran the sort of winning campaign that would win bigly in rural Alabama – but not in urban, urbane Canada – has been, no joke, an utter disgrace. She has been the all-white face of a campaign that has brought out the very worst in Conservatives. And she has single-handedly undone all that Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney did for a decade, working to bring new Canadians into the conservative mainstream. 

She should be ashamed of herself. Instead, she’ll likely keep making videos with the production values of a Fourteenth Century woodcut. You make the zombies on The Walking Dead look like they’re doing the jitterbug, Kel.

Mad Max Bernier, meanwhile, has been precisely the sort of candidate the Conservatives need to offset Justin Trudeau’s strengths: he’s telegenic, he’s charismatic, he’s youthful, he’s unconventional, and he likes ideas. All of those things made him the frontrunner. 

And, natch, all of which means there is an excellent chance his party will reject him. The Conservative multitudes, after all, rarely miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. 

Justin Trudeau, as he giddily photobombs high schoolers across the hinterland, must be therefore having a good laugh. Another victory lap in 2019, he must be thinking, is in the proverbial bag. “Gerry, notify the photographers! I’m going canoeing again, shirtless!”

But not so fast, Selfieman. You have vulnerabilities, too. And the Conservatives – led by a credible leader – could exploit same, if they’re smart. Which, on the available evidence, they aren’t.

Anyway. Trudeau’s vulnerabilities, in no particular order:

· Indigenous people: As the father of Trudeau’s Minister of Justice said – and, as a respected Chief, he would certainly know – the much-trumpeted Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women inquiry has become “a bloody farce,” quote unquote. Worse than that: it has become an actual scandal, spending millions to achieve precisely nothing. If the Tories had any strategic sense, they’d be demanding ministerial resignations over this mess. But they haven’t, and they won’t.

· Economy: Finance Minister Bill Morneau, rookie he may be, has evolved into a very capable communicator, and a steady hand on the fiscal ship of state. Notwithstanding that, conservative political options – including even conservative bottom-feeders like Donald Trump – are always seen by voters as better on the economy. So, will the CPC get back to hammering away on ballooning deficits and fiscal uncertainty? Not on your life. They’ll keep yammering about the hijab, like they did during the 2015 campaign. And they’ll get the same result.

· Trump: Trudeau, and his most senior staff, rolled the dice on Agent Orange, hugely. By playing nice with the Unpresident – by refusing to utter a single word that was critical of the racist, sexist, addled Groper-in-Chief – Trudeau et al. reckoned they could avoid his Sauron-like gaze. They were wrong. Softwood lumber; NAFTA; repeatedly calling Canadians names (eg., “a disgrace” and “unfair,” and “a disaster”): all of those things weren’t supposed to happen, because the Prime Minister pretended to be interested in Ivanka Trump’s handbag designs. So, do you think the Conservatives could be bothered to chip away at any of this? Not on your life. They like Donald Trump.

· Promises, promises: I’m a Jean Chrétien guy. We did okay, and we lived our lives according to two immutable principles: one, don’t try and get in the papers all the time. Voters don’t like it. And, two, underpromise and overdeliver. The Trudeau guys have done neither, and it has left them vulnerable. A smart political opponent would exploit that. The Conservatives haven’t.

· Rookie mistakes: There are newbies aplenty in Trudeau’s caucus and cabinet, and many of them are pretty impressive (cf. Philpott, Wilson-Raybould, the aforementioned Morneau). But others have perhaps been elevated to lofty heights too soon (cf. Monsef, Tootoo, Sajjan). At this point in Brian Mulroney’s first majority, we Liberals had hastened the resignations of André Bissonette, Jean Charest, Robert Coates, John Fraser, Roch LaSalle, Marcel Masse and Sinclair Stevens. Have the 100-strong Conservative MPs taken out one (1) cabinet minister? Nope.

The Conservatives, however, will have a new leader by this time next week.

Feeling sleepy yet?

 Zzzzz.

 


No Shawinigan Handshakes were used in the preparation of this picture!

Top: Charlie Angelakos, Tenio Evangelista. Front: Dennis Mills, Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien. And some nobody in middle.


My wife Lisa, who is smarter and better-looking than me, will be on CPAC this weekend, trying to stay awake at the CPC convention.  I’ll be in the studio with SFH, recording pop-punk classics and throwing pianos through ground-floor windows.  Three guesses who will have a better weekend, and the first two don’t count, badda boom.

Vote now, vote often! The Tories certainly will!




Here:

Singh’s entry provides the ideological left with a convenient “out” for this discomfort — all the progressive policies of the prime minister but delivered by a more believable champion. The Trudeau counter-offensive isn’t particularly obvious either, given Singh supporters, and presumably Singh himself, will be on guard for hints of racial condescension in the PM’s criticisms. Nervousness will probably ensure the turban-wearing Singh is not asked any particularly tough questions about his apparently devout Sikh faith, though the facts that gay people cannot get married in Sikh temples and the faith preaches against abortion would seem like obvious ins. In 2000, Liberal Party adviser Warren Kinsella famously mocked the creationist beliefs of then-conservative leader Stockwell Day, an evangelical Christian, by waving a toy dinosaur and exclaiming, “ ’The Flintstones’ was not a documentary!” It’s impossible to imagine a contemporary Liberal teasing Singh about reincarnation or haircuts.


Ceremony, as those who know me know, is the Joy Division song – not the New Order song – that will be played at my funeral.

It was never properly recorded by Joy Division, because Ian Curtis hanged himself in May 1980. There are only three versions of the song in existence.  If a rock song can be perfect, Ceremony is.  The first time I heard it, and heard the words, I could feel actual shivers in my back.  Still do.

Radiohead, who I usually regard as Pink Floyd for baby boomers, did a version of it that almost – almost – captures its power (a full minute in, be forewarned).  I offer theirs, because Joy Division’s did not happen in time.  Time ran out.


Joy Division was a Manchester band, and I have been thinking a lot about them since the atrocities of the night before last. What would they say? How would they react? I think, maybe, they’d play Ceremony. It fits.

This is why events unnerve me
They find it all a different story
Notice whom for wheels are turning
Turn again and turn towards this time
All she asks is the strength to hold me
Then again, the same old story
World will travel, oh so quickly
Travel first and lean towards this time

Oh, I’ll break them down, no mercy shown
Heaven knows, it’s got to be this time
Watching her, these things she said
The times she cried
Too frail to wake this time

Oh I’ll break them down, no mercy shown
Heaven knows, it’s got to be this time
Avenues all lined with trees
Picture me and then you start watching
Watching forever
Forever
Watching love grow, forever
Letting me know, forever


Golly, it sounds like I am in big trouble!

Listen in!


“All novelists are liars.”

Thieves, too. So said Mordecai Richler.

We were in the dark at the back at the Bovine Sex Club on Queen West, my friend and I were, waiting to see the Chicago punk band, Off With Their Heads. My friend had just told me the story of how, years ago, he organized a debate at the University of Toronto between Richler and a brilliant feminist academic. The topic: “cultural appropriation.”

Richler had insisted that the brilliant feminist academic go first. He even suggested she get more time than him.

The assembled students were all on her side, my friend said. When she finally finished, Richler – perhaps the greatest novelist and writer this country has ever produced – all but shrugged.

Cultural appropriation, he said, wasn’t just defensible. It was, he said, absolutely necessary. To write great stories, Richler said, writers must adapt and adopt cultures – the language and the idiom and the symbols and the stories and the words – that are not theirs.

In this way, Richler said, all the best novelists are thieves. “They are liars,” he said.

The U of T students erupted in wild applause, said my friend, himself a former National Post columnist with a liberal and Liberal pedigree. Richler then walked out to a near-ovation, off to go drinking with one of the Rabinovitches in a suite at the Four Seasons.

My friend was relating the Richler tale on the very afternoon another friend, Steve Ladurantaye, had been in the news because of cultural appropriation. His employers, the CBC, had removed him as managing editor of The National.

His sin: to joke, in a tweet of a half-dozen words, that he would make a donation to a fictional “cultural appropriation prize” that other prominent Canadian journalists had conjured up. Steve’s tweet had been in jest, but the response was anything but laughable. Almost immediately, a tsunami of rage descended on the writers, prompting deletions, apologies, retractions, demotions and resignations across the Canadian media demi-monde.

Steve – who, inter alia, signed up plenty of minority and indigenous writers for the CBC’s new opinion space – was out.

Now, columnists aren’t supposed to write about things in which they are personally involved, but after kicking off this column with the Mordecai Richler story – one about culture, one that I plainly appropriated – what the Hell. Five points.

One, Ladurantaye is a close friend. We are even in a geriatric punk band together, and we are going into the studio this week. Not a few of our songs attack racists and bigots. One is even called Donald Trump Is An Asshole. Not exactly the cultural output of a racist, that song.

Two, as a lawyer and a consultant, I’ve worked under four different Prime Ministers on First Nations files in six different provinces. My firm has represented dozens of First Nations, from the Yukon to Ontario. The work I’ve done, however varied, is always about just one thing: theft. Theft of First Nations land. Theft of their way of life. Theft of their economic independence. Theft of their sovereignty. W. P. Kinsella’s banal little novels – no relation, I assure you – never once came up in all that time.

Three, I’ve got a novel of my own coming out in the Fall, with Dundurn. It’s called X: Recipe for Hate. It’s about teenagers and racism and punk rock. One of the main characters is a young Miqmaq woman, conjured up entirely by my imagination. In the book, which I hope will horrify some, I unreservedly appropriate things about her indigenous culture. Should I have sought someone’s permission to do that? Or should I have not even written about her? Those are rhetorical questions, believe me.

Four, I am father to a beautiful and sweet and perfect indigenous daughter, a proud citizen of the Carcross Tagish First Nation. She knows Steve and adores Steve, just like the rest of us do. Sitting at our kitchen table, under two (2) Kwakiutl totem poles, my daughter has never had any problem with Steve. He would not have been sitting at our table if she had. She, like me, thinks he is a good and decent and tolerant man.

Fifth and final – and this one deeply pisses me off. The “cultural appropriation prize” – which, make no mistake, was stupid and insensitive and condescending – resulted in literally thousands of news stories, from coast to coast. More than 40,000, according to the oracle of Google.

Meanwhile, outside the velvet confines of the Annex and CBC HQ, me and my wife and a few others have been labouring to persuade Canada Post to stop delivering an actual NEO-NAZI NEWSPAPER to Toronto-area mailboxes, and to shut it down. The hate rag, called Your Ward News, regularly features tributes to Adolf Hitler, promotes Holocaust denial, calls blacks “niggers,” and defames every minority on Earth.

But do you think that we can get just one (1) of the presently-offended multitude to help us oppose it? Do you think we can get one (1) of them to write an op-ed or a letter to the editor, opposing the delivery of neo-Naziism to peoples’ doors? Do you think we could get just one (1) of them to consider, just for a moment, that the promotion of actual National Socialism and anti-Semitism and race hate merits their attention?

Not on your life. In the Deepest Annex, or down in the conference rooms at the CBC, cultural appropriation is more important than, you know, any of that stuff. Holocaust denial? Naziism? Real racism? To them, those things aren’t as important.

Mordecai Richler, wherever he is, is laughing his ass off.



“All novelists are liars.”

Thieves, too. So said Mordecai Richler.

We were in the dark at the back at the Bovine Sex Club on Queen West, my friend and I were, waiting to see the Chicago punk band, Off With Their Heads. My friend had just told me the story of how, years ago, he organized a debate at the University of Toronto between Richler and a brilliant feminist academic. The topic: “cultural appropriation.”

Richler had insisted that the brilliant feminist academic go first. He even suggested she get more time than him.

The assembled students were all on her side, my friend said. When she finally finished, Richler – perhaps the greatest novelist and writer this country has ever produced – all but shrugged.

Cultural appropriation, he said, wasn’t just defensible. It was, he said, absolutely necessary. To write great stories, Richler said, writers must adapt and adopt cultures – the language and the idiom and the symbols and the stories and the words – that are not theirs.

In this way, Richler said, all the best novelists are thieves. “They are liars,” he said.

The U of T students erupted in wild applause, said my friend, himself a former National Post columnist with a liberal and Liberal pedigree. Richler then walked out to a near-ovation, off to go drinking with one of the Rabinovitches in a suite at the Four Seasons.

My friend was relating the Richler tale on the very afternoon another friend, Steve Ladurantaye, had been in the news because of cultural appropriation. His employers, the CBC, had removed him as managing editor of The National.

His sin: to joke, in a tweet of a half-dozen words, that he would make a donation to a fictional “cultural appropriation prize” that other prominent Canadian journalists had conjured up. Steve’s tweet had been in jest, but the response was anything but laughable. Almost immediately, a tsunami of rage descended on the writers, prompting deletions, apologies, retractions, demotions and resignations across the Canadian media demi-monde.

Steve – who, inter alia, signed up plenty of minority and indigenous writers for the CBC’s new opinion space – was out.

Now, columnists aren’t supposed to write about things in which they are personally involved, but after kicking off this column with the Mordecai Richler story – one about culture, one that I plainly appropriated – what the Hell. Five points.

One, Ladurantaye is a close friend. We are even in a geriatric punk band together, and we are going into the studio this week. Not a few of our songs attack racists and bigots. One is even called Donald Trump Is An Asshole. Not exactly the cultural output of a racist, that song.

Two, as a lawyer and a consultant, I’ve worked under four different Prime Ministers on First Nations files in six different provinces. My firm has represented dozens of First Nations, from the Yukon to Ontario. The work I’ve done, however varied, is always about just one thing: theft. Theft of First Nations land. Theft of their way of life. Theft of their economic independence. Theft of their sovereignty. W. P. Kinsella’s banal little novels – no relation, I assure you – never once came up in all that time.

Three, I’ve got a novel of my own coming out in the Fall, with Dundurn. It’s called X: Recipe for Hate. It’s about teenagers and racism and punk rock. One of the main characters is a young Miqmaq woman, conjured up entirely by my imagination. In the book, which I hope will horrify some, I unreservedly appropriate things about her indigenous culture. Should I have sought someone’s permission to do that? Or should I have not even written about her? Those are rhetorical questions, believe me.

Four, I am father to a beautiful and sweet and perfect indigenous daughter, a proud citizen of the Carcross Tagish First Nation. She knows Steve and adores Steve, just like the rest of us do. Sitting at our kitchen table, under two (2) Kwakiutl totem poles, my daughter has never had any problem with Steve. He would not have been sitting at our table if she had. She, like me, thinks he is a good and decent and tolerant man.

Fifth and final – and this one deeply pisses me off. The “cultural appropriation prize” – which, make no mistake, was stupid and insensitive and condescending – resulted in literally thousands of news stories, from coast to coast. More than 40,000, according to the oracle of Google. 

Meanwhile, outside the velvet confines of the Annex and CBC HQ, me and my wife and a few others have been labouring to persuade Canada Post to stop delivering an actual NEO-NAZI NEWSPAPER to Toronto-area mailboxes, and to shut it down. The hate rag, called Your Ward News, regularly features tributes to Adolf Hitler, promotes Holocaust denial, calls blacks “niggers,” and defames every minority on Earth.

But do you think that we can get just one (1) of the presently-offended multitude to help us oppose it? Do you think we can get one (1) of them to write an op-ed or a letter to the editor, opposing the delivery of neo-Naziism to peoples’ doors? Do you think we could get just one (1) of them to consider, just for a moment, that the promotion of actual National Socialism and anti-Semitism and race hate merits their attention?

Not on your life. In the Deepest Annex, or down in the conference rooms at the CBC, cultural appropriation is more important than, you know, any of that stuff. Holocaust denial? Naziism? Real racism? To them, those things aren’t as important.

Mordecai Richler, wherever he is, is laughing his ass off.


Good question, “President.”


Oh, and this:

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn won’t provide records to the Senate intelligence committee and will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to a subpoena from the committee, according to a source close to Flynn.

Flynn’s refusal to cooperate comes as he faces scrutiny in several inquiries, including on Capitol Hill and a federal grand jury that has issued subpoenas to associates of the ex-national security adviser.
Flynn’s refusal to cooperate will also intensify scrutiny over Trump’s decision to hire him initially for the job and his decision to keep him on staff for 18 days after the President was warned by former acting Attorney General Sally Yates that Flynn may have been compromised by the Russians.