My latest: hypocrisy, thine name is JT

“A hypocrite,” Adlai Stevenson said, “is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.”

That’s all that the first Adlai Stevenson left behind in the sands of time, pretty much. He was the 23rd vice-president of the United States, he was from Illinois, and he was a Democrat. His grandson was the Democratic Party’s candidate for president a couple of times, in the 50s. But old Uncle Adlai, as he was called? He was just remembered for his aphorisms, pretty much.

That one above, the one about political hypocrisy, should be printed out, laminated, and pinned to Justin Trudeau’s shirt (You know, like parents do with kids who might wander away during field trips to the zoo).

Trudeau’s PMO staff, too, should have Adlai Stevenson’s pithy maxim tattooed to their foreheads, so that they remember the cardinal rule when they are at their next “deliverology” meeting: In politics, you can get away with all manner of misdeeds and sins. But hypocrisy? Political hypocrisy is lethal. It is toxic. It is the scarlet letter.

To wit: Justin Trudeau and his PMO are hypocrites. There is no shortage of evidence.

This week, for example, Prime Minister Selfie tweeted out a nice photo of himself with something called the “Papineau Youth Council,” whatever that is.  Fresh-faced youngsters ringed a table listening to Trudeau talk about, as he put it, ways “to fight climate change.”  That’s a quote.

Eyeballing the taxpayer-subsidized snapshot, we see:

• Pizza (not weird, it’s a political backroom staple)

• Trudeau’s pizza slices, both flipped over (super weird)

• None of the kids smiling, not even a bit (also weird, but who can blame them, really)

• Right in the foreground, a pile of plastic cutlery (weird AND wildly hypocritical)

Plastic cutlery?  That’s weird – because, really, who uses cutlery to eat pizza?

And it’s hypocritical, too, because this is the selfsame Prime Minister, boys and girls, who just a few days ago said he planned to ban so-called single-use plastics. Like, um, plastic cutlery. He also said his family uses “like, drink box water bottles sort of things,” and none of us know what that means. Still.

Political graveyards are littered with the remains of political hypocrites. Pat Buchanan, for example. As I write in my must-have book, The War Room, when he was making one of his many quixotic runs at the presidency, Buchanan started promoting the Trumpist “America First” tagline everywhere. Hire only Americans, buy only American. 

So the advisors to George H. W. Bush discovered a key factoid about Buchanan’s “America First” private life: he personally drove a Mercedes, made in far-away Germany. They passed along that little revelation out to the media hordes, and that was the end of Pat.

Another example:  Democrat Gary Hart.  Back in 1987, when the family-friendly Senator was making his second run at the top job, rumours were rampant he was following his little soldier into battle a bit too frequently. Gary was indignant about this scurrilous assault on his personal life. Said he: “Follow me around.  I don’t care.  They’ll be bored.”

The media followed him around. They weren’t bored.  Gary – thereafter photographed with model Donna Rice balanced on his senatorial knee, on a yacht called (we kid you not) Monkey Business – ended up caring, quite a bit.  And that was the end of Gary.

Have Justin Trudeau’s well-documented hypocrisies similarly doomed him to defeat in October? The polls suggest the best the Liberal leader can hope for is a minority government. If that.

So, if Trudeau loses, LavScam, unbalanced budgets, the Aga Khan and decidedly unharmonious fed-prov relations will figure prominently as causes.

 But one politically-fatal word, above all the others, will be seen on Justin Trudeau’s headstone:

 HYPOCRITE.


MIA

Got our local Liberal MP’s first election drop piece. Justin Trudeau’s name and photo is nowhere to be seen on it.

Nowhere.


My latest: dogs and politicos

Why do political people love dogs?

Because we do, we do. Proof is at hand.

MacKenzie King’s personal legacy – characterized, as it was, by his avid spiritualism, his byzantine diaries, and his nighttime strolls down certain streets the Market – is not without controversy. A debate rages, even now, about whether Canada’s longest-serving Prime Minister was a political genius or a certifiable nut job.

But about one part of King’s private life there can be no dispute: his love of his three Irish Terriers, all of whom he named Pat.

Pat, Pat and Pat. (Among other things, it reduces monogramming costs.)

Alliteratively, King called the Irish Terriers “red, racy and rectangular,” and they sort of were. King, being a man who was always distant from his fellow man (and woman, except for those ones he ran into in the Market at night), was closest to Pat. The dog went everywhere with him. He trusted it more than he trusted any human, save and except his beloved mother. (Who, along with the departed Pats, he attempted to commune with in seances.)

Here is what he write in his diaries about the Pats. It is something that any politico could write about their dog, too.

“[Pat is] a God-sent little angel in the guise of a dog, my dear little saviour,” King wrote. “[He is perfect because he] asks only to be near your and to share in a companionship of pure trust.”

And that is why every political dog is beloved by their political human: trust. They listen, they do not talk back, and they keep secrets secret.

After taking office in 1957, Dief the Chief ordered his staff to come up with a name for the dog he was given by a fan. He wanted to call it “Tory,” but his staff were worried that the pup would become fodder for editorial cartoonists. So he was named Happy instead.

Like King, whom he deeply despised, Dief was singularly unimaginative about dog names. Thus, there was more than one Diefenbaker dog named Happy. Happy the Second was not a terrier, but he was a terror, often disappearing from the Conservative leader’s office. Dief’s driver would then be dispatched to find Happy II, and he always did. “My dog has the ancestry and the distinguished pedigree, but no training at all,” said Canada’s thirteenth Prime Minister, who could have been also describing Canada’s twenty-third Prime Minister.

Stephen Harper was a big fan of cats, by the way, which tells you all that you need to know. He also had a chinchilla named Charlie, which is partially redeeming, but not entirely.

Did Pierre Trudeau like dogs? Did he have one? Was he almost certainly a cat person, like that Harper fellow? History does not record the truth. His son Justin, however, has a Portuguese water dog, who is neither Portgguese nor made of water. His name is Kenzie.

When he arrived at the Prime Ministerial homestead in 2016, that hard-ass hard-news outlet, The Huffington Post, headlined the resulting story: “Justin Trudeau Dog: The Prime Minister’s Family Got Even Cuter! Meet the prime minister’s newest family member!”

In a tough and unforgiving report, the HuffPo wrote: “Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke some very big news for his family: they got a puppy! Along with an adorable photo of two-year-old Hadrien playing with the new dog, Trudeau tweeted: “#tbt to the little one meeting our newest arrival a few months ago. Say hello to Kenzie.”

Kenzie, we note, hasn’t been much seen in public since 2016. In this way, he is like electoral reform, a balanced budget, federal-provincial harmony, and reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

Why all this talk about politicos and dogs, you ask? Simple: one of mine – the beautiful, sweet and perfect Daisy, after whom I named my company – slipped away last week. I have been shattered ever since. I miss that dog, a lot.

Why do we political types love them so? Because, as King, and Dief, and others knew too well, politics is a business you do not enter to make friends. It is nasty, brutish and usually shorter than expected.

But at the end of a long day of treachery and back-stabbing, nothing repairs the political heart better than those brown eyes, and that wet nose, asking for nothing but love.

Rest easy, Daisy. Meet your new friends, Pat and Happy and all the others.

You all have secrets to share.


Someone complained to the Law Society about me

It didn’t work out for him.

Came across this when combing the archives for something else. It made me laugh out loud: the Law Society didn’t even bother to contact me, so without merit did they consider Mark Bourrie’s complaint.

Better luck next time.


Trudeau troll trapped

Great work, Blacklock’s. This bastard has gone after my family, and other families too.

Welcome to your new life, “Zod.” Not much of a big thinker, anymore.

An anonymous Twitter user so profane he was blocked by MPs is a federal employee. The Public Sector Values And Ethics Code prohibits staff from outside activities that “cast doubt on your ability to perform your duties in a completely objective manner”.

“I’m dealing with someone that I don’t even know really exists; that’s my concern,” said New Democrat MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay, Ont.), who blocked the Twitter account. “You’re going to make ignorant, ugly statements and you’re hiding your name? How is that part of political discourse?”

“I think Twitter has just become such a negative force,” said Angus. “I think if we know who people are, well, they might think twice and you have a more robust discussion, as opposed to a toxic discussion.”

Using the pseudonym Neil Before Zod – “It sounds better than Neil from the corner cubicle in accounting,” he wrote – the staffer posted 20 to 40 messages daily including vulgar attacks on MPs and senators. Zod last night acknowledged his real name, Neil Waytowich of Peterborough, Ont., after Blacklock’s confirmed his identity.

Waytowich declined multiple interview requests and refused to name his federal employer, claiming he had abruptly resigned from the public service. “Phoenix means we aren’t being paid at all,” he wrote in a previous tweet, referring to the Phoenix Pay System for federal employees. “But please, pile on, you typical civil servant-flogging conservative shill.”

Waytowich in numerous tweets to some 12,000 followers referred to legislators and other public figures as “urinal cake”, “syphilis”, “assholes”, “f—king idiots”, a “marzipan dildo”, “talentless shills”, “shitty”, “garbage”, “sewage”, “stupid”, “dumb”, “lazy”, pathetic”, “ignorant”, “dense” and other references.


Pizzagate poll: the shocking photographic evidence

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the “Papineau Youth Council,” whatever that is.  One of his fart-catchers took a photo (of course).

I and and a panel of experts have closely studied this photograph.  It shocked us.

There are a number of problems revealed in it.  Vote now on the ones you consider most serious.




My latest in the Sun: when they came for the Jews/Sikhs/Muslims, they said nothing

Silence.

That’s all that could be heard from the federal party leaders, essentially: silence, or something approaching that.

The occasion: the decision of assorted Quebec politicians to pass a law telling religious people what they can wear. Jews, Sikhs, but mainly Muslims.

The law, formerly called Bill 21, was passed last weekend in a special sitting of the so-called National Assembly. It makes it illegal to wear religious symbols at work if you’re a teacher, a bus driver, a cop, a nurse, or even a day care worker. It applies to everyone who gets a stipend from the province, basically.

The law is illegal. It is wildly unconstitutional, for all the reasons you’d expect: it stomps all over freedom of speech, freedom of religion and equality rights. It giddily shreds the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The law is against the law. So, Quebec’s ruling class – who have never been particularly fussy about Jews, Sikhs or Muslims, truth be told – also stipulated that their law would operate “notwithstanding” the Charter.

In Quebec, now, you’ve theoretically got freedom of speech and religion. Except, say, when the chauvinists in the National Assembly say you don’t.

Stick that yarmulke in your pocket, Jew. Remove that turban your faith requires you to wear, Sikh. Put it away.

As history has shown us, freedoms rarely get swept away with dramatic decrees. Instead, we lose freedoms by degrees. In bits and pieces. Fascism typically slips into our lives without a sound, like a snake slithering into the kitchen, unseen.

This week, the snake curled around the ankles of Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer and Jagmeet Singh. All of them pretended that the snake was not there.

Justin Trudeau, in his teeny-tiniest mouse voice, suggested that no one should “tell a woman what she can and cannot wear.” That’s all we got from him, pretty much.

Andrew Scheer, for his part, said he “would never present a bill like that at the federal level.” But, he hastily added, he would also leave the whole messy business to the “elected members in Quebec.”

Jagmeet Singh, who now couldn’t get a provincial job in Quebec because he wears a turban himself, said this about the law when it was tabled: “I think it’s hurtful, because I remember what it’s like to grow up and not feel like I belong.”

Words.

But action? Actually, you know, doing something to protect minority rights and religious freedoms in Quebec?

Not on your life. It’s an election year, pal.

During one of the many, many debates Quebec has had about this legislated intolerance – when controversy was raging about the then-Liberal government’s bill that would force women to remove veils when, say, getting on a city bus – Francois Legault, then an Opposition leader, was asked about the crucifix hanging in the National Assembly.

It should stay, he said. “We have a Christian heritage in Quebec,” he said. “I don’t see any problem keeping it.”

That’s when Francois Legault’s veil slipped, as it were. That’s when we got to see who he really represents.

At his very first press conference after the Quebec election, Legault dispensed with any notion that he would be the Premier to all. To the Muslims (with their headscarves), and the Jews (with their kippahs), and the Hindus (with their markings on their faces), Legault’s message was plain: I don’t represent you. I don’t care about you. You are lower-class.

And, now, from our federal leaders: a shrug. Indifference.

Jesus, from that spot He long had above the National Assembly, is (as always) needed. Right about now, Jesus could remind our politicians, federal and provincial, what he said in Matthew 23:3. You know:

“Do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”