Thursday, June 8, 2017

Waiting for Corbyn

According to what's being reported on exit polls in the UK, Ms. May is heading for victory in the election, but with a greatly reduced number of seats. That win is as good as a loss going by what she said when she called this unnecessary election. She wanted a strong mandate to negotiate Brexit. Instead, she'll have a substantially weaker hand than she might have had if she'd left well enough alone.

Anyway, it'll be a few hours yet before we know anything for sure. In the meantime, let's have some fun speculating about why the prevailing political order in the Nations of Virtue has taken such a tumble over the past couple of years.

In the UK the fortunes of Labour have had a remarkable resurgence under that fuddy-duddy Jeremy Corbyn. I would have thought that anything Labour would be toast forever once the country woke up from the long night of Blairism. But no, the most boring man in British politics has breathed new life into the left-for-dead Labour Party. About the kindest thing you can say about Corbyn's public profile is that he's a Bernie Sanders without the charisma.

At the same time, the man speaks some indubitable truths. When is the last time you heard a mainstream pol state the most obvious of self-evident facts; we'll never defeat Islamic terrorism as long as we're busy terrorising Islamic nations. If I'm not mistaken, British bombs have rained in abundance on Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen over the past fifteen years. Hundreds of thousands have died, millions have been displaced, but at the end of the day, it's all for the greater good...

But it's a complete shock, an unmitigated outrage, and a heinous crime against humanity when a Muslim detonates a suicide bomb that claims twenty-two in Manchester?

Anyway, Corbyn is that rarest of rare birds; a politician willing to speak uncomfortable truths. Long may he prosper!

Across the channel the establishment media are still congratulating the "newcomer" Marcon, who we are told incessantly has brought a fresh approach to politics. Being of neither the left or the right, he will guide France into a brave new world of non-partisan consensus.

What a load of hooey! The same media outlets trumpeting the arrival of the Savior Marcon forget that France has essentially suffered one-party rule for decades. The line between Republican and Socialist was effectively gone long before Macron supposedly erased it. What is the number one priority of this "new" force in French politics?

Labour reform. He wants to do for France's working class what Thatcher did for Britain's; destroy it. It's something both the governing parties have failed at after many years of trying. This is the extent of the fresh new thinking in French politics. The kindest thing to be said for Macron is that he thus far has not hired on BHL as an advisor, at least not that I'm aware of.

Here in Canada, I must admit I was one of many who succumbed to the anybody-but-Harper movement in the last election. Yes, by all accounts the Harper era was a dark decade. At least the Harper cabinet was blessed with many larger-than-life cartoonish villians like Old Vic and Big John Baird, guys who were easy to lampoon.

Sunny Daze Trudeau is a different kettle of lobster, and his faux feminism and cheery disposition have given him more or less a free ride for the first year and a half of his run. But what's he actually accomplished?

How are things moving on the marijuana file?

How are things looking on the indigenous education and health care files?

And does anybody know what our foreign policy actually is?

What can be gleaned from the major speeches delivered by two of his star cabinet appointments this week?

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was first on the soapbox. Freeland is famously Russophobic and was already banned from Russia when Sunny Daze made her Foreign Affairs Minister. Is that the kind of appointment you make when Russia is supposedly our adversary? Even Harper wouldn't have made that appointment.

Freeland comes by her Russophobia honestly. Her grandfather was a Nazi collaborator of note. She was brought up on the teat of Russophobia. We don't necessarily need her to change her opinions, but we don't need a bear-baiter to be Foreign Minister either.

According to the delusional speech she delivered, Canada is preparing to step into the void left by Trump's withdrawal from the world stage. That is so stupid on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin with a critique.

That was followed up by a major speech by our Defence Minister. The guy wears a turban and so is obviously a walking testament to Canada's world-beating experiment in multi-culti. But what did he actually say?

Oddly enough, he announced major defence spending increases that will bring Canada much closer to that 2% of GDP that Trump was haranguing the me-too NATO nations about in Brussels just a few weeks ago. Yup, on Tuesday the Foreign Affairs Minister announces we're stepping into Trump's shoes in this post-USA world. On Wednesday the Defence Minister announces we're following Trump's orders. Try to follow that without risking a nasty case of whiplash.

It was always great sport making fun of Harper's plans to refit our Navy. He set 26 billions aside for the project. They never built a ship, although that didn't prevent them from holding "naming ceremonies" for imaginary warships on multiple occasions. Mr. Sajjan has tossed Harpers budget and promised 60 billions to refit the Navy. We'll see if that's about actual ships or more photo ops.

There's also oodles of dollars for new jets and drones and all manner of war-toys. Why? Whether we spend 26 billion or 60 billion, we'll always be a pip-squeak on the world stage, so why bother?

Well, because we have to support our allies, ie NATO, that American invention designed to spread the values of the Nations of Virtue across the world. What values? Why, respect for democracy, human rights, and unfettered winner-take-all capitalism of course. In just the last few years NATO has successfully spread those values to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. How could Sunny Daze not want to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to remain a part of that club?

NATO has become something far removed from the values it ostensibly promotes. What values do we have in common with Erdogan's Turkey? What values do we have in common with the newest NATO member, the corruption infested gangster state of Montenegro?

I for one would be far happier if we turned our back on NATO and used those hundreds of billions to address the needs of folks right here at home. One new jet fighter would put clean drinking water on tap in every indigenous community in Canada. Forego a couple more jet fighters and we'd pretty much have the native housing crisis licked.

But don't get me started. War is stupid and war toys are a criminal waste of money. I think a lot of Canadians share that belief. Sunny Daze Trudeau isn't one of them.

Time to turn on the TV and see how things are going for Corbyn.

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