Gun Talk, Stephen Harper, and the Usefulness of Hate

On the list of things in which I myself am simply incapable of taking interest, but which appear to invoke a great deal of interest among a great many people — a list which includes Hollywood, professional sport, inspirational best-sellers, Twitter, and Lady Gaga — the issue of gun control is rather near the top. Perhaps I lack an otherwise commonplace enzyme, organ, or bit of DNA. In any case I could not care less about the current long-gun registry debate, and it is only the apparent fact that many could not care more which has my baffled attention.

In the United States the Second Amendment is for many a sufficient test of political character, and the casting of numerous votes is decided by application of this criterion alone. An attempt to have a national, and rational, public discussion about guns in that country will mire you in the Jewish worldwide banking conspiracy, the coming Russian-NATO invasion of America, the New World Order and the One World Government, and, since conspiracies evolve, the revolutionary transformation of the United States of America into an Orwellian-Kenyan Communist slave nation.

As conspiracies go, however, I have found only one of evident merit. Here is what Member of Parliament for Ajax-Pickering, Mark Holland, said in the House of Commons, on Monday, September 28, 2009:

I have to also ask, if the Conservatives are so bent upon trying to get rid of the registry, why are they leaving it to a private member’s bill to get rid of it? Why is this not a government motion? I think the real reason is that the Conservatives themselves do not want to see this gun registry scrapped. I think that they want to continue to use it as a symbol and a tool, and use it as something to aggravate and to create political noise, as opposed to actually ever changing anything, because I do not believe that they would stand in opposition to the chiefs of police and the Canadian Police Association who say that they want to have this vital tool continue.

Good points, those. The obscure and peculiar lineage of Bill C-391 was deemed worthy of at least one news report, and it is also the case that the CPC is at elbow depth in the aggravation and clan resentment business — so two for Holland right there. Under the heading of symbol and tool, one has to put John Baird’s transparent demagoguery and recent baiting of urban-rural acrimony, a strategy some of us will recall from the Mike Harris 905 years. Indeed, every fake and unnecessary controversy of the Conservative Party this last year, recent examples being the long form census and the crime bill, has had about it the cultivation of tribal bigotry and the stink of pandering humbuggery. Whatever the Harper Government happens to be doing, it is always at the same time inflaming, usually by means of the party backbencher and loyal hack, the visceral hatreds of its “base.” This is the principal reason that the well-coiffed and pretending-to-be-above-it-all Stephen Harper is in my opinion a despical politician, deserving to be thrown out of office at the nearest opportunity.

Here is an example of what I mean. On the day that Stephen Harper delivered an official apology for the Indian Residential School System, from the floor of the House of Commons, Conservative Party of Canada thug and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Pierre Poilievre, said the following on radio:

Now, along with this apology comes another $4 billion in compensation for those who partook in the residential schools over those years. You know, some of us are starting to ask, “Are we really getting value for all of this money, and is more money really going to solve the problem?” My view is that we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self-reliance. That’s the solution in the long-run — more money will not solve it.

This comment was of no relevance, either to the Indian Residential School System or to the apology. However, Pierre Poilievre has been for many years very close to the Prime Minister, personally and professionally, and he has for this reason been the go-to person when it has been deemed useful and necessary to get the Party message directly to the troops. My settled view is that Poilievre was sent out to make clear the Government’s candid opinion of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, which had been negotiated under the Martin Liberals and to which the Harper Conservatives were bound.

How does this apply to Bill C-391? The unifying theme is this Government’s manipulation at every opportunity — with most opportunities having been manufactured by the Government itself — of base and odious prejudices. The urban snob is pitted against the rural bumpkin, the academic pinhead against the lowbrow, the welfare cheat against the beleagured taxpayer. The gun issue works so well because it is impossible for the Government to lose: if the long gun registry survives, it will be charged to the account of “Toronto elites,” and if Bill C-391 passes, it will be a triumph of common sense over Big Government. A quick pat on the back, and then back to the usual business of cultivating hatred.

One response to “Gun Talk, Stephen Harper, and the Usefulness of Hate

  1. Wayne,
    Clearly, you have no true understanding of this 15 year old issue on gun control and what’s clear to me, frankly, is that don’t know what you are talking about.
    The issue is not rural/urban divide. It is a difference in ideologies. Conservatives lean to more individual and provincial autonomy, the left (NDP/Liberal and Bloc) lean to a centrist gov’t, more controlled by the state. Within that lies the “culture war” and both sides become equally vitriolic about it.

    Like

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