By Henry McRandall
Last weekend the RCMP and an ambulance were summoned on an urgent basis to the official residence of Conservative “law-and-order” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. When they arrived at the scene, they found a very underage girl intoxicated to the point of unconsciousness. And, since then, every effort has been made by everyone involved to keep the matter as hushed up as possible.
But the public interest and Canada’s national security demand that many questions be probed, that honest answers be obtained and that criminal charges be laid – against whomever they may be warranted. Continue reading “Crass criminality in high places: When a prime minister turns rogue”
By Henry McRandall
I believe it was yesterday morning (Thursday, April 24, 2014) that I was astounded but not at all surprised to see some clown from the ultra-right-wing Heritage Foundation on CNN asserting that Canada’s middle-class is now the wealthiest middle-class in the world – and all because of government austerity budgeting. I could not understand how a supposedly non-partisan and objective Cable news channel like CNN could broadcast such patent lies.
The Heritage Foundation clown/liar asserted that the middle-class in both Canada and the U.K. has seen its average wealth soar by 20% since the onset of the global recession – compared to an increase of just 0.3% in the U.S. – making Canada’s middle-class the wealthiest middle-class in the world and all because of the harsh austerity budgets of the Conservative national governments in both countries.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading “Don’t believe Heritage Fndtn. bullshit”
By Henry McRandall
Recently resigned Conservative Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty died today and the mainstream media and the gaggle of puppet political prostitutes – from all parties – were tripping over each other in an attempt to lavish the loftiest praise on the hard-hearted man who designed the country’s harsh and deadly federal austerity budgets for more than half a decade. But while the crony praise for the lout who fought the global recession on the backs of poor and working-class Canadians – when there were much better alternatives – was wildly flattering, it was totally undeserved.
Flaherty – throughout his lengthy federal and provincial (Ontario) political career – was an ardent right-wing warrior only too happy to crush the Other99% – behind a facade of benign rationality – in order to deliver enormous, illicit financial benefit to his own political benefactors, all of whom already had far, far, far more than their fair share of the economic pie.
But while the pols and the pundits all stressed his lengthy “public service” career and lamented that he did not get the chance to enjoy his post-politics, private-sector rewards for supposedly saving Canadians from the severe consequences the masses have endured in many other countries in the years since the corruption and criminality of the ownership class near-bankrupted the global economy, the reality is that the only segment of the Canadian public that he “saved” or “served” was the psychopathically greedy Top1%. That he didn’t get a chance to collect the rewards the Top1% and the corporations they control would no doubt have offered him in return for his unswerving commitment to the cruel and lethal corporate-capitalist agenda is, rather than something to lament, perhaps a hint that there is still a tiny spark of justice somewhere in the universe.
The intellectual and moral lightweights in the halls of political and economic power were effusive all day about this “great man” and the “sacrifices” he had made in his 25 years of “public service.”
What did this “great man” do in his many years of “public service”? Well, as finance minister in Ontario’s Conservative provincial government starting in 1995, he slashed welfare benefits by more than 20% and froze them for nine years, he froze disability pensions for nine years, and he froze the minimum wage for nine years – all the while also slashing real government spending on health care, education and social programs and simultaneously giving tax cut after tax cut after tax cut to corporations and the wealthy. As Conservative federal finance minister for the past eight years, Flaherty first delivered the biggest federal deficit in history before gradually whittling it down to almost nothing – by cutting real federal spending on health care, education and social programs and simultaneously giving tax cut after tax cut after tax cut to corporations and the wealthy. And if you think freezing the minimum wage and social supports for the poorest and most vulnerable only effects minimum-wage workers, the disabled and families in the most precarious of circumstances, you’re deluding yourself. Every time the income of any small segment of the underclasses is reduced, it puts downward pressure on all working-class and middle-class wages by making workers in general so desperate and insecure that they are willing to work for much less – even for much less than a living wage – in order to escape being tossed even further down the economic heap. It was also under Flaherty’s 8-year tenure as Canada’s federal finance minister that the percentage of workers eligible for unemployment insurance if their jobs should become outsourced or offshored dropped to a disastrous level of less than 32%. Continue reading “When North America erupts in flames”