Wednesday, March 21, 2018



James Laxer was an attractively warm Canadian who made important Canadian history in the 1960s and 1970s … and then slipped into the political shadows (relatively) until his death on February 23, 2018. His large Obituary in the Globe and Mail (B20, Mar. 12, 2018) appears to be an attempt by the Central Canadian NDP Aristocracy (in league with its Globe and Mail Reactionary colleagues) to re-write history where they cannot erase it.

In the last sixty years one major across-parties attempt was made to throw off Canada’s status as a subservient, colonial-lackey.  If successful, it would have reconstructed Power in Canada and would have recognized ordinary Canadians as the primary holders of Canadian wealth …  so that the population today (and environmental policy) would be enlightened, informed, and progressive (as well as in significantly better health).

Put very briefly … Canada’s Centenary (1967), amid  deepening (cultural, diplomatic, military, economic, educational) colonialism awakened a very large cross-section of Canadians.  They responded with organization and political (not NGO!) constructions: the Waffle Movement in the NDP, The Committee for an Independent Canada (Libs./Cons.) … even The Canadian Liberation Movement (semi-Maoist)… and more.

The international imperial powers, working to contain Canada’s huge land mass in their treasury, intended no real independence for Canada!  And (for instance) quietly and with the approval of Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, they removed the cost-free lending power of the Bank of Canada (to all Canadian governments for major “living-condition” improvements: called “infrastructure” and social construction) in 1974.

The present government, led by Justin Trudeau, is in the process – as a continuation of that imperial policy - of handing Canadian roads, bridges, hospitals, energy undertakings … and doubtless, eventually, educational developments into the hands of private, profit-driven (foreign) entities.

Globe and Mail Obituary writer Lisa Fetterman doesn’t, exactly create “fake news” in the James Laxer Obituary.  She creates “alternate history”, succeeding (as always with the Globe and Mail) in trivializing, under-reporting and, to (in my mind) misrepresenting … to the point that the large Obituary of Jim Laxer is a warm, wet, soggy, sentimental, sloppy, almost-unrecognizable Brainwash to make absolutely certain that no Canadian connects the dots and realizes that the politics of those years must be re-engaged seriously if there is to be any self-respecting future for Canada and Canadians.

To begin: the headline is a liea brain-wash - “NEW  DEMOCRAT FOUNDED HARD-LEFT MOVEMENT”.  The (nick-named) Waffle Movement in the NDP was a fairly modest internal attempt to return the Party (in its Canadian traditions) to a platform of Canadian independence and to a number of “socialist” (local, community, and State) decisions to manage Canadian wealth.  [The 1968 “Watkins Report” on Foreign Ownership of the Canadian Economy - set up by the Liberal government - had revealed to Canadians their economic (unregulated) lackey-relation to the USA]. We must remember, too, that, earlier, a Conservative government began the creation of the CBC; and a Liberal government created the ‘free to Canadian governments’ Bank of Canada lending power!

“HARD LEFT” indeed! Of what? 

The Waffle was a movement in the NDP to turn the Party away from its growing role as a collaborator with corporate manipulators (which it has proudly solidified) … and to focus on the needs of Canadians and on their power to make crucial decisions free of U.S. dominance (including the dominance of U.S. Unions in Canada. See further on….)

Stephen Lewis is quoted giving the Party-Line that has brought the NDP to its present vacuous, reactionary irrelevance. Stating a simple falsehood with superb self-confidence, Lewis says: “the problem…was not so much the issues as the fact [the Waffle] represented a party within a party, thus diluting [the NDP] message….”  [And so, in fact, he admits, that at the heart were “the issues”; that is, the “message”, which the NDP Right was not about to debateor change.]

Many Constituencies didn’t think the Waffle Movement was a Party within a Party … but, rather, a breath of fresh air.  (The Ontario Waffle had national significance, illustrated by the fact that James Laxer was a major contender, against David Lewis, for national Party leadership in 1971.) The matter of “the Waffle in the NDP” was put to a vote in the Orange Hall at Orillia in 1974.  Was the Ontario Waffle a separate Party?  Should it be thrust out of the NDP? The delegates gathered … looking as though they might present a majority in favour of keeping the Waffle in the Party.  And then….

And then into the room came the appointed delegates to the Party, appointed from U.S. unions in Canada – enough of them to give the Lewis Aristocracy the Hard Right vote they sought … to run the Waffle group out of the NDP.

Lisa Fitterman manages, somehow, to quote only Right Wing male NDP’ers on politics, (interviewing throughout, of course, only males) even calling the man I consider a lifelong anti-nationalist, Gerald Caplan, “Dr. Caplan” to give him “muscle” in the Obituary.  (In fact, the Waffle was on the front lines in its insistence upon equality of gender representation on all executive bodies.) Nothing of that from Lisa Fitterman….

She does not tell her readers that Stephen Lewis made his great entrance into international humanitarian activity as the result of an appointment to the UN by solid right-winger, Conservative prime minister “Lyin Brian” Mulroney! 

She doesn’t mention that – at his great acceptance speech in Winnipeg as leader of the NDP – Ed Broadbent’s most passionate words were in support of U.S. Union dominance in Canada!  Nor, of course, that, later, his appointment as a long-employed, high-profile Human Rights Officer was made by – you didn’t guess it – good olde “Lyin Brian” Mulroney.  The boys (and girls) on the Right … look after each other.  They are “a Party within almost every Canadian Party” now.

Regrettably, in 1981 Jim Laxer -  the Obituary reminds us - “reached a rapprochement with the NDP, serving as the party’s research director”.  Some of us deeply regretted that move; but social pressure – a form of brainwashing - is very, very hard to resist. Many, many people succumb to social pressure … and few can resist it, alas.  Jim Laxer was one of the finest Canadians … his surrender reveals just how powerful social-pressure-brainwashing can be!

Not very long after the debacle of a meeting in the Orange Hall at Orillia, I met Jim Laxer on the street in Ottawa.  We met warmly … and chatted.  Jim was living in Toronto by then, and so his appearance in Ottawa meant he was travelling with a purpose.  I asked him why he was in Ottawa.  He replied that David Lewis (NDP Party Leader in the House of Commons) wanted a meeting with him.  “What about?”, I asked.  Jim didn’t know.

“And you, leader of the Waffle, are going alone to meet him?” I asked.  That was true.  I told Jim he should not, at that point, meet David Lewis unless with a few other ‘responsibles’ from the Waffle … for every legitimate reason.  Jim Laxer didn’t agree with me … and went to a private meeting with David Lewis….

No one, it seems, knows what was discussed at that private meeting.  Perhaps … David Lewis’s son, Stephen Lewis, knows.  But we may be sure that, as a member of (what I call) the Central Canadian NDP Aristocracy”… Stephen Lewis will never tell ….

[Robin Mathews was a member and ‘culture critic’ for the so-called “Waffle Movement in the NDP”.]


The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open


Hugh said...

Vancouver Sun trying to brainwash us today:

LNG will clean the air in Asia and make us rich! Where have I heard that before?

Anonymous said...

Dear professor Mathews, I owe you an apology for saying the terrible thing I said about you in an above post. It was in the worst possible taste and I sincerely apologize.
The only poor excuse I can give you is that my good nature has gone strange over the last few years. It started one day when I was wandering around the woods on Haida Gwaii minding my own business and practically ran into a squirrel, which immediately climbed a tree and started talking to me.

It was some kind of squirrelly dialect and it sounded like it was saying. 'Save us! Save us!' or it might have been, 'Give us! Give us!' It wasn't until I returned to civilization that it dawned on me that the poor little creature had been shouting, 'Guinness! Guiness!'

So I went to the nearest bar and dutifully had a few. (he said it twice but you can't stop at two) It wasn't until the next morning when I was reduced to aspirin and tomato juice that the furry little monster started screaming from the back of my head. 'Not you you idiot! I meant bring ME some guinness.' So I guess I owe him a couple. I guess I owe you a couple as well.
Since then I have been possessed by various animal spirits and can tell you that foxes like daquiries, wolves are keen on vodka martinies and bears prefer brandy. Strange world.
The other day I saw a frog and ran for my life before he could say 'rumbet'. I don't want to know. I'm afraid to look at mushrooms but keep it under my hat cuz I don't want some huge pharma to invent a new neurosis and create another horrible drug just for me. Anyway you can see I am having some personal problems so please find it in your heart to forgive me. Have a drink, you will feel much better.
Stay out of the woods.

Grant G said...

@Stay out of the woods.....the good professor didn't get the luxury of reading your comments, I did....Let me be perfectly clear...I don't mind nasty, or rude, vulgar, i too have been known to indulge in colourful language, albeit rarely... need to keep it sharp, concise and correct...for if one huffs, puffs and hails messages to the heavens....

accuracy counts

Good Day

Anonymous said...

Thanks Grant, I guess I owe you a couple as well.
Let's get on to some serious issues, like how to defeat the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.
First Trudeau is a true weasel. Weaseled in on legalizing pot, changing the political system to make it more representative (can't be done until we the people who pay the taxes have the absolute right to vote on all issues of importance to our lives. Like Switzerland. It is not like our various governments have benefited us, they failed us miserably to the extent that they now have to send the national police force in to arrest anyone who has the God given intelligence to protest the complete destruction of our environment.) and weaseled about protecting the environment. He failed us and he is hardly smart enough to put a complete sentence together. I said it when he got elected and I say it now - He is a callow youth who has no right to represent Canada. Now he is sending 250 soldiers and 6 helicopters to Mali into extreme danger and for what? Peace keeping? There is no peace there to keep. Most people don't even know where Mali is and if they did they would probably be just like me. Couldn't care less. Bring them here as refugees and they will start to demonstrate in the streets for their religion of Islam, calling for unbelievers to be beheaded. (it is already happening all over Europe and worse, look it up for yourself. Do you think the Europeans, had they known the problems they were going to have, would have agreed to it? Look at Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany and the UK. Not to mention France. And Belgium. Did you want to invade and bomb Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan? Neither did I. Not to mention Syria, one good rule of thumb could be to not send in foreign troops until and if you have the permission by plebiscite of the people who actually live there. With modern technology it is doable. Those wars and others started the whole enormous refugee problem.)
Let's forget those problems and concentrate on the KM pipeline expansion and the undisputed fact that if it goes through there will be seven times as many deadly 1000 ft tankers going through Vancouver and the Gulf Islands - 400 per year, more than one a day, each with the capability of destroying the environment and economy of lower BC. I grew up on the Islands, they live in paradise, so you know how we feel about it.
btw that squirrel (it was actually a marmot) I was talking to in the last post was a very serious little animal. He might or might not have preferred Guinness, but he sure knew a lot more about the environment than any big oil company. I am NOT going to compare the intelligence of marmots to the intelligence of 'fill your boots' shit kickers from Alberta, but who would win?
Take a look at the comments on this issue in the CBC or the Huffington post before you decide.

Anonymous said...

One last comment. It is commonly known that animals other than humans have "limited" intelligence. (And ours is bountiful? Get real.)
Once the earth was flat and the the sun and all the stars revolved around it.
In exactly the same way, I find it extremely doubtful that many species on this planet are not intelligent. Bring in a logging crew with all their equipment and look into the eyes of the creatures who live there. They can't say in words exactly what is wrong, but they know their environment is going to be completely destroyed. They just know. And they ask you with their eyes to stop it, not knowing that you don't have the power to do so.

Since you all already think I am crazy, I also met a raven when I was working on the Meikle wind farm west of Tumbler Ridge. It was against the rules to feed or interact with animals on that job, but I did anyway because I realized I might never have another chance to relate to other species. I met a raven. I fed him and we became friends. Then one day after I fed him he kind of pecked me on the hand and I withdrew my hand and gave him a look as if to say, 'that is not cool my friend.'
And he said something in raven language which I actually understood (not the language but what he was saying). He gave me a look which said, 'I'm not going to hurt you, it was just a gesture of friendship.' It also said, 'stop being so childish.' This was a sophisticated raven who had never been out of the bush and who had only had contact with humans for a year or so. Sure he wanted food because animals don't have the luxury of plenty of food which humans have, but he was also very curious about this different race which had invaded his territory. He wanted to know things which I couldn't explain to him because I can't even explain them to myself.
Don't tell me how to interpret things, it was in real time and there was no mistake. The raven, probably without intending to, or maybe intending to, gave me a new insight into how ravens think.
My thought is maybe they are a lot deeper than we think. Maybe just as smart in logic as we are.
Sure, you can bring up tons of studies written by humans proving that they are unintelligent, but did you ever look into their eyes? Did you ever know that they can pretty well tell if you mean them harm or not? Do you really think that many of the species whose environment we are destroying don't know anything about human beings?
They know. The original movie 'Planet of the Apes' went through it in a superficial manner but they never got to the gist of it.
The ironic part of it is that if we don't listen to the animals who live here with us we also destroy ourselves, which is becoming more self evident every day.