I AM BRAINWASHED. YOU ARE BRAINWASHED. WE ARE BRAINWASHED. PART FOUR: The Hosing of History: James Laxer (1941-2018).
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 lie: a 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 debate, or 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