Further rumblings

Francis Barlow’s illustration to “The Bat, The Birds and the Beasts”, by Aesop.

Yesterday I blogged about how there’s talk of a Liberal/NDP merger. Now someone else has weighed in on the same…with a smack-my-forehead silly suggestion as to who should lead this theoretical new party:

Curiously, the person best qualified to fill Jack Layton’s shoes is not a New Democrat.

Rather, he is Bob Rae, the interim leader of the federal Liberal Party.

These days, not all New Democrats are fond of Rae. He did warm their hearts when he formed the first-ever NDP government in Ontario 21 years ago. But in 2000, he publicly and somewhat testily broke with his party before, eventually, joining the enemy Liberals.

I think I’ll stop blockquoting there; it only gets more wretched.

Can we really take this seriously about how much Rae had in common with Layton? For instance: Bob Rae, “a gifted orator”? I can’t remember a single thing he said that was striking enough to be worth repeating; it all rang curiously colorless and hollow. In fact, I can’t remember anything he said offhand, at all. He uttered it all with so little true conviction that it made no impression on me. That never happened with Jack Layton!

And it lists all kinds of other very tenuous “links” between the two, including the wacky notion that both “pragmatically” tried to turn their respective parties to the right — a “pragmatic” move that backfired disastrously for both, if I recall correctly. Turning right and going “Oh-oh-oh, me too!” is not the way to win votes for a leftist party; it’s just another way of saying to your real constituency: “Don’t vote for me, either”. Who wants a lite version of what they’re supposedly voting against? Give us something to vote for, not less of something to vote against!

The Liberals’ electoral failure this past spring speaks for itself. They went for “me too”, and got “nope, not me”. Bob Rae had his chance when there was talk of a coalition. He could have built bridges back to his old party and sought common ground, but he reneged and stayed with the “new”, rightardly, not-so-liberal Liberals. He is yesterday’s (failed) leader precisely because of that right turn, and that is how voters will forever remember him.

Jack Layton’s worst moments came in similar fashion. The New Democratic rank and file recently refused to strike the words “democratic socialism” from the party charter, among other things, which is a direct slap in the face to the idea of a right turn being “pragmatic”!

And we uncarded voters also weren’t happy with Jack Layton’s failure to whip the vote over the preservation of the long-gun registry. I distinctly recall wank-listing him over that, with a heavy heart then and now. But I don’t regret speaking that piece of my mind. The Montréal Massacre still matters to me, and I was shocked that Jack Layton, who after all hails from Montréal AND spearheaded the White Ribbon campaign against violence, could be willing even for a nanosecond to sell out his real, progressive constituency for a few piddling votes he’d never get, from those who think the New Democrats are all fucking commies anyway!

Jack Layton is with us no more, and that’s a damn shame, but it won’t blind me to his mistakes, and it shouldn’t stop the rest of us from learning from them. When he turned right, he lost us. When he turned left again, he got us all back, with interest. Why won’t Tom Walkom acknowledge that?

Bob Rae is, like the Bat in the Aesop fable, neither bird nor beast. But since he has made his bed with the Libs (a better fit for him, IMO; less stigma to selling out over there), the thing for him to do is lie in it. That party has done itself in with right turns and corruption and a lack of democracy from within. And if it tries to take over the NDP, they’ll all lose my vote, and those of other disgruntled progressives, too. No sense going on enabling this failed “turn right, turn right” political machinery any longer.

Or, to quote a wonderful passage from Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird:

My Al-Anon friend told me about the frazzled, defeated wife of an alcoholic man who kept passing out on the front lawn in the middle of the night. The wife kept dragging him in before dawn so that the neighbors wouldn’t see him, until finally an old black woman from the South came up to her one day after a meeting and said, “Honey? Leave him lay where Jesus flang him.”

I gave up on this merger after the last election, when it became obvious that there was going to be no change in the usual arrogant drunk-husband pattern of the Liberals.

So, sorry, Mr. Walkom, but you crapped out an awfully lazy-minded column there. Bob Rae isn’t the next Jack Layton. Nor is he the potential savior of the theoretical Lib-Dem merger party (which will probably go nowhere, just like the half-assed attempt at a Lib-Dem-Bloc coalition). He’s the sad little man who, in real life, ended up selling out to corporatism…and giving us Ontarians ten dreary years of Mike Harris, Ernie Eves, and a whole slew of other grotty SupposiTories who, despite intense scandal, only fell up and are now sitting in Harpo’s cabinet. And after that, the déluge: weak-tea reformism à la Dalton McWimpy. (Who is a much more apt person to compare Bob Rae to, BTW.)

That is Bob Rae’s true legacy. An inspiring progressive leader he most certainly is not.

And I prefer to “leave him lay where Jesus flang him”.

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1 Response to Further rumblings

  1. John Jones says:

    Can NATO be prevented from slaughtering the civilian population in Libya?
    Libyans and Rebels Reject UN Military Intervention in Libya

    Wednesday, 31. August, 19:31

    Libyans and Rebels Reject UN Military Intervention in Libya
    Posted: 2011/08/31
    From: Mathaba

    Although NATO and UN are the military and political wings of the banking elite which is trying to dominate the resources of Africa, the NATO Al-Qaida rebels are careful not to ask for intervention by UN, while only NATO and their rebels continue to reject African Union Peace and Security Council solutions

    Libya’s foreign mercenary and NATO-supported Al-Qaida terrorist rebels have rejected the idea of deploying any kind of international military force, the UN envoy to the country has said.

    Ian Martin said the UN had considered the deployment of military “observers”, a polite word for spies.

    Earlier, the chairman of the terrorist rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC) said the country did not need outside help to maintain security, although the entire invasion has taken place with nothing but outside help as well as clearing the way forward for the militants to enter Tripoli city.

    The news came as the NATO-allied militants, which were under the command of known Al-Qaida assets and foreign military special forces from Europe, have also been pounding the home town of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of Sirte, with massacres being reported from the bombing of the city.

    NATO gave the town’s defenders until Saturday to surrender before wiping it out in the massive bombing including cruise missiles fired from British war ships violating African territorial waters..

    However, the popular resistance leader Col Muammar Gaddafi is holding out with his exact whereabouts never known to NATO while the democratic legitimate government of Libya’s spokesman, Dr Moussa Ibrahim, rejected the ultimatum.

    “No dignified honourable nation would accept an ultimatum from armed gangs,” he said in a telephone call to the foreign media on Monday night.

    Mr Ibrahim reiterated Col Gaddafi’s offer to send his son Saadi to negotiate with rebels and form a transitional government, the American Associated Press news agency said.

    Libyan resistance
    “It is not a civil war, it is not a conflict between two parties, it is the people who are defending themselves against the naked foreign aggression and attempt to occupy Africa’s wealthiest state and destroy the achievements and example of direct democracy, natural socialism and the armed defensive people”, director of the World Center for the Studies and Researches on The Green Book and the Third Universal Theory told Mathaba.

    However, the UN agent for the Anglo-Americans, Mr Martin, said that the UN did expect to be asked to help establish a police force.

    “We don’t now expect military observers to be requested,” he said after a meeting of the UN Security Council.

    “It’s very clear that the Libyans want to avoid any kind of military deployment of the UN or others,” he said.

    Mr Martin added that one of the greatest challenges for the UN would be helping the country prepare for democratic elections.

    “Let’s remember… there’s essentially no living memory of elections, there’s no electoral machinery, there’s no electoral commission, no history of political parties, no independent civil society, independent media are only beginning to emerge in the east in recent times.

    “That’s going to be quite a challenge, sort of organisationally, and it’s clear that the NTC wish the UN to play a major role in that process.”

    However, the Assistant Secretary of the International People’s Conference Organisation, said that in fact the opposite case is the reality.

    “Libyans have had more elections and greater democracy than any other state in the world, with constant elections for people’s committees taking place at least twice each year since 1977. What is meant by democracy, to the banker elite, is political parties and a single vote once every four or five years for politicians, serving the bankers, to be given legitimacy to rule over you”, he said.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that growing humanitarian shortages in Libya demand urgent action and appealed to the security council to be “responsive” to requests from the transitional authority for funding.

    This is widely seen as an attempt to legitimize armed gangs who seized power on behalf of a handful of bankrupt western states and to consolidate the destruction of Libya’s civil institutions and all memories of what has been built over the past 42 years, which turned Libya from the world’s poorest country to one with among the highest standard of human rights and living indexes in the world.

    An estimated 80% of Tripoli’s population is without water and sanitation, due to being cut off and resisting the rebel occupation of the capital city, which has left more than 30,000 dead over the past 10 days alone since the start of the ground invasion launched from the sea via NATO special forces. However, the governments of the occupying forces claim that it is “Qaddafi forces” cutting supplies.

    On Thursday the U.S., Britain, France and Australia, are meeting with the rebel TNC in Paris, France, due to not being able to set foot in safety in Tripoli, where resistance continues to rage against the occupation, and the BBC meanwhile is still unable to obtain factual reports due to the level of resistance and lack of security, instead making appeals on its “news” reports on its web site ending them with “Are you in Libya? How have you been affected by recent events? Please send us your comments” and giving a form and email.

    Ultimatum

    On Tuesday, the UN Security Council, which is dominated by the aggressor states of Britain, France and the USA, let Britain release 1.86bn dinars ($1.55bn; £950m) in frozen assets totaling over $150 billion, to “buy aid for Libya” but an attempt by France and Germany to release an additional $8.6bn remains blocked by China and Russia as it is illegal to give these assets to any other than the legitimate and legal government of Libya, the General People’s Congress of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

    Diplomats said that Russia was holding up Germany’s request to release about 1bn euros ($1.4bn) in seized assets and France’s move to unfreeze about five billion euros ($7.2bn) to buy humanitarian aid, Agence France Presse reports.

    As terrorist rebel fighters converge on Muammar Qaddafi’s birthplace of Sirte after 5 days and nights of non-stop bombing, shooting all men who tried to leave the city at check points manned by European special forces along with the terrorist allied rebels, and gave the town’s defenders an ultimatum, telling them that they had until Saturday to surrender or face military force.

    This has been rejected outright by the Libyan democratic government as nothing less than a withdrawal of all foreign troops and cessation of bombing, and addressing the African Union Peace and Security Council road map which was put forward and accepted earlier this year, but which the United Nations Security Council and the belligerent western states of NATO refuse to acknowledge.

    It has also emerged that Col Gaddafi’s wife and three of his adult children fled to neighbouring Algeria in the early hours of Monday morning for preservation of the family, while the other sons remain in Tripoli fighting with the resistance against the foreign occupation.

    Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain unknown to outsiders, with suggestions he may be in Sabha, Sirte or Bani Walid being made by western news agencies guessing. He could even be in Benghazi. He is surrounded by the good people with those who were motivated by impure intentions having been removed from his circle.

    Below: map showing the cities occupied by foreign special forces and terrorist rebels:

    http://www.mathaba.net/news/libya

    Web sites and blogs DO NOT link to this print page,
    the original article is at: http://www.mathaba.net/news/?x=628419
    Mathaba.Net

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