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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

A New Conservative Leader

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source: hugh_dandrade's avatar
Hugh D’Andrade @hugh_dandrade

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” The Who

After a shambolic process, Erin O’Toole was declared the new Leader of Canada’s Conservatives.

He is quoted as saying “I want you to know from the start that I am here to fight for you and your family.” I do not know Mr O’Toole – in fact I had not even heard of him until this process started. But I am absolutely certain that when he said that he was lying. Lying deliberately. The last thing he is concerned about “millions of Canadians” and their families. He is from the right wing of his party – the ground occupied by the old Reform Party. Their intention of joining the old Progressive Conservatives – who were after all very nearly indistinguishable from the Liberals in policy terms – was to ensure the continuation of their campaign to “take back Canada”.

Now when I typed that quotation I was thinking of a tweet I had seen this morning – which gave a very neat description of what O’Toole meant when he said that. The tweet stream I uncovered when I did a search is very, very lengthy. This is a tweet from Ann Bibby (who I also don’t know) – which wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but is much closer.

“Take back Canada means making it safe to be a homophobe, a racist, a misogynist. It means making sure poor people stay poor, and cronies get pocket public money. It’s the same old conservative corruption it ever was. Nothing new here. O’Toole is just an angrier Kenney.”

Stephen Gordon

“Intelligent, thoughtful conservatives (there are lots of them!) will be forever shut out of power as long as the CPC survives. Shut it down and start over.”

I replied that I had never met one. For a long time people I was working for would tell me that the economics of Hayek were more intellectually sound than Keynes. Somehow I doubted that but my experience since has done nothing to shift my scepticism. Ayn Rand was even more of a dog whistler. The idea that we are all individually responsible for own lives is an attack on humanity. The thing that made us Homo Sapiens was our ability to communicate, learn and co-operate. Right wingers think that it is clever to dismiss ideas as “socialism” – indeed Mrs Thatcher famously said “There is no such thing as society.” Which is as big a lie as any told more recently by the 45th POTUS.

To understand conservatives, you need only to look at what has transpired in the 21st century. The crash of 2008 was one of their trademarks. And nothing has changed in the way the economy is managed since. So is rapidly accelerating climate change and failing to deal with a new pandemic. It is quite striking how the countries that dealt most effectively with the virus were those who understood the values of science and cooperation. Not the people who actually enjoy punishing others – who think the current death toll in the United States is acceptable. Who think that taking small children from their parents to deter others from seeking asylum is a Good Idea. Who value people who display a willingness to work overly long hours for little pay but refuse to provide them with the basics of a decent life – including healthcare, education and housing – all of which must be priced out of the hands of the poor.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 24, 2020 at 12:09 pm

Posted in politics

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