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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Beat of the Fascist Drum

He couldn't have had a better excuse to miss the return of Parliament, and dodge all those questions about his catastrophic economic record.For there he was at the funeral of a dead Mountie.Looking suitable sorrowful, and posing as a Great Crime Busting Leader.Which like everything he did today was choreographed to the max. And accompanied by the distant beat of a fascist drum.Read more »

Alberta Diary: Jim Prentice revealed as Hayek ‘disciple’; Heather Forsyth to lead Wildrose rump; Preston Manning says he’s sorry … and more!

A crowd of typical Albertans reacts to the news Danielle Smith and most of her caucus have gone and joined Premier Jim Prentice’s PCs. Below: Mr. Prentice; neoliberal saint Friedrich Hayek; Preston Manning, who is really, really sorry he didn’t counsel a vote or something; interim Wildrose Leader Heather Forsyth; and new Tory MLA Gary Bikman.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t think the most interesting news tidbit yesterday was that Heather Forsyth will become the new “Wildrump” leader, Preston Manning’s peculiar apology for accidentally uniting the right, the government’s sneaky tuition fee increases, or even the poll (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: A political oddity hits the big time – but what do we really know about Michael Cooper?

Michael Cooper turned up door knocking on your blogger’s doorstep in St. Albert last summer. A photo was required! Below: Independent St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber, former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day and journalist Paul Wells.

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

Every few years, Michael Cooper seems to pop onto the national news radar. The first time, it was as a political oddity, a sort of human-interest story with an edge.

The story appeared under a headline in the National Post that read, “Not your average high school senior: ‘Blood sport’ of politics has lured Michael Cooper most of his (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta’s big problem is the same as Russia’s – so what’s Stephen Harper doing about it?

Keep those wells a-pumpin! Keep those oil prices low! Squeeze those Russkies! Uh … just a minute. … isn’t that bad for Alberta’s many varieties of Conservative? Below: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Mr. Harper’s hero, Margaret Thatcher.

The Globe and Mail, tireless cheerleader for the Harper Government, was gloating Monday about the impact falling oil prices, a declining Ruble and the bite of Western sanctions are having on Russia, which, the Report on Business rejoiced, is being pushed toward the brink of recession.

Woo-hoo! That’ll teach those Russkies to try to keep NATO (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Don’t Blame Stephen Harper, Blame Edmund Burke

“If a sociology professor applies a day before a medical doctor, the professor’s application gets processed first … I mean, we don’t really need a sociology professor. “.  Jason Kenney

Stephen Harper’s recent refusal to call a public inquiry into missing and exploited Aboriginal women, should not come as a surprise to Canadians, given his background and the ideology of the Conservative Movement.

Modern Conservatives do not believe in sociological phenomenons, viewing them as too grey an area, in a world that is black and white, right and wrong, left and right.  Everything in between is simply minutiae, and therefore, (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Madness of the Con Regime

In his fragile mental state it must have seemed like a natural transition. The beast within him must have howled.For three days he'd play Mother Theresa or Mother Harper at the Maternal Health Summit.The friend of cute starving children, and the butcher of women who need a safe abortion.But last night he'd be Margaret Thatcher !!! Read more »

Alberta Diary: Missing: Any discussion of what drove the Hancock Government’s Bill 10 attack on legally enforceable contracts

A system of contracts that can be enforced and adjudicated by an independent and disinterested court like this one is one of the key features of civilized society. This is a picture of the court used by a significant number Canadian law firms to illustrate their web pages. Actually, it’s the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Manhattan. But, unlike all those coruscating Canadian legalists, I took this picture myself. Below: Premier pro tem Dave Hancock talking to the media about an entirely different controversial issue; historian Alvin Finkel.

Amid all the brouhaha in recent weeks over (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Margaret Thatcher and the Con War on Unions

I know why they called her the Iron Lady. May she rust in peace. I know why she's the patron saint of Stephen Harper's Con regime.I know why she waged war on the miners of BritainSo she could smash the unions and Thatcherize her country, like the Cons would Harperize this one.But who knew that ghastly right-wing monster was prepared to use the army? Read more »

Alberta Diary: Stephen Harper to Canada: ‘It’s not my fault! Now shut up and vote for me’

Trying to change the channel: Unfortunately for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the remote seems to have disappeared under a pillow and the movie stuck on the TV screen stars Mike Duffy, shown above moving toward the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary Friday night. Actual Canadian Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Andrew Nikiforuk and David Suzuki.


So it all comes down to this, then? It’s not my fault. Now shut up and vote for me!

What else can we take away from Stephen Harper’s first campaign speech of the 2015 election season, made to the nervously shuffling (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Thatcherism: A grand, failed economic experiment

By: Andrew Jackson | Broadbent Institute Admirers and detractors of Margaret Thatcher can agree that she will be remembered as one of the key political architects of our times. Along with her soulmate, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, she broke decisively with the post-war Keynesian welfare state and ushered in the still-enduring age [...]

The post Thatcherism: A grand, failed economic experiment appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Stephen Harper takes partisan politics abroad

Harper’s government reacts with overwrought rage when other Canadian politicians express opinions outside Canada. So which way is it? By: Tim Harper | Toronto Star, Published on Fri Apr 19 2013: OTTAWA — Stephen Harper was representing Canada at the funeral of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in London this week. Was [...]

The post Stephen Harper takes partisan politics abroad appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

drive-by planet: Billy Bragg on why he became a socialist

One of the main reasons Billy Bragg became a socialist was Margaret Thatcher. She inspired many to take up the fight against the policies that have been wrecking Britain.

Billy Bragg was a front line activist during the Thatcher years. In 1985 he formed Red Wedge – a musician’s alliance that promoted socialist views and encouraged youth participation in the political process. After Thatcher’s 1987 return to power, Bragg joined Charter 88 that was committed to reform in the British political system. 

Billy talks about the path he took during the Thatcher years:

And as a singer-songwriter who had

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Billy Bragg on why he became a socialist

Alberta Diary: Advice for Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau: Hammer Stephen Harper on the economy

The neoliberal Harper economy at work: a Toronto street scene, last week. Below: Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper and Margaret Thatcher.

Here’s some free advice for a couple of would-be Canadian prime ministers who are both in the news these days, the NDP’s Tom Mulcair and the Liberals’ Justin Trudeau: Hammer Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the economy.

Both of them were with their party faithful yesterday – Mr. Mulcair at the final day of the NDP’s policy convention in Montreal and Mr. Trudeau at his coronation as Liberal leader in the evening in Ottawa. Either of them, it (Read more…) said here, has the potential to form the next government of Canada if the planets line up the right way.

But that means, to succeed, something is going to have to go wrong for Mr. Harper – because, as we pretty well all know, more often . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Advice for Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau: Hammer Stephen Harper on the economy

Montreal Simon: Ding Dong the People’s Song and the Progressive Hero

Well it didn't make it to the number one position on this week's music charts. Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead has failed to reach the number one spot in the music charts. The Wizard of Oz song, which has been at the centre of an online campaign by opponents of Baroness Thatcher, reached number two after selling 52,605 copies.And the BBC did chicken out.But number two is still extraordinary for a 74-year-old song. And somewhere the spirit of the man who wrote it is chuckling tonight. Read more »

LeDaro: Appropriate Eulogy by the dedicated fans of Margaret Thatcher

H/t: Lorne.

Politics and its Discontents: Appeasement at the BBC

Whenever I travel, especially when a Canadian television station is not available, I tend to tune into the BBC, which generally practises the kind of hard-hitting journalism that the CBC was once known for, before embarking upon a policy of trying to appease the right-wing. Sadly, that virus of appeasement now seems to have been caught by the British national broadcaster, reflected in its decision to air only a five-second clip of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead, the song which, in the wake of Margaret Thatcher’s death, is likely to rise to number three on Sunday, in time for

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Appeasement at the BBC

Alberta Diary: Wicked Witch war of words: ‘Has Thatcher bashing crossed a line?’ Well, er… no!

The Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. Below, Ezra Levant in an orange wig with a can of Orange Crush mocks Jack Layton’s funeral. RIP or give it a rest?

Oh my – quelle horreur! – naughty Britons still appalled by the depredations visited upon their country by Margaret Thatcher’s government have shocked and appalled the world by pushing “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!” to the top of the charts.

In case you missed it, the former British prime minister, who was in office from 1979 to 1990, died on Monday at 87. But (Read more…) took until yesterday for the song from the Wizard of Oz – an apt metaphor itself for the operational side of neocon governments everywhere – to mischievously reach No. 1 on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s weekly music chart.

The right-wing media in Britain and, quite naturally, here . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Wicked Witch war of words: ‘Has Thatcher bashing crossed a line?’ Well, er… no!

drive-by planet: Iron Lady? Rust in peace: Thatcher was a disaster for the UK

Following the death of former British PM, Margaret Thatcher, more than a few people in the UK took it to the streets. Champagne bottles popped and smiles lit up the faces of street revelers ecstatic to see the last of Thatcher. A lively street party took place in Brixton where protesters once rioted against Thatcher’s hated poll tax. On the Falls Road in Belfast, N. Ireland, republican tricolors were front and center as the celebrations got underway. A touch of local wit was on display on a wall where someone had daubed the words: “Iron Lady? Rust in peace.”  

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Iron Lady? Rust in peace: Thatcher was a disaster for the UK

The Disaffected Lib: Margaret Thatcher Breaks Into #3 Spot on British Pop Charts

It’s currently behind something called “Need U (100%)” by Duke Dumont and A*M*E at No. 1 and P!nk feat. Nate Ruess’ “Just Give Me A Reason” at No. 2.

But “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead” from The Wizard of Oz, is currently selling 2,000 copies a day online in the U.K., propelling it to a third place on Brit pop charts. 

Meanwhile, Irish Central lambastes The New York Times for kissing Margaret Thatcher’s ass by sanitizing her true record in power.

Montreal Simon: Margaret Thatcher Even Worse Than I Remembered

I wasn't planning to write another post about the late Margaret Thatcher.But now that I see that the Cons in Britain are planning to give her a lavish funeral. Even though most Britons are outraged.Crippled by savage Tory cuts, ordinary Brits are furious at forking out £10million for the funeral of a woman who shattered many of their communities all those years ago and left them a legacy of despair. And that if you plan to protest the police want your name. I'm starting to get the horrible feeling that my heartfelt obit didn't do her justice eh?Read more »

The Ranting Canadian: Brian Mulroney is going to be part of Canada’s official…

Brian Mulroney is going to be part of Canada’s official gaggle of groupies at Maggie Thatcher’s Bukkake party on April 17, 2013 in London, England.

Yes, that Mulroney; the disgraced former prime minister who took bribes, defrauded Canadians of millions of dollars, cheated on his taxes and resigned under a cloud of corruption (not necessarily in that order). Stephen Harper, Canada’s disgraced current prime minister, is the shithead who invited him for the free ride.

No doubt the dishonourable John “Angry” Baird will be there too. He met Thatcher once, and even named his cat after her. What a pussy!

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Brian Mulroney is going to be part of Canada’s official…

Trashy's World: To clarify…

… Something about my post yesterday about ex PM Thatcher’s death… I admired her as a leader of conviction, as a woman who was a trailblazer for female politicians everywhere, and as a savvy politician. I would say the first and last points about some other conservative pols, as well… like Reagan… BUT, this does [...]

Montreal Simon: The Ghastly Legacy of Margaret Thatcher

This time I waited until I was sure she was dead before I started celebrating eh?For I'll never forget the last time Margaret Thatcher's death was announced. And I was halfway through a bottle of cheap wine, until I realized it was only John Baird's pussy who had passed.But now ding dong she's really gone, and I'm making up for that bitter disappointment. Read more »

The Ranting Canadian: Alright, this is my last anti-Thatcher post of the night. Whew,…

Alright, this is my last anti-Thatcher post of the night. Whew, there sure are a lot of anti-Thatcher songs and videos out there, and I have only posted a fraction of them.

This song isn’t subtle at all. It gets straight to the point. It’s “Maggie” by the Edinburgh, Scotland punk band The Exploited (lyrics included).

Warning: If you don’t like swear words, particularly the “C” word, don’t click on the video.

The Ranting Canadian: This song against the recently deceased former British prime…

This song against the recently deceased former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher is “Oxford Lady” by the Manchester-based post-punk/New Wave band The Brigade. Lyrically, it’s a bit more subtle than most of the anti-Thatcher songs I posted, but that just means you have to listen a bit more closely.

As a bonus, here’s a link to another anti-Thatcher song by The Brigade, which they made in support of the British miners’ strike in the 1980s. The song title is “The Movement”.