Many years ago – in a more genteel time, I heard the year of the time described as the year of the Crab. “People hide in their caves emerge to bite you and then go back in the cave.” Obviously an observation about attitudes towards Politicians. All people wanted to do was bite them on the arse. It hasn’t improved and in fact got worse in 2016. If you believe the pundits – who were wrong all along, they are now explaining that the population is a seething mass of angry voters just willing to act out against the status quo. Pointing to Brexit and the election of Trump the pundits then hide behind their keyboards, with smug smiles, and continue to live a life of delusion in a completely unknown world.
What has brought about this post – the year-end, a need to make predictions ot something else?
Last night I received a phone call from the Ontario NDP, one of many as it is year end and they want to fundraise. Problem is that I cut off my monthly funding to the NDP as soon as the Convention in Winnipeg crucified the then Leader Tom Mulcair. After all it wasn’t Tom’s fault the NDP lost the election it was the backroom idiots who have now left (never to return I hope) who designed the election. Thinking to myself that the insurgents – led by silver-spoon socialists Avi Lewis and his wife Naomi Klein had been successful in pushing an academic list of political impractibilities, they should have the chance to take the party where they wanted it to go. Unfortunately like all crabs this power couple has disappeared back into the cave. I decided to remove myself from the political process and sever all connections to the only political party I have supported in the last forty years. How’s the old saw – “I didn’t leave the Party it left me!”
Anyway back to the phone call and the push to write this post. As the polite person on the other end asked me if I would reconsider funding the provincial party as my decision had been based on Federal actions. I told her that the Provincial party isn’t much better and what policies are we taking into the next election. What she said next stunned me, but on reflection it was predictable. “The election isn’t until 2018 and we will not put out a platform until close to that – We don’t want the other Parties to steal our policies!!” As I quietly said to her if we campaign on bread and butter issues – the problems of a precarious workforce and the moves needed to stop that – changes to the Employment Standards Act, higher minimum wage a Bill to control Employment Agencies and wage-theft for a start. I also told her that if the ONDP ever had the balls to put out such protection measures before an election months ahead of the vote “Don’t worry the other Parties will never steal that stuff!” At that point the polite person calmly told me that she had noted my comments in my file. End of conversation.
So with all the political turmoil of the year this conversation just about caps it off for me. Time for me to go into my cave.
When I emerge, the answers to the questions posed by the Trump Cabinet appointments will be known. As Robert Reich pointed out a couple of weeks ago what are progressives supposed to think when –
“Trump will be nominating the most radical right-wing cabinet in American history — including an EPA administrator who doesn’t believe in regulating the environment, an Attorney General who doesn’t believe in the Voting Rights Act, a Secretary of Education who doesn’t believe in public education, a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development who doesn’t believe in the Fair Housing Act, and a Secretary of Health and Human Services who doesn’t believe in public health insurance. And then there’s Trump himself, who doesn’t believe in anything except himself.”
And don’t start me off on the Sunny Ways programme of following the typical Liberal way of governing. As the love of my life keeps telling me, “Don’t get yourself worked up they all lie and never do what they say they will do!” Definitely time for the cave.