November 10 I posted an article on The Activist They Don’t Speak For Us severely criticizing the efforts of Canada’s largest daily newspapers to promote Harper and his one sided, repressive government. I was rejoicing in the ability of Canadian citizens to see through all the bull put forward by the paper’s big money corporate owners. But it isn’t just the big circulation dailies, it’s the whole big money corporate ownership of our press—regardless of how often it publishes and how many copies it puts out.
Consider the outright brainwashing/slight-of-hand editorial Nanny not a government expense the Black Press, Inc. is circulating on the ‘big’ issue of Prime Minister Trudeau paying for two nannies to help attend to his children’s needs while he is busy attending to the duties of a newly elected prime minister.
The words in the Black Press editorial Nanny not a government expense may not exactly plagiarize interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, but they, along with almost all the Conservative-promoting corporate press, are clearly all playing from the same song sheet.
It’s called slight-of-hand—a tactic derived from magic shows. You display one action boldly to catch attention so no one notices what is really happening behind the scenes. It is a common political trick as well. In this instance the Conservatives and corporate press are so deeply concerned about all the attention Canadians are paying to the efforts of the newly elected Liberals to get us our Canada back. I hear it in meetings. I hear it in stores and walking along the street and sitting in the cafe at the ski hill. It was big news at the Paris Climate Action Summit. Canadians are—the world is– talking enthusiastically about how wonderful it is to see the many ways the Liberals have set out to bring back the Canada we have loved and so missed over the dark decade just passing.
So what do the Conservatives have to say for themselves? They say in really serious voices that Canadians are being betrayed because Prime Minister Trudeau is paying $15-$20 an hour to hire some help looking after his children. They don’t bother to note that no additional staff are being hired but the Prime Minister is reallocating existing staff hours to prioritize caring for his children.
They stay completely away for the crucial point that we want our prime minister to be busy doing the job of stewarding the well being of our country and hiring help to ensure that the well being of their children are not sacrificed to their commitment to the nation is not only appropriate—it is easily as important (more I think) as the drivers, security guards, housekeepers that go with the job. Oh and Black Press doesn’t bother to ask what has been the record for past prime ministers. Do they want us to believe that caring for children is less important than the taxpayer funded hairstylist of the previous administration?
The clear objective of the Conservatives and the corporate press is to create resentment. That is the overarching strategic direction of the Conservative election campaign—create/milk petty resentments like ethnic head wear or the perennial “immigrants”, the kind of unthinking resentments that we all succumb to at times but the Republican Party in the United States has researched, polled and refined into a very successful political strategy to get people to become so blinded by mean spirited resentments that they fail to see that the party that is manipulating them, actually, has no interest in their lives, needs and desires, and will not represent them if elected. Most right wing parties from the Republicans in the US to the National Front in France to repressive governments around the world use the same strategy—create/milk resentment; it’s like blowing smoke in someone’s face while telling them they should strike out at someone who has nothing to do with the smoke; if you don’t like smoke in your eyes—strike someone over there; it’s all their fault.
In the case of resentment about Trudeau’s nannies, it is simply the only readily available issue so soon after the election they can remotely hope to milk into a full blown resentment.
You and I know they aren’t actually concerned about the cost of providing child care to a clearly busy Prime Minister. Can you imagine someone being seriously concerned about the cost of child care for three children? Even the Canadian Taxpayers Association can see such a poorly thought PR effort will backfire and expose the insincerity in any future efforts to discredit the new Liberal government.
If the Conservatives and corporate press were so interested in our public tax dollars where was all the drum beating when the Conservatives disappeared $50 million dollars “without a paper trail?” How many nannies would that have hired? They created a $50-million government program that was sold to Parliament as an infrastructure fund to reduce border congestion but instead was used as a treasure chest to pretty up Tony Clement’s riding with parks, walkways, gazebos, etc. But they not only diverted the money from its stated purpose, they didn’t account for any of where it was spent on what. Then they put another $13 million dollars into microscopically analyzing Canadian charities to see if they happen to have spoken up for social or environmental justice/well-being/accountability. Can you imagine if even one of those charities said “sorry, no paper trail!” Just the thought of the screeching by Conservatives and corporate press moguls is damaging to the ear drums! Or how about the F-35s?
The Black Press editorial ends with “Well, that was a short honeymoon.” It’s not that the honeymoon is over; it’s that Black Press clearly hopes that it will be able to milk petty issues into full blown resentments that will blind Canadians to the fact that the dance has just begun. They don’t believe the honeymoon is over—they hope you will fall prey to taking their propaganda as statement of fact. Trudeau is already delivering on the promise of tax cuts to the hard hit middle class and tax increases to the super wealthy few. And, that, my friend, is what this is really about. The corporate boardrooms are very worried, not that Trudeau will not keep his promises—BUT precisely because they are afraid he will!