Monday, February 15, 2010

HARPER'S SPEECHWRITERS AND HOW THEY GET THERE

With Hannaford Gone. . .


Can Corbella be far behind ?

As the CanWest Global empire sinks into its well-earned sunset many of its employees –including writers and editors - must be scrambling for new jobs. Living on the edge of being out on the street isn’t fun and it’s much worse when you are actually out on the street.

Nigel Hannaford, a pedantic, boring, extreme right wing, politically conservative former editorial writer and columnist who began imparting his antiquated views on Calgary Herald readers in 1999 seemed to be ahead of the pack in testing the waters for more secure employment. Beginning in 2004 when the Harper government took office Hannaford consistently fawned over it, doted on it, and caressed it, while shouting loud huzzahs of approval at each and every of its pronouncements and actions – despite its screw-ups, meanness, lies, and deceits. Anybody reading his tiresome columns could be forgiven if they had concluded that Hannaford was looking to Harper for new and more secure work.


Indeed in October 2009, the zealous opponent of gay-rights and multiculturalism, climate change denier, and ardent Afghanistan war hawk, was hired as a Harper speech writer. One wonders whether or not an even more secure post in the public service awaits him before his pal is finally thrown out of Sussex Drive. For more of Hannaford’s off the charts views see: http://faisalkutty.com/editors-picks/the-man-who-writes-stephen-harper%E2%80%99s-speeches-nigel-hannaford/

Another who many have long suspected as being on the same career path as Hannaford is the Herald’s editorial page editor Licia Corbella. The most recent manifestation of what may be her career aspirations appeared yesterday on the Herald's editorial page – appropriately on Valentine’s Day - with her passionate defence of Harper’s decision to prorogue parliament. See: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Double+standard+prorogation+telling/2563069/story.html

In it Corbella whines that no one seems to be outraged with Dalton McGuinty in the wake of announcing his intention to prorogue the Ontario legislature. She rages that “those of us who live in the real world know the answer. Proroguing is only something those professors and protesters care about if it’s someone like Harper who does it.”


Well, I doubt that being in the real world is hanging out – as Corbella does - with the Greed is Good crowd at the Fraser Institute and the co-sponsors of the forthcoming Sarah Palin love-fest like Craig Chandler and the Progressive Group for Independent Business. But she is probably right thinking that it is Harper’s type that gets under people’s skin when he seeks prorogation. I’m speaking of the petty, mean-spirited type that indulges in the politics of personal destruction, assassinates the characters of people who get in their way, and who asks for prorogation twice in one year to keep the Canadian people in the dark and to save their own political skin. I mean, people like that have their detractors, non?

In her defence of Harper Corbella then opts for one of her well-worn diversionary tactics. She brings up the red (no pun intended) herring of Bob Rae as Premier of Ontario. This is a device she has used many times before. Bob, she says, prorogued the Ontario legislature three times in five years, and then goes on to castigate his administration for its various misdeeds. Poor Bob. Corbella seems to be fixated on him, even though it is almost a generation since he was in power. The government of Premier Bob Rae is old news and few people save for the Harper fawners and apologists even talk about it these days.

Corbella then reminds us that it was only in December of 2008 when the Liberals, NDP and the Bloc threatened forming a coalition that most Canadians first heard of prorogation. She calls Harper’s actions in seeking prorogation at that time as “righteous” in the circumstances because the forming of the coalition sought to “usurp democracy.” First of all, it is trite to say that forming a coalition in democratic, responsible government parliaments is entirely within the traditions of democracy. At times coalition governments have been essential to Canada’s survival and development. For anybody who is interested in the subject I invite them to read: http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/coalition-governments-canada#introduction. Furthermore she forgets that the coalition was a response to an assault on democracy by Harper himself. The coalition threat was an attempt to spurn Harper’s intention to cut off public funding of federal opposition parties. It was the opposition's response to Harper’s attempted ‘putsch.’ For a definition of this descriptive term made famous by an event involving, appropriately enough, Adolf Hitler, read: http://www.answers.com/topic/putsch

There may be quibblers as to my definition of ‘putsch’ in that some will say Harper did not attempt to overthrow a government. I say that if you choke off funding for opposition parties you are trying to overthrow government as Canadians have always known it.

Corbella does have a moment – as even the most partisan of people like her do from time to time – of honest reflection. She calls Harper’s announcement of prorogation on December 30 “a huge miscalculation,” “bordering on disgraceful,” and refers to “Harper’s Machiavellian machinations.” Alas like Dr. Strangelove, after a moment of lucidity she quickly slips back into her normal uber partisan Conservative mode – saying that Harper should come clean with all of the info on the Afghan detainee issue “and let the Liberals come to the defence of Taliban murderers who were having ‘troubles sleeping because of stress’ while in prison.” Sound familiar? It could have been written by Harper himself.

Her column then deteriorates into pure babble with a ridiculous feeble defence of Harper’s action arguing that prorogation saved taxpayers’ money because MPs did not have to fly back to Ottawa from their ridings and would not receive extra pay because the committees of which they were members were not sitting.

Her closing thoughts reflect the rah-rah highly partisan Harperite that she is as she advances the proposition that prorogation is not such a bad thing because question period is vulgar, and that the bitching about prorogation is because Liberals feel entitled to govern.

So what are we to make of all of that?

Surely, the cowtown has produced no greater Harper cheerleader than Corbella, unless it is Nigel Hannaford. From day one she and Hannaford have been devoted to the Harper cause. They have been loyal and faithful through thick and thin whether their hero was mean, petty, deceitful, incompetent or all of the foregoing at once. If there is a place for Hannaford amongst the flim-flam artistes who write prime ministerial bafflegab for the masses, surely there must be a place for Corbella. By God, she’s earned it!

6 comments:

Mike said...

Thank you Darryl

Exactly!

Small quibble. "... you (referring to Harper) are trying to overthrow government as Canadians have always known it."

As I see it, Canadians elected every single member of parliament to exercise her or his good judgment on their behalf and on behalf of all Canadians.

Harper constantly goes out his way to ensure opposition members of parliament, backbench Conservatives and even cabinet ministers are kept from exercising their duties as responsible representatives of Canadians in the exercise of government. For those Canadians, he is constantly overthrowing government, plain and simple.

Those unrepresented citizens of the Canadian democracy have no democracy therefore they have no government.

Mike

Darryl Raymaker said...

Good Point Mike. Thanks for your comment.

Tony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony said...

Darryl you are right on as usual.

I haven't read anything that Corbella has ever written that had any basis in reality. Hannaford was just bad. It must be that a requirement of being a political writer for the Herald is that you have to be brain dead or completely delusional. Even Braid is showing signs of the disease.

Darryl Raymaker said...

Thanks Tony - for your very erudite comment. But I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Braid. I've known him for a long time, and I know his instincts are good and honorable.

And by the way Tony - You're Good! I look forward to reading your blog!

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