"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fetch the smelling salts, someone said "Fuck" on the internet

As I write this, the number one story under Canada on Google news is the report by the privacy commissioner about the government collecting too much information about us, especially at airports. The number two story is about a carpenter from Winnipeg saying "fuck you" someone (who was definitely asking to be told) on the Internet.
Normally this would not be a story, but the carpenter in question is NDP Member of Parliament Pat Martin, who first expressed his anger over the government swiftly closing debate on the budget bill.
"This is a fucking disgrace... closure again. And on the Budget! There's not a democracy in the world that would tolerate this jackboot shit,”
followed by
For gods sake. In these uncertain economic times, don't you think our parliament should be debating our federal budget? Some due diligence?
These drew a series of tweets in response. Many of them, including my own, agreeing that, yes it is a fucking disgrace that the Harper government considers Parliament an inconvenience at best and that its passing of major pieces of legislation with little or no debate has the whiff of autocratic fascism. It also drew the predictable pearl-clutching trollery of the usual crowd of ignorant twerps who are more worried about the use of naughty words than they are about the government abusing its power.the one that broke the camel's back being from some hardcore Catholic fundamentalist anti-gay anti-choice dingbat who goes by the moniker of Lettingsmokeout

That was the first of several tweets by Lettingsmokeout condemning "socialism" (apparently the Pope doesn't care for socialism and since he is god's official spokesman, he couldn't possibly be wrong)  which led Martin to respond with an annoyed "Fuck you" -- to which I would only add "and the altar boys you and the pope rode in on."

Such people don't deserve to be given the time of day. Before you accuse me of anti-Catholic bigotry let me say I've nothing against Catholics that I don't have against adherents of any other major religion. Most are fine people, its the few that get carried away that spoil it all. Religion is like whisky -  it's a comfort, but those who start letting it run their life get annoying fast.

Having gotten what he wanted, the mook in question makes sure the jackals at SUN-TV are notified and seeing a shiny object, the pile-on begins with much hand-wringing and pearl-clutching about decorum in politics and those awful, awful socialists.

Well, fuck that noise.

Pat Martin is entirely correct to be as mad as hell and the language he used was entirely appropriate to the situation and the medium.

In the 46 days that Parliament has been sitting it has closed debate at least five time, ending debate on the omnibus crime bill and the gutting of the Canadian Wheat Board among other issues. This is the most times that closure has been used in such a short span and by the end of the session will likely be the most it has ever been used. That is what happens when you have a majority government that cares more about its narrow ideological agenda than about democracy.

No one was talking or writing about the number of times the government has shut down debate and pushed through legislation without allowing the opposition to examine and debate the bills., it has happened so often it isn't considered a story anymore.

But thanks to Pat Martin and a few well chosen words, that story is now at least being mentioned in passing, even if only as the reason the Winnipeg-Centre MP got angry.

Guys like Pat Martin are exactly what politics in this country need. We can no longer afford to have the opposition "go along to get along" - we can't afford to play nice while the other side is engaged in scorched-earth take-no-prisoners endless campaigning. We need an opposition that will dig in its heels and scream bloody murder every single time the Harper government tries to pull a fast one, every time it puts corporate profits ahead of public  good, every time it puts cementing its own power ahead of good public policy and fair play.