Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Taking Aim At His Enemies

Stephen Harper shuffled his deck chairs yesterday. And Mike De Souza reports, in The National Post, that incoming ministers received a package which included a list of Harper's enemies:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office asked Conservative political staffers to develop lists of “enemy” lobby groups, as well as troublesome bureaucrats and reporters to avoid as part of preparations for incoming ministers named in Monday’s cabinet shuffle, according to leaked emails sent to Postmedia News by an unidentified source.

This isn't the first time the Harper government has produced an enemies list:

Harper’s government had previously distanced itself in 2012 from another internal strategy document, released through access to information legislation, that listed environmental and First Nations groups as “adversaries” and the National Energy Board – an independent regulator – as an “ally” in federal efforts to promote expansion in the oilsands sector, the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

In their book,The Final Days, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reported that, as Richard Nixon was losing his grip on power, he would walk the halls of the White House, semi-inebriated, holding conversations with the portraits of former presidents. Henry Kissinger is reported to have called Nixon "our drunken friend."

One wonders how Stephen Harper spends his evenings. Perhaps he's conversing with Nixon's ghost.


ck said...

This is nothing new. Harper has always persecuted his "enemies". Remember the Toronto G-20 -- No dissent allowed.

I also remember a video that surfaced on YouTube in 2009 with Steve talking to his inner sanctum, referring to women as "Left winged fringe groups".

Owen Gray said...

True, ck. Harper's paranoia is nothing new. But now, it's less hidden. For all his bluster, the man is scared.

Kirby Evans said...

You and I (and many others) have commented for years now on the similarities between Harper and Nixon. He is clearly a deranged, deeply troubled autocrat who would do anything to hold power. The only thing that I find strange is the degree to which average Canadians don't realize it or just don't seem to care. I am not sure if it is because the media (unlike in Nixon's era) isn't doing its job, if people are just too disaffected, wilfully ignorant, or have just bought too far into the neo-liberal ideology which has a major component of anti-democratic hatefulness in it.

I suppose it is a combination of all of these things. THe only comfort is that if history is any indication, Harper (like his Nixonian predecessor) will continue to go off the rails until total disaster hits. (Sorry for that unfortunate reference.)

Owen Gray said...

I suspect it is a combination of all of those elements, Kirby. Good journalism -- then and now -- counts for a lot.

Had not Woodward and Bernstein stayed with the story, the outcome might have been different.

Lorne said...

Following up on Kirby's comments, Owen, I have a feeling that in these debased times, the thing that brought Nixon down would today be regarded as a quaint peccadillo, nothing more. The real test for us a a democracy will be the public reaction if it is proven that Dear Leader lied to us about his ignorance of the Nigel Wright payoff.

Owen Gray said...

Exactly, Lorne. That's why the RCMP investigation is so critical. Harper has been very successful at politicizing the public service.

We'd better hope that the Mounties still have some independence.

The Mound of Sound said...

If Harper wants an enemies list that could really do him some good, he should be consulting the Conservative Party. Harper has no end of adversaries opposed to his government but his real enemies lurk inside the Conservative tent.

Owen Gray said...

I know you have sources who are nominally inside the tent, Mound. Do you think they're courageous enough to rebel?

Are there more Rathgebers in the wings?

Anonymous said...

Dear Lorne & crew;

Harper being the paranoid right wing radical in prime minister's drag truly in his heart believes that he is the solution to the Anti-Christ, he alone in his mind assists the Archangel Michael in defeating the devil by opening up the tar sands for a pit to throw and swallow that devil, in his mind. All the while he is the author of creating hell on earth, in Canada.

Nixon on the other hand just thought he was smarter and braver than everyone else, in his mind, which was proved untrue. But Nixon's intelligence quota surpasses Harpers by a country mile.

Any world leader/dictator that lives in his own shadow of self
aggrandisement falls.

The images we have of Lenin Stalin and Saddam statues coming down and crumbling into dust is what Mr. Harper is in for. He will crumble because no man that lies and cheats his way into power stays in power. [he has powerful enemies]

Mr. Harper is a condemned man. Need I say more?

Bye-bye Mr. Stephen who thought you had a job that would land you in heaven while in fact your style of one man band government sent Canada into hell...

Need I say it again?

Bye-bye Mr. Harper

Owen Gray said...

One hopes that, indeed, Harper will defeat himself, Anon -- the sooner the better.