Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Opposite Of Truth and Freedom


The Harper government came to Ottawa promising transparency and accountability. But, Tim Harper writes, when journalists request information from the Throne, they get obfuscation:

When we ask for specifics on a program known as the International Experience Canada, a supposedly reciprocal program that is disproportionately being used by foreign workers in this country, [Chris] Alexander’s office tells us our economic recovery is one of the best in the G7 and “Canada’s economy is doing better than most . . . and that is something we can all celebrate.’’

When we ask for a response to reports sex murderer Paul Bernardo plans to marry, the office of Public Works Minister Steven Blaney assures us his government puts victims first and “We continue to examine ways to ensure that the worst of the worst stay behind bars where they belong, without needless perks that these dangerous and violent criminals certainly never afforded to their victims.”
When we asked about reports that a couple of Russian business magnates were not sanctioned here because they had Canadian business interests, there is no denial or confirmation, but there are a couple of links to old Baird press releases and: “Our sanctions are designed to punish the Putin regime and bring economic pressure on Russia for its illegal occupation of Ukraine.”

This is a government that is on a permanent spin cycle; and the objective is message control. God forbid that any hard information should make its way to the media. The result would be catastrophic, because facts undermine Conservative policy. That was the whole idea behind getting rid of Statistics Canada's long form census.

If the old axiom "the truth shall set you free" has any validity, then it's obvious that Harper Inc. is dedicated to the opposite of both truth and freedom.


Rural said...

Information is power and Harper does not want us 'common folk' to have either......

The Mound of Sound said...

The corporate takeover of Canada's popular media has cemented the ascendancy of messaging over information. Today everyone spews out what could be called "value added information." It's information with a gloss or spin that, because it can favour one over another, can be highly lucrative. It was enough to allow the rise of the corporate media cartel and the shelving of our government's policies against concentration of ownership and cross-ownership.

We hear reports today about PostMedia or the G&M pushing "advertorials" - advertisements dressed up as news. Yet it's just a question of degree because all messaging, presented in lieu of and in the guise of news, is inherently advertorial.

Michael Harris writes of how his inquiries are routinely fended off with blather. He, of course, is not alone. If you want something that could pass for a response you had better be on the payroll of the home team.

I have never seen this shit in my lifetime, Owen, and I never imagined I would. Yet I have and I fear it's here to stay.

It's all so Orwellian.

Lorne said...

A good example, Owen, of the Conservatives' allergy to anything resembling truth is found in today's Star in a story about federal funding cutbacks for Parks Canada operations. In response to an inquiry from the star, a spokesman said "the Conservatives have made “significant investments” in Parks Canada in recent years."

You can read the full story here:

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Lorne. It's straight out of Orwell. And it echoes Mound's guest post today.

Owen Gray said...

As I wrote in my reply to Lorne, Mound, you hit on that subject quite nicely on his blog this morning.

All the world's no longer a stage. It's a platform for infomercials.

Owen Gray said...

Absolutely true, Rural. Give enough ordinary people the levers of power, and Harper will be gone.

Steve said...

Hi Owen, the F35 is grounded due to engine failure, despite the fact Peter McKay insisted this is not possible. In a delicious turn of events it may be that the only way Harper can avoid eating crow is to go French.

Owen Gray said...

It would, indeed, be a delicious turn of events if Harper turned to French technology, Steve.

Imagine. Purchasing military hardware from a country whose president claims to be a socialist.