Stephen Harper

A besieged people

William Pollack discusses Israel in the wake of the killings by Palestinian terrorists in a synagogue in Jerusalem.

Just days ago, Barack Obama, the Commander in Chief and honorary Islamic Protectorate, stated the savage beheading of yet another American by ISIS, Peter Kassig, was not representative of “any faith, LEAST of all Muslim.” If Muslims are the “least” representatives of worldwide terrorism, whom might we expect to be more prominent, Lutherans?

Days ago and now vanished from the headlines, four Jewish worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue and a security guard were viciously attacked by Palestinian MUSLIM terrorists armed with meat cleavers, axes and guns. President Obama’s all-too-common response was to make a moral equivalence between Israel, a nation of laws, and a band of cold-blooded murderers. The Palestinian Authority’s leadership response was typically indifferent, coughing up a statement of regret that “any” citizens were harmed,  then blaming Israel for everything under the sun.

Reminiscent of the Palestinians celebrating dead Americans following the 9/11 attack on the United States, Palestinians handed out candy in honor of killing men dressed in prayer shawls. This horrific event followed weeks of savage Palestinian attacks on Israelis, including ramming cars into bystanders. One of the numerous casualties was a child.

The United Nations, a wasteful and irrelevant piece of real estate, paused momentarily from their relentless condemnation of everything Israel to offer stoic regret. With the notable exception of the sincere and meaningful comments by Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, worldwide statements of sympathy for the slain innocents were matched by the obligatory nod for more peace talks; as if Israel has a Palestinian peace partner; which they don’t.

Read more »

Perhaps we could do the same for NIWA

Meteorologists with the Canadian government aren’t allowed to speak publicly about climate change.

A spokesperson said the policy is because meteorologists are not climate experts and the ban extends to other federal scientists who must seek permission to speak to media.

What a good idea…perhaps the government could do the same with NIWA scientists.

Meteorologists working for the Canadian government’s weather and meteorological body Environment Canada have been forbidden from publicly discussing climate change.

A government spokesperson said this week that the policy exists because its meteorologists aren’t qualified to answer questions related to climate change.   Read more »

A study in conservatism


Mark Steyn writes about the above photograph:

Not everyone at the Mandela jamboree was doing selfies with the Danish pastry. One reader passed along this photograph: No sign of Barack buddy David Cameron, but here are three of the Queen’s other prime ministers – Australia’s Tony Abbott, Canada’s Stephen Harper, New Zealand’s John Key – having a working lunch ahead of the memorial service.   Read more »

‘I did crack may be only once’ says mayor!

Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford is a total embarrassment and he is refusing to quit…much like Len Brown.

Their councillors though are made of sterner stuff than the blouses on Auckland Council.

Come the next election I think we are going to have to rinse them to let them know that sucking up to brown isn’t a winner.

Toronto’s scandal-plagued mayor said he’s smoked crack “maybe once” and said the city council has no business stripping him of his powers, implying in a television interview that many councillors are guilty of similar behaviour.

Rob Ford said he has “declared war” after the council acted in response to his admitted crack cocaine use and binge drinking and a series of outbursts in recent days.  Read more »

Daniel Hannan on John Key

The Telegraph

Daniel Hannan has just been down to New Zealand and he blogs at The Telegraph about John Key and hwy he is now Daniel’s favourite Anglosphere politician:

To be honest, I’m slightly surprised to find myself admiring him as much as I do. I have blogged before about the two heroes of the AnglosphereStephen Harper and Tony Abbott. Both men are idealistic conservatives. Harper is comprehensively dismantling the Trudeau settlement, cutting taxes, devolving power and making Canada the Anglosphere’s foreign policy hawk. Abbott horrifies Australia’s metropolitan establishment by opposing restrictions on free speech, attacking carbon taxes, believing in God and pwning Labor in the polls.

John Key has a very different style: practical, moderate, distrustful of doctrine. Like David Cameron, he bases his appeal on competence rather than ideology. The two men, as you’d expect, are close, and our own PM often cites John Key as a soul-mate.

The thing is, his competence is visibly yielding dividends. New Zealanders know an able manager when they see one. While other countries have toppled into recession, theirs is growing. Most Kiwis understand that this didn’t just happen on its own and, being a level-headed people, they see their PM’s background in international finance as an asset rather than a cause for resentment.

This week, John Key will come to Britain to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I asked him what advice he had for us. ‘Get into Asia,’ he replied simply. ‘It’s growing while Europe is shrinking’. Put like that, it’s impossible to disagree, no?

Shearer needs a sweater vest, Ctd

I blogged about Stephen Harper’s sweater vest and made the suggestion that David Shearer should get a sweater vest.More evidence has surfaced about the power of the sweater vest. David Shearer really should be looking for one on his tour of the bar, pubs and clubs this summer.

Rick Santorum came second to Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucus. Just a week ago he was counted out then he pulled on his sweater vest:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s sudden boost in the polls is more obvious on Twitter than in traditional national news polls. Could the spike in positive sentiment be because of the V-neck sweater vests that Santorum routinely wears while on the campaign trail? Stranger things have happened.

While other GOP candidates make public appearances in suits, the former Pennsylvania senator has been donning sleeveless sweaters. This has inspired some parody social accounts including a @FearRicksVest Twitter account, Facebook Page, Tumblr blog and YouTube music video.

On Monday, Santorum detailed the moment when his sweater vests caught fire online during an interview on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. He said the meme began after a speech he gave at a Mike Huckabee event in Iowa in mid-December: “If there was one event that really began the moment, it was that speech,” Santorum said. “So all the sudden the sweater vest was like, ‘Fear the vest.’”

Shearer needs a sweater vest

If David Shearer is looking for some cut through as he tours the pubs and clubs this summer perhaps he might like to take a elaf out of Stephen Harper’s book and buy himself a sweater vest:

The 2008 Canadian Federal Election will probably be remembered most for the blue sweater that Prime Minister Stephen Harper wore in a series of commercials that Reason Partners created.

The campaign was created to address the political opposition and media portrayal of Mr. Harper being “scary, cold and aloof” and at the same time attract more female votes.

The series of commercials worked right from the beginning, as the idea went massively viral.

It was mentioned in a pop song by the Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent and K-OS. It was lampooned by comedians on and off the air. It was written about by fashion consultants. There were popular YouTube parodies. Not to mention, that it dwarfed all the other political parties ads combined on YouTube. It directly affected the sales of sweater vests in Canada. And it was the reference point for most media coverage during the election, including the NY Times and LA times.

Blue Sweater Campaign – Stand For Something from Reason Partners on Vimeo.

It was integrated everywhere and into everything, including the Prime Minister’s campaign jet, nick-named the ‘Sweater Vest Jet’ by the media.

Perhaps the most memorable line during the English language debate was when the NDP’s Jack Layton said, “Where’s your platform Mr. Harper? Under the sweater?” Funny. But even funnier, as the CBC’s Rosemary Barton noted later in the campaign, “Jack Layton is now wearing a blue sweater.” And that, “Layton, pushing his bid to be Prime Minister this time round, is actually taking a page from the PM’s playbook. After a week away, one wonders if a sweater will ever just be a sweater again.” It was also noted that the Liberals, Stephane Dion and the Green Party’s Elizabeth May followed suit, err, sweater vest, as they both started wearing one in their respective party’s colour.

I might just work for David Shearer, he strikes me as a sweater vest type of guy.

Why the Labour party needs to move to the right

Losing the ACT wing of the Labour Party gutted it of intellect and the ability to look for results, not just making the state bigger. This meant that Labour conceded the middle ground, because caucus was so left that no moderate policies could come through.

Around the western world support for left wing parties has collapsed. 97% of Europe have either a right wing or a technocrat government. Only 3% have socialists in power.

In Canada the Liberal Party was smashed at the last election, with the conservatives winning their first majority government after two minority governments.

But in six years under Harper, Canada has been moving steadily to the right on issues like diplomacy, abortion, and—crucially, to Americans—oil and the environment. Running on that platform, the Conservatives were handed their first majority government of the Harper era in elections this May. Canada is no longer your cheerful, liberal neighbor of yore.

It all starts with Harper, a churchgoing evangelical, who has perhaps the most doggedly right-wing temperament of any twentieth-century Canadian prime minister. A veteran of the conservative movement, Harper has been president of a prominent Canadian libertarian lobbying group and helped get the insurgent, Western Canada-based Reform Party off the ground in the late eighties by arguing for the deregulation of oil prices and lowered taxes, and against gay marriage and abortion. He’s an admirer of Friedrich Hayek and William F. Buckley. And he has devoted his life to pushing Canadian politics to the right.

Take war resisters. For some American baby boomers, Canada’s liberalism is still tied to its role as a haven for Vietnam-era draft dodgers. And, indeed, to this day Toronto and Vancouver are full of aging, Birkenstock-clad conscientious objectors who came here in the late sixties and early seventies, when the laid-back, anti-war Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau was still letting them in. When Iraq began, another Liberal government opposed the war, and deserters began trickling across the Canadian border again. But Harper, then leading the opposition Canadian Alliance party (later to become the Conservative Party of Canada), supported the war, and when his Conservatives came to power they began deporting Iraq war deserters with glee. In September 2010, the Conservatives led the charge in defeating a bill that would have stopped the deportations on humanitarian grounds.

On the environment, Harper is stridently conservative, moving Canada away from its traditional green stance with a tireless defense of the Canadian oil industry and efforts to squirm out of international climate deals. Recently, the Conservatives pulled out of the Kyoto Accord, which mandated Canada to reduce its emissions by a modest 6 percent below 1990 levels. This didn’t come as much of a surprise: Harper’s home base is in Alberta oil country, home of the tar sands, a sprawling patch of land in eastern Alberta where they extract a thick, sludgy, bitumen-based crude—a process that creates unusually large amounts of carbon emissions.

Move to the right, start winning. Be a party of union hacks fighting ideological battles that were over when the Berlin wall fell, lose elections. Labour has some choices to make.