Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Royal baubles and trinkets

A political stunt. Why else would Airshow ruck up to the podium and make such a nostalgia laden announcement regarding the Canadian Forces when the latter's actual Commander in Chief is in Nunavut?

There's really nothing hidden here. Junior actually tells us exactly why he did it, and not Mr. Johnston, complete with the requisite product mention.
"Our Conservative government believes that an important element of the Canadian military heritage was lost when these three former services were required to relinquish their historic titles," MacKay said. "Today, I am honoured to announce that the three elements of the Canadian Forces will have their historic names restored."
The intentional association of the Conservative brand with THAT national institution continues. This is where there be the dragons. The Con political branding of distinct national institutions is hypocritical in the extreme. It serves as a distraction for the masses while they pursue policies of deeper integration with the United States, erosion of the social contract, loosening environmental protections, dismantling of democratic structures and practices, and so on and so forth. They are content with the optics of state-nationalism so long at it serves to obscure their true business of dismantling the state in the interests of corporate capital, their personal dislike of social diversity, and most of all their consolidation of power to a degree unheard of here.

They'll be boiling their frogs in beer in the Legions tonight as they drink away the reason Legions exist in the first place. 

15 comments:

Keir said...

I suppose you would advocate getting rid of all reference to Canada's heritage to promote a social diversity in which anyone who gets off the plane (like my kid) can be considered a Canadian. It's come to the point that I feel my country's been taken away away and I'm left with a country of convenience, that has no identity or loyalty to what it once was.

Boris said...

Keir,
We are all of countries of convenience, or maybe more accurately, happenstance. Countries, nations, are imagined communities that change over time. The popular perception of what that community is in term of its values, stated or latent, changes. It's easy enough for anyone's country to change or cease to exist. Just ask anyone from the former Yugoslavia. I'm more disappointed and disillusioned with Canada by the day, especially under the this government.

Purple library guy said...

Keir--
Whereas you I suppose would advocate harmonizing all actual policies with US ones; US taxation, US laws, US health care, deferring to US espionage and policing agencies, integrating our military with the US military, US corporations owning our industry . . . no problem just as long as we get to put Canadian-looking symbols on things.

Evil Brad said...

I'm no fan of the so-called "Tories" either, and certainly did not vote for them in the last election, nor shall I in the next. And no doubt they have their own cynical reasons for restoring to the three services their correct names.
But in this case I am inclined to give the devil his due. They have done the proper thing, and righted a long-standing wrong.
There are many out there claiming to be unimpressed by this move because there are so many more important priorities the government should be focusing on instead. If that is so, then maybe there are other things to fault the government for than the one thing they actually did get right.

Mark Francis said...

The name was changed for good reason. It is being changed back for a bad reason.

Doing this to satisfy a fraction of the (aging) Conservative base is waste and disrespects our progress as a nation.

And, like you say, our deepening alignment with the US makes a joke out of the Royal reference.

How about the 'Royal Canadian Air Force of America' instead?

Evil Brad said...

"our deepening alignment with the US makes a joke out of the Royal reference."

all the more reason to asert our national identity

ThinkingManNeil said...

I'm a Canadian. I'm also a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves (Hastings & Prince Edward Reg't "B" Coy) I am NOT a British citizen and I refuse to be subject to a foreign monarchy, a monarchy which perpetuates political, economic, and social inequality based on the absurd notion that a family or individual has the right to obscene wealth, public adulation, and not insignificant political influence by some dumb accident of birth or worse, the infantile notion that they were appointed and anointed to such a position by some invisible, mythological Sky Daddy.

My friend, Sam, also a former reservist (Sgt.) has also become a vocal anti-monarchist and gave me a great quote; "A monarchy has no place in a country founded on and dedicated to the principle of the inherent equality of all people".
I stand by that. Britain has given us many invaluable institutions, especially parliamentary democracy, but that does not automatically tie us to the United Kingdom in all things, and most certainly not to an undeserving and moribund thing like the British Royal Family. I have nothing against them as individuals, but I am opposed to their self-serving perpetuation of "The Family Firm".

This also speaks to the intentions of Stephen Fucking Harper. He and his neocon/socon cronies want to push Canada back into an illusory "Leave It To Beaver/"Father Knows Best" 1950's fantasy past where militarism and unquestioning fealty to King and Country was de riguer, and where those filthy, effeminate, socialist, peace-loving (the horror!), peacekeeper hippies were a future nightmare. It's a creeping implementation of Harper's fucked up "Canadian values are Conservative Values and Conservative Values are Camadian values" meme. (When misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, corporatism, militarism, and christofascism are pushed as "values" then they ain't mine, you thuggish asswipe, and you sure as hell aren't MY Prime Minister )

Recognizing our past is all well and good, but times and circumstances DO change. This is 2011 now; not 1954 or 1939. It's time we grew up and left our parent's basement and became an independent parliamentary republic, and if we must have a military, let it be solely and wholly CANADIAN.

N.

BTW, when conflict with our southern neighbours (likely over dwindling resources) does come, which I suspect it will someday, will Mama Britannia come to our aid? Doubtless they'll be getting their cheering orders from Head Office in DC and Wall Street...

Boris said...

Neil,

When were you with Moro Coy?

Paratus!

Boris said...

And have I asked you this before?

Steve said...

Airshow's statement " the troops are prouder now" is so typical of the mush they push. So the soldiers that served between 1968 and today, were less proud, especially the ones in Afghanistan the past ten years. I bet the people standing on the highway of heroes can be proud as well now.

ThinkingManNeil said...

I was with B-company in Peterborough from the mid to late 70's; I'd originally gone in with the idea of going RegForce to become an aircraft safety systems tech (fascinated by ejection seats and wanted to work on them) but wanted some reserve time to kinda "grease the way"m but urgent family matters intervened and I had to leave and make other plans. The "Sam" I refer to is Sam Buick who was a corporal with the Pee's until he transferred to the Toronto Scottish where he became a sargeant. Don't know if you ever knew him...

harebell said...

Last Remembrance Day I stood with Canadian ex-Service people and supported their protest against this government's short changing of injured vets. I heard our local MP waffle his Harper speak and that was it. These same Legion folk have put together a more concerted campaign for the reinstatement of this "Royal" crap than they did for their so-called comrades in arms. Maybe it is time for everyone who has served since around the 80s to set up their own veterans organisation, because the current Legion membership does't seem interested in today's warriors.
Also I think it is time to set up a watch on the costs of this blatant pandering to folk who should know better.

Steve said...

VIMY Ridge was the crucible of Canadian Military Identity. They fought not as Royal anything, but as Canadian Corps, so Petey lets just call them the Flying Canadian Corps, and the Sailing Canadian Corps, and stop the pysh ops.

Steve said...

I amend my previous statement, few of the troops fought as a Royal Regiment, but those regiments still existed before Airhead changed the name of the overall structure.

Rev.Paperboy said...

I had a great uncle who was wounded in Holland with the Hasty P's the day before the armistice.