Ted has it. Jeff has it. Scott has it. Paladia has it. Canadian Cynic has it. And now, I've got it. It's an unrestrained sense of disgust at the actions of the little creep who deigns to present himself as a prime minister after this was disclosed.
Global National offers the latest example of the Harper government's pathetic, all-consuming partisanship. Parenthetically, Stephen Harper's trip to the Netherlands, at Paul Martin's invitation, when Harper was leader of the opposition, was one of the few foreign trips of Harper's life to that point:That's just the start.
KEVIN NEWMAN: The battle of Vimy Ridge in World War I is considered by historians as the moment Canada earned its right to call itself a nation through its valour and sacrifice. In just over a week, the Prime Minister will help unveil a new memorial at a 90th remembrance ceremony on Vimy Ridge, but as Hannah Boudreau reveals exclusively tonight, politics appears to be at play in deciding who will attend.Let there be no mistake about it here. A mere low-life politician has just highjacked an event commemorating the sacrifice made by thousands of Canadians for his own, smarmy political advancement.
NORMAN ATKINS (Senator Independent): That was taken after, you see the sergeant stripes.
HANNAH BOUDREAU (Reporter): Senator Norman Atkins father was a 24 year old gunner who fought on that famous April day in 1917.
ATKINS: My father was a veteran of Vimy Ridge. He fought for the 46th Queens Battery.
BOUDREAU: While Sergeant George Atkins was overseas, he kept a diary detailing his experiences and in typical soldier fashion, the entry for April ninth simply reads put over a barrage this morning, 5:00. The Canadians took Vimy Ridge a flying, took a lot of prisoners, etc. Ninety years later, there are no Vimy veterans alive to celebrate the anniversary, but Senator Atkins feels that with such a direct connection to that day, he would surely be included in Canada's official delegation attending the ceremonies in Vimy.
ATKINS: I am very surprised that I wasn't invited to go with the Minister of Veteran's Affairs. Any list that he could put together, I should have been one that would be considered.
BOUDREAU: But Senator Atkins wasn't the only one left out. None of the opposition leaders were invited, either. And it's by no means a small delegation. The list of people who did make the cut are former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, her husband, John Ralston Saul, and Public Works minister, Michael Fortier. It's not like the Conservative government is just following tradition. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day, former Prime Minister Paul Martin included all three opposition leaders on his trip to the Netherlands.
Why don't we put Harper right where he belongs on this. During his last trip to Vimy Ridge, overlooking a Canadian battlefield, Harper saw fit to lecture reporters as though he had some first-hand knowledge and insight:
"These were sand, not cement," Harper said of the reconstructed sandbags. "And the enemy carried guns, not cameras," he added, looking directly over the lip of the old trench at a small clutch of Canadian TV and still cameras.Ah, the great leader of the warrior class educating the masses. Except that the enemy carried rifles; not guns. Only a no-account, soft-palmed, flat-face would call a rifle a gun. And that is exactly what constitutes Stephen Harper. His self-aggrandizing warriorism is a cover for deeply ingrained cowardice and self-interest. He is a comic-book combatant who would curl into a little ball if he had to face anything remotely similar to what the troops at Vimy Ridge had to face.
This education Harper is providing everyone is little more than bathtub bravado. Of the millions of Canadians who have served Canada in uniform, one thing is certain: Stephen Harper wasn't one of them. His contrived displays of insincere empathy are sickening. His politicization of an event at which he should feel eminently privileged to be allowed to attend is an act of disdain for the Canadians who, through their action and determination, helped make this country.
Stephen Harper clearly couldn't care less about the veterans, the memorial or emotions of Canadians as a whole. To him, this is all politics. And he is so afraid of his political opposition, so hungry to serve his own needs that he is unable to sacrifice a slice of his own ego to properly honour those who sacrificed a thousand times more.
Harper is incapable of empathy. He does not honour those who sacrificed and those who died. He worships himself and he allows no room for others, particularly those who stand above him and those who, through their actions have always stood above him. The dead at Vimy Ridge are a thousand times better men than Stephen Harper can ever hope to be. They would vomit if they knew what was taking place in their names. Harper's politicization of their memory is not the reason they fought.
We flush down the toilet better stuff than what makes up Stephen Harper. While he talks a good story and beats his little toy drum, Stephen Harper has made it clear what he really is. He is an unbelievable coward.
The Governor General has the power to fix this. She should call Stephen Harper in and lay it out simply. Stay home. The memory of the people who actually fought for this country is none of his concern. Any speech he makes, no matter how stirring the writers make it for him, will mean nothing.
Harper is about to foul the hallowed ground of Vimy Ridge.
Scotian and Miranda weigh in.
Joseph brings up a round.
Update: Harper has now reversed his position. Too late. He's done his damage. The above remains germane.