Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jack Layton and the Little Tree

Well I see that although we only just said goodbye to Jack Layton, our classy media is already beating their tin drum over who will replace him.

And so are quite a few Liberal bloggers. Which seems rather crass, considering the timing, and considering their own problems.

You know...I love my Liberal friends. Although I don't have as many of them as I once did, because most of them joined the NDP in the last three days. I know that all of my friends share my vision of a better Canada, whether they wear red or orange. 

But like our tired media so many Liberals are obsessed with the grubby mechanics of power. Who gets to be da boss, who gets to ride in a limo, who gets to stick their snouts in the trough.

While the Jack Nation is building a powerful new movement...

A movement that will unite the left, and drive the filthy Cons from power, by appealing to idealism of the young and the noblest instincts of all Canadians, who are sick to death of old and tired politics.

The nostalgic dinosaurs of the Big Small Red Machine may not understand that yet, but you can be sure the Cons do and they are AFRAID. Quaking in their boots. Or going up and down like yoyo's. 

It will probably be a while before a Canadian prime minister again offers a state funeral to someone on the left.

With the Conservatives’ new hammerlock on power — accomplished with a mere 40 per cent of the national vote — here at least was one joyous moment in which we could watch the country’s most powerful orator confront a prime minister who had no choice but to stand every time the rest of the room rose in rapturous pleasure at Lewis’s inspiring call for a more equal and generous Canada.

There will come a time when I write about the NDP leadership race. But right now all I can think about is the wonderful news that they're going to scatter some of Jack Layton's ashes on my beloved Toronto Islands.

Jack's ashes will also be scattered on the Toronto Islands, where Layton married his wife MP Olivia Chow in 1988.

A memorial tree will also be planted at the site on the islands.

Because that little community loves the NDP more than any other ...

(Click pic to enlarge)

And I absolutely love the idea of planting a little tree to remember him.

Like this one near the ferry dock...

So on an icy cold day I can wrap it in a blanket, or hurry over with a watering can on a hot one. Or ring my bicycle bell as I ride by it, like we did at Jack's funeral.

And of course guard it with my life eh?

Oh little tree of hope. May you grow like our beautiful movement.

Until you touch the stars...


  1. Anonymous11:27 AM

    We must think of Jacks trees of hope, in these dark and terrible days. A Canada I don't even recognize anymore.

    While I grieved for Jack. I grieved for Canada. Jack was a true Canadian. I keep Jack's wonderful letter close by. When I begin to fret about our Canada, I read his letter...My faith is restored.

  2. Thanks for this Simon. Sometimes I think you may have the biggest heart on the Internet.

  3. hi anonymous...you're so right. These are dark times, but if somebody had told me two months ago that I would soon be filled with hope again,I wouldn't have believed them. I know that a lot of progressives are still very depressed, you can feel it in the air. And I know a lot of people are cynical. But I'm not one of them. Not any longer. The struggle will be a hard one, but we will get to that better Canada. I'm sure of that now...

  4. hi O.B....thanks a lot. What a sweet thing to say. I really appreciate it, especially coming from you. If only my friends were so kind. They think the Big Monkey gave me a big heart, to make up for my small brain... ;)