Saturday, May 28, 2016

Stephen Harper and the Verdict of History

I'm going to spend some time this weekend filing away or deleting some of the more than a thousand photoshop creations I made of Stephen Harper during his hideous years in power.

Because after his pathetic speech the other night, even I am now convinced that he really is gone, and that he won't ever be back.

So after so many years I can finally relax, settle back in my hammock, and await the verdict of history.

Because I'm sure it will be a harsh one.

Especially since Canadians, as Jeffrey Simpson points out, delivered their own harsh verdict last October. 

The verdict was not kind, at the polling booths and in the polls. Outside the Conservative Party core, Mr. Harper was unpopular, to put it kindly. Critics didn’t just disagree with him, they despised him. Seldom in recent Canadian political history has a leader produced so much political spittle from so many people.

So they won't easily forget what he did to this country. Or forget how much they loathed him.

And as for all those things he bragged about in his farewell speech.

They were just more lies or more hot air...

Balancing the budget? The Chrétien Liberals actually did that trick years before Mr. Harper took office. Tough on crime? Many of those laws are being overturned by the courts or the new Liberal government. A “principled” foreign policy? Already scrapped by the Trudeau Liberals. A reduced size for the federal government and lower taxes? Again, already being scrubbed by the Trudeau Liberals. Building up the armed forces? Sorry, the Conservatives in real terms cut the military budget in their last years in power.

And even Andrew Coyne admits Harper did more for his party than his country. 

Any honest examination of Harper’s nine-odd years in office would find a government that wandered all over the intellectual map, boasting of its commitment to balanced budgets while adding $150 billion to the national debt, talking of its respect for free markets while launching 1970s-style industrial-subsidy programs, praising the military while denying it adequate equipment, and so on.

What he did do to the country is being rapidly healed or demolished.

There was much that it did that it shouldn’t have — a long list that would include abusing the prerogatives of Parliament, packing the Senate with spendthrifts and cronies, and attempting to skew elections via the Fair Elections Act — and much else that it tried to do but failed, from reforming the Senate to building pipelines. And whatever it did do, for good or ill, is rapidly being undone, either by the courts or by the government that succeeded it:

And since this is the state of the party he left behind...

That's nothing to brag about either, no matter what Coyne says.

Harper’s ambition for the Conservatives, it was sometimes said, was to replace the Liberals as the country’s “natural governing party.” He may not have succeeded in that. But he can fairly claim to have left them, as no Conservative prime minister since Macdonald has, with a decent shot at governing again.

Because if we play our cards right there will be nothing left of the Cons, just a heap of smoking rubble.

But the main thing is Stephen Harper has left the building. 

And after so many years of following him closely, at the end all I can say is this:

How small and pathetic that swaggering bully looked when when his power to hurt others was taken away from him...

And that will be the verdict of history. A nasty little man who left nothing but his own evil behind to remember him. 

And as I file away or delete my many pictures of that little monster, I'll also be thinking this:

How sweet does freedom feel now that Stephen Harper has finally gone?

And we can live again happy and safe and clean in our beautiful Canada...

What a journey it has been, hasn't it?

Have a great weekend everybody...

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  1. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Yes,just another wannabe little fascist dictator with an impeccably poor sense of timing and character judgement.History will not be kind but its time to move on as there are even bigger challenges on the horizon.Although currently a US phenomenon the lower to middle working class are pissed off with being treated like a fly over zone as governments bounce between catering to the 1% and the socially disadvantaged.The liberals will be hard pressed to stay ahead of this movement in Canada but even if they do the US spill over will be devastating if the US does not somehow manage to get its house in order.To further complicate matters the ReformaCons will try and put a slightly more inclusive mask on their true agenda and ride this wave for everything its worth.

    1. hi RT...yes I agree, we do need to move on, because the next six months are going to be rocky ones as the U.S. campaign keeps us on the edge of our seats. And if Trump does get elected we'll be in the orbit of a madman, who may side with our Cons. Also, it is important to remember, as Harper reminded us, that the defeated Cons are still raising more money than the other parties, so they remain a clear and present danger...

  2. Anonymous11:39 AM

    Simon, do NOT delete your Photoshopped creations. You will need them again. I can almost guarantee you the HarperCons will be headed by a similar character in the near future.

    The face will be different, but the ideology will be the same, and therefore so will the tactics and tricks. How do I know?

    There is NO Conservative party, there is only the HaperCon party. he shaped it in his image and that won't change until they shake off their delusionary thinking and purge themselves of all the Harper sycophant. They don't seem very motivated in doing that in the near future.

    the party needs to purge itself of anyone who was stained by Harper. That would be everyone who served as his Minister: Leitch, Ambrose, Rempel, Raitt, on and on and on...

    Something tells me you can probably recycle a lot of your Photoshopped creations and simply put a different face. The faces will change but the melodrama will be the same. If the evil, divisive, counter-productive, and antisocial ideology doesn't change then everything remains the same.

    Who am I to give you advice? You know what you are doing, and I applaud the work you do. It is extremely important. Please keep up the good fight.

    1. hi anon...don't worry I'm only deleting the ones that really didn't work, or never ran. And just making it easier to find the ones I like the most. And besides, even it I accidentally deleted them all, all I have to do is type Stephen Harper into Google images and there are hundreds of them staring back at me. It's actually quite shocking. But if they help give historians a better idea of who he was, and how much we despised him, I'm not complaining... ;)

  3. Sadly, I'm a little more paranoid than you on this front Simon, it will take a fair bit more time before I am truly comfortable taking this POV. I've spent a lot of my adult life watching this man from his Reform days onward, and he has had a depressing amount of occasions where it has looked like he has finally quit and walked away only to come back to do even more damage. Now, I am at this moment hard pressed to see how he could, but history has rather painfully taught me in his case to be cautious in making such assumptions, So unless you really need the hard drive space, you might want to be a little slower in hitting the delete button on those graphics.

    Just a thought, if an unpleasant one.

    1. hi're right we can never let our guard down completely. And one can't trust Harper as far as one can spit. But his strange behaviour, and his wimpy speech, and the weird look in his eyes, makes me believe that he is a broken man. I would however wait to see what he does in Alberta, because he is determined to unite the right in that province, so who knows what might happen?

  4. Anonymous2:59 PM

    "I'm going to spend some time this weekend filing away or deleting some of the more than a thousand photoshop creations I made of Stephen Harper during his hideous years in power."

    PLEASE don't delete them!

    Time has a habit of playing tricks on the mind.
    Remember Brian Mulroney? Of course you do. Remember how his minions were trying to resurrect his image a few years ago and sweep all the putridness away? It was those with solid memories and hard evidence that sent him swiftly back to the rock he'd crawled out from under.

    Steve's stated intent is to inflict his ignorance upon the world. So... please keep your powder dry. Safely stored for when it will inevitably be needed.

    1. hi anon...don't worry, as I said above, I'm only getting rid of duplicates, bad ones that never ran, my collection of Jim Flaherty and Rob Ford graphics, and thinning the pile down a bit so I can actually find some good ones that I know I made but never ran and now can't find... ;)

  5. Place me firmly in the 'do not delete' camp. :)

    1. hi Omar...I'm flattered that so many of you think they're worth keeping. Thank you. But of course I'm keeping Jason Kenney handy, and I must work on a whole new collection of Rona Ambrose shots. I'm afraid at this rate she will soon start sprouting a pig's nose and ears...

  6. e.a.f.8:26 PM

    He is gone. We should never forget what he did to our country. It could be done again.

    As to the cartoons, don't delete them. You may need them again. countries do forget leaders such as Harper and in another 30 years we may have something similar and given you are still young enough to go that distance, some of us will expect you to publish them again, even if we're not around.

    Really enjoyed all your Harper cartoons. Put them in a book and publish them and use the money for your favorite charity or your retirement.

  7. I do not remember any group ever being concerned about how a PM would be remembered before. Me thinks it will not be good,

  8. A failed vindictive toad of a PM whose shitpile reputation in the coming years will be temporarily raised by bootlickers (I see you Postmedia), the unrepentent and the dimwitted till tripped up by facts.

    Those who are going to suffer the worst of global climate change will curse the greasy tar sand pimp (among others.)

  9. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Thankfully Canadians finally woke up and threw the fool out. After too many years of stress over Harper, so nice to be rid of that constant foreboding.

    Lovely photo of you on your boat. We are so fortunate to live in this country, absolutely worth the battle to preserve what we know and love.

    Cheers Simon ,

    1. hi TS...yes, as a lovely coincidence, or not, summer arrived the moment Harper left the building. And we are fortunate to live in this now Harper-free country...

  10. Anonymous10:40 PM

    I agree with most of those posters. Could you please play that video of elbogate? I never need did see it. I too would like it for my own personal files of nasty lying Harper Canada's worst PM in Canadian History. Irene

    1. hi Irene... here's where you can find that video:

      And here's the post that went with it

  11. I can sum up Harper's nearly 10 year regime in one line from a Bob Dylan song: "But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency."

  12. Politics has always had unsavoury aspects, but it amazes me how many of the Con MPs seem to be truly nasty people who would do or say anything for their master, Herr Harper.

    Folks such as Fantino, Poilievre, Bergen, Del Mastro, Remple, Blaney, Gallant, and even Ambrose. If Ambrose is comparing Justin to a woman, maybe she better look in the mirror and measure the width of her neck!

  13. Ask your Con friends, co-workers etc. "Do you really want another Con government?

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." --George Santayana

    Part 1 of 9

    1. hi David...yes, the Cameron Cons in Britain, the harper Cons do seem to have more than their share of nasty people. But then we should stop being so modest and say it like it is. We may not be perfect, and I'm certainly not, but we are so much better than those filthy Cons...

  14. Anonymous1:23 AM

    Please don't delete them Simon. They are a part of history now and helped open many eyes to the horrors of his reign. They can and should be viewed by future generations as a true reflection of the man who would be "King" who's ruling style should never be repeated.

    1. hi JD...don't worry I won't. I shouldn't have mentioned that. !!@#!!
      I'm just thinning down the collection because it had become unmanageable, and I couldn't find the graphics I really wanted, or fund myself scrolling endlessly through one collection or other, as my precious blogging time went up in smoke. So now I can swing into action at a moment's notice... ;)

  15. George Carlin will continue to "roll over in his grave"!

  16. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Having lived in both Nunavut and now Fort McMurray during this idiots time in office I know that I for one am sick to death of this ass clown making the places I've lived in to political hot potatoes. Piss off and good riddance, Steve.