Yet another dreary weekend is brightened by the travails of the hideous Jeremy Corbyn who, in a single persona, encapsulates everything irritating about life here in whatever label will one day be bestowed upon this post post-modernist era.
Those of us who have largely abandoned Canadian media as a credible source of comprehensive information due to the monolithic nature of what we shall generously call its intellectual instincts find ourselves these days encamped on the websites of British, French and German newspapers where diverse perspectives still appear to breathe.
And there, to much delight, we read that recently selected neo-socialist Labour Party Leader Corbyn has failed to leap the first hurdle of leadership.
Corbyn, having first shown his mettle following the atrocities in Paris by prevaricating for days before finally accepting that British police should, well, maybe OK have the authority to shoot to kill when dealing with an active terrorist attack, is now on the rack because, much like Canada’s Prime Minister, he does not want his country engaged in air strikes against ISIS. Although there is scant coverage of this in Canadian media, most of the last week for French President Francois Hollande was spent building support for something along the lines of a western shock and awe approach to ISIS/Daesh.
This nation’s leadership, meanwhile, is giving new definition to “Canada’s back” as in that’s all you can see of us anymore as we head over the hill.
The scandalous defamation trial featuring Scud Stud Arthur Kent and Parliamentary Press Patrician Don Martin has now completed its
- second week in Calgary. This appears to come down to this: one man says his hopes of a career in politics were dash by another man who based his commentary entirely upon unnamed sources – all of whose identities have now been revealed – to write, one assumes from Ottawa, a “Scud Stud a dud” column about him and a political campaign taking place in Alberta. During the week, one witness read from the Calgary Herald’s code of conduct for journalists, another witness spoke of how he had denied Kent the right to rebuttal because he was uncomfortable with the content of his submission and, well, we expect before this is all over someone will speak to the Canadian Association of Journalists ethics code.
Should Kent prevail, it will be interesting to see if the court gives weight to the fact the allegedly offending journalism lives a very long time online.
Some have long complained that journalists lack so much as a fundamental understanding of economics and in the course of their training are sequestered in such a fashion as to be protected from the outlandish assertions of sensible economists regarding how the world actually works. In this sense, some say, they eschew and deny science – a crime against the very existence of humanity when it comes to the perils posed by a changing climate but apparently not so much when it comes to the threat of society’s financial extinction (see Greece). Many of those also assert – despite the determination that a journalist’s first loyalty is to the truth – that bias is generally more evident in regards to the questions that are not asked as opposed to the reporting of the questions that are asked.
Those that do so may point to this weekend’s reporting on how New Brunswick, having finally found people desperate enough to move there, is poised to benefit from the arrival of Syrian refugees by reversing its demographic death spiral.
Now, because we are compassionate people, we are not allowed to express concerns about the arrival of refugees lest our concerns, no matter how legitimate, may be viewed as emitting a “dog whistle” that inspires no end of inappropriate thinking (Just ask B.C.’s former premier). So we understand how the knees of the author and his editors would tremble at these suggestions, but here we go.
As the story details, New Brunswick is dying. Its population is in decline – primarily because there are no jobs. It is essentially bankrupt and currently spends more money on debt interest than it does on post-secondary education. And, like other Maritime jurisdictions, while it is happy to accept transfer payments from provinces where people will commoditize resources, it is unwilling to do so itself and is therefore unlikely to have any economic prospects. It will, however, remain a pristine environment for those who stay around to turn off the lights.
So, would it not have been reasonable, when researching this story to ask additional questions such as:
– What are the employment opportunities for these people?
– Given that they are arriving frightened, desperate and broke, from where will they obtain the finances to start small businesses such as the one described in the story?
– What are the social tensions they and their hosts may face when 1,500 people suddenly arrive to compete for jobs with an incumbent population unaccustomed to newcomers but very accustomed to standing on its porch in tears as its children and grandchildren head west to Ontario and beyond to find a job? Yes, yes, we are all brothers and sisters today but what happens a year from now?
We have no objection, Dear Diary, to the extension of a hand to those in need. Nor do we to the idea that from the ranks of the refugees there may emerge citizens who will serve New Brunswick in a handsome fashion. No doubt there is a moral benefit to all in this, but to construct and leave unchallenged the assertion that plunking 1,500 new people into a job-starved constituency is an investment benefit leaves us tempted to join the ranks of those who believe economic illiteracy within the ranks of journalism is the biggest threat facing this country.