Which Politicians Think We’re Imbeciles?

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When I try to infer the mental state of some politicians from what they say publicly, I can only conclude that they must think we’re too profoundly stupid that we’d not be able to think for 3 seconds to realize that they are full of shit. Let’s look at Kevin Falcon and Gregor Robertson.

Health Minister Kevin Falcon: “when we are making changes in health care delivery, it doesn’t mean it’s just a cut.” The provincial government decided to “change” the funding to the 6 health authorities in BC by negative $360 million. It’s certainly a change. To stress that it isn’t a cut means Falcon thinks the air coming out of his lungs is worth forming into these words because there is some value to it all, that enough people will believe he has achieved plausible deniability of cuts occurring.

Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson: “The core traditions of the Olympics are very powerful, and we lose sight of that with all the corporate sponsorship, Olympic bylaws and the gigantic scale of the event.” What a nuisance, hey, so let’s get over our criticism of the following and just get that lovin’ feeling!

  1. VANOC has bought ALL the outdoor advertising for Olympic corporate sponsors.
  2. Corporations are going to wrap ads as mammoth building condoms around the tall buildings all over the place, with video ads broadcast on buildings–think Blade Runner.
  3. BC neoLiberal MLAs and cabinet ministers get to use swanky private boxes in stadiums to watch events…paid for with our tax dollars.
  4. VANOC has set aside $30 million for bonuses to ostensibly keep their employees WHO ARE ACTUALLY PLANNING THE OLYMPICS from quitting before the big show–hard to imagine; $30 million works out to around $23,000 for each of the 1,300 employees, though I doubt it will all be distributed equally.
  5. The IOC business model requires communities to sanitize society of the ugly: homelessness, poverty, dissent; so, we have broad, sweeping legislation that threatens our civil libertiies.
  6. The IOC will not allow women’s ski jumping regardless of domestic courts ruling the action unconstitutional.
  7. Provincial legislation will allow law enforcement to come into my home to seize anti-Olympics signs, under penalty of up to 6 months in jail and $10,000/day fines, while neoLiberal cabinet minister Bill Bennett says that’s a reasonable thing to do when the Olympics are in town.
  8. Officials can now round up the homeless and forcibly house/confine them during the games; this, in the context of massively neglecting effective social housing for the whole decade.
  9. $1 billion to be spent on security with 5,000 imported rent-a-cops and military, not to mention the black helicopters that were buzzing the downtown east side this morning, with much more of that to come.

So what core traditions is Gregor Robertson waxing on about as he gets on a plane to go to Greece for the flame lighting? Nobility, competition, purity of athletic competition? Is that what the Olympics mean now? Or is it special rights for global corporations using the Olympics for a marketing bonanza at the expense of democracy, domestic constitutions and court rulings, and civil liberties?

People are coming around to the reality that the Olympics stink, that they aren’t worth the social, political and economic costs and that with the overwhelming majority of Canadians unable to acquire or afford tickets to the actual events…people are starting to feel duped. A recent survey shows only 9% are very excited about the show, while 71% or not very excited or not excited at all.

This is showing up in not enough people volunteering, signing up to rent out extra bedrooms to rich Olympic tourists, or applying for the scut jobs needed to make the whole thing function.

Well. I told you so.

As did the entire No Olympics campaign years ago. And now we all get to eat it…with the black helicopters flying overhead as I test out my remaining civil liberties as I wear my “I am a free speech zone” t-shirt wherever I can. I also have a “Democracy is Nice” sign I carry on the end of my hockey stick. I wonder which of those will be a security threat.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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2 thoughts on “Which Politicians Think We’re Imbeciles?”

  1. As a fellow lower-mainlander I’ve seen the Olympic(tm) process in action. I first started hearing about it from my clients, who were experiencing it first hand. The VPD started ticketing people for menial things that never used to warrant a ticket… Public smoking too close to an opening, jay walking, etc… They know that people either can’t or won’t pay the ticket, so they will keep ticketing the high-profile people, then before the Olympics(tm) they will be picked up for not paying, and held for the duration. All for the illusion of clean streets. I don’t think anyone is buying it.

  2. i hear you. sounds like a reasonable plan to “legitimately” cleanse our streets for the big show.

    i don’t think everyone is buying it, but i think lots of people are buying it. lots of people stuck in complacency who wish problems would just go away WHILE they enjoy their tax cut are ok with this kind of thing.

    they’re ok with Bill Bennett saying that the Olympics are in town so let’s clean up the streets. but these people want the streets clean because guests are coming over, not because they care about solutions, especially solutions that require them to make changes or sacrifices.

    it’s simple and all been explored before: Jean Swanson’s “Poor Bashing” book: http://www.btlbooks.com/New_Titles/poor_bashing.htm

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