Just another lifer speaking out

Ray McCarthy – the husband of the welfare minister Grace McCarthy – was on our phone, working a real estate deal.  And he was screwing up the ribbon cutting for our new sheltered workshop serving mental health clients in the downtown area.  We needed a good opening shot for the workshop. McCarthy and his wife, the minister responsible, could have cared less what we needed that day.

I ran that sheltered workshop.  It was my first job in mental health and in hindsight it was just another measly half measure that didn’t put the tiniest dent into Vancouver’s emerging mental health crisis.

But what I took away from that ribbon cutting day 35 years ago was that these people, these hurt and sick people, meant little to the government responsible for their care.

‘These people” meant more to me.  My mother was one of them.  She lived in poverty in sub-standard rooms suffering from over-treated and under-treated depression for most of her life, until she took it two years later in 1980.

The health care system that confronted my mother did nothing to help her.  Worse, the government and its cuts and priorities harmed her and everyone in the same boat.  Changing that meant changing where I spent my time and energies.

But I didn’t want to just talk about it.  I got involved in politics to do something, to make sure mental health services began to meet needs and were funded, not just talked about.

That’s one view of what the BC NDP needs to be.  There are others.

For example, I’ve just finished reading an email from Corky Evans posted on Mark Lieren-Young’s blog.  Evans believes we’ve lost our way and the evidence is that we are no longer a movement but now an institution.  As he says, “ The only way I can think of to describe our problem is to say the Movement that we were has become the Institution that we are.”

Former MLA Corky Evans

Evans doesn’t send me his emails.   But I see myself sprinkled throughout this one, from my run as Director of Polling and Outreach for the Premier’s office in the nineties as well as my spell serving Carole James, first as Director of Policy and then as her Chief of Staff.

I spent long days presenting strategic plans, communication plans and the information and analysis to support them while Evans sat in the southeast corner of the Caucus room and laughed at me and others like me, entertaining his courtiers while summarily dismissing anything I had to say.

Why?  Because I believe in everything Evans disapproves of.  When it comes to campaigning, I think it’s our duty to do what we can to win.  I believe in a professional party.  I believe in polling, focus groups, opposition research, GOTV, targeting, data bundling and management, message development, talking points – the whole damn thing. And I believe in doing it well.  As best we can.

And I believe in this because people who need a social democratic government, and everything that stands for, need us to win and then govern well and long.

Evans thinks this is evil.  Poison.  The spawn of the devil.  He is completely opposed to the constraints this puts on politicians like him, who want to speak their mind no matter what it contains.

“The message box… is not discourse.  It is poison, like drinking the Kool-aid at Jonestown” Evans argues.

Evans believes all politics, including campaigns, are about what the politician wants to say. I couldn’t disagree more.

My interest is clear.   It’s been clear since that day in 1978 when Ray and Grace McCarthy came to the sheltered workshop.  I want the “institution” that is the BC NDP to win elections and become a government that would take on the issues we care about because they make a real difference in the lives of the people who need change.

I don’t understand what Evans thinks the NDP’s job is because in his email he begs off, making an argument claiming with that well worn false humility “I do not know how to fix this.  I could not write a tract entitled ‘What is to be done’, because I do not know.”

But then a line later he does offer a prescription.  We should talk more.  Especially people like himself.

According to Evans people like me, on the contrary, should engage in a little self criticism, say we’re sorry for the message box, pardon ourselves for trying to win, admit to writing ads that bell the cat that is the BC Liberal Party.  It’s time we break a little solidarity and wallow in our own thoughts no matter how irrelevant they are to people who make half the money I make.

Here’s what I believe.  The BCNDP isn’t the movement.  It is the electoral ally of a series of movements that have at their heart ordinary people trying to live whole and fulfilling lives against all odds.  As well it is the electoral arm of a series of movements that have at their heart our planet and the way those ordinary people wish to steward that planet for all.

The BC NDP’s job is not to be everything to everybody.  Its job is not to be “the movement”.  That is so presumptuous and self-important.

The BC NDP’s job is to get a group of people who share the above values elected in enough quantities to form a government and to do something.

In other words the BC NDP’s job is not about politicians and their ability to talk.  It’s about ordinary people and their needs and their priorities and our ability to win elections and deliver policies and programs that make their lives better.

Who cares what the New Democrat politicians say if that can’t get elected and change the things that need changing?  We are useless if we can’t do that.  We don’t deserve people’s votes.  We don’t deserve their donations.  We don’t deserve their time and effort if we aren’t doing our job to win elections that deliver a decent government in line with their values and aspirations.

And if the BC NDP ceases to do that and descends even further down the rabbit hole Corky Evans describes, a new modern party representing ordinary people will emerge to do that so very necessary job.

This entry was posted in Adrian Dix, BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Just another lifer speaking out

  1. raven says:

    Ian, I am grateful that the measure of your heart, is in healthy balance with the rationality of your mind.

    Anyone can say what they want with great passion, but without hard data to support their “vision”, they are not likely to endure, and will only be flimsy messiahs.

    It is indeed ironic, that Corky, who himself has become an institution of sorts, called upon as the voice of political reason, decries the solid framework of institutions. Mavericky gun-slingers don’t pass the test of time, aka Ross Perot, but “institutions” do, some even as faux-maverick-gun-slingers.

    Evans: “We survive even if our Leadership candidates sign up bogus membership to get nominated. We survive even if we cannot attract enough voters to grow or win. We survive when we have nothing to say to citizens who are not already committed to our way of thinking. We survive even when we have to get someone else to pay our President.”

    Surviving as a political idée fixe does not feed, educate, house or make people well. I have no interest in wasting my support on a charismatic political cult.

    Evans: “We are rarely, anymore, embarrassed.”

    It would be easy to create a list of the “Top Ten” most squeamish-worthy NDP moments.

    I fail to see how anyone with a moral compass would not be embarrassed by David McLean’s (BC Rail) welcome donation to the party http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/04/10/NDP-Film-Friends-McLean/

    or by 15 minute NDPer’s pushing the Dix leadership train over the top, or by the secrecy surrounding the sudden political departure of that day’s strategist: http://bcpoliticalreports.com/2012/11/27/timeline-the-rise-and-fall-of-raj-hundal/

    One of my highest heroes is Dr Paul Farmer, who like you Ian, also balances heart and brain to great effect. We would do well to observe his methods.

    (Dr Paul Farmer dedicated his life to helping the poor and sick in Haiti, and elsewhere, he called his approach “pragmatic solidarity”.

    http://titiaanpalazzi.com/2013/08/02/book-review-mountains-beyond-mountains-a-biography-of-paul-farmer/ )

  2. Lew says:

    “The message box… is not discourse. It is poison, like drinking the Kool-aid at Jonestown.”

    Mr. Evans would do well to remember that it was the Jim Jones message box that convinced the assemblage to drink poisoned Kool-aid. And it was the BC Liberal message box here that swayed the electorate to do the political equivalent.

    The NDP’s message box was akin to a prankster’s note on an unsuspecting sap’s back reading, “Kick me.” It too worked.

  3. David says:

    Amen.

  4. ron wilton says:

    We all are fighting battles we cannot win.
    No matter the subject, the corporations are too big, too powerful, too rich and too oppressive for us to be anything more than a nit bite on their ankles.

    Exxon spent more on lawyers than they did compensating the innocent victims of the Exxon Valdez spill. What they paid after, lying, cheating, concealing and withholding for over twenty years was less than three days profit for their companies, while hundreds of lives and livliehoods were sacrificed.

    They even profited from the Exxon Valdaz disaster because they forced higher gas prices that led to billions of dollars in unearned profits.

    BP is doing the same with a vengeance.

    Here in BC we have so many battle fronts that we don’t have a hope in hell of winning, and the last thing we should be doing is fighting amongst ourselves and trying to fix the blame instead of fixing the problem.

    No, we cannot win, but to let them have us fall back and do nothing, is to surrender our humanity, and that is worth fighting, and dying, for.

  5. Eden Haythornthwaite says:

    This is becoming a ‘which came first the chicken or the egg’ discussion. Lets face it – the NDP has no principles and can’t get elected though one would justly assume having no principles would over qualify them for office. If the debate has now descended to whining about how various colleagues failed to warmly applaud other colleagues in their laudable pursuits as this author seems to do then those of us who need the voice, vote and policies of a truly working class, pro people party better start thinking and stop making excuses. We are not stuck with this turkey unless we convince ourselves we are.

  6. Joanne says:

    THANK YOU!
    Too often people forget what the Party’s sole responsibility is: to get people elected.

  7. j mcnevin says:

    Ian
    You are a fabulous writer.
    I would ask you to consider the many in the Party who work hard to elect governments for us and still despair over the internal mess we’ve become.
    Paul and I, and many others, worked to convince New Democrats that our message was only useful if we elected govt to implement it.
    Now we have to convince ourselves that we know how to win elections in an open and straightforward way without manipulating each other and the message beyond recognition.
    There is a happy medium. Some of us are not prepared to settle for “Liberal Light” in order to get elected.
    Corky, in his inimitable fashion, has tried to say this. Perhaps not perfectly, but tried.

  8. kootcoot says:

    Ian, I wonder if I detect a bit of animus here, perhaps because Corky was Carole’s toughest competition for the leadership when she won the chance to lose all the elections she chose to not contest, just like Adrian.

    As a one time constituent of Corky’s, I’ve had my issues with him, when I didn’t agree with his position on various issues – but I rarely doubted his good intentions which unfortunately seem to pave the road to Hell or at least the electoral wasteland of losing. I happen to admire both you and him yet can find it quite possible to disagree with both of you from time to time, but doubt neither of your motives, nor Carole’s.

    I felt that both Carole and Adrian inexplicably lost elections that should have been gimmes considering the virtually criminal behaviour of the current Campbell/Clark reign of terror and larceny, yet for some reason Carole lost twice and Adrian once so far. I definitely think it is time for the NDP to run a candidate like John Horgan (or maybe Corky if he was still in the game) with some fire in the belly that is willing to not play nice and doesn’t seem to think pointing out the actual failings of the Corporate Lackey Party known as the BC LIEberals is negative campaigning, as long as it is issue and not personality oriented.

    Corky wrote a piece a few years back about when he was out of politics and working in Nakusp about running into an old SoCred rival in Nakusp and the discussion the former rivals had concerning the descent of the level of honesty and sense of service to the people that both felt had infested BC politics in the Era of Capo Gordo. It seemed the two of them had more points of agreement than in former days when they sat on opposite sides of the Legislature. I will try to find it and send you a copy or a link.

  9. Kevin Logan says:

    Hi Ian,

    I have read and re read this last paragraph and was hoping you would expand a bit on this as the conclusion of your piece.

    “And if the BC NDP ceases to do that and descends even further down the rabbit hole Corky Evans describes a new modern party representing ordinary people will emerge to do that so very necessary job.”

    Cheers

  10. Tony Martinson says:

    @Koot, what Ian has been saying since the election is that having a winning platform or a candidate with a “fire in the belly” doesn’t help if you don’t run a proper vote-identifying and vote-pulling effort. The NDP used to be head and shoulders above other parties in that regard, which is why our vote was always seen as more “efficient”. The Liberals did a far, far better job of it in May and it made a huge difference in seat counts.

    The leadership and executive decisions are important, and Adrian’s leadership will be rightly challenged.

    But Corky’s dismissal of the kind of work Ian talks about – and the total sneering disrespect he directs toward the people who do that work – is likely to doom the party to permanent opposition status.

  11. j mcnevin says:

    I have worked in campaign organization for the NDP, federally, in every province and territory, and even Lord help me, municipally, for the last MORE than 40 years and have never known Corky to be less than supportive.

  12. Dwaine Martin says:

    Perfectly articulated, Ian. It is the duty of a political party to get elected. Progressives can always sit around a group of like-minded people and talk and plan about how society can be more fair or more equal or more just. And we can pat each other on the back and tell each other that we are doing great things for society, that we have great ideas. But a political party is how we deliver on our ideals. The political party is the vehicle that we need to take our ideas and beliefs and implement them into policy by becoming government. Otherwise, we are just “talking the talk”.

  13. kootcoot says:

    As I hope I made clear, I have great respect for both Corky and Ian. However, in order to win, not only does polling, identifying voters, getting them to the polls etc. have to be done, but the party must have a message that resonates with its likely supporters. Lately the NDP, both federally and provincially has seemed more interested in courting those with whom it has no chance and abandoning its “socialist” roots. This is not unique to the NDP, it is the same thing that Poodle Blair did to Labor in England and Clinton did by turning the Democratic Party into Republican Lite.

    Under Obama the dems have managed to win, due to the kind of strategy and tactics to which Ian refers. But what is the point in caring about a so called party of the left if they are merely another version of the corporate (and war mongering in the US) positions offfered by the ReThuglicans, Conservatives and BC LIEberals. It is astounding to me that in Canada Tommy Douglas can be chosen as the greatest Canadian in a CBC poll, yet these same voters choose to send Spiteful Steve to Ottawa and the current band of thieves to Victoria. Cognitive dissonance cubed!

    It is unlikely for a party to achieve victory if it seems unwilling or afraid to take a position on the issues that resonate with those it claims to represent. Also, when fighting against a party that has no qualms about magnifying minor issues like Adrian’s post dating a memo in the last century, or not having a ticket at a Skytrain station – to not point out vigorously the BC LIEberal record with BC Rail, BC Hydro, BC Ferries, Boss Mining, Ethicgate, etc., etc.. is just plain stupid or throwing the election on purpose. I could understand not wanting to take over the mess the LIEberals have created, but it certainly won’t get any better by giving them another mandate.

  14. Will says:

    I also have nothing but the utmost respect for Ian and Corky. Yes,we need all the things Ian talks about in terms of polling,GOTV,etc but I believe Ian’s arguments fall short on a number of fronts; the NDP has hardly been an ally on a number of issues,three month residency requirements,0,1 and 1 for public sector workers and PSEC and BCPSEA are just a few thst come to mind. Another is the attitute bordering on contempt,that P.O. has for local constits and the hard working volunteers who really make things happen on the ground during elections and at other times. All the GOTV’ing,polling and message boxing in the world doesn’t make a bit of difference without boots on the ground. The treatment these folks get is abysmal. That haa to change. And yes,short of a Darlene Van Ryksvyk situaton I think our candidates should be allowed more room to speak their minds. This could’ve made the difference in the close ridings and might’ve changed the result overall. My final thought is that we ran a shopping list campaign instead of going after the Campbell/Clark govt for 12 years of malfeasance. Lord knows we had more than enough targets to shoot at! Ian I believe your “institutional” approach haa failed us utterly and completely the last two elections.

  15. Kranky says:

    Anyone wonder how the BCA( Burnaby Citizens Association) have accomplished back to back sweeps in the last two municipal elections, or how the organization has maintained majorities on council and school board since 1987? All this while all candidates must be card carrying members of the NDP and have been identified as such by the opposition in every campaign since ’87. Not a bad record in the 3rd largest city in the province.
    How do they do it? Just askin’.

  16. Kevin Logan says:

    Clearly you have no obligation to respond to my earlier request for clarification on your blog, but the reason I put the question was two fold.

    1) you seem to be suggesting Corky has said that a new party will result in response to the failed approach the NDP has repeatedly undertaken

    2) you are apparently offended and have suggested that Corky had put you and the institutionalized approach, as well as your prescription for “what is to be done” in the hash marks

    If this is indeed an accurate read of your piece ( I could be wrong as I found this particular piece to be far less articulate and the message less clear than your normally eloquent prose) I am unable to comprehend how you came to such conclusions.

    In Corky’s response to a party member who made an attempt to organize a cohesive post election convention strategy, as a result of the failed campaign, he at no time suggested a “new party” as an option. Many others have made this observation since the time of the last election and many times in the past, but Corky did no such thing in his letter you chose to respond to. In fact I have never heard Corky ever even suggest such an option, he has forever been a committed and loyal New Democrat.

    Instead, he waited until the “deadline” for new sign-ups and renewals relevant to those interested in influencing the upcoming convention to respond to “Steve” and suggested that such an organizing attempt would require a small army of 100.

    He then went on to identify various points that have been raised since the campaign, and worked to put them in perspective by essentially rationalizing them.

    While he may have, as he always has, communicated his disdain for the message box, he also underscored how valid he believes the approach is in the dumbed down dialogue that dominates contemporary political discourse.

    In so doing, Corky did the party and those responsible for its now long standing approach to politics a great service.

    He essentially endorsed it, and your thinking, strategy, tactics and overall approach while at the same time communicating his disdain for it being a “necessary evil.”

    Which in this business is pretty nice criticism.

    What I find bizarre about all this analysis is that we have been generally using this approach to politics since I have been involved in the party and we have lost virtually every election in so doing.

    It was only when we stepped a little outside this box that we won with the one exception of Harcourt. And we won that one, not based on these dynamics, but as a result of the Zalm’s malfeasance and Rita’s incompetence. Not to mention the fact that Harcourt was literally more effective at running against the NDP party than Rita Johnston was, ironic given it was his party. But I digress.

    My long winded point is that Corky just did you a favour by glossing over this last election experience and its outstanding shortcomings and while he may have fell short in endorsing the rigid and conservative orthodox of the “moderate” NDP he went out of his way to justify it.

    You should be thanking Corky as a result, as there has been no other new democrat ever that boosted, sustained and attracted the type of populist support required for the NDP to survive than Corky. He is unparalleled in this respect.

    And instead of pointing out how the NDP repeatedly loses elections as a result of adopting strategies and tactics widely despised among the populist base of the party, he has instead rationalized their existence and breathed new life into the those who practice them.

    It would have been much easier to point out the obvious and state that repeatedly losing elections with much despised strategies adopted in the name of “electability” and “winning”s has failed us time and time again. And, as Einstein pointed out, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, therefor maybe its time to quit behaving as an insane institution.

    But he did not say or do any of that.

    Corky did not endorse the beginnings of a new party as the result of the NDPs colossal failures as many before him have, nor did he assail the party’s undying commitment to re invent itself and manifest a political institution far removed from those it claims to represent.

    Rather he offered an olive branch, at a crucial time, to those who have had enough of the NDPs persistence and commitment to practicing politics that favour constituencies the party was designed to oppose. Which validates much of what we have recently experienced at a time when doing so is a real palpable challenge.

    So you can understand my dismay, surprise and request for clarity, as I was expecting a thank you letter as a result.

  17. Ian says:

    Kevin, I have terminal cancer and less than three months likely to live. I’m not a good commenter at the best of times but these times are particularly bad. I will be writing on these and other topics but it will be on my own limited time, not yours.

  18. RS says:

    Kevin Logan:
    Your arrogance and hubris pale in comparison to your lack of empathy and compassion.
    Best stick with train wrecks and environmental disasters.

  19. Sidney says:

    I was surprised to learn today the BCNDP raised more political donations leading up to the May election than the other parties; including larger corporate donations. Imagine that.

  20. cherylb says:

    Funny. I didn’t get out of Corky’s email that you got.

    But I do know one thing. What we’ve been doing sure ain’t been working. So either we haven’t been doing it well, or we need to be doing something else. Either way, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I’m up for trying something different…..

  21. Ken Barry says:

    I agree with kootcoot and Will. You don’t stand in the political election ally throwing flowers at mugger who is about to kick the living shit out of you as did the NDP in their totally inept, incompetent, moronic, monster cluster *#ck of an election campaign.
    By the way I see the NDP’s so called review panel now has a questionnaire out trying to do autopsy on that thing they presented to the electorate back in May.

  22. RS says:

    Shouldn’t come as a surprise Sydney.
    A million here, a million there, and pretty soon…
    The NDP managed to out-cadge the Liberals this time around by one million dollars. Obviously corporate BC was hedging it’s bets this time around in light of the pervasive notion leading up to the election that the NDP would be forming government.
    But the more interesting stat in my mind is the Liberals spent $2.3 more than the NDP and as a result are $3 million in debt compared to the NDP’s debt of $1.9 million.

  23. e.a.f. says:

    Really liked your article. Made a very valid point. If you can not get elected, then what is the point? Yes, we should always object/protest the unjust things which happen to people. However, if we do nothing to change/fix it, what is the point in protesting. The government/corporation simply can ignore you. Just look at Stevie Slime. He has his majority. He doesn’t care. Crispy Crunch has her majority, she doesn’t care. She will do what she wants.

    Its nice if politicians get out there and talk, but as they say, talk is cheap. If the NDP can not win an election, then what is the point? Tommy Douglas and others did not get together to talk. They formed a political party which could make positive changes for those who had little or no power. They eventually won an election and we got government medical coverage in one province and from there, eventually we all got government medical coverage. Had Tommy Douglas and his collegues not formed a government, we might never have had government funded medical care. The NDP has to get its act together and develop a strategy to win.

    Those who suggest you may have a “slanted” view regarding Corkie, get a grip. Corkie is nice entertainment and he does have an appeal to a segment of our society, but it is one which is fading. If the NDP does not get its act together, we can look forward to becoming the Detroit of Canada, with the social problems and deficiet.

    My understand is the author of The Real Story, has one foot on a bannana peel, as the expression goes. Having read his blog for a number of years now, never having met him, I would conclude he would not spend his remaining time writing things he did not honestly believe. He would not spend his valuable time taking pot shots at those who others might consider his political opponents. My impression of his writings, is he is writing his thoughts down so we may reflect upon them now and, after he is gone and perhaps make some changes.

    Thank you for all you have written.

  24. Very well put Mr. Ian Reid. i assume the above was your comment. I quite agree, though i was once affiliated with the Waffle group back in the day, and had a lot of support for Corky Evans when he ran for ndp leader, and I also liked the crowd of people who endorsed his leadership position. I did think it was strange when he left active politics. I thought he might have had the leadership post Dosanjh.But he made a personal choice. Which is okay.

    But Ian. While I appreciate your calm and measured statements and criticsms of the Corky Evans position, I do also know that both you and Corky respect each other, would work well together, and agree on about 90 percent of the stuff.

    I do agree with your view that candidates should not be involved in the nuts and bolts of politics….that is the polling, focus groups, working with ad companies smart ad companies,….doing the election end well…including fuindraising.

    The qualities that make a person a good candidate often aren’t the kind to be involved in organizing an election campaign with a goal to getting out the vote. Most candidates don’t like to mark canvass lists….they wonder where their heart fancies…they stay with one voter for a long long time. Though of course the best are candidates who have flair and charisma and smarts and good on their feet…but also good with the nitty gritty. In the NDP, I have never seen better voters list markings than from Gerry Scott when he ran provincially against Princess Grace McCarthy. And I saw some George Heyman markings. Very thorough very good.

    So pleased with the article.And also mostly the tone of the comments. A very interesting blog or website, and nice commentators. Keep up the goodd work.

    And speaking of things germanic and all that…Ive been reading a few Martin Gilbert histories, watched Felix Moellers documentary on Conrad Viet the german filmmaker who made Jud Suss and later said…i just liked to make films. (Felix Moeller is the son of the briliant Margarthe Von Trotta. I saw the film Hannah Arendt again…and must get a read on the Origins of Totalitarianism. I did like her Eichmann in Jerusalem. Ive been reading Gunter Grass, my granny was from Danzig and was a war nurse at a hospital for russian and polish prisoners. It made her a pacifist.

    Im half german heritage…from Flatow West Prussia now called |Zlatow Poland…and the free city of Danzig. now gdansk. And Im very proud of being half of good prussian stock. There are strong arguements that Prussia had to be militaristic…no defenses…all flat….poor forests…poor soil….unnavigable rivers….no natural resources…and through brains and state imposed taxes and regulations and planning….this rather poor little german province….which took in mennonites, hugenots, jews and opthers……knowing they could add numbers and taxes and would contribute and be loyal for the refuge…this little german province eventually became the power house of germany by the late l9th Century. And Prussia was one of the first states to introduce legislation that was social democratic welfare state-ist in its objectives. Its also a fact that Prussia was lucky to be led by 4 or 5 kaisers over 200 critical years…especially Frederic the Great…who really was quite the guy.

    And of course. how can we forget that best prussian girl of them all. Maria Magdalena Dietrich. Daddy in the military. Prim and properly raised. A hard worker. Encouraged to arts and music and free-thinking. Became a leading anti-facist. No better example of a Prussian than Marlene. Many Prussians…my mom….have this very hard nosed attitude…when Marlene was asked about death…she said…when youre dead…youre dead. thats it. its over. spoken like a true prussian. .

    if this stuff is of interest…Mr.Ried…there is a great history about Prussia…called “The Iron Kingdom”….and I would also recommend Arnold Tooze’s book The Wages of Destruction: the nazi economy. A fascinating book with much macro economics,tables for days, footnoted very well, and this guy does take the position that Albert Speer was neither the brilliant war minister nor a decent guy in any sense of the word.

    and if others love german history and all that. check out these books and films and authors.

    Great website and blog. very interesting comments. and you are a very good writer mr. reid. and you seem such a lovely fellow.

  25. GKvanc says:

    and Ian . I love the cow in the photo. I was raised on a farm with 150 of our bovine friends, and cows are the best. I raised about 20 little cows and steers during a decade of 4h. Yes we used to sell them and the steers all became beef early on, and farm fed beef who are not kicked around, are well treated, and get good organic food..the meat is great. But Ive now reached an almost hindu position on cows. Use their milk and mostly let them live. . Though not as lax as India. Love is fine. Idolatry is not.And if they are to die, well give them a good life, and do it painlessly

  26. Kevin Logan says:

    RS,

    If you had any idea what you are talking about, you would understand that my comment was entirely empathic and compassionate.

    You went on to write, “Best stick with train wrecks and environmental disasters.”

    In writing about the recent BCNDP campaign, I could not find better words to describe it then a train wreck and environmental disaster.

  27. RS says:

    Kevin Logan,

    Seems I was wrong. Your arrogance and hubris are commensurate with your lack of empathy and compassion.

    With empathy and compassion like that, who needs a dagger?

    A thank-you note is forthcoming for clearing that up for me.

  28. This exchange and many similar on the various blogs that we frequent demonstrate why full proper names should be required. The quality and clarity are measurably improved when real names are required IMHO.

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