As the G20 Summit prepares to unfold and our world leaders set to pitch tent in Toronto . Its called ”Toronto the Good” because it may be the world capital of the politically correct. There is some uncertainty whether the security measures for the event, which give the impression of moated castles from the Dark Ages, are to keep the politicians sealed off from the general population; a quarantine of confinement for their own good; or whether they just want the citizens to babysit the almost equally intolerable and mendacious professional demonstrators who will be panhandling  new utopias like pretzels in New York.

www.indymedia ”Carlo Giuliani died in a street battle on the streets of Genoa on the 20th of July 2001 during a g8 summit. Carlo was shot in the face while attacking a Carabinieri jeep which then backed over his lifeless body. We do not lay any claim to the memory of Carlo but chose to remember him as a youth who died in direct confrontation with the forces of the state and afford him the respect he deserves, not as a martyr but as a comrade. The young Carabinieri who murdered Carlo was cleared of any charges with the state claiming the bullet deflected off a rock thrown by protestors. The counter-investigation proves this to be pure fantasy -”

It looks like a festival of the irrational is brewing in a bizarre cynical and symbiotic relation between world leaders and left-wing activists of whom their most passionate and ardent followers are a shade under full time criminals and delinquents who use anti-globalization as a pretext for street violence with the obligatory photo-op of smashing a MacDonalds or Starbucks window. However, like Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, the G20 summit will have its somewhat Orwellian sounding ”Designated Speech Area” to vent spleen. But how receptive will Ontario, the host province be to the message when the mindset of Canadians is clearly more concerned with more weightier matters:

Principal Turfs Sir Fartsalot at Reading: ( Ottawa) A book reading at an Ottawa elementary school by children’s author Kevin Bolger was cut short on Tuesday when the principal objected to its language, said Sean Wilson, artistic director of the Ottawa International Writers Festival, the organization behind the event. Mr. Bolger had been invited to Manor Park Public School to read and speak about his book, Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger, as part of the festival’s Step into Stories program.

This portrait of Prime Minister Stephen Harper by Canadian musician and artist Mendelson Joe is titled "Parts Missing.’ It is his submission to a project called Postcards to the G8 in which artists from around the world are sending postcard-sized art messages meant for the G8 leaders’ summit in Muskoka, Ont. June 25-26.

This portrait of Prime Minister Stephen Harper by Canadian musician and artist Mendelson Joe is titled "Parts Missing.’ It is his submission to a project called Postcards to the G8 in which artists from around the world are sending postcard-sized art messages meant for the G8 leaders’ summit in Muskoka, Ont. June 25-26.

About 10 minutes into the presentation, the principal arrived and objected to the book’s title as well as the name of one of Mr. Bolger’s characters, Mr. Wilson said. … Mr. Bolger said the book’s toilet humour was mild and that many teachers and principals had used the book as part of the curriculum. Mr. Wilson said there was some misunderstanding regarding Mr. Bolger’s mention of the Transylvania character, Mrs. Imavitch, adding that the principal thought “Imavitch” alluded to another word that rhymes with witch.

With regards to results from the G20, the notion of ”agree to disagree” may the optimal solution, and prevent any misguided decisions regarless of political affiliation. Acceptance has to be made of being resigned to the fact that our great debates about economics, energy, and the environment are largely pointless, because they are hugely distorted by politics and sadly uniformed by basic facts. Ignorance is bliss; for every committed conservative there is an Al Gore claiming we could wean ourselves off fossil fuels in several years if we just wanted to. Faced with a romantic vision that wind turbines will save us, or by techno-optimists who think electric cars are right around the corner; no one seems willing to demolish peak oil theory, biomass for fuel , carbon sequestration, and various other energy myths.

Kevin Bolger

Kevin Bolger

Although the ”Black Block” demonstrators are obvious focal points, the leaders themselves are insufferable as well and have almost no conception about their own disturbing irrationality. If BP and Tony Hayward can make erroneous decisions that impact millions, the difficulty and complexity of decision making at the global level is even more subject to the vagaries of humanity’s irrational nature.

There is an element of the comical about these summits, even shades of the farcical as these occasions are conducted in the spirit of absurd, smug and self-righteous importance. Solemn sedans speed up to conference centres, screech to a stop, and well upholstered , stripe suited worthies emerge with bulging briefcases; in a phalanx of cell-phone flaunting aides, they bustle within the portentous facades of the meeting places; part of a schlerotherapy for hardened case of the arteries blocking common sense. The Gordon Brown example for the past British election reflects the general attitude:

”Instead the monstrously inept Mr. Brown viciously bad-mouthed a 65-year-old grandmother, Gillian Duffy, bare minutes after telling her in a public encounter what a nice woman she was. In public he doled out the unctuous, patronizing compliments every vote-famished politician scatters when he finds himself adrift among the untutored peasantry. But having returned to the cushioned seclusion of the prime ministerial Jaguar, forgetful he was still wearing a microphone, he petulantly raged they “should never have put me with that woman …,” dismissing her as “a bigoted woman” and the whole exchange as “just ridiculous.”


”Poor, normal Mrs. Duffy had dared to speak the I-word. She had broached, ever so tentatively, the subject of immigration to her Prime Minister: “You can’t say anything about the immigrants …” And Mr. Brown, droop-lidded, sly, mendacious hypocrite, had Mrs. Duffy’s number from that very first stammer. She mentioned immigrants in a country having some difficulties with immigration to the Prime Minister of that country. Well, obviously, ineluctably — off to the Tower with her — Granny was a bitter, roaring xenophobe, a damn bigot.” ( Rex Murphy )

What is the political mind. publicly obsequious and privately contemptuous. Political classes have always scorned the public they serve; out of the playof ordinary life  and keeping the elector away from the castle with thick high walls and deep wide moats occupied by large  alligators and crocodiles. At one time the nobility, princes and higher royalty feared that democracy would be the end of their acquired way of life, but over time it appears to be an extremely lucrative line of business. Corporate welfare and lobbyism effectively establish a top down approach that is not that different than feudalism. Plastic ducks at taxpayers expense, silly walks, and paying for mousetraps is evidence that the electoral  process is not serious and behind the face of responsibility, is a legalized theft and money laundering of the public purse. Its called normative democracy based on private property and in its present form may have run its course in our time despite the fire and brimstone fears of various events to distract attention. Think Jonathan Swift and his ”Tale of the Tub” where diversions are tried to dissuade angry whales from sinking their ships.

Moe Koffman serenading the British bulldog. Al Gilbert photographer

”A third consequence is the extreme elite hostility to democracy. The reason is plain: a functioning democracy will be responsive to appeals from the masses of the population and will be likely to succumb to excessive nationalism….The nobility of the “defender of freedom” is also standard intellectual fare. Thus, according to Michael Howard, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, “For 200 years the United States has preserved almost unsullied the original ideals of the Enlightenment: the belief in the God-given rights of the individual, the inherent rights of free assembly and free speech, the blessings of free enterprise, the perfectibility of man, and, above all, the universality of these values.” In this nearly ideal society, theinfluence of elites is “quite limited.” But the world, he laments, does not appreciate this magnificence:

Brown, Clegg and Cameron hang in effigy outside the London Dungeon tourist site.

“the United States does not enjoy the place in the world that it should have earned through its achievements, its generosity, and its goodwill since World War II”11 — as illustrated in such contemporary paradises as Indochina, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, El Salvador and Guatemala, to mention a few of the many candidates, just as belief in the “God-given rights of the individual” and the ”universality” of this doctrine for 200 years is illustrated by a century of literal human slavery and effective disenfranchisement of Blacks for another century, genocidal assaults on the native population, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos at the turn of the century, of millions of Indochinese, of some 200,000 Central Americans in the past decade, and a host of other examples. Again, mere fact is an irrelevance in the domain of pure thought.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaking to Gillian Duffy minutes before calling her ‘a bigoted woman’ Read more:

Gordon Brown is , in his own version of the song and dance act, a form of white face entertainment as opposed to the blackface of an Al Jolson; Al Jolson in reverse laughing at his own whiteface act; almost as if deliberately exploiting the absurdity of himself through a stream of dialogue that intentionally mocks the conventions he is supposed to stand for. There is a sense of a deliberate manipulation of the sense of alienation that exaggerates the gap between himself and an electorate he is presumed to represent. Like the black artist who was never historically allowed a private identity, Brown has chosen a role which reflects social conflict and struggle, almost a study in antagonism.

Brown’s own form of minstrelsy is a crude form of cultural appropriation; inflections of populist convention as if there were an ethnic origin of the politician that could become operational as a national myth. Its all about Brown’s acceptance by the privileged domains than acceptance by the plebians; the use of a ”white” voice not as a means of entertaining audiences, but to reveal just what lengths his antecedents would go to be accepted. In short, a political act. The non-negligible fallout is the classic liberal hypocrisy to whom integration of any sort is but a distant rumor. An untrustworthy narrator.

Is it the price that has to be paid to preserve democracy? Democracy seems to make people forget their ancestors, but at the same time hiding their descendants and separating contemporaries from the politician. it throws the leader back forever upon himself alone and threatens in the end to confine them entirely with the solitude of his or her own heart. As figureheads for democracy they represent a society where you can become a stranger, even to yourself. And it is this characteristic which is liable to encourage the emergence of the confidence trickster we have come to recognize.

Al Jolson and Mae Clarke: the producers of Jolson & Co have dropped the scene in which the lead traditionally sings My Mammy while wearing make up Photo: ALLSTAR

”Within hours, Mr Brown had interrupted his schedule to return to Rochdale, Greater Manchester, where he was forced to make a personal apology to Mrs Duffy. During an extraordinary address to a live television audience from the grandmother’s driveway he described himself as “a penitent sinner”. Later, the premier emailed all Labour supporters — including candidates — to make clear his “profound regret” at what he had done.

Coming on the eve of the  final televised leaders’ debate, Brown’s blunder was the inevitable ”final nail” that sealed Labor’s doom. To add insult to this bleeding and dying candidate, it also emerged that Mrs Duffy had been signed up by the PR firm Bell Pottinger, part of a group chaired by Lord Bell, Margaret Thatcher’s favourite PR man. She was thought to have signed an exclusive deal with a tabloid newspaper.

Mr Brown insisted that he was “mortified” by his outburst, claiming he had “misunderstood” what the pensioner had said to him. Mrs Duffy’s family suggested the public had been given an insight into the hypocrisy of the Prime Minister, who had laughed and joked with her in public before insulting her in private when he thought he was no longer being recorded.”

As regards the G8, Mendelson Joe is an oracle of complaint and a visitor’s go-to man on a Canadian context to the event. The musician/artist believes the world is run almost exclusively by sociopaths- or, as he puts it,” high level psychopaths with charm”, and their sole purpose is to manipulate matters in order to stay in office. What distinguishes Canada from the rest of herd, he says , is that Canucks are even more apathetic than their fellow world citizens.

” Canadians, he says, have become “anesthetized – they’re asleep about their country. We’re in a war, but they have no idea why we’re there. How do you fight people who will commit suicide for their God?” …If the G8 accomplishes anything, he says, it will be to force Canadians to reflect upon themselves and their country – “an opportunity here to realize that the real problem here in Canada is them. If they’d show the enthusiasm for government that they have for hockey, they’d explore the betrayals, they’d expose the lies and the broken promises.”

Death Mask. Mendelson Joe. 2004.

Death Mask. Mendelson Joe. 2004.

As for his own involvement, Mendelson Joe’s days of protesting in the streets ended when he was run over by a police horse many years ago in Toronto. But still, he has no intention of joining the apathetic. “My protestation is every day,” says Canada’s champion letter-writer to newspapers and politicians. “There’s not a day goes by that I am not protesting in the mails. I never let up. And,” he adds with a smile, “when you write a politician, you don’t pay postage.” ( Roy MacGregor, Globe and Mail )

”And these meetings have also become magnets for all the kooks and misfits, conspiracy theorists, anti-globalists and eco-terrorists, who ceremonially smash the windows of the Davos McDonald’s each year and believe the world is governed by the Bilderberg meetings and the Trilateral Commission. I don’t think Jean Chretien received the credit he deserved for holding one of these meetings in a resort hotel in the midst of one of the Western national parks, where the only access for demonstrators was through many miles of wild country thick with bears, large cats and more than a soupcon of venomous snakes. These demonstrators are the football hooligans of the political world. Peaceful demonstrations are perfectly acceptable, but their specialties of vandalism and mob intimidation are not, and preventing them is costly and tedious.” ( Conrad Black )

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