Here I am, end of this weekend, just sitting alone in the bleak mid-winter staring at nothing in particular when I hear a rustling in the litter on my desk. “Hey,” I say, “if that’s you my little pest, do go away. I’m in no mood for frivolities.”

“Frivolities!” comes the answer, and there’s rage in his voice.

The anger startles me. I’ve forgotten that Newshawk can get quite riled up. “Now, now Old Friend. Simmer down. What’s bugging you?”

“Don’t use that word bug,” he snaps as he strides out from a sheaf of papers and hops onto my keyboard. “And it’s not me. It’s you. What are you doing just sitting here knitting your eyebrows as though you had any and staring into space? I thought you’d be in orbit. Aren’t you following your NDP convention? ” He sounds extremely irate, even for Newshawk. “Weren’t you listening to your leader?”

“What’s wrong with our leader?”

“Your Mr.Singh was singing the wrong song!”

“Come, come,” I said. “He listed his priorities. The party’s priorities. So?”

“And what are they?”

“Well – income disparity, extending health care, fighting racism, housing, sexual harrassment, jobs, the economy —“

“Yes, yes, and somewhere in there? Under a rock?”

“Oh,” I say. “You mean Climate Change. Well, referred to, of course.”

“Referred to! Not prioritized?”

“Well, I think there’s a resolution coming up for debate.”

“Climate Change debate, debate, always debate! Not priority.” He stomps from F1 to F12 and back again. “You’ve read the priorities and you’re not in orbit?”

“My arteries are too old for this stuff,” I protest, with restraint, “but I will admit that I’m close to lift off.”

“Then light the fuse,” he shouts, “light the goddamned fuse!”

“Newshawk, I can’t! I don’t dare!”

“Who are you afraid of?”

“Me! Myself! If I get going on this I’ll say all kinds of unkind things.”

“Good, good. Such as?”

“Such as with 99% of the world’s scientists agreeing that Climate Change is the number one global peril and that we’re about to plunge over the irremediable edge —“

“No big words, no big words.”

“ – over the flippin’ edge into climate chaos with ever higher sea levels, increasingly big storms of all kinds, mass migrations of people fleeing from floods, expanding deserts, destroyed crops, the potential for conflict and turmoil in those migrations and too many idiots with their fat thumbs on a nuclear button then I’d say we should be putting the survival of the human race pretty damned high on the priority list, certainly on the NDP list. What’s more it seems that if we move and move fast we idiot humans can actually slow it all down and even stop it but oh by god no, we’re too concerned with the so-called national interest, the economy, the employment rate, and what Big Oil tells us about how good it is at lowering emissions which I take it means lowering per barrel while increasing the number of barrels and of course hoping to ship the heavy shit out of the country to let someone else refine it into pollution while keeping our air breathable and sure as hell let’s keep our fingers crossed that no pipeline splits in the Rockies or no tanker ever spills in Burrard Inlet, both of which history and Murphy’s Law tell us will inevitably happen, and god alone knows whose livelihoods will be wiped out including of course Indigenous but who the hell cares and my NDP should be out there dancing on the podium as you are right now on the cap key demanding ACTION ACTION ACTION.”  I pause to take a deep yoga breath and sigh it out. “See what would happen if I let loose on any of this?”

“You’re doing fine. A good warm up.”

“For sure I’d really pop an artery if I got going on how I feel about the dear old NDP surrendering its principles and avoiding the primary obligatory in a wild hope to win an election in 2020 or whenever and promising to work miracles in the following five years which will be too late even if winning were a blip on the radar which it isn’t. We’re into a global crisis that everyone knows about and multitudes agree about but for Christ’s sake so far the NDP has income disparity at the top of its list! Not that it’s not important but it’s damned well outranked by survival. I hope all the old CCF crew are buried deep and secure or they’ll be out haunting us, I can tell you that. And if we’re to get timely action on Climate Change what should be absolutely next on the NDP list would be to get going with the Greens, sweep all the old batshit out of both attics, form a new Party, a real Party, and get down to the hard political work that won’t put it in power but might just happen to help save the human race from itself and from Big Fucking Fossil Fuel.”

“Hey, hey. None of that in our blog.”

“Sorry. But now you see? That’s why I can’t let you light my fuse. No telling where I’d go.”

“Yeah, and you don’t even know the half of it.” He performs a berserk dance on my keyboard, stamps on “Enter” and behold, a web appears on my screen. *

“What’s this? I ask.

“A report of a speech by a Canadian pipeline big wig. Read it, read it.”

I do, out loud, and I read lines reporting that, “In recent months, the White House has taken steps to reduce regulatory hurdles for industry, including a proposal to eliminate some safety regulations for offshore oil and gas drilling. It has also rolled back nearly 40 environmental regulations, many of which imposed pollution and wildlife protection measures on fossil fuel projects… [T]he head of Canada’s largest pipeline lobby group says Canada would do well to follow suit.” As I read on I find that the spokesman for Canada’s big pipe companies calls pipelines “the industry of the future.”

At which point I do explode. “Holy smokes, Newshawk. Pipelines, not Fossil Fuel – Pipelines the industry of the future! Good grief, you know what that means?”

“Of course I do! It means Water. Water north to south. Water from the Great Lakes, Water from the Shield, Water from Great Slave Lake, from the Mackenzie, Water from anywhere Big Pipe can get it. The industry of the future.”

I sigh. “All, I assume, for the good of the nation. And as yet not even my NDP seems determined to call a halt. Oh my dear old friend, I’m sorry to sound selfish but I really am glad that I’m in my nineties.”


* Newshawk’s web is from The National Observer. A truly outstanding Canadian online journal, originating in B.C.



About Munroe Scott

Munroe Scott is a veteran of the freelance writing world.
This entry was posted in Article, Opinion, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to SINGHING the WRONG SONG

  1. Gary McLean says:

    You made me laugh out loud. Again.
    Qu’elle sûrprise!

  2. I really wish the NDP and Greens would merge but it will never happen. The NDP is too full of moral superiority to contenance even cooperation with another party until after an election.

  3. evmustang says:

    Excellent rant. I agree with Newshawk. Keep going.

  4. Jenny Carter says:

    Thank you Munroe. Just what we need.How can we spread it far and wide?

  5. Jan Laurie says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been attending Ken Ranney’s Climate Change Party meetings in Peterborough. We have about 10 members so far…somewhat depressing! Sadly the general public won’t care until the effects are right on top of us and by then it will probably be too late. The planet will, however, continue long after our species has gone the way of the dodo…seems like a waste of human intelligence and ingenuity. Surely the “curious ape” can do better!

  6. Alanna Morgan says:

    Mulcair’s platform in 2015 was no better on climate change and pipelines, so it’s not a new thing for the NDP. I too would like to see the NDP take a much stronger position on fighting climate change, but please don’t blame it all on Singh. Thanks.

    • Munroe Scott says:

      I certainly don’t blame it all on Mr. Singh and I apologize if I appear to do so. You are quite correct, Tom Mulcair was moving us toward the centre as well. It’s a trend that means the Party has to move more and more cautiously so as not to annoy the big resource interests that have pretty well colonized our governments. The blame I suppose rests with all of us in the Party who have remained too passive and inactive — including myself in spades.

  7. Ken Ranney says:

    Bravo, Munroe!
    You have hit the spot!
    The best description of the problem I have seen.
    Ken Ranney

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