Tuesday, 6 October 2009

When Hacks Attack, Part Two: Sheer Hack Attack!

As a public service, I hereby append below an internal memorandum allegedly sent by "Conservative" Party brass to "Conservative" riding presidents.

I prefer not to divulge how it came into my possession, and I can’t reliably vouch for its authenticity. I’m rather dubious, frankly: Harperoids have come to be (wisely) leery of leaving paper trails. In any case, it certainly seems genuine. It is most likely the first draft of a memo that was ultimately edited into respectability by one of the party's half-dozen grown-ups, in case it got leaked. Enjoy!


Dear Riding Association Presidents:

In order to keep ourselves and our camp-following sycophants dunked in the vast plankton-rich trough of federal emoluments, our party has striven to fine-tune its electoral mechanism to the kind of exacting standard that you--the faceless, toadying party functionary--demand and deserve.

We have ruthlessly cut costs. We have performed efficiencies in key process elements. For instance, we’ve realised how unnecessary it is to run homo sapiens candidates in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Accordingly, after careful feedback and focus-group analyses, our party has hypothesised that the carcasses of dead squirrels stuffed with sawdust and impaled on wooden kebabs painted in party colours can hold CPC ridings with pluralities at par with or even greater than current levels. Running low-maintenance road-kill in safe SaskAlberta ridings will allow us to move resources to more challenging ridings.

The short questionnaire you see before you is part of our new, dynamic election-readiness tool-kit. It is designed to help you identify God-fearing CPC-friendly voters among the molten, unsentient mass of fundamentally lazy and bolshevist quasi-Talibs with which Canada is ridden.

We suggest you urge as many of your heathen riding mates as possible to complete the brief survey; then, carefully analyse their responses. Waste no further time and effort on those who score high: they’re ours. Naturally, most will score low. After adding their names to our official “Enemies of Stephen Harper and Therefore Possibly Al-Qaeda Sleeper Agents” master-list, spend some time with them in respectful, constructive dialogue (a cattle-prod is included in your package for this purpose). At the bottom of the survey, you’ll find a legend detailing what the results mean and offering tips on how to proceed with your evangelism.

Good luck, and good hunting!


1. The word "liberal" makes me think of:

a) Someone who espouses what has arguably been the most potent political tradition in the post-Enlightenment West [1 point];

b) A naive, tax-grabbing statist [3 points];

c) A bilingual ballet enthusiast who thinks he's better than me [5 points].

2. The word "feminist" means:

a) Someone committed to the legal and social equality of women [1 point];

b) A radical who seeks to overthrow Western patriarchy [3 points];

c) A fat ugly dyke on the rag [5 points].

3. The word “France” refers to:

a) A great European nation that has been crucial to the development of Western civilisation and that established the foundations of Canada’s European heritage [1 point];

b) One of the senior members of the European Union [3 points];

d) A nation of over-scented queers in perpetual search of someone to surrender to [5 points].

4. "A Mare Usque Ad Mare" means:

a) "From Sea to Sea" [1 point];

b) Something I need to Google [3 points];

c) Some faggy Latin shit [5 points].

5. The Fathers of Confederation are:

a) The men who knitted together the main elements of Canada's geo-political fabric [1 point];

b) A group of colonial pragmatists desperate to escape the Act of Union's legislative straightjacket [3 points];

c) A bunch of hacks too stupid to sue for admission to the U.S.A [5 points].

6. My favourite political philosopher is:

a) George Grant [1 point];

b) Thomas Paine [3 points];

c) Larry the Cable Guy [5 points].

7. The "War on Terror" is:

a) A misguided and potentially catastrophic U.S.-led militarisation of what is really a development issue [1 point];

b) A noble but poorly executed effort at nation-building [3 points];

c) The inspiration for some of my favourite fridge magnets [5 points].

8. G.W. Bush's words, "You're either for us or against us" were:

a) An unstatesmanlike burst of arrogance unhelpful to the building of an effective post-9/11 Western alliance [1 point];

b) An unfortunate but understandable lapse in judgment [3 points];

c) Redundant. Of course I was going to be for him: he was my President [5 points].

9. Stephen Harper's assertion that Canada is a second-tier socialist backwater was:

a) Boorish and unpatriotic [1 point];

b) Wrong, but fair comment [3 points];

c) So cool that I made my girlfriend scrawl Harper's words onto her left thigh, right next to her tattoo of Merle Haggard [5 points].

10. Canada's consistent record of maintaining a higher standard of living than America's is:

a) Proof of the preferability of Canadian society [1 point];

b) Interesting but irrelevant [3 points];

c) Typical Canadian America-bashing [5 points].


35-50: Yeehah! This subject is a member of our natural constituency. In fact, he's probably Kathy Shaidle. Only a lobotomy could make him more devoutly committed to our cause. He needs no further proselytising. Move on.

20-35: This subject is in the ballpark, but he’s still far too much of a typical defeatist, can’t-do Canadian. Administer a copy of Atlas Shrugged immediately. Have him re-take the survey within two weeks. Who knows? By that time, he may have suffered an IQ-suppressing head injury and become more open to persuasion.

10-20: Any further effort on this far-left terrorist would be wasted. Make sure to send his name to party headquarters so that we may issue a security certificate and arrange for his indefinite detention.


Catelli said...

Utterly fake memo.

Too many words of more than one syllable. Next time scan in the original document scrawled with a crayola and I'll buy into it.


David Lindsay said...

Just as well that our British Tories are not like this...

Will S. said...

Ah, but David, your Tories are also anti-patriotic, refusing to stand up for national sovereignty and the national interest, too! Where our Tories are pro-Yank / anti-Canadian, your Tories are pro-EU / anti-British. Both only concerned that their connected rich friends have the economic policies they favour. Same shit; different pile. Cheers! :)

Sir Francis said...

Too many words of more than one syllable.

Heh. Like I said, it's clearly a first draft. I'm sure it was thoroughly monosyllabicised when it was edited for general consumption...

Sir Francis said...

Will & David:

I get the sense that Cameron has done a fair job of removing the free-market fundamentalism that governed the party during the Thatcher era and for some time afterwards. He seems to be someone who respects the Pitt/Canning/Peel/Disraeli/Churchill tradition.

Admittedly, I have not been keeping too close an eye on developments in Britain; perhaps the Tories have back-slid. But the Tory Party as described by British media soon after Cameron's selection as leader seemed to be a party I could vote for in good conscience.

David Lindsay said...

The Tories are awful. Unyieldingly neoliberal in economics, liberal in social policy, and Israel First, America Second in foreign policy. The pro-EU thing is really part and parcel of all three.

Will S. said...

My English friends aren't happy with most of them, either; and they certainly don't look very "old school Tory" to me, alas, any more than our idiots in office here in Canada.

Ti-Guy said...

And just where have you been, mister?

Sir Francis said...

David & Will:

That's a shame. Dear Lord...where must one go to see Toryism properly and authentically expounded these days? New Zealand? Bermuda? The Falklands?

Sir Francis said...


I used to feel that people like Red Tory dramatically overstated the toll that our kind of blogging can take on the psyche, but I've begun to understand what they mean.

Real-world events during the last few months soured my overall disposition just enough to enable daily surveys of Canadian politics--both on-line and in print--to drain the negligible reserves of hope, faith and charity that remain to me. My generic (and possibly congenital) misanthropy was dangerously close to morphing into something much more toxic.

It still is so endangered, actually, but I've decided to carry on anyway. What's the very worst that could happen? If I should go criminally insane, I will simply have become more neatly adapted to my society. It would also be rather romantic, in a Nietzschean kind of way. So it's all good...

Anyways, it's great to be back, descanting in the wilderness. I just wish my visitor(s) with the gov.ca addresses would comment. Is that you, Dimitri? Alykhan? Get back to work, slackers...

Aeneas the Younger said...

Welcome back. Things are still as bad as ever out here. Nice post though!

Ti-Guy said...

If I should go criminally insane, I will simply have become more neatly adapted to my society. It would also be rather romantic, in a Nietzschean kind of way. So it's all good...

That's the spirit.

You should pop round RedTory's once in a while and slap a few wingnuts around. Or even a Liberal like me, if that helps.

Very salutary.

Sir Francis said...

Things are still as bad as ever out here.

By "here", do you mean Alberta (where you are), or Canada (where Alberta used to be)?

If the former, yeah...I hear you--though I would say "worse" rather than "as bad". Stelmach is getting a really rough ride out there--chiefly, I take it, for daring to be the first Albertan premier in years who's still sober after lunchtime. The commie prick.

You guys have quite a few stellar regiments barracked out there, don't you? Couldn't the Lieutenant-Colonel of the PPCLI or the Calgary Highlanders be prevailed upon to take over and rule by decree for a few years?

It's not as if Albertans would mind. They're so totally de-politicised that, as long as taxes are kept low and their quota of Hooters bars and Walmarts is kept high, the Saudi royal family could run the province, for all they give a shit.

Sir Francis said...

You should pop round RedTory's once in a while...

Indeed. I abstained from lurking and commenting during my recent moratorium, but I'll be back to those as well.

Just from glancing around over the past few days, it's been my impression that the number and fuckwittage of on-line neocon crustaceans is ever so slightly lower than they were, say, four months ago.

Natural selection appears to be speeding up. Soon, even Mark Steyn might be ready to build a fire, cook his meat, and use simple tools.

SeanStok said...

Welcome back!

I happen to think misanthropy is a perfectly rational response to most everything our "civilization" craps out these days.

Don't harm yourself for the sake of our amusement, but I sure hope you can occasionally grace us with gems like your latest.

Try pretending you're a primatologist studying, er... let's say bonobo chimps. Just watch the amusing apes screw each other with abandon (the bonobos' claim to fame), and pay no attention to the fact that we're paddling deep into the barren lands, periously short on supplies to survive the coming winter.

Anyway, it's honestly delightful to have you wielding a pen once more.

SeanStok said...

(or 'perilously,' as I meant to write)

Anonymous said...

Um. I really hoping that if Sir Francis plans to go criminally insane, he will be good enough to inform the chatelaine of the home so that she may remove all knives, and herself, from the premises first. Also, please tell me to which rest home you wish to be consigned, dearest. While you're still able.

Sir Francis said...


Try pretending you're a primatologist studying, er... let's say bonobo chimps...and pay no attention to the fact that we're paddling deep into the barren lands...

Speaking of which, today's big news: Harper's in majority territory. Good Lord.

If the CBC has any wish to do something historically and culturally appropriate before it gets turned into "FOX News Canada Inc.", playing a 24/7 rotation of Limbaugh, Beck, Ingraham, and O'Reilly re-broadcasts, I suggest a dramatisation of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. It's about us.

sassy said...

Welcome back, love the memo. ;)

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

Welcome! I also loved the memo. I understand it was modelled after a Liberal memo used in Toronto and Montreal (explains Volpe and Rodriquez).

Your quiz was good. Too good. Have you been moonlighting for Nanos?

I do have one bone to pick though.

The difference between a militant feminist and a whale is...

... about 50 pounds and a plaid shirt.

You should have known that.

You must not be pleased that the liberals toss a professor with politicial experience into the dumpster to replace him with a professor with no political experience. Are you planning on running?

As you can see I am in high spirits.

thwap said...

I laughed a couple of times. Congrats!

Aeneas the Younger said...

Dredus ...

We really mush start some sort of new Secret Society that is based on a traditional loyalty to Canada.

It would have to be a secret however - radicals need to retain their cover, lest the majority discovers our agenda and seeks to eradicate us from existence. Which they surely would.

I am thinking about the quite formulaic "cell structure."

Let me know what you think ...

Ti-Guy said...

I am thinking about the quite formulaic "cell structure."

I've got few tips to share from my FLQ days, if that would help.

Sir Francis said...

We really mush start some sort of new Secret Society that is based on a traditional loyalty to Canada.

Yeah, and if we could get our hands on Mensa's Canadian membership list, we'd have thousands of fully-staffed cells up and running in no time.

Sir Francis said...


Have you seen this? I thought you might get a chuckle out of it.

Sir Francis said...


I'm not sure what you mean. During the infrequent intervals between feeling indifferent to Ignatieff's plight and feeling bored by it, I merely feel amused by it.

I hold no brief for the man or his party, a slice of elementary datum which I wish I could feed directly into the synaptic nerves of "conservatives" who consistently, bovinely take me for a Liberal.

I'm just a Jacobite who would be a conservative CCFer if it were still possible to so be.

If you meant to ask how it feels to see ex-professors getting flayed as politicians, that’s totally predictable, even inevitable. Academics tend to blow as hacks, Trudeau and Broadbent being notable (and, in Canadian terms, the sole) exceptions.

Ti-Guy said...

Have you seen this? I thought you might get a chuckle out of it.

I got tired of that kind of thing long ago. Le Devoir should really focus on the egregious anglicismes that pervade the French of a lot francophones in Canada, although it's not as bad as it used to be. My heart sang when a study came out a few years ago that indicated that most francophones used essence instead of gaz now.

As a supporter of multi-lingualism, I'm really opposed to picking on people for minor mistakes in a second language.

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

An old style conservative like yourself must be a Grant supporter. Do you agree with Grant's views of Diefenbaker?

The reason I ask, is I would like to create a more accurate frame for myself of your views.

Ti-Guy said...

The reason I ask, is I would like to create a more accurate frame for myself of your views.

You'd make better use of your time by reading. A book, preferably.

Sir Francis said...

Do you agree with Grant's views of Diefenbaker?

Hmm. I've been blogging for a year and a half, and you still need to develop a more "accurate frame" for my views? What do I need to do here--open up my veins? I've been accused of many things on this site (and been guilty of many of them) but never of being vague. ;)

Grant's views of Dief were complex--much more so than many are willing to acknowledge. For example, if you're referring specifically to Lament for a Nation (as you must be), the book's real hero is Minister of External Affairs Howard Green, not Dief. Both of those men were Westerners, and populists, by the way--which gives a sense of how totally our politics has changed.

In any case, Grant's approach to Dief is hardly adulatory; he admits Dief's many and profound flaws. Grant's wrath is really (though implicitly) directed at the Canadian electorate of '62/'63, which, Grant believed, betrayed a prime minister who was doing the very minimum that we expect of a leader in order to placate the arrogance of the United States. Grant's point is that, when a nation places foreign interests over its own, it no longer is a nation; it is a rootless (dare I say "cosmopolitan") mass of flaccid-backed indentured servants.

In redemption of Ti-Guy's snark, I would venture to say that you would find a serious reading of Grant very rewarding, not only because you would be utterly shocked to find a Canadian nationalism that connects with many of your values, but because you would find reading me less disorienting...possibly…if that matters to you.

Do not begin with Lament for a Nation, though--unless it's too late. Start with something like Technology and Empire--something earlier, which gives context for the later stuff. Every decent Canadian library has at least one copy of the Selected Works, which is an excellent overview of his work. Also, our foremost Grant scholar, William Christian, is a fairly widely published pundit. His articles are easy to find on-line, and they communicate principles congruent with mine in a much less inflammatory and thus more accessible way than I will ever have patience for.

Sir Francis said...

I got tired of that kind of thing long ago.

You're tired of reading about candidates for federal office asking voters to let them be penetrated? Are you tired of life, man...?

Ti-Guy said...

You're tired of reading about candidates for federal office asking voters to let them be penetrated? Are you tired of life, man...?

I'm tired of the news media. It's nothing but things like this these days. And I venture far and wide to fill my newshole.

The American public/alternative media were doing better when they were inviting on serious knowledgeable critics of neo-conservatism/neo-liberalism (who had no place else to go), but now that they're all back in the establishment and on the execrable 24-hour news channels, it's gone back to reporting on tired lefty issues like the plight of the displaced Chagossians of Diego Garcia and the alarming disappearance of the spotted swamp snail.

And of course, in Canada..nothing ever happens.

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

I'll see what I can find.

I'm actually reading "a book" right now.

That should shock Ti.

Ti-Guy said...

What book is it, Tomm?

Sir Francis said...

Trudeau's Memoirs, surely...

Tomm said...

It is a series of shorts by Kafka. Right now I'm reading "The Stoker".

I know you were hoping for an "illustrated novel" of some sort.

If you are looking for a good novel, I would highly recommend The Shadow of the Wind by Carlo Luis Zafon. Non-fiction, perhaps The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

I know I should be knee deep in political theory.

Ti-Guy said...

"Current events" would be acceptable.

Sir Francis said...


You want Tomm to wade knee-deep into current events? Good lord...

You'll have to lend him your haz-mat suit. Mine's leaking.

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

You said:

"...You want Tomm to wade knee-deep into current events? Good lord...

You'll have to lend him your haz-mat suit. Mine's leaking."

Too funny.

Speaking of current events... What's the deal with the Nobel Peace Prize?

Nobody did anything peaceful this year?

Ti-Guy said...

You want Tomm to wade knee-deep into current events?

Dipping a toe in would be good start. Every journey starts with one step, after all.

Tomm said...


I know current events.

I know my sports teams suck and the results from the last poll.

What am I missing?

Ti-Guy said...

You know, I don't really care.

Check out Technology and Empire...you can preview it on Google Books. Then come back and tell me whether you think SF's recommendation was appropriate.

To disabuse Canadians of some of their odd notions about the World around them, I might have started with Voltaire's Bastards. There isn't a thesis I've been more seized with in the last two decades than the one that proposes that the Enlightenment has been undone by its own success.

Tomm said...


I had a look. The prose is pretty thick, but I will look for it in a bookstore and perhaps make it a winter project.

Ti-Guy said...

I wouldn't bother. It's out of date and suffers from the usual deficiencies of political philosophy, which become more pronounced by the year; not persuasive in very immediate, measurable degrees. The great ideas of brilliant men are indeed worth paying attention to, but if they are communicated in a way that does not resonate with the average citizen (which is a species of person brilliant men are rarely acquainted with) they will gain no traction whatsoever in a democracy, where, like it or not (and I don't, for the record) the only thing that really counts is what the big, undifferentiated bulge in the middle of the bell curve believes.

Ryan said...

The only part I object to was the Haggard tattoo.

Why'd ya have to drag Hag into this?

Sir Francis said...

Heh. Sorry, Ryan. But what can I do? She's a fan... ;)

Ryan said...

Well, mama tried to raise her better...

liberal supporter said...

Hey! Get back here, you!

liberal supporter said...

seems like a long "dred drought" this season...

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