Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A model of quiet and efficient leadership

This is a nice accolade for Canadian PM:
Of all the leaders, only Stephen Harper - the talented but curiously neglected Canadian prime minister - is able to point to a popular and successful record in office.

Some will regard it as alarming that, in current times, world leadership should rest with Canada. But the Canadian Tories are a model of how to behave during a downturn.

They have kept spending in check and reduced taxes. They are playing their full role in world affairs, notably in Afghanistan.

Rather than canting about saving the world (Mr Harper, in his quiet and courteous way, is a Kyoto-sceptic) they have addressed themselves to curing remediable ills and, above all, to putting their own affairs in order.

If the rest of the world had comported itself with similar modesty and prudence, we might not be in this mess.

May he be allowed to continue to lead... despite those who would rather Canada sat on the wall and watched from the sidelines.
I more or less gave up on anything great coming out of Michael Ignatieff, after his ignominious "recantation" over Iraq. It was a low point in the intellectual life of a thinker whose majority of books were dedicated to exploring the meaning of Human rights.
He reminded me of the great Klaus Maria Brandauer playing the character of Hendrik Hoefgen, in "Mephisto".
Having made a pact with the Nazi propaganda minister, Hoefgan finds himself a hostage to Nazi ideology. The episode which Ignatieff's "recantation" reminds me of takes place in the theatre. Hoefgan has been asked to put up a Shakespeare play and he chooses "Hamlet". He instructs his players in the interpretation of Hamlet as an Aryan hero but he finds that, since he does not really believe what his mouth says, he can only speak incoherent nonsense and repeat Nazi memes ad nauseam, while his audience watches with clear incomprehension written on their faces. He soon finds that his face will have to grow bigger and fatter in order to meet the mask that he donned in obedience and obeisance to the implacable expectations of his master.
For the natural, moral barriers keep crumpling one by one when under pressure for more of the same from a ravenous public. And I fear that Ignatieff's "recantation" will never appease the barking left whose favour he courts. He will have to get more extreme in order to appease that beast.
This article is emblematic of that Left's unappeasable greed for greater radicalization of positions. The writer compares Ignatieff's initial support for the Iraq War and his subsequent about-face to a notorious incident in history known as "The Manifesto of the 93 German Intellectuals to the Civilized World".


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