A couple of weeks back on Fox News I did a little round-up of the state Easter crackdown across Christendom:
The above was such a hit with viewers that we invited Calgary pastor Artur Pawloski onto the following night's show to give his own account of the pitiful constabulary's shameful invasion of his church:
That too was quite the ratings hit, and made Artur Pawlowski a hero to millions of Americans - and made the Calgary Police an object of total and deserved contempt.
Over the weekend, they decided to do something about it. They waited till Artur had left his church, followed him, and took him down with overwhelming force on the highway. To reprise my frequent observation about the hideous FBI re Mrs Roger Stone, Mrs George Papadopoulos et al, there was not one man among these shock troops willing to say, "Uh, no, thanks. I didn't sign up to take down little old ladies and vicars."
Of course, you might say this is a poor look for the Calgary Police. Last year, you'll recall, the Commissioner of the Victoria Police in Oz conceded, after taking down a pregnant woman or a disabled senior or whatever it was, that they'd "stuffed the optics". Au contraire, I said, the stuffed optics are the point: They want you to see what state power looks like when they decide to come after you. Because that's the quickest way to ensure you get the message.
~All this is happening under the allegedly most conservative premier in Canada, a man I've known for almost thirty years and who was the only federal cabinet minister to lend any real support to me during my free speech battles. Jason Kenney is a man who, as Immigration and Citizenship Minister, gave every new Canadian a copy of Magna Carta - whose most basic lesson is that "human rights" are not a gift of the state but a restraint upon the state.
Me five years ago:
As I remarked re the Republican Party on Rush the other week, it's a lot easier for the base to get itself a new elite than for the elite to find itself a new base.
The Premier of Alberta has risen to the challenge:
Jason Kenney told a closed-door UCP caucus meeting on Sunday "I want a new base" as he slammed the rogue anti-lockdown rodeo in Bowden, the Western Standard has learned.
Kenney used the Sunday virtual caucus meeting to rail against the 'No More Lockdowns Rodeo', which attracted approximately 4,000-5,000 attendees over the weekend.
Three UCP MLAs, who spoke to the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity, said another MLA spoke up and reminded Kenney that the people who went to the rodeo were the "base" of the UCP's support.
"If they are our base, I want a new base," Kenney told the meeting.
~À propos the above, Steyn Clubber Paul Harmon writes:
You know something Mark? I'm waving our constitution in your face. In Canada, which doesn't have the bill of rights, Calgary police have arrested street preacher Artur Pawlowski after he failed to abide by public health orders again during a Saturday church service where dozens were congregating without masks and no regard for physical distancing. In America, which does have a bill of rights, the right of churches to meet was upheld recently by the Supreme Court. Here in Oregon, our news media, the corrupt Oregon Supreme Court, and our leftist Governor are having fits about it, but we go right on meeting. That constitution works occasionally, don't you think? The Deranged Dominion and the UK are not as free as the USA because of it.
Well, what the Calgary Police did over the weekend, New Jersey State Troopers were doing a year ago to church services and rabbi's funerals. But I really don't want to get into this kind of argument - because a constitution that "works occasionally" isn't, by definition, a constitution. And right now, in case everyone's forgotten, the Constitution permits a usurper to sit in the Oval Office - or is that something else "constitutional conservatives" have agreed to let slide?
I think it's just bad form and in a certain sense delusional to talk up the protections of the US Constitution when the highest office in the land is held by a man who stole the election. And, frankly, I'm surprised anyone can do it with a straight face.
But, as I said, I can't really be bothered getting into this, because my main point in those apparently controversial remarks re constitutions was this:
Whether you have the best written constitution on the planet (the US) or you have an unwritten constitution (the UK) or you have a constitution that is no more or less than an act of the Imperial Parliament (Canada) or you've had 157 constitutions since 1789 (France), we're all heading off the cliff. And it may be that for some, when we're all splattered among the rocks at the bottom, which dead society had the best constitution may afford a certain pleasure in our final moments. But to some of us it's like re-arranging the premium seating lounge on the Titanic.
I'd like us to address the sliding-off-the-cliff part.
~By way of illustration of the above point, the UK Conservatives had a good election night last Thursday, and the Labour Party had a stinker - to the point where, like Jason Kenney, the latter is pining for a new base:
Defeated Labour Councillor: 'The Voters Have Let Us Down'
The Spectator reports all this with breathless excitement - and, if you follow politics as a Stanley Cup for the talentless, the humiliation of Sir Keir Starmer, Opposition Leader, and the triumph of BoJo is no doubt fascinating. But, if your main interest in the Conservative Party is as a vehicle for advancing conservatism, then who gives a crap?
As James Delingpole points out, Britain has been led by Conservative prime ministers for the last eleven years. And yet the UK is less conservative in every respect - except for the kinda sorta Brexit, which owes more to Nigel Farage than any of the last three occupants of Downing Street: David Cameron felt about Brexiteers the way Jason Kenney feels about his base; Theresa May was likewise opposed but kept her head down to preserve her political viability; and Boris Johnson's calculation was, as always, only what would serve his personal interests. But, whatever the thrills of a horse race comprising only pantomime nags made of two rear ends, we have an apparent paradox:
The longer the Conservative Party rules, the less conservatism there is to conserve.
James Delingpole offers some thoughts in the piece linked above, which we'll return to later in the week.
~It was a very busy weekend at SteynOnline, beginning with our ongoing audio serialization of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade and two musical giants of the twentieth century. Our late movie essayist Kathy Shaidle is irreplaceable, but she was very clear in the last weeks of her life that she wanted her fellow Torontonian Rick McGinnis to succeed her: Rick's first picture pick was Miracle Mile. Mother's Day brought my annual celebration of the Golden Age of Mother Songs, and we rounded out the weekend with a number for Northern Ireland's hundredth birthday.
If you were too busy canceling your mom for not wanting to be wished Happy Gestational Person's Day, I hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.