listen to Charles read the letter here:
We've been friends for a long time and friends really ought to tell friends the truth. So since nobody else has told you, I think it's time for me to step up and get it done. Those were the same first words I used to to talk back to the rhetoric you were using a few years ago when Canadian democracy wasn't working quite the way you wanted it to do and you tried cooking up some sort of coalition omelette with the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois. It wasn't your ideal coalition. Ideally, you'd be the Prime Minister, driving the bus, and the Libs and the Separatists would just be your tail pipe. Anyway, it didn't work out because the team which got the most votes and did form government was not going to fold their tent just because you and Bob Rae and some professors were going around the country lecturing Canadians about how the coalition was the way to go because this is the kind of thing that Europeans favoured. It was the standard line from the Progressives. Since this is something the Europeans do and the Europeans are so superior to us, having elected socialists often and enthusiastically, Canadians ought to get with with the program. And riding shotgun in that coach of course is the unspoken but heartfelt feeling by progressives everywhere which goes something like this. Since the Americans, excuse me, let me say it little smugly, a little more NDP. Since the Ammeri-kans would never consider a coalition in the executive branch of government. Only one president at one time. No three headed Presidents in the Oval Office. Since the Americans would never do something so sophisicated, and nuanced….Since the Americans can't even spell coalition, it must be a very progressive idea and a Canadian ideal, something the social conscience of Canada, the NDP should be pushing. Remember the fall of 2008 Jack, when you launched the attempt at Coalition, you kept making the case that the Harper Conservatives didn't really command the support of the country because they got less than 40% of the votes. More than sixty percent went to the other parties. And then I chose to count the votes in your own riding of Danforth, and as it turned out you got less than 40% of the votes and so I thought well maybe, by your own standards you weren't legit either. The Liberals and Tories combined got more votes than you did. Why were you picking up the six figured paycheck and the seven figured money for travel expenses every year and all the other perks associated with working the system so close to the throne, so close to the vault you can practically smell the free money. So I'd say based on the reaction of Canadians to my simple arithmetic, it was clear to them that your own fish hook ended up getting in your own eye or to use the language you prerfer among your academic Beaujolais drinking buddies, you got hoisted by your petard. A little French goes a long way in a progressive discussion. Speaking of French I don't suppose the Orange Crush you pulled off recently in Quebec could have happened if all those winning NDP candidates would have had to clear the 50% plus hurdle in their ridings. I did another one of those nasty arithmetic jobs. And it seems the Conservatives, Liberals and the Bloc did score better than 60% and I can't recall anyone of my buds on the right saying Jack had nothing to crow about because more than 60% of the voters voted against Jack Layton's NDP. No they'd be laughed at. When you and Thomas Mulcair and other members of the left were saying more than 60% voted against the Conservatives, we were told not to laugh at this line because the social conscience of Canada was saying so. If a right of centre person says something it must always be in the interests of some greedy corporation, but if a left winger spouts like a whale it's in the interests of the Canadian people, especially those at the bottom of the social ladder. Bottom of ladder has higher moral authority. You might be at the bottom, because you haven't worked a day in your life and your life consists of working the system to make sure you get free housing, free food, free crack pipes, and free heroin needles. But hey if you're at the bottom, you have far more social conscience free flyer points than some sap in a suit trying to feed his family by working for the man.
Jack, I'm not going to spend much time dwelling on the acolades offered to you in death. I actually think everyone's entitled to have their friends and followers put a little fertilizer on the bun after someone they care for passes. I don't want to get into that. You and I had some great chats over the years. And one of our little rules of the road was you didn't bore me to death with the NDP talking points and I didn't spend any of our private time knocking them down. You knew that I was a working class kid, son of a couple of heart and soulers who worked on the factory floor to pay the rent. You knew that I would never buy into how you saw the working class from your vantage point in the upscale tony neighborhood you grew up in far far removed from the blood, and sweat and fears on our side of the tracks. You knew that our path to middle class was saving some dough, buying a little store and working our tail bones off so we could buy our own house and eventually maybe another one to rent out and save some up some dough. That's what we hard working immigrants did. And over the years I saw people from various parts of the world coming to our country doing it the same way. Work hard, buy a little property and then maybe another, get your kids to apply a strong work ethic to school and becoming professionals at something. Anyway you knew enough about my life, to know I wasn't buying what your party was selling about surviving in Canada only through social assistance, or unions, or government jobs, all areas that were feeding troughs for your organizers, your activists, your fund raisers. In our private conversations, you never tried to push the progressive package at me. I wasn't a motivated customer. My family did the middle class the old fashioned way. We didn't work the system. We worked our tailbone.
And so Jack when we had a couple of pops and some good chat, we'd talk just like guys do, just like old friends do, a little sports, a little business, a little family. It was warm and friendly and I considered you a friend. But once again friends tell friends the truth and there's just one thing I want to say about what's happened since you passed, that really bugs the hell out of me.
And it's not about your passing being turned into a huge political fundraiser. I told my buds who knew we liked each other and they were asking me about this last week. I told them Jack was always a ham, but I never thought of him as a pig. And the pigging out on public dollars to be sent directly to the NDP in lieu of flowers or in lieu donations which might have been made for cancer research or any of the many causes that you supported, soup kitchens just to name one…nope if people wanted to send some coin to honour your memory they were instructed to send it to the Broadbent think tank which only exists on a cocktail napkin and even if it ever gets built it’s simply a wholly owned NDP collection plate. But that's not what I waned to bring up Jack. It's that line in the eulogy Stephen Lewis offered up and it's that same old, same old pitch that professional moochers have always used, and you know what I think of moochers Jack. Every family has one. Someone who just keeps working you for more, more, more and it's never enough and on top of all the take, take, take they do, they then add insult to injury by carping about how you haven't been generous enough with them, You owe them more. They're entitled to more. I can't stand Moochers Jack. You know that. And so there's Stephen Lewis, who needs no gps to find government grant money. And there he is delivering your eulogy, singing your praises, calling the deathbed letter you and Olivia and Brian put together, a social manifesto etc etc. All the violins have been cued. The crowd is giving up more precipitation than Hurricane Irene and then he says these words …"He wanted, in the simplest and most visceral terms a more generous Canada.”
Jack he was speaking for you. Now in all the chats we have had, you never gave me the impression that this country wasn't generous. It was certainly generous to you and your buds. The best example in a long list of examples is what went down on Saturday. This country, Jack, threw your party a multi-million dollar funeral. A state funeral Jack. That's a lot of glue. A lot of people were flown in. Lots of well dressed cops including those Mounties in their telegenic scarlet. A whole fleet of carbon spewing Cadillacs. Not just the hearse you rode in Jack. But the one Cadillac the eulogy giver rode in on as well and many others. Your colleagues were treated like royalty, Jack. I know you were up there smilin' that great Jack smile. And you didn't have to wave that great cane around like a prop. I figure that cane was worth at least fifty seats in Quebec. That was your sugar cane and I give you full marks for using the full tool kit. But about the generosity business. Jack, do you think if I introduced the eulogy giver to a family of Canadians who were once known as boat people from Vietnam, people who were tortured, and butchered and left for dead by their own people, people who got what little they had on a boat hoping that someone would pick 'em up and our country very generously did exactly that. Do you think the eulogy giver could look a mother who rescued her children on a boat and were eventually rescued by the most generous country in the world, Canada, do you think the eulogy giver could look her in the eye and complain to her about Canada not being a generous country? There are millions of people who have been taken in by this country and out of the millions there have been thousands who have ripped this country off and have been allowed to stay here, working the system accessing lawyers paid for by the generous people of this country. How come Omar Khadr's mother is in Canada instead of Pakistan? It's not because she's a Canadian patriot, Jack. She came here for the free health care and much of it was needed for her son who was part of a family dedicated to killing as many of our American neighbors as possible. The Khadr family is here precisely because the country is generous. The eulogy giver wants the country to be more generous. I want the country to be less generous to the moocher and less expensive for the honest hard working folks who the moochers have been enjoying a one-sided parasitic relationship with. Since the eulogy giver used the terms simple and visceral, and since those are the neighborhoods I play in let me put it in simple visceral terms. We are sick and tired of being generous with people who don't even like our country. We are sick and tired of being told by the professional not-for-profit moochers that this country isn't good enough. We are sick and tired of delivering free food, free housing, free cab rides, free motel rooms, free crack pipes, free heroin needles and free cadillac rides to free riders and freeloaders and moochers. Now Jack I can't make it any simpler or more visceral than that. I don't claim to speak for every working man and woman in Canada the way the eulogy giver does. But I am on solid freshly zambonied ice telling you I speak for most.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity Jack to vent a little bit. It was a tough week. I felt sad to see you go so soon, and as you can tell I felt sad for my fellow Canadians to see your memory being turned into a fundraiser for NDP sugar daddies and a condescending, ungrateful, ungenerous portrayal of the country that you and I both love.
Happy Trails Jack. I'll be seeing you some day and we'll be having some more pops and more laughs.
Rest in Peace my old friend.