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Several thoughts today.

How ironic it is when dictatorial Prime Minister Harper wants to get rid of the Census long form, so as to take government out of citizens’ lives and respect their privacy, everyone, Liberal, NDP, the Globe and Mail, and even his own caucus, are mad at him! Go figure!

This morning’s Political Panel on CBC’s Early Edition, of which I’m a member, discussed online gambling and, frankly, Moe Sihota for the NDP spent his time slagging the Liberals while Erin Chutter for the Liberals, fell all over herself trying to justify Gordon (Pinocchio) Campbell’s latest decision as one that brought in needed revenue.

It seemed, with respect, that my colleagues missed a very essential point – this hugely damaging decision which will require dealing more and more with gambling addiction only brings $100 million into the Treasury. Now $100 million is a lot of money to you and me – and to Elin Woods as she extracts that sum from Tiger – but it’s a drop in the bucket for this government and I suggest that logic tells us that the social costs will far outweigh the small income rise.

Quite apart from the monumental hypocrisy which attaches to the Liberals, do they not realize that while BC gets this tax, the immense profits leave the province? And that it’s a tax on the less well off?

These aren’t religious orders we’re dealing with here, folks, they’re corporate thugs.

What’s happened to this province? Have we no sense of morality left as we destroy our trees, our rivers, our fish and our public institutions then support the huge theft from citizens’ pockets by gambling interests?

My guess is that in May 2013 voters will, as Charlie Brown does when Lucy promises not to pull the ball away, forget the history and vote this hideous lot back into office.

[Article by Stephen Hume in the Vancouver Sun: Gambling grab morally no different than dealing drugs]

Finally, this morning we talked about Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s latest earthy use of one of the oldest words in the English language and Bill Bennett, a serial writer of ill thought out emails, latest billet doux to a constituent.

I was, and remain, bewildered at the fuss this stuff caused.

Unquestionably politicians should not use intemperate or naughty language or both while performing their public duties.

My only reaction this morning remains my reaction now – who cares? Hs no one watched television or a movie lately? Believe me, when Clark Gable shocked the public on all continents when he said “frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn” he opened the floodgates of earthy uses of the language.

It’s a generational thing. When one of my mothers-in-law was watching Platoon and heard the longish “C” word meaning fellatio, she nearly had the vapors. When then wife and I explained that this is how soldiers talked, mother-in-law exclaimed “well it didn’t do them much good, did it?”

When I was Consumer Minister several centuries ago, my first public statement, a day or so after taking office, was to observe that “consumers need a kick in the ass” sometimes meaning that we all must learn, as a child can only learn by experience, that a hot stove is hot.

This tart phrase followed me wherever I went and in the result, the next election gave me an even larger majority than before.

The message is, I think, that the media whose own newsrooms and studios use “f**k” as often as this generation says “like”, need to get a life and recognize when a headline story ought to have been a sidebar item at most.

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