#41 – Starve the Soul, Feed the Ego, Part One: John George Diefenbaker

Welcome to the beginning of a series of writings I’ve been working on about Canada’s Prime Ministers. They’re a motley bunch: a bundle of worthless cakers, imperialists, and scumbags with a handful of clever, decent people who made the critical mistake of believing in making Canada a better place. John George Diefenbaker is of the latter class, though you wouldn’t know it to hear cakers scream about how the man who ensured universal franchise, eliminated the anti-Semitism of the Bank of Canada in the ballsiest way possible, and established the legal precedent for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms eliminated the Avro Arrow, a white elephant of a war project that epitomizes the jingoism that defines but one facet of caker revisionism. Let us now set the record straight on a worthy candidate for leadership of an unworthy people – John “the Chief” Diefenbaker.

Diefenbaker was born on 18 September, 1895 in the tiny town of Neustadt, Ontario. In 1903, the Diefenbakers moved to Saskatchewan, giving Diefenbaker a much-needed chance to see the massive gulf in living standards between WASPish caker-nobility and the rest of the people of Canada. In his memoirs, titled “One Canada”, he wrote that this experience of Western Canada inspired his later concern for a singular, equal, uniquely Canadian identity. Which may explain why he nominated James Gladstone, the first Indigenous Senator and Ellen Fairclough, Canada’s first female Cabinet Minister. And that’s not mentioning the first Jewish head of the Bank of Canada (Louis Rasminsky). If Canada was as in love with the notion of inclusivity that it claims to be you’d think that Diefenbaker would be a national hero.

Diefenbaker’s equalizing streak doesn’t end with a few appointments. Diefenbaker not only completed Canada’s universal franchise (in 1960 – Canada has allowed Indigenous people to vote for less than half of its actual history), but the 1962 election was also the first one in which Inuit ballots were taken seriously. It’s hard to overstate how important Diefenbaker’s regime was in terms of actually moving Canada towards the mythological tolerant cakerstan that Canada pretends exists in this hellish country today.

Speaking of caker revision made possible by a forgotten hero, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms had its origins in the Canadian Bill of Rights. For whatever weaknesses the Bill had it was at least a conscious step towards a codification of Canadian rights and a well-intentioned attempt at making this heap a better place. As is the case with many of Canada’s good political ideas the concept of a Bill of Rights came from the Prairies back when they were populated by immigrants rather than their cakerized descendents. Saskatchewan’s Bill of Rights, written in 1947, was deeply important to Diefenbaker. Indeed, Dief’s Bill of Rights had a provision of property rights that the Charter forgot; because of this the Bill of Rights, frequently revised by grumpy cakers as to be ineffectual and pointless is in fact regularly cited today in legal cases.

And with that established, allow me now to get through the idiotic revisionism that is the Avro Arrow. Really, the fact that disputing the mythological fighter jet that wasn’t has to take up so much of my piece on Diefenbaker is a pain in the ass. There’s a lot to the Chief that I’m skirting over to make sure that this fits in the rough word count I try to stick to. Frankly, the Avro Arrow was a white elephant of a project that is falsely used to undermine the Prime Minister who made arguably the greatest strides towards realizing the caker mythology of inclusiveness of any Prime Minister in…well, in ever.

By the time the project was in the air, the Avro Arrow was obsolete. Despite this caker business tried its best to use nationalism and the fear of “ruining the industry” to try and force Diefenbaker’s hand into maintaining the project despite its obsolescence…and he refused. You know, like cakers desperately wish Ottawa would do with Bombardier? Do you really want your monies going towards garbage caker businesses that produce obsolete, shitty equipment? No? You pretty much agreed with Diefenbaker.

He stood up to caker business and tried to make Canada a more honest place, and for his efforts he gets shit on. That’s cakers for you!


One thought on “#41 – Starve the Soul, Feed the Ego, Part One: John George Diefenbaker”

  1. When I was younger, in my earlier twenties and not very smart, I remember visiting the Aeronautical museum in Ottawa. There they had an exhibit of the Avro Arrow and hanging in midair a salvaged part of the nose cone. A large monitor had Pierre Berton haranguing on about the tragedy of the program, giving up our sovereignty to the Americans, destroying our tech base, on and on ad nauseum. Like most good Canadians, I was equally horrified and ashamed, and no wonder Malton, (a place today absorbed by the GTA and can only be found on maps) sucks.

    Years later, while on tour in Toronto, I met up with an employee of mine that had retired from the Forces and had worked in proximity to the project. He told me everything and what a white whale that was. Canada refused to use any part or device or bolt and screw that wasn’t invented by Avro, and unique to the world, and therefore everything being proprietary, nothing off the shelf could be used. This, because of scale issues, caused it to be prohibitively expensive and no one, including the Americans, would buy. And we certainly weren’t, because it was too expensive!! Was it a revolutionary all weather fighter? Yes, and with modern avionics would still pack a punch as long as they had figured out those Iroquois engines that never quite worked. Did the Russians copy it into their MIG design? Possibly. But in another sense, because of the strategy of internal procurement, it was obsolete in its own time.

    It should never have happened in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

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