In a column published in the Vancouver Sun, Murray Dobbin -- who often declares the NDP to be the true voice of Canada, despite their distant third-party status -- has declared British Columbia NDP leader Carole James to be off the reservation.
Her grave misstep? Talking to business.
In the column, Dobbin declares his sheer lunatic hatred for private enterprise while spewing tired, worn-out socialist rhetoric.
He declares BC's business interests to be carpetbaggers, and declares James to be a traitor. Fortunately for James, this is Murray Dobbin. His opening volley hilariously drips with the frustrated sweat of intellectual impotence:
"So Carole James thinks meeting with business is going to help her look like a leader. Good luck with that. No one will take this sad effort seriously – not her supporters, who want her to represent them which means against the reactionary interests of business. And certainly not business who will only be impressed with an NDP leader when said leader commits hari kari for ever having had the temerity to challenge the Liberal party. This isn’t just a waste of time – it is embarrassing and counterproductive.It's rather amusing to see Dobbin accusing business interests of being "reactionary", when he's the one blowing a gasket because Carole James so much as talks to private enterprise.
How does humiliating yourself – essentially apologizing to the most reactionary business class in Canada – make you look like a leader?"
It's hard to tell if Dobbin is more frustrated with his own exhausted ideas, or with the idea that an NDP leader simply may have woken up from that particular slumber.
"James said in her speech that the wealth created by business 'helps pay for the services that make for a just and fair society.' Well, yes, if they actually paid their fair share of taxes that might also be true – but they don’t. The irresponsible corporate tax cuts delivered by the Campbell government in the first week after its first electoral victory means we don’t have the money needed to pay for the services we need. The obscenity of overcrowded emergency rooms, school boards millions of dollars short of what they need, cuts to everything that makes BC a good place to live lies at the door of the BC corporate elite.Of course, the assessment of what business' "fair share" is would have to be subjective. In Dobbin's judgement, private enterprise is nothing more than a piggy bank for government to ruthlessly and endlessly raid while denying them the opportunity to compete with crown corporations (also known as Dobbin's sacred cows).
This is the business class James is talking to and what do they think about the multi-billion dollar shortfall they are responsible for? Why, they want even more tax cuts."
Moreover, when Dobbin refers to services that British Columbians desperately need, it all too often isn't actually health care or education that he's really thinking about. Rather, he's thinking about whatever idea may pop into his head at any given time.
Dobbin, who has never allowed reality -- such as the reality that an NDP government might need to attempt to get along with the businesses that generate the wealth necessary for them to operate their programs -- to restrain his writing, has proven that he has a lascivious appetite for tax-funded social programming. He could never get enough.
Which in turn leads to outbursts like the following paragraph:
"Did James talk about that while she genuflected before this crowd of carpetbaggers? Did she tell them if they want to live in a civilized society, they have to pay for it? Did she remind them that educated, healthy workers and a strong infrastructure are good for business?"If the "carpetbaggers" of private enterprise -- who in Dobbin's mind couldn't possibly citizens of BC or of Canada -- want to live in a civilized society, they have to pay for it.
Apparently, the idea that government has a responsibility to try to keep the demands placed on private enterprise as low as necessary doesn't at any point cross Dobbin's mind. No. In his mind, the responsibility of government is to create as business-stifling and growth-smothering a social safety net as possible, and to force private enterprise to pay for it.
And if Carole James, as the leader of a social democratic party, understands the need for governments to work collaboratively with the businesses they expect to pay the taxes to fund their every pet project, he declares her to be Judah:
"This is an NDP leader with no stomach for the truth or social justice – she will never call for tax increases even though everything the NDP is supposed to stand for requires tax revenue."Dobbin would prefer that she do as he demands: a ritual sacrifice of the geese that he expects to lay golden eggs for BC, all while his own sacred cows not only remain untouched, but forever spared the inconvenience of having to compete for grazing land.
It's as apt an expression of Murray Dobbin's ideological selfishness as he's ever produced. It's a shame that he has to extend his seething hatred of private enterprise to an NDP leader who's trying to do the right thing for her party, and for her province.