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Uncomfortable thought (or 2) on Harper’s stand-offish attitude to Truth and Reconciliation Report

Some of you may have read this at Rabble the other day, about a theory Karl Nerenberg has as to why Harper seems to not support the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s findings or its recommendations:

The reason Harper and his government have adopted this grin-and-bear-it attitude toward the TRC is that they hear other voices than those that have flooded the media this week. The Conservative leader is acutely aware that many of his party’s “base” have views quite at variance with the “politically correct” consensus…the fact that there is so much openly anti-First Nations blather out there, shielded by the cloak of Internet anonymity, suggests that a significant measure of white backlash does, in fact, exist. The prime minister will never openly acknowledge the backlash. But in assuming the detached pose he has, and making no commitment to fulfill even a single one of the TRC’s calls to action, the Conservative leader is signalling to all the white backlashers out there that he hears them.

a) IF that’s true, shame on the Prime Minister for being scared of what I have to believe is a minority – even in his own base. Scrounging for and trying to keep votes from the bigots crawling out of the woodwork is unseemly, and makes his apology back in 2008 on this issue meaningless and without sincerity.

b) I’m more uncomfortable that the Prime Minister is indicating by his silence that he actually agrees with a lot of the backlash being sent the report’s way by the rabid pack that makes up some of his base – and I’ll say I slightly disagree with the author – not all of it is anonymous either. You can read some of the usual far-rightwing suspects at Blogging Tories or on social media for an example or two of that attitude, which they are quite willing to stand behind.

c) The other reason that he may not be doing much on this report? Spite. Everyone knows the First Nations have been a key player in delaying or threatening to delay oil pipelines to BC and elsewhere, helping to stifle Harper’s dream of becoming an “energy superpower” – which has gone down the drain anyhow with the collapse of oil prices, but that’s beside the point. Harper holds grudges better and longer then any politician I know. I’d not be surprised if he feels he owes the First Nations no favours because of their opposition to him on this other issue.


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