Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Our dirty linen

I welcome the news that the RCMP may be investigating the Canadian Human Rights Commission, as Marc Lemire has every reason to suggest that it seems he has been pursued by that organization by methods illegal. Ezra suggests (see also: Catfur and Steyn) that the investigation is already under way, though I'm not sure exactly what evidence he has for that, other than a note from the Ottawa Police that they have sent the question on to the RCMP. In any case, it's clear that so many questions about corruption at the CHRC have been raised (here's only the latest), that the scandal that has developed cannot be resolved by some discrete police investigation.

It's time for the government to act and to appoint a full and complete investigation into the operations of Canada's "human rights" police. As Jay Currie suggests, Messrs. Harper, Nicholson, and the rest of the federal cabinet could start by taking a tip from the BC Civil Liberties Association.

Of course, i would go on to argue that corruption in any form of thought policing is never to be simply dismissed as a case of bad apples going too far; it is in fact the inevitable outcome of putting anyone in charge of deciding what is and what is not too offensive to be heard in public. To empower self-righteousness in any form is to beg for scandal, though that of course is the oldest story in the book.

As George Jonas noted over the weekend:
A similar story comes from my native town. Many years before TV ads offered remedies for erectile dysfunction, a no-longer-young physician was hauled before the local hospital board for seducing an elderly cleaning lady, regarded as a breach of work discipline in those days. He admitted to his indiscretion and was fined a hefty sum.

"Why did you, for heaven's sake?' someone asked him. "The lady in question is hardly irresistible."

The doctor shrugged. "Anybody can go to bed with Gina Lollobrigida," he replied. "I wanted to test my virility."

All right. Going to bat for Mark Steyn's freedom of expression is like going to bed with Gina Lollobrigida. Anybody can do it. The challenge to liberty's libido is going to bat for a James Keegstra's freedom of expression, or an Ernst Zundel's. Defending the Charter rights of crude racists and Holocaust deniers is a test of liberal virility. It's a test we failed. We failed the political equivalent of the Montreal chanteuse's sexual challenge: Going to bed with nausea.


Dag said...

Your efforts here are going to make for a lot of happy cleaning-ladies, until they actually read what you've written. Then prepare for a law-suit.

truepeers said...

Hmm, how many cleaning ladies do you know? Dirt is their business; so they generally want more of it; but it's only good as long as we're willing to air it. Most cleaning ladies have to put on an air or propriety, to be trusted in people's homes; but underneath all that puritanical scrubbing... well, no one can be purely pure, all the time; to ward off craziness the other side has be given its due... those who fight the inevitable and eternal dust have the greatest sense of tragedy and comedy; for them, the "inappropriate" bed mate is just the way the story has to be...

Vancouver visitor said...

In the light of history, the flaws of the Charter are now apparent. Instead of arguing based on a piece of flawed document, won't it make more sense to amend or even abolish the Charter? The country functioned perfectly well before Trudeau brought in the Charter. So why not go back to something that was never broken in the first place?

truepeers said...


It's certainly an idea worth considering, yet I think ultimately the degree of freedom we will enjoy in this country is not firstly a question of what is on the law books as how much we are a people who know and love what freedom is. The Charter empowers judges who think they can legislate all kinds of things on behalf of supposed victims; but it is ultimately the willingness of parliament and the people to go along with the victimary ideologies that makes it possible for the courts to have the impact they've had. Hopefully the pendulum is now swinging back towards personal responsibility and less victimary thinking.